tiny timmy, kooky cokie's spiritual match, offers 'wisdoms of our fathers' - again this is for a feature the third estate sunday review is working on. Posted by Picasa

with wisdom only many years of senility can provide, kooky cokie declares 'we are our mother's daughters'. this is for something they're doing tomorrow at the third estate sunday review. Posted by Picasa

darrell anderson scheduled to return to the u.s. today

Editorial: Darrell Anderson Needs You (The Third Estate Sunday Review):

Darrell Anderson. Here's the back story. In January 2003, Darrel Anderson joined the Army. He was sent to Iraq and injured by a roadside bomb. Awarded the Purple Heart, when facing a second deployment to Iraq, Anderson decided to self-check out (January 2005). Like Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Patrick Hart, Kyle Snyder and an estimated 220-plus others, Anderson went to Canada.
In Canada, he applied for refugee status -- a status regularly granted during the Vietnam era but one Canada has thus far refused to grant to any war resister. Recently, Anderson's attorney apparently missed a deadline for the paper work on that issue.
However, Anderson met Gail Greer when she was working on a film about war resisters and married Greer who is a Canadian citizen. The marriage should have resulted in granting him legal resident status. He is currently waiting on that announcement from the Canadian government.
His mother, Anita Anderson, has filled the press in on this month's developments -- this month is when Darrell Anderson told his mother that he was planning on returning to the United States. According to his mother's statements near the start of the month, Darrell was going to return to the United States if the Canadian government did not offer him status. Anderson himself spoke to Jim Warren of The Lexington Herald-Leader for an article published yesterday and it seems the return is no longer in doubt.
The current plans are to cross the border back into the United States, hold a press conference and then return to Fort Knox. He told Warren, "I decided that I've got to go back and get this over with once and for all, instead of living in limbo up here forever."
During the Vietnam era, activists advocated for an amensty for those who dodged the draft and those who decided to check themselves out. With the end of the war, the fall of Richard Nixon with the Watergate exposures, and a new president named Jimmy Carter, it was thought that such a policy was possible. That did not happen. Carter granted amnesty to those who dodged the draft. Those who self-checked out were to be handled on a case by case basis. That was the best that government was willing to do as that illegal war came to a close.It is highly unlikely that anything's changed in today's political climate. (The amnesty decision was a political decision.) Those who go to Canada know this. The War Resisters Support Campaign provides them with resources, support and information. (And is a worthy charity to donate to.) It is a difficult decision and coming back to the country for any reason (including the funeral of a parent) means risking arrest.
For Anderson, with no work permit due to his status, Canada meant struggle including living with his Post-Traumatic Syndrome from his experiences in Iraq. Loud noises still startle him after the roadside bomb, sleep usually means nightmares of reliving the experience. For those reasons and others, he made the decision to return to the United States and, in his words to Jim Warren, "I decided that I've got to go back and get this over with once and for all, instead of living in limbo up here forever."
What can happen next? He could be dishonorably discharged and that would be the end of it. More likely, he will face an Article 32 hearing for desertion and then a court-martial (which could result in jail time). What happens to Darrell Anderson largely depends on us. Are we willing to speak out? Are we willing to show support?
We're sure the usual suspects will show up for their one-off "Baby cried the day the circus came to town" coverage and that's not going to be good enough. That's not going to do anything. Well, it will let the usual suspects kid themselves that they "covered" the story. It's not a one-day story.
However the media decides to treat it, we have to be willing to keep this issue alive. Ehren Watada is a success story in terms of attention. It seems, however, as though Kevin Benderman (currently serving a sentence) has been forgotten.Darrell Anderson remains opposed to the illegal war. He is a war resister. Anita Anderson intends to be outside Fort Knox and maybe some can be their physically, maybe some can be their in spirit. But how much we work to keep this issue alive will impact the outcome. As Patti Smith sang and wrote "People Have The Power." But they have to use it.
More information on Darrell Anderson (and other war resisters) can be found at Courage to Resist.

we wrote that last saturday night/sunday morning (it went up sunday) and today's the day. are you going to make darrell anderson an issue that matters? is this something you're going to "broadcast" in your circles? you need to. camilo mejia and others have taken brave stands. this summer, we saw ehren watada refuse to serve, we saw ricky clousing and mark wilkerson decide to turn themselves in after checking out of the military and both refuse to go back and say, "okay, i'll go to iraq." agustin aguayo turned himself in tuesday night. now darrell anderson's scheduled to return to the u.s. today and, if he's not arrested after crossing the border, drive to fort knox and turn himself in (that should be tuesday). that's five who are opposed to the war, publicly opposed, telling the military, in its face: i will not serve in your illegal war. that's a movement. there will be more. how many more may depend upon how much public support you show for anderson.

someone thinking about saying "no" to the war may see anderson getting the support he deserves and realize that he or she will also get support for saying "no." this is a movment and you've got to do your part. so get the word out.

on a related issue, beth's column went into the gina & krista round-robin yesterday. she's the ombudsperson for the common ills. krista and beth both gave permission to run beth's column but i can't get ahold of gina. krista says she won't mind and i'm sure gina won't but i know the rule is nothing gets reprinted without the permission of all three. so instead of setting a bad precedent, i'll note what beth and i discussed about her column. this week, c.i. made a strong argument in tuesday's 'Iraq snapshot' that agustin aguayo had a freedom of religion case since the military was denying his c.o. status and questioning his religious stance. saying basically, if you were religious, you should have felt that way before enlisting. c.i. argued that the awakening/testing was part of the narrative in most religions practiced in the u.s. it was a wonderful argument and 1 i hadn't seen made elsewhere. i got an e-mail from a war supporter who stated he was rethinking in terms of aguayo and he could see how some 1 like aguayo had a reason to refuse to serve. that was followed the next day with a few more e-mails. thursday in
'NYT: "Military Officials Add to U.S. Criticism of Iraq's Government" (Richard A. Oppel Jr.),' c.i. noted a link to the christian broadcasting network which was carrying a story on aguayo and noted that a member was making the point in an e-mail that the story was all over, even at cbn. i think that's due to the fact that the issue c.i. was talking about is valid. this is an argument that the religious (of all stripes) should be able to get behind. even bully boy's core supporters, the extreme right, if they are religious, should see aguayo's case and think, 'well, maybe it's not so black & white.' (i wrote about the argument in 'a different way of arguing?') beth's verdict was that of course the link was fine. it was noted by a member and since, as c.i. had argued, aguayo's argument (legal and public support) should be made on that premise, argued that at the start of the week, the fact that christian broadcasting network was running a story on aguayo later in the week was worth noting.

the point? there are different ways to argue, different ways to reach people. put your heads together and do your part because that's the only thing that will end this war. not congress, not the bully boy. it's up to us.

c.i.'s 'Iraq Snapshot' for friday:

Friday, September 29, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the British military officers say out-of-Iraq, Medea Benjamin asks are you willing to "Give Peace a Vote"?,
is the US military writing off Al-Anbar Province, and tomorrow war resister Darrell Anderson is set to return to the United States.

CBC reports that, after eighteen months in Canada, war resister Darrell Anderson is readying for his journey home with his wife, Gail Greer, stating, "He needs to be home. This is not his home." [Note: CBC continues to list his wife as "Gail Green." US news outlets, other Candian outlets and her film credits list her as "Gail Greer." If Gail Greer is not the correct name, we'll note that in a future snapshot.] Darrell Anderson was wounded by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. Facing a second deployment to Iraq, Anderson elected to self-check out of the US military and, as Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Patrick Hart, Kyle Snyder and others during this illegal war, head to Canada. Once there, he applied for legal status but, as with other war resisters, the government did not grant asylum. (This in marked contrast to Canada's actions during the Vietnam era.) Anita Anderson, his mother, tells CBC "there is no front line" in Iraq and that soldiers "are not supposed to be fighting this fight of war." If not arrested Saturday when he returns, Darrell Anderson intends to drive to Fort Knox where he will turn himself in. Information on Darrell Anderson and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.

Meanwhile, in England,
Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian of London) reports: "Senior military officers have been pressing the government to withdraw British troops from Iraq and concentrate on what they now regard as a more worthwhile and winnable battleground in Afghanistan. They believe there is a limit to wath British soldiers can achieve in southern Iraq and that it is time the Iraqis took responsiblity for their own security, defence sources say." The report comes as Bonnie Malkin (Guardian of London) notes that "former foreign secretary Jack Straw has described the situation in Iraq as 'dire,' blaming mistakes made by the US for the escalating crisis." Straw has words of praise for former US Secreatry of State Colin Powell which is only a surprise to those who never noticed their mutual admiration society until today. The report that military officials want British troops out of Iraq (and into Afghanistan) has already led to a denial from Defence Secretary Des Browne who, AFP reports, denied the report on BBC radio.

While the truth battles spin, Mark Malloch Brown, deputy secretary general of the United Nations makes a call of his own.
Paul Vallely (Independent of London) reports
Malloch Brown has stated that it was Tony Blair's Iraq policy that "fatally undermined his position as Prime Minister and forced him to step down" and Vallely also quotes an unnamed "UN source" who declares of Blair, "But Iraq has finished him. Mr. Blair seems not to appreciate just how disliked and distrusted he is in other nations."

In the United States,
Reuters reports: "The U.S. Congress on Friday moved to block the Bush adminstration from building permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq or controlling the country's oil sector, as it approved $70 billion for funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." As Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) noted Wednesday when reporting on recent polling of Iraqis, ". . . the Program on Itnerantional Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found . . . 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends to keep permanent military bases in the country." Noting the polling, Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) notes: "The writing is on the wall -- and on page after page of report after report. All leading to the same inescapable conclusion. Iraq has made us less safe; it's time to bring our troops home." What will it take for that? Not buying into the fear mania, which is a topic Huffington addressed with Andrea Lewis today on KPFA, The Morning Show[and is also the topic of On Becoming Fearless, Huffington's new book]. [Remember that KPFA broadcasts are archived and you can listen to them, free of charge, 24/7.]

The US Congress' decision comes as
Robert Burns (AP) reports Army Col. Sean B. Macfarland ("commander of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division" in Iraq) stated that the resistance in Al-Anbar Province will not be defeated by American forces and will "probably" continue "until after U.S. troops leave the country". Most recent actions in Al-Anbar have revolved around Ramadi which is being carved up into a series of Green Zones (to little effect). [Currently at Alive in Baghdad, there is a video report on a man who was "Falsely Arrested and Abused In Ramadi.]

In the most noted violence in Iraq today, Kadhim Abdel has been shot dead.
CNN reports that "the brother-in-law of Judge Mohammad Orabi Majeed Al-Khalefa, was driving in Ghazaliya on Friday with his son aged 10 and another 10-year-old boy when their car was attacked. Both boys were wounded." The Australian combines AP and Reuters to note: "It was not immediately clear whether they were targeted because they were related to judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, who took over the Saddam trial last week, or if it was another of the sectarian attacks that have been plaguing Baghdad." (That statement is actually all AP.)


AP reports that a police officer died ("and two civilians injured") from a bombing in downtown Baghdad; while two Iraqi soldiers lost their lives in Anah from a roadside bomb (with two more wounded).


AFP reports that two police officers were shot dead in Dura. CNN reports that four people were shot dead in Balad.


AP reports that eight corpses were discovered in Iraq, three were discovered in Baquba and that two corpses "were pulled from the Tigris River in Suwayrah". AFP reports that two corpses were discovered in Kut. (The Times of London ups the Baghdad corpse count to ten.)

In peace news,
BuzzFlash declares the Dixie Chicks this weeks Wings of Justice winners for using their voices to speak truth to power. In 2003, the Chicks were savaged by some (and Diane Sawyer attempted a public shaming). They didn't back down and, to quote a song off their new, best selling CD, they're "not ready to make nice." [Click here for Kat's review of the CD.] The Dixie Chicks stood strong and a lot of people stood with them. There's a lesson in that.

CODEPINK is celebrating it's fourth anniversary on Sunday and Andrea Lewis spoke with Medea Benjamin about that today on KPFA's The Morning Show today. Addressing the organization's latest action -- Give Peace a Vote! -- Benjamin noted that: "We have November elections coming up and then we have presidential elections coming up and unfortunately If we don't translate the silent majority voice that's against this war into a voter bloc, we're going to be faced with another opportunity to vote for two major parties giving us war candidates. So Give Peace a Vote!is a way to say, 'I will not vote for anybody that does not call for an end to this war and no more wars of aggression.'"

Speaking with Kris Welch today on
KPFA's Living Room, Daniel Ellsberg noted the upcoming World Can't Wait protest (October 5th -- day of mass resistance), his being named as the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the importance of speaking out.

As noted by
James Glanz (New York Times) and Gritte Witte (Washington Post) this morning, American contractor Parsons has a 1/14 success rate for their construction projects in Iraq --- actually less than 1 in 14 because, as Witte notes, ""The one project reviewed by auditors that was being constructed correctly, a prison, was taken away from Parsons before its completion because of escalating costs." With that in mind, pay attention to Janis Karpinski (writing for The Huffington Post): "Our silence will beget more of the same and worse. We must find courage. We must stand up. One of the ways to do this is by screening and sharing a new documentary I appeared in called Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers -- which calls for a stop to the shameful war profiteering this administration has allowed to occur. We must speak up. We must because we are Americans and we know better than this. We can move beyond the shame only when we stop this from getting worse and participate in making it better."

Finally, next week, Bob Watada, father of
Ehren Watada, hits the road again to raise awareness on his son -- the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. After an Article 32 hearing in August, Ehren Watada awaits word on what the chain of command will do with the findings (court-martial, discharge him, ignore the findings . . .). Here are Bob Watada's speaking engagements for Monday through Friday of next week:

Mon. 10/2 8:30 am KPFK Sonali Kolhatkur
3729 Cahuenga Bl. West, No. Hollywood
Contact: KPFK 818-985-2711 email:

Tues 10/3 7:00pm ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
1800 Argyle Ave. #400, Los Angeles
Contact: Carlos Alvarez, 323-464-1636, email:

Wed. 10/4 12:00-2:30 pm Angela Oh's Korean American Experience Class
Life Sciences Bldg., RM 4127, UCLA Westwood Campus

Wed. 10/4 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Contact: So Cal Library 323-759-6063

Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email:

Fri. 10/6 7:00 am Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles
Contact: Thalia 626-683-9004 email:

Fri 10/6 12:30 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center
SFV Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima 91331
Contact: Phil Shigkuni 818-893-1851, cell: 818-357-7488, email

On a non-Iraq note, Lynda pointed out that a link was wrong this morning (and yesterday) so I'll note it here (it's corrected on the main site, but not on the mirror site)from
Ms.: "Before the new Ms. comes out on October 10, we're doing a last push to get signatures on our "We Had Abortions" petition. With our right to choose in danger, we at Ms. think it's important for us to take a stand now for abortion rights. We'd love to have your help!"


dirty depends wind down and repubes soil themselves again

okay, World Can't Wait is the link you were promised yesterday. hopefully, you visited the site on your own. i'm going to shut up about the topic because i think it's something we can develop into a feature but i will recommend you check out World Can't Wait and participate in the mass resistance they're calling for next thursday, october 5th. that means walking out of school, walking off the job, getting into the streets. t's trying to figure out what's going on in our area and is planning to close the shop to participate. there will be a note on the door saying World Can't Wait and that's it. any walk ins who show will be greeted with that and she's not taking any appointments for the day.

if you missed it, as dirty depends month comes to an end, after the leaked nie, it draws to a close with a big smelly dump. read molly ivins' 'Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006)' (truthdig):

AUSTIN, Texas -- Oh dear. I'm sure he didn't mean it. In Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District, long represented by Henry Hyde, Republican candidate Peter Roskam accused his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, of planning to "cut and run" on Iraq.
Duckworth is a former Army major and chopper pilot who lost both legs in Iraq after her helicopter got hit by an RPG. "I just could not believe he would say that to me," said Duckworth, who walks on artificial legs and uses a cane. Every election cycle produces some wincers, but how do you apologize for that one?
The legislative equivalent of that remark is the detainee bill now being passed by Congress. Beloveds, this is so much worse than even that pathetic deal reached last Thursday between the White House and Republican Sens. John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The White House has since reinserted a number of "technical fixes" that were the point of the putative "compromise." It leaves the president with the power to decide who is an enemy combatant.
This bill is not a national security issue--this is about torturing helpless human beings without any proof they are our enemies. Perhaps this could be considered if we knew the administration would use the power with enormous care and thoughtfulness. But of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything. Among other things, this bill is a CYA for torture of the innocent that has already taken place.
Death by torture by Americans was first reported in 2003 in a New York Times article by Carlotta Gall. The military had announced the prisoner died of a heart attack, but when Gall saw the death certificate, written in English and issued by the military, it said the cause of death was homicide. The "heart attack" came after he had been beaten so often on this legs that they had "basically been pulpified," according to the coroner.

if you missed it, september was supposed to be when the repubes proved they were going to 'save' us (who will save us from the 'saviors'?). they dubbed it 'security september' and i dubbed it 'dirty depends.' that's all they did, soil their depends day after day and now september draws to a close and 1 of their big issues, making illegal, warrantless spying suddenly legal (and retroactive) didn't get pulled off and they don't have the senate votes to do it tomorrow (my call). it passed in the house, not in the senate. they reached inside their depends and played with their own waste for a month. americans should be outraged. dirty depends.

closing with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, September 28, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; the media gloms on a recording as thought it's December 1, 1982 and the recording is Thriller; war resister Darrell Anderson gears up for his return to the United States stating, "It will be the freest time in my life, because I'm standing up for what I believe in"; polling of Iraqis continues to demonstrate opposition to the US presence in Iraq; disputes continue over yesterday's US airstrike and what appears to be an airstrike today raises additional questions.

Starting with peace news, Darrell Anderson has been in Canada since January 2005. Anderson was awarded a Purple Heart on his first deployment to Iraq where he was injured by a roadside bomb. Facing a second deployment to Iraq, Anderson chose to self-check out of the US military and go to Canada. Anderson is due to return to the US on Saturday.
Diana Swain interviewed Anderson for Canada's CBC today.

Anderson states: "I just broke down one day and couldn't stop crying, and I couldn't go to work and just realized I was done here and I had to go and make a stance in the US because there's way more support and the movement's way bigger down there than it is here."

A text version (not a transcript) notes that: "While Canada provided him an escape from serving in a war he'd come to resent, he says the time has been arduous. His refugee bids have failed so he can't work here legally and he can't get health care."

Anderson has spoken about PST and other difficulties resulting from the roadside bomb. The
text story also notes: "Anderson is scheduled to appear before military officials for a court martial on Tuesday." If that's true, that's the first anyone's reported of it. Anderson's plan is to drive into the US Saturday and, if not arrested at the border, to turn himself in at Fort Knox on Tuesday. Before being court-martialed, Anderson would first have to face an Article 32 hearing -- think back to Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing in August and also the comments by Watada's attorney Eric Seitz when the military attempted to sneak a charge in post-Article 32 (to William Cole, The Honolu Advertiser): "If they go ahead and add this charge without reconvening an Article 32 and we get to trial, we're going to move to dismiss it because it wasn't presented at the Article 32, and my belief is a military judge is probably going to dismiss it."

On the subject of Watada,
David Howard (Online Journal) writes: "1st. Lt. Ehren Watada is facing an eight-year term in military prison for just doing his duty: serving our country and protecting the Constitution. The charges are conduct unbecoming an officer, missing movement, and contempt toward President Bush. But they boil down to the 'crimes' of thinking, speaking and following his conscience. . . . This impending trial will be a test of our president's authority to wage preemptive war. Lt. Watada argues, on our behalf, that President Bush has abused his authority; President Bush argues that Watada is contemptuous for saying so." More information on war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.

Meanwhile, a
US ordered airstrike on Wednesday in Baquba continues to be disputed by eye witnesses and the US military. The US military initially trumpted the airstrike as an attack on 'insurgents' and issued the usual press releases. Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) reported today that: "Relatives said the eight people killed were from the same family and had no ties to terrorism. Associated Press Television News quoted the homeowner's daughter, Manal Jassim, as saying: "They were all innocent people. We were sleeping when they entered our house at dawn. I found my father, mother, aunt and sister-in-law lying dead. We were an 11-membe family. Eight were killed." Doug Smith (LA Times) reports that an investigation is planned and Enaam Jassim Mohammed (who lost "her parents, brother and pregnant sister-in-law" in the attacks) stated, "The Americans were yelling at the rest of the family. Then the Americans opened fire at my father, my mother and the rest. . . . I was trying to wake up my brother's wife, who was pregnant, hitting her on her face to wake up. But I discovered that she was killed after seeing the blood over the floor and her body." Smith also notes: "Another witness, interviewed on Iraqi television, said the troops shot first and continued to fire inside the house."

The strike comes at a time when polls continue to demonstrate that Iraqis favor a US withdrawal.
Tom Hayden (The Huffington Post) and Amit R. Paley (The Washington Post) earlier noted the polling and today Barry Schweid (AP) notes a poll by the International Policy Attitudes of the University of Maryland which found "four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents"; "three-fourths say they think the United States plans to keep military bases in Iraq permanently"; and "About 61 percent approved of the attacks -- up from 47 percent in January" -- attacks on US forces. Meanwhile, Walter Pincus (Washington Post) reports that the US military "wants to hire a private firm to conduct polling and focus groups in Iraq". Apparently, when unhappy with polling results (including those of the State Department -- use Paley link), the answer is to hire a polling outfit yourself.

Events such as Wednesday's airstrike can be seen as driving the "negatives" and today's reported airstrike won't aid anyone either.
Reuters reports the US military is claiming no knowledge of what appears to be an airstrike in Ramadi on a car carrying five people all of whom were killed. Reuters notes that the dead includes "two men, two children and a woman" and reminds: "The death of women and children in military operations is a common cause of resentment among Iraqis against U.S. forces."

The violence continues today in Iraq.
AFP notes of the US military claims of success with the "house to house sweeps" of the so-called 'crackdown' that's been ongoing in Baghdad since mid-June: "However, there are indications armed groups are returning to these neighborhoods and perpetrating new violence once US troops have moved on, sometimes acting with the complicity of elements in the Iraqi security forces."


Patrick Quinn (AP) reports a car bomb in Baghdad took five lives and left at least 34 wounded when "it exploded near a restaurant in central Baghdad". Also in Baghdad, Reuters reports four police officers wounded by "[a] car bomb targeting a police patrol"; while a roadside bomb aimed at a police patrol killed one person; two people died and 25 were wounded when a car bomber attacked "an Iraqi army headquarters"; two other bombs (one car, one roadside) left five people wounded; and mortar rounds wounded three. Quinn (AP) notes that mortar wounds also claimed the life of a child in Baghdad. The capital -- three months after the 'crackdown' began. Outside of Baghdad, Reuters notes a car bomber in Kirkuk killed a police officer; while two police officers were wounded by a roadside bomb in Mosul; one police officer was wounded by a roadside bomb "near Kirkuk"; and a person was wounded in Numaniya following the explosion of "[a] bomb planted inside the house of a" police officer.


Patrick Quinn (AP) reports: "Gunmen killed seven people, including five policemen and a woman, in different locations in the province of Diyala just north of Baghdad, police said." Reuters notes a man was shot dead in Balad and one in Mosul.


CNN reports that 60 corpses were found "around" Baghdad today and that the latest discoveries are "pushing the number of bodies discovered so far this week to 122. Most of the bodies had their hands tied and gunshot wounds to the head, Iraqi emergency police said." Reuters notes a corpse was discovered in Mosul and one in Balad.

BBC is reporting that Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (alleged "leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq") has issued a tape recording via websites that calls "for [the] kidnapping of Westerners." CNN notes that the tape is unconfirmed. CBS and AP note that the taped message asserts "more than 4,000 foreigners" have died in Iraq fighting occupation troops and that the "holy month should be turned into what he calls a 'month of holy war.'" The message is in Arabic. CBS and AP credit "translator Khaled Wassef, whose job entails the constant monitoring of a plethora of Web sites where militants frequently post text, audio and video detailing their global operations" and note that Wassef feels the figure cited (4,000) is more for "symbolism than . . . quantity." Patrick Quinn (AP) reports that the recording "also called for explosive experts and nuclear scientists to join his group's holy war".

In finanical news,
CBS and AP note "a secret U.S. Audit" report by Stuart W. Bowen (Special Inspector General) that says the Iraq oil industry has "lost $16 billion" in the last two years due to "attacks, criminals and bad equipment".

Returning to peace news, the
AP reports that "five adults and two juveniles" were arrested following "a seven-hour sit-in at [US House] Rep. Steve Chabort's hometown office" in Cincinnati, Ohio. The sit-in was to advocate that Chabot sign on to the Declaration of Peace. Republican Chabot chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee and backed the House bill making it illegal for any non-parent adult to take a minor across state lines to secure an abortion. His most famous statements regarding the war in Iraq may be his suggestion that the French needed history lessons for opposing the war. Monday, at US Senator Rick Santorum's Philadelphia office, fourteen people were arrested for civil disobedience. As Haider Rizvi (IPS) has reported these and other actions "continue to take place in dozens of cities across the United States this week as part of a nationwide campaign aiming to force the administration of President George W. Bush and Congress to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq."

Next Thursday, October 5th,
World Can't Wait is calling for a day of mass resistance.
Benjamin Rosen explains "people will walk out of school, take off work, gather in town squares and MARCH in cities across the country, declaring their intention [to] bring the Bush program to a halt."

While people get active, DC freezes. As
Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) notes: "With just a few days remaining before Congress adjourns for the midterm election, Washington, DC has turned into the fear capital of America. It's an all-out Fear Face-Off, pitting the GOP's fear of reality against the Democrats' fear of perception, with control of Congress riding on the outcome."


it takes a little more than e-mail forwards

The Rev. Andrew Foster Connors remained calm yesterday as a police officer put his hands in white plastic handcuffs and searched his pockets after he crossed a police line outside the U.S. Capitol.
Less than an hour later, the Rev. Roger Scott Powers was also led away in handcuffs from the interfaith demonstration against the war in Iraq in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building.The two Presbyterian ministers from Baltimore were among 71 people who were detained yesterday as they protested the war in Iraq - and continued Baltimore's long tradition of civil disobedience against wars."I was just happy to be able to be a witness for peace," said Connors, 33, who wore a multicolored stole, clerical collar and blue armband. "It's one thing to talk about nonviolence, but to enact it ... nonviolence is a powerful thing."Baltimore's legacy of nonviolent protest against violence began with the Berrigan brothers' burning of draft records during the Vietnam War and continued through the nuclear proliferation during the Cold War. It persists today as clergy in Baltimore and elsewhere answered a national call to pressure Congress to end the war in Iraq.

that's from liz f. kay's '71 War Protesters SeizedBaltimore's Tradition of Civil Disobedience Continues in Capital' (baltimore sun via common dreams). the world can't wait is calling for a day of mass resistance on october 5th. if you're interested search 'world can't wait.' i'll provide a link tomorrow and talk about it but i do think there's an attitude - hopefully not here - of we have to make everything easy. people need to stop looking for easy. the story above isn't about people who are looking to make things easy.

i know my readers participate and are active and i'm proud of every 1 of you. but i know we can do more. i hope at least 1 of you visits the world can't wait before i blog tomorrow night. i think the links and e-activism are lullying some people into an attitude of 'click' activism being enough and it's not. it should be a start. it shouldn't be the end of the story.

i visited t's today and heard a variety of tales of 'i did this' or 'i did that.' while i'm not attempting to put any 1 down, there is something rather sad about grown women feeling that they've done something amazing by circulating a petition online (via e-mails) or something similar. that's something i expect grown ups to do. (what's the alternative? forwarding cat photos in e-mails?)
but tonight, if you're interested in activism, search 'world can't wait.' yeah, i could provide a link right now (i will tomorrow) but i want to be sure that people aren't getting complacent here and are actually thinking.

i have no indication that my regulars aren't. but i was really shocked to hear grown women pass off the most basic 'activism' as though they were the new bernadine dohrn. they truly saw themselves as 'radical' because they had circulated a petition via e-mails. they hadn't even circulated a print version among their friends or neighbors. but they'd sent petitions out through their friends' list (e-mails) and that was supposedly 'radical.'

i'm sorry to be such a bitch about this, but that bothered me. i kept thinking of how you guys are in high school and middle school and you're doing so much more than that but grown ups aren't. so i just want to be sure i get that point across tonight. e-activism is a given. it's not enough and it shouldn't be treated as anything to applaud yourself for.

now maybe if you're just taking baby steps, but the 5 women praising themselves were talking about how they did that and had been doing that for 'years.' well what else have you done?

not a damn thing. when they left, t asked me, 'did you believe that crap?' no, i didn't. so let's all try to leave the comfort zone. let's all try to shake it up a bit.

i've got a reader who truly lives in the middle of nowhere. i know that. i'm not putting him down. but if you live in a heavily populated area, you need to be getting the word out. and we really need to get the word out on war resister darrell anderson who returns to the u.s. from canada saturday. you can read more about him in the third estate sunday review's "Editorial: Darrell Anderson Needs You." (and i'll be posting that here on friday.)

on the snapshot (i'll post it in a 2nd), pru e-mailed me and asked me to note her opinion which is that no 1 in england needs an american president to tell them who to vote for (gordon brown) or to rally their party. she writes that she was feeling a soft-spot for bill clinton and then he spoke. she asks that i convey strongly that possibly american politicians should concern themselves with elections in their own country and leave the campaign commercials in other country to those who are citizens of that country. this will be the topic of her column friday in the gina & krista round-robin. she was very glad c.i. included it in the snapshot because it's becoming a big deal in england. an attitude of 'who do you think you are to tell us how to vote?' is replacing the good will that greeted his arrival. which is no surprise. he can't vote there, why's he giving endorsements?

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, September 17, 2006. Chaos and violence contine in Iraq with CBS calling it a "blood soaked morning in Iraq", a war resister turns himself in, Basra operations appear aptly dubbed as England lives out a fable, Bully Boy flashes the public but refuses to reveal all, Bill Clinton provides a cringe-worthy flashback in England, and the US military learns that just because they say so doesn't make it true.

Starting with the "blood soaked" day in Iraq where the violence and chaos continue.


Reuters reports that two roadside bombs in Baghdad took the life of one and left three wounded; while three police officers were wounded by a roadside bomb in Mussayab; four were killed by a roadside bomb in Baquba; and mortar rounds in Rashad killed two Iraqi soldiers and left three wounded. CBS and AP report that a police officer was killed in Baghdad by "a bomb hidden in his car". AFP reports that the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, William Caldwell IV, has stated that "this week's suicide attacks were at the highest leavel of any given week" apparently too busy checking the Eva Gabor wig catalogue to register the news reported earlier this month that so-called suicide bombers are not limited to people intentionally exploding bombs. (As reported earlier, those that have been classified as such also include unknowing persons who die when the bombs are exploded by remote control.)


Reuters reports that today's attack in Baghdad ("near a Sunni mosque" resulted in ten civilians being shot dead. CBS and AP report that two people were shot dead in Baghdad and an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Karma. CBS and AP also report that, on Tuesday, two Iraqi soldiers were shot dead in Baghdad. Also shot dead on Tuesday, Reuters reports, was "Nima al-Yaseen, the sister of Shi'ite MP Ligaa al-Yaseen."


CNN reports that 17 corpses were discovered in Baghdad and that, since Sunday, 77 corpses have been found in the capital. CBS and AP note that nine corpses "were pulled out of the Tigris river" showing the now common signs of torture and, in addition, they report "the bodies of 23 men were found dumped in the streets" of Baghdad today..
In one of the day's most controversial events, the US military continues to maintain one point of view and everyone else another.

As the
US military tells it: "Coalition forces killed four suspected terrorists and wounded two others during a raid the morning of Sept. 27 targeting a terrorist tied to extremist leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq in Iraq's Diyalah and Salah ah Din provinces.
As Coalition forces approached the objective, they received sporadic small arms fire from throughout the neighborhood and sustained small arms fire from the objective building. Coalition forces, through their Iraqi interpreters, announced they were in the area, whereupon the shooting ceased from most locations except the target building. Coalition forces killed two terrorists during this engagement. Due to the heavy volume of enemy fire from the target building, they also engaged the building with Coalition aircraft." Apparently the statement was written by an old Sonny & Cher fan who wanted to update an early 70s song to "Mama was a Jihadist Terrorist And Papa Used to Follow All Her Plans."

On a less musical note,
Reuters reported: "A U.S. raid and air strike killed eight people, including seven members of one family, and wounded two others in the town of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military and police said. The U.S. said the four men in the family of seven were suspected militants with links to al Qaeda." And Aileen Alfandary, KPFA's The Morning Show, noted that among those killed in the airstrike was a pregnant woman. Though initially weighting their report heavy on the official US military version, the AP now reports that family members "disputed the U.S. account"; that they "cried and consoled on another as the bodies of the women were taken away"; that Manal Jassim ("who lost her parents and other relatives in the attack") states: "This is an ungly criminal act by the U.S. solderis against Iraqi citizens"; and that the Association of Muslim Scholars call the air strike a "terrorist massacre."

In news of more successful propaganda efforts,
AP reports that the spin-meisters of the American-based Lincoln Group have been awarded a US government contract worth approximately $6.2 million after their bang up job planting 'Happy Talk' in Iraqi outlets (which, despite the continued focus on print was not limited to print and included radio and TV). In addition to continuing to play the mouth of Mary Sunshine of the illegal war (William Caldwell IV apparently having his hands full playing the Giddiest Gabor of the Green Zone), the $6.2 million also covers their "monitoring" of US domestic news outlets inclduing the New York Times. (Apparently in order to crown the new Dexter Filkins -- Sabrina Tavernise appears to be in the lead as the new go-to-guy for the US military when suggesting/planting stories.)

In military news,
AP reports on British troops in Basra and notes that their efforts are part of "the security drive . . . dubbed 'Operation Sinbad'.'' Those with longer memories than the AP my find that amusing for a number of reasons. Literally speaking, Sinbad hails from the epic The Book of One Thousand and One Nights -- a variety of epic tales with one told each night by Scheherazade, to her husband, King Shahryar, to stall her planned execution and allow her to live for another day. Is England attempting to suggest that all the troops are doing is forestalling and, in the end, will have to plead for mercy? A question worth asking because, though the AP sidesteps this, England first began "Operation Sinbad" in Basra on April 6th -- April 6, 2003. A smashing success, to be sure, just like Amara.

Meanwhile, on
KPFA's The Morning Show today, Andrea Lewis and Philip Maldari spoke with Carl Conetta about the "General's revolt" and the growing resistance among top military brass to the 'leadership' provided by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The issues of concern for the military were the readyness of equipment and US forces both of which, it was argued, are in need of upgrading. The discussion addressed the further lowering of the bar for recruits in an effort to meet targets. Also in news of generals, today's AP report that two generals suffered from food poisioning after dining in DC last week: Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Gen. John Abizaid -- the latter of which had to be hospitalized for three nights at Walter Reed Medical Center.

In peace news,
AP reports that war resister Agustin Aguayo turned himself at Fort Irwin last night. Aguayo self-checked out of the US military, from a Gernany base, on September 2nd after learning he would redeployed to Iraq (even if getting him there required hancuffing him). Adrienne Ziegler (Desert Dispatch) reports his self-checkout came as he was waiting for word on his appeal to be designated conscientious objector status and that his wife, Helga Aguayo, stated, "The greatest lesson he could teach (our daughters) is to stand up for what you believe in, and if you don't, you hurt the people around you. . . . If my husband can inspire one person to become a conscientious objector, then all this hassle was worth it." Like war resister Mark Wilkerson, there is no word on what, if any, charges Aguayo will face. War resister Ricky Clousing, who also self-checked out, has been informed he has been charged with desertion. (A technical charge that may not be levied against Aguayo who was gone for less than thirty days.) More information on Aguayo can be found at his official website.

his own web site, Mark Wilkerson recommends the film Jarhead and writes, "Speaking from my own experience in Iraq: Every day in Iraq was an inner struggle to keep from going crazy and just blasting away into the crowds that gathered around our trucks. I had to make a conscious effort to stay in focus and not use my MK-19 or SAW machine gun to level a whole city block."

Meanwhile, war resister Darrell Anderson intends to return from Canada to the United States on Saturday. If not arrested at the border, Anderson will then turn himself in at Fort Knox. The Purple Heart awarded Anderson was injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Baghdad and, facing a second deployment to Iraq, elected to self-check out in January 2005 and go to Canada. More information on war resisters can be found at
Courage to Resist and that includes information on Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq.

Peace resister Bully Boy has his own problems as his efforts to clamp down on discussions of the effects that the (illegal) war in Iraq had on safety for the United States and the world proved unsuccessful. After releasing pre-selected pages (approximately three pages) of the approximately thirty page April NIE assessment,
AP reports that White House Fluffer Tony Snow Job dismissed cries to release the full report under the pretext that doing so would reveal the identities of intel agents and assests whom, apparently, embedded messages within the report such as, "Hi, I'm Jody. For a good time, call me at . . . " AP notes: "In the bleak National Intelligence Estimate, the government's top analysts concluded Iraq has become a 'cause celebre' for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic reach. If the trend continues, the analysts found, the risks to the U.S. interests at home and abroad will grow." AP also reports the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined US Congress member Jane Harmon's request that the White House release another intel report that is apparently lying in wait to be sprung on the American public after the November elections.

While Bully Boy continues to insist that the US is "safer but not safe" and the "democracy" is taking root in Iraq, both
Tom Hayden (The Huffington Post) and Amit R. Paley (The Washington Post) have noted the reality of polls demonstrating that Iraqis overwhelmingly want the US out of Iraq. Look for a third Post, the New York Post, to attempt spin control -- possibly by claiming that the representative pool naturally favored "jihadists."

The results are not surpising (nor new, they reflect ongoing polling since the war started) and
Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) reports on how neighborhoods of Bahgdad are turned into guarded barricades and quotes one resident, Ibrahim Abdul Sattar, as declaring, "We have been living together for 30 years. We've never had such tensions like this before. We are fearing for our future."

Obviously the so-called 'safer but not safe' effect hasn't reached Baghdad (despite the three-month-old 'crackdown'). The polls of Iraqis follow CNN's most recent polling of Americans (see "
Poll: Terrorism, Iraq very important to midterm voters") which found that, as with their polling in August, 59% of Americans oppose the Iraq war and, if you rank all those describing the issue as important to them (includes anti-war and pro-war and the categories about to be lumped together are "extremely important," "very important" and "moderately important") 96% of those polled ranked the Iraq war as important. If only the media shared the same view.

Finally, Bill Clinton went to England to prop up Tony Blair and, no doubt rankled many, with his effusive praise of Tony Blair ("
a stunning success") which may have many recalling that it was Clinton, not Reagan or Poppy Bush, that worked to rehabilitate the justly tarnished image of Richard Nixon. Republican presidents couldn't have done that because Tricky Dick was, rightly, radioactive, so they had to steer clear. It takes a village . . . healer? Though far more popular than the Bully Boy (but then who isn't?) in England, Bill Clinton's remarks ("ringing praise" exclaims Australia's Daily Telegraph) attempting to prop up the increasingly unpopular Blair and to promote prime minister wanna-be Gordon Brown ("brilliant ecnomic leadership") may not carry weight with British voters and, especially the citing of Brown, may lead to the already shaky Labour support growing even shakier.


a different way of arguing?

i thought i'd go through my e-mails and see what was going on there.

i won't say 'mistake,' but it was a surprise. a lot of e-mails on today's snapshot. i ignored the 1s not from regular readers (or community members that i knew). those who fit the 2 categories tended to wonder if c.i.'s making 'that argument'? that argument being that the military isn't really the place to evaluate evaluate religious belief.

a number don't seem to be that focused on the argument and more interested in whether or not this is a 'statement of belief' meaning 'religious belief'?

i realize why people would feel comfortable asking me. i'm such a nun - that was a joke. but, yeah, c.i. and go back years. i also realize that c.i. has not made any sort of religious argument, in the words of sherry, 'all this time.' nope. c.i. thinks too many hide behind the flag, hide behind their god (whatever god they have). which is your key to your question.

you're reading it and some of you are applying it, trying to determine c.i.'s beliefs (a question that was refused when beth asks - readers of the gina & krista round-robin know that was the only question ever refused) and, here's the key, you're buying it.

there is no 'this is what i believe' in the case/argument presented.

what c.i.'s presenting is, i'd offer, an arguable case for 1 war resister's legal appeal and something that might come in handy with others. to note an e-mail from some 1 i have never heard of, 'x' (i'm not using the real name because it's actually a thoughtful e-mail and i don't have permission) wrote to say that he has a 'support the troops' magnet on his car, he sees ehren watada and others as 'cowards,' he believes in the iraq war and he had no questions or doubts until reading the snapshot today. now? he's interested in watada and where his decision comes from. he's visited agustin aguayo web site and 'would have felt better if jesus was mentioned but do see the religious issue.' 'x' writes that he also checked out hart viges, or the story c.i. linked to, and that he could 'support 1oo and 10% mr. hart who has obviously grown closer to jesus' but what he's thinking 'most' right now is that if some 1 is making a religious claim for not serving 'the military needs to honor it and if you'd ask me last year, last week, yesterday, or this morning, you would have gotten a different answer.'

that, i believe, is the point of the argument in the snapshot today. i'm not going to address c.i.'s own religious beliefs because no personal case has been made on them (and c.i. doesn't talk personal beliefs online). but what's going on in the snapshot, is that an argument's being presented and it is 1 that can be relateable. no 1 writing, not my own readers - community members - or visitors, rejected the argument offered. there was a personal curiosity at work for some (and i won't satisfy that, sorry). but the argument was accepted and it's reached beyond the usual circles of support. that is why it was offered at the site today. (whether it's c.i.'s or not, you can write common_ills@yahoo.com - and expect no answer.)

it's a wonderful argument and i have no idea whether it hit c.i. today or whether a lawyer friend pointed it out. i honestly don't know. fly boy read it and thought it was the latter - that an attorney c.i. knew asked that the argument be made. that could be true, but as i pointed out things, fly boy agreed that there are many times when c.i. will just grasp something that most aren't seeing. my guess is c.i. read about the coverage, discussed it with a friend or 2 in the press, then was preparing to write on it and had 1 of those moments of 'oh!' and quickly called some friends who were lawyers (and possibly 'judge') to fly that past them.

how ever it came about, i think it's a genius argument. what is bully boy's core right now? the 1s who support him no matter what? those who see themselves as religious victims and feel they are discriminated for their beliefs. i think the argument laid out by c.i. has a large appeal but i think it's also 1 that bully boy's core support would have a difficult time arguing against.

i think it's brilliant.

on flashpoints tonight, they had a guest who used to be with amnesty - i was reading the e-mail from 'x' and really caught up in that so i didn't catch the guest's name - discussing bully boy's efforts to legalize torture and present himself and other torture architects with immunity. the guest spoke of hannah arendt's origins of torture and how you had to go back to nazi germany to find a dismissal of accepted law like what the administration desires. (i agree habeus corpus is over 800 years and accepted part of recognized law.) the guest also spoke of the fact that there are 2 audiences being targeted: 1) internationally and 2) domestic. both audiences are supposed to be terrorized by the use of torture. bully boy's reign of 'terra' continues. they also interviewed 2 filmmakers and aired portions of their film gold dreams on the occupied territories. check it out if you missed it or, if you're some 1 who doesn't have that kind of time, check it out in the future.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot' and i'm not putting it in dark type because the long list of dates of bob watada's upcoming speaking tour turned out perfect - no spacing required on my part when i copy and pasted:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, War Hawk Tony Blair flutters his wing as he prepares his long descent into oscurity, a war resister learns religion's talked big in the US but the talk's not backed up (which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone as Bully Boy's own church calls for withdrawal and he ignored the call), Bully Boy says "Read my briefs" and only Peggy Noons and Chris Matthews tremble with desire, Ehren Watada's father prepares for a second speaking tour to raise awareness on his son (begins in October)

Starting in Washington, DC. As Walter Pincus (Washington Post) reported, John D. Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence and Latin America "fun" boy, declared in a speech Monday night: Yes, the war in Iraq is fueling "a new generation of jihadist leaders and operatives" but SFW. Negroponte is under the impression that 'terrorism' can be defeated and that will send a message. To whom? Dead Iraqis caught in the crossfire? If so, his 80s role in Honduras should have been seriously explored (it wasn't). Negroponte seems to believe that Iraq will be the horse's head left in the bed to send a message. Such a belief demonstrates either an eagerness to lie or no political concept of the roots of terrorism.

It's as delusional and disingenuous as Bully Boy's 'Read my briefs.' Skipping past the skid marks, of course. AP reports that Bully Boy's decided to release the NIE, saying, "You read it for yourself." The April NIE, composed by US intel agencies, found that the Iraq war (as Negroponte noted in last night's speech) was fueling terrorism. (See yesterday's snapshot.) But Americans can't read it for themselves because this assessment will not be available in full. Instead, Bully Boy seems to see the assessment as flatware and himself as Harpo Marx in Animal Crackers -- shake him and bit will drop out with each shake. Bully Boy wants to make his point by . . . selectively releasing portions of the report. Maybe Pat Roberts taught him that trick? (AFP cites an unnamed source who states the report argues against withdrawal from Iraq. No doubt that will be among the bits and pieces served up to the people.)

Bully Boy calls the talk to the press of the report "political" (so far so good) and then goes on to insist it's done to influence the November elections. Which either means he feels the need to wrap a lie around the few bits of truth he can manage or else Dick Cheney didn't explain it to him in full Sunday. As Dan Froomking (Washington Post) notes: "President Bush's all-important terror-fighting credentials are taking a bruising this week."

In England, Tony Blair also takes a beating as he prepares phase one of his farewell tour meant to polish his image. Even with Helene Mulhooland (The Guardian) providing the biggest waxing on (she speaks to Labour delegates to get their thoughts -- and low and behold, they all sing Tones' praises) her paper's done for anyone other than Joe Lieberman, the polish isn't taking. As Steve McGookin (Financial Times via Forbes) notes, the rocky relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair is public and can't be papered over. And all the gossip over whether or not Cherie Booth (Tony Blair's wife) accused a TV-screen displayed Gordon Brown of lying can't paper over the news that Ahmad al-Matairi, as reported by the BBC, is stating that in 2003 he was beaten in Basra by British troop with "insult kicks" delivered with such relish it was "like it was Christmas" for British soldiers. The BBC reports that, prior to the beating, al-Matairi had been a big supporter of the invasion, that British troops stole money from his safe, and that he is among nine Iraqis telling of hoodings and beatings. This is the case in which Donald Payne has already pleaded guilty to war crimes -- the other six defendents maintain their innocence.

How badly are things going for the dwindling coalition? The US military's most recent press release exclaims "Iraq's president says country's forces ready, willing to help secure Baghdad." The exclamation point is, obviously implied. Dated today and gushing over remarks made by Jalal Talabani on Sunday, not a ray of realism will penetrate this wave of Operation Happy Talk. Were it to, a ray of realism might note that the so-called 'crackdown' started in June (14th or 15th depending upon your time zone and your reporting) and that the calander shows the current month to be September. A ray of realism might wonder why, only three months later, the president of Iraq is claiming now-readyness? But no time for thought, the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk got lost in the NIE talk and the Happy Talkers are ready to try it out one more time.

Especially in light of their buried news, the death of two more US soldiers, in Baghdad, today. Look for Sabrina Tavernise to turn in a forty-paragraph report to the New York Times tomorrow that notes the deaths in the final paragraph with two sentences. Their deaths bring the total American military deaths to 2705.

And in other violence in Iraq.


Reuters notes that two Iraqi police officers are dead and American troops wounded from a car bomb in Jurf al-Sakhar; one police officer dead from a car bomb in Kirkuk; five dead from a roadside bomb in Mahmudiya; in Kirkuk a car bomb took the life of one person; a roadside bomb in Latifiya killed one employee of Iraq's Finance Ministry and left five wounded; and mortar rounds resulted in the death of a child and five people wounded in Mahmudiya. CNN notes the Community Party was the target of a car bombing in Baghdad and four people were killed (at least 18 were wounded). Also in Baghdad, Reuters notes three dead, 21 wounded from "a car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded in quick succession"; and four police officers wounded by "[a] bomb attached to a booby-trapped body". On the first incident noted by Reuters, AFP reports it differently and cites "the prime minister's office" as the source -- according to them, the police station was destroyed by "mortars and a car bomb" and "killed three officers and wounded several more, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement, which described the attack as having taken place in the previous 24 hours." AFP also notes "in Diyalah province, a roadside bomb blew up an ambulance rushing to the hospital killing the driver and the medic inside on the way to the provincial capital of Baquba."


Peter Graff (Reuters) reports that three people were killed in an attack in southern Baghdad. CNN notes: "Gunmen also attacked the convoy of a Baghdad district mayor traveling from the capital to Diyala, killing three bodyguards." Reuters reports four people were shot dead in Baquba,


CNN notes that two corpses were discovered in Baghdad -- "raising the number of bodies recovered in the capital since Sunday to 62." Reuters raises the total corpses discovered in Baghdad today to five and notes that fifteen were discovered in Baghdad on Monday while, in Diwaniya and Baiji a corpse was discovered in each (the corpse of an Iraqi soldier and an unidentified corpse) and in Mahmudiya, twelve corpses were discovered..Of the soldier discovered in Diwaniyah, AFP notes that "A week earlier two other members of his unit were also found dead " Finally, AP raises the total corpses found in Baghdad to thirteen.

In peace news, Agustin Aguayo self-checked out of the US military on September 2nd. KPFA reports that he is planning to turn himself in today. Courage to Resist, sent out an e-mail alert on Aguayo (noted here) at the start of the month. Mima Mohammed (Los Angelse Times) report, based on an interview with his wife Helga Aguayo, remains the definitive press coverage. (For those not registered at LAT, click here.) Those wishing to see video footage of Agustin Aguayo explaining his case can click here for his official site. Aguayo explains in his own words (text here) Aguayo was largely a non-public war resister due to the fact that he attempted (for years) to go through channels. His C.O. status was denied and he wasn't given a chance for appeal. While serving in Iraq, due to his religious beliefs (the grounds for his C.O. application), he refused to load his gun. In 2005, he and his wife switched the battle to the US civil courts. Aguayo self-checked out when his unit, then in Germany, was preparing for redeployment to Iraq. Kevin Dougherty (Stars and Stripes) reports that Aguayo singed up after repeated conversations with a California military recruiter convinced him he convinced that "a health care specialist" could serve the country (US) and the military, that it was only once Aguayo deployed to Iraq that he began to rethink his decision.

For nearly three years now, Aguayo has stood by that decision. Rejecting the idea that he could sign up (under a repeated snow job from a recruiter) and, once in Iraq, realize the mistake of his decision rejects the basic principle of many popular faiths practiced in America which are based upon the idea of awakening. If the military or the civilian courts are going to argue that one's religious status is a fixed state, they're going to be going against the teachings of a great many churches within the US. Aguayo's case can be summed up as someone coming from a religious environment, confronted with a real world reality that is not the one sold to him, deciding to respond to it with the teachings he was raised on. This really is a freedom of religion case and many religious parents in the US would reject the notion, should their children offer it to them, that once they realized that a party (or an event) contained actions that they were raised to object to, they (the children) had to shut up and go along because they'd already agreed to attend the event.

Let's use a broad example so that we can cover as many US religions as possible. If Aguayo went to a party and the party turned out to be an orgy, his parents wouldn't accept the excuse that he had to participate because he'd agreed to attend. It would be acknowledged that attending was a mistake but, once seeing with his own eyes what was going on, they'd expect him to observe the religious teachings he'd been brought up with.

Aguayo went to an environment expecting one thing and was confronted with another. When confronted with the reality, he processed his decision through his religious teachings. That's really what's at the heart of his objection. (And hopefully others will make the case because I prefer not to talk of religion or make cases based upon religion here -- there's no way to do that and discuss Aguayo's case which is why religion is being addressed here now).

Most religions praciticed in the US, depend upon the concept of testing. It's there in the narratives, it's in the teachings. Certainly, those believing in a literal rapture, believe that Christ/Lord/God/Jesus/Jehovah* will test followers and their salvation will be based upon how they respond to that test. The claim that Aguayo signed up so therefore, religious objections should have prevented him from signing up, negates all the teachings on testing.

[*The list isn't disrespectful or sarcastic. Any visitor who feels it is would do better looking beyond his/her own religion before writing an e-mail on how offended they are by the categorization.]

Far from undermining Aguayo's arguments, his experiences actual reinforce what many US religions teach. This is a freedom of religion issue and if the military is going to rule upon who is or who isn't a believer, someone might need to speak of them of what is considered "God's role" and what is considered "human's role." Once the case made it into the civilian courts, a judge should have immediately grasped the central issues of the case and moved to release Aguayo from his military service. The whole point of religious teachings, regardless of the religion, are to prepare the person for handling new situations. When Aguayo found himself in a new situation, the religious beliefs he was raised with became the principles for his actions and are the reason that he sought out additional religious instructions. (And note, the warning signs were going off for Aguayo's during training which is when he first attempted to file for C.O. status.)

We don't talk religion here. Too many members are of differening beliefs (including non-believers). All opinions are respected. There's no way to speak of what's at the heart of Aguayo's case without noting religion and belief so we've addressed it. (And that puts us one up on the military and the courts.)

Aguayo's story isn't that different from another war resister's, Hart Viges. As John M. Crisp (The Argus) reports, Viges enlisted (on September 12, 2001) eager to serve and then he spent "11 1/2 months" in Iraq. Returning to the US, he began examining his beliefs, saw The Passion of the Christ, and came to conclusion that war was wrong. This processing, presented with a test & reaching a conclusion based upon your religious teachings, is the narrative of many religions in the US and the military may not like that, they may see it as a get-out-of-jail-free card, but the military is part of the US government and the government is supposed to allow for freedom of religion.

Meanwhile, Bob Watada, father of Ehren Watada, is gearing up to go back out on the road in October. Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. After an Article 32 hearing in August, he awaits word on what the chain of command will do with the findings (court-martial, discharge him, ignore the findings . . .).

Mon. 10/2 8:30 am KPFK Sonali Kolhatkur
3729 Cahuenga Bl. West, No. Hollywood
Contact: KPFK 818-985-2711 email: uprising@kpfk.org

Tues 10/3 7:00pm ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
1800 Argyle Ave. #400, Los Angeles
Contact: Carlos Alvarez, 323-464-1636, email: answerla@answerla.org

Wed. 10/4 12:00-2:30 pm Angela Oh's Korean American Experience Class
Life Sciences Bldg., RM 4127, UCLA Westwood Campus
Contact: aeola@earthlink.net

Wed. 10/4 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Contact: So Cal Library 323-759-6063

Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email: la@worldcantwait.org

Fri. 10/6 7:00 am Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles
Contact: Thalia 626-683-9004 email: incuip@pacbell.net

Fri 10/6 12:30 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center
SFV Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima 91331
Contact: Phil Shigkuni 818-893-1851, cell: 818-357-7488, email pshig2000@yahoo.com.

Sat 10/7 2:00-4:00 pm Welcome Reception for Bob Watada
JACCC Garden Room, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles
Contact: NCRR 213-680-3484, email: ncrrla@yahoo.com.

Sun 10/8 2:00-5:00 pm Forum with Bob Watada
Nat'l Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles.
Contact Ellen Endo 213-629-2231 or Mo 323-371-4502

Sun 10/8 6:00-8:00 pm An Evening of Discussion and Learning hosted by Rev. Phyllis Tyler
11326 CherryLee Dr., El Monte (Rev. Tyler is Senior Pastor of Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church in Alhambra) Co-sponsored by NCRR and the National Japanese American United Methodist Church Caucus
Contact: NCRR 213-680-3484 email: ncrrla@yahoo.com

Mon 10/9 7:00pm Veterans for Peace (Chapter 112) and Citizens for Peaceful Resolution
E.P. Foster Library, Topping Rm. 651, E. Main St., Ventura
Contact: Michael Cervantes 805-486-2884 email: mcervant@mindspring.com

Wed 10/100 7:00-9:45 pm CSULB Asian American and Chicano & Latino Studies Classes
Dr. John Tsuchida and Dr. Juan Benitez
1250 Bellflower Bl, Long Beach

Thurs 10/12 6:00 pm Whittier Area Coalition for Peace & Justice, Mark Twain Club Potluck
($3 donations) Bob speaks at 7:00 pm. First Friends Church of Whittier, 12305 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier
Contact: Robin McLaren 562-943-4051 email: mclaren@charter.net

Sat 10/14 morning Press Conference San Diego
Contact: Reiko Obata 858-483-6018 email: watada@san.rr.com for San Diego events.

Sat 10/14 6:00 pm Lt. Watada Dinner/Fundraiser San Diego (suggested donation: $15)
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, 1036 Solano Drive, Solano Beach

Mon. 10/16 4:30-5:30 pm National Lawyers Guild of San Diego
Room 300, Thomas Jefferson Law School, 2120 San Diego Ave, San Diego

All of that can be found online but, WARNING, PDF format. For those who can view PDF, click here. Again, the speaking tour, Bob Watada's second, begins in October.
More information on Ehren Watada can be found at Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.

In other peace news, Shepherd Bliss (Augusta Free Press) reviews Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, a new collection edited by Maxine Hong Kingston. Those who read Hong Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace are familiar with the workshops she has been doing with veterans (it's in the section "EARTH" which begins, in text, on page 241). Bliss, who contributed to the collection, concludes: "Veterans, and other Americans, have a lot to grieve about these days. Doing such grief work can be instrumental to the creation of a lasting peace."



what time did you wake up today? i woke up before 4 and i have no idea what time it was. i was sound asleep when c.i.'s right there going, 'rebecca ...' as i rubbed my eyes, i said i'd need coffee (and was told it was fixed just for me), so i put my hair up in a knot, pulled on some clothes and headed for the kitchen. c.i. does not come into someone's room unless it's important and knows (from years ago when we shared a place with elaine in college) that i am not a morning person. as i walked to the kitchen, i knew exactly why i had been awoken. there's a carly simon song about 'looks like a wind swept through, made a wild man out of you' and i can't remember the title or the cd right now. but that's what the whole house looked like. some people had left on sunday and we were all exhausted. the place was a disaster. i got a cup of coffee and c.i. and went to get elaine. (a 'benefit' of being a lifetime friend is that when there's work to be done, you can be awoken.)

i was wide awake by then and in a good mood. strange for the morning. when i found out we were going to get elaine i was in a better mood. i figured mike slept in the nude and i was about to find out if he was tall all over. mike's over 6 foot tall and, yes, he is tall all over. we woke up elaine and while we were doing that, the rest of mike woke up. unlike with fly boy, whom c.i. told to go back to sleep, we did take mike's help.

a word on elaine. do not give me that crap, elaine, ever again about 'oh, i'm not really good looking.' i couldn't believe it. i'm in sweats, hair piled on top of my head in a knot, probably have sleep in my eyes. elaine stands up, hair looking perfectly (not at all like she just woke up), skin looking wonderful, pulls on a robe and looked like she was ready for a fashion shoot. now she probably usually looks like that. (she used to.) but every 1 knows, stay away from me for at least the 1st hour each morning. elaine always tells me my eyes are angry slits in the morning. which may be true. i don't know, i don't feel like i have my vision until 8 a.m. at the earliest. but elaine looked gorgeous. i could've killed her.

we grabbed trashbags and started cleaning, the 4 of us, and, as others woke up, they started helping as well. even with all of that, it was probably hours before we got the place straightened out. i wouldn't say 'cleaned' because we were mainly picking up and putting things back where they go. then we were rushing to get dressed for the airport and saying quick goodbyes.

i love all the visuals that went up at the third estate sunday review. but sunday, i said i wanted to note 1 in particular. why that 1? 1st off, the way the visuals work is the same as with the writing. it's collaborative. so some 1 does something and passes it on. when this 1 was passed on, kat and i were next in line. all that was there were these 2 things and i had no idea what they were. which is fine but usually there's an indication. i asked jess, who did both things, what we were looking at and he played dumb. c.i. took 1 look at it and says, 'that's ava's eye lashes.' it is too. she has very thick, very long eye lashes. so we filled in some details and passed it on. i was really opposed to any photo shopping on this 1 and had to be talked into it because i think it was just amazing. it was done with 2 colors - pink and then blue for the tears. but you would not believe the levels of color that we got out of the pink - it looked red, it looked orange and it looked pink, of course pink. just for the colors alone, i didn't want anything done to that 1. but i think all the visuals turned out great and encourage to check out the third estate sunday review for the text (always) and for the visuals.

click here to see bully boy stepping on the flag.

and for all the information on iraq, read c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Monday, September 25, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the US military fatality count crosses another marker with little attention, Iran continues to be the focus for Bully Boy's continued war lust, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gets a blistering critique, the 1st Brigade of 1st Armored Division learns that promises of returning home are meaningless as their tour of duty in Iraq gets an extension, war resister Darrell Anderson continues to prepare for his return to the United States, in England Tony Blair comes under criticism from both a would-be-prime-minister and his sister-in-law, and the much trumpeted digital images of of Australian troops playing "cowboy" do not include photos or footage of Jake Kovco.
After being awarded the Purple Heart and returning from Iraq, Darrell Anderson was informed he was being redeployed to Iraq. Anderson elected to self-check out from the military in January 2005 and went to Canada. Earlier this month Anita Anderson confirmed to the press that her son was considering returning to the United States. Darrell Anderson was on a delayed honeymoon with Gail Greer (whom he met when she was part of a team making a documentary on war resisters). (The documentary was Albert Nerenberg's Escape to Canada.)
Anderson spoke with Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) for an article published Saturday where he confirmed that he was returning to the United States at the end of this month (Saturday), explained his reasons for the decision and stated, "I decided that I've got to go back and get this over with once and for all, instead of living in limbo up here forever." Today, Natalie Pona (Toronto Sun) reports that Anderson has again stressed that his decision does not mean the end of his war resistance and that Anderson explained, "To go back and do my prison sentence would just give me freedom. I just want to get in my uniform, go to trial and stand there and tell them I won't participate in their war." Anderson will hold a press conference when at the border and, if not immediately arrested once returning to the US, he will next go to Fort Knox to turn himself in. More information, on Anderson and other war resisters, can be found at Courage to Resist. For the context of Anderson's decision, see Ruth's Report and for the need to speak out see The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Editorial: Darrell Anderson Needs You." Anita Anderson has stated she intends to be outside Fort Knox demonstrating her support for her son's stance. As Troy Garity notes in David Zieger's documentary Sir! No Sir!, ". . . in the summer of 68 as thousands of supporters protested the jailing of the Presido 27, the G.I. movement had arrived." Those who learned of Camilo Mejia's brave stand, or Aidan Delgado, or Pablo Paredes, or any other war resisters after the fact can make a difference now by showing their support for Darrell Anderson as well as Ehren Watada, the first comission officer to publicly refuse to serve in Iraq who awaits the military's decision on their next course of action as the Article 32 finding of his case winds its way through the military structure. Ricky Clousing who turned himself in at the start of last month has been charged with desertion and there's no word yet on any charges against Mark Wilkerson who turned himself in at the end of last month. Both war resisters elected to self-check out of the military.
On Sunday, Mark Mazzetti (New York Times) reported on the National Intelligence Estimate entitled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States ("represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government") which, Mazzetti reports, "asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe" and "cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology." Safer but not safe, once claimed the Bully Boy. As Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) reported, "The NIE . . . coincides with public statements by senior intelligence officials describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined by President Bush in a series of recent speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks." CBS' Bill Plante summarized the points of the NIE as follows:
*The U.S. presence in Iraq is providing new recruits for militant Islam.
*The movement has spread and is now "self-generating."
*While inspired by al Qaeda, the radical movement is no longer directly tied to Osama bin Laden.
*Because of the Internet, the radical Islamist movement is more connected and no longer isolated.
The reporting on the NIE follows a number of recent reports including Harper's magazine and IPS's reports from last week. For Harper's, Ken Silverstein interviewed, former CIA veteran (15 years) and former head of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program, Dr. Emile A. Nakhleh who noted that Iraq war has resulted in the loss of "a generation of good will in the Muslim world" and stated, "There's a civil war in Iraq and our presence is contributing to the violence. We've become a lightening rod -- we're not restricting the violence, we're contributing to it. Iraq has galvanized jihadists; our presence is what is attracting them. We need to get out of there." Noting that interview, Jim Lobe (IPS) also connected Nakhleh's statements to Paul Pillar's Foreign Affairs (periodical of the Council on Foreign Relations) essay at the start of this year following Pillar's retirement from the CIA in 2005. Lobe notes that Pillar addressed the issue of "the [intelligence] communiy had warned policymakers before the Iraq invasion that the war and occupation would 'boost political Islam and increase sympathy for terrorists' objectives' and that a 'deeply divided Iraqi society' would likely erupt into 'violent conflict' unless the occupation authority 'established security and put Iraq on the road to prosperity in the first few weeks or months after the fall of Saddam (Hussein).'"
Obviously, that did not happen. Meanwhile Australia's ABC reports the NIE's impact in Australia which has led the Federal Opposition demanding that John Howard (the country's prime minister) "come clean about the effects of the war in Iraq" and "Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, . . . [saying] Mr. Howard should release the Australian intelligence agencies' findings about the war. 'Let's have some honesty in the debate,' he [Rudd] said."
This as, in England, the would-be-prime-minister Gordon Brown, dubbed the second most powerful man in British government -- Chancellor of the Exchequer, Labour party and wanna-be-prime minister in waiting, makes noises of his own. AFX News reports that Brown stated today that"while there must be scope for emergency action, it is in my view right that in future, a parliament, not the executive, makes the final decisions on matters as important as peace and war." On Sunday, as reported by Great Britain's Socialist Worker, Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, was among over 60,000 participating Saturday in the Time to Go Rally in Manchester and that Booth was chanting, "Yo Blair -- it's time to go, Blair." (*The report was written by Anindya Bhattacharyya.) And today, AFP reports, the White House via mouthpiece Tony Snow finally admitted that the Iraq war "fuel[s] the spread of jihadism".
And the chaos and violence continues in Iraq.
AP reports that a bombing in Ramadi claimed the lives of seven police officers and left seven more wounded. Reuters reports three police officers dead (and ten wounded) in Jurf al-Sakhar after an attack involving "[m]ortar rounds and a suicide truck bomber"; while in Yathrib a man is dead and his daughter wounded after "[a] mortar round landed near" his home.
AP reports that an attack on a police station in Musayyib left one police officer dead and six more wounded. Reuters notes a translator for the US military was shot dead in Najaf on Sunday; that an Iraqi soldier died today from gun shot wounds received Sunday in Balad.
Reuters reports that nine severed heads were discovered this weekend in Baiji and an additional one today -- "the decapitatated head of a police lieutenant, Sameer Hazim" while, near Baiji, an Iraqi soldier's corpse was discovered Sunday.
Today, the US military has announced the death of another US soldier who was today "near Mosul" and died later from his wounds. This follows Sunday's passing the 2700 mark for US troops killed in Iraq and the Army's claim (see above) that they are underfunded. Reuters reports that the 147,000 American troops in Iraq are seen by the military as insufficient and that, in addition to extending tours of duty, "The Army also is considering accelerating the deployments for some brigades in a move to try to stop sectarian violence among Sunnis and Shi'ites in Baghdad, the newspaper [Washington Times] reported, citing Pentagon officials."
Extending tours of duty? No, not the 172 Stryker Brigade. They were already extended when they should have been returning home in August. AP reports that the 1st Brigade of 1st Armored Division "will be kept in place for several weeks beyond their scheduled departure," that the families were notified of this today, and that the Brigade is comprised of an estimated 4,000 soldiers who are currently serving "in the vinicinty of Ramadi".
The extension comes as US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld faces a new round of criticism for his handling of his official responsibilities. AP reports that, in "a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Major General John R. S. Batiste stated "I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth [regarding Iraq] for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq" and that Major General Paul Eaton declared Rumsfeld to be "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically," therefore, "Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinary bad decision-making." Safer but not safe, claims the Bully Boy. Reuters reports that Batiste declared in the hearing today, "America [is] arguably less safe now than it was on September 11, 2001" as a result of the Iraq war. William Branigin (Washington Post) reports that Batiste and Eaton were joined by "retired Marine Col. Thomas X. Hammes" in calling for Rumsfeld's resignation and that all three served in Iraq and quotes Hammes stating, "While asking major sacrifices, to include the ultimate sacrifice, from those Americans who are serving in Iraq, we are not even asking our fellow citizens to pay for the war. Instead we are charging it to our children and grandchildren."
Meanwhile, Greg Zoroya (USA Today) reports that living wills are a new issue of concern to the US Army as "[a] growing number of troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe brain damage" -- an estimated "250 troops who returned from war with head wounds that left them -- at least initially -- comatose or unable to care for themselves or respond to people. Brain injuries, most from roadside bombs, are the signature wound of the Iraq war."
Apparently the Bully Boy's Blood Lust cannot be satisfied because war with Iran appears to be next on the agenda. Norman Solomon (Common Dreams) examines how the media is covering (covering up?) the probably attack. And on Sunday, Ray McGovern spoke in San Francisco. Robert B. Livingston (San Francisco Bay Area Media) reports that McGovern stated his belief in Bully Boy launching a strike (bombing) on Iran before the November elections and why: "McGovern described an administration desperate to protect itself from justice. If Democrats win a majority in Congress impeachment proceedings against the president, for example, could actually proceed (irrespective of Rep. Nancy Pelosi's vow that impeachment is "off the table"). McGovern cited Bush's low popularity poll ratings as a major concern to those advising Bush, and alluded to how the administration hasn't hesitated to use other crises as a convenient way to capitalize on American's propensity to stand behind their government. " Noting the actions of Cindy Sheehan, CODEPINK and others, McGovern stated, "Women in this country have all the guts. We don't need good girls like Nancy Pelosi. We need strong women like Cindy Sheehan."
Last week, CODEPINK and NOW co-sponsored a Women's Day of Peace in Washington, DC atCamp Democracy. Feminist Wire Daily reports that Olga Vives, vice-president of NOW, addressed the issue of what's beeing cut (domestic programs for women and children) to pay for this war and NOW president Kim Gandy's remarks that "The violence in Iraq has already cost too many lives. Service members and civilians are dying every day in a conflict initiated by George W. Bush. Women must now come together and work toward ending the violence -- a goal that the US government seems incapable of accomplishing."
On the issue Olga Vives was addressing, the costs of the war are estimated to currently be $317, 400,000,000. A running counter can be found at Tom Hayden's website. The counter is a feature provided by the National Priorities Project and, on their site, US citizens can look at how the cost of the illegal war impacts their own areas as well as see how the cost short changes various programs. The costs continue to rise. As Peter Spiegel reports (Los Angeles Times) the US Army's General Peter J. Schoomaker made the decision to ignore the August 15th deadline for presenting the Army's 2008 budget plan to the Pentagon "after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding. The decision . . . is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, say current and former Pentagon officals."
In Australia, news of the digital images of Australian soldiers handling their fire arms in a manner that wasn't seen as professional came as the inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco was winding down. The press was full of speculation that images of Jake Kovco were among the images shocking that nation -- discovered images which were certainly timed well. In the hearing, there was talk of Jake Kovco being a "cowboy" and playing with his gun. The talk had no supporting evidence and the witnesses (including one of Kovco's former roommates) spoke of "hearing" of their claims, not seeing it themselves. Whom did they hear it from? No names were given and the inquiry was apparently comfortable with that. As the issue of digital images showing Australian troops possibly mishandling fire arms continues to be reported by the Australian press, Jake Kovco's name comes up repeatedly. However, The West Australian reports Jake Kovco will not among those pictured because "[t]he internet images relate to the period 2003-05, long before Pte Kovco's unit was in that theatre".
In legal news, Reuters reports that three of the "Pendleton Eight" will face murder charges with the possiblity of, if found guilty, facing the death penalty for the April 26 death, in Hamdania,of Hashim Ibrahim Awad who was allegedly taken from his home, shot dead and a weapon placed near his body after. The three looking at the prospect of the death penalty if found guilty are John Jodka, Marshall Magincalda and Jerry Shumate. Meanwhile, CBS reports that footage believed to show the deaths of US soldiers Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker had been posted online by a group claiming to be The Mujahedeen Shura Council and that a subtitle in the video footage reads: "The two soldiers belong to the same brigade of the soldier who raped our sister in Mahmoudiya." That is in reference to Abeer Qassim al-Janabi (who CBS names, unlike the New York Times) who was raped and killed -- also killed were her parents Qassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza -- on March12, 2006 in the town of Mahmoudiyah. On the rapes and deaths, CBS notes: "The U.S military has charged four soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division -- Spc. James P. Barker, Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard -- in the March 12 alleged rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe is accused of failing to report the attack but is not alleged to have been a direct participant. A fifth suspect, Pfc. Steven D. Green, was discharged from the army because of a 'personality disorder' before the allegations became known. He has pleaded not guilty to rape and murder charges and is being held in a civilian court in the United States."
In US election news, Dave Collins (AP) reports that War Hawk Down Joe Lieberman, who had earlier made concilatory noises to war critics, is back in Hawk drag and denouncing Democratic candidate for US Senate out of Conn. Ned Lamont's endorsement of a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is "doomed to fail" (apparently like Lieberman's own bid for the Democratic nomination this go round) and would "weaken our security" (meaning that he's so busy thinking up smears, he's missed Sunday and Mondays newspapers -- see above for the NIE report). This comes as Joshua Frank (CounterPunch) reports that War Hawk Up Maria Cantwell has a campaign staff doing strange things including, reportedly, attempting to bribe Green opponent (and anti-war candidate) Aaron Dixon if he would bow out of the race. Frank reports: "As Dixon tells it, 'Mark [Wilson] called and basically told me that a lot of people have a lot of money within the Cantwell campaign, and he said that they could put on a fundraiser for Central House that would "blow my mind". He called a week later and basically told me the same thing. I didn't bite, ending this war is too important'."
Finally, Cindy Sheehan (at BuzzFlash) notes that Bully Boy stated on air to Wolf Blitzer: "Yes, you see - you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people.... Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is - my point is, there's a strong will for democracy." Of that idiotic statement, Sheehan writes: "That is 125 commas.With 2701 of our children killed and over 20,000 injured, I would have to type 182 lines filled with commas. Then, if we take in to account the low figure of 100,000 innocent Iraqis killed, I would need pages of commas."