barbra streisand and an idiot who slams her

i'll kill the blog twins!

i'm joking but i come here to mike's room and mike's on his computer and elaine's on her laptop and no 1 told me we were 'jamming' - why wasn't i invited to the jam? kick out the jams!

first of all, check out cedric's "Idiot of the week, non-governmental"; wally's "THIS JUST IN! IDIOT OF THE WEEK, NON-GOVERNMENTAL DIVISION!"; betty's "An award and news on Ricky Clousing found in the paper" and mike's 'Ricky Clousing, TV raid in Baghdad kills 11 and we pick "Idiot of the Week"' (on the last 1, he makes it a part of his larger post). the four of them joined with ty and dona for this joint-post.

way to fact check an idiot who just wanted to slam barbra streisand and was in such a rush to do so that she didn't have the time to get her facts straight. tom cruise never starred in maverick, she wants to quote kanye west but can't even get that right, etc. she just wanted to slam barbra streisand and, in such a rush to do so, just made herself look like an idiot.

that really bothers me, the article by the idiot. it appeared in a school paper. did no 1 think to check whether tom cruise was in the film maverick? was every 1 so damn eager to slam barbra streisand that basic journalism went out the window?

this wasn't a blog, this is a college newspaper - what kind of standards are they teaching at that university? apparently the importance of facts and fact checking by editors isn't among the things taught.

i loathe john mccain for many reasons but 1 of them was his appearance in a saturday night live skit that appears to have inspired the idiot. in it, he proved that he was even uglier and more hateful than i thought as he proceeded to sing barbra streisand's songs, badly sing them, and then offered that she needed to shut up and sing while he'd do politics.

that's not what america's built upon - it is a democracy still though that may shock the bully boy and his disciples.

unlike the idiot, i actually saw streisand's tour. unlike the idiot, i can talk about what it is and what it isn't because i attended it. i really have no idea why some 1 would want to slam a concert that they didn't attend? slam the artist? okay, maybe they hate the artists. but maybe it's not good journalism for some 1 to opine on something they didn't witness?

the idiot seems to think that a concert is a juke box. you buy a ticket and you've paid for a 'service' - that's not a concert. a concert's an experience. an artist makes a statement. that's what madonna's doing and she got slammed by the idiot as well. madonna was offending religious people, the idiot argued. did any 1 ask madonna for a refund? i don't think so. people buying tickets to see madonna know they're paying for a concert, not a juke box.

the idiot wants barbra streisand to keep her political opinions to herself during a concert. some 1 needs to wake the little ass-wipe princess and tell her the world's not a mcdonald's playland. it's not been created for her. and it's not 'child-safe.'

little spoiled ass princess wants to gripe about a concert she didn't even see when she doesn't understand what a concert is.

idiots like that make me sick. so do idiots who couldn't cover ricky clousing this week. okay, the iraq discussion group is about to start in less than a minute so i need to copy and paste the snapshot. closing with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot' and it's got the latest on ricky clousing:

Friday, October 13, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; a coroner finds US forces guilty in the death of a reporter; war resister Ricky Clousing was court-martialed and sentenced yesterday; a British general grabs the headlines with his thoughts on Iraq; southern states in the US are polled on the war; Iraqi police continue to be an issue; and is that friendly person marching in the protest 'cool' or military intelligence?

Starting with
Ricky Clousing who faced a court-martial yesterday and was charged with desertion but pleaded to AWOL. As the AP noted last night, Clousing will be confined for three months and "receive a reduction in rank before getting a bad conduct discharge." April Johnston (Fayetteville Observer) notes that the location Clousing will be defined has yet to be determined and charts the awakening of Clousing faced with realities in Iraq and his own spiritual beliefs which led him to self-check out "for nearly 14 months" before he turned himself in. Laurie Goodstein (New York Times) covers the awakening as well and notes that the military took the case seriously: "Yet the military prosecutors made it clear on Thursday that the stakes were high. Although they did not challenge his motives, they said if one young soldier disilluioned by the reality of war could give up the uniform punishment, what of others?"

Of course the military saw that the stakes were high. Clousing is part of a movement of war resistance within the military that only continues to grow. The US military grasps that. Does independent media?

Goodstein interviews Chuck Fager of the Quaker House who took Clousing's call: "This call was unusual. . . . I don't have these kinds of probing discussions about moral and religious issues very often. . . . I said to him, you're not crazy or a heretic for having difficulty reconciling Jesus' teachings with what's going on in Iraq."

Last Friday, war resister Darrell Anderson was released by the US military and informed that he would face a dishonorable discharge.
Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo and Ehren Watada are war resisters currently awaiting word from the US military.Courage to Resist covers all public war resisters. Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Patrick Hart, Kyle Snyder and Corey Glass are among the war resisters who are attempting to be granted asylum by the Canadian government.

War resistance and other efforts to end the war come at a time when the American public has turned against the war and polls have tracked this trend for too long and it's too firm for for it to be shaken.
CounterPunch News Services reports on a new poll from the Institute for Southern Studies and the School of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina which finds: "56% of Southerners believe the U.S. 'should have stayed out of Iraq'"; "Southerners are skeptical about the goals of the Iraq mission"; and "62% of respondents in the South said they were 'very sad' about the course of the war". CounterPunch reports: "The results signal a shift in Southern attitudes towards Iraq. As recently as July 2005, a Pew Center poll found 53% of Southerners believed using military force against Iraq was 'the right decision,' the highest level of support in the country."

Next week, October 19th, Vietnam war resister
Dave Dellinger will speak about "Resistance to War in a Volunteer Army" at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South in Manhattan from seven pm to nine pm.

As the resistance grows, more voices speak out from all places and all areas.
Richard Norton-Taylor and Tania Branigan (Guardian of London) report on the surprising statements of British General Richard Dannatt who "dropped a political bombshell last night by saying that Britain must withdraw from Iraq 'soon' or risk serious consequences for Iraqi and British society. In a blistering attack on Tony Blair's foreign policy, Gen Dannatt said the continuing military presence in Iraq was jeopardising British security and interests around the world." The BBC reports: "Tony Blair has said he agrees with "every word" the new head of the British Army said on the Iraq war. But the agreement depends upon a watered-down interpretation of the remarks. Regardless of how the remarks are interpreted, Australia's ABC reports that Chatty Cathy Brendan Nelson, who holds the title of Defence Minister in Australia, doesn't care: "So long as I remain Minister, we are there to see the job through." Of course, should the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco do its job and apportion accountability (don't hold your breath), Nelson might not "remain Minister" for very long.

Last Friday, Nicholas Walshe testified at an inquest in London that he'd seen ITN reporter Terry Lloyd "shot in the head by US troops as he was driven away from a gunfight." Lloyd was killed March 22, 2003 as was Huseein Osman who was acting as interpreter. Fred Nerac, the camera operator, has never been found. CNN reports that Andrew Alker, the coroner, has ruled: "Terry Lloyd died following a gunshot wound to the head. The evidence this bullet was fired by the Americans is overwhelming."
Lynn Lloyd, wife of the late Terry Lloyd, is
quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald stating that the US military "allowed their soldiers to behave like trigger happy cowboys in an area in which there were civilians travelling." The Pentagon denies any wrongdoing took place. CNN reports that Chelsey Lloyd wants justice in the death of her father and has stated of the US military: "They did not come to this inquist to explain their actions. Let them now do so in our criminal courts where they are guaranteed to get a fair trial." The BBC reports that the killing has been called a war crime by the National Union of Journalists and notes a statement by David Mannion ("editor in chief" ITN): "I have no doubt it was the fact that the vehicle stopped to pick up survivors that prompted the Americans to fire on that vehicle. I would also like to say something that I know Terry would have wished me to say. Independent, unilateral reporting, free from official strictures, is crucial; not simply to us as journalists but to the role we play in a free and democratic society."

Terry Lloyd died in March 2003 -- one of the early fatalities. And the chaos and violence continues.


Reuters reports that a bombing of police station in Hilla resulted in six deaths and 12 wounded. A later Reuters story reports the number wounded dropped to ten -- because two more moved over to the death column for a total of eight dead. CBS and AP note that the bomb was placed "under his [police commander] desk or chair, apparently by someone who evaded security". And the US military announced today that soldier died in Iraq on Thursday from "an improvised explosive device." [The death brought the US military fatality count to 46 for the month and 2759 since the start of the illegal war.]


Christopher Bodeen (AP) reports that two girls and six women were shot dead in Suwayrah (while two more were kidnapped), "a father and his two sons" were shot dead by in Baquba while another two people were shot dead elsewhere in Baquba.


CNN reports that, in Dhuluiya, the corpses of 14 people kidnapped on Thursday were discovered "dumped in an orchard". Reuters notes that seven corpses ("riddled with bullets") were discovered in Balad and another two were discovered "near Garma, near Falluja".

As the violence and chaos continue in Iraq,
James Gordon Meek (New York Daily News) reports: "The Bush administration plans to shut down a highly successful Iraqi police academy in Jordan even as security in Iraq worsens, the Daily News has learned. The Jordan International Police Training Center near Amman will stop training Iraqi police recruits this year, having already graduated 40,000 cops from its eight-week course since 2004, U.S. officials confirmed." Meek notes that the Baghdad Police College "has to be rebuilt because of bungled construction." Confused? This follows Griff Witte's September reporting (Washington Post) on the issue of Parsons' "botched construction of a $75 million police academy in Baghdad so badly that human waste dripped from the ceilings" and, therefore, "posed a health risk".

This also follows
the news from last week that the Eighth Brigade of the Second Division of the Iraqi National Police was the primary suspect in a mass kidnapping leading even the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, Willie Caldwell IV, to declare:
There was clear evidence that there was some complicity in allowing death squad elements to move freely, when in fact they were supposed to be impeding their movment. It was realized that removing them from Baghdad would, in fact, enhance security." The 'answer' then was 'retraining.' Retraining where may be the question to ask today. Of course, as James Hider (Times of London) noted last week, "US forces have been re-training the Iraqi police, but the programme has had little impact". Most recently, reporting on the mass slaying of the employees of the Baghdad TV station, both Kirk Semple and Qais Mizher (New York Times) and Ellen Knickmeyer and Naseer Nouri (Washington Post) noted that witnesses described the assailants as being clad in police uniforms and driving vehicles bearing the markings of the Iraqi police.

But not to worry.
Gerald Burke (the American "National Security Adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior") tells AFP that the ministry he advises/controls 'budgets' for deaths of police officers and, currently, they're 'budgeting' for the death of 25 Iraqis each day. Sounds like just the thing to stress at the next Jobs Fair.

In peace news,
the ACLU has released some documents. Are you now or have you ever been a peace activist? Chances are you've been spied upon during the illegal war in Iraq. The ACLU finds: "The documents show that the Pentagon was keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a military anti-terrorism database" and quotes attorney Ben Wizner stating: "When information about non-violent protest activity is included in a military anti-terrorism database, all Americans should be concerned about the unchecked authority this administration has seized in the name of fighting terrorism." Those with longer memories will recall the days of spying on peace activists, feminists, civil rights workers and basically anyone else 'guilty' of 'thought crimes.' (If your memory is short, click here.)

Meanwhile, Bob Watada, father of
Ehren Watada, is nearing the end of the second speaking tour to raise awareness about his son -- Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. The upcoming dates include:

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

To see the schedule in full, PDF, click
here. More information on Ehren Watada can be found at Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.


barbra streisand in concert and ricky clousing sentenced

first thank you to c.i.! for filling in for me last night. i called thinking i could hint around it but after 'hellos' were exchanged, i was asked, 'you need some 1 to fill in right?'

i did. thank you.

i should have written last night because i dreamed about the concert repeatedly last night. barbra streisand at madison garden. fly boy and i saw her last night. she was amazing.

the dreams of the concert were amazing.

this tour is set up like an intimate night club show. and the songs are selected for that sort of set up.

i love 'guilty' and all the hits. but this is a real treat for fans who've really dug into the albums over the years. 'down with love' (which fly boy disputes was performed) is such an incredible song and how often do you get to hear that song performed by streisand in concert?

(fly boy knows streisand's music through me. i'm not sure he'd remember 'down with me.' that's from barbara's 2nd album and he's always paid more attention to barbra joan streisand and other albums following. he enjoyed her parody of 'stoney end.')

by the way, the fun room, where we're putting up different things and just making it a warm room? i did put up the reggie jackson action figure. he framed the barbra poster from barbra joan streisand and hung it for me as a surprise. i have held on to that poster for years and probably should have gotten it laminated. i would never hang it, it's stayed in the with the vinyl record all these years. i couldn't see putting holes in barbra. so it was a real treat to see that he'd had it professionally framed as a surprise for me.

i am not dismissing the other tours. i've been thrilled to go to every 1 and always loved them. but this 1 is just something really extra special. it's just warm and and connects with you on a level that goes beyond the others.

i think it's because she's not doing 1 hit after another. i think she's chosen songs she was interested in at this point of her life and spaced them out in such a way that they really breathe.
she's supposedly nervous on stage but she's never seemed more in her own skin when i've been lucky enough to see her live.

if you are a barbra fan and you can afford it, you have to see this tour. there's going to be a live cd and i will be purchasing that. if you're not able to go, you can get a good sense of it from that when it comes out but you will be kicking yourself & cursing yourself for years if you miss it and you could have gone. this is 1 that's really for the fans of the work and not just the radio hits.

there's a funny girl medly that you'll love.

and she looks gorgeous. the hair's a little bit longer right now. it used to stop more at the end of the neck and now it's flowing onto her shoulders. (not stopping there, and not just resting there.) i loved her hair. i think it's the perfect cut. it's shaped around her face. i don't mean cut around it but there's this wave thing to it and it looks incredible. (the hair is not wavy. i'm talking about the shape of it.) she looks incredible, she sounds incredible.

so, 1 more time, if you can see it, you need to.

as most of you know, i was pretty depressed over my miscarriage. we'd gone out to california and stayed with c.i. and that had helped, it was great to be around every 1. but i won't pretend fly boy telling me we had tickets to see barbra didn't lift my spirits as well.

i've been looking forward to this ever since. and when you're that excited by something, it's really easy, when the moment arrives, to be disappointed. i kept telling myself that all last week (okay, for the last 2 weeks.) but i was blown away.

that she still has her voice doesn't surprise me. i got the last cd. but this isn't just about the beautiful voice, though that would be enough (and more than most tours can ever provide). this is just a really warm, really intimate setting.

can you give an 'intimate' concert in madison square garden? barbra streisand did.

so that's the concert report.

just thinking about writing about it made me nervous tonight. i'm not joking. it gives me goose bumps. and, like i said already, i dreamed about it over and over last night. oh, 1 more thing, the bully boy skit? it was in the show. it was funny. nobody booed. nobody heckled.

so, moving on, as c.i.'s noted, ricky clousing has recieved a 3 month sentence, will get a reduction in rank and then a dishonorable discharge. ricky clousing is a war resister who had the courage to stand up and say no to war. it's a shame it didn't receive the attention it needed from independent media, but it's really not a surprise at this point. i think we've all grown used to that outcome. seems like every time a war resister goes on trial (clousing's court-martial was today), independent media has some where else to be.

read c.i.'s 'and the war drags on.' it's really amazing.

let me put in c.i.'s 'iraq snapshot' and call this an entry, i'm still high on the concert:

Thursday, October 12, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; Judy Collins once sang "Hard Times for Lovers" but Bully Boy whimpers "Tough Times for Bullies"; war resister Ricky Clousing faces down the military and now faces sentencing, John Howard suffers from a grossly inflated sense of self, a study published in a medical journal continues to attract attention (as it should), and George McGovern weighs in on the 'cut & run' reality.

As the
AFP notes, Bully Boy "has acknowledged that 'these are tough times in Iraq'."
Possibly he's considering another pledge to go off sweets while the war in Iraq wages? He wasn't able to keep the first pledge, but considering what passes for a "plan" with his administration, who knows?

Bully Boy's facing questions about Iraq due to several issues including
a study published in The Lancet which estimated that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war as well as the facts on the ground in Iraq that he can't hide from such as the American troop fatality count which now stands at 44 for the month and 2757 since the beginning of the illegal war.

Criticism is even growing within his own party. As Sandra Lupien noted on Tuesday and Wednesdays
The KPFA Evening News, Olympia Snowe has become the latest Republican US Senator to break with the Bully Boy's Deaf-Dumb-Blind Iraq policy. AP notes Snowe's Tuesday statements including "that staying the course is neither an option or plan." As Lupien noted, Snowe has joined the company of John Warner, Susan Collins and Chuck Hagel in questioning the 'validity' of the 'stay the course' nonsense.

Speaking on
KPFA's The Morning Show, George McGovern noted that the real 'cut & run' was "when we cut & run from reality and common sense" and the US administration began the illegal war with Iraq. McGovern is a former US Representative, Senator and the 1972 Democratic Party nominee for president.

Also in US election news,
Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation) notes CODEPINK's Give Peace a Vote and "is the same pledge signed by aproximately 80,000 voters as part of the Voters for Peace campaign which includes Gold Star Families for Peace, Peace Action, Global Exchange, United for Peace and Justice (a coalition of 1,400 local groups in itself), CodePink and others." The pledge also has it roots in the November 28, 2005 Nation editorial entitled "Democrats and the War." And CODEPINK is celebrating its fourth anniversary this month.


CBS and AP report "a synchronized bomb attack [in Baghdad, which] killed five and wounded 11 others" that began with a car bomb and was followed with a roadside bomb. CNN notes a motorcycle bomb in Baghdad which killed three and wounded 15 more as well as "a bomb . . . near a fuel station" which left four injured.


Aseel Kami (Reuters) reported eleven dead in Baghdad when "[g]unmen stormed the officers of a new Iraqi satellite channel in Baghdad". The BBC reports that two people managed to escape and quotes a witness who states: "Some of the attackers were wearing police uniforms and other civilianc lothing. All were masked." Thursday's raid, Al Jazeera notes, followed one "at 8:30pm Wednesday" in Diwaniya on "the city's Hamza police station, killing one policeman and freeing 10 prisoners who were being held on various criminal charges, police Lieutenant Raid Jabir said."


Al Jazeera notes four corpses were discovered in Suwayrah ("signs of torture"). CNN notes that 40 corpses ("bullet-riddled") were discovered by police in Iraq and that
"[m]ore than 400 bodies have been found in similar condition in Baghdad this month alone." And, on Wednesday,
Al Jazeera reports that the corpse of an Iraqi priest who had been kidnapped, Amer Iskender, was discovered in Mosul.

As the violence and chaos continue the study published in the Lancet continues to get headlines, no matter how Bully Boy, his poodle Tony Blair and John Howard (to dopey to rate a nickname) dismiss it.
Sarah Boseley (Guardian of London) reports that "the US researches [of the study] have the backing of four separate independent experts who reviewed the new paper for the Lancet. All urged publication. One spoke of the 'powerful strength' of the research methods, which involved house-to-house surveys by teams of doctors across Iraq." Andrew Buncombe and Ben Russell (Independent of London) note that the study breaks down as follows: "Fifty-six per cent of violent deaths were caused by gunshots, 13 per cent by car bombs, 14 percent by other explosions and 13 per cent by air strikes." Paul Craig Roberts (CounterPunch) wonders: "What is America's reward for Bush's illegal wars that have killed 655,000 Iraiqs, an uncounted number of Afghanis, and disabled as many as 400,000 US troops?"

Speaking about the study on
The KPFA Evening News yesterday, Dahr Jamail noted that the study follows an earlier one -- published in the Lancet) ". . . October 29, 2004, since that time we've had the second siege of Falluja, countless other major US military operations and the even more importantly is the massive widespread abuse of the death squads in Iraq by the various militias and various political groups in that country and the criminal element which now is generating even much more deaths than the US military which is quite a staggering thing to say."

Dahr Jamail (Truthout) writes: "In the context of the horror stories that have reached us over the three-plus years of the occupation, this latest figure is not nearly as shocking as when the first Lancet report was published in October of 2004. It has been abundantly clear since then that the number of Iraqis being killed by and because of the occupation has continued to increase exponentially."

While the study and the numbers are discussed, John Howard, prime minister of Australia, appears to think the Iraq war is all about him. That might be a good thing since no WMDs have been found and that claim, and all the others, have been revealed as lies. However,
Ian McPhedran (The Daily Telegraph) reports Howard is stating that if Australia leaves Iraq "then it is good enough for the Americans and the British to do the same. . . . The present reality is if we pull out and the Americans pull out and the British pull out . . ." The answer to that long winded sentence to nowhere is, as George McGovern noted on The Morning Show today, no one knows for sure. But Howard seems convinced that he is the last glue holding Blair and Bully Boy together.

Returning to reality, in Fayetteville, North Carolina,
Ricky Clousing's court-martial began and ended (and the world wonders: WHERE THE HELL WAS INDEPENDENT MEDIA?). April Johnston (Fayetteville Observer) reports that Clousing "pleaded guilty to being absent without leave" and that was the end of the hearing: "The Army originally charged Clousing with desertion, but allowed him to plead guilty to the lesser charge." AP reports: "Sgt. Ricky Clousing, 24, of Sumner, Wash., was expected to be sentenced Thursday afternoon. His attorney, David Miner of Seattle, has said he would argue against sending Clousing to prison."

War resister
Ricky Clousing is part of a larger story of resistance within the military as well as the story of one person's brave stand. In June 2005, he self-checked out of the military after returning from Iraq. On August 11th of this year, Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) broke the news that 24-year-old Ricky Clousing had decided to turn himself in and noted that Clousing went AWOL from "Fort Bragg in 2005 after returning from Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division." Clousing spoke publicly about his decision to return at the Veterans for Peace conference that was being held in Seattle. Clousing turned himself in at Fort Lewis (Washington) and was instructed that Fort Bragg handled the issue. On August 18th, Clousing turned himself to Fort Bragg. September 1st, the military announced, to Clousing's attorney David Miner, that Clousing had been charged with desertion the day before. Again, Miner states he will argue against sending Clousing to prison.

What if they gave a war and no one showed up? What if they gave a resistance and indymedia was too busy partying? (And promoting the party.) The "coverage" isn't cutting it.

Instead, the peace movement depends upon word of mouth, peer-to-peer, to get the word out. Which is why
Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, continues the second leg of his speaking tour to raise awareness on his son, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Ehren Watada feels that the war is illegal and that to participate would mean he and anyone serving under him would be committing war crimes. Some of the upcoming dates for Bob Watada's speaking tour include:

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:

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.

As the resistance grows, as the fatalities grow, as the wounded grow, it's worth remembering not only the lies that led to war but the reality of Iraq today. As
Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) reported: "Parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial law that will allow Iraq to be carved into a federation of autonomous regions, after Sunni Arabs and some Shiite Muslims stormed out of the session in protest."


Q&A (C.I.)

C.I. here, substituting for Rebecca who is attending a Barbra Streisand concert. I'll agree with Rebecca's take yesterday, the one stooge at the concert had to be there to disrupt. The cheapest ticket, I believe, goes for $500. You don't pay that kind of money unless you're a Streisand fan and, at this late date (after years of being demonized by the GOP), no one attending can be surprised by Streisand's politics.

Beth had a request and said it would help her. (Beth's the ombudsperson for The Common Ills.) She's passed on some questions she gets from time to time but doesn't have time to address.

One that stood out was actually noted in a column I did for Polly's Brew. Polly's Brew comes out each Sunday and if you're a member and you haven't signed up for it, you should. They're following the prime minister race and other events in Europe. You also get wonderful columns by Polly, Gareth and Goldie (Goldie writes about America). Polly puts it together each week and it's her newsletter much the way the gina & krista round-robin is Gina and Krista's newsletter.

Beth had ignored this question because it had been dealt with at Polly's Brew but she said it pops up regularly. The question (from Molly) was what makes the snapshot and what doesn't? Molly's referring to the Iraq snapshot that goes up Monday through Friday (at The Common Ills).

Let's talk about what doesn't first. Katrina vanden Heuvel, Aaron Glantz and an AP report didn't today. Nor did Sandra Lupien's report from Tuesday's The KPFA Evening News. All were possibilities. And all were strong. Lupien noted the report again tonight (Olympia Snowe is the latest Republican to make signals contrary to the Bully Boy) and it's a prospect for tomorrow. Glantz, I wasn't sure, but thought we had already noted it. (I checked this evening and we had.) The AP report was interesting but there were other topics we were covering. KvH
will be noted tomorrow.

With Glantz, there was the issue that we might have noted it before that pushed his article to the backburner. But every day, there are more things that could be noted than get noted which is why it's called a "snapshot." With all four listed, it was a case of finding where to put them. Lupien's report would have fit best under the news that the Iraqi parliament made the nation one step closer to being divided into three different part. But I actually missed that story (federalism) until a friend I was on the phone with brought it up. That was one of the last bits added.

Which is the time issue. Each day, I tell myself, "I'm not spending hours on this thing." But I end up spending more time than I intended. It usually goes up when there's enough to qualify for a snapshot. I had thought KvH was in it until after I hit "send." And that happens because I will write something and then decide (on my own or from reading it to whomever I'm on the phone with at that moment) that it's not working. So at some point, I must have decided to pull that (intending to rework it) and it's one of those things I forgot.

Something not making it doesn't mean it wasn't worth making it. It usually means I ran out of time and that I couldn't find a way to work it in.

With the issue of the body counts today, it was important to me that we again note the three people who did cover it this summer. So that and that topic was going in. Ricky Clousing was going in (he stands trial tomorrow) and Bob Watada was going in (his second speaking tour to raise awareness of his son ends soon).

When the Jake Kovco hearing was going on, I would be on the phone with friends in the press in Australia and usually ask them two questions:

* What's the big news today?
* What was the most unimportant thing today?

Based on that (and I'd often highlight what was judged the most unimportant because I saw it differently than some did), we'd note the hearing. That's usually how something works on any topic. But in the end, this is what I tell myself anyway, it's a "snapshot." It's not a portrait.

I don't believe I've covered Brady's question before, but I may have. It was also about the snapshot and wondering why Friday's always go up late.

Due to my own schedule (especially if I'm speaking that day), I'm not able to get the snapshot up when I would like. (Ideally by 1:00 pm EST.) It's also true that e-mailing it means it's going to hit when it wants. Fridays are almost always difficult days for another reason: news from Iraq trickles out. I can usually find out more speaking to people covering Iraq then I can anywhere else. From time to time, those things make it into a snapshot (and not just on Fridays), that's usually a sign that I'm frustrated with the slowness or a topic not being covered.

An example of that would be Nouri al-Maliki's so-called four-part 'peace' plan. The press I speak with wants more than the the first plank (security councils -- which already existed and were formed sometime ago by neighborhoods to address the violence) but can't seem to persuade others. So I did not the third plank which is to put journalism under supervision. That does include foreign journalism. (Journalism for a non-Iraqi audience.) They stressed the third-plank and I believe I noted that they were stressing it.

But Friday's are always going to be slow. Wally and Cedric doing joint posts on Fridays have a similar problem because, domestically, most real Friday news comes out late on Friday.

Trevor wondered whether I agreed with Gina and Krista's policy on closing the subscription of the round-robin? First off, it's Gina and Krista's newsletter. I do a column and anything else they ask (such as participate in a roundtable). But this is their baby. They make the decisions for it. Do I agree with their decision? Yes, I do. That's mainly because I know how many people e-mail the public account (common_ills@yahoo.com) wanting to be included. They generally say something like, "I've been reading for ___" and sometimes, they've been reading longer than the site's been up. I don't know why anyone would want to lie but some do and it's also true that with people like Judge regularly contributing, they do so because they know it's not out there for just anyone. They, Gina and Krista, created it as a member service.

I did, after they shut down new members, make an appeal for Three Cool Old Guys. They had only then gotten online (thanks to their church donating them a laptop and Cedric for walking them through how to use it). They are members, they are friends of Cedric's, I had no problem calling up Gina (Krista was out on a date) and making the case for why I thought they should be considered. But I only made a case. I didn't make a decision, that was up to Gina and Krista.

As Beth noted last year in her year-end column, the most linked story was Naomi Klein's "Baghdad Year Zero." Why? I think that's an important story. I know most of the community has already read it by now but I also know that events taking place make it relevant still. Beth says it's on track to be the most linked to article. Second is Nancy A. Youssef's article on the body count and third is Elizabeth Holtzman's Nation article on impeachment. Those are Beth's figures, I don't keep track. That was Lewis' question, by the way. He also wondered why technorati doesn't always read tags? That's a question for them. Rebecca came up with the idea of tagging and even did a sidebar button or something to that website. And her tags were never read. (She no longer tags.) She got us all to do them.

The result?

Betty was read at first (her tags) but technorati no longer does. The same with Kat. Cedric's tags were read for a few weeks. Then not. Ironically, if he posts a snapshot (with tags) on his mirror site, technorati has been known to pick that up. (Even though he's not pinging them the way he does his main site.) Elaine's never been read and last October she e-mailed them. She then e-mailed them again after three weeks went by and she had received no response to her e-mail. I have no idea why they aren't read.

I'm opposed to it, honestly. It takes up too much time for each entry. And then, I have to publish and republish again to get it read. It's too much time. When The Third Estate Sunday Review (which was never read) stopped including tags, I understood. Mike continues to tag and is usually read by their machinery. Rebecca's selling point was that it could draw attention to others posting in the community, so that's why I still do it.

For The Common Ills, we had enough members and enough readers (visitors) without it. But we've been around the longest of community sites.

Kyle wondered why Seth doesn't post and notes that Seth hasn't posted since August? I'm not responsible for any site other The Common Ills. (I help out at The Third Estate Sunday Review, but I'm not responsible for it. It would go on without me.) If you have questions about someone else's site, you need to ask them. Beth's not the ombudsperson for any other site.

It takes time to post, it takes time to provide links. It could be that or any other reason. You need to ask the person you have a question about.

Lynda wondered (a) why I'm so uninterested in elections and (b) will that change in the 2008 election?

That's really not a question that Beth can answer. That's why she's kicked it out each time it's been asked. (She says Lynda's only the latest to ask.) She can offer her opinion on the coverage provided and whether she thinks it should be more, less or whatever.

I'm not interested in telling anyone how to vote. I'd rather people figured out to get the information they needed so that, each election cycle, they could make that decision themselves. Rebecca's noted here that she had no idea who I was pulling for in the Democratic primary for their presidential nominee. I didn't tell her. I wanted her to get behind whomever she supported. (I was for John Kerry.) Lynda's question ties in with a comment that Bonnie shared with Beth which was about how surprised she was that, even with summer over, independent media still hasn't shown a great deal of interest in Iraq.

It's election time. That's what will be followed. I think it's a mistake because, no matter how many times you run the qualifier that 'an election alone won't change anything,' the matter of emphasis you give to an election does build up hopes and then you're left with the fact that (a) candidates may lose and (b) they may win and do nothing.

Then you have an audience (readership, listenership or viewers) who are coming down from the wall-to-wall election coverage and it's really difficult to get them excited post-election. (Especially if the results of the election were disappointing.)

Away from TCI, I am interested in elections. But I think (a) too many cover it and (b) the horse-race factor has been done to death.

I'm not interested in feature writing in magazines about candidates. A point Bob Somerby makes at The Daily Howler regularly is how dumbed down each election cycle is in terms of the press coverage. I think anyone who's followed them for any length of time grasps his point. You don't hear about issues. You hear about personalities and you hear about scandals.

There's very little attempts to look at a record. I believe, during the Democratic primary for presidential nomination, from 2003 through the southern primaries in 2004, the New York Times did one and only one article on the issues re: John Kerry and his record. That was by Katharine Q. Seelye and I don't think it was a bad article. There were points I disagreed with but, overall and for the Times, I don't think it was a bad article. But that was one article. The rest of the time, you had horse racing. (Seelye didn't cover Kerry for the Times.) Is he up or down? Did audiences like him? What did Dick Cheney say about him? What's his wife like?

Maybe all of that can help you on some level but I'm not sure it makes you aware of what your vote will mean if you use it on a candidate or don't use it.

It's also true that covering one race means covering them all. The community is widespread (and not just in the US). It wouldn't be fair to cover, for instance, Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman's race, and not cover another. That may be the gas bag topic but for people voting in other states, their elections are important to them too.

We've done one endorsement as a group and that was for Howard Dean as DNC chair. He wasn't my first choice when names were being floated. (I was for someone I knew.) Before the one I was for dropped out, the community was loudly and solidly behind Dean. (Who was a good choice.) Because of that, we noted the community endorsed Dean. That was the community's decision. When the 2008 primaries roll around, people will be even more vocal than they were about DNC chair and I don't want to get into all of that. Until John Kerry, my first choice each primary never got the nomination. I know what that's like. On that race or any other, members can (and have) noted their favorites and that gets noted if they request it. But I'm not interested in that. It should be each individual's decision. At the site, I'm speaking for everyone in the community. That's my role. So I don't need to muck that up (anymore than I already do) by doing endorsements. And I don't want the community torn apart (or members hurt) because a majority gets behind someone. I know Dennis Kuccinich supporters who, early on, felt the deck was stacked against him and took it very personally. (By the time I decided I was for Kerry in 2003, I had long ago adjusted to the fact that my choice never won.) If you're active and helping with a campaign, it can become very personal for you and it's just not, to me, worth the hassle of turning the site into campaign central.

I felt Kerry made mistakes in the campaign (such as not campaigning in Hawaii -- the idea of 'safe' states needs to go; also the 'tea cup' remark) and I noted that to friends during that cycle. There may be comments like that at TCI. They won't be the main thrust.

But, since it's unlikely the war in Iraq is ending anytime soon and since members wanted that to be the main focus, we probably won't touch on it that much.

Along with the horse race aspect, I'm bothered by the 'crowning.' And I remember looking at dejected faces when Kerry conceeded and realizing how difficult the next few months would be.
Iraq was dropped as an issue by many. The 'vangical voters were inflated and, yet again, the Democratic Party moved away from women and minorities. For anyone not paying attention then, that may be surprising. But there was a thrust to figure out how to "appeal" as opposed to how to govern. I'm not interested in devices to market (I've lived through too many hula hoops that would 'save' and either failed outright or failed the party once they achieved a majority or the presidency). If you're concerned about what we will cover in 2008, you can probably get a good idea by what we covered in November and December of 2004.

But the horse race gears everyone up and the crowning allows people to look to answers 'from above.' The answers are always in the people and the people influence and lead any change that ever results.

Last question Beth passed on, from Carl, why isn't Ricky Clousing being covered by independent media?

Did you see coverage of Ehren Watada's hearing? Nope.

Elections do matter (though the majority of coverage of them doesn't). Ricky Clousing matters and the movement he's part of matters. It's a shame that we can get breathless articles that are so useless in weeks, if not days, but we can't get attention of something that truly matters. Clousing's case will matter despite the outcome. A lot of the election coverage (or what passes for it) isn't worth the paper it's printed on the day it's printed.

(I'm referring to paid media. Not blogs. Everyone should write about what they're interested in. Whatever the topic. However, magazines have editors and they can assign pieces to their staff. That so little have bothered to assign writing on Iraq is depressing.)

Along with Ricky Clousing are other under-reported and non-reported stories (including women in Iraq).

In 2003, I was speaking out against the war and in 2004 as well (and today). What I saw was a lot of hope for a John Kerry victory and a lot of people who believed it would happen and believed it would change everything. Kerry didn't get into the White House. There were a lot of people who were depressed, upset and gave up. They'll come back in during this election cycle and more in the 2008 election cycle but I do think a message is sent when the coverage goes wall-to-wall after Labor Day for each election. That's something I was aware of and think most people are but seeing it face to face with people who were excited to be voting in their first election, I honestly don't think enough time was spent building up something that kept people excited after an election (regardless of the outcome).

Hopefully, that takes care of some of the e-mails Beth's been getting and answers a few question. Rebecca's back tomorrow night.

Added, I forgot to include the "Iraq snapshot," sorry:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006. Violence and chaos continue in Iraq, Shi'ites in Parliament push to split the nation of Iraq, a new study published by the British medical journal The Lancet concludes that an estimated 655,000 Iraqis have died since the illegal war, those disputing the study will have plenty of time to gasbag since the illegal war is 'ready' to continue through 2010, but in the meantime they can dicker over the figures released by the Iraqi Health Ministry for September (2,660 Iraqis dead), and war resister Ricky Clousing stands trial in North Caroline tomorrow.

Tomorrow, at Fort Bragg, war resister Ricky Clousing faces a military trial. Clousing self-checked out of the military in June of 2005. In August, Clousing held a press conference to announce his decision to turn himself in. At the August 11, 2006 press conference, Clousing stated:

In Iraq I operated as an interrogator and was attached to tactical infantry units during daily patrol operations. As an interrogator I spoke to Iraqis each day. This gave me an idea of what local civilians thought of coalition forces. Throughout my training very appropriate guidelines for the treatment of prisoners were set. However, I witnessed our baseless incarceration of civilians. I saw civilians physically harassed. I saw an innocent Iraqi killed before me by US troops. I saw the abuse of power that goes without accountability. Upon my return to the United States I started to ask my unit the same questions I had been asking myself. Wearing the uniform demands subordination to your superiors and the orders passed down. But what if orders given violate morality, ethics and even legality?

Clousing was charged with desertion and tomorrow, October 12th, he will face a military trial. As Clousing's website notes: "After returning to military custody, the 82nd Airborne opened an investigation into Sgt. Clousing's allegations of systemic abuse and the misuse of power by US troops in Iraq. The Army has yet to announce the results of this investigation." Also noted is the press conference tomorrow at 10 am, the Quaker House, 223 Hillside Ave, Fayetteville, NC at which Ricky Clousing will speak. At noon, in downtown Fayetteville, there will be a rally to show support for Clousing.

While Ricky Clousing stands up, jaw boners get all nervous over a study published in The Lancet which estimates Iraqi deaths since the beginning of the illegal war to have reached 655,000. The study, funded by MIT and the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, follows up an earlier one published in the fall of 2004 which, as Patricia Reaney (Reuters) reports, estimated 100,000 Iraqi deaths as a result of the war during the time frame of March 2003 and September 2004. The study comes a little over three full months after the US military finally admitted that they were keeping a body count of Iraqis dying from violence throughout the country. [See Nancy A. Youssef's "U.S.: Civilian deaths feeding insurgency," Aaron Glantz' "Pentagon: Tell Us How Many Civilians You've Killed" and Juliana Lara Resende's "50,000 Dead, But Who's Counting?".] [The study published in The Lancet notes: "The US Department of Defence keeps some records of Iraqi deaths, despite initially denying that they did" and credits Sabrina Tavernise, Dexter Filkins and Eric Schmitt's "U.S. Quietly Issues Estimate Of Iraqi Civilian Casualties" from October 30, 2005 in the New York Times. Youssef's article exposed the fact that the actual figures are kept and sent out to high ranking officers in Iraq for, as a general put it to Youssef, a measurement.]

Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) observe that the latest study "breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month". The study's publication comes as another estimate, from Iraq's Health Ministry, makes the news. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Lee Keath (AP) report: "More than 2,660 Iraqi civilians were killed in the capital in September amid a wave of sectarian killings and insurgent attacks, and increase of 400 over the month before". They also note that Bully Boy disputes the number in the latest study published in The Lancet.

As sillys and fools dicker, Salam Talib and Eliana Kaya ( Free Speech News, The KPFA Evening News) took a look at life on the ground in a report that aired (on both programs) yesterday and, unlike so much of the reporting from Iraq, they were actually able to speak with Iraqi women. Life on the ground in Baghdad includes outrageous prices and travel delays. One Iraqi women explained that you either wait or you take "unpaved roads". Wait? For the US military. "Today," she stated, "we've waited about 2 hours for the military to pass." In terms of prices, a woman spoke of how she has seen the prices for food rise, rise and rise. Unlike a chicken, you can get a cell phone for less than ten bucks. The price of a chicken has gone from the US equivalent of one dollar to fifteen dollars. As the report makes clear, more time is spent waiting for US military processions to move through than in the market, which, one woman explained, many tend to dart in and out of quickly due to fears of violence.

Fears of violence?


CBS and AP report that three car bombs in Baghdad wounded a total of 30 people and killed at least five. Reuters notes that a roadside bomb in Inskandariya, apparently targeting the Babil police chief, left his driver and two bodyguards wounded while a "peasant woman" was killed by a bomb on "a farm just 10 km (6 miles) southest of Kut". CNN notes a bomb "in southwestern Bagdad's Amil neighborhood" which took the lives of five and left six more wounded.


Reuters reports that, in Rasheed, three died (including two police officers) during armed "clashes"; while, in Suwayra, Raad al-Uthmani was shot dead following a home invasion by assailants; and, in Falluja, a police officer was shot dead. CBS and AP note that a police officer was shot dead in Kirkuk. CNN notes a home invasion in Baghdad ("Dora area") which killed four and wounded two more.


Reuters reports that five corpses were discoverd in Kut ("bound and blindfolded with multiple gunshot wounds, gearing signs of torture").

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, a fire in an ammunition dump that started last night was the result of mortar rounds and not an accident. Though the US military originally practiced denial, they admitted the cause of the fire and explosions this morning. AFP reports that it "lit up the night sky and spread panic in the already shell-shocked Iraqi capital," that it continued to burn through Wednesday and noted US military flack Jonathan Withington stating that it's believed to have been the work of "civilians aligned with a militia organisation". Al Jazeera reports: "While there were no reports of US casualties, the explosions marked a rare success for mortar teams working for militia and insurgent groups, which rarely cause much damage to well-protected US facilities." CNN reports: "Militia forces fired an 82 mm mortar round on a small U.S. base in southwestern Baghdad. . . The ammunition supply center that was struck held tank, artillery and small-arms rounds. A U.S. soldier and an interpreter were wounded but later returned to duty, a military spokesman said." As Aileen Alfandary noted today (KPFA's The Morning Show) this attack in Baghad "despite an increased sweep by Iraqi and American forces" -- the 'crackdown' -- juiced up and jucied up again, ongoing since June.

The continue violence and chaos comes as Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports that US Army General Peter J. Schoomaker has stated that the military can maintain the present US troop levels in Iraq through 2010 but states he's not prediciting, "It's just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot." Sitting ducks, commas, the troops have been called many things. Schoomaker calls them "ammo." This as, in England, Mark Oliver (Guardian of London) discusses Tony Edwards appearance at Tuesday's Jane's defence conference and stated "that governments would either have to find more money or scale back their ambitions for what their reduced military capabilities could do." Edwards was speaking of the British military.

In Iraq, the puppet governments continue to raise eye brows. Al Jazeera reports on Ayham al-Samarraie who was arrested "on charges of finanical and managerial corruption in August" for his actions while serving as a minister in Ayham al-Samarraie's government (the first post-invasion puppet government) but he was taken from the court and is now protected by US forces. al-Samarraie's "protection" raises serious questions about whether even the appearance of independence will be allowed for the puppet government. It also raises a serious issue of what was a US citizen doing holding government office in the supposedly independent Iraq.

In other Iraqi parliamentary news, Reuters reports that they have just "approved a law that sets out the mechanics of forming federal regions" with the backing of "some Shi'ite majority leaders" and that the vote was "boycotted by the Accordance Front, the largest political bloc of the Sunni minority."

To "save" the country, it had to be "divided" -- after being turned to chaos by outside forces.

In peace news, Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, continues the second leg of his speaking tour to raise awareness on his son, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq.
Ehren Watada feels that the war is illegal and that to participate would mean he and anyone serving under him would be committing war crimes. Some of the upcoming dates for Bob Watada's speaking tour include:

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:

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

A full schedule, in PDF form, can be found here. More information on Ehren Watada can be found at ThankYouLt.org. and information on all known war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.

War resister, Ricky Clousing faces a court-martial tomorrow. We'll close with his statement at the August 11th press conference:

First to my Family, Friends, Brothers and Sisters of the Religious Community, Members of the Press, and fellow citizens of this nation we are grateful to call home – thank you for your support here today before I turn myself over to military custody.
My name is Ricky Clousing. I am a Sergeant in the United States Army and I have served for three years and have been absent from my unit since June 2005. Like many in uniform today, I enlisted after the events of September 11th wanting to defend the freedoms and privileges we enjoy here. After 18 months of instruction I completed my necessary training as an interrogator and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. As the invasion of Iraq unfolded I felt confused about the premise behind such an attack. But in November 2004 I deployed to Iraq in support of the first stage of elections to be held. In Iraq I operated as an interrogator and was attached to tactical infantry units during daily patrol operations. As an interrogator I spoke to Iraqis each day. This gave me an idea of what local civilians thought of coalition forces. Throughout my training very appropriate guidelines for the treatment of prisoners were set. However, I witnessed our baseless incarceration of civilians. I saw civilians physically harassed. I saw an innocent Iraqi killed before me by US troops. I saw the abuse of power that goes without accountability. Being attached to a tactical infantry unit and being exposed to the brutalities of war, I began to doubt and reconsider my beliefs. I thought about these experiences and what they meant each day I was deployed and until I was back in garrison at Fort Bragg in April of 2005. Upon my return to the United States I started to ask my unit the same questions I had been asking myself. Wearing the uniform demands subordination to your superiors and the orders passed down. But what if orders given violate morality, ethics and even legality? If those orders come unquestioned down my Chain of Command, does this exempt me from reevaluating them? My convictions, spiritually and politically, began to make me call into question my ability to perform day to day functions as a soldier. I finally concluded after much consideration that I could not train or be trained under a false pretense of fighting for freedom. At the recommendation of my unit, I sought counsel from military chaplains and counselors, and as my feelings crystallized, I realized that I could not fulfill the duties expected of me. After months of questioning, I began considering the possibility of leaving. Each day I felt haunted by my conscience which told me that my association in uniform at this time was wrong, and my involvement directly or indirectly in this organization at this time was a contradiction to my personal, moral and spiritual beliefs. I stand here before you today about to surrender myself, which was always my intention. I do not know what to expect, or the course of my future. We Americans have found ourselves in a pivotal era where we have traded humanity for patriotism. Where we have traded our civil liberties for a sense of security. I stand here before you sharing the same idea as Henry David Thoreau: as a Soldier, as an American, and as a Human Being, we mustn't lend ourselves to that same evil which we condemn. Thank you.


barbra, ricky clousing and more

i won't be blogging tomorrow night. c.i.'s going to fill in here and fly boy and i will be at barbra streisand's concert. i'm really excited about that. i know there's a desire by the press to play it as people got 'restless' during a skit (where barbra talked to bully boy). i don't buy that. i don't buy it because i remember how the press rushed to tell you that linda rondstadt had been booed in vegas in the summer of 2004 and that ended up not being true. i also don't buy it because i talked to 2 friends who were there last night. they said the crowd was always on barbra's side. which stands to reason. these tickets are expensive. you're not going to pay that kind of money unless you want to see barbra.

i hope she does the skit tomorrow night.

she's my favorite singer. i've talked about that before. so you can imagine i am really excited about seeing her sing tomorrow night. (and the skit if it's still included.)

my attitude would be like the attitude my 2 friends said people had last night - they were thrilled. they were thrilled because it wasn't just barbra singing - though that alone is wonderful. she'd worked out something especially for this tour. if you're a barbra fan, you know she's not some 1 who enjoys touring. that she worked out something special for this tour is a real treat and i really, really hope the skit is still in tomorrow night's show.

ricky clousing's hearing is thursday. ricky clousing is a war resister who turned himself in back in august and he is saying this war is illegal and he will not fight in it. he self-checked out after he was in iraq and saw abuses.

where's the coverage? the progressive? maybe they'll write about it tomorrow (i won't hold my breath). but it's tuesday and they have nothing up that they didn't have up last week. if camilo mejia's op-ed is the same as his "A soldier's resistance" but with a different title, i have no idea. but i do know it shouldn't be buried at the bottom of the website, right hand corner. apparently that's not as important as ruth conniff boring us all with her chatter on school violence. i think they should change the billing for conniff - call it 'chatter box.' that's all it easy. lazy, slop-eds.
the most obvious thought that every 1 thought the 2nd they heard the news.

at the nation? katrina vanden heuvel's got a new thing on iraq (the costs). more importantly, awhile back (i believe at the start of the summer) they created a folder on their main page that pulls together their commentaries and reports on iraq. so good for kvh but there's nothing on the page about ricky clousing. he's a war resister and the military's happy to try him on thursday. do our publications care? will they note it?

if i seem especially rude about the progressive it's because the new issue (which just went out to subscribers last week and may not be on the stands yet, the october issue) contains something. jess told me about it. it's not an article, we'll call it a highlight. on events in september. it came out in october. jess also read me the editor's note and if third's not picking that up this weekend, i'll grab it next week.

so the point is ricky clousing is standing up and where is the media. on KPFA's Flashpoints, dennis bernstein aired soldier's speak out - a documentary on war resistance. (this is on right now and it's 'tonight' for me but i know for the gang out in california it's 'this evening.'). you need to listen to that and to what dennis bernstein had to say about the importance of speaking out.

i know from the e-mails that you're doing your part and you're speaking out. this is why it's important that we talk about ricky clousing. very few will. we can't count on media - big or small - so we have to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves.

if we believe in ricky clousing's stand, we have to talk about it. we have to 'cover' it in our own lives. we have to be the media. we can do that. no, it's not easy. no, it's not fair. but life's not easy, life's not fair.

for ricky clousing's stand to register, people have to know about it. and if we're watching, if we're paying attention, it will be hard for them to railroad him. they may still, but they'll be caught out. we need to be watching, we need to be talking. we need to be doing our part. ricky clousing's done the hard part. all that's required of us is to support the stand he's taking.

can you imagine what that's like? standing up in something you believe in and getting so little attention? it takes guts. let's reward the bravery. keep getting the word out on him.

here's c.i.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today and clousing is the first item after the intro.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the US military tries to spin again, at least 33 deaths are reported in Iraq (44 counting corpses discovered Tuesday), Bob Watada continues speaking out to raise awareness on his son and what does 'meeting the goal' mean when the qualifications continue to be gutted and ignored?

As noted
yesterday, war resister Ricky Clousing will face a military trial Thursday. Prior to that, at ten a.m., he will speak at a press conference (223 Hillside Avenue, Fayettevill, North Carolina) and there will also be a noon rally in downtown Fayetteville to show support for Clousing.

As Clousing stands up against an illegal war, the US military spins.
Thom Shanker (New York Times) noted what the US Pentagon was about to announce -- all divisions of the military allegedly "reached their targets for recruits in 2006." Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reports: "The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year, helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties. . . . According to statistics obtained by The Associated Press, 3.8 percent of the first-time recruits scored below certain aptitude levels" and "About 17 percent of the first-time recruits, or about 13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving." Not quite the rosy picture we're all supposed to believe.

But then, as
Michael Bronner (Vanity Fair) reported in 2005, the story of Tim Queen wasn't a rosy picture either. Queen suffered from "twitches" in his left arm and wanted to be a Marine: "Tim told me he talked to recruiters about all of his medical issues that first day. They told him not to worry, he said, that they'd seen this kind of thing before; no problem, he'd get in." And he did, he got waived through two physicals, he got put on a bus to go to basic and there, he got humilitated by drill instructors asking questions like: "Was the doctor drunk or stoned when he gave you the test?" Queen wasn't qualified but a quota had to be made so a 19-year-old with health problems gets lied to in order to "get those numbers" and he's the one humiliated and embarrassed . . . for believing his recruiter. As the sherrif of the county Tim Queen grew up in told Bronner, "I'm slow to anger, but I was very upset. . . I mean, Tim cannot stand still. If they're missing things like this, what other kinds of emotional or psychological things are they missing?" That's Tim Queen. He just wanted to enlist. Not to get out of jail or sentencing or because his urine came up "hot." Just a young person who got used by someone so they could make their quota. The case of Steven D. Green demonstrates the dangers to others that arise from the lowered standards that have been at play since the beginning of the illegal war.

In other spin news, the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, Willie Caldwell IV, held another press conference. You'd do well, if you intend to read about it, to do so
here at the US military's site. That'll put you wise to how little reporting is coming out of the Green Zone when you see it pop up in tomorrow's papers. Little Willie talks up the 4-point 'peace' plan. Will anyone ever insist that the "four points" be addressed? Or will everyone pretend the 'security councils' are all four points? Probably the latter since the 'peace plan' didn't think up the 'security councils' (they were already in existance).

Leaving the world of spin for reality,
AP reports that over 300,000 Iraqis are displaced within Iraq. This is not a figure on those who have left the country, this is the number of those who have left one part of Iraq to go to another for safety. AP notes: "The flight is solidifying the sectarian divide in this country of around 30 million people." (The CIA's most current estimate is a little over 26 million.)


CNN reports that a car bomb and a roadside bomb killed eleven people in Baghdad today. That was in the Doura district of Baghdad and Reuters notes another bombing in western Baghdad that wounded three and a bombing in northern Baghdad that left two police officers wounded -- as well as roadside bombs in near Hilla (one dead), in Mahaweel (wounded one person), and Mosul (wounded five). AFP reports two police officers "were killed in an explosion . . . between Mussayab and Jurf al-Sakhr" and a bus driver died in a roadside bombing that "targeted two buses carrying coffings through Latifyah". That's 15 dead from bombings reported thus far.


AFP notes a police officer was killed in Amara. A police captain was shot dead in Mosul, Reuters reports and also quotes an Iraqi police source who states that
"[t]welve people were killed in different districts of Baquba." In a later update,
Reuters noted that a bodyguard was killed in Balad in an an attack on "a senior Iraqi army officer" and three people were shot dead in Ishaqi. That's 18 for a total of 33 reported thus far.


BBC notes that through Tuesday morning in Baghdad, sixty corpses were discovered. CNN notes: "In the first 10 days of October, Iraqi police have discovered 250 bodies in the capital." Reuters reports that four copses were discovered "near Falluja." In an update, Reuters noted four corpses were discovered in Tal Afar and three in Mosul. Adding the eleven discovered after sun up to the 33 above, that's 44 deaths reported thus far today.


Yesterday we noted a mass kidnapping of eleven soldiers in Baghdad (Sadr City section). Today, Reuters notes that this wasn't the only mass kidnapping on Monday:
"Gunmen in several cars kidnapped at least 11 worshippers on Monday as they were leaving a Sunni mosque in central Baghdad, police said. The Sunni Muslim Scholars Association put the figure at six." For more on the Iraqi soldiers kidnapped, see
Amit R. Paley's (Washington Post) report.

In peace news, yesterday,
KPFA's Flashpoints took a look at the World Can't Wait demonstrations and featured speeches by Alice Walker and others. Meanwhile, Historians Against the War are calling for a nationwide teach in from October 17th to November 7th. The group notes: "The tragedies now unfolding in Iraq and across the Middle East underscore our responsibility as educators and citizens to enhance public knowledge, to stimulate thoughtful inquiry, and to end the American occupation of Iraq" and ask that: "If you are interested in/can help organize a teach-in at your school, please send us an email ASAP to teachin@historiansagainstwar.org."

Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, continues the second leg of his speaking tour to raise awareness on his son, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq.
Ehren Watada feels that the war is illegal and that to participate would mean he and anyone serving under him would be committing war crimes. Some of the upcoming dates for Bob Watada's speaking tour include:

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:

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

A full schedule, in PDF form, can be found
here. More information on Ehren Watada can be found at ThankYouLt.org. and information on all known war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.


bo derek (worst actress on tv), war hawks, iraq

i've got a few topics to note tonight. and thank fly boy for turning on the computer. i wasn't sure i had it in me to blog. i went to the bedroom, he followed and turned on the computer then we watched my so-bad-it's-good tv show: fashion house.

when i'm tired, i turn that thing on. i blame fly boy because he started this pattern. bo derek is the worst actress in the world. tonight morgan fairchild was on and was good, no surprise. but in her scenes with bo, she was running circles around her. just to give you a bit of back story. bo stands around a lot and sits a lot. she's supposed to be playing maria, who runs a fashion house. morgan fairchild is arch enemy. she & her son are bringing bo down.

bo stole morgan's husbands years ago. after that, bo found some 1 with even more money and, even though she was apparently pregnant with her husband's child, she left him for the new man whom she promptly married (and pretended the son was the 2nd husband's). when she left her 1st husband (the 1 she stole from morgan), he killed himself.

so morgan and her son (also the man who killed himself's son) have been plotting her downfall.
in the episode tonight, bo found all this out. after morgan's son, who pretended to be in love with her, told her off at the alter in front of friends and press.

bo's character is as big an idiot as bo because she honestly didn't grasp why morgan would want to destroy her. you steal a woman's husband and you don't remember?

i'm not sure how much of that was writing and how much of that was bo's own stupidity.

but bo made an 'interesting' acting choice - the sort of choice that's a hallmark of her 'acting' - which was to act like a horse while morgan gave the rundown of why she was goinng to destroy bo.

bo flared her nostrils repeatedly and scuffed the carpet like a horse in a stall. every now and then she'd remember she was supposed to be angry. she can't say anything in an angry voice so she squinches up her eyes. but she forgets she's supposed to be angry, or maybe fears more crow's feet, so she didn't do that throughout most of the scene - she just stood around, maybe forgetting she had clothes on, as though a photographer was about to take her picture.

she is the worst actress on tv.

whenever i'm tired or fly boy's tired, we turn on fashion house and laugh at bo. it always energizes us. ava and c.i. reviewed it last month with 'TV: Bo provides the B.O. stinking up Fashion House' and truer words were never spoken.

another thing that i wanted to talk about was c.i.'s 'And the war drags on' which i loved. i wasn't expecting much when i logged on this morning. i was sleepy and knew every 1 was dragging (all night and then some working on the third estate sunday review's latest edition) and then i read that this morning while i was having my coffee and couldn't believe it. powerful.

there is too much silence on the war. and there are too many women columnists who are staying silent on it. they want to gas bag over foley or anything else and the war has gone on for over 3 years. what are they waiting for?

when will they find their voices?

they ought to be ashamed. unless they're war hawks (in which case they can be ashamed of that).

i read elaine's piece tonight and she forgot 1 thing she brought up on the phone so i'll mention it. she and c.i. were on the phone talking about the entry today and c.i. made a comment as a joke, about those being silent. elaine said it should be a feature at third. c.i. was all, 'uh-huh, right.' but elaine called jim and he agreed with her. there's a humorous piece that will go up this weekend. we'll probably all work on it but ava and c.i. have already done a rough draft. elaine told jim, 'get them together in a room, make them riff on this for even 10 minutes. it's a feature.'
jim agreed and did it. they've got a feature. there are spots that need to be filled in and other things but jim took a note pad and got c.i. and ava away from everyone for 15 minutes and they did these 1 liners and comments. jim says it should be a lengthy feature with sections and that it's already very funny in a rought sketch. jim can do that, by the way. i don't know what it is with the 2 of them, him and c.i., but they have a special clicking going on. when all of us are exhausted (including them) jim and c.i. can still work. it's like watching them toss a ball back and forth. there are times when an editorial is all them. jim knows where it should go and pitches to c.i. they get a whole draft together and we all add input and polish it up. (although, honestly, there is at least 1 editorial that is all them and the rest of us were just going 'yeah!' because every 1 was exhausted and about to fall over.)

so thursday, as you'll read in the snapshot below, is the day war resister ricky clousing has his military hearing. ricky believes this war is illegal. he's stated he's not a c.o. because he's not opposed to all wars. he is opposed to illegal 1s and so he's opposed to this 1. while he was serving in iraq, he saw abuses. the military's not even waiting for the investigation of those to be complete before they move to put him on trial.

there's information in the snapshot (and links) and here's what i want you to do between now and thursday. i want you to talk about clousing each day. i have 1 reader who lives out in the middle of nowhere. i know that. for him, i want him to e-mail about it each day. but i want the rest of you to talk about it. as far as i know, that's the only 1 who lives in isolation. (due to work, not because he doesn't like people.) for him e-mails are enough. for the rest of you, i want you to do face to face.

how come? i don't want it to be something in an e-mail that gets overlooked. i don't want you to risk sharing and have some 1 skip over that part of the e-mail.

so let's work to get some attention among people we know. let's try to get ricky clousing talked up in our circles. be your own media, as mike says.

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

Monday October 9, 2006. Chaos and violence continue, war resister Ricky Clousing goes on trial Thursday, the Iraqi Defense Ministry wonders whether 300-plus Iraqi police officers intentionally poisoned, US casualities hit a high not seen since the slaughter of Falluja, the brother of one of Iraq's two vice-presidents is shot dead in his home, and the US military announces the deaths of three more US troops.

In June of 2005, war resister
Ricky Clousing self-checked out of the US military. On August 11th of this year, Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) broke the news that 24-year-old Ricky Clousing had decied to turn himself in and noted that Clousing went AWOL from "Fort Bragg in 2005 after returning from Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division." Clousing spoke publicly about his decision to return at the Veterans for Peace conference that was being held in Seattle. The AP reported Clousing self-check out by noting: "He left a note on his door, with King's quote: 'Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But Conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right." Jane Cutter (Party for Socialism and Liberation) reported that a war resister of the current war was present to show support as Clousing made his public statement, Camilo Mejia, and that also joining them was a resister from the Vietnam era, Michael Wong. [Wong is one of the contributors to Koa Books' newly published Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, edited by Maxine Hong Kingston. A six paragraph sample from his "Honor's Death" can be found here.]

Clousing turned himself in at Fort Lewis (Washington) and was instructed that Fort Bragg handled the issue. On August 18th, Clousing turned himself to Fort Bragg. September 1st, the military announced, to Clousing's attorney David Miner, that Clousing had been charged with desertion the day before. Clousing's response to the news: "Since I left the army I have known that being court martialed was a possibility I could face. I am at peace with my decision. I followed my conscience and, if need be, I will fee honored to join the ranks of others who have been prosecuted for doing the same."

Now the
AP reports the hearing is set and, according to Major Tom Earnhardt, due to start Thursday. The Fayetteville Observer reports that, according to David Miner, "Clousing will plead guilty to going absent without leave. . . . Miner said he would argue for no punishment during the special court-martial scheduled for Thursday at Fort Bragg." This Thursday, before the court-martial begins*, there will be a press conference, 10 a.m., 223 Hillside Avenue, Fayetteville, NC (Quaker House) where Clousing will speak and, at noon, there will be a downtown rally. [*The hearing is being written and spoken of as a "court-martial," not as an Article 32 hearing. ] That's this Thursday and you can find out more at Ricky Clousing's website.

Clousing is part of a movement of war resistance within the military and we'll return to this topic later in the snapshot.

Michael Luo (New York Times) reported on "clash" in Diwaniya this morning. Not covered were civilian casualties. AFP reports: "Medics at Diwaniyah's main hospital reported that seven civilians had been wounded during the battle, one of them critically, while sporadic firing continued around the city into Sunday afternoon. Later, US and Iraqi forces sealed off and entered the hospital, apparently hunting for wounded militiamen."

On the topic of casualities,
Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reported Sunday: "The number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq has surged to its highest monthly leve in nearly two years" and that, in September, "776 U.S. troops were wounded in action in Iraq". [Casualities are wounded. Fatalities are deaths. The New York Times frequently seems lost with the terms, but to be clear, the topic being addressed is wounded.] Andrew Buscombe (Independent of London) addressed the topic today noting: "The ration of wounded to killed is 8 to 1, compared with 3 to 1 during the Vietnam War. . . . At the same time, other figures show that the number of attacks against US forces is continuing to rise. In July a total of 2,625 explosive devices were encountered by US forces -- with the devices either exploding or defused -- compared with 1,454 in January. The increase suggested that despite the killing in June of Abu Musab al Zarqawi . . ., the anti-American insurgency is intensifying."

This comes at a time that
Richard Stengel (NBC News) reports that soldiers are asking questions regarding "when" Iraqis will take over and quotes Vernon Roberson agreeing that soliders ask "Why are we here? Is this our war anymore?" Roberson: "Oh yes, all the time. I ask myself that a lot, too. We've been here for so long and we've done so much, but it's just so far we can go." As Tom Hayden (The Huffington Post) and Amit R. Paley (The Washington Post) have noted, Iraqis also wonder when it will end and polling found (use previous links) the majority of Iraqis want the US out now.

Meanwhile, a Sunday meal served in Iraq to Iraqi police officers has resulted in deaths and arrest.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports 350 police officers came down with food poisoning and that Jassim al-Atwan of Iraq's Environment Ministry stated eleven police officers had died. Other sources speaking to AP claim no one died. Some put the number of those poisoned at 400. AFP reports that three have died and notes no one has determined yet whether it was a deliberate incident or "whether there was something in the warter of if the food was spoiled." AP reports "the head of the mess hall" has been arrested. CBS and AP quote Brig. Qssaim al-Moussawi stating "A number of people have been arrested". AFP, in a later report, notes the following as arrrested: "a produce supplier and four cooks". At present, no one knows or no one's talking. If an intentional poisoning took place, it would mean that the Iraqi resistance was exploring new techniques and, if so, those in the Green Zone should be especially concerned. AP notes that the food was "provided by an Australian contractor."


Mariam Karouny (Reuters) reports that, in Baghdad, a car bomb has claimed the lives of at least 13 people and left 46 injured. Outside Baghad?

In that
'peaceful' Tal Afar (to hear the Bully Boy and Michael Gordon tell it), CBS and AP report that one police officer was killed and twelve wounded from a car bomb. AFP notes a car bombing on the border between Jordan and Iraq that has injured six border police officers (Iraqis). While Reuters reports that, "near Baquba," two police officers died and three were wounded from a roadside bombing.


BBC reports that Amer al-Hshimi, brother to Iraq's vice president Tariq al-Hashimi and a general in Iraq's army, was killed "when the gunmen stormed into the house and shot him dead. They arrived in 10 police cars, a police source said." CBS and AP note that he was "an adviser in the Defense Ministry" and that his death follows the deaths of a "sister and another brother also . . murdered in the last year." Arrived in "10 police cars"? This weekend, Richard Stengel (NBC News) reported on the discovery of a corpse in Baghdad and a "an Iraqi police lieutenant tells us he thinks fellow police did it." The murder also follows a Sunday attempt to assassinate Galli Najim who heads the political party operated by Iyad Allawi. Also shot dead today, Reuters reports, was Faleh al-Obeidi ("police Colonel") in Baquba. As Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail (IPS) report: "The little known city of Baquba is emerging as one of the hotbeds of resistance in Iraq, with clashes breaking out every day."


The Australian reports that 35 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today and that five more were found "floating down the Tigris" in Suwayrah. (The 35 corpses discovered in Baghdad were preceeded, on Sunday, by 51 corpses being found in the capital.)


Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that, in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, eleven people were kidnapped -- eleven Iraqi soldiers: "gunmen jumped out of two vehicles at a checkpoint in the east Baghdad district of Sadr City and abducted 11 soldiers on duty". Xinhua reports a source telling them: "Unkown gunmen in a minibus stormed the checkpoint of Hamza Square in Sadr City district and seized all the soldiers, apparently without shooting at any of them".

As the violence rages on, the "plan" in the United States was, as
Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) notes, to get the chat & chews to focus on anything other than the Mark Foley & Pages Congressional scandal. Part of the attempts to shift the topic included getting James Baker to make a chat & chew appearance. Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) reported on Sunday's chat & chew visit as did David E. Sanger (New York Times) who noted that Baker did not support a "rapid withdrawal." As the GOP attempts to turn the focus back to Iraq within the US, they'll probably stay away from this reality: today, the US military announced that, on Sunday, three troops were killed in Al-Anbar Province (Reuters).

Again, war resister Ricky Clousing faces a hearing on Thursday. Clousing is a part of a movement of war resistance within the military that includes
Mark Wilkerson -- Clousing and Wilkerson acted as bookends for the month of August with their announced intentions to turn themselves in. Others include Darrell Anderson. Friday of last week, the military released Anderson who had turned himself in (Tuesday of last week) after self-checking out and going to Canada in 2005. Ehren Watada is another war resister and his father Bob Watada is on his second speaking tour to raise attention to his son's case (Ehren Watada is the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq).

Joe Lopez (World Socialist Web Site) reports that Bob Watada is speaking with Rosa Watada, Ehren's step-mother: "In her opening remarks to the Glendale meeting, Watada's stepmother Rosa said that Ehren was taking a stand for everybody, not just for himself, and that he was fighting to defend the Constitution of the United States and campaigning to bring the troops home. She described Ehren as an intelligent and principled young men who wanted to see an end to the occupation of Iraq."

Some of the dates for Bob Watada's speaking this week include:

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:

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:

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

A full schedule can be found (PDF format)
here. More information on Ehren Watada can be found at ThankYouLt.org and more information on him and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.