okay, this is from Courage to Resist:
Demand Army drop charges and accept Lt. Watada's resignation now! Next step following mistrial victory: Demand that the Army respect the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy by not attempting to court martial him again. Also: "How Lt. Watada and GI resistance movement beat the Army"
We (heart) "Augie"U.S. Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo is a Iraq War vet facing court martial in Germany on March 6 for refusing to return to Iraq. Send him a Valentine's Day support greeting!
Mark Wilkerson refused to redeploy, sentencing Feb. 22"There comes a time in a person's life when they must do the right moral decision for themselves, doubtless of how popular," he told the media in Crawford, Texas last August. (link only)
Ivan Brobeck, Iraq vet and war resister, released from brig!Marine L/Cpl Ivan Brobeck was released from the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Virginia on Feb. 5, three months after returning to the United States from Canada with a letter to President Bush asking him to "Bring the Troops Home Now!" (link only)
i'm late posting because flyboy and i tried for a romantic evening. i think it came off pretty well considering it was here and i do not want to move once i sit down. i'm sure far stronger women than i have enjoyed v-day while pregnant. i appreciated all the effort and loved the white roses but there's only so much i'm going to be able offer. i'm just a lazy slug these days.
on the plus side, it was very sweet of flyboy to go to all that trouble and i will remember it. at 1 point, he had candles on the table and was bringing the food out and all i could think was, 'i do not want to get off this couch. i am not going to get off this couch. i am on this couch. don't make me move.'
i did. finally.
it was really nice but more in a 'when i look back' kind of way.
but because of that (and then not wanting to leave the table - or the chair i was sitting in) i hadn't posted yet and that's a good thing because c.i. phoned and asked if i could note the thing at the top which wasn't a problem. i also mentioned that there was a letter in 1 of the magazines in the latest care package that arrived today.
c.i.: i didn't have time to write a letter.
me: it's a letter to you.
c.i. was rushing when that thing got sealed up. i asked if i could note some from the letter and c.i. said 'well don't make it obvious who it is from!'
so here's a section of the letter. this guy is writing about his dreams (pretty boring 1s) which include a ridiculously large check for 3 pieces of fiction (well, dream big) and then gets to this:
pitching the screenplay next week. i think you had a great comment on __'s character at the beginning of the script - i hope that was clear when we spoke on the phone. i've considered that comment a lot and thought of how to change it since. i wish you'd seen my e-mail. i wish you'd give me your complete critique - i sense you're giving me encourgament when you may feel other weaknesses. i've always depended on you for the feedback so desperately.
blah, blah, blah. that a professional screenwriter could be so boring was so amazing.
flyboy and i were reading it together earlier today and he said, 'you realize how many people depend on c.i. like that?' and, i thought about it, a huge, huge number.
then i thought about how sherry's always writing that ava and c.i. should be put in charge of running primetime (they do write great tv commentaries) and i just wanted to note that because there's a reason those critiques are so strong. they both know the business, yes. and they are both very smart, yes. but that's about all i can say without getting blasted from c.i. so i'll just say 'read between my lines!'
but c.i.'s always doing that. what the letter's talking about. (i'll write about this in my column sunday in maria, francisco and miguel's newsletter.)
(c.i. hasn't read the letter. and let me note that my comments are my comments. they do not reflect c.i.'s opinions. i'm sure c.i. will not think the letter is boring.)
cheryl e-mailed me asking about yesterday's post. it was a hard 1 to write and i got why c.i. had so much trouble writing it. but cheryl got the point and also had a question about my not liking hillary clinton.
i don't know hillary clinton, to answer cheryl's question. i've met her at least twice, both times at fundraisers (both before the iraq war) and c.i. dragged me along. (i did contribute.)
i want to note richard l. fricker's 'Inhofe and the Old/New Republicans' (consortium news):
After the Democrats won control of Congress last November, the conventional wisdom was that George W. Bush and other Republicans would look for ways to moderate far-right positions on key issues like the Iraq War and global warming, tacking closer to positions held by most American voters.
But that isn't what happened. Instead, the Republican leadership has dug in its heels on Iraq, lambasted scientists who warn about climate change and -- despite a few rhetorical concessions here and there -- continued to support the same ol' stuff.
In that sense, Sen. James Mountain Inhofe of Oklahoma may be the poster boy of modern Republicanism, the guy who puts the certainty of his instincts and ideology ahead of contrary facts.
As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe has steadfastly maintained that global warming is a "hoax" -- and won't back down whatever the overwhelming scientific consensus might be.
Inhofe used his Senate position to block any environmental legislation that would put burdens on business, especially the petroleum industry which filled his campaign coffers with at least $900,000 in the last funding cycle. Like Bush, Inhofe wanted nothing to do with the Kyoto Treaty and its requirements for cutting carbon-dioxide emissions.
Nearly 500 American cities -- from Missouri hamlets to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco -- have challenged the Bush administration's resistance to Kyoto by passing local legislation endorsing the accords.
But the nearer the issue of global warming has gotten to center stage the more vitriol Inhofe has poured on environmentalists, scientists and the media. Environmentalists became "Nazis," the regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency were the "Gestapo," the media’s references to global warming were a "hoax."
Though this strategy of demeaning opponents didn't work in Election 2006, Inhofe remained unbowed. The senator fired off a letter to various CEOs complaining that environmentalists were about to take over his committee and warning that Wall Street would not look kindly on executives who succumbed to the environmental agenda.
i want to couple that with this from democracy now today:
GOP Memo: "We Lose" if Debate Focuses on Iraq
As discussion continues in the House today, a newly leaked memo has revealed how some Republican congressmembers are trying to approach the debate. In a letter to fellow Republicans, Congressmembers John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra urge their House colleagues to avoid debating the Iraq war and instead focus on "radical Islamists." The Republican Congressmembers write: "The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose."
i think the 2 are releated in that this is the republicans digging in and if the democrats buckle or cave, that's really it. there is no middle ground. the republicans have run things as those they were the only party in town and they're acting as though the 2006 elections didn't happen. they cannot be appeased at this point. they need to be scared and dems standing their ground is how to do that. dems caving and trying to meet them 1/2 way is just keeping the country tilted the right. it's the whole 'yes' and 'no' excercise i wrote about earlier this week.
now i'm going to bed. so here is c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot' which also touches on the need not to buckle in the last paragraph:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; Baghad's under more 'extreme' crackdown and nothing's changed; Bully Boy says "Who needs proofs?"; the US military announces more deaths; and who is getting into the US military?
Starting with news of war resistance and staring with Ehren Watada. Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq in June. Last week, he became the first officer to be court-martialed for refusing to deploy in the illegal war. The court-martial ended in a mistrial. Many rush to weigh in and while we disagree with the right, we can respect their passion. It's the useless we have no respect for. Meet Kati Irons.
Apparently upset that she can't bore everyone with her thoughts on Battlestar Galatica one more time, Irons hems and haws and throws some stones. For instance, she doesn't care for Sean Penn's speech in Tacoma. Now in a very small setting, she's quite happy to stay silent even while she is disturbed by a conversation - dumb ass and a coward. Congratulations, Kati! And congratulations on being offensive to everyone: "Under present circumstances, to have one child in the military may be considered a source of pride, but four seems like carelessness," Irons offers. Insulting everyone doesn't mean you're "telling it like it is" -- it just means you're an idiot. (Irons scractched down a few thoughts for Blogcritics -- we don't link to trash.)
Fortunately, not all are useless idiots. As Paul Guggenheimer (Sioux City Journal) notes,
"If there is one story that strikes at the heart of the immorality and unethical nature of the war in Iraq, it is the story of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada'." As Mike Davis (Great Britain's Socialist Worker) reminds: "He has refused to serve on the ground that the war is 'immoral and unlawful . . . and would compel complicity in war crimes'." Jason Farbman and Sam Bernstein (Socialist Worker) report on the double jeopardy issue that Judge Toilet's (aka Lt. Col. John Head) decision to call a mistrial (over the objection of the defense) is only one issue that may prevent a retrial: "If the court-martial does resume March 19, Watada's lawyers will object and appeal, possibly pushing the trial back to May. But in the meantime, Watada will have served out his remaining time in the Army. His lawyers are now saying they think he could walk away a free man."
Dan Carptener (The Indianapolis Star) reports on Carolyn Ho ( Ehren Watada''s mother) whose "voice was cracking from overuse and a lingering cold as the soldier's mother recounted the story, having spent the past six months traveling the country on his behalf" who spoke of the change she'd seen since her son went public in June: "In the early days one individual wrote me that I was a terrible mother and he was going to send me a one-way ticket to France. Since that time we've had an overwhelmingly positive response. It's a telling commentary on how people feel about this war."
Talking about the war and the mistrial, David Mitchell spoke yesterday at the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Upper Nyack. Akiko Matsuda's (The Journal News) reports: "Mitchell gave his own analysis, saying the judge manipulated the trial because as it proceeded, Watada's good standing as a soldier became apparent. Mitchell also thought the judge was afraid of the impact on the other soldiers should Watada be acquitted. Mitchell said that at one point in the trial, a female officer told the judge she was impressed by Watada's action because he stood by what he believed in."
Watada is a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as Agustin Aguayo (whose court-martial is currently set to begin on March 6th), Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ivan Brobeck, Mark Wilkerson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
Patrick Hart, noted above, is a war resister who went to Canadal. The Buffalo News reports that "Hart was a dealt a setback when the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board denied his claim of refugee status" and that his next step is to "appeal the decision to the Canadian Federal Court." In July, Patrick, Jill and Rian Hart appeared before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board to make their appeal. Peter Koch (Art Voice) noted in July that "everyonw who has received a decision has been denied." The denial was a denial to Patrick Hart and it was also a denial to Jill Hart and to their son Rian. These are people who are attempting to start a life in a Canada. The Harts, like Joshua and Brandi Key, have uprooted their families and moved to Canada not as a stop-over, but as a final destination. During Vietnam, Canada was welcoming of war resisters. Today, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada makes laughable their claim to be the "largest independent administrative tribunal" as they show no independence and make the same 'finding' repeatedly, over and over with no indication of indepence, no indication of thought, but strong indications that they are afraid to take a stand. Since none of the war resisters can be called a "security risk" or seen as having violated human or internatioinal rights, committed a serious crime or been involved in organized crime, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has made a loud, repeated joke of itself and done so while the world was watching.
Meanwhile, England is in violation of UN protocol, Robert Stansfield and Maggie Barry (The Daily Mirror) report, since they've been sending service members under the age of 18 to fight in Iraq and, while Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram can claim that was a mistake, it was also illegal. Stansfield and Barry speak with one who was under 18, "Chris," and he explained why he decided to self-check out and joined over 1,000 British soldiers who have done just that since the start of the illegal war as well as sharing his opinions of the illegal war: "I think they should just take everyone out of Iraq. If the Americans want to stay then just let them but they should take our troops out. It's not worth being in there. It's not worth getting killed for."
From Original Zinn: Conversations on History and Politics by Howard Zinn and David Barsamian, pp. 118-119:
David Barsamian: You're 1967 book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was reissued by South End Press. I was reading some of the exchanges in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you reproduce there. And although there are no such hearings going on now, it almost replicates a lot of the media commentary about how we cannot just quit and run from Iraq, that our prestige would suffer, we would lose credibility. What do these things mean? What is prestige? What is credibility?
Howard Zinn: That's an interesting point because those statements are made again and again, from war to war to war, that we must continue doing this because if we don't continue doing this, we will lose standing, lose prestige, that other countries in this, we will lose standing, lose prestige, that other countries in the world will lose respect for us. I think what they really mean is that other countries will stop fearing us. The truth is that the United States in general does not get the respect of other countries in the world, but it instills fear in other countries, fear that they will lose economic benefits given to them by the United States. As a result, some of them go along. But, of course, those words prestige and fear need to be examined to see what they mean because if you looked at them in moral terms, you would ask, What presitge adheres to a government that conducts an immoral war? What respect does the United States get from the rest of the world when it engages in such a war? What's interesting in this case, and I think this is really unprecedented in the case of Iraq, is that on the eve of the war the world as a whole rose up everywhere and protested agains the U.S. entrance into the war, making it claer that by going into the war the United States was losing the respect, losing whatever prestige it had in the world.
Something to remember as the US House of Represenatives debates the nonbinding resolution. The vote is expected Friday, it is expected to pass in the House, it is nonbinding. KPFA has posted online various statements during the House Debate for those who can listen online. AFP notes: "Democrats won control of Congress in November elections marked by voter anger at the war." Now Vermont's legislature passed a symoblic measure calling for withdrawal, as Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted, but that's what is within their power. The US Congress has the power to do more (as Bully Boy knows, read on). As Vermont state rep Michael Fisher explained to Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) the resolution passed both state houses (House and Senate) -- Michael Fisher: "Sometimes states have to step up and lead, when Congress is not doing enough and this was a time when Vermonters were able to speak up and say clearly that it was time to take some real leadership and to end this war. . . . The resolution . . . calls for the immediate and orderly . . . withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq."
In the capital of Iraq, the never ending crackdown goes on and the latest additions include, the BBC reports, the suspension of permitted weapons "to all but Iraqi and US forces and registered security firms" (registered security firms would be mercenaries), the ongoing curfew was "extended by an hour," and "[i]ncreased stop and search powers in the capital." Reuters notes that Samawa is also under curfew (9:00 pm to 6:00 pm).
Reuters reports a car bombing in Baghdad ('near a hospital") which killed four and left ten more wounded, a roadside Baghdad bomb that killed one person and left three more wounded, another car bombing in Baghdad ("in a market in the southern Bayaa district") claimed two lives and left seven wounded, a mortar attack in Baghdad killed one and wounded at least 16 more, another roadside bombing in Baghdad ("in the western Yarmouk district") killed one person, and a Mosul car bombing killed three and left 20 wounded. Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports* an IED explosion in Baghdad that wounded two civilians and a mortar attack on a Shi'ite mosque in eastern Baghdad that wounded two people.
Reuters reports a man ("former police captain") was shot dead in front of his home in Diwaniya and three Iraqi soldiers were shot (wounded not dead) in Baghdad. Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports* "three passengers in" a vehicle in west Baghdad were injured when their car was attacked with gunfire and: "Around 10:00 a.m. an Iraqi university student was killed said Haider Hamid, a student of a technical college in Basra, today. A British military convoy randomly opened fire after an IED exploded targeting the convoy near the college (10 miles west of Basra) on the road leading to Zubair town. The random shooting killed the student Ahmed Fahmi, a second year student of the electricity department, Hamid said."
Ryan Lenz (AP) reports that five corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("bullet riddeled").
[*Note Mohammed al Dulaimy's report is of today's violence -- the date in the headline is incorrect -- check the posted date and you can click here for the actual roundup of February 6, 2007 to see that the date in the headline is incorrect. Ali Faddam covered the roundup on February 6th.]
Also today, the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier died Tuesday in a non-combated related incident which is currently under investigation." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died when insurgents targeted a combat patrol north of the Iraqi capital Feb. 13."
Question of the day, per CBS News: "Where Is Muqtada Al-Sadr?" Answer -- no one knows despite US officials claiming otherwise.
Claims were all Bully Boy had to offer when he held yet another dog & pony show (if dogs and ponies are this ugly). CBS and AP report that he's okay with the US Congress wasting time on non-binding resolutions but it's another story if they use their Congressional power to cut the funds for the illegal war. Bully Boy also continued to insist that Iran is supplying Iraq (sometimes it's Sunnis, sometimes it's Shias, it always changes -- that's what happens with lies) with weapons but he had nothing to offer but his word. His word is worth even less than Michael R. Gordon's -- if that's possible. As Lebanon's Daily Star reports, Bully Boy "does not know whethere the weapons were 'ordered from the top echelons of government'" which did not stop him from adding, "But my point is what's worse? Them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening?"
Finally, who is the US military signing up these days? Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted that waivers for recruits with criminal records were up 65%." Lizette Alvarez (New York Times) reports this increase has come in the last three years, that "[t]he number of waivers for felony convictions also increased, to 11 percent of the 8,129 moral waivers granted in 2006, from 8 percent," and that "[t]he Defense Department has also expanded its applicant pool by accepting soldiers with criminal backgrounds and medical problems like asthma, high blood pressure and attention deficit disorder". These facts, by the way, were the ones John Kerry could have made on October 31, 2006. Instead, he backed down, buckled and took himself out of the presidential race on November 1, 2006.