So-called apathy (C.I. guest posting)

Ron: Anything else?
Chris: Thank you for asking us what we think. As a student-activist, it's much nicer to be posed these questions, than the one I heard most often from 2004-2006: "When will the students do their part?" Well, here we are.
Zach: Thank you for interviewing us!

The above is the how Ron Jacobs' "Sitting In On Senator Kohl and the War-A Conversation With Antiwar Students" (ZNet) concludes. Why are they thanking him? Because they have manners, of course, but also because of the fact that who else is talking to students? Seriously, where do you find anyone talking to students? You hear a lot of lies about their apathy. You hear a lot about how students don't care.

The above doesn't fit into the shine some glory on your own years story. C.I. here filling in. As someone who's been fortunate to speak with students across the country for the last four years (everywhere but Alaska), I know students are active, I know students are speaking out against the illegal war. But others?

Maybe to pen those lies you have to be comfortable not doing any research? Maybe to give a prize (as best student essay) to a female student who slams her peers as apathetic (as The Nation did), you have to invested in those lies or really, really stupid.

I'm filling in for Betty at the last minute (and happy too, she just found out her oldest child hadn't finished a project that's due tomorrow so they've got to work on that). Ron Jacobs' roundtable has been noted in two snapshots but I didn't have time today (the plan is to do so tomorrow). So I figured I'd note it here and ask the question of why would some repeat the lie that student's don't care about the illegal war or they aren't active?

The mainstream media hasn't done a great job of covering students. That might be one reason. It's not an excuse. Not from media that regularly (and rightly) questions the mainstream media. It's also true that a great deal of independent media is more interested in covering anything but students. So the mainstream says students don't care (they don't even bother to produce a poll for that and no one questions that either) and indy types who don't give a damn about students (or, apparently, the illegal war) rush to tell you students are apathetic.

Students are. They weren't before the war began (I started visiting campus to speak about the war in Feb. 2003) and they haven't been since it began.

It's also true that, in the case of The Nation, they aren't interested in what students do about Iraq. They're interested in promoting big money 'student' groups working to churn out the vote. And the thing is, that hasn't gone unnoticed.

As late as 2004, students were still high on The Nation. These days, they've pretty much written it off. They expected leadership and got "VOTE!" (with few exceptions). They are very vocal about the fact that they aren't the ones apathetic about Iraq but a magazine that writes about everything but Iraq is obviously apathetic about the illegal war.

Unlike some e-mailers to The Common Ills, they see the print version of the magazine (which is carried in many libraries) and they are very aware that war resisters do not get covered. They know that Ehren Watada went public in June of 2006 (the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to the illegal war), followed by many others (Darrell Anderson, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing and Kyle Snyder were already public but they all returned to the US from Canada and attempted to turn themselves in -- attempted because the military decided to screw around with Snyder who wisely responded by self-checking out again) including Mark Wilkerson. They're aware that it was a non-stop procession all summer, all fall, all winter. And yet none of them made it into the magazine in 2006 and only one, Ehren Watada, got mentioned in 2007 -- as a sidebar and only after he was called a coward in the main article.

They're aware of Terri Johnson, 18-years-old, who said no to the war and went public last month. They're aware of the long line of war resisters going public or continuing to go public. And they are aware that The Nation has no interest in the subject.

They were offended when Abeer and her family were murdered by US soldiers (three have confessed, one -- who will be tried in a civilian court -- maintains his innocence, Stephen D. Green) and that before 14-year-old Abeer was murdered, she was gang-raped by US soldiers.
They're offended and they are aware and they're more offended that this story which really got mainstream traction in the summer of 2006 never got covered by the magazine in 2006. Alexander Cockburn (in a column that also ran at CounterPunch) broke the apparent gag rule by mentioning her (and naming her) in April of this year. They'll note that Katha Pollitt, the magazine's token feminist, never wrote about her, still hasn't. But that Pollitt did have time to call out CODEPINK for bird dogging War Hawk Hillary. They're aware of what that says. Or what Patricia J. Williams, a law professors, says with her own silence, her own refusal to write about a war crime. What happened to Abeer is disgusting and vile (and a war crime) and it registered with students. At 14-years-old, she's not that much younger than many of them. She had the illegal war imposed on her the same way many students did (many didn't vote because they weren't old enough). A law professor who can't write about war crimes?

What use is she? And it doesn't just apply to the women, though they are the most often cited. With the exception of David Corn (who covers DC), no one has an excuse, male or female. How does the leading magazine of the left avoid addressing a war crime?

Their attitude is don't you dare call us apathetic when our supposed left media doesn't give a damn.

They are out there in the streets, they are out there on their campuses. They are making a difference with little coverage from the media. And they are outraged by silence from The Nation. These are politically involved students. Not students who get involved in politics at election time and tune out the rest of the year. And these were the people who would carry The Nation through the next forty years. They are the ones who would have been subscribing and keeping the circulation up in good times or bad times, allowing the magazine to continue to publish. But the magazine has burned them.

It has ignored them and it has ignored Iraq. They're very aware of that. And there is a growing anger about it. Naomi Klein has a book due out (September, I believe). She should be a natural to the young people. But it's been noted in the last weeks, on campuses I've visited, that since she returned from her sabbatical to write the book, her columns in The Nation haven't covered Iraq.

There was a hope among some students that if they could just hold out for Klein's return, Iraq would return (with her) to the pages of The Nation. As one very angry female student said last week in Boston, "She can write to scold readers that Paul Wolfowitz isn't a real issue but she can't write about Iraq?"

Don't think students are apathetic. They aren't. And a number of authors who should have had bestsellers have seen those sales fall because students (and others) aren't buying their crap. Baby Cries a Lot was a bestseller (of really bad books) and then it became obvious to students that he was a War Hawk. He used his radio program to call for the continuation of the illegal war over and over (from the 'left') and Baby Cries a Lot found out that his string of badly written bestsellers could take a tumble. The copy and pastes calling out Bully Boy don't make the bestseller lists these days either. Not because Bully Boy is suddenly popular (he reached a new low of 28% approval in one poll this week) but because it doesn't cut it.

All these years later, these copy and paste, PowerPoint presentations in book form aren't speaking to students. They cut their teeth on those, they're ready to move forward. But there is no leadership so students aren't waiting to be led and they're leading themselves. They're not going to waste money on books making points (not exploring, just tossing them out) that were made years ago and they're not rushing to prop up authors that, in the face of an illegal war that continues to drag on, act cowardly.

Cowardice creeps in via silence and students are very vocal about who's being silent.

"Why is The Nation being silent?" is an issue that never fails to come up with any group of students. Various reasons are offered.

What is known, by those of us who aren't students, is that the magazine was carried through the lean years by the left. That was due to the fact that the magazine wasn't a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. These days it's all megaphone. I don't believe that builds a longterm magazine. Even The National Review, to cite a publication on the right, has had to be vocal against the GOP. If you're nothing but a party organ, you really depend on the slow and the new. The slow because you can repeat the same talking points year in and year out and they're happy to nod along. The new because it is new to them. But after they cut their teeth, they expect more.

They could probably get away with these repeated talking points if this were the 90s but it's not. An illegal war passed the four year mark. They have repeatedly refused to address it. The laughable measure that Bully Boy vetoed resulted in an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other editorial when it called for a calling out. They're being pedistrian in chaotic times and it's not cutting it.

Every now and then, I'll hear from a friend at the magazine that we're going after it. I'm not going after it. I'm shocked and appalled by the magazine. I have been for some time and remained silent until last summer when it became a rallying cry of students I was speaking with over and over, campus to campus, throughout the week.

If that hadn't happened (and hadn't happened up to this point), I wouldn't say a word. I've supported the magazine for years. But I'm not in bed with it and I'm not going state to state, campus to campus to promote The Nation magazine. As Jess replied to one journalist who felt The Nation was being treated too harshly, "We're trying to end a war." And look at Jess or Ava, Jim, Dona, Ty. They are college students. They know what they see. Mike and Wally are college students as well. They know what they see. (In fairness to all seven, they were ready to call out the magazine before I was. It really did take seeing how angry students were this summer for me to start to call it out.) (There's also the issue of how 1 woman gets published in the magazine for every 4 men. But I'm focusing on the illegal war for this guest post.)

The mainstream media is (overall) doing a lousy job. There's been no Nightline "Iraq war Day ___" created. There's been no offering at all. When friends who served there (and I have friends who are still serving there) return, they always remark about how the war doesn't even seem to be going on when you come back to the US. I always point out that students and the peace movement are working on it but they don't get covered and the media's really not interested in Iraq. (I don't think most people realize how many reporters have already been pulled from Iraq to cover Iran.)

Dahr Jamail has done some amazing reporting on Iraq. He's independent media. Flashpoints Radio, which really covers the occupied territories, has done amazing work on Iraq. And it's been great to be able to point to The Progressive of late. But I'm not seeing much else to praise.
(CounterPunch regularly covers Iraq and that reality is registering on campuses.)

The mainstream media (overall) has censored itself and accepted censorship from the military. When the independent media fails, there's nothing left.

Jim Lobe (IPS) has a must read "'Pentagon Moved to Fix Iraqi Media Before Invasion':"

In the run-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon planned to create a 'Rapid Reaction Media Team' (RRMT) designed to ensure control over major Iraqi media while providing an Iraqi 'face' for its efforts, according to a 'White Paper' obtained by the independent National Security Archive (NSA) which released it Tuesday.
The partially redacted, three-page document was accompanied by a longer power point presentation that included a proposed six-month, 51 million-dollar budget for the RRMT operation, apparently the first phase in a one-to-two-year ''strategic information campaign''.
Among other items, the budget called for the hiring of two U.S. ''media consultants'' who were to be paid 140,000 dollars each for six months' work. A further 800,000 dollars were to be paid for six Iraqi ''media consultants over the same period.
Both the paper and the slide presentation were prepared by two Pentagon offices -- Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, which, among other things, specialise in psychological warfare, and the Office of Special Plans under then undersecretary of defence for policy, Douglas Feith -- in mid-January, 2003, two months before the invasion, according to NSA analyst Joyce Battle.
''The RRMT concept focuses on USG-UK pre-and post hostilities efforts to develop programming, train talent, and rapidly deploy a team of U.S./UK media experts with a team of 'hand selected' Iraqi media experts to communicate immediately with the Iraqi public opinion upon liberation of Iraq,'' according to the paper.
The ''hand-picked'' Iraqi experts, according to the paper, would provide planning and programme guidance for the U.S. experts and help ''select and train the Iraqi broadcasters and publishers ('the face') for the USG/coalition sponsored information effort.'' USG is an abbreviation for U.S. government.
''It will be as if, after another day of deadly agit-prop, the North Korean people turned off their TVs at night, and turned them on in the morning to find the rich fare of South Korean TV spread before them as their very own,'' the paper enthused, adding that ''a re-constituted free Iraqi domestic media can serve as a model in the Middle East where so much Arab hate-media are themselves equivalent to weapons of mass destruction.''
Whether the plan was implemented as described in the paper is not clear, although the NSA Tuesday also released an audit by the Pentagon's Inspector-General regarding two dozen, mostly non-competitive contracts totalling 122.5 million dollars awarded by the defence department to three defence contractors that carried out media-related activities in Iraq after the invasion.

A student (one of those allegeldy 'apathetic' students) steered me to that article. There's not apathy among students. There's not apathy among people. There does appear to be serious apathy in media -- big and small.

And on that note . . . This is today's "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, Cheney visits the Green Zone and receives his usual welcome, Democratic leadership caves again, and cries go out for people to get active.

Starting with war resistance. Last week Camilo Meija's
Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia was published and, as Courage to Resist reports, tonight, he begins a speaking tour with Pablo Paredes, and Robert Zabala. Announced dates include:

Wednesday May 9 - Marin 7pm at College of Marin, Student Services Center, 835 College Ave, Kentfield. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Pablo Paredes and David Solnit. Sponsored by Courage to Resist and Students for Social Responsibility.

Thursday May 10 - Sacramento Details TBA
Friday May 11 - Stockton 6pm at the Mexican Community Center, 609 S Lincoln St, Stockton. Featuring Agustin Aguayo.
Saturday May 12 - Monterey 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Featuring Agustin Aguayo and Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chp. 69, Hartnell Students for Peace, Salinas Action League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Courage to Resist. More info: Kurt Brux 831-424-6447
Sunday May 13 - San Francisco 7pm at the Veterans War Memorial Bldg. (Room 223) , 401 Van Ness St, San Francisco. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes. Sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69 and SF Codepink.
Monday May 14 - Watsonville 7pm at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach, Watsonville. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and Robert Zabala. Sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Watsonville Brown Berets, Courage to Resist and Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chp. 11. More info: Bob Fitch 831-722-3311
Tuesday May 15 - Palo Alto 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall), 1140 Cowper, Palo Alto. Featuring Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Pennisula Peace and Justice Center. More info: Paul George 650-326-8837
Wednesday May 16 - Eureka 7pm at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E St. (@9th), Eureka. Featuring Camilo Mejia. More info: Becky Luening 707-826-9197Thursday May 17 - Oakland 4pm youth event and 7pm program at the Humanist Hall, 411 28th St, Oakland. Featuring Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and the Alternatives to War through Education (A.W.E.) Youth Action Team. Sponsored by Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69, Courage to Resist, Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's (CCCO) and AWE Youth Action Team.

All are part of a growing movement of war resistance within the military: Camilo Mejia,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake 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.

Turning to politics, US and Iraq. Yesterday on
KPFA's Flashpoints Radio, Robert Knight's "The Knight Report" summed up developments as follows:

The US backed Shia led puppet regime in Baghdad faced further setbacks today after the absentee parliament's biggest Sunni block threatened to collapse Nouri al-Maliki's Shia supremacist leadership by removing 44 Sunni legislatures from the current governing coalition. Iraqi vice president Tariq al-Hashimi, of the fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front, has given Maliki a one week deadline until May 15th to amend Iraq's US designed Constitution of Military Occupation to restore authentic national sovereignty and territorial integrity otherwise Hashimi threatened quoted "I will tell my constituency frankly that I made the mistake of my life when I put my endorsement to that National Accord." Hashimi added that he was frustrated by Sunni exclusion from government under the de-Baathification commission headed by CIA and Pentagon asset Ahmed Chalabi. Hashimi concluded his demands with the hope that "I would like to see the identity of my country, in fact, restored back." He also refused an invitation to meet in Washington with President George W. Bush until those issues were addressed.
A collapse of the Maliki regime would scuttle bi-partisan hopes in Washington that Iraq's puppet parliament would ratify the US written petroleum law that would eradicate national sovereignty over oil resources and clear the way for lucrative extraction contracts for American and other multi-national oil conglomerates. A fig leaf ratification of the oil law is a mutual goal of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress who call the potential give away and segmentation of Iraq into secular regions to be an essential so-called benchmark for further military funding for the US occupation.
And on that front there are alarming revelations from Ohio Representative
Dennis Kucinich who reveled over the weekend that Congressional Democrats have sold out any hopes for reform in Iraq with a secret agreement with the White House over the so-called funding bill for the Iraq war. In a remarkably revelatory speech to the West Los Angeles Democratic Club, Kucinich said that the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have made the following secret concessions. One, that House debate would not challenge the multi-national friendly Iraqi oil law that President Bush and vice president Cheney and the Democrats are desperate to have enacted so that Iraqi resources would be privatized. Number two, that bush could invade Iran without the approval of Congress because the Democrats have removed a clause that would require him to get approval from Congress. And of course that any and all timetables would be removed from subsequent enactments of the bill.

[. . .]

Dennis Bernstein: Robert Knight, stay with us. Thank you for the excellent report. And obviously we have been watching closely in particular the willingness of the Democrats to play ball so that the war and the significant aspects, the real reasons, the oil war can go forward. Would you just in a nutshell again recap the Kucinich highlights of the revelations of the sell out?

Robert Knight: Well this oil law is something that was a promise made by Cheney and Bush at the beginning of the war -- saying that the invasion would be funded by resources, the increased oil extraction and of course the profits to be made by the American companies. They have changed the language of the so-called PSA -- Production Sharing Agreements -- so that now the Iraqi national oil council would no longer have sovereignty over its own resources. There is a division in the bill that the Democrats are propagandistically propping up that is to say that this would share revenues among the different provinces.
But what it does it sets it up not to the province per se but to the regional coalition which is part of the United States and Israeli backed plan to divide Iraq into competing sectarian fragments -- the Kurds, the Shias in the south and of course the Sunnis in the more impoverished oil regions, the western part of Iraq. So the oil law would not only be something for profit but also something for segregation in Iraq.

Oil and Congress. Starting with oil. Dickey Cheney ("President of Vice" as
Wally and Cedric have dubbed him) high tailed it to the Green Zone and you know it wasn't to rally the troops. BBC reports that Nouri al-Maliki was gushing and that "US officials said Mr Cheney wanted faster progress on the fair division of oil revenues" -- well of course he does, look at his portfolio. Garrett Therolf (Los Angeles Times) reports Vice was greeted with the usual warm response he's learned to expect the world over: over a thousand protesters holding sings such as the one that read: "Kick out the leaders of evil." Cheney must be so proud.

On the issue of the US Congressional measure,
Edward Epstein (San Francisco Chronicle) reports that the 'plan' would fund illegal operations only through September 30th, that the toothless, non-binding withdrawal talk has been dropped and that "Democratic leaders expect to debate the plan for troop withdrawals again as part of bills now moving through committees that would authorize and spend the money for 2008 Pentagon operations, including the war." Last week, the Bully Boy vetoed the Congressional bill that did not enforce withdrawal. That measure was non-binding and full of loopholes that would allow Bully Boy to keep every US service member in Iraq there through the end of his term. One example, classify them all "military police" and say it was now a police operation would mean he wouldn't have to follow any of the Congressional suggestions -- suggestions because they were non-binding. The Democratic leadership refused to stand up then and now they just roll around on their backs. Noam N. Levey (Los Angeles Times) notes, "Democratic leaders, who are still finishing the plan, will no longer tie war funding to a pullout of almost all U.S. combat forces, which the president has said he will never accept." Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny (New York Times) observed that the talk of Congress funding the illegal war in scheduled stages was being attacked by the White House (via Tony Snow) and some Republican members of Congress such as Adam H. Putman. In a sure sign of how weak Democratic leadership is, not only have they sold out the mandate handed to them by the the American people in November 2006, they can't even fight for the nonsense they're trying to push forward. Every time Tony Snow shoots off his mouth, a Congressional Democrat should hold a press conference to ask, "Is the White House attempting to micro-manage the people's Congress?" Another sign? Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reports that Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno announced yesterday that the escalation that members of Congress are saying they must wait until September to evaluate (when Petraeus gives his report) will also be evaluated "at the beginning of next year for sure." The failure that is the escalation will be evaluated at various intervals by the US military. If the military can do that, Democrats should be able to make the case for their own right to base their power of the purse on regular evaluations.

But when you don't have the guts to call for the withdrawal the people support, when you don't have the strength to excercise your Constitutionally mandate power of the purse, when you spend the bulk of your time trying to fool the public with non-binding, symbolic measures, maybe you don't have the time or the guts to offer anything else?

United for Peace & Justice issues a call:

Veto the War! Take Action Today!
President Bush vetoed the $124 billion Iraq war funding bill, because it included a timid troop withdrawal plan.
Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress now seem to think that they must compromise with the arrogant, incompetent administration that led us into war, rather than stand up for us, our troops and the Iraqis.
If we do not create a national outcry right now, Congress will capitulate and simply give Bush the money he wants to continue the war.
Let's make some noise!
Organize an emergency veto action!
Click here for ideas.
Write letters to the editors of your local news outlets.
Call into local radio talk shows. (Click here for talking points.)
Call the offices of your members of Congress.
Show Congress what kind of funding bill YOU want them to pass! Download and deliver "The People's Emergency Funding Bill," by fax or in person, to your representative's and senators' local and Washington DC offices. (Click here to find their office addresses and fax numbers.)
Meanwhile, the Green Party of the US has also "criticized the retreat of Democratic Congress members and party leaders after President Bush last week vetoed legislation that included a timetable for withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq" with statements from various party members including the co-chair of the Green Party's Peace Action Committee (GPAX), Aimee Smith: "Democratic front groups like MoveOn.org have abandoned the antiwar movement. We don't need an 'Americans Against Escalation in Iraq' coalition, we need an independent political movement demanding removal of US troops as quickly as possible and reunciation of aggressive military power. Democratic leaders, including presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are rejecting these demands and are willing to see US forces remain in Iraq until late 2008, and even longer to serve US financial interest there and the strategic demands of Israel and its supporters in the US. The goal of Democrats isn't to end the war, it's to seek party unity in order to win the White House. There's little doubt that most antiwar Democratic groups wil line up behind their party's prowar nominee in 2008."

Dave Lindorff (CounterPunch) observes the "bankruptcy of the Democratic Party leaderhip's position on impeachment was revealed in stark terms yesterday, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would sue the president in court if he resorted to a signing statement to kill the next version of Congress's Iraq funding bill" and concludes: "As long as she continues to refuse to allow impeachment of President Bush, she cannot hope to stop the war, restore habeas corpus, undo the Military Commissions Act, stop illegal spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, or win passage of any significant legislation to deal with global warming. She cannot really do anything, because Bush will simply issue signing statements and use his claim of 'unitary executive authority' to invalidate any legislation passed by Congress."

In Iraq (puppet) governmental news,
War Pornographer Michael Gordon (New York Times) attempts to get a money shot out of the Iraqi Exile Visits DC. Like a large number of exiles, Mowafak al-Rubaie serves in the puppet government. In 2003, after the illegal war began, al-Rubaie returned to Iraq (after two decades in exile) in just enough time for the US government to appoint him to the Iraqi Governing Council then, in 2004, they appointed him to the Coalition Provisional Authority and today's he's Nouri al-Maliki's national security adviser. A government of exiles ruling over an Iraqi people that wonders just where the hell these exiles get off dashing back into the country post-invasion and attempting to rule? al-Rubaie danced through the halls of Congress in the metaphorical equivalent of a g-string, attempting to get Congress to shove dollar bills down his crotch. Though he shook his money maker, not all rushed to request a lap dance. US Senator Carl Levin didn't take to al-Rubaie's notion that democracy for Iraq was a 'generational' thing. Levin: "I told him that is too long." The exiles, so very popular with the White House, share the same paternalistic, patronizing attitude of the White House: Iraqis are just too stupid for self-rule. One might ask why those who feel that way would want to rule in the first place but al-Rubaie's lined his pockets quite well since the start of the illegal war.

All that pocket lining has to be paid by someone.
Dexter J. Kamilewicz (Military Families Speak Out) notes the human costs, the economic costs, the civil rights costs and the "costs of deliberate neglect" concluding: "The enormous costs of the lack of leadership in dealing with the war in Iraq are measurable, and those costs hit home in ways we cannot ignore no matter how depressing the subject. The longer we wait to confront those who let these costs mount [Congress], the more responsible we are for those costs. It is up to us, you and me, to demand an end to it." One way to demand an end to it is to take action. Cindy Sheehan (Camp Casey Peace Institute) is calling for mothers "to stand up and put our bodies on the line for peace and humanity. . . . I am calling on Mothers of the world to join us in Washington DC for a '10,000 Mother of a March' on the day after Mother's Day, Monday, May 14, 2007. Marches on weekends are not effective, we need to shut the city of DC down! We will surround Congress and demand an end to this evil occupation and refuse to leave until the Congressiona leadership agrees with us, or throws us in jail! Meet at Lafayette Park at noon. We will rally then march to Congress." More information can be found here and via CODEPINK:

Mother's Day: Women Say NO to War!Join us in DC to walk the halls of Congress with some of the most influential moms of our day! Plan your own local Mother's Day peace picnic, post your event here, or host a peace movie night. More...NEW! View the Mothers Day for Peace Video

That's next Monday.
Gordon (Iraq Veterans Against the War) notes the March of the People which will begin June 21st with a "gathering at Millennium Park, Chicago to begin an 800-mile march to Washington, DC. They will demand an immediate peace in Iraq and the impeachment of those leaders who oppose it".

Those are only some of the activites that will be taking place. Want to prolong the illegal war? Be a Dolittle Dem like the leadership in Congress. Want to end it? Get active.
Rebecca S. Bender (The Eureka Reporter) reports on a speech Ann Wright gave Monday where she declared, "It is important that we hit the streets. There are a lot of reasons why we have to keep working to end the war in Iraq. . . . We're not putting up with endless war. We elected you to end this war now."

Still the war drags on . . .


Hussin Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bomb "near the students dormiotry of Mustansiriya university" that wounded three police officers. Reuters reports an Arbil bombing that killed 14 and wounded 87 and a Shirqat bombing that left two people dead. Garrett Therolf (Los Angeles Times) notes that the Arbil (also spelled Irbil) bombing's death toll rose to 19 and notes a Musayyib mortar attack that left two dead as well as a Haswa mortar attack that killed two people. AFP reports, "In Baghdad, a rocket exploded near the US embassy in the fortified Green Zone during Cheney's visit, an Iraqi defence official said. Smoke could be seen rising near the US compound shortly after the blast". CBS and AP note Cheney flack Anne McBride's statement, "His meeting was not disturbed and he was not moved." AFP has Cheney's full quote: "I spent today here basically in our embassy and military headquarters."


Hussin Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad shooting attack on workers of the "Adhamiya concrete wall" which left one dead and two more wounded and a Baghdad shooting where "a directoarte manager at the housing and reconstruction ministry" was shot dead. Reuters notes the shooting deaths of "two men from the ancient Yazidi faith" in Mosul. CBS and AP note that a Kirkuk drive-by resulted in the deaths of four Iraqi journalists who "worked for the independent Raad media comapny, which publishes several weekly newspapers and monthly magazines that are generally pro-government and deal with politics, education and arts."


Hussin Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 8 corpses were discovered in the Diyala province. Reuters reports five corpses were discovered in Falluja.