grab mag

first off, thank you to elaine for her kind words in 'John Halle, Norman Finkelstein, Ruth Conniff, etc.....' i meant to note that yesterday but forgot. now let me excerpt something. this is from the opening of robert parry's 'Sen. Levin's False History & Logic:' (consortium news):

If you're wondering why the Iraq War is likely to continue indefinitely despite mounting public outrage and a failed military strategy, part of the answer can be found in two words: Carl Levin.
Levin, a low-key Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has wedded himself to a line of thinking that is both historically wrong and logically unsound. Yet, his faulty reasoning, if maintained, virtually guarantees that George W. Bush will keep winning every war-funding round with Congress through the end of his presidency.
On June 21, Levin spelled out his thinking in a Washington Post op-ed entitled "Lincoln's Example for Iraq." Levin asserted that he is modeling his Iraq War position on Abraham Lincoln's stance on the Mexican War, launched by President James Polk in 1846 after a declaration of war by Congress.
"In his only term in Congress, Abraham Lincoln was an ardent opponent of the Mexican War," including voting for an amendment that called the conflict "unnecessary and unconstitutionally begun by the President," Levin wrote.
Yet, Levin noted, "when the question of funding for the troops fighting that war came, Lincoln voted their supplies without hesitation." Levin likens Lincoln's anti-war position to his own, since the Michigan senator opposed President Bush’s war resolution in 2002 but has vowed to continue voting money for the troops as long as they remain in the field.
But what Levin doesn't tell you is that the Lincoln example is by no means an historical parallel to Levin's position on the Iraq War. For one, Lincoln wasn't even in Congress when the war with Mexico was declared on May 13, 1846. Lincoln took his seat in the House of Representatives on Dec. 6, 1847.
By then, the war with Mexico was already won. The decisive battle of Chapultepec was fought almost three months earlier, on Sept. 12, 1847, and American forces entered Mexico City on Sept. 14.
Though there was a delay in negotiating a final peace treaty due to the political chaos in the Mexican leadership, the war was effectively over. So, Lincoln's readiness to supply the troops was not a vote for continuing an indefinite war with Mexico; it was simply to send supplies while a final peace treaty was negotiated.
The peace treaty was signed in the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo, near Mexico City, on Feb. 2, 1848, formally ending a conflict that had lasted less than two years. By contrast, the Iraq War has dragged on for more than four years with no end in sight.

so, as robert parry points out, levin is completely wrong. be sure to read it or at least grasp that carl levin has been hiding behind an excuse and the excuse is incorrect.

there's no excuse for depaul university either. this is from kathryn webber's 'Boycotting DePaul' (counterpunch):

Officials at DePaul University caved to pressure from pro-Israel ideologues, denying tenure for Norman Finkelstein, an outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights--and then announced that they were withholding tenure for another professor who actively supported Finkelstein's cause.
But students at DePaul are taking action in opposition to the university's rulings, which amount to a pink slip for Finkelstein and Mehrene Larudee, two of the more progressive professors on the Chicago campus.
Finkelstein's bid for tenure was opposed by his long-time adversary, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, who spent the last several years harassing DePaul faculty and staff with e-mails and documents that slandered Finkelstein.
Nevertheless, Finkelstein's application for tenure was strongly supported by the political science department and personnel committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. But DePaul's dean opposed tenure, as, apparently, did the University Board on Tenure and Promotion (UBTP).
Students and faculty came to Finkelstein's defense, organizing a petition of support and holding pickets and meetings to draw attention to the case, as the issue went to DePaul's president, Father Dennis Holtschneider, for a final decision.
The university's rejection of Finkelstein was announced June 8, at the start of finals week.
If Finkelstein's tenure bid was always controversial because of the intervention of Dershowitz and other pro-Israel ideologues, the rejection of Larudee was a shock. Her application had been unanimously approved at every previous level of the tenure process, and she was preparing to take over as chair of the university's International Studies program.

okay now we're getting to the topic of the alberto gonzales cesspool. amy goldstein and dan eggen (washington post) report two hearings in congress yesterday. 1 in the house, 1 in the senate. in the house was wan kim who is the assistant attorney general who was commening on bradley j. schlozman who held the job before him. schlozman bragged about hiring people based on their politics - a no-no in the justice department - and, worse, he 'pushed aside three minority women on his staff "to make room for some good americans"'. the other testiomony was in the senate, paul mcnulty doing an addendum to his earlier testimony. the soon to be gone deputy u.s. attorney general confirmed that he okayed the firing of david c. iglesias 'in part because of complaints that sen. pete v. domenici (r-n.m.) made about iglesias' which, for those who have forgotten included iglesias refused to launch a non-necessary, highly partisan investigation against democrats in the hopes that it would damage their november election results.

meanwhile david johnston (new york times) reports that william w. mercer, who was to face a confirmation hearing tuesday for associate attorney general (a position he's been doing since september but not confirmed as) has withdrawn his nomination due to his involvement in the prosecutor-gate.

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

Friday, June 22, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, CounterSpin covers a report the mainstream media (domestic) has shown no interest in, Falluja is addressed (and on going), watch out for that tidal wave of Operation Happy Talk!, and more.

Starting with news of war resistance. Joshua Key's
The Deserter's Tale continues to garner good reviews. Anita Joshua (India's The Hindu) reviews the book and concludes, "For over a year, he lived in the U.S. in constant fear of being caught before he fled with his family to Canada in search of asylum. But, he makes no attempt to exaggerate his travails to sell his story, and it is this honesty that reflects through all the detail." Key served in Iraq and, while back in the US, made the decision to self-check out instead of returning to an illegal war. He, his wife Brandi Key and their children then lived underground in the US before crossing the border into Canada where he is attempting to win refugee status. From page 171 of his book (written with Lawrence Hill):

One morning in Ramadi, while I was sitting on top of my armored personnel carrier outside a little house controlled by men from another platoon in the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, I saw soldiers open the door and push a naked prisoner outside. The prisoner looked like he was about forty years old. One soldier kicked him as he stumbled out the door and into the light, and another soldier kicked him as he passed through the gate. The detainee was sent to stand in the middle of the street, and for an instant I wondered why he had been brought out like that. And then, in full view of passerby, the naked man defecated in the street. I turned my head guiltily, but not before I had witnessed his humiliation. He stood up and was kicked on his way back inside the building. I never saw him again, and I don't know what happened to him.
It would not be until much later, after I deserted the army, that I heard of Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, or about the abuses of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of Americans, or about human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Also noting Key is Kim Peterson (Dissident Voice) in his exploration of genocide which puts the illegal war into that context and quotes Key and Jimmy Massey. Massy is quoted stating, "As far as I'm concerned, the real war did not begin until they saw us murdering innocent civilians. I mean, they were witnessing their loved ones being murdered by US Marines. It's kind of hard to tell someone that they are being liberated when they just saw their child shot or lost thei husband or grandmother."

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, 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, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Speaking out to end the war is a duty
Iraq Veterans Against the War takes very seriously. Monday IVAW's Adam Kokesh appeared on Mark Levine's Inside Scoop for the hour. We've noted the interview all week (and the link was left out of yesterday's snapshot when it first went up, my apologies) and we'll close out the week by noting it again:

Mark Levine: Tell me about combat stress?

Adam Kokesh: As you said, it's hard to get care. It's one of those things we're fighting for with Iraq Veterans Against the War, full funding of the Department of Veteran Affairs. But for me, when I came home, I didn't even allow myself to get into PTSD because I didn't want to think about my experiences in a way that would have that kind of emotional reaction.

Mark Levine: Denial. Just forget. Denial. [crosstalk]

Adam Kokesh: . . . and for me, when I came back, I had combat stress which is distinctly different because it's much more superficial and about habitual things. But the worst of it for me, was I had, I had a few anxiety attacks. You know, you just lose control of your brain for a few minutes and it's a little disturbing but it was something we were warned about. And for me, it was kind of a good thing. [cross talk] . . . No, no, no. You lose control of your brain and you just shut down. It's more of a --

Mark Levine: You just shut down.

Adam Kokesh: It's more of an internal thing than an external thing.

Mark Levine: So people don't even realize it's going on maybe.

Adam Kokesh: Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes I would cry. Sometimes I would shake. But it was internal. But it's mainly because of being overwhelmed by the environment and being in such a beautiful enivornment as my college campus was. To go from Falluja one week to campus the next week. . . . That caused the anxiety for me. The other things were I would wake up early well before my alarm and feel this strange sense of urgency, like I had to be somewhere, and not be able to go back to sleep.

Adam Kokesh's service in Iraq was not ingored by the US military. It was 'rewarded' with a witch hunt and Liam Madden and Cloy Richards are also targeted. The US military feels harrassment is a form of a 'thank you'. That's the reality of the US administration and the US military brass when it comes to veterans.

And if how little the lives and wounds (on all sides) from the illegal war matter isn't coming through, check out Robert Gates and Peter Pace.
Josh White (Washington Post) reports Gates and Pace have launched a new wave of Operation Happy Talk -- the number of US service members who have died and are dying in Iraq is not an issue, that's the "wrong metric". That is the wrong thing to focus on, say Gates and Pace, as CBS and AP note that at least 16 US service members have been announced dead "over the past three days."
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that the Operation Happy Talkers also said success "should be measured not by whether violence is reduced, but by whether Iraqis feel better about their nation's future." Gates and Pace, after splashing one another with waves of Operation Happy Talk, ran down to the beach to enter a wet t-shirt contest before expounding further on the notion of deluded levels of self-esteem being the true measure of success while living in a combat zone. No word on whether the rumors are true that both will dress up in silk nighties and have a pillow fight late tonight.

Realities on Iraq were addressed today on
CounterSpin where co-host Janine Jackson interviewed Celine Nahory, co-author of [PDF format warning] "Independent Report on Iraq" which examines the causes of violence in Iraq. A sample of the discussion.

Janine Jackson: Well, I want to draw you out on another issue in the report -- there are many of them, of course -- but you talked about attacks on cities and I think many people, of course, as we've mentioned may believe that the 'coalition' is in the position of mainly defending or protecting but I think they still could tell you that the US-led 'coalition' did fiercely attack the city of Falluja. I think most people remember that but that would be a very incomplete picture, wouldn't it?

Celine Nahory: Well, at the very moment the US is actually imposing another siege on Falluja. There were two in 2004 and there is one going on right now -- for about a month now. But Falluja is absolutely not the only city on which there have been assaults. Part of the "anti-insurgency operation" that the US is pursuing in Iraq. A dozen other cities have suffered: Najaf, Tal Afar, Samarra, al Qaim, Haditha, Ramadi, Baquba, many others. And this is not something that happened here and there. It's really ongoing operations. And usually those operations follow the same pattern where the city is sealed off, a very harsh curfew is imposed, residents are encouraged to leave resulting in massive displacement of people. After awhile they assume that those who stay inside are only 'insurgents' and they cut water, food, electricity, medical supplies and carry massive bombardments on urban households and this destructs a very large part of the city. Reports say that more than 75% of the city of Falluja lies in ruins today. And many of those occasions, the US military has taken over medical facitilies such as hospitals. In those cities, very often hospitals are the tallest building in those cities. So the US takes them over and puts snipers on top and you have once again control over the city or neighborhoods.

Jackson observed that outside of AFP, she hasn't seen any press coverage of the report. The report is in PDF format and you can read it by sections:
Executive Summary [
Read] [French]Map of Major Coalition Attacks, Bases and Prisons [See map]Political Map of Iraq [See map]1. Introduction [Read]2. Destruction of Cultural Heritage [Read]3. Indiscriminate and Especially Injurious Weapons [Read]4. Unlawful Detention [Read]5. Abuse and Torture of Prisoners [Read]6. Attacks on Cities [Read]7. Killing Civilians, Murder and Atrocities [Read]8. Displacement and Mortality [Read]9. Corruption, Fraud and Gross Malfeasance [Read]10. Long-Term Bases and the New Embassy Compound [Read]11. Other Issues [Read]- Iraqi Public Opinion and the Occupation- Cost of the War and Occupation12. Conclusion and Recommendations [Read]

On the subject of Falluja, let's turn to a speech from last weekend's conference in Chicago,
given by Dahlia Wasfi and focus on the Falluja section of her talk, "Falluja -- God help us for what we have done to the people of Falluja. On March 31, 2004, four American civilians lost their lives in Falluja. They were civilians with military backgrounds, in the same that a paramilitary death squad in El Salvador responsible for the brutal rape, torture and murder of four American nuns was comprised of civilians. Though they had GPS systems from Blackwater, those systems were not working that day, and they became disoriented. But they should have known long before, when they were boarding a plane for Baghdad, that they were going the wrong way. Perhaps they only signed a contract with Blackwater to achieve financial security for their loved ones. But there is a word in the English language to describe an individual who sells his body, his principles and his soul for monetary reward. That's a congressman. In the same way that Nazi soldiers fell victim to their system during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, these hired killers from Blackwater got justice served to them on a silver platter. Then, revenge was carried out on a people who can truly be identified as civilians. In April 2004, U.S. Marines closed the bridge to the city and a hospital road -- a war crime. The U.S. military and its vehicles stood at the hospital entrance -- a war crime. And snipers were positioned on rooftops, targeting ambulances and the clinic doors. Between 600 and 800 civilians were killed in that siege, but that wasn't enough. In November 2004, the second major siege of Falluja began. The Nazzal Emergency Hospital, protected by the Geneva Conventions, was leveled to the ground, and Falluja General Hospital, was seized by the U.S. military. Doctors described being tied and beaten, despite being unarmed and having only medical instruments. Burhan Fasa'a, a cameraman with the Lebanese broadcasting company, reported that there were American snipers on top of the hospital, shooting everyone in sight. In addition, the U.S. military blocked the Iraqi Red Crescent from entering the city for seven days. The result was a death toll of between 6,000 and 8,000 civilians. This means that the Iraqi death toll in November 2004 alone surpassed the invaders' death toll for all of Operation Enduring Freedom thus far."

Many of those people driven from their homes can't go back. In chapter eight of [PDF format warning] "
Independent Report on Iraq," the issues involved in Iraq exploding refugee crisis are explored (over 4 million if you combine internally displaced and externally displaced). It is noted that, on the Iraqi death toll, "Washington insists that the lowest numbers are most accurate, while refusing to publish its own official statistics." As Nancy A. Youssef noted almost exactly one year ago, the US is keeping figures, the US military in Iraq is provided with those figures, and yet the American people are kept in the dark. The section concludes with the following:

Iraq faces a growing humanitarian emergency, with unprecedented death and displacement. As of April 2007, the United Nations estimated that up to 8 million people were vulnerable and in need of immediate assistance. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been forced to flee from their homes and hundreds of thousands more are casualties of the violence through death and injury. Education has broken down. Unemployment has reached about 60% and the annual inflation rate peaked at about 70% in July 2006. An estimated 54% of the Iraqi population lives on less than a dollar day, among capacity. Electricity is in short supply. Only 32% of Iraqis have access to clean drinking water. The Public Distribution System food ration has stopped functioning in certain areas of the country, leaving 4 million Iraqis acutely vulnerable due to food insecurity. Severe malnutrition doubled between 2003 and 2005. Iraq's humanitarian emergency has reached a crisis level that compares with some of the world's most urgent calamities.

And as the crisis grows even worse, some of the violence in Iraq today includes . . .


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad mortar attack that wounded four people, a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded 2 police officers, US missiles launched from US helicopters that killed 17 Iraqis whom the US says were suspected 'gunmen' or suspected 'al Qaeda' or both depending upon the report but 17 are dead and they are dead on nothing more than, at best, suspicion, a Qara Taba roadside bombing that wounded three Iraqi soldiers, and an al Hawija roadside bombing that wounded one peson. Reuters reports that a Falluja bombing killed two civilians and left four wounded.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a person shot dead in a Bahgdad market today and a person shot dead in Dali Abbas village.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 11 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today.

Also today, the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed during combat operations in a southwestern section of the Iraqi capital June 21.

Finally, in political news, US Senator Hillary Clinton would like to be the Democratic nominee in 2008 for president.
Turkish Daily News reports that she announced Tuesday she was happy to keep US forces in Iraq to defend "close U.S. allies" Iraqi Kurds. Due to the pronounced and ongoing tensions between Turkey and northern Iraq, they would highlight that because it goes to their own security but . . . what's the excuse for that photo of Hillary? Seriously. Ouch.

In other political news,
Robin Wright (Washington Post) reports that the US House of Representatives -- in a 355 pro and 69 against vote -- decided to get James Baker to round up his friends in the James Baker Circle Jerk to listen to the September reports from the US administration and the US military about 'progress' in Iraq, decipher and figure out what to do. Translation, the US House would like to outsource their own jobs, duties and responsiblities to a center-right group which can provide cover. If the duties are too much for any US House Rep, I do believe they have all been informed of the resignation process and possibly some should considering putting that process in motion? James Baker and Lee Hamilton were not voted into Congress in 2006. The Democratic upset resulted from voters wanting change and believing Democrats could deliver. So far Americans join Diana Ross in singing, "And I'm still waiting . . . Ooooh-oooh-oh . . . Still waiting . . ."


thomas ravenel was the state treasurer

if you read natsu saito's 'The Regents and Ward Churchill' (counterpunch), you will find a list of e-mail addresses you can use to register your objection to the firing of professor churchill. he's being railroaded and i think kat captures that in her 'Ward Churchill' tonight so read that and i won't have to bore you with my angry rant about the way academics are supposed to be above this nonsense and silencing an important voice is never going to help any 1. he is an important voice.

kat's here, staying tonight. she, ava and c.i. visited today with wally and mike and she's staying over. she wants to play with the baby. (oh sure, now you do. in the morning, watch you run!) (i'm joking.) since i gave birth, i think i have seen c.i. every week or almost every week. i told c.i. 'i know you're busy. i love seeing you but you don't have to keep making your speaking events end around me to visit.' but honestly, i have loved every minute of it. we'll be going out to visit this summer. bejing knows c.i. now. that's how often c.i. has visited. it's gurgles and smiles the second c.i.'s voice is heard. kat wants to get up in the middle of the night (fool!) so i've already used the breast pump. it was flyboy's turn tonight so i would have used the pump anyway. we rotate nights. i always wake up on my nights off. i stay awake until i hear flyboy get out of bed. he's been very good about it but he tends to require a few minutes more of crying to wake up than i do. i told kat if i wake up, i may join her. i also told her if there are any problems, she should walk right in and i'll either be awake or just fallen asleep so it won't be a problem.

i had an e-mail from a reader who doesn't write that often so i always pay attention when she does. she wondered if i had any help with the baby?

i have a team! i have my husband, i have ruth who still comes out at least 3 times a week (we go to her place about twice a week). i will count her grandson elijah because he thinks the baby is fascinating. in addition, i have friends dropping by all the time and c.i. and elaine's gift was a nanny. they said, 'use her or not, she's paid up, she's qualified and she's an extra pair of hands if nothing else.' so during the day, i have all of that. at night, it's usually just flyboy and me. the nanny was a very nice gift. she's here monday through friday from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. do i let her do much? she says no but i feel like i do and feel guilty. so i go from guilty that i'm not letting her do anything to guilty that i am. the 1st 2 weeks, i didn't even let her hold the baby. she's very nice and c.i. and elaine were careful to find some 1 with the same interests that i have so we've had a lot of wonderful conversations. she's here for a year - making money for college - and then she's off to get her degree.

i really do think it was a great gift because freak outs tend to be minimized with her and the rest of my 'team' around. and i almost forgot trina. i'm at her place every weekend and she's so wonderful. she always knows i have saved up at least 1 question during the week because even with every 1 around, i don't want to look like a complete idiot. so saturday mornings, we're in her kitchen while i'm nursing and she's answering whatever dopey question i have. it's not a question that's even to do with right now. i'll ask something about, like 2 weeks ago, the need to keep the shots/immunization records and do i give the original to the school or a copy or do they just look at the original and give it back to me. now that's years away but i'll have questions like those during the week and save it up for saturdays to ask her. she never makes me feel stupid for asking these very non-pressing questions. thank you trina! and i also pester betty with questions every time she calls.

i also had a nasty e-mail from brodrick who e-mailed to tell me i was wrong about something.

it can happen and has before.

citing democracy now, brodrick tells me i am wrong about some 1 being a state treasurer. here's what he heard on democracy now today:

Giuliani S.C. Campaign Treasurer Indicted on Coke Charges
More campaign woes for Rudy Giuliani. The treasurer of the former New York mayor's South Carolina campaign has been indicted on charges of distributing cocaine. The treasurer, Thomas Ravenel, faces up to twenty years in prison.

now, given a choice between me and amy goodman, i'd choose amy goodman as well. but probably a good idea to get 2 sources before telling me i am wrong.

i wasn't wrong. democracy now is wrong on this. thomas ravenel was not the 'treasurer of the former new york mayor's south carolina campaign'. he was the campaign chair for the state. thomas ravenel is (yes, brodrick, it's true) the state treasurer of south carolina. until today.

this is from aaron gould sheinin and adam beam's 'Ravenel suspended in wake of cocaine charges' (south carolina's the state):

State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was indicted on federal drug charges Tuesday and was suspended from office by Gov. Mark Sanford.
Ravenel, 44, and Michael L. Miller of Mount Pleasant are charged with one count each of conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute cocaine.
Miller already is in state custody on charges of trafficking cocaine. Ravenel is scheduled to appear July 9 in federal court in Columbia for arraignment, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said.
Ravenel, a Republican, was elected treasurer in November. The charge filed Tuesday said he has "knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess(ed) with intent to distribute" cocaine since at least late 2005.

thomas ravenel has now been suspended. but he was the state treasurer. for a 2nd source today, you can check out david von drehle's 'Will Rudy's Get-Tough Image Backfire?' (time magazine):

How many alleged criminals can a law-and-order candidate be associated with before it starts to hurt? That's the question facing former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, following the indictment Tuesday of Thomas Ravenel, his volunteer campaign chairman in South Carolina.
Giuliani entered the presidential campaign early this year with one tarnished pal stuffed into his baggage: his former bodyguard, police commissioner and business partner Bernard Kerik. Kerik's career began to unravel in 2004 after Giuliani urged President Bush to name him Secretary of Homeland Security -- a nomination that was quickly withdrawn amid reports of Kerik's questionable business and personal dealings. Kerik eventually pleaded guilty to ethics violations while on the city payroll and remains under investigation for tax evasion and other offenses, which Kerik's attorney has said, "he didn't do."
Now Ravenel, the state treasurer of South Carolina, has been charged with cocaine possession and distribution -- a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. Neither he nor his attorney has made any statement.

between amy goodman and me, i'd believe goodman in most cases as well. but either of us can be wrong. it's no big deal and it happens. but before you write me (or amy goodman) saying 'you're wrong!' you should probably find at least 2 sources.

since brodrick called me all sorts of 'sweet' names in his e-mail, let me point out who's really wrong - brodrick. brodrick, you were wrong. amy goodman made a mistake and it happens. i could have made 1 as well. but before you e-mailed your name calling e-mail, you should have made sure about what you were talking about. you didn't, you were wrong. you end your e-mail telling me 'if i was as wrong as you are, i think i would just shut up.' well, brodrick, feel free to shut up now because you were wrong.

now i wouldn't tell some 1 to shut up because they were wrong. i might tell them they were wrong in an e-mail but i wouldn't say that, since they are wrong, they should shut up. because people can be wrong and that certainly includes me. but if you're attitude is that if some 1's wrong, they should shut up, then you should start with yourself. so, brodrick, feel free to follow your own advice.

here's C.I.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, June 21, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military annouces the deaths of more service members, IPA presents a report on Iraq, and more.

Starting with war resistance. In June 2006,
Ehren Watada became the first US officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. He explained his reasons for that publicly (illegal war, violation of treaties, setting those serving under him up for charges of war crimes); however, in Judge Toilet's court (John Head) all that got flushed for the February 2007 court-martial as Watada was prevented why explaining his reasons for refusing deployment. Despite this, Watada was coming out ahead and the prosecution's own witnesses were very effective . . . for the defense. Sensing this, Judge Toilet immediately called a mistrial on the third day, before Watada could take the stand and testify, and did so over the objection of the defense (and, initially, over the objection of the prosecution which took a bit to grasp the gift of 'do over' Judge Toilet was attempting to hand them). Due to the fact that there was no reason for a mistrial (Judge Toilet did a song and dance about a signing statement that he had reviewed prior, that he had instructed the jury on and now, on the third day, wanted to play dumb about) and that it was called over the objection of the defense, the double-jeopardy clause of the Constitution should prevent Watada from being retried. As Marjorie Cohn (president of the National Lawyers Guild) has pointed out, the judge in a trial -- any trial -- cannot just call a mistrial because s/he doesn't like the anticipated verdict. Next month, Ehren Watada's court-martial is scheduled for July 23rd; however, as his website points out, "legal proceedings are occuring on two fronts:

* a second trial in Ft Lewis, Washington, based on the original charges against Lt. Watada for failing to deploy and speaking agains the war, and

* a Defense motion before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Arlington, Virginia to dismiss all charges on the basis of Double Jeopardy.

In their "
MISTRIAL SYNOPSIS," Judge Toilet's mistakes are noted and they include immediately scheduling a new trial (for March 19th) which was a case where the judge "exceed his authority, because a trial date cannot be set until the charges against Lt. Watada are again referred for court martial by the Ft. Lewis base commander and convening authority, Lt. General James Dubik."

Earlier this week Pulitzer Prize winning columnist
Anna Quindlen (Newsweek) examined war resistance and noted Watada's statement, "My participation would make me party to war crimes." Watada made that statement at a June 7, 2006 Tacoma, Washington press conference. August 12, 2006, he would speak at the Veterans for Peace conference in Seattle, Washington where he noted (PDF format warning), "I have broken no law but the code of silence and unquestioning loyalty. If I am guilty of any crime, it is that I learned too much and cared too deeply for the meaningless loss of my fellow soldiers and my fellow human beings. If I am to be punished it should be for following the rule of law over the immoral orders of one man. If I am to be punished it should be for not acting sooner. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, 'History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period . . . was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people'."

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, 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, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Turning to
Iraq Veterans Against the War's Liam Madden who, along with Cloy Richards and
Adam Kokesh, has been targeted by the US military for actions and free speech in an attempt to silence voices speaking out against the illegal war. Ron Jacobs (here for OpEd News, here for CounterPunch) interviews Madden about the US military's efforts to strip him of his honorable discharge and instead discharge him from the IRR with an other-than-honorable discharge for the 'crimes' of "Wearing a partial USMC camoflage uniform at a political protest" and "Making Disloyal Statements at a speech in New York City. I said that 'The war in Iraq is, by Nuremberg standards, a war crime and a war of agression' and 'the president has betrayed U.S. service members by committimg them to a war crime." Madden tells Jacobs that, "Normally people aren't discharged from the IRR. It is simply a list of names the military can call upon in times of national crisis. When they don't want someone on the list they typically just cross them off. However it is not unusal that the government cracks down on those who are questioning the motives of their actions. For example, COINTELPRO, the imprisonmnet of Eugene Debs, and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr." The IRR is a list of service members who have been discharged from the military. Should a president declare a national emergency, some names on the IRR list can be called up but only 30,000 -- in a declared national emergency -- can be called from the IRR list. If they are called up, UCMJ then applies to them (and nearly 15,000 have been called up since the start of the illegal war) (as explained by a friend in the US Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division). Clicking on Liam Madden's name takes you to a petition you can sign to show your support for Madden, democracy and free speech.

From Madden to
Iraq Veterans Against the War's Adam Kokesh who appeared Monday on Mark Levine's Inside Scoop discussing multiple topics for the hour. We've noted the interview all week (and the link was left out of yesterday's snapshot when it first went up, my apologies) and we'll note it again today and here he is speaking of his return to the US after serving in Iraq:

Adam Kokesh: It was already like a bad dream. Like you wake up and it already feels like it happened to someone else. But I had to stay on active duty for two more weeks and go through all these debriefing classes and all this administrative b.s. And I was actually more stressed out from these classes teaching me about post-traumatic stress disorder because I was missing class [college], I wanted to be in school, I was already late.

Mark Levine: So you weren't having post-traumatic stress disorder?

Adam Kokesh: No, but what I experienced then was more what I learned in those classes, at least the one bit of useful information is that typical combat stress symptoms last twelve to sixteen weeks. And for me, it took me about three months to really feel comfortable being a student again.

Nigel Yin (The Daily Egyptian) observes, "People these days throw the word 'hero' around without a second thought. Devin Hester opens the Super Bowl with a kickoff-return TD -- He's a hero! Bob Barker retires after 35 years of hosting the Price is Right -- What a hero! Kobayashi eats a whole lot of hot dogs -- Hero! Hero! Hero! But I'd like to pay respect to a hero whose contributions go unsung: Sgt. Adam Kokesh, a Marine who strives to protect veterans' right of dissent. . . . So while certain political figures may openly mock a mother of a deceased soldier, they now cower behind the uniform code of military justice to quell the seeds of dissent of a decorated Iraqi war veteran to avoid a PR backlash." And while Kokesh and others demonstrate heroism, Congress does nothing and Bully Boy thinks adding more fuel to the fire will put it out. Or possibly, he just thinks that when everything's burned away, no objections will exist?

But reality is that today the
US military announced: "Four Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers were killed when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in a western Baghdad neighborhood June 20. One other Soldier was wounded in the attack." And they announced: "Five Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers, three Iraqi civilians and one Iraqi interpreter were killed when a roadside bomb detonated near a Coalition vehicle during combat operations in a northeastern section of Baghdad June 21." And they announced: "Two Marines assigned to Multi National Force-West were killed June 20 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." Now those 11 deaths may not be as fun to write about as American Idol or your daughter's sweet sixteen (you don't think it's your sweet sixteen, do you?) but it happened and it continues to happen. 3545 is the current total for the number of US service members killed in Iraq with 68 being this month's total thus far.

Marie Cocco (Truthdig) attempts to address other realities. She notes that Iraq can now be considered a "failed state" and that "[t]o bring Iraq to the brink, we have invested half a trillion dollars in military alone and staffed the largest U.S. embassy anywhere and now have 150,000 U.S. troops on the ground." She notes that the food crisis results in 60% of children and pregnant women in the capital being anemic, thyphoid fever being common in Basra, etc. She also correctly notes: "The Bush White House and, for their part, the Republican presidential candidates, continue to push a military solution that alread has been shown to be no solution. The Democrats, including the party's presidential candidates, want to withdraw troops but promote the notion that the factionalized and corrupt Iraqi government can somehow pick up the slack." The last statment doesn't apply to Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson. (It can be argued that it doesn't apply to John Edwards as well.) But Cocco, possibly exhausted by the killings, the never ending illegal war, notes the James Baker Circle Jerk's proposal of partioning Iraq ("along sectarian lines" -- so the 8 Christian college students kidnapped yesterday -- if they turn up alive -- would live where?) and wonders if that would work. And then Cocco quickly winds down. The US (or the US and England) dividing up Iraq is not an "answer" and it's not "self-determination." The US government has provided non-stop promises of democracy never delivered (like the Iraq constitution which has never been addressed or modified even though the push through on that promised it would be) and US solutions are not the answer to Iraq. Iraq is a nation-state filled with adults. It is not a nation of children that needs another government to impose its will. Iraq needs to be allowed to decide what's best for Iraq and that will not happen while a US installed puppet government is in place and it will not happen by the US decreeing that Iraq is now three different "partitions." The US has no business being in Iraq (never did) and it certainly has no right to determine what another country (an inhabited country, please remember) will be like. That's not democracy, that's not self-rule, that's not self-determination. US Senator and 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden also favors partitioning Iraq.)

This week the
Institute for Public Accuracy released their "Independent Report on Iraq" co-authored by James Paul and Celine Nahory with Paul noting of the report: "While most people focus on the sectarian bloodshed, our report highlights the enormous violence of the occupation forces. There is an increasing air war that results in heavy casualties as well as the daily killing of civilians at checkpoints, during house searches, by snipers, and by ground bombardment. Nearly a million Iraqis have died due to the effects of the occupation and 4 million have fled their homes. . . . Under the control or influence of U.S. authorities, public funds in Iraq have been drained by massive corruption and stolen oil, leaving the country unable to provide basic services and incapable of rebuilding. The U.S. government has repeatedly violated many international laws, but top officials reject any accountability."

The [PDF format warning] 117 paged "
Independent Report on Iraq" can be accessed in full or by section:

Executive Summary [
Read] [French]
Map of Major Coalition Attacks, Bases and Prisons [
See map]
Political Map of Iraq [
See map]
1. Introduction [
2. Destruction of Cultural Heritage [
3. Indiscriminate and Especially Injurious Weapons [
4. Unlawful Detention [
5. Abuse and Torture of Prisoners [
6. Attacks on Cities [
7. Killing Civilians, Murder and Atrocities [
8. Displacement and Mortality [
9. Corruption, Fraud and Gross Malfeasance [
10. Long-Term Bases and the New Embassy Compound [
11. Other Issues [
- Iraqi Public Opinion and the Occupation - Cost of the War and Occupation
12. Conclusion and Recommendations [

Focusing on Chapter 6 ("Attack on Cities") because Norman Solomon has been sounding the alarm about the air war for some time now (Solomon is a member of IPA), we learn of the collective punishments on cities which are judged or just guessed to be 'insurgent strongholds.' (Being against the occupation is often enough to get you judged 'insurgent.') Once that judgement/guess has been made the process usually begins with razor wire, sanbags, and various barricades being utilized to 'wall off' the city in question while US troops gather around it and "seize control of all movement into and out . . . including goods and supplies, water, food, medicines and emergency assistance of all kinds. This 'sealing off' strategy seeks to isloate insurgents and show ordinary civilians the heavy cost of not cooperating." Citizens are then encouraged to leave (and we've seen that with the reporting of the current actions in the Diyala province). Those who can (and that generally does not include all males of the city) do and as they become refugees, their city becomes a free-fire zone. As the US military cuts off water, power and anything else, they also cut off access to journalists not in bed (to steal
Amy Goodman's term) with the military. And then comes the bombings:

Coalition forces have inflicted prolonged and intesne air and ground bombardment on these cities, destroying thousands of homes, shops, mosques, clinics and schools, and inevitably -- killing and injuring many civilians. The strategy of indiscriminate and massive bombardment, in advance of ground offensives, has reduced the number of Coalition casualties, at a heavy cost in life and injury to the remaining Iraqi city residents.
The Washington Post reported that in Falluja, an "official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described 12 hours of overnight strikes by American helicopters, fighter-bombers, field artillery and tanks as 'shaping operations.' Military commanders use the term as shorthand for battlefield preparation, combat operations specifically intended to remove enemy strong points in advance of an assault. In the second assault on Falluja, the air strikes began on October 15, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and continued for three weeks prior to the assault of November 7. In Najaf, US Marines bombarded the cementery near the famous Imam Ali Shrine as well as much of the city center, in a massive attack backed by aircraft and tanks. In Ramadi, US forces carried out intensive bombardment, targeting the city's power stations, water treatment facilities, and water pipes, leaving many destroyed houses and no civilian services functioning.
US military bombardment has destroyed large areas of the cities. Reports have confirmed that whole neighborhoods have been leveled and elsewhere just hulks of buildings stand. "Those who have witnessed US aircraft firing missiles into packed tenements in Sadr City, and have seen the resulting carnage, treat claims of 'precision strikes' . . . with deep skepticism" commented the London-based Independent newspaper.
Air strikes and artillery bombardment are typically indiscriminate. According to an Iraq Body Count study on different types of weapons, aircraft attacks have been responsible for the largest proportion of children killed. In addition to massive bombardment with high explosives, there is clear evidence of the use of indiscriminate and especially injurious weapons, particularly incendiaries, in these ferociously violent campaigns.

In the New York Times today,
War Pornographer Michael Gordon and Alissa J. Rubin contributed "Heavy Fighting as U.S. Troops Squeeze Insurgents in Iraq City." Just as sure Gordo will go soft in the head and sticky in his y-fronts, he will usually use "precision strike" and similar terms (as he did on his own yesterday) but today -- either due to a co-writer or a 'discovery' -- he forgets the term. The 'discovery.' A medical center. And it's an "insurgent!" one. How is that "known"? "The hsopital, uncovered by troops from the Fifth Battalion, 20th Infantry, was equpped with oxygen tanks, defibrillators, generators and surgical equipment, as well as pieces of insurgent propaganda." It's that latter group, the pamphlets, that tell Gordo all he needs to 'know.' The same pamphlets can be found throughout Iraq, including in the capital. Also noted is an airstrike in Nasiriya (no mention of wounded or dead) -- again no 'precision strike' -- he must have felt so awkward, wanting to pull his War-On out with Rubin standing there. Meanwhile, Reuters notes: "A U.S. air strike on a booby-trapped house in Baquba north of Baghdad on Wednesday missed its target and hit a nearby structure, wounding 11 people".

On the topic of peace, in 2005,
Veterans for Peace staged their conference in Irving, Texas and Cindy Sheehan went right from there to Crawford, Texas where she started Camp Casey. In 2006, Veterans for Peace staged their conference in Seattle, Washington and Ehren Watada was among the speakers. This year, Veterans for Peace will be holding their conference in St. Louis, Missouri and the dates for that are August 15 through 19th -- click here for more information. What will happen? Chances are it will set the stage for much to follow. Sheehan kick started the peace movement. Watada kicked off a summer and fall of war resisters speaking out and coming forward. What 2007 will be a springboard for is anyone's guess, but it is scheduled for St. Louis, Missouri in August.

In Iraq today . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a mortar attack on the heavily fortified Green Zone, the bombing of "a primary school in Qara Taba village," and a truck bombing in Sleiman Bek village that killed 15 (70 wounded). Reuters notes a Madaen truck bombing that killed two police officers (12 more wounded) and a Baghdad mortar attack that claimed one life.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "a corporal of the Iraqi army" was shot dead "between Kirkuk and Biji".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports three corpses discovered in Khalis. Reuters notes 20 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

In a reality check on 'progress' in Iraq,
Jamie Tarabay (NPR's Morning Edition) reported yesterday on musicians who've performed the "Baghdadi Square" for years in the capital -- on the streets, at functions, etc. "Baghdad was safe," says Mouwafak al-Tayar. "We could go out and perform as we liked. Everybody would come out from their homes and take part. Kids would follow us. They liked this kind of music because it's very lively." Today they have to travel "incongnito about Baghdad. They leave their traditional costumes, white robes and turbans, at home. Fearing Islamist extremists who condemn music of any kind, they also conceal their music when they travel."

Finally, in the United States, Yaderlin Hiraldo may no longer need to worry about deportation. Hiradlo's husband is Alex Jimenez who is serving in Iraq and went missing on May 12th and is assumed captured.
US Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry have spoken out strongly about the treatment. Jose Martinez and Richard Sisk (New York Daily News) report that that Homeland Security stated Yaderlin "no longer faces deportation."


mixed bag

Sen. John F. Kerry is calling on Homeland Security officials to halt the deportation of the wife of a Lawrence soldier missing in Iraq.
Federal immigration officials are seeking to deport Yaderlin Hiraldo, despite the fact that her husband, U.S. Army Specialist Alex Jimenez, 25, remains missing in action. Hiraldo entered the country illegally from the Dominican Republic in 2001 and married Jimenez in 2004.
Immigration officials began deportation proceedings against her but delayed her case after her husband's first deployment to Iraq in 2006, according to Kerry. Jimenez, who has been missing since May with two other soldiers, one of whom has been found dead, reportedly petitioned the government for a green card for his wife while stationed in Iraq.

the above is from dave wedge's 'Kerry: Don’t deport soldier’s wife' (boston herald). john kerry is 1 of my 2 senators and it's rare i have any reason to sing his praises (hold on for that) but i will on this. what's being attempted is disgusting. the woman should be granted citizenship immediately and the threat of deportation should have never been floated to begin with because she is married to an american. the government learned about the 'illegal' entry after she married her husband and then applied for citizenship. the man is missing. the hope is that he's being held by some group in iraq. the fear is that he is dead (a video allegedly showing his death was posted online). she has suffered and is suffering enough. she doesn't need this shit.

she should have never been put through it because since when does the u.s. harrass wives of americans? that's just nonsense on that count - ignoring everything else - alone.

here's john kerry from wcvb:

"I don't think that's the way you say thank you to the wife of an American serviceman who is now missing in action and whose whereabouts is unknown," Kerry said. "I think it's not the way to say to anybody, 'We are grateful for your service to our country, particularly if you may have given your live.' There is something rough about it and inappropriate and indecent. I think most Americans would say, 'Whoa. What are we doing here? She deserves some peace of mind.'"


now about john kerry. his voting record is awful and i certainly could have much worse. but after he backed down and started apologizing at the end of october, i'm in no mood to sing his praises. he was supposed to stand strong and his days of buckling were over, remember? then he starts apologizing for a joke in passing that was indeed true. the u.s. military has lowered the standards. i'm sorry if any 1's offended by that, but it's true. you've got recruiters teaching people how to lie and you've got the standards being lowered repeatedly to allow for almost any 1 at this point to enter. the pentagon's lowered the standards.

instead of making it about that - or just ignoring the 'uproar' - john kerry buckled and that's when he stood no chance of winning the democratic nomination for 2008 because we don't want to see that side again. it's ugly and it's cowardly and it's very discouraging to voters.

he should have stood up and didn't. i will give him credit now for doing the right thing (and leadership on this issue) but he needs to find a public spine. i'm glad he's addressing this and speaking out. i wish he would show that kind of strength more often.

now i hope you read cedric's 'Two snorts over the line' and wally's 'THIS JUST IN! RUDY'S HOUSE PARTIES TAKE A HIT!' about the cocaine problem in rudy g.'s campaign. thomas ravenel stepped down as the south carolina chair of rudy's g.'s campaign after being charged with intent to distribute cocaine; however, he remains state treasurer of south carolina. just another day in the rudy g. campaign, apparently. now can some 1 explain this from ap:

A priest was charged with drunken driving after crashing a pickup truck into a restaurant and injuring 10 people, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper said.
Five of the victims were taken to hospitals Monday night, none with life-threatening injuries, Trooper David Adkins said.

rev. karel fink plowed into a restaurant - 10 ft. deep! - and he's already done rehab once. ay-yi-yi. kids today.

'kids today' was a joke. ravenel's in his 40s and fink is 61.

well, cokie roberts, doesn't the tone start at the top? alberto gonzales has broken how many laws now and what will the children think!!!!!

on the gonzales scandal, thomas ferraro (reuters) reports paul mcnulty (u.s. deputy attorney general) has decided since monica goodling testified that some of his testimony 'was in some respects incomplete' and that statement will be delivered thursday which also includes this: 'when i testified in february before the senate judiciary committee, i testified truthfully, providing the committee with the facts as i knew them at the time.' for that to be true, he would have to have an explosive bombshell to drop such as 'i had no idea that ___ happened/was happening.' otherwise, this is just cover your own ass after goodling's testimony contradicted his own.

now the new york times noted today that john rizzo met with congress yesterday about his nomination to be the counsel to the c.i.a. and only, if you can believe this, dianne feinstein had anything resembling tough questions. supposedly they tough probe was to come in closed sessions. all headline news reports that gonzales' 2002 torture memo was to rizzo and that it argues that the torture laws in this country (and presumably the treaties the u.s. has signed on to) 'makes plain that it only prohibits extreme acts.' so what does that mean? you can cut off 1 finger but not all?

torture is illegal. not in degrees, it is all illegal and the united states is not supposed to engage in it. rizzo apparenly shares gonzales' approval of breaking the law and, if not, he needs to explain that.

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, a US service member in Iraq announces his resistance, the US threatens to deport the wife of a US service member, the British military announces the death of a service member, Amy Goodman wonders since when did Iraq become a banned topic in high schools, and more.

Starting with
Iraq Veterans Against the War's Adam Kokesh who was selected for the Wings of Justice Award today -- BuzzFlash's weekly honor which concludes: "The Marine Corps treated Kokesh unfairly for expressing his viewpoints, a freedom he put his life on the line for in Fallujah. That is what Bush says we are fighting for there, doesn't he? Adam Kokesh, to us, you served honoroably and bravely. You truly merit this week's BuzzFlash Wings of Justice award."

Iraq Veterans Against the War's Adam Kokesh appeared Monday on Mark Levine's Inside Scoop discussing many topics for the hour.

Adam Kokesh: To call it a protest isn't exactly accurate. This was a demonstration conducted by Iraq Veterans Against the War called Operation First Casulty and it's called that because it has long been said that the first casulty of war is truth and the purpose of the demonstration was to bring a small part of the truth of the occupation home to the American people who have largely forgotten that there is a military force representing our people imposing martial law in another country on the other side of the world. And we did that by conducting a mock combat patrol through the streets of DC and we had civilian actors who were playing effected peoples -- they weren't playing Iraqis, they weren't pretending to speak Arabic or anything like that -- but as average Americans being subjected to the same thing that Iraqis are subjected to every day.

Mark Levine: So you were showing Americans what the Iraqi civilians have to go through?

Adam Kokesh: Well, yes, but not just that. But also giving them a taste of what it's like to come around a street corner and see a squad of armed men in uniform in a patrol. And these actors that we had were integrated into wherever they were standing in the city, we had them in lines full of tourists, we had them in parks and so on -- and we would randomly accost them, search them, zip cuff them and put sandbags over their heads.

And as Kokesh and other members of
Iraq Veterans Against the War attempt to bring the war home via street theater and truth telling, a US service member takes resistance to Iraq.
Iraq Veterans Against the War posts the following:

Yesterday, June 19, 26 year old SPC Eli Israel put himself at great personal risk by making the courageous decision to refuse futher participation in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Eli told his commanding officer and sergeants that he will no longer be a combatant in this illegal, unjustified war. Eli believes that the U.S. government used the attacks of September 11, 2001 as a pretense to invade Iraq and that "we are now violating the people of this country (Iraq) in ways that we would never accept on our own soil." Eli is stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad with JBV Bravo Company, 1-149 Infantry of the Kentucky Army National Guard. This soldier's decision to refuse orders put him at great risk, especially because he's in Iraq, isolated from legal assistance and other support. The following is a message that Eli sent yesterday to a friend back home:
"I have told them that I will no longer play a 'combat role' in this confllict or 'protect corporate representatives,' and they have taken this as 'violating a direct order.' I may bein jail or worse in the next 24 hours. Please rally whoever you can, call whoever you can, bring as much attention to this as you can. I have no doubt that the military will bury me and hide the whole situation if they can. I'm in big trouble. I'm in the middle of Iraq, surrounded by people who are not on my side. Please help me. Please contact whoever you can, and tell them who I am, so I don't 'disappear'."
Eli is taking an incredible risk by refusing orders in Iraq and will most likely be court martialed. Please help him by contacting his Senator and requesting that he take any steps necessary to support and protect this soldier and ensure that the Army respects his rights and does not illegally retaliate against him.
Senator Mitch McConnell:
Washington Office
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, 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, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

And resistance is going on everywhere -- around the world. Turning to England, where the mother of a British soldier serving in Iraq has issued a public message to Gordon Brown (Tony Blair is expected to step down next Wednesday -- June 27th -- and Gordon Brown would then become prime minister of the UK).
Lily Walker states (via Great Britain's Socialist Worker), "My message to Gordon Brown is that we must get the troops home now. My son is a serving soldier just back from Iraq. I am not a pacisfist, but I am against what is happening in Iraq -- the illegality and the lies. None of the troops enlisted to fight for a lie. I won't sit back and be quiet about what is happening in Iraq. I live in Tameside, just outside Manchester, and I have been calling on people to come to the demonstration on Sunday 24 June. Together we can make a difference. Tony Blair has let people down. It remains to be seen what Gordon Brown will do." Lily Walker is a member of Military Families Against the War and the demonstration this coming Sunday is "Gordon Brown's coronation as Tony Blair's successor" in Manchester (starting at noon at St. Peters Square, more information by clicking here).

Turning to the United States, June 13th,
Amy Goodman (writing at Truthdig) reported on Voices in Conflit -- the Wilton High School production kicked off school property because the principal didn't want a play about Iraq; not only that, didn't want discussions about Iraq in any class; and quoted student Jimmy Presson stating, "We are not allowed to talk about the war while discussing current events." Today, Goodman (Democracy Now!) spoke with Presson, student Courtney Stack, Bonnie Dickinson (director of Voices in Conflict) and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Charlie Anderson about the experience and the NYC off-broadway performances of their play. Goodman questioned Presson about the ban on Iraq in his high school:

AMY GOODMAN: Jimmy, how often do you get to talk about war at school?

JIMMY PRESSON: We very rarely to never talk about the war through the curriculum. In classes in which we discuss current events, we are required to not bring in current events that relate to the war.

AMY GOODMAN: Wait, what do you mean? What about social studies or history?

JIMMY PRESSON: In history classes, the current events that we bring in are -- we've been instructed to have the articles be unrelated to the war.

AMY GOODMAN: You're not allowed to talk about war in your history class?

JIMMY PRESSON: We're not allowed to talk about the war.


JIMMY PRESSON: Because it's too controversial, I guess. Because they don't want kids arguing in class.

AMY GOODMAN: Is there any class that you can talk about it?

JIMMY PRESSON: We can talk about it a little bit in Middle Eastern studies, a little bit, but it's not even that much in that class.

BONNIE DICKINSON: That class is not offered.

JIMMY PRESSON: Every year. It's only offered every other year.

AMY GOODMAN: So this past year, it wasn't offered?

JIMMY PRESSON: It was not offered this past year.

AMY GOODMAN: So the only class to discuss this was in drama?


A war is ongoing, it passed the four year mark in March and a high school thinks it's a topic to be banned? Let's all pretend it's not going on and it won't be? Is that the 'plan'? It's certainly not education. Presson portrays Charlie Anderson in the play and Anderson gave the play and Presson high marks. Some attempted to silence the students -- they did not succeed.

"It's really simple,"
Dr. Dahlia Wasfi says, "You bring the troops home, they stop dying there." Wasfi speaks with James Harris and Robert Scheer (Truthdig -- transcript and audio at the link) and addresses the Salvadorian model utilized in Iraq to create divisions and a number of other topics including nothing that "first and foremost, there's no security now. People used to stay out to the late hours, having a social life, meeting at the tea cafes, coffee cafes. From the days of the invasion, 'Everybody inside by 6 o'clock!' Because it was out responsibility, American forces' responsibility, to establish law and order, and we faield miserably. In addition, the infrastructure continues to deteriorate. The services, as has been documented by the U.S. Government Accounting Office, even in 2004, the services had already deteriorated to be worse than under Saddam Hussein. So you have a population whose government, the puppet government in the Green Zone, is not providing security, is not providing electricity, is not providing potable water. What are they doing? They're working on oil laws that will privatize Iraq's oil and give up ownership to foreign companies. Unless you have a government in place that will serve the people, it will not last. If you need a military force to maintain a government in power, what does that tell you?"

Meanwhile, the US Congress is gearing up for it's summer break which will begin August 6th.
Jeff Lays (CounterPunch) notes that is also the kick off of the Occupation Project, "a reinvigorated campaign of sustained noviolent civil disobedience/civil resistance to end Iraq war funding" and but before that takes place, there is an ongoing action lasting "[t]hrough the end of July, Grassroots America for Us is organizing the Swarm on Congress, intensive and extensive lobbying on Capitol Hill." Kevin Zeese (writing at Grassroots for America) notes, "The 'SWARM' will build on the successful efforts of activists in DC and around the country who have been occupying offices, protesting in the Halls of Congress and sending a consistent message. It will build on the Occupation Project, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and the Declaration of Peace as well as the works of Code Pink and our Maryland peace coalition. Already, key anti-war groups are supporting this effort including United For Peace and Justice and Voters For Peace, among others."

As pressure is brought to bear on Congress, US Senator and Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Hillary Clinton's speech yesterday is getting attention.
Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) observes that after winning over some of the crowd mid-speech "then she got into trouble by returning to the topic of the Iraq war. First, she tried to align herself with the crowd. 'We need to end the war in Iraq and finally bring our troops home,' she said. 'I voted against the supplemental.' She also said that the United States has no reason to be a part of the sectarian war there. But she blamed the Iraqis for the mess. 'The American military has succeeded,' she said. 'It is the Iraqi government that has failed to make the tough decisions.' This brought the boo birds out in force, with the Code Pink contingent holding up signs saying 'Lead Us Out of Iraq Now!'" David Swanson (AfterDowning Street) also reports "loud booing" and concludes with this: "Clinton never mentioned the point Ted Koppel reported last week and Bill Richardson raised here yesterday that she intends to have the occupation of Iraq still going at the end of her second term, should she be elected."
Susan J. Douglas (In These Times) explores the contradiction in Clinton's campaign and whom the core voters would be expected to be.

In Iraq, the death toll from yesterday's truck bombing in Baghdad continues to rise. 78 was the count
yesterday. AP, Reuters, CNN and Al Jazeera report that the death toll has now climbed to 87 and CNN notes the tally for wounded stands at 214. Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) quotes Abu Muhammed ("one of the custodians of the bombed mosque") stating, "The Americans know everything, they can do everything, they can repair the space shuttle without touching it, why do they let these things happen here in Iraq? We think the Americans want these things to happen in Iraq, to keep things like this."

Meanwhile, the offensive in the Diyala province continues. The New York Times' imploded star,
War Pornographer Michael Gordon, is allowed to soil the front page with his War-On drippings this morning in an alleged "military analysis" which fails to offer any analysis but does provide much rah-rah-rah Operation Happy Talk. Gordo fails to note what Damien McElroy (Telegraph of London) can: "The offensive has seen the revival of a tactic rarely used since the Vietnam war: air assaults by troops dropped into fighting zones by helicopter." Gordo gets all giddy over the detention of Iraqis noting that "the goal is to capture or kill" alleged 'insurgents' (an elastic term which can include any Iraqi opposed to the illegal military occupation of Iraq) and so much blood rushes to Gordo's nether regions he fails to wonder how many people are already imprisoned in Iraq? 20,000 is the figure for Iraqis currently imprisoned (not counting imprisoned at secret sites off the books) with 8,000 of those having been held for more than one year (via Socialist Worker compiling figures from UNHCR, UN, World Vision, Brookings Institution and Global Poverty Forum to present "Iraq in figures"). Gordo's also so busy with both hands digging in his pants (apparently in search of something very small) that he gets Falluja wrong (only women and boys thought to be under 12 years old were allowed to leave when that city was under attack), that he minimizes the death of a US service member when a Bradley is attacked ("What made the loss of the Bradley particularly worrisome is that the exposion occurred in a heavily trafficked area" -- actually, the family and friends of the dead service member would probably argue that the death itself was "particularly worrisome" and much more) and tries to slap some life into his libido with this, "American forces have already fired more than 20 satellite-guided rockets intwo western Baquba. . . . Warplanes have also dropped satellite-guided bombs on suspected roadside bombs and a wapons cache, which produced spectacular secondary expolsions after it was struck." And presumably an unspectacular one in the front of Gordo's pants which would explain why 20 satellite-guided rockets and multiple bombs being dropped in a civilian area does nothing to prevent from Gordo from getting off on the blood bath.

Gordo also fails to point out what
Phil Ittner (CBS News) does, house to house searches are going on in Baquba -- read Gordo in vain for any mention of that. CBS and AP also report gun battles in the city.

In Iraq today . . .


The mosque bombings go on.
CBS and AP report: "In a renewed blow to stability Wednesday, suspected Shiite militans blew up three Sunni mosques south of Baghdad, causing heavy damage but no casualties. The bombings were apparently revenge strikes for a suicide truck bombing a day before that badly damaged an important Shiite mosque in the heart of the capital." Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that killed 1 person (3 wounded) and a Baghdad mortar attack that injured 3 people. Reuters reports a Ramadi car bombing that claimed the lives of 5 police officers (12 more injured) and a Baquba mortar attack that claimed the lives of 2 children and 3 women (8 people were injured).


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Ali Kadhim Jwad Allaw was shot dead in Baghdad -- he had been "the general director of the Iraq American contracts company" and 7 police officers were shot dead in Khalis. Reuters notes that "a police major" was shot dead in Aziziya.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 29 coprses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes 2 corpses ("a young woman and a man") were discovered in Kut.

Today, the
UK's Ministry of Defence announced: "It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a soldier from the 4th Battalion The Rifles in Basra City today, Wednesday 20 June 2007." This death brings to 152 the total number of UK soldiers killed while serving in the illegal war.

Late yesterday, the US military announced the deaths of three more US soldiers.
They announced: "A Task Force Marne Soldier was killed and three were wounded when their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad Monday." And they announced: " One Task Force Lightning Soldier died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion near his vehicle while conducting operations in Diyala Province June 19." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire during combat operations in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital June 18." These three deaths bring the ICCC count to 3531 US troops have died in the illegal war since it began with 54 of those deaths being in the month of June.

This as
Martin Fletcher (Times of London) journeys to Fort Hood (Texas) to report on conditions there and is told by Major Ben Phillips that between "15 to 30 per cent of soldiers are returning from Iraq with psychological problems -- mostly posttraumatic stress disorder and a condition known as traumatic brain injury, a bruising of the brain caused by explosions. He says that a soldier's vulnerability to psychological disorders increases with each deployment, and he was now seeing soldiers who had served in Iraq four or five times. . . . Asked whether soldiers were returning to Iraq before they were fully recovered, he equivocates. 'Our goal is to ensure everybody is ready to go back.' As the Smith Middle School, on Fort Hood's Tank Destroyer Boulevard, 70 per cent of the 500 pupils have a parent serving in Iraq and five had one killed."

Yesterday on NPR's
The Diane Rehm Show, Rehm spoke with Anne Hull and Dana Priest of the Washington Post about their reporting on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Hull: When we started our reporting last fall, many of the soldiers we dealt with had physical wounds but many also had signs of post-traumatic-stress -- if not disorder then heavy symptoms of post-traumatic-stress -- and it just became the next natural step to explore. A lot of these soldiers weren't getting psychological help they needed. Our original reporting focused at Walter Reed and, even there, at the country's top hospital, we noticed they weren't getting enough help.

Hull noted that the official figures currently are 18% for marines and 20% for soldiers and 25% army and Priest commented that in the last five years the army has diagnosed 27,000 service members with PTSD the VA has "treated 45,000 people from Iraq and Afghanistan largely who believe they have PTSD." Priest and Hull's reporting (and Bob Woodruff's for ABC and others as well) has resulted in the departures of the follow: Major Generarl George W. Weightman, Lt. General Kevin C. Kiley and Francis J. Harvey who had been the Secretary of the Army. In other Iraq and Washington Post news, Ben Hoyle (Times of London) notes Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City -- an inside look at the Green Zone -- has been awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize. Michael, who had just returned from serving in Afghanistan weeks ago, called in to Rehm's show and spoke of needing help but most of all needing someone to talk to. 1-800-984-8523 is the toll free number the US military has set up in the wake of the Walter Reed scandals and it is a toll free number that is supposed to be staffed from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday. The military expert, Col. E. Cameron Ritchie, brought on the show failed to give that number out. She did speak of a toll free number where counseling could be provided and referred people to the Army Behavioral Health website which is a mess, a waste of time and refers you to crappy things you can print out such as "Two-page Tri-fold Brochure"s. If there is a counseling number for service members, let's be really damn clear here, the US military needs to have it displayed on the front page of the website. Otherwise it's a bunch of b.s. created to sound like the military's addressed the situation when, in reality, they have done nothing. It should also be noted, Ritchie appeared on Rehm's show yesterday and this 'wonderful' website was last updated? March 29, 2007. Ritchie needs to quit kidding that this website's offering anything other than sop and needs to get off her ass and get someone post to the counseling number at the top of the main page or else she needs to quit thinking she's fooling anyone.

And no one's being fooled that the US military 'cares' when the wife of a service member is threatened with expulsion from the United States. Since May 12th, following an attack, Byron W. Fouty and Alex R. Jimenez were missing assumed captured. They remain classified as missing.
Dominican Today reports that Yaderlin Hiraldo, the wife of Alex Jimenez, is being threatened with deportation back to the Dominican Republic and "Hiraldo's green card processing was stopped by an immigration judge when her husband went missing, and the government has so far refused to grant a so-called hardship waiver that would allow her to stay in the country." Her attorney, Matthew Kolken, tells the AP: "I can't imagine a bigger injustice than that, to be deporting someone's wife who is fighting and possibly dying for our country." To repeat, the woman's husband is missing in Iraq and now, on top of that, the US government thinks "helpful" is informing that her citizenship might not go through and they may be returning her to the Dominican Republic. CBS and AP feature a photo of the couple and notes that US Senator John Kerry "has asked federal immigration officials not to deport Hiraldo" writing Michel Chertoff (head of 'Homeland Security'): "Under no condition should our country ever deport the spouse of a soldier who is currently serving in uniform abroad. I feel even more strongly in this case, given the terrible uncertainty surrounding Army Specialist Alex Jimenez."

Returning to the topic of PTSD,
Robin Wright (Washington Post) reports that Steven Kashkett (American Foreign Service Association) testified to Congress Tuesday that appoximately "40 percent of State Department diplomats who have served in danger zones suffer some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder". Following that testimony, it's now been made public that US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker sent a memo to Condi Rice (US Secretary of State) where Crocker notes, "In essence, the issue is whether we are a Department and a service at war. If we are, we need to organize and prioritize in a way that reflects this, something we have not done thus far." Richard Beeston (Times of London) terms the memo "blunt" and feels it will "cause consternation" for those wanting "America to reduce, not expand, its presence in Iraq." Crocker's arguing for the diplomatic service to be intensified and out beyond the Green Zone.