carly, laura, joni, jackson & stevie

for her column in polly's brew sunday, goldie's making a list of her top 10 favorite songwriters who write about the world around them. she asked me if i'd mind mentioning it and noting 'i don't know all the music in the world!' she made me laugh when she said that. i'm really looking foward to reading it. i told her i'd note 5 of my favorite songwriters tonight as prep for her's column. i'll go back further than she does so that i don't overlap with her. (she's focusing on people who've written about the illegal war.)

1) carly simon.

i love carly's writing. she's got an amazing voice, but i have always responded 1st and foremost to her writing. even an album that's not a favorite still contains a gem or 2. i also love spoiled girl which carly seems to hate. the only thing i dislike about spoiled girl is that 'tired of being blonde' is an extended mix. that mix goes on too long. it's a nice enough song (she didn't write it) but i don't need the 'blonde ... blonde ...' repetition. i love 'my new boyfriend.' that may be the only song she included from the album on her boxed set clouds in my coffee. 'tonight & forever' is really beautiful and 'anyone but me' is a song i love. (i love the low tones on the verses.) 'straight from the hall of fame/ one of the world's great lovers/ darling you're not to blame, i'm just sorry you've been discovered ... i wish that you had never known anyone but me ...' 'come back home' is another 1 i love to sing along with on that album: 'summer time/ kids on the street/ we were up on the roof/ laughing at the heat/ that was the last/ i ever saw of you ...' but as much as i love all the 1s i've listed, they're not even my favorite on the cd. spy isn't 1 of my favorites but 'we're so close' and 'never been gone' are so damn amazing. 'jesse' is so incredible that it doesn't matter what else was on come upstairs but i also love the title track and 'in pain'. right now, at this moment in time, my 2 favorites of all the songs she's written, let me make it 3, are 'let the river run,' 'we just got here' and 'scar.' i think she's an amazing writer.

2) laura nyro.

she wrote epics in the early days. let me do some back story here. she recorded 4 albums of her own songs, then she recorded (with labelle) an album of sixties covers and then she withdrew. i really don't care for smile, her return album. it didn't reach me and that may be due to the fact that her 1st 4 albums were so intense and this 1 was so laid back. but she stayed with that sound and managed to create some major art. 'women of the one world' and 'to a child' are my 2 favorite songs written by her. the fact that they aren't the classics every 1 recorded and had hits with or even songs from those 1st 4 albums speaks to how amazing she was until the end. i also have to toss in a 3rd here as well. 'the japanese restaraunt'.

3) joni mitchell.

'night ride home' is 1 of her amazing songs from her later period. i love the early stuff. i can listen to the first album, for the roses, clouds, ladies of the canyon, court & spark, etc. and of course blue is a standard that few will ever reach. but she's done amazing work since and i don't just mean hejira. dog eat dog was slaughtered by critics but that is an amazing album. my favorites on that are 'three great stimulants,' 'impossible dreamer' and 'tax free.' night ride home is another amazing album. i'm forgetting the last 1 of her new songs. the title to it. turbulent indigo wasn't a good time for me so i have no idea about the album. i have a bad association with it. but the 1 that followed i loved. 'love puts on a new face' is 1 of my all time favorite joni songs. taming the tiger. that's the name of the cd. mike's dad just walked through (i'm in trina's kitchen) and i asked him. i love 'no apologies' and think that's amazing. and 'man from mars' is 1 i'd love for her to do live if she does a tour behind the new cd (which comes out tuesday). or, even if she just does a live show for hbo or showtime, i'd love for her to do that amazing song again. 3 all time favorites? 'a case of you,' 'love puts on a new face' and 'hejira.'

4) jackson browne.

mike's dad looked at who i'd picked so far and said, 'you've got to put in jackson!' trina said, 'honey, it's her list.' but he's right, can't forget jackson browne.

jackson actually pisses me off on 1 thing. 'ready or not' is a wonderful song. he insults that song and he shouldn't. it's the perfect portrait of a man trying not to freak out over a pregnancy. i think it's amazing. the narrator is playing off the pregnancy but there's so much tension in the song that it's obvious just how hard he's working to play it off. my second favorite song is 'in the shape of a heart' which i think was 1 of his best ballads. the 3rd? i can't pick. there's 'here come those tears again,' 'that girl could sing,' 'lives in the balance,' 'i'm alive,' 'these days,' 'rosie,' 'anything can happen,' 'the pretender,' 'sky blue and black' ... get the idea? my favorite album is either the pretender or i'm alive.

5) stevie nicks.

1 thing that all of the 5 have in common is that they manage to speak in a way that's unique to them. stevie nicks? i don't know if we could have made it through the 70s without her? seriously. give credit to the wilson sisters (ann & nancy of heart, often writing with their friend sue ennis). stevie rocked and she never made women feel like they should be embarrassed. stevie always included women. i don't think some 1 goldie's age will get that because they do have pro-women singers today. but for the rockers, women were either invisible or playing sex toy (pat benetar may have sung with her all but she also paraded around in t&a outfits). stevie was and is an amazing writer. i'll do 3 of her fleetwood mac songs and 3 of her solo songs.

fleetwood mac: 'sara'. i really could stop with that 1. it is so amazing. i love it live. i love it recorded. 'drowning in the sea of love/ where everyone would love to drown/ but now it's gone ...' after 'sara'? that's difficult. there are so many amazing 1s. 'say you will' was amazing (from the last cd) and i guess i would choose 'rhianon.'

solo: 'beauty & the beast' is probably the hands down winner for me. i love that song. i love all of wild heart but that song is probably my favorite. after that? 'love is' and 'alice.'

so those are 5. remember to check out goldie's list on sunday.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, September 21, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, 'progress' is no where to be found in Iraq, the US loses weapons and the Iraqi resistance reportedly now has them, and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Alaam News reports that a US family of five (three children) is seeking asylum in Finland "with local media speculating that it is opposition to the Iraq war" that has led the family to leave the United States and start over in Helenski this week. If true, it would be only the second time this decade that an "American citizen . . . [has] filed an asylum application in Finland during the current decade." Meanwhile IVAW's Michael Prysner (PSL) reports, "The number of deserters is also steadily climbing, with official numbers now reaching over 10,000 since the war began. Many believe these numbers may actually be much higher. The G.I. Rights Hotline reports an average of 3,000 calls a month by new recruits and active duty soldiers who have decided they want to abandon the military. . . . Soldiers against the war have begun organizing within the military. Active duty soldiers started the Appeal for Redress, a petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. It was formulated less than a year ago, and has collected over 2,000 signatures of soldiers currently serving in the military. Membership in Iraq Veterans Against the War is nearing 600. . . . Soldiers like Lt. Ehren Watada and Camilo Mejia have set the example, publicly refusing deployment and condemning the war for its illegal and immoral nature."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Derek Hess, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko,Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

Peter Hart spoke with Anthony Arnove (
IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal) on this week's CounterSpin (airing on most radio stations today) about the issue of contractors.

Anthony Arnove: There is effectively a doubling of the US occupation in Iraq right now through the employment of private contractors of whom as many as 50,000 are armed -- effectively private mercenaries working in the employee of the US occupation. Blackwater is operating under the employment of the State Department. What's interesting is that very early on in the US occupation, Paul Bremer -- who was acting as the colonial viceroy -- in his capacity of head of the Coalition Provision Authority deliberately exempted these mercenaries and other US contractors from Iraqi law. And they've created basically a legal black hole in which these mercenaries can operate without any accountability. And the few times there have been incidents in which Iraqis tried to pursue contractors for violations they've been skirted out of the country so as not to have to face any prosecution. They do technically fall under rules of engagement set down for US contractors -- whether that's Pentagon rules or State Department rules. But like we've seen with active duty troops who've engaged in abuses of human rights in Iraq, there's really been no accountability certainly not up the chain of command.

No accountability. And Bremer and the CPA were nothing but a shell game. Bremer stripped Iraqis of oversight and, in fact, the US may not have any legal right to oversight as well. As Naomi Klein explains in her new book
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism:

Bremer's CPA would not try to stop the various scams, side deals and shell games because the CPA was itself a shell game. Though it was billed as the U.S. occupation authority, it's unclear that it held that distinction in anything other than name. This point was forcefully made by a judge in the infamous Custer Battles corruption case.
Two former employees of the security firm launched a whistle-blower lawsuit against the company, accusing it of cheating on reconstruction-related contracts with the CPA and defrauding the U.S. governments produced by the company that clearly showed it was keeping two sets of numbers -- one for itself, one for invoicing the CPA Retired Brigadier-General Hugh Tant testified that the fraud was "probably the worst I've ever seen in my 30 years in the army." (Among Custer Battles' many alleged violations, it is said to have appropriated Iraqi-owned forklifts from the airport, repainted them and billed the CPA for the cost of leasing the machines.)
In March 2006, a federal jury in Virginia ruled against the company, finding it guilty of fraud, and forced it to pay $10 million in damages. The company then asked the judge to overturn the verdict, with a revealing defense. It claimed that the CPA was not part of the U.S. government, and therefore not subject to its laws, including the False Claims Act. The implications of this defense were enormous: the Bush administration had indemnified U.S. corporations working in Iraq from any liability under Iraqi laws; if the CPA wasn't subject to U.S. law either, it meant that the contractors weren't subjected to any law at all -- U.S. or Iraqi. This time, the judge ruled in the company's favor: he said there was plenty of evidence that Custer Battles had submitted to the CPA "false and fraudulently inflated invoices," but he ruled that the plaintiffs had "failed to prove that the claims were presented to the United States." In other words, the U.S. government presence in Iraq during the first year of its economic experiment had been a mirage -- there had been no government, just a funnel to get U.S. taxpayer and Iraqi oil dollars to foreign corporations, completely outside the law. In this way, Iraq represented the most extreme expression of the anti-state counter-revolution -- a hollow state, where, as the courts finally established, there was no there, there.

Contractors in Iraq -- with the permission of the US government and sometimes on the orders of the US government -- have been allowed to act with impunity.
Daniel Howden and Leonard Doyle (Independent of London) provide a look at the rise of outsourcing governmental tasks and note, "A high-ranking US military commander in Iraq said: 'These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force. They shoot people.' In Abu Ghraib, all of the translators and up to half of the interrogators were reportedly private contractors."
Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times) also addresses the reality of governmental tasks being sold off to the private section, "What's been happening in Iraq -- and in Afghanistan, Columbia, Somalia and the Pentagon and the State Department -- goes far beyond the 'outsourcing of key military and security jobs.' For years, the administration has been quietly auctioning off U.S. foreign policy to the highest corporate bidder -- and it may be too late for us to buy it back. Think I'm exaggerating? Look at Blackwater. Its $750-million contract with the U.S. State Department employees in Iraq is just one of many lucrative U.S. (and foreign) government contracts it has enjoyed (and it's a safe bet that Sunday's episode will be only a minor PR setback for Blackwater). As for Blackwater's most recent slaughter, Kim Sengupta (Independent of London) reconstructs the events on Sunday via eye witness testimony: " We have found no Iraqi present at the scene who saw or heard sniper fire. Witnesses say the first victims of the shootings were a couple with their child, the mother and infant meeting horrific deaths, their bodies fused together by heat after their car caught fire. The contractors, according to this account, also shot Iraqi soldiers and police and Blackwater then called in an attack helicopter from its private air force which inflicted further casualties." Apparently unable to speak to Iraqis, Sabrina Tavernise and James Glanz (New York Times) rely on a leaked report from the Ministry of the Interior which "has concluded that employees of a private American security firm fired an unprovoked barrage in the shooting last Sunday," "that the dozens of foreign security companies here should be replaced by Iraqi companies, and that a law that has given the companies immunity for years be scrapped" -- and the reporters offer: "The Iraqi version of events may be self-serving in some points." And the US version may be what? Tavernise and Glanz ignore that prospect. Blackwater's apparently ignoring some things as well. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes, "In Iraq, the private security firm Blackwater USA is reportedly back on the streets of Baghdad despite an announced ban on its activities. The Iraqi government said it had revoked Blackwater's license this week after its guards killed up to twenty-eight Iraqis in an unprovoked mass shooting. But a Pentagon spokesperson said today Blackwater is guarding diplomatic convoys following talks with the Iraqi government." So, as Ian Thompson (PSL) judged it, "Even the Iraqi puppet government leadership spoke up -- but its words were hot air. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki wants to gain credibility and appear to be independent of his U.S. colonial masters." The events appear to answer Thursday's question ("For the US government, it's a quandry: Do they use this moment to provide al-Maliki with a chance to alter his image or do they continue to let greed rule?"): Greed again won out.

Self-serving? Sabrina Tavernise and James Glanz apply that to the report from Iraq's Interior Ministry and it's doubtful they'd ever use the term for the upcoming US report. Along with the issue of equality, there's also the fact that the term is flat out wrong. The Interior Ministry is not self-serving, it's US-serving.
Dropping back to the September 6th snapshot:

Turning to retired generals,
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) reported today, "A panel of retired US generals is urging the United States to disband and reorganize the Iraqi police force because of infiltration by sectarian militias. The generals also report Iraq's security forces will be unable to fulfill their essential security responsibilities independently for at least another twelve to 18 months." Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) explains that the national police force as well as the Iraq Interior Ministry are "riddled with sectarianism and corruption" by the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq headed by James Jones (Marine general) in there 150-plus page report which also finds the Iraqi army at least a year to 18 months away from being able to handle "internal security". Tim Reid (Times of London) reports, "The 20 member-panel also said today that the Iraqi Army was incpable of acting independently from US forces for at least another 18 months, and 'cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven'."

The militias of the Interior Ministry are thugs who terrorize. Who trained them? Who introduced the "Salvador option"? The US. Who has refused to disband them? The US. Self-serving? The Interior Ministry wishes it were self-serving. Then it could really go to town slaughtering 'enemies.' It wouldn't have to worry that one of the many torture chambers they are running might result in a US military 'rescue' of their torture victims. If they were independent and self-serving, all of their torture chambers would be signed off on and not just some.

Today on
NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, Rehm spoke with the Washington Post's Karen DeYoung, the Wall St. Journal's Neil King Jr. and Newsweek's Michael Hirsh about a number of topics. On the topic of Blackwater, Hirsh declared, "Often all that happens is that the employee is spirited out of the country. That happened last Christmas Eve when a Blackwater employee shot and killed a guard to a senior Iraqi official inside the Green Zone which was obviously a little politically toxic. And he left, the company has since refused to disclose his name and he has not been prosecuted."

Neil King, Jr. (Wall Street Journal): The thing that is extraordinary about it is that we had the Petraeus hearings last weekend or last week, and all the discussion "we want Iraq to be a country, we want it to step up, we want it to meet all these benchmarks" etc. And yet we don't really actually treat it as a country to the extent that we've got thousands of our own nationals driving around with machine guns and opening fire on people and then being totally immune from the law and as is the case of this shooting last week -- sorry, last December -- where a person shot a security guard who was the personal security guard of the vice-president of Iraq and the person's spirited out of the country. Nobody ever knows what his name was and he's gone. There'll never be -- I mean if you reverse the scenario and imagine any remote corrolary to that in the United States which is literally unimaginable.

A point the paper of record misses. Self-serving also wasn't applied by the New York Times to any of Gen. David Petraeus' many laughable reports to Congress. Rather strange considering
Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London via CounterPunch) was reporting in the midst of the dog & pony show on how Petraues was explaining how he wanted to be President as early as 2004 but thought 2008 would be too soon to run. As Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reported earlier this week, safety "is deteriorating in southern Iraq as rival Shiite militia vying for power have stepped up their attacks after moving out of Baghdad to avoid U.S.-led military operations, according to the latest quarterly Pentagon report on Iraq". If it all sounds familiar it's because it's the same story that's been playing out over and over across Iraq. But this was hailed last week as 'progress.' Let's stick with 'progress' for a bit. Remember how the meaningless soccer victories didn't change anything but were hailed with waves of Operation Happy Talk? Strangely, that's not been the case for a title Iraq actually won. The title? Kim Sengupta (Independent of London) reported mid-week that "Iraq holds the world record for both the first and second highest amounts taken in the history of bank robberies." Number one! Number one! In fact, the chart accompanies the article reveals that four of the top five Iraq bank robberies have taken place this year for a total of $282 million (US equivalent). And how about the 'progress' in the spreading of cholera? What had been a crisis for nothern Iraq is now reaching into Baghdad with Andrew E. Kramer (New York Times) reporting that there are now two confirmed cases of cholera in Baghdad. And it's not stopping at Baghdad. Katrina Kratovac (AP) reports that "a baby in Basra" is "the farthest south the outbreak has been detected." "Progress"? Robert Burns (AP) reports that Iraqis control approximately 8 percent of Baghdad -- only 8 percent -- which Burns points out is not a large growth even though Maj Gen Joseph Fil claims it is, "Despite the slow pace of progress towards having Iraqi forces maintain control of Baghdad neighborhoods with minimal U.S. troop presence, Fil said he was hopeful that it would accelerate in coming months." He's hopeful -- that's supposed to have us all glowing.

Well maybe there's 'progress' to be found in oil news? Tuesday
Press TV reported on the bombing outside Beiji of an oil pipeline "causing huge quanties of crude oil to spill into the Tigris River" which has "caused oil to seep into the Tigris River damaging water stations and triggering their temporary closure in Tikrit". And the Tigris flows. Last night AP reported, "City officials urged Baghdad residents Thursday to conserve water and fill up their tanks in case water treatment stations have to be shut down because of an oil spill in the Tigris River." Progress? Just more violence.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Hawija bombing of the home "of the former chief of Hawija police". Reuters reports 1 Romanian soldier dead from a Tallil bombing that left five more injured, a Kirkuk roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and 1 Iraqi police officer, an Iskandariya mortar attack that claimed 1 life (three more injured)


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 8 corpses were discovered in Baghdad and three female corpses in Basra. Reuters notes that three corpses were discovered in Yusufiya and 1 in Bajwan.

Today the
US military announced: "A soldier assigned to Task Force Lightning died in a non-combat related incident in Kirkuk province Sept. 20." And they announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier was killed in Diyala Province Thursday when an explosion occurred near his vehicle." The deaths bring the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it began in March of 2003 to 3794 (ICCC). That's six announced deaths away from the 3800 mark.

Finally, the
CBS Evening News' Armen Keteyian looks into the missing weapons "the U.S. military could not account for" (190,000 of them) and discovers a large number of the Glock pistols have ended up in the hands of the Iraqi resistance: "According to an intelligence source, the U.S. contractor in charge of the Glocks somehow lost track of an entire shipment. That mysterious disappeance is now part of a massive military bribery investigation centered around a contracting office run out of a small trailer at a military base in Kuwait. Eighteen federal investigators are digging into the actions of dozens of high-ranking U.S officers and military contractors."


dems have no spine

first, read kat's 'Pistol slapping of WalkOn.org & Boxer takes a dive,' cedric's "Boxer wants to play useless like the other Dems!" and wally's "THIS JUST IN! BOXER A WEASEL LIKE THE OTHERS DEMS!...". if you missed it, the democrats have caved again. actually, 'caved' isn't the word. you really need to read ava and c.i.'s 'TV: What does it take to cancel this show?' from sunday. the 2 of them bashed their writing but i loved it (and laughed) in real time. but take another look at it, especially this section:

But it's what the parody offered and elected Democrats have no one to blame for the cheap shots but themselves. For over four years now, they've not only hidden behind the US military, they've glorified it as if the point of a democracy was to worship the US Army. We started wondering if churches will shortly begin replacing crosses with shrapnel?
The parody was so spot-on because it perfectly captured last week when the Congress heard from General David Petraeus. Petraues is an employee of the United States. Members of Congress are representatives of the people. But nothing in the proceedings indicated that these basic facts were grasped. We can't imagine, for instance, the Head of Health and Human Services being repeatedly thanked and praised for their service. We can't imagine the agency head being told repeatedly how much respect there is for the agency.
Like that agency, the military is in the employment of the United States. Elected Democrats refuse to make that point. Instead they glorify and build up repeatedly only to be defeated in the spin wars and then whine, "How did this happen?" It happened because they forgot they were not elected to the posts of Groupies to the US Military. They were elected to represent the people. Representation means heeding the will of the people. When they instead prostate themselves before a section of a branch of government that they are supposed to practice oversight over, they've stripped themselves of their own power. It's really sad that it was John McLaughlin (on PBS' The McLaughlin Group) who semi-jokingly raised the issue of whether what took place last week (with the will of the people being ignored) was a silent coup? But such is the state of TV today.

that perfectly describes what dems in the senate again did today. they wasted america's time to again spit polish the military with their tongues. somehow, according to dems in the senate (boxer's motion included this), the military is above criticism. screw you, barbara boxer and your spineless dems too.

i noticed c.i. ignored the whole thing and continued writing strong without a care throughout the day. that's because we have free speech in this country and you use it or you lose it.

the democrats in the senate are cowards. i was glad to see hillary had the spine to vote 'no' against the condemnation of walkon.org. i'm no hillary fan. but i will give her credit for that.

but where was the leadership on the prisoners in guantanamo? no where. 1 more thing the dems can't do because they won't do it. they sell out the whole world, day after damn day.

i was e-mailed a thing by a visitor. an article that talked about the palestinians and i was going to note it but i read through it all and screw it. if you're praising that hideous documentary by the war monger, you're not getting noted here. then i started thinking about it and wondering whether or not i should even note c.i.a. people to begin with? did they leave and call for that hideous agency to be abolished? no? then why should i note them?

1 thing i can note is that carolyn baker has a really strong review up. this is from her 'The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now' (information clearing house):

In April, 2007 I was pleasantly surprised to find Naomi Wolf's article, "Fascist America, In 10 Easy Steps" posted in several places online. I have been a fan of Wolf for many years, greatly appreciating her works and especially her 1991 book, The Beauty Myth. I had been looking for a list-or more specifically, an encyclopedia of the losses of civil liberties in the United States that might clarify for my history students the extent to which America has become a fascist empire. Wolf's "10 Easy Steps" was perfect, but her just-published book, The End Of America: Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot, from which the 10 easy steps was compiled, offers an even fuller picture-a succinct and engaging explanation of how our civil liberties have been hijacked in the past decade. It is the most poignant, powerful, genuinely patriotic piece of literature I have encountered since Thomas Paine's Common Sense. No wonder then, that the book's cover greatly resembles that 46-page tract by Paine written in 1775-as well it should.
One of the most frightening realities of teaching college history is that most students rarely have a clue what fascism is. They know about Hitler and the extermination of Jews, but they see little connection with Nazi rule in the 1930s and 40s and the current political milieu in the United States. Overwhelmingly, they cannot define fascism, nor can they define socialism or democracy. After all, they were pre-occupied during grammar school with becoming standardized human beings by way of taking standardized "No Child's Behind Left" tests, five hours a day, four days a week. So why would they know the definitions of fascism, socialism or democracy?
Refreshingly, Wolf is not shy about using the term fascism and lets the reader know why. "I have made a deliberate choice in using the terms fascist tactics and fascist shift when I describe some events in America now. I stand by my choice. I am not being heated or even rhetorical; I am being technical." (20) She explains that where Americans tend to see the various political "isms" as all-or-nothing, that perception is often inaccurate because of what she calls a "range of authoritarian regimes, dictatorships, and varieties of Fascist states...there are many shades of gray on the spectrum from an open to a closed society." (20)
Wolf also emphasizes that America has flirted with fascism openly in the 1930s when numerous corporations and robber barons helped finance Hitler and when as Edwin Black notes in
IBM And The Holocaust, some American corporations assisted the Nazi regime in carrying out its "final solution" to the "Jewish problem." In fact, several of these corporate tycoons attempted to stage a coup d' etat to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 and restructure the American government under fascist control. A thorough investigation of American politics and society from the end of the Civil War until the present moment reveals, as I have carefully traced in my book U.S. History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You, that much of recent American history is replete with a preference on the part of corporations and the politicians they own for an economic and political system on the far right end of the spectrum. In fact, resistance to fascism in the United States has been an arduous and daunting struggle for those who have been able to understand and oppose the appeal that fascism has to the corporatocracy, and in fact, take seriously Mussolini's fundamental definition of fascism: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

i enjoyed the book as well. like baker, i've been less on board with some of wolf's suggestions/recommendations but i strongly recommend the book. let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, September 20, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Blackwater is still hot water, cholera comes to Baghdad, the Iraq Moratorium starts Friday, and more.

Starting with war resistance. Last week,
Carol Mulligan (The Sudbury Star) reported on the Sudbury chapter of War Resisters Support Campaign to find lodging for an expected arrival -- a family of four. The Canadian community pulled together and went to work. Today Carol Mulligan (The Sudbury Star) reports that, "The soldier planning to come to Canada with his family to avoid deployment to combat in Iraq has been transferred to a non-combat role" after being granted CO status and will not moving to Canada and that Lee Zaslofsky (national co-ordinator of War Resisters Support Campaign) congratulated the community on their strong work and to "assure you that, with the current volume of inquiries from potential war resisters in the U.S., there will likely be war resisters in Sudbury very soon" with 2 war resisters having "arrived unexpectedly in Ottawa" as well as the London chapter having a family arrive "last weekend and another settled in the Niagara region."

Last week,
Anthony Lane (Colorado Springs Indy) reported on Brad McCall, 20 years old, army private, who made the decision to self-checkout of the US military. Lane explained, "Soldiers tell him details of fighting in Iraq meant to make his pacifist blood boil. Soldiers who've been and returned say he'll see the bodies of dead little girls, if and when his unit is deployed. They goad him with stories of a soldier they say peeled charred flesh from an Iraqi civilian's corpse and ate it." McCall considered applying for CO status but didn't think the chances were likely of his being granted that status. So, while Lane was working on the report, McCall self-checked out and, "He'll join hundreds of other U.S. soldiers in Canada. He'll go to college, in the States, if he can get discharged. If not, maybe in Canada. . . . Army officials notified McCall's family on Tuesday that he had disappeared. Charlotte McCall, his mother, says she's saddened and worried." While she expects that he will change his mind, Lane reports "McCall contends that staying in the Army could only lead to bad things, particularly if he is deployed. The fighting in Iraq has put soldiers in nerve-wracking situations where some have fired their weapons only to realize they killed civilians, he says. 'How would I live [with] myself,' he asks, 'knowing I killed an innocent person fighting in a war I didn't believe in?'"

Already in Canada, war resister Patrick Hart is attempting to be granted refugee status. His band will be playing in Winnipeg Sunday.
David Schmeichel (Winnipeg Sun) notes, "Yes, the Refuse & Resist tour lineup is jam-packed with punks who oppose the war in Iraq. But before you dismiss 'em as snotty agitators, know that Skull Device guitarist Pat Hart is something of an expert on the topic. Hart served 9 years with the U.S. military before going AWOL and fleeing to Canada, and now faces up to 30 years in prison if our government denies his bid for refugee status. He's got the support of tourmates Nikki's Trick and My Shaky Jane, (plus local recruits C-Punisher and Saxton)." Patrick Hart went to Canada at the end of August 2005 and was followed a few weeks later by Jill Hart and their son Rian.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Derek Hess, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko,Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

McCall tells Lane that he doubts the US military will even look for him. If that has to do with his own record in the military, he may be right. But the reality is that the US military does attempt to track down members who check out. In news on some recent AWOLs . . .
Brad Zinn (Virginia's The News Leader) reports Denise A. Jones checked out, turned herself in and was arrested (she's 42-years-old and now at the Fort Knox Deserter Control Point). Russ Rizzo (The Salt Lake Tribune) reports Austin Lee Sommers developed pink, bronchitis, pneumonia and cellulitis while in basic training (marines) and checked out and stay with an aunt when the Orem police -- tipped off by the military and, his aunt believes, Austin's brother -- showed up to arrest him. Meanwhile in Maryland another AWOL soldier has been shot. Rocco Vertuccio (R News) reports Aberdeen was the location where 22-year-old Evan Parker of Rochester, NY was shot after he was picked up at a motel in the Aberdeen area and then returned to base (Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland) on Sunday only to go AWOL again and return to the same motel: "As an officer approached Parker, they say Parker displayed a gun. Police told Parker to drop the gun. They say instead, he waved it at the officer. The officer then fired several shots, hitting Parker in the abdomen, the leg, and upper chest. . . . Parker is now in stable condition at the University of Maryland Shock and Trauma Center. Aberdeen Police say, while Parker was being taken to the hospital, he told them and the medical personnel, he wanted police to shoot him."

This week on
The Progressive Radio Show, Matthew Rothschild interviews Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan about the illegal war, the Democrats and the Republicans and why she is running for Congress from the eighth district in California.

Matthew Rothschild: Cindy, what does it mean when two-thirds of the public is against the war and yet the war and surge goes on?

Cindy Sheehan: I think it means that what our country was founded on, which was being a representative republic, has transformed into a country or government by -- instead of by and for the people -- by and for the corporations, the special interests. I think that both parties -- the people in both parties are very similar in their ideologies, they're very similar in the people who pull their strings, the people who fund their campaigns and so I think that our government and, you know, with most of the people's consent by their silence, we're sliding into a form of fascism and I think that that is, it's corporate, you know Benito Mussolini famously said, it's when corporations and government -- it's the merger of those two interests and I think that's what we have right now.

Matthew Rothschild: How do we stop that slide? How do we reverse that slide?

Cindy Sheehan: I think we have to take back our government. I think we have to take back our representative republic. On July 23rd, I went with Ray McGovern and Rev. Lennox Yearwood to meet with John Conyers about impeachment. We took a petition with over a million signatures. We had three hundred people lining the halls by his office on Capitol Hill and, while we were there, there was a call every thirty seconds demanding impeachment and John Conyers said, "I can't do it." And I said, "So what you're telling me is that we the people have no voice in our government, we have no recourse." He said, "Yes, you do in the ballot boxes." But the candidates we vote for are the ones that the elite, the corporate elite pick for us and the media picks for us and they don't do what the people want them to do what kind of representative republic . . . do we have. So I think that we have to challenge this two-party system which really is just one party basically. People have to challenge their congress people like I'm challenging Nancy Pelosi. And I think that challenging her as an independent, unaffiliated with any party, that you can truly look at the human and not the politics -- you know, what would be right for me politically or what would make me more money -- but look at a human being and say, "What would be best for humanity? What would be best for our country?" And not what's best for myself and my own interests or the people who owns me interest. So I think that by challenging her I'm not just challenging Pelosi, I'm challenging the system and I'm challenging the military industrial complex that I think controls our system.

Matthew Rothschild: Cindy Sheehan, why do you think John Conyers told you that he couldn't do it? Because the time before in Congress, when the Democrats weren't in control, he did introduce a bill to explore grounds of impeachment.

Cindy Sheehan: This is just so puzzling to so many people -- especially people who have been impeachment-anti-war activists. A lot of people in the movement don't link impeachment with peace but there's many of us who do because first of all there's the thing of accountability. Second of all, George Bush has said the troops aren't coming home while he's president. And you know if Nixon had been held accountable for the, you know, for the prosecuting of Vietnam and for the illegal bombings of Laos and Cambodia I think it would reign in future presidents. But John Conyers wrote a book called The Constitution in Crisis and he laid out, he and his staff laid out, the crimes and the charges against George Bush. And in my many meetings with him since they've become in the majority, I've said, "You know, Congressman, what happened, all the sudden are they like innocent of these crimes? You know you have to put them to trial, you have to give them a hearing." And there's been a lot of speculation that Nancy Pelosi, and we know she did because before they were even elected she said election was off the table. And we think that Nancy Pelosi is reigning-reigning his hand in. And you know he keeps saying 'I don't have the votes, I don't have the votes". Well you're not going to have the votes if you don't put the resolution for impeachment out there and we think it's a Constitutional duty, we thank it's mandatory and he thinks he has discretion. And one thing he told me that broke my heart because I really have admired him -- even before I knew him, you know, even before my son was killed -- I admired him. And he told us that it's more important for him to have a Democratic president than to end the war. So what the democratic leadership are doing are playing politics with our flesh and blood and the people of Iraq and our soldiers are being put in the middle of this political struggle. And I think it's inherently immoral.

Matthew Rothschild: I mean that -- when I'm most cynical I think the Democrats want the war to go on because it will help them.

Staying on the topic of peace and truth telling,
Amanda Grosgebauer, Karin Scott and Kathleen Kreuger at Texas A&M refused to let a War Hawk columnist go unchallenged as he spewed hate and attacks and called him out as the pig he was. Good for them. Maybe he'll think twice before he tries to distor the work of Iraq Veterans Against the War? And a time when so many women paid to pen their opinions elect to be silent on the topic of the illegal war, the three college students show far more strength and passion that most 'professionals'. The "women of tomorrow" are already here and Kathleen Kreuger, Karin Scott and Amanda Grosgebauer make that very clear. Another strong woman is IVAW's Kelly Dougherty. Paul Pryse and Chris Chable (The Badger Herald) explain how Dougherty's story intersects with corporate profits: "When Kelly Dougherty was deployed to Iraq in 2003, her unit was assigned to escort truck convoys, usually from Kellogg Brown and Root Inc., then a subsidary of the Halliburton Company. Dougherty remembers one incident when her unit was guarding a broken-down truck containing produce and a crowd of destitute Iraqis assembled and begged for food. After Hallibruton told them to destroy the truck, Dougherty and other soldiers asked if they could distribute the food first, but were refused because it would be 'too hectic.' 'We sat there and burned produce in front of people struggling to get by, living not only under an occupation, but without jobs, without healthcare,' Dougherty said. To most people, this is wanton cruelty. However, under Halliburton's 'cost-plus' contract, they made a profit by charging the costs of that truck, the produce, plus an extra percentage to taxpayers." Which is why students at University of Wisconsin-Madison were protesting today as Halliburton showed up on campus for a job fair. Ryan J. Foley (AP) reports Chris Dols leading the hundreds of students in singing "From high to low, Halliburton got to go" and Foley observes, "The event is drawing parallels to a 1967 protest against recruiters for Dow Chemical Co., which made napalm used in Vietnam. A peaceful sit-in that ended in a bloody confrontation between students and club-wielding police officers galvanized the anti-war movement." Anita Weier (The Capital Times) notes the ingenuity of the students in the following: "They were allowed to enter the career fair but were told not to chant, so they sang. They were told to use conversational tones, but they did so with a bullhorn."

They aren't the only ones standing up.
Alive in Baghdad offers their latest video report and this one is on the Al Hurriya section of Baghdad which was once a mixed neighborhood but has become pure Shi'ite and was the scene for Nabeel Kamal's report of a protest following the murder of Jawad Kadhim Al Sultani which called for all US forces to "leave our safe district and be replaced with Iraqi Forces". Who led the protest? Women. Carrying banners and accompanied by small children, they changed We defend our country and we're call terrorists, No, no to America! No, no to America! Maliki government, how long will you be silent?"

Turning to the topic of Blackwater.
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes today, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is promising to hold the private military firm Blackwater USA accountable for its deadly attack on Iraqis last weekend in Baghdad. Maliki's pledge comes as the estimated death toll from the shooting continues to rise. Iraqi officials now say as many twenty-eight Iraqis were killed when Blackwater guards opened fire. The initial estimate was of nine dead. On Wednesday, Maliki said Iraq would not allow the killing of Iraqis 'in cold blood.' He also called on the Bush administration to cut ties with Blackwater. The shooting has put new scrutiny on the free reign companies like Blackwater enjoy in Iraq. The State Department says its formed a joint committee with Iraqi officials to suggest ways to improve regulation of private military firms." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that Nouri al-Maliki declared yesterday that the mercenaries of Blackwater "have been involved in at least seven serious incidents" already and Mohammed al Askari (spokesperson for the Defense Ministry) declares "one of the incidents was former Iraqi Electricity Minister Ahyam al Samarrai's escape from a Green Zone jail in December. Samarrai had been awaiting sentencing on charges that he had embezzled $2.5 billion that was intended to rebuild Iraq's decrepit electricity grid. Another incident, Askari said, was the shooting death last month of a Baghdad taxi driver when Blackwater guards led a convoy the wrong way down a street." Steve Fainaru (Washington Post) informs that "the State Department's oversight of Blackwater became a central issue as Iraqi authorities repeatedly clashed with the company over its aggressive street tactics. Many U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry representatives said they came to see Blackwater as untouchable, protected by State Department officials who defended the company at every turn. Blackwater employees protect the U.S. ambassador and other diplomats in Iraq. Blackwater 'has a client who will support them no matter what they do,' said H.C. Lawrence Smith, deputy director of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, an advocacy organization in Baghdad that is funded by security firms, including Blackwater." Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) reports, "Two American diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity have told The Times that the State Department had failed to take Blackwater to task in past cases in which Iraqi civilians were shot. The diplomats complained that the State Department's security office in Baghdad had often failed to scrutinize Blackwater's actions."

Let's get the alleged 'progress' out of the way before we go further. This morning
Paul Tait (Reuters) reported that serial liar Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno is again claiming violence is a-dropping. He's got nothing to back it up, just his oft disproven claims. But it sure does eat a lot of press time (which is always the point of a wave of Operation Happy Talk). Meanwhile, no one knows anything about an arrest of an alleged Iraian for alleged smuggling but that eats up even more time. Maybe they'll distract from the looming 3800 mark for the number of US service members killed in the illegal Iraq War? Or maybe from AP's report on the 'handover': "In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least July. The delay, noted in a Pentagon report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq, highlights the difficulties in developing Iraqi police forces and the slow pace of economic and political progress in some areas. It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as 'Provincial Iraqi Control' has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays." Or maybe it will distract from the cholera outbreak in northern Iraq that, bad sign, has now moved to Baghdad according to the World Health Organization.

In other violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing claimed 1 life (police officer) and left three more people wounded, another Baghdad bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left a second injured, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 3 lives and left eleven others injured and 2 Falluja roadside bombings claimed 2 lives (police officers) and left four more wounded. Reuters reports a mortar attack in Madaen claimed 2 lives (ten more were injured).


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Sheikh Khalid Salim Faris al-Bayati was shot dead in Tuz Khurmato today while Lt. Col. Mejeed Shnan "was shot in the shoulder and is being treated in hospital" after surviving an attack. Reuters notes that "radio presenter" Muhannad Ghanim was shot dead in Mosul that Judge Mustafa Kadhim was shot dead in Baghdad, and a person was shot dead in Hawija


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 7 corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes that 3 corpses ("including a woman and her daughter") were discovered in Mosul.

Today the
US military announced: "A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Force-West died Sept. 19 in a non-combat-related incident in Al Anbar Province."
corporate media picks for us and the elite and they don't do what the people

In yet
another sign of how the US Veterans Affairs Dept continues to fails service members, Reuters reports Fort Riley's cemetary "has run out of space" and that US Senators Pat Robers and Sam Brownback are "urging . . . full funding for a new cementary for Fort Riley" -- that two US Senators (they are Republicans) have to urge the Veterans Affairs Dept to do their job is only one example of how mismanaged the department has been under the Bully Boy.

WBAI today, The Largest Minority Radio Show devoted a segment to remembering Dave Cline. In addition, yesterday's note on David Zeiger's piece didn't include the link to the website. First, language warning before clicking to get the essay, second, the site is Sir! No Sir! -- site of the amazing documentary. You can also Zeiger's piece and others (including one by Cindy Sheehan) at Veterans for Peace's memorial online.

Finally remember this:
United for Peace & Justice (along with others) will begin Iraq Moratorium on September 21st and follow it every third Friday of the month as people across the country are encouraged to wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands, purchase no gas on those Fridays, conduct vigils, pickets, teach-ins and rallies, etc. The Moratorium starts tomorrow.


david zeiger, cindy sheehan, bill richardson

okay, first off, sir! no sir! is the website for the documentary by david zeiger. c.i. will note that again in tomorrow's snapshot to put the link in the snapshot. i'm assuming that david zeiger's 'Farewell Dave Cline' is okay to note in full (i have to edit 1 word because this site's already blocked on some high school campuses - just for my site's title!) but otherwise, this is cline as david zeiger remembers him:

I am very sad to have to report the news that Dave Cline died this past weekend.
There are many wonderful tributes to Dave being written (
http://www.democracyinaction.com/dia/track.jsp?key=122601195&url_num=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.veteransforpeace.org%2F), and I would like to add some personal reflections on the part of his life with which I was deeply connected-the GI Movement against the Vietnam War. I hope you will indulge some nostalgic reminiscing here-there really is a point to it.
Let me say up front that without Dave Cline, Sir! No Sir! would not have been made.
I met Dave in the Spring of 1970, when I joined the staff of the Oleo Strut Coffeehouse outside Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas. My introduction to him and the GI Movement was riding in a broken down Chevy with Dave driving 120 mph through central Texas and me convinced I would never get out of there alive. I'm not sure anything defines Dave Cline better than that wild ride.
Dave and I were from different worlds. I was a middle class kid who came to my opposition to the war and growing radicalism intellectually. Dave, a working class kid from Buffalo, had joined the army and been wounded three times in Vietnam. It was his last wound, from an NLF soldier at point blank range, that changed everything. The soldier shattered Dave's knee, and Dave killed him with a bullet in the chest. His first realization was it was "pure luck" that he was alive and the other guy was dead. Then it hit him that there was no real difference between the two of them. Finally, the epiphany: It was the NLF soldier who was fighting for a just cause, while Dave and his comrades were fighting for a lie. In typical Dave Cline fashion he concluded in 1970, "I had to kill a revolutionary to become a revolutionary."
And revolutionaries we were. Right there in Killeen f**king Texas. In 1971-with literally thousands of GIs rebelling against the war and joining groups like the Black Panther Party-planning demonstrations by day and hotly debating the writings of Marx, Lenin and Mao by night was a very practical thing to do. And boy could Dave debate. Even in his sleep. It wasn't uncommon for him to jolt up from his bed at 2 am to continue a discussion from earlier that day, only to have no memory of it the next morning (Dave claimed he had even slept through a mortar attack in Vietnam).
And it was in that cauldron that we grew up. We were part of an unprecedented political upheaval, and we were alive in a way that is very rare-even though we could barely afford to eat two skimpy meals a day. Terry Davis, Dave's wife at the time, reminded me recently that one of her happiest moments was when Mark Lane donated a sack of potatoes to the staff.
Dave was intense, determined, and maddeningly stubborn. In 1970, the last thing a GI wanted to do after getting out of the army was live in a military town-even if he had been active in the movement. But here was Dave, during high points and low (which were most of the time), refusing to let go or give up. His connection with the GIs, whether they agreed with us or not, was deep and seamless-and it made the Oleo Strut something special. I can't begin to quantify what I learned from Dave those two years.
Then the war ended, and we all moved into other arenas, believing deeply in the possibility of revolution right here in the United States. For a while we stayed close, but through the years political disagreements developed, and in those heady times that meant a lot. By the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s we weren't in contact any more. Those were very difficult times. In one of the last conversations I had with Dave back then he told me that every morning he woke up thinking "Oh f**k, another day!"
So when I started to make Sir! No Sir! Dave was the first person I wanted to talk to, but I had no idea what or whom I would find. What I found was the person so many have been writing about these last few days. Wracked by illness, he was extraordinarily energetic and eager to tell his story. The day of our interview, he had just come home from a grueling three-day VFP convention and was worried he wouldn't have much energy. We talked for four hours.
And here's the most important part. After decades of both political and personal conflicts, there are still some out there who would say "Don't talk to so-and-so, 'cause he's a yada-yada." Not only would Dave have none of that, he actively spoke against it. Dave knew the tremendous importance of telling the story of the GI Movement today, in this world and with this war. Because of him, several people are in the film alongside others they wouldn't have been in the same room with a few years ago. And he carried that spirit into the dozens of screenings and Q&As he participated in these past couple of years. He has played a tremendous role in making Sir! No Sir! the spark for today's GI Movement that it has been. And that's on top of his superhuman energy in building the work of Veterans for Peace.
In these last years of his life, I don't think Dave was saying "Oh f**k, another day!" anymore.
This has been a tough year. Along with Dave, two other veterans of the GI Movement who were integral parts of the film have also died-Oliver Hirsch of the Nine for Peace, and Terry Whitmore, who deserted to Sweden after watching federal troops invade his home town of Memphis as he lay wounded in a hospital bed in Japan. Along with Dave, their lives had deep historic meaning.
For more about Dave, and information on funeral and memorial plans, please go to
David Zeiger

it's sad when any of us have to lose a friend or family member. some 1 who knows more about that than she or any 1 else should have to is cindy sheehan. she's got another amazing column and this is from 'At What Price, Safety?' (information clearing house):

One of the more morally reprehensible notes from the supporters of death I receive is the one that goes something like this: "I am for peace, too, but not at the expense of my family." These people are saying that it is okay to ruin my family and thousands of other families in the US who have been torn apart like the bodies of our loved ones to keep other families "safe." I have news for these people, as bad as the sacrifices have been for some families in America, the people of Iraq have suffered far more for the deceptions and greed of BushCo. Think about this: America killed over a million Iraqis between Gulf I and this current occupation, and that did not keep my family safe, or the families of the people killed in 9-11. How can one sleep at night thinking that her family is safe when so many people are devastated by the policies that she thinks is keeping her family safe? Never mind the National Intelligence Estimates that have rightly showed that our transgressions in Iraq and such inhumane prison camps as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are increasing Islamic extremism.
What makes Mrs. Safety think that the Iraqi babies are less precious than her babies? Does the geographic accident of her baby's births give them more right to be safe than the Iraqi babies? Maybe Mrs. Safety thinks that her babies deserve more protection because they are white and Christian? Or just maybe because they are hers?
I spent 24 years of my children’s lives thinking that I was doing everything I could to protect them. I guarded the boundaries of my family like a Doberman. I didn't let anything bad in those boundaries to hurt my children until 2000 when an Army recruiter broke through my defenses to lie like a son of a b**ch to my son who would ultimately be killed so Mrs. Safety's babies could have the illusion and delusion of safety. Casey and my family paid a dear price for my thinking that my babies and my boundaries are the only ones that were precious and worth protecting. It will only be when we realize that all human life if precious and worthy of protection and know that all of the world's children belong to all of us that war will stop being used as a tool in Satan’s tool-box of greed and destruction.
Many Muslims and American soldiers have told me that I may have lost a son, but I have gained millions of sons and daughters in my work for global peace and understanding.
They are all our sons and daughters as Casey was your son.
We have to stop giving our leaders free-passes to kill our children, anywhere and everywhere.

we certainly do. it's a real shame congress still hasn't woken up to that reality. they haven't had enough pressure yet. they really do think they can pat us on our little heads and tell us 'patience' and we'll keep voting them back into office.

that's not reality.

and that's not any job i've ever known of. if i screwed up a campaign, my ass got canned. i remembered that the 1st time i had to fire some 1. i made it clear, this was about the job performance.

i didn't let the man i was firing take it to a personal level. i had hired him because my agency needed more help. good help. not bad help. when he had his 3rd big screw up, that was it. it didn't matter that he was a nice person. it didn't matter what he did outside of work. what mattered was did he do the job or not?

he wasn't doing the job.

i had to fire him.

but congress seems to think that they are so entitled to their jobs that whether or not they do their jobs, we have to keep hiring them.

we don't. we can fire them. members of the house of representatives are only 'hired' for 2 years. then it's up to us to decide whether or not we want to keep them in our employment.

i'm not seeing many worth 'rehiring'. i'm seeing a lot of people who should be kicked out on their asses. they have not done their job.

many haven't even tried.

they've caved without even fighting.

let's say you hired some 1 to walk your dog. ever monday through friday they were supposed to walk your dog at 8:00 a.m. now some days they didn't show up and some days they were late. and some days they showed up on time but didn't do their job.

would you want to keep them on?

only if you enjoyed frustration and punishing yourself.

they need to get the message that no 1's happy with them and that more con games where they try to put 1 over on us are not going to bring in the votes in november 2008.

this is from usa today:

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson said today that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq has contributed to the sectarian violence there rather than bringing stability to the war-torn nation, the Associated Press writes.
"There's no question there's tribal and ethnic hatreds," Richardson told the AP during an interview. "But when those tribal and ethnic hatreds are fueled by (an) American policy of hostility, then you make the situation worse."
The AP's Nedra Pickler adds that "during an hour-long interview with its editors and reporters, the New Mexico governor argued that all combat and non-combat troops should be removed from Iraq because their presence is only contributing to violence.
" 'It's not a guarantee of success, my plan, but at least it's stability,' Richardson said. 'American foreign policy is being bled dry by the invasion of Iraq,' he said."

there is no reason every candidate running for president can't call for an end (NOW!) to the illegal war. regardless of their party, there is no reason they can't. the american people want the illegal war over and ended. the fact that some won't demonstrates that we haven't been loud enough in our demands on them. we are their bosses.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, when the 3800 marker is reached (3800 US service members killed in the illegal war) will anyone know, bad news keeps on coming for the mercenary company Blackwater, Newsweek (which once invented a 'marriage crisis' for women in the 80s) turns their creative 'minds' to young Iraqi women, the US military brags of the 11-year-old children they hold in Iraq prisons, and more.

Starting with war resistance, today on
KPFK's Morning Review with Gabriel Gutierrez, Gutierrez spoke with two members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, war resister Agustin Aguayo and Maricela Guzman (also with the Service Women Action Network) about their experiences speaking with students about the Iraq War.

Maricela Guzman: For me, when I go to schools, I definitely talk about my perspective in the service. I think it's really important to go to that route. And I do tell them about my experience specifically as a woman veteran. I do tell them that I was assaulted in the service, sexually assaulted when I was in boot camp. And I think it's really important for them to know this and it's been very difficult for me to tell my story over and over but it's really important for them to know this because I want them to understand that there are risks when you join such an organization like this. So it's very critical. And for me, what I've found, I've gotten really good feedback from the kids and I've had, you know I've talked about suicide, my suicide attempt. And I've had kids -- I've talked about seeing a psychologist and it's a big taboo when you go to these communities and this is something we don't talk about -- I'm Chicana and it's something definitely my family would never talk about. For me, talking to these kids afterwards, them coming up and telling me, "This is what happened to me. I was assaulted" or "I've tried suicide." I think, for me, that's very critical. And we're including these organic conversations when we're going to these schools -- even besides military.

Gutierrez asked Aguayo what helped him "make the determination" not to return to Iraq?

Agustin Aguayo: To me, honestly, it wasn't a hard decision once I decided that I could never go back. Basically because I experienced a moral awakening and I was forced to realize who I was. And I had to accept that I could deny myself and cause all this violence against myself or I could stand up and say, "No, I believe this is wrong and I'm willing to accept any consequences." And in the end I think it gave me a . . . feeling of great freedom. So that is . . . a personal moral determination to do what I felt was right is what helped me the most.

Gabriel Gutierrez: And your wife Helga and your two daughters have been involved in the campaign to bring awareness to your case but also in its aftermath once you've now returned. What type of work has that led to with regard to awareness and with regard to work with young people specifically?

Agustin Aguayo: Yes, I've had the privilege of speaking supporting groups that have helped other war resisters, the growing number of them. And now I'm in the position to share with them what I've been through and they, of course, these resisters that are in this path, this crossroads: "What am I going to do?" I've had the privilege of sharing my experience with them and inspiring them. And one of the happiest things I'm pleased with is the
Arlington West Film and speakers program and I think in the peace work nothing is really more important than educating our young because our future really depends on how we take care of our young today and educating them. So going into inner city schools is just so important. And veterans sometimes, we're hesitant. And sometimes we really want to forget everything we've been through, everything we've experienced, our military experience, but I think we owe it to our young people. They need to know what's going on, what we experienced.

Gutierrez asked what the reaction was from students, teachers and recruiters when they speak in schools?

Maricela Guzman: Well for me, it's definitely been very difficult. I know I've been on panels -- it was this year sometime, we went to Fairfax -- and Agustin was in jail at that time and we had a panel, we had recruiters veterans that were for the war and we had Helga and we really got a good reception. It was very interesting because we weren't sure what was going to happen. And really what it came down to was that it was the kids who were asking the hard questions. So it was empowering these kids to ask the questions that needed to be asked. And the most important thing was that they heard from family members. You know, we have a lot of family members . . . who talk to these kids. We don't tell them don't be against the war. We talk about our experiences. We're storytellers we tell them of what we've gone through and I think that's why it's been such a successful program. We've become a family, we've definitely become a family, the people that do this work, the Aguayos are a family to me.

Agustin Aguayo: I think the community, administrators, are very receptive because of our tact and like Maricela said the way we share our stories Basically that's what we do. And I think our stories are so powerful in themselves even people that are for the war which I mean at this point, even people who don't want us to go out they really can't say much because all we are doing is sharing stories and nothing is more powerful than the truth.

As pointed out
Arlington West Film is "doing the work that the mainstream media is not doing". Friday, September 28th, there will be a benefit performance of the musical Hair at 8:00 pm at the MET Theater, 1089 No. Oxford Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90029 with Aguayo and Cindy Sheehan among the speakers.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Derek Hess, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko,Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

In other peace news,
United for Peace & Justice states they are using the Just Foreign Policy count for Iraqis who have died in the illegal war. The report on the state of Iraq has been updated to note the Iraqi dead during the illegal war is over a million. United for Peace & Justice (along with others) will begin Iraq Moratorium on September 21st and follow it every third Friday of the month as people across the country are encouraged to wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands, purchase no gas on those Fridays, conduct vigils, pickets, teach-ins and rallies, etc. That's this Friday. On Sunday, Christine Anne Piesyk (Tennessee's Clarksville Online) provided a list of some actions that will take place:.

Each of these individuals and groups -- a list too long to print here -- have something in common: each have signed up to support the Iraq Moratorium, which will make its debut as a national movement on Friday, September 21. Wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands Buy no gas on moratorium days Pressure politicians and media Hold vigils, pickets, rallies and teach-ins Hold special religious services Coordinate events in art, music and culture Host film screenings, talks and educational events Organize student actions: teach-ins, school closings Iraq Moratorium is designed to take the issue to the people, and no event or action is to small to be of merit in opposing the Iraq war.

Turning to the topic of Blackwater USA, the mercenaries that got into Iraq due to crony connections and whom Paul Bremer made above the law during his reign of King of Iraq before fleeing the country.
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes today, "The private military contractor Blackwater is now believed to have killed twenty Iraqi civilians in a mass-shooting Sunday in Baghdad. The Iraqi government revoked Blackwater's license amidst reports nine civilians were killed when Blackwater guards opened fire. Blackwater says it responded after coming under attack from a roadside bomb. But in its initial report on the shooting, Iraq's Interior Ministry says the guards shot at a small vehicle that failed to make way for Blackwater's convoy to pass. An Iraqi couple and their infant were killed in the attack. The New York Times reports video footage of the shooting shows the child burned to the mother's body after their car caught fire. Blackwater guards and helicopters are then believed to have fired indiscriminately." In the New York Times, Sabrina Tavernise and James Glanz reported this morning that the Ministry of Interior's preliminary report on the incidnet found "that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed, as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman's call to stop, killing a couple and their infant." Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) addresses the issue of stopping and the police officer via . . . interviews (take note NYT): "Traffic police officer Sarhan Dhia, 34, said he was standing under the Iraqi flags next to his white guard shack along the traffic circle when he saw the convoy of at least four armored vehicles approch, traveling against the flow of traffic. He said he jumped out into an intersecting street to prevent cars from entering the circle while the convoy passed. The next thing he knew, he said, gunfire erupted." Sarhan Dhia says there was no bombing. Blackwater originally claimed that their mercenaries were 'returning fire' after they had been shot at. They then declared that their indiscriminate spraying of a civilian area with bullets was their way of responding to car bombing. Their stories -- like the civilian area they shot up -- is riddled with holes. Leila Fadel and Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) also operate under the belief that reporting requires speaking to eye witnesses and they speak with Hassan Jaber Salma and Sami Hawas Karim (an attorney and a taxi driver respectively) who both -- as does every other eye witnesses quoted in press accounts -- maintain that Blackwater "opened fire without provocation" and the reporters note the ever changing story by Blackwater. Interior Ministry spokesperson Ali al Dabbagh tells McClatchy Newspapers that, "No country in the world would allow the way they [Blackwater] are operating in Iraq." Multiple outlets (including McClatchy and the New York Times) report that Blackwater helicopters also fired on civilians in the Sunday slaughter. CBS and AP cite eye witness Suhad Mizra who stepped outside of her hair salon ("about 250 meters" from the incident) and remebers, "The sounds attracted my attention so I went outside the shop to see a convoy of SUVs with security guards shooting randomly at the people at low level. We were surprised by this and we rushed inside our shops to avoid random bullets. Apparently, the guards wanted to make their way through the traffic jam made by Iraqi army checkpoint. There was no provocation and the guards were using their ammunition to move quicker in the street. Minutes later, the ambulances arrived to up the wounded and dead." Reality is that this has long been the procedure: to ram through Iraq so that the "high levels" didn't have to wait. An important question the press should be asking is: Who was Blackwater transporting? Among the many times this has happened before, Anne Garrels (All Things Considered, NPR) reports on one: "NPR witnessed a similar scenario two years ago. A State Department convoy, protected by Blackwater, raced out of a compound. Guards immediately shot at the car killing an old man, his son and his daughter-in-law. Blackwater said the car was driving erratically. A U.S. military investigation concluded Blackwater had used excessive force. No one was prosecuted.

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) informs, "Blackwater is now being accused of another fatal shooting of an Iraqi civilian. An Iraqi engineer living in Britain has revealed Blackwater guards shot his seventy-five year old father in the southern Iraqi town of Hilla last month. Safaa Rabee says his father had pulled over to the side of the road to let a Blackwater convoy pass. But Rabee says the last vehicle in the convoy opened fire when his father pulled back on to the road. An Iraqi police chief told Rabee he has no legal recourse to pursue his father's killers." As the US government continues to attempt damage control, many more of these stories are likely to come out.

Newsweek continues to prove it is the gutter of all news weeklies. In the 'safe' Kurdistan region of Iraq (not safe -- but Newsweek needs their fantasies), young women (teenagers) are showing up at hospitals with burns and many are dying from them (since August 10th alone, 25 young women have died) and the best guess Newsweek can offer is that it's a copy-cat trend by romantic teenage females. As with their notion of the region being 'peaceful,' their notion of women is ridiculously out of touch. Young women have been repeatedly targeted in that area, they've been kidnapped and forced into marriages, they've been persecuted for not being the right sect, go down the list. But romantic young women self-mutilating (to the death!) is the myth they toss out. .

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a roadside bombing in Kirkuk that left five wounded "(four of them are policemen while the fifth man is a civilian)".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an attack in Mosul in which 1 Iraqi soldier died, 14 unidentified people died and four Iraqi soldiers were wounded.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports eight corpses discovered in Baghdad.

CBS and AP report: "The military said five U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq Tuesday. Three died following an explosion near their patrol northeast of Baghdad. Another soldier was killed in a vehicle accident in the northern province of Ninevah. On Wednesday, the military said another soldier had been killed in an attack in southern Baghdad. The Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldier was killed by small arms fire while conducting combat operations Tuesday in a southern section of the Iraqi capital, according to a brief military statement. The soldiers' names were not released pending notification of relatives. The deaths raised to at least 3,787 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count." Maybe. (Not a slap down. We noted the string along announcements numbered five deaths this morning.) Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed during a small arms fire attack while conducting combat operations in a southern section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 18." That is in the count of five. Later today, the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier died of a non-battle related cause, Wednesday, in Sala ad Din Province." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed during combat operations in an area weat of the Iraqi captial Sep 19." Reuters count is 3786 since the start of the illegal war. ICCC's total is 3791 US service members killed in the illegal war thus far. The reason for the confusion? M-NF is supposed to announce deaths with the Defense Dept later announcing the names of the dead (after next of kin is notified). But M-NF has been slacking on the job -- it's not a tough job, they just issue press releases all day long. They've 'suceeded' in hiding the dead. And with the 3800 mark looming, let's not kid and pretend this is just an accident. M-NF has a pattern of doing this when every realities are in conflict with the spin coming out of the White House. ICCC has period details and their count includes deaths never announced by M-NF but announced by the Defense Dept when the DoD provides the names of the dead. ICCC's period details indicate that six deaths took place on Tuesday -- six deaths that have been announced.

In other number news,
Prensa Latina reports that there are 25,000 Iraqis imprisoned by the US -- up from 10,000 "a year ago." IRIN reveals that the Iraqi Lawyers Association is asking the parliament to provide the location of all prisoners currently being held and that "[l]awyers representing families of Iraqi detainees have accused the government of concealing information about detainees, including their whereabouts" quoting attorney Ayad Daraji stating, "Hundreds of Iraqis have been detained by the Iraqi police or army in the past three years and their locations and conditions are unknown. There is no evidence as to whether they are alive or not. Families aren't allowed to visit them and this raises big questions about the detainees' situation." As the numbers grow and families often have no idea that members have been imprisoned, Walter Pincuse (Washington Post) reports on a program entitled "religious entitlement" that the US military is using on the prisoners "some of whom are as young as 11" according Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone who brags that the programs will "bend them back to our will." The age should cause further alarm but the realities don't appear to even be sinking in. For instance, CBS News (or "News") Keach Hagey sees it as a topic to have some funnin' with: "But what really emerges from the article -- a summary of a conference call Stone held from Baghdad with a group of defense bloggers -- is a portrait of Stone as a formidable character who's almost as fun to quote as Donald Rumsfeld was." Hagey and others need it get it through their thick skulls that this isn't 'cute' or 'funny' or even 'new.'

Yesterday, Naomi Klein's
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism was released in the US. In it, she details "the love shack" in the Guantanamo prison used as a reward to those terrorized and broken down. There's not a damn bit of difference here except for the fact that the Iraqi prisoners are supposed to be protected by Geneva with no waiver. Though Hagey can't grasp reality staring in his face, it's not 'funny' that 11-year-olds are prisoners. It's not 'funny' that the US -- having taken these children from their families -- think they can 'break' them and rebuild them to their liking. That is what The Shock Doctrine outlines. Erasing memory, starting with a clean slate, refusal to see people as people but as pawns for the US to play with. Those who don't grasp how disgraceful this is are either playing dumb or are historically ignorant. It is not the right of the US military to snatch children from their homes and attempt to do some reprogramming of them. That is a crime and it is in violation of Geneva.

Elaine (Like Maria Said Paz) wrote about the Free Sami Al-Haj -- a journalist imprisoned in Guantanamo for over five years now and subject to the same torture and disregard for basic rights as every other prisoner in Guantanamo -- and concluded, " The real terrorism is the silence we allow ourselves to be forced into out of fear." Or out of stupidty as is the case with Keach Hagey.

In other non-progress news,
Alissa J. Rubin and James Glanz (New York Times) cover the upcoming Red Cross report on Iraqi refugees which notes the "radically reshaping" taking place in Iraq (not unlike the aims in the US prison) which indicates "partitioning the country into semiautonomous Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish enclaves would not be easy" (impossible actually because the three divisions ignore Iraq's minority populations) and note, "The migration data, which are expected to be released this week by the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization but were given in advance to The New York Times, indicate that in Baghdad alone there are now nearly 170,000 families, accounting for almost a million people, that have fled their homes in search of security, shelter, water, electricity, functioning schools or jobs to support their families. The figures show that many families move twice, three times or more, first fleeing immediate danger and then making more considered calculations based on the availability of city services or schools for their children." Peter Apps (Reuters) gets to the point quickly, "Iraq's humanitarian crisis is getting worse and more Iraqis are fleeing their homes despite the recent surge of U.S. troops, aid workers say, with donors reluctant to fund support for millions of displaced. Last week, President George W. Bush presented a relatively upbeat picture of conditions in Iraq and said forces could be cut by around 20,000 by next July. He linked the reduction to improvements on the ground particularly in Baghdad where the surge was centred and the volatile Anbar governorate." There is no improvement for Iraqis. There is, however, the US military bragging that they will "break" 11-year-old prisoners -- how proud their parents must be.
Finally, a voice for peace passed away Friday. As
Amy Goodman (DemocracyNow!) noted on Monday, Dave Cline a founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War passed away. Margaret Prescod noted the passing Tuesday on KPFK's Sojourner Truth, IVAW's Michael Hoffman offers a look back at Cline. Veterans for Peace has a memorial online and they have created a fund to cover the expenses of Cline's burial. At Sir! No Sir!, director David Zeiger writes of Cline, "Dave and I were from different worlds. I was a middle class kid who came to my opposition to the war and growing radicalism intellectually. Dave, a working class kid from Buffalo, had joined the army and had been wounded three times in Vietnam. It was his last wound, from an NLF soldier at point blank range, that changed everything. The soldier shattered Dave's knee, and Dave killed him with a bullet in the chest. His first realization was it was "pure luck" that he was alive and the other guy was dead. Then it hit him that there was no real difference between the two of them. Finally, the epiphany: It was the NLF
soldier who was fighting for a just cause, while Dave and his comrades were fighting for a lie. In typical Dave Cline fashion he concluded in 1970, 'I had to kill a revolutionary to become a revolutionary.' "