the world tribunal on iraq

i've left a message on mike's cell phone. i know at least 2 of you know mike so if you're reading this and he hasn't posted what i'm about to at his site, please tell him to call rebecca. desperately seeking mikey!

c.i. did something on our previous break while working on the third estate sunday review. ava pointed it out so we're all rushing to get the word out. from c.i.:

The World Tribunal on Iraq

In May of 2004 I interviewed a man who had just been released from Abu Ghraib. Like so many I interviewed from various US military detention facilities who’d been tortured horrifically, he still managed to maintain his sense of humor.He began laughing when telling me how CIA agents made him beat other prisoners. He laughed, he said, because he had been beaten himself prior to this, and was so tired that all he could do to beat other detained Iraqis was lift his arm and let it drop on the other men.

Later, he laughed again as he told me what else had been done to him, when he said, “The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house.”

But this testimony is not about the indomitable spirit of the Iraqi people. About the dignity and strength of Iraqis, we need no testimony. This testimony is about ongoing violations of international law being committed by the occupiers of Iraq on a daily basis in regards to rampant torture, the neglect and obstruction of the health care sector and the ongoing failure to allow Iraqis to reconstruct their infrastructure.To discuss torture, there are many stories I could use here, but I’ll use two examples indicative of scores of others I documented while in Iraq.

What does it take to get a Saturday entry out of me after I've started assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review? Something really important. Like Dahr Jamail's testimony before the World Tribunal on Iraq which we've quoted from above. It's an excerpt. Read "World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session Testimony" in full.

The New York Timid's not interested (thus far). Apparently few are. That's why you should be interested. Where there is silence on a subject, it should peek your curiosity.

The World Tribunal on Iraq doesn't appear to merit much commentary in this country (US, to clarify for our foreign community members). Is it unimportant?

You tell me.

It's apparently unimportant to the mainstream. They're still refusing to tell you about the increased bombings beginning in May of 2002. (As reported by from Michael Smith's "RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war." Also note, as Charlie pointed out, Jeremy Scahill's "The Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun." )

The World Tribunal on Iraq is going on right now. You can watch or listen online.

A number of e-mails came in on Baby Cries a Lot who got all teary eyed and spoke of his children as the reason why America needs to stay in Iraq. No, they aren't over there and, no, it didn't make any sense but does anyone expect sense from Baby Cries a Lot?

He whimpers, he whines, he tears up, he chokes up. Put him back on the shelf already because amidst all the drama, there's no functioning brain there.

Baby Cries a Lot resulted in over 800 e-mails on Friday so we'll note him here in terms of those who speak truth and those who gatekeep. Yes, he's so dumb that he's still claiming the Pottery Barn has a policy that it doesn't have. Yes, he's so wimpy he can't "fight" (or make a case) for anything without faking tears.

Baby Cries a Lot pimps his AEI friends. Baby Cries a Lot couldn't decide from one day to the next in January if he thought there was a problem in Ohio or not. Some days he did and spoke with (fake) passion, some days he resorted to calling those questioning the vote "tin foil hat conspiracy" types.

Here's a question. Why are some of you still listening to Baby Cries a Lot?

He angers you, I don't blame you. But you're not getting anything from him. So just walk on, walkon.org. Watch or listen to Democracy Now!, go to Pacifica, go to NPR, play some music. Go to Air America Place and check out the archives for The Laura Flanders Show, The Mike Malloy Show, The Majority Report, The Randi Rhodes Show, Ecotalk, So What Else Is News?, The Rachel Maddow Show, Ring of Fire and others.

Baby Cries a Lot is a nasty person, as you've noted in countless e-mails.

Baby Cries a Lot didn't serve but now wants to act as not just the troops' supporter but as the War Cheerleader.

Baby Cries a Lot has a meltdown when, for instance, Bob Somerby begins offering criticism of a policy or a politician. (And Somerby's not invited back.) Baby Cries a Lot freaks when in the midst of "IS REAGAN STILL DEAD!" coverage, Greg Palast offers a sound critique of Reagan's Latin American policies. Baby Cries a Lot rushes to cut Jeremy Glick off (though not by saying "Shut up!") when Glick attempts to speak.

Baby Cries a Lot was perfectly happy to pimp Glick's late father and to use that to settle a score with his nemisis. He just wasn't happy to let Jeremy Glick speak beyond what happened on Fox "News."

He's a whiney ass gatekeeper who's peddled sexism to get where he is. Quit listening.

There's nothing he's ever going to say that will matter.

But here's something that does matter, The World Tribunal on Iraq.

And you can hear it live, right now.

"They were telling us get out, get out, and then the roof collapsed on us. . . . They went away, the house is no longer there, I do not have a car, I have nothing. I saved my children from the rubble. . . . The ceiling collapsed on us. . . . Nobody came and asked us what we were doing. . . . Nothing was told us. They say that we can bomb anything we want to, we can interrogate anyone we want to. Now they've left us houseless. What right do they have to do this?"

You won't hear about that from Baby Cries a Lot.

He's working the clampdown, in diapers, but he's working it.

He's the court jester to the Bully Boy. You mention in your e-mails that he worked up, as he worked up those phoney tears, a defense for the Bully Boy. Well that tells you everything you need to know, now doesn't it?

He wants to be a player in his new field (there's very little left to him elsewhere which is why he entertains corporations). If you've got time, and some of you appear to have that time, to write and complain about what Baby Cries a Lot did this week, then you've got time to go online and listen or watch the testimony that's ongoing.

Mike Malloy, last night, offered that even if the Democratic Party gained a majority in the 2006 election, they wouldn't impeach the Bully Boy. He's right. That won't come from D.C. If it comes, it will have to come from outside D.C. -- pressure will have to be brought on your representatives to force the issue. And if you're willing to do that, you need to know what happened. You're not going to learn about it in the New York Timid. (Or on Baby Cries a Lot's show.) You will hear about this on Democracy Now! (and they noted it Friday and I'm sure will address it next week). But if you're online right now for whatever reason and you're at a computer with speakers or have a pair of headphones, you probably are able to listen to the Tribunal.

You can moan next week in e-mails about what Baby Cries a Lot pushed as "liberal" or "progressive" and how he yucked it up with his centrist and right-wing "pals." You can complain about how he shoots down any idea other than "stay the course." (While the "course" is killing Iraqis and the Coalition of the Coerced whose "brave" leaders, including the Bully Boy, don't seem concerned with the body count.) But if you want to do that, I want to see something in the e-mail that suggests you took the time to inform yourself. You can do that by following the Tribunal. Give it fifteen minutes. You gave Baby Cries a Lot three hours a day for five days this past week.

You're pinning your hopes on something that's not going to happen. There will be no awakening for Baby Cries a Lot until the troops are withdrawn. At that point, he'll sob and say he wanted it all along. You've all heard the inconsistencies in his day to day discussions. Because, despite the fact that he pushes himself as it, he's not a political person, you've failed to realize that he twists in the wind and always has.

Next week, Baby Cries a Lot will no doubt tear up again and give yet another "fathers & son" talk. And it will be as meaningless next week as it was this week as it was the week before as it was the week before that . . .

It has nothing to do with reality.

The Iraq World Tribunal has to do with reality. People are offering testimony. There's no Baby Cries a Lot there to rush in and stop them or to change the topic or say "We have to go to commercial" and nurse his wounded ego throughout the following segments.

This is reality and you can listen to (or watch it).

From Democracy Now! Friday:

World Tribunal on Iraq Opens In Turkey
In Turkey, the World Tribunal on Iraq is opening its three-day session today. The gathering is modeled after the International War Crimes Tribunal that British philosopher Bertrand Russell formed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Russell's tribunal was charged with conducting 'a solemn and historic investigation' of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam in order to 'prevent the crime of silence.' Speaking at the World Tribunal on Iraq will be Indian writer Arundhati Roy, former UN Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, independent journalist Dahr Jamail and others.

Baby Cries a Lot channels Robert McNamara via the sixties. That says everything you need to know about Baby Cries a Lot. (Who will probably emerge from a Fog of War years from now to speak out against the invasion/occupation of Iraq while still justifiying some similar action that's going on then.) (Yes, there will be future similar actions. Those like Baby Cries a Lot make that possible. This war and the next brought to you by the Babies Cry a Lot.)

We can complain about someone who's useless or we can focus on what does matter. While I understand the e-mailers complaints, no, I'm not going to fact check Baby Cries a Lot. Life is too short for me to put up with his nonsense. And while it's true that others have pushed him as a brave liberal voice, we haven't done that here. We've largely avoided him. Let's continue to do that and focus on what matters.

The World Tribunal on Iraq matters. You can follow it online.

As I type, Tim Goodrich is about to continue speaking. Goodrich is a founding member of IVAW -- an organization committed to ending the occupation. And though they don't feel the need to trumpet it in constant advertisements, "they were there."

How people are recurit[ed] into the military, who joins the military and why. . . . Military life is glorified and soldiers are seen as role models. In my case, I wanted to join the military since I was five-years-old . . .

He's speaking of the socio-economic draft right now. And you won't hear him saying that seated across from Baby Cries a Lot. You won't hear Jim Massey or Diana Morrisson or Michael Hoffman or any of the others. You will hear the clampdowners telling you that you can't speak because you weren't there or telling a Vietnam vet that they don't know what they're talking about because it's "not Nam, man." Your information flow with Baby Cries a Lot is severely restricted.
So you can wait until Monday and get upset that Baby Cries a Lot is goofing around for three hours with the occassionally teary sob, or you can make the effort to find out for yourself what's going on. Member can complain about Baby Cries a Lot but if you're going to do that, put something in the e-mail that demonstrates that not only do you realize the would-be Bob Hope has nothing to say, but also indicates you did make a point to get actual information you can use somewhere else.

Here's where I think (as always, I could be wrong), we are in the testimony to the Tribunal:

12:00 – 12:20 Witness - Tim Goodrich: The Conduct of the US Army

12:20 – 12:40 Amal Sawadi: Detentions and Prison Conditions

12:40 – 13:00 Witness - Fadhil Al Bedrani: Collective Punishment

13:00 – 13:20 Questions from the Jury

13:20 – 14:30 LunchFourth Session / Cont. ... (Moderator: Joel Kovel)

14:30 – 14:50 Joel Kovel: Effects of the War on the Infrastructure

14:50 – 15:10 Herbert Docena: Economic Colonization

15:10 – 15:30 Mohammed Al Rahoo: Iraqi Law Under Occupation

15:30 – 15:50 Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty: The Transfer of Power in Iraq

15:50 – 16:10 Niloufer Bhagwat: The Privatization of War

16:10 – 16:30 Questions from the Jury

16:30 – 16:50 Coffee Break

16:50 – 17:10 Nermin al Mufti: The Occupation as Prison

17:10 – 17:30 Barbara Olshansky: Covert Practices in the U.S. War on Terror and the
Implications for International Law: The Guantanamo Example

17:30 – 17:50 Witness - Mark Manning / Rana M. Mustafa: Testimony on Falluja

17:50 – 18:10 Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi: Human Rights Violations and the Disappeared
in Iraq18:10 – 18:30 Johan Galtung: Human Rights and the U.S./U.K. Illegal Attack on Iraq

18:30 – 18:50 Questions from the Jury


0509:00 – 09:10 Summary of the Previous DayFifith Session / Cultural Heritage, Environment and World Resources (Moderator: Hilal Elver)

09:10 – 09:20 Hilal Elver: The Framework of the Session

09:20 – 09:40 Gül Pulhan: The Destruction of Cultural Heritage: A Report from the
Istanbul Initiative

09:40 – 10:00 Witness - Amal Al Khedairy: Testimony on the Destruction of Cultural Heritage

10:00 – 10:20 Joel Kovel: The Ecological Implications of the War

10:20 – 10:40 Witness - Souad Naji Al-Azzawi: Tes. on Radioactive Contamination in Iraq

10:40 – 11:00 Questions from the Jury

11:00 – 11:20 Coffee BreakSixth Session / Global Security Environment and Future
Alternatives (Moderator: Ayşe Gül Altınay)

11:20 – 11:40 Ayşe Gül Altınay: Militarism and the Culture of Violence

11:40 – 12:00 Nadje Al-Ali: Gender and War: The Plight of Iraqi Women

12:00 – 12:20 Liz Fekete: Creating Racism and Intolerance

12:20 – 12:40 Samir Amin: The Economy of Militarization

12:40 – 13:00 Ahmad Mohamed Al-Jaradat: Relationship between Iraq, Palestine and

13:00 – 13:20 Questions from the Jury

13:20 – 14:30 LunchSixth Session / Continues

14:30 – 14:50 Wamidh Nadhmi: Polarization and the Narrowing Scope of Political Alternatives

14:50 – 15:10 John Ross: Collateral Damage: The Mexican Example

15:10 – 15:30 Christine Chinkin: Human Security in Iraq

15:30 – 15:50 Ken Coates: The Future of the Peace Movement

15:50 – 16:10 Corrine Kumar: Towards a New Political Imaginary

16:10 – 16:30 Biju Matthew: Alternatives for an Alternative Future

16:30 – 17:00 WTI İstanbul Coordination: The WTI as an Alternative: An Experimental

17:00 – 17:20 Questions from the Jury

17:20 – 17:40 Coffee Break

17:40 – 18:00 Richard Falk - Closing Speech on Behalf of the Panel of Advocates

18:00 – 18:20 Arundhati Roy - Closing Speech on Behalf of the Jury of Conscience

18:20 – 18:30 The Closing of the World Tribunal on Iraq, Istanbul.

27 JUNE 2005

11.00 Press conference announcing the decision of the Jury of Conscience at Hotel Armada

You can complain about Baby Cries a Lot (as many of you have) but you can also make a point to inform yourself. The World Tribunal on Iraq is being conducted right now. You can see it as a symbolic action or as a resource for information or however you want to see it. But you can also follow the proceedings online.

well said, c.i.! get the word out people.


madonna sings the power of goodbye, i note the power of c.i. and the common ills community members

wow, did you catch the common ills this morning? so much there as always.

the incredible kat does another most excellent review, this time on the white stripes' latest.

the groovy ruth does an incredible morning edition report as always. (and yes, ruth, is it always a man, isn't it? why do you suppose that is?) ruth and kat are both clearing the decks and putting the boys in their places. give 'em hell ladies!

what can you say about isaiah's cartoon the world today just nuts? it might make you laugh 1 minute and might outrage the next or might do both in 1 cartoon. incredible talent. mid-week he drew condi in a fur and called it condi da vil while wondering why her blood red fur dripped blood? today he gives up bully boy playing in a sandbox, er blood box. get the picture, kiddos?

and, if i can ask a question, will c.i. be the only 1 to note dahr jamail's study of the iraqi hospitals?

like amy goodman, where truth is hidden, there is c.i. (and a comparison to amy goodman is one of the most supreme compliments i could make.)

maybe the american consulate put the nix on some people covering dahr's report in this country?

Today, one of them was by reporters for one of the larger newspapers in Turkey, the Yeni Safak Newspaper. I’ll leave the reporters nameless, for reasons you’ll soon see.
The newspaper has been translating various articles of mine into Turkishand running them, particularly those concerning the most recent Fallujah massacre. The report who was interviewing me today told me that the former American consulate here, Eric Edelman, asked the Prime Minister of Turkey to pressure his paper to not run so many of my stories.
"Why did he do this," I asked him.
"Edelman said it was the wrong news," he told me with a smile.
Turns out Edelman also asked that articles by Robert Fisk and Naomi Klein not be run so often in Yeni Safak either.
He smiled at me while he watched the wheels turning in my head before I smiled back and said, "That makes me very happy, it means I'm doing my job as a journalist."

of course dahr's doing his job. he's reported bravely from iraq, not just from the safety of the green zone behind bremer walls. he's doing his job and then some!

and c.i.'s noted it. hopefully others will as well. and hopefully some have already done so but it's just not gotten attention.

let's yahoo search the title of dahr's report ("Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" -- copy and pasted link from c.i.'s post) and see what comes up:

Dahr Jamail Report
IRAQI HOSPITALS AILING UNDER OCCUPATION. Issued June 21, 2005 and endorsed by:www.brusselstribunal.org/DahrReport.htm - 295k - Cached - More from this site - Save - Block
The Common Ills
... Dahr Jamail's "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" is a report you should be aware of. ... with Dahr Jamail's report ("Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation") before Matt Lauer ...thecommonills.blogspot.com - 252k - Cached - More from this site - Save - Block
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report
Web site devoted to documenting the occupation of Iraq and the Iraqi resistance.psychoanalystsopposewar.org/ORR.htm - 321k - Cached - More from this site - Save - Block
The Common Ills
... This photo of an ambulance is contained in Dahr Jamail's "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation ...thecommonills.blogspot.com/2005/06/this-photo-of-ambulance-is-conta... - 22k - Cached - More from this site - Save - Block
People vs Total War Incorporated
Questioning the New Imperial World Order. A Hearing on the Project for the New American Century ( PNAC) ... * Presentation of Dahr Jamail's report: Iraqi Hospitals ailing under occupation. ...www.brusselstribunal.org - 43k - Cached - More from this site - Save - Block
Blog Drive - Free Blog Site. Templates, Layouts and Quiz maker. An Easy Online Journal
A weblog publishing service that is easy enough for a beginner and advanced enough for an expert. Blogging has never been better. ... Dahr Jamail's. "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" ...
View as XML - Add to My Yahoo!mzunloved.blogdrive.com - More from this site - Save - Block
WTI : World Tribunal on Iraq : Call for Action (en, nl, fr)
... a new report of the non-embedded journalist Dahr Jamail ("Iraqi hospitals ailing under occupation") will be presented ...worldtribunal.org/main/?b=71 - More from this site - Save - Block
Selves and Others
The way to "Selves and Others" is to create a different world, one that is not based on violence and subjugation, hate and fear. ... Dahr Jamail : Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation. Liz Harrop : New Report: War Propaganda & Human Rights ...
View as XML - Add to My Yahoo!www.selvesandothers.org - More from this site - Save - Block
... Arms Trade 'Undermines Efforts to Relieve Debt' Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation ...
Peace and Nonviolence Organizations
RSS: View as XML - Add to My Yahoo!www.antiwar.com - More from this site - Save - Block
Home Security Resources
... need you to come home at the the US Department of Homeland Security on March 1. IRAQI HOSPITALS AILING UNDER OCCUPATION ...
View as XML - Add to My Yahoo!www.home-security-resources.com/blog - More from this site - Save - Block

so hats off to those who have noted it like selves & others and anti.war com. and note that that three of the top ten entries are c.i.'s (number 6, blogdrive, takes you to a highlight from c.i.'s mirror site).

i'll note that folding star's dealing with the energy issue in the latest at a winding road.

and am i the only 1 just loving mike's blog? mikey likes it! well rebecca loves mikey likes it!
i really like the work mike's doing. if you haven't checked it out, please do so. it's a new blog so i just googled, since i yahooed before, and wasn't expecting much since it's not even a week old but never underestimate the power of c.i. or the common ills community.

1) Most Popular Urban Legends - Mikey Likes It
Mikey Likes It. Pop Rocks. There are rumors that mixing Pop Rocks with carbonateddrinks would cause your stomach to explode. ...urbanlegendsonline.com/mikeylikes.html - 7k - Cached - Similar pages
2) topthis.tv/

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3) www.davidwilcox.comsearch the songs:. RELEASED SONGS UNRELEASED SONGS MIKEY LIKES IT! MIKEY LIKES IT!Michael Murphy is a fan with a lot of recorded material of David's ...www.davidwilcox.com/dw/songs.php?category=MikesPicks - 8k - Cached - Similar pages
4) Outdoor Forums: Mikey Likes itOutdoor Forums » Fishing Forums » Bass Fishing » Mikey Likes it. - UBBFriend:Email this page to someone! Author, Topic: Mikey Likes it ...forums.basspro.com/cgi-bin/ ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=011650 - 81k - Cached - Similar pages
5) Mikey Likes It T-shirtMikey Likes It T-shirt This shirt is perfect for those named Michael or Mikey.It's about time we embrace the phrase after a lifetime of people saying it to ...store.northshoreshirts.com/mikeylikesit.html - 7k - Cached - Similar pages
6) Lyrics - MIKEY LIKES IT by REISA L. GERBER from album LIFE (2005 ...Words Lyrics of the song MIKEY LIKES IT By REISA L. GERBER from the album LIFE (2005)www.lyricsandsongs.com/song/168219.html - 17k - Cached - Similar pages
The Common Ills: Community member Michael's Mikey Likes It!His blog is called Mikey Likes It! and I hope everyone who checks links will makea point to check out Michael's site. His first post is entitled "New York ...thecommonills.blogspot.com/2005/ 06/community-member-michaels-mikey-likes.html - 24k - Cached - Similar pages

i deleted the links to the others. seventh for one of the most popular catch phrases in advertising history (i'd love to have had the royalties on that account!) is the common ills entry that just announces mike's new blog. again, never underestimate the power of that community, or c.i.

(i also added in the numbers to make each of the 7 results clear; for the record that's the 1st 7 of 8,170 results.)

that power is why some throw snit fits when common ills community members don't want to go to their parties or to help them with clean these panties! that power is why some write really hateful e-mails to c.i., some bloggers, like the 1 sent sunday that c.i. didn't see until tuesday and then called and asked, 'rebecca, should i even read it?'

the answer turned out to be 'no.' as a blogger wanted to slam c.i. for what others (myself, jim, dona, ty and jess) had written. and then wanted to slam c.i. for being c.i. and a hundred other things. when you read this, blogger, and you will because as much as you insult my site you can't seem to stay away can you?

what is it with those little boys anyway?

but let's stay positive and just note that private attacks and public attacks against c.i. always speak of jealousy. the green-eyed monster has some of the fellows by the short hairs. oh gee, was that homophobic?

no, i don't think so either but i'm just a raving homophobe to hear 1 little boy tell it.

tell it to others i might add. tell it to jess, tell it to c.i.

of course there's no guessing about the homophobia of 1 of the little boys. it's right there front and center in his most popular post. why is it popular? same reason his 2nd post most popular post is. he's writing about c.i. he's trashing c.i. (with lies, sexism and homophobia) but he'll ride c.i. to fame because c.i.'s the little boy's only hope of fame.

and of course the 2 little boys got together to spread lies on me so i know how they work. they had me posting at 1 of their site even though i'd never been to it. but apparently when any 1 uses lower case online, it's me! so the next time you see it, know i wrote it. know that i wrote everything lower case online. that includes if you're in a chat room. just holler 'hey rebecca' because it must be me, no 1 else ever uses lower case.

their bullshit is laughable. their attempts to become players laughable.

but it doesn't really matter because while the 2 or 3 people who read them seem to hang around, no 1 else cares. i try not to name the little wusses here because i know p.r. and i'm not about to give them further publicity (fame whores are so tacky and so 80s but they didn't get the memo) but they go into spastic fits every time i write something like this and start attacking me to every 1 they know i know.

so i have my power too. i own that power. but i stand in awe of the power of the common ills community. there's nothing else like it. ask mike. he'll tell you about how popular it is at his college. c.i.'s started something amazing and the members are amazing. that's why it exists and thrives while other blogs, blogs over 7 months old, lash out in desperation to get attention and 'hits.' the most they can ever hope for is to ride c.i. to fame because there's nothing they're doing that any 1 cares about. quite the contrary, they're pissing most bloggers off with their tired slash and burns with a new enemy this week and a new enemy next week.

they're sad little boys who can't make 2nd string and don't seem to realize that they're not having a growth spurt over the summer.

i'm tired of their attacks on c.i. and i'm tired of their attacks on me.

what was it 1 of them wrote? jess read it to me 'i don't even go to her site anymore but let me check oh god! she's still at it.' yep, always will be. get used to it, boys.

now back to the incredible mike (who's more of a man then the 2 of them combined), a reader told him he was like 'ask harlan.' they meant 'help me harlan.' harlan's a cutie. he reminds me of ari at the nation.


gloria steinem still brave, still strong, still speaking out

i'm feeling better. i'm not sure if it's because of my health or just the excitement of getting to see gloria steinem on democracy now today. i'm sure she's been on the show before. but, confession here, i really didn't know about democracy now until the common ills. elaine and c.i. would talk it up and i'd here what was on it and i'm pretty sure c.i. sent me the headlines a couple of times (and i read them if they were sent!) but i never really sat down to watch.

then c.i. starts the common ills (which as every reader here knows i didn't start reading until elaine, who'd been on my ass to read it, tells me at thanksgiving, 'you do know c.i. is doing this site, right?' no, i didn't. but i did get on that day and read it.) and as any common ills community member knows, monday through friday you're going to hear what democracy now is offering. that's five entries a week. and you can add in links to democracy now in other stories. so you hear a lot about democracy now at the common ills and start to realize how much it has to offer. and i was 1 of those people who hated what passed for news so i was prime for some real news anyway. then elaine tells me i can watch it on my tv since i have a dish.

now i'm hooked and never miss it.

i got out of bed this morning and tip-toed over to the kitchen slowly. i started the coffee, caught my reflection in the toaster and said, 'good god, take a shower!' which i did and that made me feel a lot better. then i came back in, grabbed a cup of coffee, walked out to the porch to grab the paper, came back in to the living room and sat down to watch democracy now.

i couldn't believe it when i heard gloria steinem. she's been a hero of mine my entire life. i don't think i can remember a time when i didn't know of gloria steinem. my mother subscribed to ms. so that was always around the house. there are women who can cite betty friedan as a turning point for them and i'm sure she was 1 but for me it was gloria steinem. my mother would comment on her and i'd read stuff by her and she always seemed to be willing to stick her neck out for a cause that was just and needed a voice.

today she was on democracy now discussing the late feminist andrea dworkin and speaking out for the san bushmen. from the last one, here's an excerpt:

JUAN GONZALEZ: We're joined also by Gloria Steinem, who has a long history of involvement in progressive causes. What drew you to this issue, and why did you get involved?
GLORIA STEINEM: It was a long journey, actually, of about 12 years that ended up with me in my neighborhood picketing because it took my belated understanding that the -- that our own indigenous cultures were in many ways the source of the suffragist movement, the vision of a egalitarian, communitarian society. The understanding of what we are robbed of worldwide when these cultures are exterminated began here, took me on a journey to Botswana, into the Kalahari with Rebecca Adamson, a Cherokee leader in this country, who was asked to consult on indigenous land rights.
These are cultures of enormous sophistication and importance to everyone in the world. And they are being exterminated. This is, in fact, cultural genocide, as these scholars of cultural genocide have documented in a case that's being brought before the International Criminal Court.
If Botswana -- if De Beers is a good citizen of Botswana, they would certainly call for the enforcement of the law. Not only do they have the right of 50,000 years of continuous inhabitants, but also in the Botswana constitution, it makes very clear that this is their land. Now, on top of that, what makes this especially surrealistic, is that if they got their land back, they do not object to De Beers having access to the mineral rights. They're not claiming the mineral rights. So, this, you know, is not just about diamonds, it is about a profound, deep racism, a leftover colonial way of thinking, a drastic undervaluing of one of the most valuable cultures in this world. But it's very, very clear, that this is their land, and they must be returned to their land.

and this:

AMY GOODMAN: Gloria Steinem, are you calling for people not to buy De Beers diamonds in this country. I mean, we started with Lindsay Lohan, who went down the red carpet last night, and she said Marilyn Monroe was always her idol, and diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
GLORIA STEINEM: It's wonderful that you started with that song actually, because I think that the diamond industry may have been responsible for the movie. They were the pioneers of product placement, since colored stones were coveted in this country, not diamonds at all. And they created a false market by putting them free into movies. There's a wonderful book by Ed Epstein about exactly the creation of this market.
AMY GOODMAN: And you wrote a book about Marilyn Monroe.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yes, yes, and it’s one tragedy layered upon another tragedy, I fear. And it's time to end it and to realize that the San Ncoakhoe, the so-called Bush people, are in fact the real diamonds here. They are the precious culture. They are what we need in this world. They have such knowledge of pharmacology, of healing, of conflict resolution techniques, of how to live, of how to raise children, of how to -- these are the things that are now being painfully reconstructed in this country after the annihilation of our own first peoples and trying to rebuild this. This is present there. It is continuous still. It is now in its most fragile state. And De Beers and all of us have a enlightened self-interest, a long term self-interest in standing up and saying these cultures must not be annihilated. We need them.

now let me note betty who's not only a great blogger but also a friend and posted yesterday this hilarious piece where she's responding to thomas friedman's latest column:

If Thomas Friedman had even one original thought, he might be dangerous and inspire heirs who would wish to carry on his "legacy" but instead he repeatedly mines the cannon of pop culture to dress up failed policies that have resulted in strife and despair in the third world.
One thing for sure, there's some severly sad about a man his age working the likes of Britney Spears into his columns and if he can't grasp that he just needs to picture the joke Bob Dole has turned himself into.
But instead of grasping reality, Thomas Friedman seems to think he has all the creativity of Ava and C.I. penning one of their hilarious TV reviews. Somebody break it to him, his e-train ticket got punched long, long ago.
Thomas Friedman seems to be "musing" as if his past columns were a monument not of failed predictions and philosophies, which they are, but instead of the visionary work one expects from great thinkers or even Joey Heatherton.
It's been so beyond, "I'm playing the lobby and might make the main room" in Vegas for so long now that even Tina Turner's fabled comeback in the eighties offers no hope that Thomas Friedman can latch on to to carry him through this "If he sings 'Midnight at the Oasis' one more time, I'm asking the management to comp my drinks!" period.
With newspaper circulation dropping like a bad can of Raviolios, and the biggest beneficiaries being the Greenspan Wrecking Crew Thomas Friedman hitched his jet ski to decades ago,it is blindingly obvious that Thomas Friedman can't even phone it in these days.
As a columnist, he has utterly failed.

i love betty!

and i love my mikey! mike is a voice you're going to want to follow. yesterday he shared stories people e-mailed him about military recruiters and also found time to answer a question for a reader about why guys are always 'adjusting' their packages. plenty of information in that post!
keep keeping it real, mike.

and if i didn't mention this yesterday, c.i.'s highlighting dahr jamail's latest report and you should read the report. from c.i.'s entry yesterday:

Dahr Jamail's "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" is a report you should be aware of.
There are nine sections, it's 37 pages (pdf format) and page five tells you what you probably already feared. Surveying thirteen hospitals "in order to research how the healthcare system was faring under the US-led occupation:"
This report documents the desperate supply shortages facing hospitals, the disastorous effect that the lack of basic services like water and electricity have on hospitals and the disruption of medical services in Iraqi hospitals by US military forces.
This report further provides an overview of the situation afflicting the hospitals in Iraq in order to highlight the desperate need for the promised "rehabilitation" of the medical system. Case studies highlight several of the findings and demonstrate that Iraqis need to reconstruct and rehabilitate the healthcare system. Reconstruction efforts by US firms have patently failed, while Iraqi contractors are not allowed to do the work.
The current model in Iraq of a "free trade globalized system," limited in fact to American and a few other western contractors, has plainly not worked. Continuing to impose this flawed and failing system on Iraq will only worsen the current healthcare crisis.
Before the next Operation Happy Talk gets started (I realize that in one form or another, Operation Happy Talk is always ongoing), you should familarize yourself with Jamail's report. It notes what is needed from program changes to basic equipment. Though you won't be surprised to learn of our "broken promises" (can the Bully Boy make any other kind?), you may not be aware of how bad things are and how many promises we've broken (or how much tax payer money has been wasted) until you read the report.


still sick

i can almost breathe without hacking.

hopefully tomorrow will bring a full recovery. i feel completely useless but i know readers will come here looking for something so i'll do a link fest.

there's a lot going on in the community these days.

let me start with my pal folding star who has a new post at a winding road:

The surprise of the afternoon actually came from a Republican Senator. You'll all remember that back during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Bolton, Ohio Senator George Voinovich stunned his fellow Republicans (and no doubt the Democrats as well) by announcing that after what he'd learned about the Nominee, he wasn't willing to vote to send the Nomination to the floor at that point.
Voinovich's decision that day allowed the Committee to investigate Bolton further and delayed by several weeks the moment when the nomination headed out of Committee and on to the floor of the Senate.

betty's done an epic entry at her site:

Why does my husband Thomas Friedman hate America?
That's the question on my mind and the minds of a lot of other people.
Having drifted off the ice flow earlier by trashing Americans and the French as lazy, having trashed liberals in this country, Thomas Friedman found a new target for his hatred: General Motors.
"Why are people so mad?"
That's what Thomas Friedman asked, sprawled out on the sofa in his shortie robe, drinking his prune juice and eating chocolate covered cherries. Chocolate covered cherries which, by the way, I can not have any of because Thomas Friedman says that I am allergic. I don't remember being allergic to chocolate covered cherries but, according to Thomas Friedman, I am. So all three boxes of chocolate covered cherries that Nicky K gifted Thomas Friedman with can only be eaten by him. Nice how that works out for him.
Why are people so mad?
I couldn't believe he had to ask.
I grabbed the Friday paper and waved his last column in his face: "As Toyota Goes ..."
"You've advocated the closing of GM! You've spit on the workers and, maybe this will grab you by your chubby ass, the investors!"
"Workers? American workers are so lazy. In India, they work a thirty-five hour day."
"Thomas Friedman you are getting on my last nerve!"
I stormed out. I was furious.

kat had a nice entry noting michael the newest blogger to come out of the common ills community (also has a telling quote from a tori amos song).

i like mike. i spoke to him today on the phone and i recommend you read his latest entry on recruiters:

And they make this conversation with you but it's not really talking to you coz it's like they're trying to find your weakness and zero in on that.
So like I'm in high school and Dad's already had the talk with me but this recruiter and his bud are chatting like they're my best friends when all the sudden they zero in on my part-time job.
"So you like that? You bow for those men and women? You ask 'More pepper sir?' Like begging for tips? You wear an apron?"
And they're just like destroying me. I was a waiter coz it was good money and I could do it on weekends and all.
But they're saying stuff like, "Do you say 'I'm Mike you're serving wench, how may I serve you?'" Just pushing all the buttons. And I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising and even though I know they're trying to push my buttons and question my manhood I don't walk off and I start justifying my job.
And right in the middle of it I realize I'm being hooked and this is what they do, open up that conversation and act like they are the big men and you're not and you can only be one by being like them. But they're not going over to Iraq. They're going to schools and parking lots and malls. Then they desk jockey so who are they to question anyone?
So I just walked away because they want you to engage with them even if you're arguing. They know they can hook you. They'll just keep hitting your sore spots whatever they are. That's what the "Hey dude, talk" is all about. They don't care about you or why you're at the mall that day or what your friends are like. They just listen to store up ammo to use against you.

from the third estate sunday review, i'll note the 'five books, five minutes' that i helped on. and if nothing else, all this bed time (not the good kind) is allowing me time to read all the books required for this coming edition.

at the common ills, there's plenty to note. the wonderful ruth has a hard hitting look at npr and i listened to the story online, ruth's 100% right. isaiah's offering his latest the world today just nuts and you better go check it out. and c.i.'s trying to get the word out on the flame of my passions dahr jamail's latest by quoting from his report and also noting a photo of an ambulance shot and 1 of an ambulance shot many times.

hope there's something above that you'll enjoy and i hope i'm better tomorrow.


still sick, check out betty's blog and mikey likes it!

did you hear the majority report last night? at 1 point janeane garofalo is talking with sam seder and the news guy bill crowley and she starts hacking (orange peel). that's what i sound like today ... in a good moment.

may no have much to offer.

i woke up feeling so much better. then i got out of bed and could tell i wasn't that much better.
i grabbed one of those packets of cider and made some hot cider. sat at the computer because i was too tired of lazy to go turn on the tv.

the smartest thing i may have done this morning was read betty's blog.

she has a new entry up. i think of it as 'went to a garden party.' you know the old song by rick nelson?

she also works in third estate sunday review's editorial and c.i.'s thing on the military using women as bargaining chips. how does betty do that?

she turns it into a kind of poetry slam party instead of a garden party.

it's very funny and i hope you'll make a point to check it out.

i laughed so hard i was spitting up stuff. between betty's hilarious writing and the hot cider, i got rid of most of the congestion.

and can we talk about tall and hot and dreamy?

mikey likes it! is the newest blog to spin off from the common ills.

i'm guessing we're like the mary tyler moor show by now. you had mtm, then you had rhoda, then phyllis, lou grant and i'm sure i'm missing something. and we have c.i. (toss that hat in the air, c.i.! you're gonna' make it after all.) you have folding star, the third estate sunday review, betty, kat, myself and now mikey.

he goes by mike, if you're a friend, michael if you're a stranger.

but he's mikey to me because i think he's just adorable. in writing and in person. in spirit and in body. mikey if i were feeling better i'd give you a proper blog greeting but for now, i'll just say welcome. the blog world got a lot better with you in it.


islam online reports that us occupation forces have detained iraqi woman as "bargaining chips" (omar salah al-din & khalid yassin el-yassari)

i'm just doing a repost (from c.i.) today. i've got a summer cold and have spent most of the day on the couch or in bed. (and not in bed the fun way.)

c.i. had a great post last night and if i had seen it then, i would have noted it. if you haven't read it, read it now. if you have read it already, re-read it because we need to think about what's being done in our name and the effects that will result.

Islam Online reports that US occupation forces have detained Iraqi women as "bargaining chips" (Omar Salah Al-Din & Khalid Yassin El-Yassari)
US occupation forces completed on Sunday, June 19, the release of twenty one Iraqi women held as a bargain chip in the northern city of Mosul.
"The release came after massive protests organized by the Islamic Party and the Islamic organization for human rights over the past three days," Nour Al-Din Al-Hayalli, the Islamic Party's media officer in Mosul, told IslamOnline.net.
The Islamic party championed a massive demonstration following the Friday prayers on June 17 to press for the immediate release of all Iraqi women in the US custody.
Assembling outside the Sedek Rashan mosque, protestors denounced the American occupation for dishonoring the Iraqi people by detaining women.
They carried photos of detained women, demanding the government of Ibrahim Jaafari to live up to its responsibilities toward the Iraqi people.
The above was sent in by Erika. It's from Islam Online, Omar Salah Al-Din and Khalid Yassin El-Yassari's "US Frees Iraqi Woman Detainees After Protests" and it's disgusting (as Erika noted in her e-mail). Barganing chips? We're holding women as bargaining chips?
Is this story in our press (United States)? No one but Erika e-mailed on it so I'm thinking it's not. (As always, I could be wrong.)
So our hearts & minds campaign now includes taking women and holding them as bargaining chips? And that's apparently okay or, at least, something we're not going to talk about.
I don't think so. It is not okay, it is not alright, it is not "the product of war" or "collateral damage." If the report is true it's disgusting. There is no "higher ground" left for us to take in Iraq, we're firmly in the gutter now.
Al-Hayalli said many Iraqi families have complained that the occupation forces were holding women as a bargain chip against relatives reportedly involved in resistance operations.
That's how we do things now? The Bully Boy tries to the turn the military into the mafia?
How exactly did the discussion for that plan of action take place?
Rummy: We think we know some resistance fighters but we can't catch them. So what if, I was watching Scarface last night, we went after the women?
Bully Boy: Great idea! I love it! Reminds me of when we used to do panty raids in my prep school!
Rummy: But you went to an all boys prep school?
Bully Boy: What's your point? Do it, Rummy! Do it!
Is that how it went?
Who made the call that it was okay to grab people as barganing chips?
Let's note, they don't even know who the resistance is. They may suspect, but they don't know. So on suspicion of the activities of some, they grabbed people that they don't even think are involved.
Do you realize how disgusting that is? How far from what we're supposed to stand for that takes us?
If the protests hadn't led to the women's release, what next? Do we decide, if the resistance continues (and it will) that we start "offing" a few of the women we have detained to show the resistance we mean "business?" Is that the next step?
You've already done a round up and imprisoned people that you think are innocent. You've already violated that aspect of what America is supposed to stand for. It's not that hard to then decide that you'll torture these detained women or worse.
This is disgusting. Erika is exactly right, this is vile and goes against all notions of what we're supposed to stand for. There is no justification for it -- no legal or moral justification. It's just flat out wrong, flat out illegal, flat out immoral, flat out unethical. It never should have happened.
And that's the thing, day after day we lose our grip on what we're supposed to represent. We trash notions of democracy, notions of freedom, notions of rule of law. The invasion/occupation should never have happened to begin with.
But those who want to argue we need to "stay the course" regardless (think of Betty's "husband") better realize what we're turning into and what we're doing over there. They better realize what we're sacrificing and destroying within ourselves and our concepts of freedom and humanity.
It's not getting better. Trot out the Happy Talkers, launch a new round of Operation Happy Talk, tell us that ceiling fans went up in some building or that you're really going to work, at some point, on the water system (how long have we been waiting on that?). Keep jaw boning about things that have nothing to do with what's going on.
And the New York Timid won't tell you about it. Embed reporters, reporting from the Green Zone, have other concerns. Which is why one of them (you know which one) can go on radio and speak of what "we" are trying to do. They've lost objectivity, they've forgotten that they're not there to write titters for the base newsletter, that they're actually supposed to be reporting on what's happening, not what Centcom tells them is happening, but what is actually going on.
The stay the courses see an event like the one excerpted above and avert their eyes or speak of the "costs of war." I'm not prepared to pay the "cost" of abandoning living in free society. Nor am I prepared to go along blindly as we degrade everything we are taught to hold dear. The longer we are over there, the more we lose our way.
What's going on Iraq, the destruction of Falluja, whatever, it's disgusting. But for those Happy Talkers who see Iraqis and only see the "other," let's put this to their base self-interests because they lack the ability to see the humanity in anyone who doesn't look like them or talk like them.
So Happy Talkers need to ask themselves how much are they prepared to "pay?" What "cost" is okay?
They don't care what goes on over there. They justify it as needed to "spread democracy" or some such b.s. Well, what about what it's doing to our country? I won't note the military casualities because that doesn't seem to bother them either.
But I will note that we long ago crossed a line and if they're okay with that, if they're okay with tossing out everything we're supposed to stand for and believe in, then these people who paint themselves as uber patriots really must hate this country. You really have to hate it to trash every concept that we're taught it was built upon.
We're becoming something very ugly. Forget in the rest of the world's eyes because Happy Talkers aren't concerned with that or "global tests" or "polls." But we're becoming something very ugly in our own eyes. And we can look away or pretend it's not happening, but it doesn't change reality.
When we're silent on Iraqi women being detained because their family members are suspects, we're giving our approval. Silent or otherwise, we're endorsing that as okay. So when that "policy" that we're okay with comes back home and we start seeing it used by law enforcement in this country, we've already endorsed it. We've said it's "what had to be done" with our shrug or silence and, therefore, there's no reason for it not to be used here.
Certainly, we have horrible crimes in this country. So if it's okay to be used in Iraq, then it's okay to be used here, right? Maybe we'll start out by using it on someone accused of terrorism?
The administration loves to convict by the press. They're not so crazy about getting anyone into an actual court room (ask Jose Padilla), but they're happy to try their cases through the media.
So they pick X. X's is an American citizen. Probably of Arab descent because that's easier to target without a huge uproar. People get nervous apparently about defending rule of law because, well, it's a person of Arab descent, what if they did do something!
Rule of law is rule of law. Everyone's guaranteed their day in court. (It's just the Bully Boy who thinks he can subvert the Constitution.) But knowing that someone of Arab descent won't stir a lot of concern in our press or public, they target X.
Then after, what?, three years in a prison, holding cell, or military base, they come back out to the mikes and cameras and reveal that they didn't have luck "cracking" him so they've also taken in his wife. They don't think she did anything, they're not accusing her of anything, but they needed a "bargaining chip." So it's okay, right?
And probably for some people it will be. The Timid may launch an editorial, a tiny one, but there won't be huge press coverage and what there is will just repeat the administration's line without questioning.
So we've used family as a "bargaining chip" there. And there wasn't an uproar. Even though it goes against every legal convention in this country. So what's next? Drug dealers? Do we detain their family members? What about organized crime? Probably that's where we'd hit hardest because we likened, in the initial round ups following 9-11, "terrorism suspects" to members of organized crime. So we'll go after family members of organized crime suspects (suspects, no convictions), family members we have nothing to charge them with, and we'll round them up and detain them.
At what point in this process do you say no?
It's not very "American" to do any of it. But it's not very "American" to detain Iraqi women as "barganing chips." What it is is shameful. It goes against everything we're supposed to believe in. The Bully Boy has so trashed our notions of self that things are being done in our name, under his orders (Diane Sawyer couldn't stop noting he was "our commander-in-chief" in that looney attempt to shame the Dixie Chicks), that it's hurting us. Not just in terms of blowback, but in terms of what we stand for and how we see ourselves.
Again, Erika's right. It's disgusting.
There are other reasons to "Bring the Troops Home," ones that don't involve our own self-interests. (Link takes you to the February 2005 editorial from The Progressive. We noted it in January and agree with all the points raised.) They are solid reasons and we've endorsed them and continue to do so. But for those Happy Talkers that can't seem to grasp any concern further than their own noses, maybe it's time for them to ask what "costs" they are willing to pay in terms of their own lives and liberties and how far they're willing to allow the Bully Boy to trash the United States.