abortion (or 'when he births a child out his butt, then i'll be interested in his opinion')

starting late. i was talking to trina and not watching the time. that's fine, i'll just be a little late for the iraq study group because there are a few things i want to note.

i want to say a big thank you to every 1 for their e-mails. i am so happy to read how you've been talking up kyle snyder at your schools. he may not get the media coverage he deserves (or the support) but, where it matters, his story is getting out.

his story got out on democracy now today as well and c.i. called to give me a heads up. but didn't call me! my mother-in-law was coming over today to see what the redecorating looked like and c.i. phoned her and asked her to pass it on. c.i. phoned early (and my mother-in-law came by early) which is because i apparently scare every 1 before my 1st cup of coffee in the morning. (i'm joking. c.i. actually had to call her about a fund raiser she was doing and asked her to pass it on while they were on the phone.)

so we watched together and 1 guest was a total asshole. we both agreed on that. we also felt amy & juan should have challenged him on the 'data' he kept citing. click here to listen, watch or read. at the end, he held, between his thumb and a finger, what was supposed to be a fetus. it was brown. my mother-in-law & i both agreed it looked like a piece of shit. (she worded it more nicely than i did.) which had us wondering if he thought he was 'informed' because he'd had a bowel movement. now i've miscarried many times (and i've had an abortion). i haven't given birth but what i have been through was a bit more physically than taking a dump.

so when mr. pro-life births a child out his ass, by all means, feel free to talk to me about abortion. until then, shut the hell up.

honestly. i appreciate the men who speak out in favor of a woman's right to choose. but i really have no use for men who go around talking about how women's rights need to be reduced. (what needed to be reduced was his fat ass head.) if you want to ban something, find something that involves your own rights. work on banning viagra or something that honestly effects you directly.

his 'data' included the number of rapes that resulted in pregnancy. what an idiot. his data should have been challenged and it's also worth noting that not all women report rape. with regards to incest and rape, he offered the laughable claim that they could seek medical treatment within the 1st 10 days to prevent pregnancy.

that of course assumes you can speak of incest. many young women can't. many young girls can't. incest is rarely a 1-time thing. it's a pattern of abuse and it destroys a person. to expect that a young girl is able to dash off to the emergency room after her father (or whatever family member) rapes her and go through the whole procedure is insane.

i have a great father, i'm very lucky. if you're lucky or not, i want you to picture a family member raping you when your under 18 and think about the guilt you will have because although it is not your fault, rape alone still leaves some women with guilt, adult women, now imagine your a female child dealing with rape and incest. the man was an idiot.

(young males are also the victims of incest - from males and females. i'm not unaware of that. but i'm focusing on pregnancy here. for the same reason, i'm not going into the very real fact that some girls are sexually abused by women.)

oh he pissed me off.

my abortion did not destroy me. the fact that the fetus had no chance of a viable life if carried to term did screw with me. it was a difficult decision.

i was depressed after. that had nothing to do with the abortion. i'm glad i was able to have 1, i'm glad it was legal. i'm glad that my husband was supportive. (though i would have had it even had he not been.) the depression came from the realities of the pregnancies. the only positive of the entire ordeal was that the abortion prevented a child from possibly living through six months (if lucky) and then dying - after being in pain the entire time.

i don't need some fat ass pro-life man telling me about abortion. i know exactly what it is. i would not have ever thought i would have 1. that's because i always wanted kids. in both my marriages. (do i call it 3 marriages since fly boy and i married twice. or is 1 marriage and 2 weddings?) even when i wasn't married and got pregant i was thrilled.

i have never been raped and wasn't a victim of incest so i didn't have to deal with that. but i was always for legal abortion and always will be. it's a woman's choice. and when i had to face 1 of the worst bits of information a mother-to-be can, i was not upset that abortion an option. i was damn glad that it was legal and safe.

if, like me, you've had just about enough from the opinions of those who can't have an abortion (due to gender and biology) but want to weigh in, you may need an alternative, for the voices of women sharing their experiences with abortions click here to go to ms. magazine.

and because some 1 will ask in an e-mail, my mother-in-law loves what we've done with all the rooms but 1 bathroom. i was surprised because i expected her to hate the 'fun' room which is just a pop-culture den. she actually liked that. (i know her too well for her to fake it with me.) on the main bathroom, she didn't care for the faucets and, hate to say it, she's actually right. i had focused on everything but that. they really don't go with what's been changed so fly boy and i will get to work on picking out something else. (i need big. i have very long fingernails. the tiny knobs don't work for me. i need something i can knock up or down with the palm of my hand. or else i would have to, shudder, cut my nails.)

i wanted to note jason leopold's 'Rumsfeld's Lethal Denial' (truthout):

As the Iraq war continues to claim the lives of American troops on a near-daily basis and the country inches closer toward civil war, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wants the public to know that the carnage really isn't as bad as it seems.
"Progress is being made everywhere across the country," Rumsfeld said during a radio interview Wednesday, a transcript of which is posted on the
Defense Department's web-site. "We're doing a great job of training and equipping their forces and passing over responsibility to them."
That's the visual Rumsfeld and other senior members want to indelibly etch into the minds of the American people when the public goes to the polls next week.
Five days before the hotly contested midterm elections, Rumsfeld, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and senior members of the administration are crisscrossing the country, using far-right media outlets to send a distorted message to the American people about the reality on the ground in Iraq, where 103 US troops were killed in October - the fourth highest monthly figure since the start of the war more than three years ago.
But it's not just the public the White House is duping.
Last month, the White House circulated an internal email, "Iraq Update: Political Progress," which included positive assessments of the war.
The email came on the heels of a blistering attack by one of their own - Senator John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who said the situation in Iraq was "drifting sideways."
At the time, Warner had just returned from a trip to Iraq, which included a stop in Baghdad. He told reporters that if the violence did not begin to subside, the US should immediately consider a "change of course."
Susan Collins, the Republican Senator from Maine, agreed.
"We've heard over and over that as Iraqis stand up, our troops will stand down," Collins said in an interview with the New York Times October 7. "Well, there are now hundreds of thousands of Iraqi troops and security forces, and yet we have not seen any reduction in violence."
Perhaps Warner's and Collins's remarks were more about election season politics than a representation of their true feelings. Still, in the weeks since the senators broke ranks with their colleagues, the violence has worsened, and it appears ever more likely that tens of thousands of additional US troops will be deployed to the region.
At first, the White House blamed the escalating violence and the surge in the number of casualties on the Muslim holiday Ramadan. But the bodies of US soldiers continued to pile up even after Ramadan ended on October 23.
Now the administration has settled on a new rationale for the uptick in violence: terrorists are trying to impact next week's elections by slaughtering Iraqi civilians and American servicemen and women.
Moreover, according to Rumsfeld, terrorists are "trying to break the will of the American people," by manipulating the media into believing the war isn't going well and in doing so terrorists are shifting the "center of gravity away from the battlefield."
"You know, they're very good at manipulating the American press and managing the news in a way that advantages them and tries to break the will of the American people," Rumsfeld said during his interview with WPTF in Raleigh. "And they're good at it, they know what they're doing, they consciously plan their attacks to achieve that end. The military always talks about the center of gravity of a conflict, and logically one would think it would be in Afghanistan or Iraq or in the struggle against the violent extremists ... But in fact, because they are so calculating in attempting to break the will and to terrorize people and to alter our behavior, the center of gravity of this conflict very much is back in the United States. And they're very good at attempting to alter our behavior."
In response to what he sees as slanted news coverage of the war, Rumsfeld, who last week told reporters to "back off" when faced with hard-hitting questions about whether progress is being made in Iraq, is overseeing the launch of a Pentagon news channel that will convey stories about the successes in Iraq.
If that sounds like the start of a propaganda campaign it's because that's exactly what it is.
How can a reputable news organization cover stories about schools being built or roads being paved in one small part of the Iraq when a major city such as Baghdad (population 6 million) is so rife with violence that US soldiers are being picked off at the rate of three to five a day?
By and large it has been Rumsfeld's disastrous war planning that has led us into the quagmire we now face.
In October 2002, Rumsfeld ordered the military's regional commanders to rewrite all of their war plans to capitalize on precision weapons, better intelligence, and speedier deployment in the event the United States decided to invade Iraq.
The goal was to use fewer ground troops, a move that caused dismay among some in the military, who said that concern for the troops requires overwhelming numerical superiority to assure victory.
Rumsfeld refused to listen to his military commanders, saying that his plan would allow the military "to begin combat operations on less notice and with far fewer troops than thought possible - or thought wise - before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks," the New York Times reported in its October 13, 2002, edition.
Military officials viewed Rumsfeld's approach as injecting too much risk into war planning and said it could result in US casualties that might be prevented by amassing larger forces, according to published reports.

that's a long excerpt but it's a long article. (long in a good way, reading it will go very fast.) sherry told me that leopold had some new stuff up. i wasn't aware of that. i support jason leopold. i think he's a strong reporter. i may not catch all of his stuff, but what i do catch can always be highlighted here.

okay, i need to wrap up. i'm beyond fashionably late now. here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, November 3, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, US war resister Kyle Snyder tells his story to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!, the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone mistakes himself for Jackson Pollock, Bully Boy finally wins at a poll but it's doubtful he'll be happy, nearly 60 corpses are discovered in Baghdad, eight US troops have died since Wednesday, John Dimitri Negroponte heads to Iraq for a surprise visit, and the US air force goes on a spending spree because, hey, it's not their money.

On Saturday, US war resister
Kyle Snyder returned to the US from Canada where he'd self-checked out to in April 2005. Tuesday, he turned himself in at Fort Knox only to learn that the arrangement between the US military and his attorney, James Fennerty, was being tossed aside. At which point, Kyle Snyder self-checked out again.

Today, he
spoke with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez for Democracy Now! detailing his experiences in Iraq and Canada. Synder detailed the promises of recruiters and how they mirrored the empty promises of the agreement the military offered Synder's attorney: "They can verbally promise anything, but once you are in their custody they can do anything they want with you." Between the broken promises of recruitment and return came the assignment to tasks he wasn't trained for. This is the point of the stand Melanie McPherson has taken. McPherson was trained to be a journalist for the military (at Fort Meade, MD) in April 2000 and then, just as her contract was winding down, she gets orders to report to Fort Bliss to ship out to Iraq. She reports on July 23 of this year and discovers she'll be serving in Iraq as a military police officer, something she has not been trained. McPherson tells her own story here (scroll down).

Jim Fennerty was also a guest and he explained that the military wants to send him (Snyder) to Fort Knox (KY) and that he can't get a call returned from Fort Leonard Wood (MO). Fennerty also addressed the issue of another of his clients, Ivan Brobeck. Brobeck is from Virgninia and went o Canada after serving seven months in Iraq. Like Synder, Brobeck arrived in Canada in April 2005. Unlike Snyder, Brobeck is in the Marines. Fennerty spoke of the different processes in the different branches of the US military and that "Ivan will be taken into custody" and "he'll be placed in the brig" at which point he would most likely face a court-martial.

Snyder stated to the following when asked by Goodman what he would say to other soldiers: "To the soldiers that are in Iraq, for the third or fourth time. A lot of them are scared to make decisions about moral and consientious choices, they're told by their commanders that they can't make these decisions Just follow your heart if you feel that you need to be in Iraq and that you're doing the right thing, that's fine and I understand that. But if you feel like you're doing the wrong thing, please speak out. The G.I. resistance is very important in changing the policits of this country right now and I feel that as G.I.s start coming out that's what's going to stop this war. And that's the only thing that's going to stop this war. As far as the soldiers that are in Canada right now, I love every single one of you, just know that whatever happens here, just keep that in mind, and I'll be keeping in contact with them."

On those still in Canada,
Brett Barrouqere (AP) spoke with US war resisters Corey Glass and Patrick Hart who are currently in Canada. Glass is now reconsidering his own decision to return from Canada and both Glass and Hart consider the war to be based on lies. Glass states, "After what they did to him [Kyle Snyder], I don't see anybody going back." Hart says, "I could see going back under some kind of amnesty program or something like that. But I don't trust them."

More information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. In addition Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. On the latter, Courage to Resist is asking supporters to call 502-624-2707 to speak to Major General Robert M. Williams and tell him "Discharge Kyle Snyder!"

In other news of deployment status,
Jamie McIntrye (CNN) reports that Santos Cardona will be sent to Kuwait and not Iraq, the Army has decided, due to the fact that Cardona was the "U.S. Army dog handler who was convicted of abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison". As to how he's been allowed to remain in the service? In June, Santos was "sentenced . . . to 90 days hard labor and a reduction in rank . . . found guilty of derelecition of duty and aggravated assault" (AP). The prosecution had recommended a discharge for bad conduct but apparently the actions fit into someone's understanding of 'service' and Cardona has managed to remain in the military instead of being drummed out of the service. On a similar note, AP reports that Steven D. Green has been indicted in a civilian court (he was discharged from the military before the allegations were public) in Kentucky for the "premeditated murder in the death of Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi, her father, mother and 6-year-old sister in the central Iraqi town of Al-Mahmudiyah. Green is accused of raping the teen and then killing her after rounding up and killing her family with the help of other soldiers in his unit."

And in Iraq today.


CNN reports that mortar rounds in Baghdad claimed the lives of three and left six wounded. Reuters notes four police officers dead in Madaen from a roadside bomb, two young males dead from a landmine in Kut, and three people dead from a roadside bomb in Baghdad. (CBS and AP note: "Police Lt. Thaer Mahoud said the death toll in the rush hour bombing of a crowded market in Baghdad's Sadr City district Thursday had risen to 11 on Friday, with 51 reported wounded." Yesterday, the known dead from that bombing was seven.)


Reuters notes that "Resan al-Sayab, a local singer" was shot dead in Baghdad, while, in Kirkuk, a preacher (Sunni) and a gas station worker were shot dead (the preacher Thursday night), the shooting death of "a bodyguard of Shiite cleric Sadiq al-Hakim" near Najaf, and a cab driver shot dead in Baghdad.


Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that 56 corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes that the corpse of Abdul Majeed Ismael Khalil, freelance journalist, was discovered in Baghdad in addition to the 56 other corpses and that a severed head was found as well.

Today the US military announced "
Three Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Nov. 2 from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province," "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died from injuries sustained due to enemy action Thursday while operating in Al Anbar Province," "Three Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldiers died at approximately 2:15 p.m. Thursday when the vehicle they were riding in was strcuk by an improvised-explosive device in eastern Baghdad." That makes eight reported deaths for US troops since Wednesday. Iraq Coalition Casualties currently lists the toll for the month thus far as 11 dead (and 2829 dead since the start of the illegal war) which would indicate more announcements will be made later today or tomorrow. All as Italian troops prepare to leave Iraq and the so-called coalition continues to suffer from shrinkage.

Activst, author and Vietnam vet
Ron Kovic (Truthdig) reflects on the wounded US troops in Iraq, noting that he was paralyzed January 20, 2968 while serving in Veitnam, and describes the moments after: "They are being put on a helicopter, with the wounded all around them. They try to stay calm. Some are amazed that they are still alive. You just have to keep trying to stay awake, make it to the next stage, keep moving toward the rear, toward another aid station, a corpsman, a doctor a nurse someone who can help you, someone who will operate and keep you alive so you can make it home, home to your backyard and your neighbors and your mother and father. To where it all began, to where it was once peaceful and safe. They just try to keep breathing because they have got to get back. . . . They are alone in their rooms all over this country, right now. Just as I was alone in my room in Massapequa. I know they're there -- just as I was. This is the part you never see. The part that is never reported in the news. The part that the president and vice president never mention. This is the agonizing part, the lonely part, when you have to awake to the wound each morning and suddenly realize what you've lost, what is gone forever. They're out there and they have mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives and children. And they're not saying much right now. Just like me they're just trying to get through each day."

As for the man responsible for so many US troops wounded and dead, for so many Iraqis wounded and dead, the polls haven't been very kind to him of late. However,
Guardian of London is reporting that Bully Boy is 'Top of the Pops' in a new poll [ICM polled Isreal, Canada, Mexico and England for the poll]. Before Laura breaks out the good china and heats up the Frito Pie, the survey found that 69 percent of British respondents "believerd US policy had made the world less safe since 2001"; that 71 percent of British respondents felt the illegal war "was unustified, a view shared by 89% of Mexicans and 73% of Canadians"; and it "ranked President Bush with some of his bitterest enemies as a cause of global anxiety."

Anxiety was in the air as John Negroponte made a surprise visit to the heavily fortified Green Zone area of Baghdad. What exactly was the Director of National Intelligence doing in Iraq? Advising the death squads? Paying them off? He was a long way from Honduras or Nicaragua.
John O'Neil (New York Times) reports that Negroponte had no public statements (proving he's smarter than the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone). Al Jazeera reminds that Negroponte "had served as the American ambassador to Iraq before the current envoy Zalmay Khalilzad." For those who've forgotten, it was his security detail that fired at the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena who had just been freed from her kidnappers. Nicola Calipari was in the car and killed. Sgrena sustained serious injuries. As AFP notes, the trip followed Stephen Hadley's (National Security Advisor for the Bully Boy administration) trip by three days and followed the video conference held last Saturday.

Staying in the Green Zone for news of the Giddiest Gabor, as
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted, Willie Caldwell made a surprising remark yesterday. Apparently inspired by the 140 million dollars a painting by Jackson Pollock fetched the other day, Little Willie decided to jazz it up a bit. Briefing the press yesterday, the Giddiest Gabor began with a presentation including slides ("Slide please"). The presentation included the following prepared remarks (note, this was not in response to a question, this was part of the presentation): "A transition is not always a pleasant thing to watch as it happens. But when common goals are achieved, speed bumps and differecnes of opinion along the way are soon forgotten. Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition. A lump of clay can become a sculpture; blobs of paint become paintings which inspire." As most know, there's no scarier stage than when a starlet fancies herself an artist.

Meanwhile, after requesting what Reuters called "
a staggering 50 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007," the US air force quickly handed out contracts. Lockheed Martin got 30 million, DRS got $6.3 million, L-3 got $42 million and Boeing got a whopping $229.8 million. The whisper-it-to-the-press-but-don't-attribute 'reason' for the request in emergency funding is that, otherwise, wounded and dead US troops might not make it home. The shopping spree calls that 'reasoning' into question.

In more money being burned news,
Thom Shanker and David S. Cloud (New York Times) report that the Pentagon is created a new office which will include the "rapid response unit" that they hope and pray will make all the reality vanish the way those waves of Operation Happy Talk used to. Remember the discolored fingers? Remember the any-day-now turned corner? Even most of the press sees new attempts at waves as a wipe out so the Pentagon intendes to dispense with the messenger and lie directly to the people.

Until then, some reality news still comes out.
James Glanz (New York Times) reports that Stuart W. Bowen Jr. will be outed from his post as Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction next October as a result of Congressional legislation that no one in Congress appears able to explain or even able to figure out when that section entered the bill.

In election news,
Carol Britton Meyer (TownOnline) reports that, in Massachusetts, Mary Sochacki, Shirley Brown, Katharine Sangree, and Chartis Tebbetts were among those members of the South Shore Peace Forum gathering signatures to put a resolution on next Tuesday's ballot "calling for an immediate end of the war in Iraq".

In other peace news,
US war resister Mark Wilkerson reflects on his time in Iraq and notes: "Before I deployed to Iraq during OIF1, I was full of optimism for what we could do to help the people of Iraq. One of our missions, after all, was to 'win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.' And in that regard, we have failed miserably. In the year I was in Iraq, I saw kids waving American flags in the first month. Then they threw rocks. Then they planted IEDs. Then they blew themselves and others up in city squares full of people. The only conlcusion I can come up with as to why this happened is the way the American troops have treated the Iraqi people as a whole. From random raids of whole city blocks, to checkpoints that interrupted the daily lives of the Iraqis, to incidents of torture and even massacres, a majority of Iraqis now feel as though the American soldiers, once hailed as heroes and saviors, are now seen as conquerors." Wilkerson still awaits news on what the army intends to do now that he's returned from his self-check out.

Wilkerson isn't the only war resister who has said no to war and still awaits a decision/ruling. Keeping the issue front and center,
Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada and his step-mother Rosa Sakanishi continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 3, TBA St. Paul MN. Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934 bwrvfp@earthlink.net

Nov 4, 11AM Milwaukee, WI. Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991,
bethmark@execpc.comSponsor: VFP Chapter 102 * See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"
Nov. 5, 2PM Boston, MA Encuentro 5 33 Harrison Ave. 5th floor (Chinatown)Sponsors: Asian American Movement Ezine Asian American Resource Workshop Boston Hawaiian Club Chinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global Action New England Japanese American Citizens League
Nov 5, 7PM Cambridge, MA. Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith Chapter Contact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PM Boston, MA Location: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American Studies William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequence Time: 2-4:30 pm
Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

Nov 7, 4:30PM Portland, ME Location: Meditation Center Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Chapter 1 Contact: Doug Rawlings, 207-293-2580,
Nov. 7, 6-9PM Brunswick, ME Location: Morrill Room, Curtis Memorial Library, 23 Pleasant Street Pot luck supper and speaking engagement Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Nov 8, 7PM Albany, NY Sponsor: VFP National Location: TBAContact: Elliot Adams, 518-441-2697,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.


kyle snyder

c.i. wondered ('if you have time') if i could do anything to the illustration of kyle snyder for the third estate sunday review? we all love the illustration and we've all been using it but c.i. thought a little change to it might make it fresh. i'm sure it still is but i do know what c.i.'s talking about.

with so little coverage of kyle snyder, we really need to be sure in this community that we are doing our part. and i think we have. c.i.'s done all the heavy lifting but we've all all done our part as well. and hey, that's much more than you can say for independent media, right?

i wasn't sure what i'd do but i knew i could do something. then fly boy was looking over my shoulder while i was trying different things in photo shop and he said, 'you know what would be great? if you were walking down a street and saw his picture painted on a building.' which is why i went with the bricks.

i also think fly boy had a brilliant idea. kyle snyder should be everywhere. graffitti artists should paint his portrait.

so let's start off with what's happened since i blogged last. kyle snyder turned himself at fort knox tuesday and it was obvious he was being screwed over. it was obvious to him as well. so he self-checked out again.

good for him. kyle snyder is again free.

and it didn't come via the military. it came by his refusing to be party to an illegal war.

that's probably what bothers so many about the lack of coverage. supposedly all these outlets are against the war. but when kyle snyder's standing up, where are they?

they're off on how to vote. or the need to vote. i really think a 'ballot measure' discussion on democracy now was insane. there are 50 states. exactly how did they think they could cover it yesterday (badly was the way it went) then today they went back to that dry well with mr. back stabber from way back. i hate that punk. he sold out for 'respectability' and stabbed a lot of people in the back in the 80s and that's pretty much all he does now.

and there he was with amy goodman blathering on and sounding, as usual, like he knew very little. am i the only 1 that remembers harper's magazine's expose of his organization? don't worry. if they go under, he'll be there to tell you what went wrong and pile it on big. he'll stab them all in the back. that's how he operates. when an org goes down, he's in the life boat saying it deserved to sink. that's his style.

so there was time for more jaw boning and more this and a little that but the war?

well maybe she's saving it for her next book?

woody and goody. (no, i didn't think of that. read gina & krista's round-robin tomorrow morning.)

it's disgraceful. it's disgusting that our brave independent media can't make time for his story. the war's going to be dragging on after the election, long after every 1 they have hyped on the election as the cure-all has woken up to reality.

i'm sick of the whole lot of them. i really am.

i've had it with the fact that they treat war as an after thought. i'm bored with their travelogues. i'm tired of their self-congratulations.

the reality is that this country is engaged in an illegal war and they've done a shit poor job covering it. they've talked about everything but the peace movement, they've bragged about how they were there at the 1st camp crawford even though they couldn't get their asses to it this summer.

they're gas bags wanting gold stars. i have no idea for what.

what amazing thing have they done? where has the war coverage been?

c.i.'s reviewing the goodmans' book this weekend at the third estate sunday review so look for that. i will be there prodding for some strong criticism. there's actually been a request for this for some time. but c.i.'s said no. i guess even some 1 who tries to be fair, which c.i. does try to be, can reach their breaking part.

and why not? democracy now won't cover the peace movement, won't cover kyle snyder. it can drop everything last summer to go wall to wall on israel.

and expect that again because things are once again heating up. but here's the thing, whether bully boy gives the greenlight or not, iraq is an illegal war that the united states is an active participant in.

there was no going to where the silence is with abeer and there's none with kyle snyder. a news program is supposed to be about news, not about getting out the vote. it's really shameful.

i'm too disgusted to write anything else tonight. i think independent media needs to take a hard look at its actions and ask themselves exactly what they think they're doing? if they're honest, they won't rate themselves very highly. for any 1 who doesn't grasp that, read 'Ruth's Report.'

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

Thursday, November 2, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, war resister Kyle Snyder self-checks out again, polls in the United States continue to demonstrate the opposition to the illegal war, a Saudi report says the war is over and lost, and England's Ministry of Defence cautions us all to stop worrying and embrace depleted uranium.

Starting with war resistance.
Kyle Snyder self-checked out of the US military in April 2005 and moved to Canada. Saturday, Snyder returned to the United States with the intent of turning himself in at Fort Knox under the deal the military had worked out with Snyder's attorney, James Fennerty. The military elected to burn Snyder yet again and did not move to the agreed upon dishonorable discharge but towards deploying Snyder back to Iraq.

Kyle Snyder didn't sit around passively. He's checked out again.
Brett Barrouquere (AP) reports that Snyder checked out "Tuesday after being dropped of at the Greyhound Bus station in downtown Louisville," Kentucky and Synder explained to Barrouquere, "I realized this deal was going to go bad." A longer AP version notes Synder explaining, "I came back in good faith. I put my trust in them one more time. Why should I put my trust in them again when I can just go back to Canada?" Also noted is that Snyder is traveling with activist and Vietnam war resister Gerry Condon who is hopeful that this was a misscommunication. Condon wrote on the subject of war resisters to today's illegal war in the July issue of The Objector [PDF format].

James Fennerty also acted as war resister
Darrell Anderson's attorney. (Anderson turned himself in October 3rd. He was released October 6th.) Claudia Bayliss (South Bend Tribune) examines the roll of faith and service in Anderson's stand and speaks with Anita Anderson (Darrell's mother), Margaret Pfeil ("professor of moral theology" at Notre Dame), Lt. Col. Kelly Jordan and Mike Schorsch (Catholic Peace Fellowship in South Bend). Schorsch states: "Kids like Darrell go through military training, they go to war, they change, they grow up -- but they never lose their humanity. And sometimes their humanity boils up inside of them and causes them to say 'No,' even if it means personal risks." More information on Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson and other war resistors who have gone public can be found at Courage to Resist.

War resistance among the general public in the United States continues (as it will continue to do, the opinion hardened against the war some time ago, there will not be a softening).
Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee (New York Times) report on the latest NYT/CBS News poll which found only "29 percent of Americans approve of the way President Bush is managing the war, matching the lowest mark of his presidency. Nearly 70 percent said Mr. Bush did not have a plan to end the war, and 80 percent said Mr. Bush's latest effort to rally public support for the conflict amounted to a change in language but not policy." Those polled cited the illegal war "as the most important issue" -- if only the media, big and small, felt the same. AFP notes the Wall St. Journal/NBC poll released Wednesday which found: "54 per cent of [US] voters saying it had not been worth the human and economic price to remove former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power."

This comes the same week, as
reported by The Turkish Press, that a study by the Saudi government finds that the illegal war to be a "lost battle" and the ethnic conflicts (which the illegal war brought to the forefront) to have created a "dire" condition. The Magaing Director of the Saudi National Security Assessment project, Nawaf Obaid, declared that the war "has failed by every single measure that you can think of. . . . The failure is only compounded by the fact that we just don't know what the endgame is."

Meanwhile, in Iraq,
Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) reports on concerns among "the Shia community that the US would like to ally itself more closely with the Sunni Arabs" and see that as the reason for the helicopter gunship attacks on the Medhi Army. Cockburn notes that despite the past concilliation talks between the US and leaders of the resistance "in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the US has yet to make any headway in negotiations to end the fighting." The AP reports that the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, is considerning "plans to reshuffle his 39-member Cabinet, possibly this month". Nouri al-Maliki has been flirting with this for months now and it's been reported to be 'about to happen' since it was first reported. It'll happen at some point, probably as a last-gasp measure from al-Maliki when he fears the US is replacing him with a new puppet. (And notice how the 'four-part' 'plan' has been dropped from coverage as well? Guess they could only cover steps one and two for so long.)

Also reporting from Iraq,
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily (IPS) report on the crackdown in Al-Anbar Province and notes that the fire fighters killed by US forces (admitted, the US military says it was a 'mistake') were not accidnetal killings, according to eye witnesses ("They were not killed by mistake, they were killed in front of many people," says one witness) and that "Ramadi has been facing electricity and water cuts for about two weeks now. Most residents believe this is punishment for the popular support for Iraqi resistance."


Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports a motorcycle bomb in the Sadr City section of Baghdad took the lives of seven people and left forty-five wounded. Al Jazeera, qutoing an Interior Ministry source, notes that the bomb was "detonated by remote control".
CBS and AP note two died (25 wounded) from a roadside bomb "in Baghdad's al-Jaeeda district". Reuters reports, in Baghdad, mortar rounds resulted in four deaths and eleven wounded; a car bomb in Mahmudiya took one life and left four wounded, and a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed one and wounded 22.


Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports that "the Shiite dean of Baghdad University's school of administration and economics" was shot dead and became "the 155th Iraqi academic murdered in sectarian violence and revenge attacks since the 2003 U.S. invasion." CBS and AP note that the dean's name was Jassim al-Asadi and that his wife and son were also killed. AFP reports that Amal Ahmed ("pharmacist and former army officer") was shot dead in Kirkuk "one of a series of attacks on female professionals by suspected Islamists. Reuters reports that a judge, Tariq Abid Ali, and his son were shot dead in Baquba which was also the location for the shooting deaths of two police officer; just outside Baquba, two truck drivers were shot dead and three people were kidnapped; in Udhaim, five truck drivers (in two fuel trucks) were shot dead, a guard was shot dead in Kirkuk, and that three police officers were shot dead in Baghdad.


Reuters reports that four corpses ("blindfolded") were discovered in Mahmudiya and three were found in Yusufiya. CBS and AP note that two corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("bound and blindfolded").

In other news from the ground in Iraq,
John Ward Anderson and Saad al-Izzi (Washington Post) report that the US military has confirmed that the missing US soldier Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie had married an Iraqi woman (in February 2005, not three months ago as previously reported), that her name is Israa Abdul-Satar (she is 26, he is 41) and that he was visiting her when he was kidnapped ("two of her siblings had tried to fight off te adbudctors when they came to grab him"). Claudia Parsons (Reuters) reports that the couple married before Qusai al-Taayie deployed to Iraq. He remains missing and the US military has announced the death of another US soldier: "A Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldier died at approximately noon Wednesday when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by an improvised-explosive device west of Baghdad." The death brings the total number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 2819.

In Oh-Boo-Hoo news,
AP reports that little Lt. General Ricadro Sanchez has ended his military career and is whining that Abu Ghraib is the reason: "I was essentially not offered another position in either a three-star or four-star command." Poor, poor, pitiful Sanchez. It's not like he's behind bars like Lynndie England or Charles Graner or dead like Alyssa Peterson whom Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher) notes killed herself following her objections to the torture at Abu Ghraib being used according to the reporting of Kevin Elston: "Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to."

In Don't-Believe-It-For-A-Minute news,
Michael Evans (Times of London) reports on the claim put forward by England's Ministry of Defence that "firing of depleted uranium (DU) shells in Iraq had caused no long-term health problems either for British soldiers or for Iraqi civilians". In September of 2004, Juan Gonzalez (New York Daily News and co-host of Democracy Now!) reported on Victoria Claudette Matthew, the daughter of Gerard Darren and Janice Matthew who was conceived shortly after Gerard Darren returned from Walter Reed after being sent there (from Iraq) because: "One side of Matthew's face would swell up each morning. He had constant migraine headaches, blurred vision, blackouts and a burning sensation whenever he urinated." Victoria Claudette Matthew was born "missing three fingers and most of her right hand." That is but one example. In 2005, Dahr Jamail (Iraq Dispatches) reported on Iraq Veterans Against the War's Nicolas Prubyla who had blood in his stool, hair loss, numbness in his right arm. Jamail has also noted the effects of DU on Iraqis and, at the end of 2003, noted that "many areas in the south are unihabitable by the use of Depleted Uranium" and, in 2004, noted, "Dr. Jawad Kadhim Al-Ali, Director of the Oncology Center in Basra, has theorized depleted uranium as a reason that the death rate from cancers in Basra has now reached 19 times that of 1988."

In legal news, the
Times of London reports a development in the court-martial of seven British soldiers accused of abusing Iraqis when they were in charge at a Basra prison. One of the seven, Stuart Mackenzie, kept a journal which was read aloud to to the court and "described attacks on Iraqi prisoners, some of whom were dubbed 'Ali Babas' in the accounts." An entry from 2003 recounts: "Beat them up with sticks and filmed it. A good day so far." Mackenzie denies any memories of the events he recorded in his journal.

Zolton Grossman (CounterPunch) examines the peace movement and offers some hypothesis on what can be done. There's no mention of the role of the media. There rarely is. In fact, Danny Schechter's action last March seems more and more needed today (Schechter targeted the mainstream media for their coverage). (For those wondering, Democracy Now! didn't have time to even make Kyle Snyder a headline today. Aileen Alfandary noted it during the headlines on today's KPFA's The Morning Show.)

In election news,
CODEPINK discovers candidate Charlie Brown is no Peanuts character but he is a fairweather friend. Dan Bacher (Indybay Media) reports that Brown's spokesperson has stated he (Brown) does not support CODEPINK and that "CODEPINK does not belong in the 4th district." Apparently, there's plenty of room in the 4th district for the spineless like Brown. This follows Stephen Pearcy (Indybay Media) report on Monday of Charlie Brown's wife attempting to pressure Cindy Sheehan into not attending a war protest last weekend. (Sheehan ignored the unsolicited 'advice.')

Lastly, refusing to count on others to do the work that needs to be done (smart move),
Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada and his step-mother Rosa Sakanishi continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 2, TBA Cincinnati, OH Meet Dr. Victoria (Vic) Wulsin, candidatefor congress 2nd district Ohio currently leading Jean Schmidt whocalled Rep John Murtha from PA. a coward. Sponsor: Vietnam Veterans Against the War Venue: TBA
Nov 3, TBA St. Paul MN. Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934

Nov 4, 11AM Milwaukee, WI. Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991,
bethmark@execpc.comSponsor: VFP Chapter 102 * See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"
Nov. 5, 2PM Boston, MA Encuentro 5 33 Harrison Ave. 5th floor (Chinatown)Sponsors: Asian American Movement Ezine Asian American Resource Workshop Boston Hawaiian Club Chinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global Action New England Japanese American Citizens League
Nov 5, 7PM Cambridge, MA. Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith Chapter Contact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PM Boston, MA Location: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American Studies William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequence Time: 2-4:30 pm
Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.

the heroic kyle snyder Posted by Picasa


dear john

dear john,

i know that we both agreed to try.

november of 2004 was very busy, very humilitating.

for you and for me.

i don't trust a man who says 1 thing and does another. i mean, i've never forgiveen h. ross perot for saying, in 1992, that he'd pull out but not doing it. a woman just can't trust a man like that.

back in 2004, when you refused to insist upon making sure that all the votes were counted, i really was furious.

i think you grasped that.

you slunk around for a few months.

you weren't there when barbara boxer and shirley tubbs-jones were standing up for voters.

then you seemed to nurse your wounds and i could see you hanging around, on the edges.

we'd avoid each other and how you allowed yourself to be humiliated from, basically, september 2004 through election day 2004.

it was a sore spot and bringing it up would be like picking at a scab for both of us.

then your wing mate started contacting me with his '1 america' stuff and i guess you felt a little left out.

so you started e-mailing me.

looking at those e-mails now, i see you were still the same sucker you always were, the 1 that pissed me off in 2004.

take the e-mail you had barak obama write me:

Help Harold Ford, Jr. in Tennessee, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Bob Menendez in New Jersey, and Jim Webb in Virginia.

john, that e-mail went out on october 25th.

i never thought we were 'exclusive,' so i'm sure a lot of people saw it.

most of them must be thinking, as i am, that you're a simp. you're a simp because today harold ford jr., who you supported and raised money for, was 1 of the 1st to publicly attack you.

that's not a surprise. harold ford jr. is running for office on the i-love-bully-boy ticket. he's a democrat in name only.

and there he was dissing you like his spiritual soul mate zell miller. but when zell was trashing you, at least you hadn't been vouching for him a week prior.

harold ford jr. took your money and stabbed you in the back.

any 1 could have seen it coming. but not you, john, never you.

you seem intent upon playing the fool. over and over.

so today, you were apologizing. you were sucking up to don imus and laughing like a fool. 'wind surfing'? john, that wasn't funny in summer 2004. they smeared you with that.

you didn't come off like a good sport, you came off like a fool.

as you increased your apologies throughout the day, it honestly started to come off like you were reveling in demonstrating how low you could go, how you had no pride or conviction, how you would sell out even yourself if it meant those mean 'ol republicans would stop trashing you.

john, we've danced this dance before.

you stepped on my toes and ripped the hem of my best dress.

it's time we both stopped pretending like what happened didn't happen.

it happened. you caved in 2004.

now you've caved again.

the republicans attacked you, and you caved.

it's as though tony snow waved a gun in your face and demanded your watch but you decided he needed that, your wallet, your shoes, your tie, your shirt and your pants.

john, i wouldn't trust you with my vote now.

you talked a big talk. i was willing to believe you'd learned something from the attacks of 2004 but that's all gone now.

don't e-mail me.

don't think i'll give you money.

why would i? you'd probably just hand it over to grover norquist if he promised not to scowl at you.

honestly, i've met some 1 else.

the name? self-respect.

i don't think you and self-respect have ever met.

i doubt the 2 of you ever will - you both have very little in common.

you and i kidded ourselves before. we thought we could act like 2004 didn't happen because you were talking big.

john, the trash talk doesn't mean anything if you can't take that attitude out of the locker room and onto the court.

so do us both a favor. just give up on being president in 2008. we don't need the baggage.

it shouldn't be too hard for you to give up that dream, you already gave up everything else today.

me & self-respect are much happier together than i ever could be with you. with self-respect, i can hold my head high and don't have to worry that after you're done beating yourself up for the amusement of others, you'll turn around and start beating up on me.


rebecca winters

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, American commanders appear to just notice that long established fact, Kyle Snyder is again lied to, John Kerry takes himself out of the 2008 race, and October's death toll for US troops continues to rise even though, yes, it is November 1st.

US war resister Kyle Snyder turned himself in at Fort Knox yesterday. After which,
David Montero (Rocky Mountain News) reports, the army went back on their deal and Snyder was "shipped from Fort Knox, Ky., to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., possibly to face a full court-martial." Snyder's attorney, James Fennerty, told AP that after Snyder turned himself in, the military attempted to get him "to sign a form that would have hastened his return to his unit" and that "We wouldn't have brought him back here if we knew this was going to happen." As Katya Cengel (Courier-Journal) reports, Fennerty, who also represented Darrell Anderson, has stated, "We're going to make sure nobody comes back from Canada again because we were lied to."

Kyle Snyder self-checked out of the US military after serving in Iraq during which time he saw abuses that were not investigated, his girlfriend lost their baby, and his grandfather returned. In April 2005, he went to Canada. He returned last Saturday and turned himself at Fort Knox yesterday with the understanding that he would discharged.

War resistance within the military is an under-reported story in small media as
Ruth, Rebecca and Mike pointed out yesterday. But, in fact, all waves of the peace movement are under-reported in small media. For those within the military considering resistance, Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign are among the resources out there. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Elizabeth de la Vega (TomDispatch) reported on war resister Ricky Clousing yesterday and noted meeting him at Camp Democracy in September and he reasons that he led him to refuse to fight in the Iraq war and concludes: "Twenty-four years old, Clousing told the world in simple declarative sentences why he had to give up his college money, receive a dishonorable discharge, and go to jail to take a stand against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He'd make a very cool action figure. Come to think of it, Sgt. Ricky Clousing -- tattooed arms, Laguna Beach t-shirt, and all -- would make an awesome shepherd in that manager scene. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are just going to have to move over."

Turning to England, poodle Tony Blair avoided the inquiry into Iraq in the House of Commons.
Philippe Naughton (Times of London) reports that Blair says maybe later to an Iraq inquiry "hours after narrowly avoiding defeat on a Commons motion calling for exactly that." Patrick Wintour (Irish Times) reports that the vote has left prime-minister-wannabe Gordon Brown "anxious to restore the authority of parliament, and trust in politicians" so "he will be under pressure to hold an inquest into the wider foreign policy failures of the Iraq invasion." As the Guardian of London notes, the vote was 298 to 273 with "12 Labour MPs" voting "against the government." As noted yesterday, the Farewell Tour isn't going the way Blair's handlers planned it.

Neither is Iraq. From yesterday: "In addition
CNN notes that 'at least 40 people' were kidnapped north of Baghdad." CBS and AP note that the 40 kidnappings are confirmed and that the death toll from the bombing of the wedding party yesterday has risen from 15 to 23 "including nine children." In addition, they report that two coaches were kidnapped in Baghdad today "by a group of men in SUVs". The violence and chaos continue daily and, as Michael R. Gordon (New York Times) reported, the US Central Command has just prepared a chart ("two weeks ago") to note that. It takes some a little longer.


Reuters reports many bombs: in Baghdad, 2 car bombs resulted in 7 deaths (and 7 wounded), one minibus bombing resulted in 3 deaths, and 1 roadside bomb resulted in 2 deaths (10 wounded); Ramadi, five dead three wounded from two car bombs; Mosul, two wounded from a roadside bomb; Baiji two wounded from a roadside bomb.


CBS and AP report that Izzaddin Abbas was shot dead in Baghdad and a Ministry of Industry employee was shot dead in Baghdad. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports four shooting deaths in Mosul. In addition, Reuters notes that a policewoman was shot dead in Mosul.


CBS and AP note three corpses were discovered in Baghdad today ("blindfolded and bound at the wrists"). CNN notes that the number of corpses discovered in Baghdad grew to ten. And Reuters then updated to note thirty-five corpses were discovered in Baghdad, nine in Mosul, five in Falluja, and one in Numaniya. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) notes that five corpses were discovered in "the Tigris River near Suwayrah".

In election news, though he may not grasp it, US Senator John Kerry's just taken himself out of the 2008 presidential race. It wasn't the remark he made ("You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."), it was the fact that he went through a variety of positions on it including hedging it, distorting it, saying he wouldn't apologize for it until finally doing just that. And on Don Imus, of all places, where the supposed Fighting John allowed Imus to Swift Boat him with ha-has of "wind surfing" and more. It's over, 2008 is now officially over for John Kerry. Those willing to give him the benefit of doubt despite his caving in Boston in the early morning hours of the day after the election had been told Fighting John would never cave again. "Good of the country" was the excuse that morning. There is no excuse for not fighting this go round, there is only the admission that Fighting John will buckle each and every time and that Fighting John lacks drive, lacks leadership, lacks passion and lacks committment. Send him his "Dear John" letter, it's over.

He was unable to defend either himself or the military he's spent the last few years hiding behind. What should have been an opportunity for the American public to have a serious exchange about exactly what Donald Rumsfled has done to the US military instead became a case of Save-My-Own-Ass.

The conversation will be had and it will be had without John Kerry. As the
Miami Herald reported in October of 2005: "Army Secretary Noel Harvey and Gen. Richard Cody, the vice chief of staff, said Monday that the Army is using loose Defense Department rules that permits it to sign up more high school dropouts and people who score lower on mental-qualification tests, but they denied that this meant it was lowering standards." In February of this year, Kelly M. Greenhill penned an op-ed for the New York Times noting: "The Army inducted both more recruits without high school diplomas and more youths scoring in the lowest category of the Army's aptitude test, so-called Category IV recruits. Welcoming more such recruits into the military has obvious appeal at a time when recruitment numbers are slipping, while manpower needs remain acute. But the adoption of lower standards to fill the ranks is shortsighted and imprudent. Moreover, continuing or expanding this policy would be a mistake for the Army and for the recruits themselves. Pentagon officials should know this better than anyone: their previous experiments with lower standards were clear failures." USA Today noted in July of 2005: "The Army in 2005 began accepting up to 4% of those who score in the bottom third on the Armed Froces Qualification Test. Previously, it had a limit of 2% from that category." In October of this year, AP reported that the "new lower aptitude standards" allowed the U.S. army to meet its target goal and noted "13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving. . . . Of those accepted under waivers, more than half were for 'moral' reasons, mostly misdemeanor arrests. Thirty-eight percent were for medical reasons and 7 percent were drug and alcohol problems, including those who may have failed a drug test or acknowledged they had used drugs." In 2005, Fred Kaplan (Slate) raised some of the concerns career officers in the military have with these lowered standards.

Need a face on this issue? Try
Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. In July of this year, AP noted that Steven D. Green (one of several accused in the rape of fourteen-year-old Abeer, her death and the deaths of three members of her family) was arrested in Janurary 2005 and "[d]ays later . . . enlisted in the Army."

The conversation will go on and will do so without John Kerry who may be next seen at a Democratic Convention saying, "John Kerry, reporting for wedgie." UPDATE:
Reuters reports John Kerry is now going through a ceremonial ritual of apologies. Someone call Barbara Walters.

CNN reports two more US troop deaths were reported today bringing the number of US troops who died in Iraq in October to 105. The military tends to let those deaths trickle out after the press has done their monthly look back. Thom Shanker and David S. Cloud (New York Times) reported that the toll included forty who died in Baghdad and 37 who died in Al-Anbar Province. 'Conventional wisdom' (not speaking of the NYT report just noted) is that the deaths are up due to the 'crackdown' in Baghdad (that cracked up). Those spinning that conventional wisdom don't appear to be willing to address the whack-a-mole problem US Senator John McCain pointed out in August:

Senator John McCain: So, General Abizaid, we're moving 7,500 troops into Baghdad, is that correct?

General John Abizaid: The number is closer to 3,500.[. . .]
McCain: And where are these troops coming from?Abizaid: Uh, the troops, the Styker Brigade, is coming down from Mosul.
McCain: From Mosul? Is the situation under control in Ramadi?
Abizaid: Uh, the situation in Ramadi, is better than it was two months ago.
McCain: Is the situation under control in Ramadi?
Abizaid: I think the situation in Ramadi is workable.
McCain: And the troops from Ramadi came from Falluja, isn't that correct?
Abizaid: I can't say senator, I know that --
McCain: Well that's my information. What I' worry about is we're playing a game of whack-a-mole here. We move troops from -- It flares up, we move troops there. Everybody knows we've got big problems in Ramadi and I said, "Where you gonna get the troops?" 'Well we're going to have to move them from Falluja.' Now we're going to have to move troops into Baghdad from someplace else. It's very disturbing.

Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times) reports that "224 Iraqi security forces and 1,315 civilians were killed in October". That count seems low and the source of the figures isn't identified.

In Australia, the report from the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco and the events after Kovco's death remains unreleased but remains in the headlines.
Australia's ABC reports that Angus Houston has stated that the report maintains Kovco wasn't rushed home (which would explain the mix up that sent Juso Sinanovic's body to Australia and left Jake Kovco's in Iraq) to try to build on the Anzac Day coverage. Expect to hear a lot about what it reportedly says as opposed to what it actually says, AAP informs the report won't be released until next year.

Back in Iraq, the issue is over who's pulling who? (Sing it, Aretha.) Did Nouri al-Maliki manage to outsmart his puppeteers?
The Australian reports that he did and that he's "exploiting Washington's vulnerability in the US congressional elections to flex his political muscle."

Closing with the reminder that
Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada and his step-mother Rosa Sakanishi continue the speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 1, TBA Miami, Florida Democracy for America Miami Dade and the South Florida Veterans For Peace Chapter 32 Venue and time TBA

Nov 2, TBA Cincinnati, OH Meet Dr. Victoria (Vic) Wulsin, candidatefor congress 2nd district Ohio currently leading Jean Schmidt whocalled Rep John Murtha from PA. a coward. Sponsor: Vietnam Veterans Against the War Venue: TBA

Nov 3, TBA St. Paul MN. Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934

Nov 4, 11AM Milwaukee, WI. Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991,
bethmark@execpc.comSponsor: VFP Chapter 102 * See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"

Nov. 5, 2PM Boston, MA Encuentro 5 33 Harrison Ave. 5th floor (Chinatown)Sponsors: Asian American Movement Ezine Asian American Resource Workshop Boston Hawaiian Club Chinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global Action New England Japanese American Citizens League

Nov 5, 7PM Cambridge, MA. Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith Chapter Contact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PM Boston, MA Location: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American Studies William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequence Time: 2-4:30 pm

Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.


peace makers - sally lilenthal and kyle snyder

Sally Lilienthal, a sculptor who made peace and global security her mission by founding the Ploughshares Fund, an influential foundation dedicated to preventing the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of war, has died. She was 87.
Lilienthal, a longtime human-rights activist who also was a fixture of San Francisco society, died Tuesday at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco of a bone infection that led to pneumonia, said Deborah Bain, a fund spokeswoman.
Since its founding in 1981, Ploughshares has awarded more than $40 million to groups and individuals, making it one of the largest grant-making foundations in the United States dedicated exclusively to peace and security funding, according to the fund.
"I had a little money and I wanted to make it work in the most creative and practical way," Lilienthal told the Boston Globe in 1987. "I get lots of letters asking for money. But it's almost impossible for the individual who wants to contribute to decide who is doing a good job."
On her own, Lilienthal raised $100,000 for the fund in its first year. An anonymous donor, presumed to be Lilienthal, provided $250,000 a year to cover the fund's administrative costs, which allowed all gifts to go toward grants, according to a 1988 story in the Chicago Tribune.
By creating a foundation that could collect contributions and research causes, Lilienthal "made it a one-stop shop for individuals who care about peace and security," Naila Bolus, the fund's executive director, told The Times.

that's from valerie nelson's 'Sally Lilienthal, 87; Raised Funds Aimed at Peace, Global Security' (los angeles times via common dreams). i'm starting with it because it's important that we see peace as not a 1 day thing but as a life long effort. the war hawks see war that way. they plotted and schemed through the 90s (and 'they' includes democrats though independent media can't tell you that right now) to get this illegal war in iraq.

sally lilienthal worked for peace and she leaves a heroic history. it takes strength and courage to do what she spent her life doing and the world's better off as a result of her work.

now i want to talk about another person who showed courage, kyle snyder.

i wish i could tell you how you could read about him at ___ or hear him on __ but the reality is i don't see much coverage. i see c.i., as usual, doing more than any 1. now i came in late to robert knight's report on flashpoints, but if kyle snyder got mentioned, it was before i was listening.

we talked about him here before and we noted he would be returning to the united states. i know the high school readers especially worked on getting the word out. this is why we all did that, because we can't count on independent media. we've yet to see any magazine offer an issue on iraq all damn year. we've yet to get a radio program that focuses solely on iraq. it's still, it's always, what mike called 'war as an after thought.'

since the beginning of june, the following have told the u.s. military they will not serve in the illegal war: ricky clousing, darrell anderson, ehren watada, mark wilkerson, agustin aguayo and now kyle snyder. there are others as well but those are the 1s who've done it (and done it publicly) since june.

it matters and they matter. kyle snyder was placed in social services because he came from an abusive home. the military recruiters lurked and preyed on this kid. they showed up at his high school graduation. they filled him with empty promises. he was told he'd be working on reconstruction in iraq. but there was no reconstruction. there was construction of the u.s. embassy, of u.s. bases, and any other sign of occupation.

while he was in iraq, his girlfriend lost their child and his grandfather died. he saw abuses going on (of iraqis by u.s. soldiers) and when he reported it and requested an investigation, it was ignored. it was obvious that there was no oversight and there was no concern about iraqis, just about occupying iraq.

in april of 2005, kyle snyder decided enough was enough. he did a self-check out from the military and went to canada. on saturday, he returned to the u.s. he was able to visit his grandfather's grave for the 1st time. today he turned himself in at fort knox.

he said no to war. that took guts. it deserves to be noted. instead it's being ignored. and that's been the story too often lately. so it won't change, don't expect it to.

you can pick up the nation and read all about how this democrat who betrayed the constitution by voting to do away with habeus corpus is a 'hero' and other b.s. but you can't get iraq coverage unless they're hiding behind the generals or talking 'strategy.' that's very disappointing because that's the best left magazine we have and it's performance regarding the war is really embarrassing. they ignore almost every protest, almost every demonstration. they've yet to do much in terms of leading. there was talk, last year, of how only the people who spoke out against the war would get an endorsement.

did i miss harold ford jr. speaking out against the war? he's profiled. where's the press attention to the candidates against the war? and let's be clear, a puff piece on the eve of an election is an endorsement.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot' and let's all be thankful for the snapshot which covers peace and war in iraq, on iraq, every monday through friday even when our independent media wants to take a vacation from the topic:

October 31, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, war resister Kyle Snyder prepares to turn himself in at Fort Knox, Tony Blair's long-goodbye continues to go off the rails, turns out the Pentagon's not sure how many US troops are in Iraq, Tony Snow Job attempts to attack (but comes off like he's humping Bully Boy's legs), and more tensions between the puppet (al-Maliki) and DC.

Starting in the United States. War resister
Kyle Snyder self-checked out of the US military in April 2005 and moved to Canada where he remained until last Saturday. Today, Brett Barrouqere (AP) reports is the day that Kyle Snyder will turn himself at Fort Knox. While serving in Iraq, Synder saw many actions go uninvestigated, he saw his girlfriend's pregnancy turn to tragedy -- "The military took my child," Snyder told Karen Button in an interview. He saw Iraqis died who shouldn't have, he saw Iraqi women brought on to bases as prostitutes. What he didn't see was reconstruction going on. As Courage to Resist notes Snyder saying, "The only reconstruction I saw was building Army bases."

In Canada, Synder attempted to be granted asylum. During the Vietnam era, the Canadian government had done that. However, the government has so far refused to offer refugee status. Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey are appealing decisions right now. Hinzman has been attempting to be granted refugee status since January 2004. At end of last month, war resister Darrell Anderson
returned to the United States from Canada. Snyder, Hinzman, Anderson, Hughey, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Ehren Watada, Stephen Funk, Patrick Hart, Corey Glass, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Clifford Cornell, Katherine Jashinski, Agustin Aguayo, Ivan Brobeck, Joshua Key, Joshua Despain, Kevin Benderman, are among those making up the growing movement of war resistance within the military. Last Friday, Different Drummer in Watertown, NY became the first G.I. coffeehouse of this war. David Zeiger's documentary Sir! No Sir! charts the resistance within the military during the Vietnam era. More information on war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist and at War Resisters Support Campaign.

As Kyle Snyder stands strong, Bully Boy's poodle yelps. In England, Tony Blair's long goodbye continues to go off the rails. The glad handing, easy photo-ops and glossy stories that were supposed to abound as he entered his final months of prime minister just can't get traction.
The Scotsman reports he spent "today fighting desperately to avoid a damaging defeat at Westminister over a deman for an immediate inquiry into the Iraq War and its aftermath. Labour whips were frantically trying to persuade rebels -- including Edinburgh East MP and former Cabinet Minister Gavin Strang and potentially Midlothian's David Hamilton -- not to back the Nationalists and the Liberal Democrats' call for an investigation." Nick Assinder (BBC) offers: "It is just possible that, more than three years after the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair will be defeated in the House of Commons over the war" and notes that Blair, like Bully Boy, is attempting to defocus by stating a debate on the war would be a 'victory' for terrorists. Nonsense, responds William Hague of the Conservative Party. AP quotes him stating: "A responsible government should want all possible lessons to be learned from the efforts to bring order and reconstruction to Iraq and should not be afraid of giving these issues the most searching examination."

The Evening Times notes "a possible Commons defeat tonight over the handling of the Iraq war" and Nick Assinder (BBC) notes that Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond states that "a defeat for Mr Blair would mean his tenure would be measure in hours and days rather than weeks and months. Yet even Mr Salmond believes defeat is unlikely". Regardless of the outcome, Blair's efforts to be Eco-Man of the People (this week's push) were destroyed as the War Hawk was once again confronted with the consequences of his actions.

In the United States, Bully Boy continues to attempt to elude consequences for his illegal war while others aren't as fortunate. The
AFP reports that there are now 150,000 US troops in Iraq "the largest number reported this year" and the numbers are also "the highest levels since December 2005 when US commanders built up US troop levels for the Iraqi elections." In another report, the AFP attempted to get a response on the increase in US troop numbers from the Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff. Ruff: "This is news to me. Talk to MNF-I (Multi-National Forces -Iraq). That's General Casey's decision." Again, the Pentagon's press secretary responds, when asked about the fact that the number of US troops has increased in Iraq, "This is news to me."

That head-up-the-ass moment is rivaled only by
last week when Bully Boy, attempting to convince the American people that he's hands-on and following the war, stated "we've lost 93 service members in Iraq" when that day (Wednesday) the count was 91 and would remain 91 until the US military announced more fatalities on Thursday.In both cases, Ruff's and Bully Boy's, it's their job to know the numbers.

The rise to 150,000 US forces in Iraq comes at a time when, as
John F. Burns and David E. Sanger (New York Times) reported, whispers among "American officials" are centered on talk of increasing the number of American and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad. The 'crackdown' cracked up, in all its forms. And three years after the illegal war began, the talk centers on how to 'pacify' the capital. David Martin (CBS) reports that George W. Casey Jr. ("U.S. Commander in Iraq") wants to increase Iraqi forces by 100,000 which would also mean increasing US forces to train them. (Remember, the US government decided not to continue training Iraqi soldiers in Jordan.)

The talk of Iraqi forces is misplaced as well.
Amit R. Paley (Washington Post) notes George W. Casey Jr.'s optimistic predicition from last week (a year to a year-and-a-half before Iraqis can take over their country) and reports the reality on the ground as seen by the US military (which predicts that would take decades) and by Baghdad's chief of police, Salah al-Ani: "None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better. They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket."

CNN reports that the checkpoints in the Sadr City section of Baghdad have been opened after Muqtada al-Sadr called a strike on Monday in which "[m]ost shops, schools and government buildings" closed down. To the surprise of only those who've been waiting each day since mid-June for the 'crackdown' to demonstrate positive results, the BBC reports: "The week-long restrictions, checks and searches caused increasing resentment in the densely-populated neighborhood." The puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki broke with the US over this and ordered the checkpoints opened. It's being seen as a victory for Sadr City residents; however, they, and all of Baghdad, remain under a nightime curfew. In addition, Lara Logan (CBS) reports that though the checkpoints are open, they are still physically present and that it "took weeks to put [them] in place . . . and it will take as long as that to dismantle them".

The Sadr City 'crackdown within a crackdown' began when a US solider went missing Monday night. AP identified him
on Friday as Ahmed Qusai al-Taei. On Sunday, reports surfaced that the US soldier had left the Green Zone not to visit an aunt as previously reported, but, as Michael Luo and Qais Mizher (NYT reporters reporting in the Times' International Herald Tribune) explained, it was now being stated that he was "visiting an Iraqi woman whom he had secretly married three months ago" when he was kidnapped according to the woman's family. al-Taei remains missing.

And chaos and violence continue throughout Iraq.


In Baghdad,
CNN reports a car bomb left members of a wedding dead or injured: 15 dead and 19 wounded. The dead included four children, as Aileen Alfandary noted on today's KPFA's The Morning Show. Also in Baghdad, Reuters reports, a car bomb and a roadside bomb left at least four dead and at least thirteen wounded. Outside of Baghdad, Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Falluja (two dead; two wounded);


Reuters reports a police officer was shot dead (and three wounded) in Baquba and that two shop owners (also in Baquba) were shot dead, an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Falluja, and one in Tal Afar as well as four "gunmen".


CNN reports that ten corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters reports eight people were discovered in Suwayra and eight in Baquba.

In addition
CNN notes that "at least 40 people" were kidnapped north of Baghdad.

In ridiculous news,
CBS and AP report that the White House (which can't even give an accurate count on how many US troops have died in Iraq -- not even one that matches their own Pentagon's count) is attacking US Senator John Kerry as a 'troop basher' because he noted in a California speech on Monday: "You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." The truth in those remarks (recruiters target the lower class with less hopes of a college education) struck to close to home with the White House leading Tony Snow to demand that Kerry apologize to all those serving. The apology should come right after Bully Boy apologizes for (a) starting the illegal war and (b) using Daddy's connections to get out of serving in Iraq and yet not even bothering to show up for his National Guard Training.

Instead of demanding apologies from John Kerry, the White House might be better off apologizing to the families lied to by their government.
AP reports: "The families of seven soldiers who died in Iraq or Afghanistan were given incorrect or misleading information about the deaths, the Army has concluded after a review of war casualty reports." White House flack Tony Snow Job should grasp that lying to the families of the dead was the "absolute insult."

In reality news,
News Dissector Danny Schechter examines the 'strategy' of those who (my summary, not his) kind-of-sort-of-maybe think the illegal war wasn't such a good idea but would rather talk 'strategy' than reality and reduce Iraqis to extras in the supposed story of their own lives and also notes the effects of this on the Democratic Party: "So in the same way that Fox News pushed all other news outlets to the right, the GOP has imposed its worldview on the whole political spectrum. As a result, many Dems are not challenging this distroted ieology, only the personalities identified with it. Bush's message points, Cheney contentiousness, and Rumsfeld's ravings make them a perfect foil for those who say what they want to do is right -- but the way they are going about it's wrong." Meanwhile Jack Randon (PEJ News) pens an open letter to Iraq's parliament: "You have a problem. The occupiers are pushing you to disarm the militias yet you are acutely aware that any community left unprotected will be swept away in the next wave of violence. Your people would hold you accountable for the bloodbath that followed. You cannot comply. Conseuqently, the Americans will accuse you of being unable and unwilling to govern -- yet if you did comply, there would be open rebellion. If you stand up to the occupiers, you will surely lose their support. You will be evicted from the Green Zone and cast out in the streets where the price of politicans and collaborators is cheap."

In other reality news, the US troops death toll for October has reached
103. That puts it behind three other months -- January '05 (107), February '04 (135) and November '04 (137). It also needs to be noted that 103 may not be the final toll since the US military has a way of releasing numbers a few days 'late' -- usually after the press has written up their "monthly count" story. If the number sticks, it's the fourth worst month of the illegal war for US troops. Three years-plus after the illegal war began. The worst month for Iraqis is each advancing month as The Lancet study pegs the number dead due to the war at approximately 655,000 and the UN has to update their estimates for daily deaths every few months.

Turning to Australia, a report has been handed to Angus Houston who is the Air Chief Marshal of Australian's military
NEWS.com reports. The report is the product of the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco and into the events that immediately followed. Throughout much of the summer, the inquiry heard testimony. Some witnesses 'testified' about things they never observed. When asked who had passed that on to them, in one instance, a witness was allowed to get away with offering up Nah-Nah-Nah-I-don't-want-to-say-and-you-can't-make-me. Theories were floated that had no basis in DNA science but it took a DNA expert's testimony to bury that nonsense. The proceedings included the testimony-counter-testimony of Houston and Brendan Neslon (Minister of Defence) over whether or not Nelson was warned not to be a Chatty Cathy. (Houston maintained Nelson was warned -- the larger question of why Nelson needed a warning not to talk to the press about things he knew nothing about went unexplored.) There is no word on when the report will be made public.

And Kyle Snyder has now turned himself in at Fort Knox. Prior to that, he held a news conference in Lousiville (at a Presbyterian church) and,
Dylan T. Lovan (AP) reports, stated: "I don't see a lot of positive things coming from this war. I see it as a counterproductive mission." Lovan also reports that, according to his attorney James Fennerty, Kyle Snyder "will receive an other-than-honorable discharge. That would be the same punishment received by . . . Darrell Anderson".

In other war reistance news,
Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada and his step-mother Rosa Sakanishi continue the speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Oct 31, 7-9PMNorman, OKLocation: Cleveland County Fairgrounds - Lobby615 E. RobinsonSponsor: Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War Contact: Jeri Reed, 405-307-0352, cell 405-606-9598,

Nov 1, TBAMiami, FloridaDemocracy for America Miami Dade and the South Florida Veterans For Peace Chapter 32Venue and time TBA

Nov 2, TBACincinnati, OHMeet Dr. Victoria (Vic) Wulsin, candidatefor congress 2nd district Ohio currently leading Jean Schmidt whocalled Rep John Murtha from PA. a coward.Sponsor: Vietnam Veterans Against the WarVenue: TBA

Nov 3, TBASt. Paul MN.Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934

Nov 4, 11AMMilwaukee, WI.Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991,
bethmark@execpc.comSponsor: VFP Chapter 102* See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"

Nov. 5, 2PMBoston, MAEncuentro 533 Harrison Ave. 5th floor(Chinatown)Sponsors:Asian American Movement EzineAsian American Resource WorkshopBoston Hawaiian ClubChinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global ActionNew England Japanese American Citizens League

Nov 5, 7PMCambridge, MA.Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith ChapterContact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PMBoston, MALocation: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American StudiesWilliam Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social ConsequenceTime: 2-4:30 pm

Nov 6, 7PMWorcester, MA.Location: Clark University – University Building, Lurie RoomSponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.