post foreign editor admits op-eds and editorials flawed

101 apologies to c.i. i meant to write about Flashpoints yesterday but was tired (see yesterday's post if you don't believe me) and forgot. i call c.i. today and get asked if i heard it. right away i know what c.i.'s talking about - dennis bernstein interviewed peter eisner of the washington post. i say, 'yes, i did!'

that was a great interview. am i going to write about it? no, i say, go ahead.

right after i say it, i grasp the problem. 'don't worry, i'll cover it tonight and you can link to it on monday.'

so the subject of the interview was bully boy's misleading the country into war with lies. let me be clear that peter eisner didn't use the term. thankfully, dennis called it what it was.

the yellowcake uranium lie was the 1 joe wilson was sent to investigate and ended up writing, as eisner noted, 'what i didn't find in africa' after bully boy kept lying about it.

the thing was debunked. iraq was not trying to obtain yellow cake from niger.

eisner said the rumor started floating in october of 2001 (believe he said the 11th, but go listen to the archived broadcast). the tip was passed on by italian intelligence and eisner noted they have a reputation for having the worst intelligence in europe.

to check out the claim, joe wilson was sent to niger. he found no evidence.

the 'evidence' was already in question. the intelligence agency it came from was a dubious 1.

but bully boy insisted upon keeping that in. at 1 point, eisner explains that then c.i.a. head george tenet pulled it from a speech. bully boy put it into the state of the union. he did it in a weasel way by blaming the brits: 'british intelligence has recently learned that saddam huseein sought ...' he knew the c.i.a. had debunked it. he knew it was a lie.

tenet got that speech too late, if i remember right from eisner's timeline, so it got squeezed into the state of the union address for 2003.

judith miller was addressed. dennis brought her up and peter was as delicate about that as he could be. the war on joe wilson was then brought up by dennis.

peter made a point to note that, unlike the op-eds, the reporting section was factual and correct.

damn. i was hoping i could cheat. seriously! it just hit me that the interview is right up robert parry's alley and i thought he might have written about it (even just a paragraph in another article) becaus he's been addressing the washington post's editorials and columns. but he didn't. i was going to say 'and now go read ___ by robert parry.'

i think the big point, the thing that if it was said on a chat & chew on a sunday, every paper would run with the next day is 'foreign editor of the post admits op-eds and editorials got it wrong.'

that's really not news - parry's been covering it. and peter didn't sweat saying that. somebody e-mail robert parry and tell him to listen to the interview because he really has been on this and could use that statement to back up his points. (they don't need backing up but this was a bit more than howie kurtz's fooling.)

so that was basically the interview. dennis did a great job, peter did a great job. you should listen to it.

what else?

oh, i had to write about it. c.i. can link to this and can quote it but c.i. doesn't criticize the post (that's been noted over and over at the common ills.) knows too many people there. c.i.'s slammed bob woodward but he's not really part of the newspaper. there is 1 person that c.i. tore into in 2005 (i think it was 2005) and c.i. advised 'i'm about to tear into ___.' and was told 'go for it.' he wasn't liked at the paper. he's no longer with the paper. he's now with a new outlet that's making 1 mistake after another - can you figure out which 1? of course you can. and that's why this community doesn't link to it - it's reputation, or rather the people behind it have a reputation, that was very poor before it started up. c.i. didn't say don't link, but advised that it would probably have a number of errors, would probably court the right (and they haven't they been chummy with matt drudge?) and just made that a 'heads up' kind of thing. but we've all avoided it.

so my apologies again to c.i. dennis had an important interview and if i'd been thinking last night, i would've written about it. if i'd been really thinking, i would have realized, there was no way c.i. could cover it. so i have done here - late but better than never.

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

March 30, 2007. Chaos and violence continues in Iraq, war resister Corey Glass appears before a supposed independent body, and the puppet of the occupation plays catch & release while the 'crackdown' again cracks up.

Starting with war resisters. In Canada, a US war resister appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board today.
Matthew Chung (Toronto Star) reports that Corey Glass and his attorney, Jeffrey House, will attempt to argue that the Iraq war is illegal. Chung notes: "Glass joined the National Guard in Indiana four years ago to, so he says, fill sand bags and help guard U.S. soil. Instead he was sent to Iraq, a war he said he doesn't believe in. He fled during a two-week leave." So he says, Chung? He's maintained that repeatedly including when he spoke at Tilley Hall Auditorium in October of last year "filling sand bags to stop a flood on American soil". After self-checking out, Glass was underground for seven months before going to Canada and, during that time, the Army (which supposedly just waits for traffic violations to catch self-check outs) was visiting his parents, calling phone numbers trying to track him down. As October started last year, Corey Glass, Justin Colby, Ryan Johnson and other war resisters in Canada were considering returning to US as a result of the way Darrell Anderson's discharge was resolved. However, once the military attempted to screw over Kyle Snyder, that changed. Glass told Brett Barrouqere (AP) at the start of November, "After what they did to him, I don't see anybody going back." In September of last year, Glass stated, "I knew the war was wrong before I went, but I was going to fulfil my end of the bargain, right or wrong and eventually my conscience just caught up with me. . . I felt horrible for being a part of it. If I could apologise to those people [Iraqis], every single on, I would." The supposed independent body of the Immigration and Review Board has refused to grant asylum thus far to every Iraq war resister who has come before it.

Staying on war resistance, Joshua Key, who is in Canada with his wife Brandi Key and their children, wrote, with Lawrence Hill, his story in the new book
The Deserter's Tale which has been receiving favorable reviews across the political spectrum. Karen Alego Krizman (Rocky Mountain News) is the latest to review the book and observes, "Key admits he believed the recruiter who promised he wouldn't have to go overseas or into combat if he joined the Army - mere months after 9/11. Couple this naivete with the steady dose of racism Key says the Army fed recruits and it's no wonder that abuses such as Abu Ghraib occur." Paul Gessel (Ottawa Citizen) notes the Ottawa International Writers Festival from April 15-22 will include Lawrence hill, David Suzuki, Tom Harpur, Roy MacGregor and Barbara Gowdy and reports: "Hill is riding high this year with two books, one a novel about the slave trade called The Book of Negroes and the other a non-fiction story called The Deserter's Tale, about an American soldier who went AWOL while home on leave from fighting in Iraq. That soldier, Joshua Key, is trying to obtain refugee status in Canada and will be joining Hill at the festival April 16."

On Monday, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees took a look at Kyle Snyder and other war resisters who were making a life in Nelson British Columbia. Cooper noted, "We all know the stories about Vietnam War-era deserters who fled to Canada. But less well-known are the members of today's armed forces who are refusing to serve in Iraq. Many have fled to the same town in Canada where they're being welcomed with open arms." Thelma Gutierrez was the reporter for the segment.

Kyle Snyder: I joined when I was 19. . . I sat back, I put my weapon down beside me, and then, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, real quick, very, very loud, I could just remember the look on the man's face. . . . I was a .50 cal. machine gunner and I was an escort for very high-ranking officials. What drew the line for me was one mission in particular where I had witnessed an innocent civilian shot in front of me. . . . I was first angry at that. And then I became angry at the fact that there were no repercussions. This -- there was nothing done to prevent this from happening again. . . . I made my decision off of the things that I personally witnessed in Iraq. I didn't just wake up one morning and say, 'I'm going to leave my country, I'm going to leave my friends behind, I'm going to leave everything that I know and everything that I love and built my entire life on,' nobody does that. . . . I can walk around shops here and, you know, I see "war resisters welcome here" signs. I see community getting involved and getting together. High schoolers come up and say, what can I do to support the anti-war movement?

Meanwhile, Canada's
Chronicle Herald reports, "Police have initiated an investigation into" Snyder's arrest "which will be conducted by the Abbotsford police". Snyder was pulled from the home he shares with Ryan and Jen Johnson, the day before his wedding, arrested in his boxers and carried to a jail where he was held (still in his boxers) for several hours as a result of some sort of 'special' and 'unofficial' deal between the police and the US military.

Glass, Key, Snyder and Johnson are part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes
Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, Joshua Key, Dean Walcott, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

In the United States, the press continues to believe that claims of a withdrawal garner more interest than headlines of "Some Troops May Come Home . . . Someday." The realities were addressed on yesterday's

Meanwhile in Washington the Senate a sort time ago passed a long discussed resolution that ties military funding to non-specific suggestions that President Bush accept the goal but not the requirement of removing less than half of the 150,000 US occupation troops from Iraq by the unenforceable deadline of March 2008. Nevertheless, President Bush has promised a veto. Today's 51 to 47 vote was mostly along party lines and now the Senate and House must resolve their respective legislation neither of which require a full withdrawal of US troops from Iraq till well after the installation of the next American president. And that's some of the news this Thursday, March 29th, 2007. From exile, I'm Robert Knight.

Robert Knight has been one of the consistent voices throughout. (Also on yesterday's
Flashpoints, Dennis Bernstein interviewed the Washington Post's Peter Eisner. Rebecca will be covering that late tonight.) This week's CounterSpin (which began airing today) featured a discussion on the issue of what the US House and Senate bills actually state as opposed to the way the press has portrayed them. Co-host Janine Jackson spoke with The Institute for Policy Studies Erik Leaver. Leaver noted that
the bills' "terms of reference only are for combat troops and if you look at the current number of troops deployed in Iraq only half of them would be considered as are combat troops." Jackson, noting reality versus coverage, asked, "Well then are some of the press characterizations or glosses of this as a withdrawal bill, it sounds as though that's not quite on the money?" To which Leaver responded, "That's exactly correct."

Janine Jackson: Well looking at that broader context and we don't have much time left, the majority of the population want an end to the occupation and the war and media acknowledge that, it's their polls that show that, but it doesn't seem somehow guide the questions that they ask or the sources that speak to and I wonder in this case were there not other pieces of legislation that maybe came closer to what the public was calling for? Was there no way for journalists to kind of put this in the context of: "Is this going to end the war sooner?"

Eric Leavler: I think that is the missing element in the story. Again, if the news media reported on: "This brings half the troops home" I think you would see a lot more public discontent about the bill and they would perhaps I think there would be a lot more dissatisfied with Democrats than they are.

Michael Shank (Foreign Policy in Focus) interviews US House Rep and 2008 presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich explains why he refused to vote 'yes' on the House bill, "It's very simple: the bill kept the war going. I want to see this war end. I have created, with the help of people who worked on security and peacekeeping missions for years, a plan to end the war. It's embodied in H.R. 1234. It would end the U.S. occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home, establisha parallel process creating a peacekeeping and security force, reach out to the nations of the region and the international community for help -- something we won't get as long as we continue to occupy Iraq. That plan is much more expansive and in the course of this interview I'd be happy to over it with you but in short, I oppose the resolution because it kept funding the war. And I say we need to the war now. Not a year from now, not two years from now, not five or ten years from now, but now."

Military Families Speak Out issued (PDF format) "Military Families Speak Out Responds to Senate Vote To Continue Funding For Iraq War" yesterday which notes:

"People across this nation voted in November for an end to the war, not for Congress to provide President Bush with the funds to continue it. Our loved ones were first betrayed when they were sent off to fight a war based on lies. Congress is now continuing that betrayal by failing [to] cut off funding for this unjustifiable war."Miliary Familes Speak Out renews our calls for Congress to use their 'power of the purse' to support our troops and de-fund the war. We call on Congres to fund our troops by funding a safe and orderly withdrawal from Iraq and by funding care for our troops when they return home. This is the 'funding for troops' that is desperately needed."Leadership and courage, two character traits that our loved ones rely on every day as they put their lives on the line, seem to be in short supply on Capitol Hill. We hope that as the Supplemental Appropriations bill goes through the House-Senate Conference Committee and then back to the floors of the House and Senate, we will see our elected officials stand up for our troops and for our nation by ending the funds that allow this unjustifiable war to continue and providing the funds for a safe and orderly withdrawal and the care they need when they get home."

Richard W. Behan (CounterPunch) zeroes in on one aspect of both the Senate and the House's measures, the privatization of Iraq's oil law, defined by the Bully Boy and both houses of Congress as a 'benchmark' Iraqis must meet, "If passed, the law will make available to Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, BP/Amoco, and Royal Dutch/Shell about 4/5's of the stupendous petroleum reserves in Iraq. That is the wretched goals of the Bush Administration, and in his speech setting the revenue-sharing 'benchmark' Mr. Bush conscisously avoided any hint of it. The legislation pending now in Washington requires the President to certify to Congress by next october that the benchmarks have been met -- specifically that the Iraqi hydrocarbon law has been passed. That's the land mine: he will certify the American and British oil companies have access to Iraqi oil. This is not likely what Congress intended, but it is precisely what Mr. Bush has sought for the better part of six years." Steve Kretzmann (Oil Change) notes that the Iraqi oil unions were locked out of the drafting process but they are quite clear where they stand on the law: "The British and American oil companies were the first to obtain the concession to extract and invest Iraqi oil, nearly 80 years ago. After Iraq got rid of this octopus network, these foreign oil companies have again attempted to dominate this important oil wealth, under numerous pretexts and invalid excuses."

The House and the Senate managed to endorse the privatization of Iraq's oil even if they didn't bother to address the malnutrition --
Cartias Internationalis reports "[o]ver 11 percent of newborn babies are born underweight in Iraq today," that one third of Iraqi children now suffer from malnutrition, and quotes President of Caritas Middle East North Africa Claudette Habesch stating, "Iraq has the second largest oil supplies in the world, but it has levels of poverty, hunger and underdevelopment comparble to sub-Saharan Africa. The last four years, but in particular 2006, we have seen life get worser rather than better for the ordinary Iraqi. And people are voting with their feet. Everday 5000 people leave Iraq. In 2007, one in ten Iraqis is expected to leave the country. We are seeing minority groups such as Christians completely disappear from the country or leave their homes for safer areas."

And when someone tries to return?
Edward Wong and Ashley Gilbertson (New York Times -- Wong text, Gilbertson photos) report on Suaada Saadoun, a 49-year-old Iraqi woman who made the mistake of believing a wave of Operation Happy Talk that the latest juiced up version of the eternal 'crackdown' would make Baghdad safe. Suaada returned to her home last month amidst the big talk of the protection and how things would be safer. She, her four daughters, her son-in-law, and grandchildren returned to her Baghdad home after fleeing Iraq for Syria when the Shia gangs and militias became too threatening. Upon returning, Suaada attempted to deal with the new threats by notificing the Kurdish and US military. When two thugs, Abbas Radhi and Zuhair Naama, showed up with papers from the Ministry of Finance (which, make the connection, they obviously worked for), she phoned the Kurdish and American military. The Kurdish military was able to stop the two men at a checkpoint. They and the US military arrested the two men. Suaada was shot dead the next morning in front of a bakery. Her family has now fled the home.

But it was safer, said US military flacks, things were better in Baghdad -- this version of the crackdown was really something, really accomplishing something . . . Really nothing but more of the same. Oh, there is a difference. More attacks. Attacks on the fortified Green Zone are up.
Kristin Roberts (Reuters) reports the US military is saying that car bombs have "soared 30 percent since the start of a security crackdown in Iraq last month" -- since the start of the latest version of the crackdown that's been ongoing since June of 2006 is ther reality. David Byers (Times of London) reports that "the death toll rose to nearly 400 in four days following a multitude of deadly bomb and shooting attacks." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that "violence is returning to previous levels throughout the country. The number of unidentified bodies found dumped on Baghdad streets, which had dropped to an average of 13 per day in the weeks just after the plan began, has averaged 19 a day for the past two weeks. The average numbers of people killed and of car bombs also have increased slightly, according to statistics that McClatchy compiled."

CNN reports that Moqtada al-Sadr "is calling for an anti-American protest in the Iraqi city of Najaf on April 9, the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad." Sounds like Clear Channel needs to get off their asses and head on over to Iraq to stage some of their propaganda rallies they held in the US during 2003. CBS and AP note that al-Sadr's call comes as "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose backing is dropping even among fellow Shiites, issued an angry statement pledging to bring the bombers responsible for Thursday's attacks to justice." That apparently means al-Maliki will make a big show about detaining them and then release them hours later with no fanfare. Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports that the 18 police officers who went on a massacre in Tal Afar, dragging people from their homes, killing at least 70 people, the ones identified by survivors, the ones who were taken into custody with much, much fanfare -- "had been freed after being detained for only a few hours." CNN reports that they were arrested (re-arrested) today. No word yet on whether they've also already been released.


CNN reports: "A U.S. airstrike in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood about 2 a.m. Friday killed at least 16 people and wounded 14 others, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. He said all of those killed were guards who protect neighborhoods in Sadr City. The U.S. military said it is looking into the report."


Reuters reports two police officers were shot dead in Hilla.


CNN reports 25 corpses were discovered in Mosul.

Today, the
US military announced: "While conducting a combat security patrol, a MND-B Soldier died and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near the Soldiers in a southern section of the Iraqi capital March 29." AP notes this brought the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal to 3,245.

CBS and AP report that six weeks after the Washington Post (Dana Priest and Anne Hull) and ABC News Brian Woodruff put the scandals of veterans health 'care' front and center, Bully Boy mosied down to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to throw some empty words around about how "we're going to fix the problem" and that he toured an "empty" patient room. Hopefully, his prepared remarks weren't delivered there but with the Bully Boy who knows . . .

Finally, students in the US have been protesting and continue to protest the Iraq war. The latest indication that gas bags need to rethink is The Nation magazine which makes the new SDS (
Students for a Democratic Society) their latest cover and includes a sketch (no articles -- it's fastly becoming the Highlights of the political set). Been there, done that and never awarded a student, as The Nation did not that long ago, for writing an essay spitting on her peers, LeftTurn was there first and best with Doug Viehmeyer's article "Steppin It Up: The New SDS." From the article: "SDS has gone forward, with 250 chapters springing up nationwide (and internationally). The most surprising aspect of the growth of SDS has been the number of chapters established at high schools and community colleges. When compared with the initial years after the founding of the original SDS, we are ahead of the curve. The spring and summer of 2006 was the incubation period for SDS, with the initial chapters getting off the ground and spreading via word of mouth and the web, participating in joint actions with other groups, and beginning the slow development of organizational vision and strategy." Applause to Viehmeyer and LeftTurn for doing such an amazing article that The Nation (already suffering bad campus cred -- for good reason) had to rush to copy.


the 1-sided ethan brommer

i may or may not address the gonazles scandal this post. it is important but there's something else i want to address.

ethan bronner's probably real pleased with himself. his book review is on the front page of the new york times arts section. it's entitled 'after years in middle east politics, one palestinian still finds hope' and he's supposedly reviewing once upon a country: a palestinian life by sari nussibeh ('with anthony david').

did any 1 read this crap before it made it into the paper?

over and over bronner talks about israel and israelis.


in other words, mr. nusseibeh's very existance poses a challenge to many israeli's beliefs about themselves.

..., mr. nusseibeh is really an israeli dream.

unfortunately for israel the period when me nusseibeh could actually have done it much good - in the1980s and '90s, when he weilded influence, before the palestinian movement was taken over*

[*it's a slam against the current palestinian leadership, i'm not repeating that shit. note that there is no slam of israeli leadership.]

this is now mainstream israeli thinking ...

here's bronner's 1st sentence from his concluding paragraph:

destined to live together, he argues, palestinians and israelis must get to know each other.

well, let's hope they do get to know each other but let's note that brommer has no interest in readers knowing palestinians. the review operates from the principle of what does israel want, what's good for israel, etc. it has no interest in palestinians.

bronner's a jerk and he does this sort of thing all the time. i made the mistake of reading the review and wanted to note it here because i'm sick of the times and how they can't go.

what do palestinians think? well he's not interested in wondering that. he is happy to slam their leadership. he's happy to repeatedly ponder what this means for israel?

there's never any balance in the times' coverage of palestinians. this is the perfect example.

i have another thing i need to do. third party e-mailed something and wrote 'i really enjoyed this. you don't have to link to it.' you know what, i do have to. i'll explain why at the end. this is from alan maass' 'Why Ralph Nader Took a Stand' (counterpunch):

No one can say that the documentary An Unreasonable Man sugarcoats the case against its subject.
The film opens with Ralph Nader mumbling through a brief statement at a sparsely attended press conference during his 2004 presidential campaign. Then comes several minutes of vitriolic denunciations of Nader by three of the most unpleasant, puffed-up and dishonest fixtures of the liberal firmament--Democratic "strategist" James Carville, author Todd Gitlin and Nation columnist Eric Alterman.
If you aren't familiar with their complaints on the subject, they are easily summarized: Ralph Nader, because he ran for president in 2000 as a third-party candidate against Al Gore and George Bush, is responsible everything bad that's happened during the Bush presidency.
Every. Thing.
"Thank you Ralph for the Iraq war, thank you Ralph for the tax cuts, thank you Ralph for the destruction of the environment, thank you Ralph for the destruction of the Constitution," Alterman spits out. "I just think the man needs to go away. I think he needs to live in a different country. He's done enough damage to this one; let him damage someone else's now."
"Wicked," "megalomaniac," "politically idiotic," "deluded" and "psychologically troubled" are a few of the terms of abuse Alterman and friends lob at Nader.
If only they managed a tenth of this kind of venom when talking about Republicans. But instead, their sanctimonious and humorless diatribes are directed at the man responsible for seatbelts and airbags in cars, anti-pollution laws, any number of workplace safety regulations--and the most significant left-wing electoral challenge to the two-party political system in a half-century.
Fortunately, An Unreasonable Man spends the next two hours following Nader's history, and what emerges plainly from the film's interviews with supporters and detractors alike is that Nader's transformation--from a reformer working firmly within the Washington system to a renegade confronting the two parties from the outside--is wholly in keeping with the commitment to democratic principles that motivated him his whole political life.
The Democrats' claim that Nader was a "spoiler" who caused Gore's defeat in 2000 is wrong for any number of reasons--not least, the fact that Gore won both the popular vote and the election in Florida that would have given him a win in the Electoral College, but the Democrats were too timid to fight the Republicans' theft of the White House.
But Nader's real crime for Democrats is that his campaign represented a popular challenge to the two-party corporate-dominated system--and the deeply engrained politics of "lesser evilism" that convinces liberals and progressives, time and time again, to support a Democrat who inevitably betrays them without a second thought.

i know c.i. and mike have covered nader but i'm not sure i have. so let me explain where i am and where i was?

i loathed ralph nader after bully boy was installed. i loathed him throughout 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. it was probably 2005 before i could leave the anger out of it and look at it calmly. today? ralph nader didn't cost al gore anything.

in fact, so sorry bob somerby, the shine-on al gore's getting these days is only serving to remind me of how awful a job he did as vice-president.

who pushed privatization? a lot of it happened under bully boy, but the push was bill clinton and al gore. that's getting left out as al gore is suddenly the hero of the left.

i don't buy that shit. it may have been the shine-on (which is in sickening proportions today but was pretty bad for the last few years period) that made me look seriously at what went down.

al gore ran a lousy campaign. that's a heresy and we're not supposed to say it.

people can't shut up about the distortions of al gore. al gore was distorted. al gore didn't fight it. he would conceed something and prove he was a 'good guy' (or think he was doing that) by offering an apology or a clarification.

he was a weak candidate further weakened by joe lieberman being on the ticket.

i had to hold my nose, but i did vote for him in 2000.

his campaign lost the recount by not fighting.

his campaign before the recount was lousy.

his voice is irritating as hell. i'm not a fan of foghorn leghorn, maybe others are?

the nader film is a real documentary. the film gore stars in is a yawn fest. i say that as some 1 who cares about the environment.

if al gore wants to return to being 'ozone man,' more power to him.

but he had a lousy campaign, he was stiff, and he was irritating.

that's not saying bully boy wasn't. but i've never voted for bully boy and never would.

i did vote for al gore.

it wasn't an easy vote.

the clinton-gore team destroyed the safety nets, they destroyed 1 thing after another because, sound familiar, we have to accept what's possible, not what we want.

what was possible for clinton-gore always seemed to mean the people most in need (and, in fact the environment) always had to give what they could ill afford to give.

i was thinking about hillary today.

i was thinking about how bill clinton couldn't keep it in his pants and we all had to defend him.

i did. i'd do it again. a sex scandal is embarrassing but it's not the end of the world and certainly not the business of the congress when it involves 2 consenting adults.

but bill clinton back in the white house?

do we really need to live through that again?

the left got stuck in defend-clinton mode. i don't need the baggage and i don't need hillary.

she's offensive on so many levels all by herself but i don't need the 2 triangulators back in the white house.

i don't need bill screwing around and getting caught while the whole world stops so we can live out their psycho drama again.

the right wing actually floated the above thoughts some time ago and the reaction was 'that's so unfair.'

but, seriously, it is fair.

i don't know what happened with paula jones (my guess? not what she always claimed.) and could care less about the flowers woman and her dopey audio cassettes.

but i do care that he put himself in the position he did when he had a consensual affair with monica.

not because i'm a prude but because of all the nonsense that followed.

i'm not in the mood for more of the same.

while in the white house before, while supposedly happily married, he cheated on his wife and the whole nation had to endure it. i don't want him back in the white house.

and hillary's such a weak ass, i don't want her in. (i'm referring to her positions. she can be considered 'strong' if you like war-war-war.)

nader didn't steal an election. nader didn't defeat al gore.

any votes al gore lost were due to al gore.

al gore needs to own the fact that he ran a lousy campaign and that he is the only reason he's not in the white house because he refused to fight during the recount. (bad advice was given, but he's a big boy and he's responsible for taking it.) and i'm not interested in spending 4 years defending weak asses who stab the left in the back.

i also like how the writer says the lisper spit his words. he always spits, alterpunk, he's a lisper.

but if you're going to see just 1 move, see the nader movie. it will entertain you and it will inform you. the gore movie is supposed to be wonderful due to its topic but it's a snooze fest.
gore-bore is on full show because the filmmakers weren't making a movie, they were celebrating al gore.

by the way, bob somerby, when bully boy's drunken arrest came out in 2000, right before the election? he took a pass on it. he said it didn't matter.

it did matter. he wasn't a child. he had 2 degrees. he would run for congress (while he was still forbidden to drive) and never tell people, 'less than a year ago, i was convicted of ...'

he was a grown man. the pattern of deceit came out right then. he lies to voters when he ran for congress and he lied when it came out - claiming the twins had to be protected. the twins weren't born when he ran for congress. (he only married laura bush after he declared his run.)
(the twins only graduated college awhile back. they were born in the 80s, he ran for congress in the mid-70s.)

so that's the sort of 'i'm on it' b.s. that helped defeat gore, people treating an arrest and conviction as a 'youthful indescretion.'

that's it for me, i'm about to fall asleep. here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, March 29, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq with over 100 reported deaths in one day, Party Hacks continue to lie about the realities of US Congressional measures on Iraq, and, in response to NOW PAC's endorsement yesterday, some NOW members make their own endorsement.

Starting with news of war resistance, US war resisters
Kyle Snyder was arrested at the end of February in Canada, by the Canadian police on the orders of the US military. More recently, 3 non-Canadian police officers posed as Canadian police officers while they searched for US war resister Joshua Key. The search was conducted at the same time the US military admits they were looking for him. Both Snyder and Key are in Canada attempting to receive refugee status. CBC News reports that The New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) is asking questions and spoke with Alex Atamaneko who "said Snyder should not have been arrested because being absent without leave from a foreign military is not an extraditable offence and Snyder has no criminal record" and that "Our concern is that there could be other Kyle Snyders in Canada. We know that there are a couple of hundred other war resisters here. Are there those that are being apprehended now?"

Snyder and Key are part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes
Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, Joshua Key, Dean Walcott, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

In "THINKERS? WHO NEEDS STINKING THINKERS?" news, The Nation continues to embrace Party Hacks (and males --
1 female byline to every 4 males is the current ratio for the print magazine in 2007) as opposed to real thinkers so it's not that surprising that a Party Hack -- consider him another one of Katrina vanden Heuvel's coffee fetchers -- weighs in to reveal not only how shallow he is but how shallow The Nation has become. After a few 'cutes' on Dennis Kucinich, Ari Melber (at the ha-ha blog Campaign Matters) offers, "It's hard to imagine how the failure of a more 'pure' bill advancing immediate withdrawal would do more to end the war than the succss of Pelosi's bill." It's hard to imagine who thought a Party Hack was fit to write for an opinion journal? But for chuckles, click here for (cached version) of when Party Hacks Attack Each Other. Something truly amazing -- David Sirota (of all people) calling Melber a "Self-Promoting Sellouts." For the record, both Party Hacks now regularly foul The Nation magazine. For the record, Ari forgets to disclose MoveOn ties.

Hard to imagine, Ari? Just for the intellectually stunted.
The Institute for Policy Studies is an actual think tank -- not a Democratic party talking points mill. The IPS' Phyllis Bennis (via Democracy Rising) explains how the bill's not ending anything: "The Congressional resolution passed last week gives Bush another $100 billion to continue the U.S. occupation of Iraq. That much is now guaranteed. The timeslines and restrictions included in the bill -- clearly responding to the strong public support for ending the war -- were weakened almost to the disappearing point to allow the razor-thin vote. . . . Congress is not the peace movement. So the peace movement must stay unified on our principles and our demands, in the face of congressional waffling and 'realistic' pragmatism, unfortunately promoted by one influential part of our movement. Whatever they do, we must stay consistent on demanding an end to the U.S. occupation: de-funding (not re-funding) the war, and bringing home (not redeploying) all (not just some) of the troops (including the mercenaries). The longstanding AFSC slogan has it right: 'Not one more death, not one more dollar.' That means STOP funding the war. STOP allowing Bush to send more U.S. troops to kill more Iraqis and be killed in the process. Just stop."

Some of the Party Hacks are, feeling nostalgic, hoping they can drum this into a Bill Clinton drama: "The right's after him, we all must come to the aid!" It's not playing that way because the measures do nothing and the Party Hacks spent most of last week proclaiming how stupid the peace movement was and even though,
as Mike pointed out, one Party Hack quickly tried to shine on his faux populism, people are not buying it. Yes, Bully Boy is against the bill. So?

The Democratic Party ignored the people. This is, as Robert Knight (
Flashpoints) reported Monday, the DLC's bill. The left's job isn't to prop up the right-wing, not even the right-wing of the Democratic Party. Norman Solomon (CounterPunch) made it very clear before any measure passed, "Pelosi and Reid have a job to do. The antiwar movement has a job to do. The jobs are not the same. This should be obvious -- but, judging from public and private debates now fiercely underway among progressive activists and organizations, there's a lot of confusion in the air. No amount of savvy Capitol-speak can change the fact that 'benchmarks' are euphemisms for more war. And when activists pretend otherwise, they play into the hands of those who want the war to go on . . . and on . . . and on."

If Ari's still confused (or pretending to be),
Bruce Dixon (Black Agenda Report) makes it very clear: "What House Democrats actually did was pass a special budget bill giving George Bush every dollar he requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus a few billion extra, and little more for vets health care, with a few tens of hundreds of millions worth of legislative prok on the side to secure the votes of reluctant Democrats on each flank. The 'withdrawal measures' in the Democrat-approved war budget are unenforceable suggestions, a patchwork of loopholds held togethr by the empty pretense that President Bush and Pentagon will not lie to us." Dixon notes that the Congressional Black Caucus "shattered" and "once again proved the near uselessness of the CBC as presently constituted."

CODEPINK's Gael Murphy spoke with Deepa Fernandes and Mitch Jeserich (WBAI's Wake Up Call Radio) Wednesday, who stated of the continued demonstrations to protest the continuation of the illegal war, "It's about having that opposition to this continuing war as visible as possible and as loud as possible." Jeserich noted the more visible activity and Murphy agreed they had "stepped up our activity since the supplemental discussions and we will stay there through the Defense authorization debate. Fernandez wondered what the main goals were and Murphy replied, "Cut the funding for the war. We want the war to end this year. We want Congress to take its responsiblity and to, you know they've been repudiating the surge, they've been repudiating the conduct of the war so it's time for them to do something about it. And we want them to cut the funding. We want them to use whatever funding they have for a full, complete, rapid, safe, orderly withdrawal." A clip was played by Robert Byrd "a new direction and it points the way out" and Free Speech Radio News' Leigh Ann Caldwell: "Well it's a suggested timeline for withdrawal next year, of March 2008. That timeline is a goal. But what is binding is that the president is supposed to, or has to according to this, it's a statute that says that he has to start withdrawing troops within 120 days of the passage of this bill. And so that part is binding and the real question is: Is the president actually going to listen to it? He doesn't follow many of the other, laws and regulations that are passed. The fear that he'll sign a signing statement or that he just will ignore it. The fear of many progressives is that it will end up in the courts."

Caldwell then made the comment that "I know it doesn't go as far as many Democrats would like in cutting the funding." Where is the funding cut? No where. Murphy stated
CODEPINK's goal, "Our call is absolutely, let's cut the funding now use whatever funding we have for the complete withdrawal. So our focus is very much on what's going to happen when the supplemental leaves the conference -- cause what's going to happen after the House passes it's version they'll be a conference committee where the two resolutions will be reconciled and then what comes out will likely be a supplemental bill with a timeline and the benchmarks. We're hoping that Bush does veto it because I think it is in our favor. And when he does, we are expecting and will put pressure on members of Congress not to go back to him with a weaker bill but, in fact, a stronger bill and that's where we're going to be putting our pressure to make sure that there is a stronger bill and that it's about getting the troops home by the end of the year."

As Robert Knight (
Flashpoints) noted yesterday, "Democrat and Republican senators continued quibbling over a 125 billion dollar appropriations bill that would guarantee a continued military presence in Iraq wll into the year 2008 if not beyond. The Senate measure, which awaits a final vote and resolution with a similar non-specifically binding House bill is expected to be voted on later this week even though it faces a presidential veto. Meanwhile Democratic leadership is already announcing that it's willing to negotiate with president Bush to water down the provisions during markup in order to avoid a veto."

Progressive Democrats of America grasped the nature of the bills last week and issued their statement ("Disappointed in Democratic Leadership") -- PDA director Tim Carpenter, "It is antiwar sentiment that put Democrats into majority control of Congress. The recent USA Today - Gallup poll showed 58 percent of Americans want U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year, or earlier. We are profoundly disappointed that the Lee Amendment -- which reflects majority sentiment in the country -- was not allowed to be debated and voted upon by the full House. In a free vote, we believe roughly 90 members of Congress would have supported the Lee Amendment and the desires of most Americans to get out of Iraq. Having prevented that vote, the leadership's weak supplemental that prolongs funding of an unwinnable occupation is now more susceptible to wrong-headed attacks from Republicans and certain media circles as somehow risky or extreme." This week, PDA has noted, "The bad news is that the House bill funds Bush's troop surge and won't bring our troops home until a Sept. 1 2008 'deadline' -- with provisions allowing troops to stay in Iraq beyond that on vaguely-defined 'training' or 'anti-terrorism' missions. (That's why a group of progressive Congress members -- including Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, John Lewis and Dennis Kucinich -- felt the need to stand firm and vote no.) More bad news is the disunity stirred up among antiwar progressives in Congress by the House leadership's arm-twisting and the intervention of MoveOn.org in support of the leadership's arm-twising."

RadioNation with Laura Flanders' Laura Flanders (The Nation via Common Dreams) observes, "Nonbinding this and that, deadline lah-di-dah, Bush/Cheney are going to ignore the mandate of the midterm elections and every pressure from Congress on Iraq, because Bush/Cheney know their opponents' bark has no bite. And that's because those opponents have yet to renounced the Bush/Cheney vision of US supremacy in the world. In fact, mostly, they share it."

Which gets to the heart of the matter.
Anne Flaherty (AP) reports that the Senate's bill has passed "a mostly party line 51-47 vote". Flaherty also quotes White House Flack Dana Perino stating, "I think the founders of our nation had great foresight in realizing that it would be better to have one commander in chief managing a war" blah, blah, blah. Perino should realize the people of the nation have said no to the war and the issue of 'managing' is not a valid one -- the issue is ending the war.

In Iraq today, the violence and chaos continues as even the supposedly 'secured' capital is rocked with explosions.
CNN reports that two "bombers wearing explosive vests self-detonated in a crowded market in a Shiite district in the northeastern part of the capital." Ahmeed Rasheed (Reuters) reports that an official for the Health Ministry believes most of the dead are women and children and quotes eye witness Wissam Hashim (injured in the blast) stating, "I saw heads separated from the bodies and legs blown off." This after, as noted in yesterday's snapshot, The John McCain Showboat Express pulled into DC on Tuesday to proclaim "we are starting to turn things around." Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) notes the assertion by US Senator and presidential candidate McCain "that an American could now walk unharmed through several districts of Baghdad was heard with bemusement by Iraqis. He would certainly be murdered or kidnapped by Sunni insurgents, Shia militiamen or criminal gangs before he had taken more than a few steps." And today's death toll from the market bombing in Baghdad alone proves there is no straight talk to John McCain. Rasheed reports that at least 62 people are dead from the bombings while CBS and AP go with 60 and note 40 wounded.

Other bombings?

AP notes that 25 people died in Khalis from three car bombings. Sinan Salaheddin (AP) notes that the toll climbed to 43 dead and 86 wounded "according to police and officials in the predominately Shiite town." Other bombings noted by Reuters include a western Baghdad car bombing that killed 3 people (16 injured), a southwestern Baghdad bombing that killed 4 police officers "and one civilian" (9 injured), another southwestern Baghdad bombing that killed 2 police oficers (6 wounded), a western Baghdad bombing that wounded 3 Iraqi soldiers, a southern Baghdad bombing that claimed 3 lives (20 wounded), a car bombing in Mahmudiya that killed 4 (20 wounded), and a Mahmudiya mortar attack that killed 2 (7 wounded).


Reuters notes a police officer was shot dead in Wiwaniya, two traffic police officers were shot dead in northern Baghdad with two more wounded, an eye doctor was shot dead in Mahmudiya


Reuters notes 25 corpses discovered in Baghdad today.

Finally, returning to US political news. Yesterday the NOW PAC endorsed US Senator Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. Later yesterday, "
NOW members endorse Dennis Kucinich." NOW members Kat, Rebecca, Dona, Ava, Betty, Gina, Krista, Keesha, Kayla, Elaine, Martha and Shirley as well as former NOW member Trina used their voices to note that NOW PAC, which did not poll membership, does not speak for them and to decry the removal of the white dove and slogan "PEACE IS A FEMINIST ISSUE" from the NOW website in time to endorse War Hawk Hillary Clinton.
Along with "
NOW members endorse Dennis Kucinich" (Kat's Korner). Elaine's "I endorse Dennis Kucinich for the 2008 primary" and Rebecca's "this now member is endorsing kucinich" also address the issue and why they are endorsing Dennis Kucinich for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. All who signed encourage other NOW members to announce their own endorsement. NOW PAC is a political arm of NOW but it is NOW and NOW members should, as they have so powerfully throught the years, use their own voices to speak for themselves.

This week,
Kucinch amplified his call for a national discussion regarding impeachment.


this now member is endorsing kucinich

read kat's 'NOW members endorse Dennis Kucinich' a.s.a.p. i am happy to sign off on that. in addition, my days of donating to now are over until the demonstrate they are committed to peace. endorsing hillary clinton alone calls that into question. the fact that they have also elected to 'disappear' the white dove that's illustrated the slogan 'peace is a feminist issue' as they rush to endorse hillary clinton calls their committment to peace into question in my mind.

and let's be clear on this because the media will tell you tomorrow that the national organization for women endorsed hillary clinton - no such thing happened. the now pac endorsed hillary clinton and did so without, apparently, consulting the over 500,000 now members.

since this site started, i don't think any 1 would ever assume i would endorse hillary clinton. now pac, however, appears to have made that decision. if the peace issue continues to be sidelined, i will be following trina's lead and becoming a former member of now.

had now polled members and the candidate who received the most votes gotten an endorsement, i'd be okay with it. but, despite the statement issued, now itself has not endorsed (and legally cannot endorse). the now pac is endorsing hillary clinton.

i really do hope that each and every now member will make known their own endorsement - even if it's mitt romney for some. the now pac should not presume to speak for a membership of now that was never polled on the issue.

Dennis Kucinich is where to go for information on a candidate really trying to end the war and committed to peace.

turning to the alberto gonzales scandal, as cedric's 'Return of the scapegoat' and wally's 'ROLL OVER ALBERTO! SAMPSON ROLLS OVER ON YOU!' notes, kyle sampson's prepared remarks (to be delivered tomorrow to the senate judiciary committee) contains the admission that the firings were over politics. sampson sees nothing wrong with that.

alberto gonzales has, of course, maintained that they were not political. tony snow and the white house have maintained that the federal prosecutors were fired for job performance.

sampson's testimony tomorrow destroys that lie. it does even more damage because the white house has potrayed sampson as the leader on this - going so far as to deny that alberto had any knowledge (which is a lie that's also now been exposed).

having established sampson as a leader on this issue, the white house should have a very difficult time dismissing sampson's testimony.

this is from the opening of robert parry's 'Rise of a Very "loyal Bushie"' (consortium news):

If you want to know what the career path of a "loyal Bushie" looks like, let me introduce you to J. Timothy Griffin, a Karl Rove protege who was slipped into the post of U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now is at the center of the controversy over whether the Bush administration has sought to politicize federal prosecutions.
Since college, the 38-year-old Griffin has been following the stations of the cross for a Republican legal/political operative with ambitions to rise to a position of power and influence in a government like the one headed by George W. Bush.
Griffin has pretty much touched them all -- the Federalist Society, work for a Clinton-era special prosecutor, the Florida recount battle in 2000, opposition research and voter security duties for the Republican National Committee in Campaign 2004, a brief tour as a military lawyer in Iraq, a deputy in Karl Rove’s political shop at the White House.
But now this carefully groomed Republican operative stands out as Exhibit A for Democrats as they contend that the Bush administration imposed political litmus tests on federal prosecutors who wield enormous power over the lives of those they investigate. A U.S. Attorney not only has wide discretion over normal prosecutions but can tip a political race by either shutting down or starting up a criminal probe.
Beyond being the personification of proof that Bush put political loyalty over legal competence, Griffin has become the test case for the use of new emergency powers in the Patriot Act to circumvent Senate confirmation for U.S. Attorneys.
The administration's gamble on Griffin was underscored by an e-mail in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's chief of staff Kyle Sampson warned that "there is some risk that we'll lose the [Patriot Act] authority, but if we don't ever exercise it then what's the point of having it?"
Sampson's e-mail added, "I'm not 100 percent sure that Tim was the guy on which to test drive this authority, but know that getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc." references to White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and then-White House counsel Harriet Miers.
Sampson also mapped out plans for frustrating any congressional objections to Griffin's interim appointment.
"We should gum this to death," Sampson wrote in a Dec. 19, 2006, e-mail to a White House aide. "Ask the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in 'good faith,' of course."

part of the conspiracy to put 1 over on the american people and the congress while sidestepping the congressional approval provision.

as the ground shifts, so do the white house claims. bloomberg news reports:

The Justice Department said it provided inaccurate information to members of Congress in a February letter about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Writing today to lawmakers investigating the terminations, the agency's acting head of legislative affairs, Richard Hertling, said that "certain statements'' in the Feb. 23 letter were contradicted by documents that the department provided to Congress this month. Hertling didn't specify what the misstatements were.
The Feb. 23 letter to Democratic lawmakers discussed the appointment of Timothy Griffin, a former aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove, to a U.S. attorney position in Arkansas. The letter said Rove had no role in the decision to appoint Griffin and that nobody "inside or outside of the administration'' lobbied for Griffin's appointment.
Internal Justice Department documents show that Rove and ex- White House counsel Harriet Miers did weigh in on Griffin's appointment.
"We sincerely regret any inaccuracy,'' Hertling said in his letter today.

that final statement should read: 'we sincerely regret that we were caught in our lie.' the e-mails prove they lied and now they rush to say 'oops, we made a mistake' and act like, 'how did that happen?' it happened because you lied.

i love how a 'lie' is a 'mistatement. here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, The John McCain Showboat Express continues chug-chugging into Crazy Town, the National Organization for Women endorses Hillary Clinton as the dove on their website vanishes and the US Senate pretends to take action.

Starting with war resistance. US war resister Mark Wilkerson speaking about the military's record keeping, "When I was AWOL I called this Army deserter's hot line about once every two weeks to see if my name would ever show up on the list. I deserted in January 2005 and I started calling this list in February. What I found was that I would call and give them my Social Security number and they would come back and say, 'No you are not on the list yet. You are present for duty'." Mark Wilkerson quoted by Cox News Service in their story on how: "The Army, which has been stressed by repeated deployments in Iraq, is no longer classifying some soldiers as deserters even though they have run away, according to those who counsel deserters and deserters themselves. It is unclear how widespread the practice is but counselors say they believe the Army has failed to classify hundreds of soldiers as deserters even though they have been gone for more than six months." The article also quotes Brian C. Hilferty (Army spokesperson, lt. colonel) stating that "the military no longer tries to hunt down deserters. Instead, it assumes that deserters will eventually run afoul of police who check the NCIC computer." Of course, that's not true either AEB by the military's attempts to bring in the California police while war resister Kyle Snyder was speaking there at the end of last year, by the military's ordering the Canadian police to arrest Kyle Snyder in Canada and by the still unexplained issue of three US military members posing as Canadian police officers and attempting to locate US war resister Joshua Key. Speaking with US House Rep and 2008 presidential contender Dennis Kucinich, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted that "the men and women who have gone AWOL, there have been thousands of them, some are bing count-martialed, like Lieutenant Ehren Watada, will be court-martialed again -- it was a mistrial in his first trial -- first officer to say 'no' to war, to deployment to Iraq. What do you think should happen to these men? Agustin Aguayo, an Army medic who applied for CO status, didn't get it, and is now in prison in Germany. Do you support their saying 'no'? Do you support their refusing to go to Iraq or redeploy to Iraq?" Dennis Kucinich's response: "I support the troops who serve and also those who don't feel it's right to serve. I think we have to ask our troops to be able to reserve the right of their conscience, and if they feel it's the right thing, we should support that, too. I think we're in a point in the history of this country where many people have looked at the war and realized that it's wrong. Some of those people are soldiers. Soldiers are put in an impossible situation, not only those who are committed to serving in Iraq, but also those who know that the war is wrong and who question the war. I think we have to love our troops, whatever situation they find themselves in. And the way to support them is to bring them home. . . . . You know, I don't think that anyone who's taken a principle and conscientious position should be subject to a court-martial. They should be permitted to leave the service if they so desire, but not be forced through that kind of a process. I think, you know, there has to be an underlying truth here, and the underlying truth is the war was wrong, period. The war is based on lies. We should support our troops by bringing them home, and we should support those who have challenged the war by giving them a chance to leave honorably."

Wilkerson, Watada, Aguayo, Snyder and Key are Clousing and Wilkerson are a part of movement of resistance within the military that also includes Darrell Anderson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Ricky Clousing, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-nine US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum. As the Cox News Service report indicates, the number of those self-checking out is far greater than the US military admits to.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

In the US, the Senate passed (50 to 48) an ammendment yesterday on Iraq. As Andrew Ward (Financial Times of London) observes that "both houses of Congress must first reconcile their differing bills in conference" and Republican senators dropped their "attempts to remove the nonbinding timeline from a $121.6 bn war-funding bill". Non-binding once again being the key point. Robert Knight (Flashpoints) yesterday observed that the "Senate bill . . . is even weaker than the House bill since it only expresses the uneforceable goal, but not requirement, that most troops leave Iraq by March 31, 2008. As with the House's war preservation bill, the Senate version would enable an unknown number of US troops to remain in Iraq beyond April 2008 for counter-insurgency training and security operations. . . . The final legislation will almost certainly be met with a veto from President Bush." [Note:
Flashpoints can be heard over the airwaves and online at KPFA and KFCF. Archived broadcasts can be found at Flashpoints and in the KPFA archives. Yesterday's snapshot included links to Flashpoints that were wrong. My apologies for my mistake. Thanks to Kyle for pointing that out.] Larry Everest (CounterPunch) reminds, "In November, millions voted for the Democrats to protest Bush and the war, and in hopes they would end it. Today, many -- including people who worked energetically to elect Democrats and who've been lobbying them to cut off war funding -- feel bitter, betrayed, and outraged. They should be outraged. The lesson is not that the Democrats 'sold out' or are 'spinless.' The lesson is that the Democrats are a ruling class party (and this is deeply institutionalized, regardless of the desires or intentions of its supporters or even some elected Democrats), acting to advance the interests of a capitalist-imperialist system they're part of and represent."

The attempts to trick the people could backfire on the Democrats who see this non-binding, toothless nonsense as a sure vote-getter for 2008. As Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) argued, this can be a sold as 'victory' for the GOP come 2008: "bully boy should sign it into law. i'm not in the mind to help bully boy but, seriously, he should do it. and if the dems don't offer anything stronger between now and august 2008, when they start finger pointing, he should say, 'look, i lived up to your bill.' it won't be hard to do. he's the 1 who gets to judge if the benchmarks have been met. he can override things by declaring 'national security'. the dems, if they offer nothing else, have set their own trap."
In one of the more interesting developments, as Mike (Mikey Likes It!) notes, as more and more people catch on to the realities of the Democrats' measures, one of the biggest cheerleaders of the House action, someone who lectured and hectored people about how they weren't as realistic or as smart as he was, is now attempting to play populist of the people: "How stupid does Stupid Ass [David] Sirota think we all are? Does he think we've all forgotten his attacks on everyone who had the strength to point out that the Pelosi measure did nothing? Does he htink we've forgotten his pompous lectures? Today he wants to play 'one of you'." And some by it. Though Mike didn't link to "Democracy Haters" (nor will we) some are happy to link the nonsense as the political hack now attempts to recast himself yet again.

So-called independent media made a big deal, rightly, about the mainstream media repeating Bully Boy's claims as facts. That criticism looks far less strong when so many supposedly "independent" outlets rush to provide the Democrats spin while presenting themselves as factual outlets. Meanwhile big media has failed repeatedly on the discussion in another regard. Like US Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, they all rush to affirm Bully Boy's right to chart the illegal war. A president's commander-in-chief role applies to the battle field -- a recognized and defined one -- and the people of the United States are the check on that. Congress, representing them, can set dealines and should set them considering the 2006 election results. Parroting Hillary, many media outlets rush to state that timelines could interfere with Bully Boy's ability to wage war. The people have decided. In the 2006 elections, in the polls consistently. The one interfering is the Bully Boy who wants to continue his illegal war. (And Congress is certainly aiding him in that.) Bully Boy is not King of America. There is no king in the United States.

Staying on the subject of politics for a moment, Hillary Clinton has been endorsed in her 2008 presidential bid by NOW -- the National Organization For Women. As to whether or not the endorsement required that they remove "Peace is a feminist issue" -- a slogan displayed on their site for years -- is a question someone should ask NOW. Where the dove and slogan used to be, visitors are now told "Love Your Body" and apparently that somehow factored into the decision process by which War Hawk Hillary Clinton won an endorsement from what was an organization strongly dedicated to ending the war. Again, NOW has removed the dove and slogan "Peace is a feminist issue" from their website and they have endorsed War Hawk Hillary Clinton for 2008.

Today on Democracy Now!, Dennis Kucinich addressed the realities of what was being promised and reality:

Dennis Kucinich: Well, we were given false choices. We were told that we either buy into president Bush's plan, which is keep the war going indefinitely, or accept the Democratic version of the war in Iraq, which would keep the war going for another year or two. I say those choices weren't sufficient. The Democrats could have refused to send a bill forward. We didn't have to fund this war. We're not under any obligation to keep the war going. And yet our leaders took another path. Furthermore, Amy, you may be interested to know that the 2008 budget, which is before Congress today and will be voted on tomorrow, contains another $145 billion for the war, and on top of that, they're putting another $50 billion for the war in fiscal year 2009. So this talk about ending the war by March or by September belies the fact that the budget has money in it to keep the war going into 2009. And I think that's wrong. I think the American people will reject that type of thinking. And I'm standing strong to say "Get out now." I put forth a plan embodied in HR 1234 to accomplish just that.

Amy Goodman: But what do you say to those make the argument that, if president Bush has on his desk a bill that gives money, gives a fortune in continuing the war, and he has to veto it because he doesn't like the timetable, that this puts him in a very difficult position?

Kucinich: Our decisions have to be way above politics. We have the lives of our troops at stake here. There's no military victory in Iraq. We're there illegally. The occupation is fueling the insurgency. Democrats can still, after president Bush vetoes the bill -- which he will -- Democrats can still take the right position, which is refuse to fund the war, use money in the pipeline to bring the troops home.

Kucinich addressed how Bully Boy's not ending the war and how the current legislation isn't addressing it. He noted he "crafted my plan with the help of the people at the UN, and I will tell you that they say that it would take about two months, three months to mobilize a sufficient force that would replace US troops leaving. So I say two, to three months, we could have troops home and have an international force that would help stabilize Iraq. But the international community will not become involved as long as the United States intends to occupy Iraq and keep bases open. So we need to take a new direction. My plan would be as follows: to put in place the provisions of HR 1234, which ends the occupation, closes the bases, sets in motion a plan to bring the troops home, bring in international peace keepers, and stop the privatization of Iraqi oil. One of the things in the bill that passed the House was a demand that the Iraq government pass a hydrocarbon act which sets the stage for broad privatization of trillions of dollars of Iraqi oil interests. Now think about it. If Democrats had told the American people last October that, 'If you vote Democrat in November, we'll not only give you enough money to keep the war going through the end of President Bush's term, but we'll also privatize the oil of Iraq and then help the US oil companies' -- with the prize that I think the war was all about from the very beginning -- I don't think the people would have voted Democrat. So Democrats have to keep faith with the American people."

Interviewed by Bonnie Faulkner (KPFA's Guns and Butter) today, professor Francis Boyle discussed how a 2003 exploration of impeachment by the Democrats was cut short when John Podesta announced that there would be no introduction of bills of impeachment because it would harm Democrats chances in the 2004 election. Speaking of the measures being applauded by much in the media, big and small, Boyle declared, "It's all baloney. All they had to do was just do nothing and Bush would have run out of money. . . . The DNC fully supports the war, that was made clear to Ramsey [Clark] and me on 13 March 2003 and nothing's changed." John Podesta, former Clintonista, is with the Democratic talking point mill (that attempts to pass itself as a think tank) Center for American Progress -- with an emphasis on "Center" and not "Progress."

Meanwhile The John McCain Showboat Express chugged back into DC in time for US Senator and presidential wanna-be to issue a statement (much more important than his vote). David Esp (AP) quotes McCain's laughable claim that "we are starting to turn things around" which may strike some as McCain trying out a new campaign slogan: "Vote Insane, Vote John McCain."

In Iraq today . . .


Reuters notes truck bombings involving chlorine Falluja, outside a government building, wounding "15 Iraqi and U.S. security forces," a car bomb in Mahaweel killed five and left 25 wounded, a car bombing in Baghdad killed 2 and left 10 injured, a rocket attack in the fortress that is the Green Zone killed one "U.S. government contractor" and a car bombing near Ramadi "killed one civilian and wounded seven others".


Following yesterday's bombings in Tal Afar, more violence took place. AFP reports that 75 are dead from the Tuesday's bombings and that at least 45 people were "massacred" today and the town is now under "a strict curfew". Kim Gamel (AP) reports that the violence was launched by "Shiite militants and police" in response to the Tuesday bombings, that 40 people are believed to be kidnapped and that 18 police officers have been arrested "accused in the shooting rampage after they were identified by Sunni families."


Reuters reports five corpses were discovered in Suwayra.

Finally, AP reports that Gale Polluck ("Maj. Gen.") who is the acting surgeon gneral for the Army told the US House Armed Service Committee, "When the original plans were made, we did not take into consideration we could be in a long war" and therefore at question is if "the military lacks money to hire enough nurses and mental health specialists to treat thousands of troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan." If the sudden concern strikes you as familiar, it's because Elaine's long made this point (most recently yesterday), Monica Benderman covered it this week in "On Ending War" (CounterPunch).


pelosi measure hype, etc.

so we're back home as of sunday (we stayed at mike's this weekend) and today - the road trip having cured me of my nervousness about the pregnancy - was my 1st really active day in terms of baby stuff.

flyboy and i went looking for a hundred things for the baby. he dropped me off at t's salon where she touched up my roots (i've gone red head for the pregnancy - it's all natural henna which isn't supposed to be damaging). then, after t and i had caught up (and i'd polled all the women re: iraq), flyboy was back. we'd planned to go straight home. but i pointed out, if we eat before we catch the ferry, you don't have to cook tonight.

since we were near mike's, we figured we'd stop by and invite trina and her husband to dinner. but trina had dinner almost ready and insisted we eat with them instead. which we did. (trina is a great cook.)

we told ruth to stay home and enjoy her day of not being the most overworked best friend on the face of the planet. (ruth has been at my front door every morning - monday through friday - since i learned i was pregnant. i would have freaked out and worried about miscarrying non-stop if it weren't for ruth.) (courtney wondered why ruth didn't write a report last weekend. c.i. told her 'no.' c.i. pointed out that she'd be on the road coming back from texas and she had more than earned some downtime.) tomorrow, we're going to visit ruth for a change.

it is strange because i'm bigger (and bigger and bigger) and suddenly more mobile. it feels good actually. it feels really good to not worry about miscarrying. it was also the 1st day i was able to buy. buy period. but i was buying stuff for the baby. if you're late to the party, i have a history of miscarriages (i'd never carried to term) and when i found out i was pregnant (and then some - i just assumed i was hitting menapause and missing the 'vistior' for that reason) the doctor wanted me to stay on bed rest which became house rest which, even when the critical period was over, i was still nervous about. ('visitor' was a joke. i have no problem saying period.) so i stayed around the house. the trip to texas (3 weeks, 1 getting there, 1 in texas, 1 back) was a big deal to me because i hadn't been out of the house (other than to go walk on the beach) for months. i'd made myself a nervous wreck. so the trip was really a great thing. treva (ruth's best friend from college to today) is so great. especially when we started, those 1st days on the road, she seemed to know exactly when i was about to freak out and know just what to say.

so, for some 1 like me who shops more than any 1 should, 1 of the worst things about the pregnancy has been no shopping. my grandmother, my mother and ruth have all brought over wonderful things - outfits, etc. and the gang has sent me so many wonderful things. but i'm a shopper. don't get me wrong, if elaine brought over something, i loved it. but as much as i loved it, a part of me was still thinking, 'it's my baby! when am i going to be able to buy something!'

if the trip to texas hadn't come up, i would've gotten over my fears at some point just because i was starting to dream about going through baby clothes all by myself and picking out what i wanted to buy. if we're having a girl, she's not going to be dressed all pink 24 hours, 7 days a week. ditto blue if it's a boy. so that wasn't a problem but i think flyboy really is getting antsy about whether we'll have a boy or girl (just curiousity - no preference that i know of) so we'll probably say, 'go ahead and tell us' on the next visit.

i'm the 1 who can't keep a secret so it's really funny to me that it's him that has to know.

so, here's the point, for any still worrying, don't. you've heard me say that 100 times and then some, i know. but i'm focused on preparing the room and getting the outfits and toys and other stuff we need.

this is my talking entry for the week, i just decided that. i'm not in the mood for gonzales' press tonight. plainfield today has a wonderful post that just tracks everything so read that.

what i can tell you re: gonzales and re: iraq is my non-scientific polling at t's salon today.

i spoke to a little over 30 women. some were on their lunch hours, some didn't work at a job outside the home. so what i wanted to know re: gonzales was how closely were they following it?

it must be getting some serious tv coverage because there was a strong grasp on what was going on there. the basics could be expressed by pretty much every 1. so that was good news to me.

on iraq? not so good.

i'd say 10 realized the democrats were just blowing hot air. at least 5 thought that the house measure meant troops were coming home and they also thought it's target date was much sooner. (there are multiple target dates - all meaingless and unenforceable - in the pelosi bill.)
2 of the 10 who knew the measure wasn't ending the war cited the diane rehm show as the thing they counted on most for their news and understanding so i'm assuming she covered it pretty well or her guests did. but i don't think it's getting covered well in most outlets - big or small, as c.i. would say.

when i would go over the bills in basics - bully boy certifies benchmarks, not congress; no enforcement of pullouts; new categories for troops which allows over 1/2 to remain in iraq even after august of 2008; etc. - the women would get really mad. 1 even told me i had it all wrong. i think i shocked her by pulling a copy out of my bag and we went over parts of it together. after wards, her opinion was that bully boy 'is right, it is just political theater.'

i don't think i'd ever say bully boy was right about anything, but it is hot air. it is tricking the public and it needs to stop. i'm not sure why the dems thought they could pull the wool over everyone's eyes but they did. i guess they were thinking the finger pointing come august 2008 would be so loud that no 1 would be thinking, 'wait a 2nd, you're saying he didn't live up to the deal but you didn't put anything in it to enforce the measures? what the hell have you done for the last 2 years?'

what they did was buy the war. (and the woman i went over the bill with came to that on her own. i didn't prompt her. she said, 'it's their war now too.')

what they did was buy the war and how they did it was by using the worst of the clinton years - triangulation. they got their majorities because people wanted the war over. so they took that sentiment and then went with the sentiment of continue the war and triangulated into a bill that does nothing.

they demonstrated that all those excuses for the last 6 years of 'we don't even control a house' were meaningless. now they control 2 and they still won't end the war. and it's more, from the reactions, not that they won't end it but that they won't even try.

we'll never know what the out of iraq caucus could have done because 'experts' decided it couldn't pass. now if the 'experts' wanted it to pass, it could have. they could have shut the hell up on tv about the bill they wanted and used the chat & chews and other outlets to promote the measures that would get the troops out of iraq.

they didn't do that. then they wanted to say, 'this is the best we could do.' no, it wasn't. and if nancy pelosi wanted the out of iraq caucus to have support, they would have.

would it have been enough to pass their measure? we don't know because that wasn't forced.

but what the women i spoke with know is that they didn't try to pass it but they did try to trick the public.

'they won't fight for 1 damn thing,' said 1 woman in disgust.

and they won't. bully boy should sign it into law. i'm not in the mind to help bully boy but, seriously, he should do it. and if the dems don't offer anything stronger between now and august 2008, when they start finger pointing, he should say, 'look, i lived up to your bill.'

it won't be hard to do. he's the 1 who gets to judge if the benchmarks have been set. he can overide things by declaring 'national security.'

the dems, if they offer nothing else, have set their own trap.

and that's what happens when they go cowardly. they thought they could farm off a d.l.c. plan as a 'troops home now' plan. they couldn't. and more and more people are going to realize how screwed the public (and the service members) were by the democrats as time passes.

i said yesterday that the 'partisan' remark offended me because i don't give 2 shits about the democratic party right now and i don't.

they had a peace mandate. if you'll use your memory and not the happy spin of the media, they took that peace mandate and did nothing with it. it was only when the public demanded action that they finally started talking about iraq. it wasn't in their laughable 100 days program.

so i'm sick of being lied to and i'm not here to drum up votes for any 1. screw 'em all, a pox on both their houses attitude.

the only thing that will save the democratic party (i've already offered bully boy advise) is if people start finding out what that crappy measure really does and grasps that they were sold out.

then the dems might be forced to do something.

they were so stupid. bully boy had said he'd veto it before they even had anything passed. they should have gone for some really strong steps so that when he vetoed it, they could say, 'look what we tried to do. it failed. it failed because he wouldn't sign it and because we don't have enough votes to override him in congress which is why you need to vote democrat in 2008 so we can have large enough majorities that we can end this war.'

that's what they should have done.

but they're stupid and craven and thought they could have it all ways. not both ways, all ways.

that's it for me tonight. i spoke with kat on the phone when we got back here and told her i really didn't know if i had a post in me tonight because i was tired. so i did have 1, provided it was a talking post.

i'm going to recommend 4 things to read on iraq - from c.i.:

'Other Items (Robert Knight's commentary)' - they now want to let the baathist back in (which i support) but notice how the mainstream media bends itself into pretzels to avoid telling you that the 1s who ran off the bathists were the u.s.

'Gordo does it in public AGAIN -- call the police' - i thought we were all bound and determined not to be lied into another war? so with judith miller's former co-writer pimping a war with iran based on intelligence & official whispers that all go unnamed, shouldn't this be the biggest story online? it's not. there's a reason the community asked that the focus for the common ills be iraq. there's 2 reasons actually. 1) a lot of people play at coverage, dropping it when they can rush off to something else - anything else. 2) c.i. hits hard. c.i.'s not playing 'like me mainstream media, really like me.' i'll add 1 more comment re: gordo. a lot of people suddenly, as 2006 entered it's last 3 months, wanted to call out gordo and act like they'd been doing so all along. they hadn't. c.i. had. that t&a story he wrote, not a peep from the 1s wanting to act like they were all up in gordo's kool-aid. just like today when they all had so much to write on that they couldn't call out the exact kind of 'reporting' that allowed the public to be rushed into a war built on lies. i know c.i.'s exhausted. the rest of us took a nap in the writing for the third estate sunday review (except kat, c.i., ava, dona, ty, jess and jim). they worked so hard this weekend on that. and all of them are tired, but like jim told me, they didn't have to face writing anything else after. c.i. was so tired sunday evening, with eyes so red, every 1 said 'pink eye.' thankfully, it wasn't. but when i think of all the puffed up boys self-stroking over so little, the reality is c.i. is hitting hard. jim's trying to come up with an easy edition for sunday's third because it's the only way c.i.'s getting any rest.

from mike:

'Stupid Ass Sirota' - i couldn't believe that. we were about to leave and i hadn't really spoken to mike because he was on the phone with elaine and really mad or focused. we were about to leave when he asked me to read over this before he posted it. i checked sirota's latest article because mike had printed it up and i was stunned. the 1 who wasted every 1's time telling us the pelosi measure was the best we could hope for (and who pressured congressional members to support it) now wants to act like he's champion of the people and in the struggle with the rest of us, and like he didn't write that shit he wrote last week. mike's got a brilliant post.

from elaine:

'Joshua Frank, Monica Benderman' - i love my laine. i feel like i'm back in college wondering how c.i. and elaine do all that do and put so much into it while i rush to finish the same assignment more focused on just being done with it than what i'm actually saying? this is 1 of my favorite posts elaine's ever done.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq and since it involves a mass bombing the media wakes up a little, waking up does not include -- for most -- getting the Pelosi measure right, 2 nuns are killed in Iraq due to their gender and their religion but see who in the mainstream tackles it, and what's Michael Gordon selling this time -- war! war! war!

Starting with
this from Iraq Veterans Against the War:

Last week, as the U.S. death toll in Iraq climbed over 3,242, Congress voted to continue the war by approving the $124 billion supplemental bill. This week, the Senate is expected to similarly approve funding for this war that continues to violently destroy U.S. and Iraqi lives every day. The Democratic leadership claims that, to end the war, they must continue funding it. Iraq Veterans Against the War knows that, despite the Democrats guarantees of time tables and restrictions, the supplemental will not end the occupation of Iraq or prevent further escalation of the war. It is time for our brothers and sisters in the military to come home and for the Iraqi people to be allowed their right to self-determination.

"To end the war, they must continue to fund it". Emphasized for those who will hear that and remember the 'logic' of "to save the village, we had to destroy the village." (That's the popular version of the quote. Following the slaughter of Ben Tre, the actual quote was: "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.") So that's where it stands now, as
Iraq Veterans Against the War points out, the solution of the US Congress is that "to end the war, they must continue to fund it."

Yesterday, on
Flashpoints, Robert Knight devoted his entire Knight Report to the realities of the Pelosi measure: "Pelosi bragged that the measure was 'a giant step to end the war and responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq.' But in reality, the bill fulfills neither claim. The measure grants President Bush the unimpeded prerogative of maintaining his current escalation in Iraq through October 2007 at which time he is merely requested to self-certify success in his self-defined benchmarks. Those benchmarks include provisions for the Iraqi occupation regime to reign in death squads and to enact the US designed and multi-national friendly oil law that is presently before Iraq's absentee occupation parliament. Regardless of Bush's automatic auto-certification, no actual troop withdrawals would be required before August 2008 during the height of the national party conventions at which time the Democrats would then blame the Republicans with a war whose continuation they would have guaranteed until the eve of November 2008 presidential election. But even when the August deadline matures, Bush would still be allowed to maintain more than half of the 150,00 troops in Iraq due to a term of art in the legislation that requests the redeployment but not the homecoming of some 70,000 so-called combat troops. This would leave an equal or greater number of US troops in Iraq under the vague but permanent classifications of counter-insurgency, security and training for what New York Senator Hillary Clinton calls 'remaining vital national security interests in the heart of the oil region'." To hear The Knight Report in full check Flashpoints and in the KPFA archives. (Those unable to listen can click here for a 'rush' and 'rushed' transcript.)

decrying the Pelosi measure is Joshua Frank (CounterPunch): "Having been one of the unfortunate geeks who actually read the bill, I can tell you only one thing -- it's a complete farce. In order for troops to come home the Bushies would have to confim whether or not 'progress' has been made in Iraq, not Congress. So with more money in hand and sole authority on deciding whether or not the war is going as planned, the White House, even if Bush signed the bill, would never have to end the thing. The proposal wasn't a compromise as many have claimed, but a dagger in the heart of all those of us who want to bring this war to a screeching halt."

Turning to news of war resistance,
Ricky Clousing spoke March 17, 2007 at a rally in Fayetteville, "Hello, my name is Sgt. Ricky Clousing. I was stationed here in Fort Bragg
in the 82 Airborn division. I served with the 82nd in December of 2004 in Iraq as an interroagtor and after witnessing the abuse of power and the injustices that happened on a daily basis I decided I no longer could be a part of not only the 82nd airborn but also the organization of the military. So after deciding to go AWOL and serving a few months in jail, I'm here to say thank you guys because I received amazing support through my process and my journey. I'm not going to share my whole story because a lot of you might be familiar with it but I really want to just let you guys know how much it meant to me the support and letters and the organization for events like this and what not that you guys really blazed a trail for people like me for refusing to fight anymore and my brothers here that decided not to do it. So I just want to say that a lot of the times since I've gone and spoken at a different place that people, a lot of times, put things on a pedestal and different situations or people or places. And I think that it's important to express that we are all part of this bigger puzzle and this bigger of collective idea of peace and how to attain that Just be careful of putting people in those positions because it takes the responsibility that we all have to do our part -- and part of that is being here today and marching and walking and spreading the word on an individual level. So just remember that war isn't good for children and other living things. Thank you guys very, very much."

On August 11, 2006, Ricky Clousing went public with his story of how he checked himself out of the military following his service in Iraq -- making an announcement in Seattle at the
Veterans for Peace conference. October 12, 2006, Clousing was court-martialed. The sentence was three months, bad conduct discharge and a reduction in rank. Clousing referred in the speech to the letters and support he received. Currently, US war resister Mark Wilkerson is is serving a sentence for self-checking out. From Courage to Resist: "Write to Mark while he is in the brig c/o his wife Sarah: Mark and Sarah Wilkerson, PO Box 25037, Colorado Springs CO 80936. Please consider a donation to Mark Wilkerson's legal defense fund.." On August 31st, Wilkerson spoke at Camp Casey III -- a press conference -- announcing his intent to turn himself in after having self-checked out a year and a half ago. That evening he was interviewed by Dennis Bernstein for KPFA's Flashpoints, where they discussed Wilkerson's service in Iraq and how his views changed from those he'd held at 17-years-old. He attempted to receive c.o. status but his was denied. He attempted to prepare for the rebuttal process but was informed he'd be redeploying to Iraq and any rebuttal would have to wait until his second deployment ended. When Bernstein asked him if he had any regrets about his decision to self-check out, Wilkerson responded, "I completely stand by my decision. For me, this was a time in my life when I decided I had to make a stand regardless of whether [it meant] prison or death". On February 22nd of this year, his court-martial began at Fort Hood in Texas. Wilkerson was sentenced to seven months in military prison and will receive a bad conduct discharge.

Clousing and Wilkerson are a part of movement of resistance within the military that also includes
Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Joshua Key, Dean Walcott, Joshua Key, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

editorial page editor of the San Jose Mercury News, Stephen E. Wright, wrote of the changes in his own life since his son shipped off to the illegal war this month, "But now we talk about the war, via my son, almost daily: How's he doing? Have you heard from him? Is he in Iraq yet? In a far more presonal way, we discuss the impact on families and friends, the political meaneuvering and the lack of progress in bringing stability to the country. What we don't talk about are the daily news stories about soldiers killed in action. Having a son on his way to Iraq hasn't changed my view of the war. We should not have invaded the country. If this were a righteous war, it would be more bearable to see him go. But now there's a knot in the pit of my stomach every time I think about where he's headed, what he might have to do and what might be done to him."

Taking a look at what happens to some who return,
Tom Roeder and Cary Leider (Colorado Springs Gazette) report on the increase in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among returning service members, "Nearly 600 Fort Carson soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder last year, up from 102 cases in 2003 when soldiers started returning from their first tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the fourth straight year with a significant increase in the number of soldiers being diagnosed with PTSD. With symptoms that range from hyperawareness, to angry outbursts, PTSD is an anxiety reaction to traumatic events, which Iraq brings by the truckload. It plauges up to 10 percent of soldiers returning from war. Now the military is discovering a new problem. Substantial numbers of troops are showing lingering signs of traumatic brain injuries suffered in Iraq, mainly concussions caused by roadside bombs."

Turning to Iraq, let's dispense with the nonsense right away.
CNN speaks with Admiral William J. Fallon who's new to Iraq and new to the world of reality. Fallon puts forward the laughable belief that though Baghdad is chaos, outside things are just peachy keen and notes southern Iraq as a reference point. He may fool many US audiences that haven't received much reality about southern Iraq. For those who do not know better: YOU ARE BEING LIED TO. He also cites a region in the Kurdish north. Remember that when the elections for the boraders of that area get closer. Selcan Hacaoglu (AP) reports that Tariq al-Hashimi (Iraq's Sunni vice president) has "warned against a possible Turkish incursion into Iraq to fight separatist Kurdish guerrillas and promised to prevent cross-border attacks by the rebels." Though the domestic, US media prefers to ignore it, there's a battle raging over who will have claim to that area and the actual, physical make up of the area.


A bombing took place in Tal Afar resulting in mass casulties.
Al Jazeera reports "bodies and wounded were brought to hospital after the two vehicle-borne bombings." Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that one vehicle was a a truck carrying flour and that the death toll was at least 55 with 130 injured. AFP reports a mortar attack in the Abu Chir section of Baghdad that killed "[t]wo children, a man and a woman" with 14 others left wounded. Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing that killed a police officer and left two more wounded and a car bombing in Ramadi that claimed 17 lives and left 32 wounded. And Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) also reports a rocket attack: "This morning gunmen attacked the car of Sheikh Harith al Thari the son of the tribal leader Sheikh Thahir al Thari not far from his house. The attackers wanted to kidnap him, he and his companion resisted and killed some of the attackers. The attackers used an RPG rocket and destroyed the car. Later in the day the 1920 Revolution Brigades announced he was one of their field leaders. Sources from the area said he was a media man for the Brigades and his death comes after refusing to pledge loyalty to the Iraq Islamic State, Al Qaeda linked group."


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that US and Iraqi forces conducted a raid in Najaf and "shot at a driving by car and killed the driver and injured a pregnant woman, they were heading to the hospital" while, in Baghdad, Abbas Salah was shot dead.
AFP notes two people shot dead and seven more wounded in the Shorja section of Baghdad while two police officers and two civilians were shot dead in Mosul. Reuters notes three people shot dead in Ishaqi, a police lieutenant shot dead in Baghdad,


Okay, the New York Times continues to want to push the myths of the huge return to Baghdad. To do that, they have to ignore the minorities that have been run out of the city (including Catholics and Jews).
CBS and AP report that, in Kirkuk, two Chaldean Catholic nuns were stabbed to death ("no sign of a robbery" -- of course not, it was a crime against women and religious persecution) at the home of Margaret Naoum (the younger sister, 79-years-old). The older sister (85-years-old) was named Fawzeiyah Naoum. They stabbed older sister Fawzeiyah to death with three stabs, and they stabbed younger sister Margaret seven times.


Reuters notes 15 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today, 3 in Mosul, and 6 in Diwaniya.

Today the
US military announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West died March 24 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province."

In the US, US House Rep and 2008 presidential candidate
Dennis Kucinich has taken a strong stand against the illegal war. Recently, his wife Elizabeth Kucinich has begun posting to his presidential campaign website and noted this of the Pelosi measure that passed: "Dennis and I are in mourning. We mourn the deaths of those who have passed and those whose lives are now on the line, both in the military and civilian Iraqis. We mourn the destruction, the ecocide. We mourn with families in Iraq and the US who will see more death and devastation. We mourn the callous and calculated political spin cloaking the Congress's hawkish support of war with the rhetoric of peace."

Dennis Kucinich will appear on Wednesday's
Democracy Now! -- and, hopefully, before then it can be explained to the program that the Pelosi measure does not, as was stated on today's show, "also establish a timeline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by next year." Assuming that Bully Boy will go along with the toothless measure, only "combat troops" would be withdrawn (Robert Knight: "recalls the tactic by which earlier administrations once referred to US soldiers in Vietnam as advisers rather than troops.") This is too important to get it wrong and basic journalism provides no excuses. As Tom Engelhardts (TomDispatch) observed on the "troops" myth and "combat troops" reality, "The two categories are now so conveniently blurred that it would be pardonable if few Americans grasped the difference any more than did Charles Gibson, anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. On last Friday's news, he claimed the House had voted to get 'all US forces' out when his own White House correspondent used the correct phrase, 'combat forces'." How the House leadership wants to pimp the bill is not reality so Tell The Truth. That's what we'll call this item should it need to be be repeated in the snapshot: Tell The Truth & Know The Truth because, in fairness, some people may not know what the bill does say.

Then there are those who haven't earned the same benefit of the doubt.
Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) may not know what Paul Bremer does which would explain why she was all over the US orders to the puppet government to do away with the de-Baathifcation laws -- the same laws that didn't exist until the US administration's Paul Bremer decided to create it and enforce it. Tell The Truth, Rubin!

Finally, the Ultimate
War Pornographer Michael Gordon took Scott Shane with him on an unsourced wet dream of further war, of expanding it to Iran.