BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
APPARENTLY FEELING BUSH BASHING WAS SO 'BEEN THERE, DONE THAT,' FORMER NBA FADED STAR DECIDED TO GRAB SOME ATTENTION HE RARELY EARNED ON THE COURT BY DECLARING WAR ON THE SECOND FAMILY'S DAUGHTER.
YESTERDAY, TIM HARDAWAY, WHO HAD TROUBLE WITH INJURIES (WAS HE TOO "DELICATE" FOR THE NBA?) THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER AS HE BOUNCED ALL OVER THE NBA FROM TEAM TO TEAM, DECLARED WAR ON MARY CHENEY, THE DAUGHTER OF VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY.
SPEAKING ON MIAMI'S SPORTS TALK RADIO 790 YESTERDAY, HARDAWAY LET IT RIP, "YOU KNOW, I HATE GAY PEOPLE, SO I LET IT BE KNOWN. I DON'T LIKE GAY PEOPLE AND I DON'T LIKE TO BE AROUND GAY PEOPLE. I'M HOMOPHOBIC. I DON'T LIKE IT. IT SHOULDN'T BE IN THE WORLD OR IN THE UNITED STATES."
THE FOLLOWING DAY, HIS PRESS AGENT ISSUED AN APOLOGY.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS OVERSLEPT TODAY AND THEN MISSED OUT ON ALL THE CRAWLERS AT DUNKIN DOUGHNUTS WHICH IS WHY THEY TREAT THE PRESS AGENT'S WORDS AS THE END OF THE STORY.
HOWEVER, SHORTLY BEFORE THE STATEMENT HIS PRESS AGENT WROTE WAS RELEASED, HARDAWAY WAS EXPLAINING TO WFOR'S TV AUDIENCES THAT HE WOULD CUT OUT ANYONE IN HIS OWN FAMILY IF THEY WERE GAY AND THAT "I DON'T CONDONE IT. AND IF PEOPLE GOT PROBLEMS WITH IT, I'M SORRY. I'M SAYING I CAN'T STAND BEING AROUND THAT PERSON, KNOWING THEY SLEEP WITH SOMEBODY OF THE SAME SEX."
WHEN ASKED FOR A COMMENT ON TIM HARDAWAY'S STATEMENTS, VICE DICK REPLIED, "I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND A WORD HE WAS SAYING. NEXT TIME, HE NEEDS TO TAKE THE C**K OUT OF HIS MOUTH BEFORE HE SPEAKS."
"I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO SHOW SOME HUMANITY," VICE DICK ADDED BEFORE RUSHING OFF TO ORDER MORE BOMBINGS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with news of war resistance. Today, City on a Hill Press editorialized in favor of Ehren Watada, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq and the subject of a recent court-martial that ended in a mistrial. City on a Hill Press notes: "As the house of cards that was constructed to lead us into Iraq continues to fall down, City on a Hill Press salutes US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who is courageously standing atop the most solid of foundations--the United States Constitution. The first active-duty soldier to refuse deployment in Iraq and publicly speak out against the war, Lt. Watada has joined the growing group of brave dissenters whose voices and rights are being repressed after questioning the unjust decisions of the Bush Administration. With the war in Iraq escalating toward more violence and chaos each day, and Bush's preparations to attack Iran, this country desperately needs the likes of Lt. Watada to fulfill duties as soldiers, as Americans, and as humans."
Meanwhile The Santa Barbara Independent reports on the January 20-21st Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S.Actions in Iraq and we'll note this conclusion from the hearing: "Institute mandatory training of all members to recognize their responsibility not to follow illegal orders that violate international law, and to cease training that may condition soldiers to view civilians as the enemy". Ben Hamamoto (Nichi Bei Times) reports that Judge Toilet has scheduled the next court-martial of Watada for March 19th but notes Eric Seitz (Watada's civilian attorney): "It's my belief that there are going to be serious problems re-instating this case" due to the issue of double-jeopardy and quotes attorney Robert Rusky explaining, "The problem appears to be that the Army wanted to argue that Ehren had implicity stipulated he had a duty to deploy to Iraq once he received his orders. . . . How can the Army be allowed to argue Ehren had a duty to comply with the deployment order, which necessarily assumes it was a lawful order, while denying Ehren the right to contest that it was a lawful order? (The ruling) inherently and clearly frames the issue. I think we need to emphasize: the legality of the Iraq invasion that the deployment order was part of."
Watada is a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as Agustin Aguayo (whose court-martial is currently set to begin on March 6th), Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ivan Brobeck, Mark Wilkerson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey 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.
And Courage to Resist noted the following yesterday:
Demand Army drop charges and accept Lt. Watada's resignation now!
Next step following mistrial victory: Demand that the Army respect the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy by not attempting to court martial him again. Also: "How Lt. Watada and GI resistance movement beat the Army"
We (heart) "Augie"
U.S. Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo is a Iraq War vet facing court martial in Germany on March 6 for refusing to return to Iraq. Send him a Valentine's Day support greeting!
Mark Wilkerson refused to redeploy, sentencing Feb. 22
"There comes a time in a person's life when they must do the right moral decision for themselves, doubtless of how popular," he told the media in Crawford, Texas last August. (link only)
Ivan Brobeck, Iraq vet and war resister, released from brig!
Marine L/Cpl Ivan Brobeck was released from the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Virginia on Feb. 5, three months after returning to the United States from Canada with a letter to President Bush asking him to "Bring the Troops Home Now!" (link only)
On January 27th in DC, following the massive rally and march, people gathered at Busboys and Poets later in the evening to hear Kelly Dougherty and Anthony Arnove speak. The Socialist Worker provides the text of Kelly Dougherty (co-founder and executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War) speech and we'll focus on this section:
People ask me: If the war is wrong, and soldiers know it, why don't they just not go? I think that leads to the bigger issue of war resisters. We were joking in the Iraq Veterans Against the War office that February and March are the two court-martial months, because Lt. Ehren Watada is being court-martialed at Fort Lewis on February 5, Spc. Mark Wilkerson at Fort Hood on February 22, and Specialist Agustin Aguayo in Germany on March 6. There are all these public war resisters, taking the lead, following those who came before them, and standing up and saying no -- and putting themselves and their families at a big risk, because people are getting sentenced to prison. Lt. Watada faces six years in prison, and the judge said that he couldn't use his defense, which is that the war is illegal. So basically, he has no defense. He's facing six years for refusing to go. Other men and women have spent up to a year in prison. When people say that they support the war resisters, I think they really need to do more than just say, "Oh, that's great." Because these are men and women who are poised to lose everything. They can lose the people they care about, because a lot of their friends and family may not agree with their stance. And there's a huge financial drain as well, because attorneys are hugely expensive. So I think this is really one of the crucial things -- to encourage GI resistance. We need for us all to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak -- and really show that we're in solidarity with war resisters. We're going to be there."
And Iraq Veterans Against the War was there, leading the demonstrations, at Fort Lewis and doing an amazing job. Anthony Arnove spoke after and The Socialist Worker also provides his speech in text form -- we'll highlight the following:
We're almost four years into the occupation of Iraq, and you have to laugh because the media says, "Oh, you're talking about a hasty withdrawal from Iraq." First of all, as Kelly pointed out, we've been there for a lot longer than four years. The United States was bombing Iraq. Their presence in the Middle East goes back a long time. It's not just this occupation, but the occupation of Palestine goes back more than 40 years. So this isn't a hasty withdrawal that we're talking about. The United States had no right to invade in the first place, and it should get out immediately now. But all of the reasons that they put forward for why we should stay in Iraq are as bogus as the reasons for why they said we had to go in. Let's spend a moment on democracy. First of all, right now, we're in Washington, D.C. Would anyone like to speak to the level of democracy here in Washington, D.C.? We just had an election in November where the majority of people in this country said they want the troops to come hom and they reject the policies of this administration. And we have a president who says he doesn't give a damn, and a Congress that doesn't seem to have heard us either. Is that democracy? We have an opposition party whose form of criticizing the occupation of Iraq is to pass a nonbinding resolution criticizing the escalation of an additional 21,500 troops -- but not questioning the fundamental presence of the United States as an occupying power in Iraq. It's not about the 21,500 additional troops alone. It's a whole package. You cannot fund the war, you cannot support 132,000 troops in Iraq, as Hillary Clinton is doing, and say you're against the war. You're not -- you're for the war.
Anthony Arnove is the author, most recently of, IRAQ: The Logic for Withdrawal.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"A tale of two headlines"
'"We Stand Behind You, Lieutenant Watada" (City on a Hill Press)'
"war resisters, richard l. fricker"
"Music, Guns & Butter"
"THIS JUST IN! LITTLE BULLY BOY CANNOT TELL THE TRUTH!"
"Bully Boy's lips are moving (humor)"