BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
THE DEMOCRATIC NON-BINDING SENATE RESOLUTION HAS PASSED DUE TO CONVSERVATION EFFORTS BY THE REPUBLICANS.
THOUGH THE JOHN MCCAIN SHOWBOAT EXPRESS CAME HUFFING AND PUFFING BACK TO D.C., MOST REPUBLICAN SENATORS CHOSE NOT TO BREAK SWEAT OVER THE MEASURE WHICH WON ON A 50-48 VOTE.
SAID SENATOR ORRIN HATCH, "BULLY BOY WILL VETO IT, SO WHY SHOULD I BREAK A SWEAT. IN FACT, THIS FEELS REALLY NICE."
SENATOR HATCH WENT ON TO EXPLAIN THAT AFTER 6 YEARS OF WORKING OVERTIME TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY, IT WAS NICE TO TAKE A BREAK, SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING.
"I FEEL JUST LIKE A DEMOCRAT," HE SIGHED.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
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.)
Also 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.
The 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."
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