BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
TODAY NEWT GINGRICH APOLOGIZED BECAUSE HIS "WORD CHOICE WAS POOR" AND THAT BILINGUAL EDUCATION WAS NOT "THE LANGUAGE OF LIVING IN A GHETTO."
THE FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER AND SLAVE TO HIS PASSIONS NEWT RELEASED A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE TODAY WHERE HE DRESSED UP AS THE TACO BELL MASCOT AND ADVISED ALL WATCHING TO "HEAD SOUTH OF THE BORDER."
WHEN ASKED IF HE MEANT TO BE INSULTING WITH HIS YOUTUBE VIDEO, NEWT STORMED OFF, CURSING AND MUTTERING ABOUT HOW "THOSE PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN TO SPEAK AMERICAN."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Turning to news of war resistance, Ehren Watada has new legal representation. Watada, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq and the first to be court-martialed (in a court-martial Judge Toilet ruled a mistrial over the objection of the defense) is no longer represented by Eric Seitz. William Cole (Honolulu Advertiser) quotes Seitz stating, "I think the way to put it is I'm not representing him anymore and he's found another firm" and Bob Watada (Ehren's father) stating, "I have the highest opinion of Eric Seitz. But it's Ehren's decision." Hawaii's KNDO notes that Watada's next court-martial is scheduled for July 16th. Whether it will go foward or not is up in the air because double-jeporady should have attached when Judge Toilet (Lt. Col. Head) declared a mistrial, over defense objection, in the midst of the trial. Cole notes Watada is now represented by Carney Badley Spellman in Seattle. Fort Lewis is in Seattle so that is one plus (Seitz resides in Hawaii). Another is the strong lawyers working for the firm such as Jim Lobsenz. AP notes "Watada is currently assigned to an administrative position at Fort Lewis." Earlier this week, Paul Rockwell (Berkeley Daily Planet) summarzies Watada's case thus far and notes that "Watada never volunteered -- no soldier volunteers -- to violate human rights, to violate American treaties, to destroy the sovereignty of nations, to participate in aggression. A contract to break the law has no legal standing."
Ehren Watada is a part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Joshua Key, Corey Glass, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Dean Walcott, 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 Iraq today, another helicopter has gone down. The Times of London reports that the downing took place "this morning after coming under fire in a Sunni militrant stonghold south of baghdad, an Iraqi army officials said. AFP reports that "four personnel on board a US army helicopter were wounded and 'evacuated' when it crashed south of Baghdad. Five others on board were safe". CNN reports that an unnamed US military official has stated that the helicopter "appeared to be damaged by small-arms fire" and notes that 8 helicopters "have been shot down or forced to make hard landings" since January 20, 2007. Hard landings? Sweeter word for "crash." AP provides a list of 9 helicopter incidents (beginning on January 20th) leading up to today's which, they note, resulted from "an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun" according to an "Iraqi official."
[. . .]
Turning to the US Congress, Tuesday on Free Speech Radio News, Leigh Ann Caldwell reported on the latest talk of a new Senate bill regarding the war: "Responding to Bush's veto threats to the $124 billion war supplemental, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Russ Feingold have come up with a backup plan, a plan that goes further. It would stop funding US combat missions on March 31st of next year. It's important to note though that troops would remain for security reasons and to fight al Qaeda in Iraq." (Thank you to Micah and another member who both transcribed Caldwell.) On the measures passed by the House and Senate previously, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair (CounterPunch) observe, "Although nothing of any significance actually happened on March 32, to read liberal commentators one would think we'd witnessed some profound upheaval, courtsey of Nancy Pelosi's skillful uniting of the various Democratic factions. What she accomplished in practice was the neutering of the antiwar faction. . . . Will Congressional opposition to the war now get stronger, anchored by Pelosi's bill? Not likely. The window of opportunity for that flew open right after the election when antiwar forces roared in outrage after being snubbed by Pelosi and Reid, who omitted the war and the Patriot Act from their must-do agenda. Instead, the Democratic leadership chose merely to appear to oppose the war while continuing to fund it. This they have now achieved, amid the satisfied cheers of the progressive sector."
United for Peace and Justice is advising "We Must Seize the Moment:"
As people of the United States, taking action to right these terrible wrongs is our greatest responsibility. Join us in letting our elected representatives know that we want the war to end and the troops to come home now!
Congress is now on recess, giving us an opportunity to take our message directly to them in their homes offices: Start bringing the troops home from Iraq now, bring all the troops home in 2007, and no war in Iran! The House of Representatives will be on recess March 31-April 15, and the Senate from March 31-April 9. Now is the time to make our voices heard. Click here for ways to take action.
Scheduled a meeting with your reps? Please post it on our events calendar.
Suggested reading on the supplemental:
Are We Politicians or Citizens? by Howard Zinn
UFPJ Talking Points: Opposing the Iraq Supplemental & Iran Threats by Phyllis Bennis
And CODEPINK is asking that we stop the purchase:
Don't Buy Bush's War! "CODEPINK believes that not one more dollar should be appropriated for continued war and occupation, and will continue to push the position that Congress should only fund the safe, orderly and rapid withdrawal of all troops by the end of this year." Read more of CODEPINK's response to the passing of the supplemental bill. We will continue our broad and exciting Don't Buy Bush's War Campaign. We need to flood the offices, halls, sidewalks and streets of Congress with people opposed to the war from now through this Fall. We're asking for your help to get people to Washington DC and to do similar actions locally. CALL CONGRESS: we're also asking you to call and email your member of Congress telling him or her to stop buying Bush's war. Watch the Washington Post's film about this campaign.
Those who don't see the urgency in ending the war quickly should read Deborah Sontag's (New York Times) article on Iraq veteran Sam Ross who returned from Iraq blind and missing a portion of his left leg and was left to address mental and emotional issues arises from his time in Iraq and his injuries with no help or assistance from the government that so gladly sent him into an illegal war.
Finally, though the plan is still to address the idiotic article in The Nation (noted last Friday), Bernadine Dohrn (writing at CounterPunch) has already done so: "Christopher Phelps has written a timely but ultimately disappointing article in The Nation about the vibrant and growing student movement. He transforms the tough challenges of movement-building into a set of tepid forumulas about what not to do. The new wave of student activism in American and around the world is a hopeful development worthy of our active participation and respect." As noted last week, for those not interested in musings from the faux set, check out Doug Viehmeyer's article "Steppin It Up: The New SDS" (LeftTurn) about the SDS.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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