BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
COMB LICKER, WAR HAWK, NEOCON, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE UNDER BULLY BOY, AND CURRENT WORLD BANK PRESIDENT PAUL WOLFOWITZ HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY TO RAIL AGAINST THE "SMEAR CAMPAIGN" LAUNCHED AGAINST HIM.
OFF THE RECORD, HE TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "IS IT A CRIME TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR LADY FRIEND? IS IT A CRIME TO GET HER A PROMOTION AND A PAY RAISE. IF IT IS CONVICT ME OF LOVE!"
PAUL WOLFOWITZ HAS BEEN CALLED MANY THINGS. ADD "SUPER FREAK" TO THE LIST. YI-YI.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with news of war resisters, Sean Cockerham (The News Tribune) reports that the Washington Democratic Party "voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support Lt. Ehren Watada, the Fort Lewis officer who refused orders to serve in Iraq" and notes that the resolution reads: "We support and commend Lt. Ehren Watada for his courage, moral leadership, and commitment to duty demonstrated by his act of resistance to the continued costly, destructive and immoral U.S. military occupation of Iraq." In June of last year, Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq citing the fact that it was an illegal war and to take part in it would leave not only himself but those serving under him open to charges of War Crimes. In February, Watada became the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to deploy to Iraq. The first day of the court-martial (Monday, Feb. 5th) was basics. On Tuesday, the prosecution presented their case. Wednesday, the defense was supposed to mount their limited defense. Limited? Judge Toilet (aka John Head) had already ruled that the defense could not address the legality of the war, had been happy to pay for prosecution witnesses but would not do the same for the defense (and wouldn't allow witnesses). Wednesday the case would depend on Watada's testimony. The judge called a mistrial (over defense objection) before Watada could testify -- most likely because the prosecution's witnesses on Tuesday had, in different ways, backed up Watada's stand. Currently, the pre-trial motions are scheduled for May 20-21 with the court-martial set to begin July 16th. As many legal commentators have pointed out (including Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild), Judge Toilet's decision to call a mistrial after the case began, over the objection of the defense, a second court-martial would violate the Constitution's ban on double-jeopardy.
Whether the court-martial goes forward or not, Ehren Watada has a story to tell. Another war resister has told his story in book form, Joshua Key. With Lawrence Hill, Key's written
The Deserter's Tale which has received strong reviews from across the political spectrum. However, for months now, it has appeared that someone stole independent media's library card. One independent magazine has stepped out. In the May issue of The Progressive (on sale now or shortly), Kirk Nielsen reviews Key's book (as well as Trish Wood's What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It) and concludes:
I buy Key's awakening. The best evidence is his good decision to cite a passage from the Geneva Conventions in his book's epilogue: "Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants . . . and direct their operations only against military objectives."
Iraq War veterans are telling us they haven't and can't. Maybe that account for the more than 9,000 desertions by members of the U.S. armed forces since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
If Key has any friends left in Iraq, they might want to follow his lead the next time they're home. I'd grant them amnesty, if I were king. Haven't they all done more than should have been asked of them?
The Deserter's Tale will soon be joined on bookshelves with another book by a war resister. Camilo Mejia tells his story in Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia -- which The New Press will release tomorrow.
It needs to be noted that The Progressive publishes once a month. The Nation publishes 'weekly' (excluding double issues) and have yet to review Key's book (part of their continued pattern of silence on the subject of war resisters). Possibly, running shockingly sexist slams on Sarah Chayes and Ann Jones doesn't allow much space to actually address books?
Mejia, as Courage to Resist reports, will join with war resisters Pablo Paredes, Agustin Aguayo and Robert Zabala for a speaking tour from May 9th through 17th in the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be Aguayo's first publicly speaking appearances since being released from the brig earlier this month (April 18th). The announced dates include:
Wednesday May 9 - Marin 7pm at College of Marin, Student Services Center, 835 College Ave, Kentfield. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Pablo Paredes and David Solnit. Sponsored by Courage to Resist and Students for Social Responsibility.
Thursday May 10 - Sacramento Details TBA
Friday May 11 - Stockton 6pm at the Mexican Community Center, 609 S Lincoln St, Stockton. Featuring Agustin Aguayo.
Saturday May 12 - Monterey 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Featuring Agustin Aguayo and Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chp. 69, Hartnell Students for Peace, Salinas Action League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Courage to Resist. More info: Kurt Brux 831-424-6447
Sunday May 13 - San Francisco 7pm at the Veterans War Memorial Bldg. (Room 223) , 401 Van Ness St, San Francisco. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes. Sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69 and SF Codepink.
Monday May 14 - Watsonville 7pm at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach, Watsonville. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and Robert Zabala. Sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Watsonville Brown Berets, Courage to Resist and Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chp. 11. More info: Bob Fitch 831-722-3311
Tuesday May 15 - Palo Alto 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall), 1140 Cowper, Palo Alto. Featuring Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Pennisula Peace and Justice Center. More info: Paul George 650-326-8837
Wednesday May 16 - Eureka 7pm at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E St. (@9th), Eureka. Featuring Camilo Mejia. More info: Becky Luening 707-826-9197Thursday May 17 - Oakland 4pm youth event and 7pm program at the Humanist Hall, 411 28th St, Oakland. Featuring Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and the Alternatives to War through Education (A.W.E.) Youth Action Team. Sponsored by Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69, Courage to Resist, Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's (CCCO) and AWE Youth Action Team.
The are all part of a growing movement of war resistance within the military: Camilo Mejia,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Camilo Mejia, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, 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 addition, the documentary Sir! No Sir! traces the war resistance within the military during Vietnam and it will air at 9:00 pm (EST) on The Sundance Channel followed at 10:30 p.m. by The Ground Truth which examines the Iraq war and features Jimmy Massey and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Kelly Dougherty among others.
Staying on the topic of resistance, Rone Tempest (Los Angeles Times) reports on Sean O'Neill, Ronn Cantu, Mike Ergo, Jabbar Magruder and other California veterans speaking out against the illegal war who "are gaining a voice in opposition to American's continued military presence in Iraq. Recent antiwar demonstrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities have seen the first sizable contingents of veterans from the conflict." They are among the many members of Iraq Veterans Against the War which, Tempest notes, calls for: "the immediate withdrawal of all troops, improved treatment for soldiers upon their return and a national contribution to the reconstruction of postwar Iraq."
Meanwhile the fatalities continue to mount. CNN reports, "Fourteen U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed in Iraq during the past 72 hours, making April the sixth deadliest month of the Iraq war, according to the U.S. military." And the deadliest month for US service members this year with 104 fatalities (Jan: 83, Feb: 80; March: 81). Kim Gamel (AP) observes, "The killings of the Americans came as U.S. troops have been increasingly deployed on the streets of Baghdad and housed with Iraqi troops in joint security operations away from their heavily fortified bases, raising their vulnerability to attacks." Missy Comley Beattie (writing at CounterPunch) notes that the first 27 days of this month have seen the reported deaths of almost 1,400 Iraqis.
On Sunday, the British military announced: "It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a soldier from 2nd Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES) has been killed in a small arms fire attack whilst on a routine patrol in the Al Ashar district, east of central Basra at about 0930hrs this morning, Sunday 29 April 2007." This brought the total number of UK soldiers killed in the Iraq war since it began to 146. Michael Evans (Times of London) reports that 12 service members of the British Armed Forces have died this month which "makes this month the worst for fatalities since the campaign started."
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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