I'm doing a solo post before Wally and I get started this morning on our joint post. I've added Just Foreign Policy's counter to my list (I believe all sites have or will have by the end of the day -- I know C.I. spent forever trying to figure out how to add it to Third Estate Sunday Review -- it's up now. They use a very different template than the rest of the community sites). I've also removed The Black Commentator from my links.
The US started an illegal war. Congress has allowed it to drag on to the point that the 'cakewalk' will hit the five year mark in March. Now is not the time for cowardice or inaction. Larry Pinkney writes for The Black Commentator and is entitled to his opinions. I am entitled to delink if those opinions do not jibe with my own. I will go into this further Sunday at a roundtable at Third Estate Sunday Review but rule of thumb for everyone rushing to prop up ANY member of Congress who is doing nothing, pull quote from Janet:
I know you used to do nice things for me
But what have you done lately?
That's what it really comes down to. I don't want to hear someone tell me about past glories a decade prior or four. I want to know what you're doing today and if you're not doing anything, you're useless.
Our country is going through a very dangerous time. The rule of law has been tossed aside. Our already delicate (to put it mildly) justice system is being ripped apart by this administration which feels that not only can it spy in secret on American citizens, it can also detain them (imprison them) and do so for years. Racial profiling has gone from something most of us could agree was disgraceful to an 'option' some argue we must use. All of that and the illegal war means there is no time for playing. You get real or you step aside because things are going really bad.
I reserve the right to call out anyone and can respect that in anyone. I cannot and will not respect anyone like Pinkney who rushes to defend a certain segment and say they are off limits. John Conyers was targeted with civil disobedience action due to the position he holds and the multitude of statemens he has made. This was not about racism and I will not stay silent while a fool tries to play the race card. Pinkney and The Black Commentator have behaved foolishly and it was offensive.
I have had no use at all for them (check my archives) since Bruce Dixon, Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberley left to start their own site, Black Agenda Report. They were the ones who spoke to me with their fearlessness and refusal to be silent even when others clammed up. I was happy to leave the link to The Black Commentator up because I thought they were weak but there are not enough voices of color out there. When they betray the power they have and act foolishly, they are removed from my links because I cannot endorse or condone that kind of behavior.
Last Sunday, Betty, Ty and I made it clear where we stood on the issue of John Conyers ("John Conyers Is No MLK (Betty, Cedric & Ty)"). That position should not have shocked anyone who's read my site from the start. I do not believe that you say anyone is a hero for just one race or that only one segment can name check the person. I wrote about that specifically when some took offense to Cindy Sheehan being called the new Rosa Parks. As I said then, do it. Call her that. Keep Rosa Parks' memory alive. Don't let her be a footnote that gets trotted out each year during Black History Month.
I noted that we're encouraged to see multiple Whites as heroes that we should all embrace and that it's about time African-Americans got the same. We have heroes and they are not merely heroes for Black people. For that reason, I would never argue that a comparison couldn't be made to anyone (favorable or unfavorable) with Rosa Parks.
John Conyers is no MLK. John Conyers is a Congressional flunky who represents the group think to be found in the Beltway. I can call him (and I will call him out). I have no problem with Ray McGovern or Dave Lindorff or any other White person doing the same and noting Conyers is no MLK.
Of all well known Americans, MLK is a clear hero, a benchmark. His memory is kept alive when he's not just trotted out on the anniversary of his birthday, his death or during Black History Month. I'd love to hear every American cite MLK in conversations as often as possible. He is a hero for the ages. I will not allow him to be ghetto-ized in terms of who can use his name or whom he can be compared to.
Pinkney and others do not "own" MLK and they'd be wise to grasp that real damn fast. They'd also be wise to grasp whatever they did forty years ago and think they are doing today, most of us don't give a damn about because they make themselves sound silly with little jabs at Cindy Sheehan and other bits of nonsense.
Cindy Sheehan is a great American today and there aren't many. Maybe she'll rise to the level of MLK, maybe she won't. It's a high mountain top to get to and most of us (including me) don't stand a chance (though we should all try). But she's already demonstrated that she is strong and that she is fighter.
Pinkney's nasty little jabs at Sheehan, which do everything but call her a racist outright, are not okay with me. I've read what she's written (including her books) and I've been lucky enough to hear her speak in person. I have never detected anything from her but a compassion for all human beings. If we're going to operate from the premise that every White person is a racist just due to the nature of their skin color then let's call like it is because there are a number of African-American racists and Pinkney is coming off like one.
How dare he, or Rev. Lennox, refer to the peace movement as White. That's a real insult to those of us who have been active in it and are people of color. Are our numbers less than the Whites participating? Yes. And the number of African-Americans in the United States is less than the number of White people. That's what makes us a minority.
It's equally true that a lot of nonsense efforts are going on preaching "VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!" (I'm not talking about ACORN here, which I support.)
I am not and would not be a member of the Hip Hop Caucus. I have better things to do with my time than devote it to a music genre. I don't believe the Civil Rights Movement ever attempted to call itself "The Rhythm & Blues Bridgade." Hip Hop remains hugely popular with Whites and it remains a point of contention for many African-Americans due to the big stars of the genre repeatedly promoting gangster lifestyles (in music and in the press) and due to the rampant sexism and homophobia to be found in the music that become 'hits.' (Homophobia appears to be a problem Pinkney is not familiar with judging by his list of who can be wronged and who cannot be.)
Not being 17, not being someone thinking that shoot-em-up action is 'keeping it real,' I have no interest in any Hip Hop Caucus and honestly find it very insulting. I'm a grown man who was lucky enough to come of age after real fighters had secured some rights for my people. I'm a grown man who was lucky enough to have a mother and grandparents (my father died when I was a very little kid) who refused to let me play it 'street' and my grandmother would have taken a belt to my hide, up and down the block, if I ever thought of walking around the house, let alone in public, with my pants hanging down below my ass.
I had breaks that others didn't have and I do not think, "They're wasting their lives by choice." The truth is, many have nothing else to hang onto and that goes to the decimation of the factories in the US and to the criminalization of being Black. But I'll be damned if I'll toss aside the very real breaks I've been fortunate enough to have to scream, "Yo, man, keep it fly, I'm a Hip Hop Caucus kind of guy."
So go preach your "Rap's going to change the world" rap to some other brother. I'm not buying it. More power to the artists in rap that never get the headlines or the hits but repeatedly try to write and rap about real life. But let's not pretend that the genre is not dominated and controlled by (and caters to) Whites.
And let's not pretend that when Rev. Lennox and Pinkney refer to the peace movement as "White," they aren't insulting the many people of color who are active in it and working hard. You expect that nonsense from the White media, you don't expect to be stabbed in the back by your own brothers.
But that's what they both did.
Bill Cosby and Juan Williams both play Blame the Victim. I don't do that. I know there are few job opportunities, I know that most people of color face very real racism just walking down the street. I grasp, unlike Barack Obama, that African-American fathers are often not present due to issues that go beyond their own choices. Some, like my father, are dead. Some are imprisoned due to the alleged justice system. Some are running not from their obligations but from the reality that even if they break their backs every day, they still can't provide for a family. Given the choice between self-presenting as a carefree guy or as a provider who failed, who wouldn't grab on to carefree?
Some people of color have no breaks at all, have no net to protect them. That needs to be recognized.
But embracing and understanding does not translate into, "So therefore I will live my own life like I've had no breaks."
What's the answer? It depends on what problem you're talking about because there are a number of problems facing our community. But the answer will never come in shoring up elected officials who should have left Congress before they turned 70 or in rendering those of us who do work to change things invisible. The latter is what Pinkney and Rev. Yearwood do when they repeat and popularize the notion that the peace movement is a White movement. I will have no part in that.
It is not all White and repeating that lie is a bit like repeating the "Students don't care" lie.
As for Cindy Sheehan, I'd stand shoulder to shoulder with her any day. John Conyers? Just another member of Congress doing nothing but saying, "Vote more of us in and then we'll change things!" That song and dance is getting real old.
Thank you to Keesha and Carl for being active on the issue of The Black Commentator's shameful actions this week. As always, Keesha remains one of our strongest members in the community. When I got her e-mail, I called her and told it would be delinked this weekend. It has been here, it has been or will be at all community sites by the end of the day. This community has a large number of African-Americans. They have not sat on their butts the last years. They have done their part to end the illegal war. They are very much part of the peace movement and just because Rev. Yearwood and Pinkney want to repeat lies doesn't mean that we will go along with them. People of color, like students of all colors, have been active in the peace movment all along and their numbers continue to grow. This happens despite the lies and what sounds like sour grapes of some who set themselves up as voices of our people.
C.I. just called, I'd left a message on the cell phone's voice mail. I wanted to be sure that there was a roundtable on this (everyone else with decision making power is asleep) and C.I. said there would be. C.I. also asked me if I'd read Trina's "Spinach, Orange and Almond Salad in the Kitchen" yet? I hadn't. That's a really strong post so let me give her a shout out right now.
I just posted this and thought, "Keesha's going to chew me out!" She led the charge that the Iraq snapshot be included in every post any member does. She was right to lead that charge (and I post it in full at mirror site each day -- my mirror site is where I first started blogging at Blogdrive). So here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, August 10, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military starts another whisper campaign about al-Sadr, a US helicopter goes down, Joe Biden comes out against the privatization of Iraqi oil, and the draft is in the (US) air again.
Starting with war resisters. Agustin Aguayo served as a medic in Iraq and refused to load his weapon. He had applied for CO status but was told he'd have to wait until after deploying to Iraq to find out the status. His CO status was denied and he took the issue to the civilian courts. After serving one tour in Iraq and while his case was working through the courts, the military expected him to deploy a second time. Aguayo self-checked out and was gone for less than thirty days before turning himself in. Despite being gone less than thirty days (September 2nd through September 26th) and turning himself in, the US military prosecuted Aguayo for desertion (the general rule is that you have to be gone 30 or more days for desertion). Aguayo and his wife Helga Aguayo are now telling his story and how it effected their family. Rosalino Munoz (People's Weekly World) reports that Agustin and Helga are attempting to decide what to do with regards to the civilian case and must decide by September 5th whether or not to appeal to the Supreme court. Munoz notes, " At issue is whether a soldier's conscienctious objection to war can develop after enlistment and outside of an organized religion, as well as whether the Army can deny a soldier's claim to conscientious objection without a response to the soldier's arguments."
Were the military to follow their own stated policies, there would be no questions as to what qualifies for a CO but they don't, as Aguayo, John A. Rogowsky Jr. and many others have discovered. From the US military's "Selective Service System: Fast Facts:" "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be." Despite that basic reality, Aguayo, Rogowsky and others have been told that they're not religious enough, that their religion is not recognized, when religion really is NOT required for CO status. In Aguayo's case, the military refused to recognize that time in Iraq deepened Aguayo's faith (already present when he enlisted).
Munoz notes that Aguayo's attorneys believe he has a strong case but Aguayo wants to review the strengths with them before going further with the case due to a concern that a loss in the Supreme Court could reverse the gains that service members had made during Vietnam. Aguayo is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and another IVAW member, provides an update on war resister Marc Train. Adamo Kokesh (Sgt. Kokesh Goes to Washington) reports that Train has been charged "under Article 15 of the UCMJ for being AWOL for 114 days . . . They are now in the process of kicking him out under Chapter 12-14. . . . So a little soft time at Fort Stewart and he should be home free." Train self-checked out after taking part in the DC actions to end the illegal war in March of this year. Kokesh also reposts Eli Israel (the first service member to publicy refuse to continue serving in the illegal war while stationed in Iraq) story, told in Israel's own words. Sarah Olson (Political Affairs) reported on Train in June and quoted him stating, "Just because we volunteered, doesn't mean we volunteered to throw our lives away for nothing. You can only push human beings so far. Soldiers are going to Iraq multiple times. The reasons we're there are obviously lies. We're reaching a breaking point, and I believe you're going to see a lot more resistance inside the military." Tran is a member of IVAW (and was on his way to being discharged from the military -- by mutual agreement between him and the brass -- until he signed on to Appeal for Redress) and, like other IVAW members, has posted about his experiences and observations there. At the end of April, he wrote, "This Administartion has been emboldened by the lack of effective mass outrage. Now, what I mean by that is that our country as a whole has not effectively demonstrated its outrage about the policies of this Administration; the workers are still going to their jobs, the traffic is still flowing; products are still being consumed. As long as this is all functioning and every measure of control is in place, and as long as Congress continues to nervously shift about and take no determined action, the Administration does not feel threatened by the anger of its opposition."
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum. Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. IVAW and others will be joining Veterans For Peace's conference in St. Louis, Missouri August 15th to 19th.
Meanwhile, the US military is trumpeting the news that the Army met its targeted recruitment goals for the month of July . . . while hoping no reporters note that the target was brought down some time ago both in terms of numbers and qualifications. And hoping no one notices how much money is being spent on a still non-existant draft in the US. In an indication of things being explored and floated, if not yet on the way, Bully Boy's assistant and deptuty National Security Director on Iraq and Afghanistan Lt. General Douglas Lute spoke with Michelle Norris on NPR's All Things Considered today where he pushed the draft
("a national policy decision point that we have not yet reached, Michelle" -- note, "not yet reached") and declared of the draft, "I think it makes sense to certainly consider it and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another." While "one means or another" may be a nicer way of saying "by all means necessary," there's no denying that draft boards have been set up, that tax payer monies are being spent on them and that Bully Boy's assistant is now floating the option which -- pay attention, Nancy Pelosi -- unlike impeachment is not 'off the table.' Returning to the issue of the qualifications waived to meet the targets, Stephen D. Green, fingered as the ring leader by others who participated in the war crimes against 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi and her family (Abeer was gang-raped while her parents and five-year-old sister were murdered in the next room, then she was murdered and her body set on fire to destroy any evidence) is an example of the lowering standards since he went from jail to the military via a 'moral waiver' that overlooked not only his most recent arrest but his prior arrests. In other military crime news, Feminist Wire Daily reports that Cassandra Hernandez' rape by "three of her malecounterparts" in the US Air Force has led not to punishment for the alleged rapists, but instead to charges against Hernandez with the three alleged rapists being "granted immunity from the sexual assault charges" for agreeing to testify against Hernandez. This assault on Cassandra Hernandez is only a surprise to those who have looked the other way while the US military brass has regularly and repeatedly excused and ignored the assualts on women serving in the military. The assault by the brass on Suzanne Swift is only one of the more recent public disgraces. The US military brass has repeatedly and consistently refused to address the assaults on women (and on gay male victims of assualt) and Congress has repeatedly and consistently refused to excercise their oversight obligations.
On a related crime note, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today: "In other news on Iraq, the U.S. military has dropped all charges against two Marines connected to the shooting deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt had been charged with three counts of premeditated murder and Capt. Randy Stone with dereliction of duty for failing to properly report the civilian deaths. Five Marines still face charges for shooting dead two dozen unarmed men, women and children in Haditha on November 19, 2005."
Goodman also notes Joe Biden's nosies with regards to punishments for the Bully Boy (we'll get back to that) but that's not really the big news regarding US Senator and 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Appearing yesterday on PBS' The Charlie Rose Show, Biden discussed the upcoming September 'progress' reports to Congress and noted that there has been no military progress in Iraq though he understood why Gen. David Petraeus would attempt to finesse that bit of reality. Biden then went on to offer his take on the administration's political attempts (which have failed, as Biden noted) in Iraq and identified Dick Cheney as the one blocking progress. (I'm not endorsing that, or endorsing Biden's kind words for US Secretary of State and Anger Condi Rice, et al.) Rose questioned whether Cheney could really be against progress and Biden utilized the oil revenue sharing 'benchmark'. We've heard that utilized before by all Dem candidates for president except Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich in a manner that lumps the oil revenue sharing and the theft of Iraqi oil into one provision. Biden didn't lump them together -- a possible sign that other candidates may also join Kucinich and Gravel in calling out the theft of Iraqi oil. Biden delcared, "Look at what we keept trying to write into the law: privatization. Who are we to tell them to privatize?"
Biden's comments come as growing resistance mounts in the US (led by United Steel Workers) to the theft of Iraqi oil and as news of a poll gains traction. Aaron Glantz (OneWorld via Common Dreams) reports on the Oil Change International poll of Iraqis that "found nearly two thirds od Iraqis oppose plans to open the country's oilfields to foreign companies. The poll found a majority of every Iraqi ethnic and religious group believe their oil should remain nationalized. Some 66 percent of Shi'ites and 62 percent of Sunnis support government control of the oil sector, along with 52 percent of Kurds." Glantz quotes Antonia Juhasz (author of The BU$H Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time) explaining, "We're talking about opening up the second largest oil reserves in the entire world to foreign investment. It costs about $75 a barrel -- and about 60 cents to get it out of the ground. Do the math."
As Great Britain's Socialist Worker reports, "The pro-US Iraqi government has outlawed the country's oil workers' union under a law passed during the regime of Saddam Hussein. The order comes as opposition is mounting to a proposed oil law that would hand over the country's natural resource to foreign companies. The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) has spearheaded opposition to the proposed law."
On February 23, 2007, Antonia Juhasz spoke with Kris Welch on KPFA's Living Room
about the oil law and explained the basics:.
Antonia Juhasz: It's really American, and let me clarify that as Bush administration, propaganda that this law is the path towards stability in Iraq. It is absolutely propaganda. This law is being sold as the mechanism for helping the Iraqis determine how they will distribute their oil revenue. That is not what this law is about. That is the bottom end of an enormous hammer that is this oil law. This oil law is about foreign access to Iraq's oil and the terms by which that access will be determined. It is also about the distribution of decision making power between the central government and the region as to who has ultimate decision making power and the types of contracts that will be signed. There are powers that be within Iraq that would very much like to see that power divvied up into the regions, between the Kurds and the Shia in particular, and then there are powers that would like to see Iraq retained as a central authority. The Bush administration would like the central government of Iraq to have ultimate control over contracting decisions because it believes it has more allies in the central government than it would if it was split up into regions. The Bush administration is most concerned with getting an oil law passed now and passed quickly to take advantage of the weakness of the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government couldn't be in a weaker negotiating position and the law locks the government in to twenty to thirty-five year committments to granting the most extreme versions of exploration and production contracts to US companies or foreign companies. Meaning that foreign companies would have access to the vast majorities of Iraq's oil fields and they would own the oil under the ground -- they would control the production and they would in contracts yet to be determined get a percentage of that profit but they'd be negotiating essentially when Iraq is at its weakest when Iraq is hardly a country. And that's what this oil law is all about. What Iraqis are saying very clearly and have said to Raed [Jarrar] and, in particular, to the loudest voices being the Iraqi oil unions is that the only people who want to see this law passed now are the Americans. There's no other reason to push that law through."
Turning to some of the violence on the ground in Iraq . . .
CBS and AP report a US helicopter that went down in Kirkuk, wounding two Americans on board, cite the Iraqi military as the source for the news that the helicopter hit an electric pole and note that on July 31st and July 3rd US helicopters were brought down "after coming under fire".
Reuters reports a Kirkuk car bombing that claimed 11 lives (with at least 45 more people wounded). CBS and AP report a Baquba roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 2 bus passengers and left at least four others wounded.
Reuters reports Wisam al-Maliki (the son of sheikh over puppet Nouri al-Maliki's tribe) was shot dead in Garna. CBS and AP report a man was shot dead in Baquba.
Reuters reports that three corpses were discovered in Rutba.
In other news, Reuters reports that the UN Security Counsel has backed a proposal for a slightly more visible United Nations role in Iraq and denies charges that the US strong-armed the proposal in order to shift the responsibilites off on the UN; however, they do note that Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's Foreign Minister, has stated the obvious via a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that "prior consent" for any authorization having to do with Iraq needs to have the "prior consent" from Iraq's government. Iraqi's Parliament was rightly outraged when the US government got the UN to extend authorization for their role as 'peace keepers' in Iraq without either the US or the UN bothering to seek the input or authorization of the Iraqi government.
Meanwhile, as the government of US puppet Nouri al-Maliki is in disarray (while he visits Iran), Sue Pleming (Reuters) reports that the US administration continues to (publicly) stress their support for al-Maliki while Olga Oliker (Rand Corporation) notes that replacing the puppet now would "backfire" on the administration and states, "To be a colonial puppet master you need a much stronger understanding and subtle knowled of the culture and history than the U.S. has demonstrated over the past few years in Iraq." In an apparent move to defocus attention from the US puppet government's many failures (security, electritcy, water, food, etc.), AFP reports that Col. John Castles is the point-person to restart the whisper campaign that Moqtada al-Sadr is in Iran. Though the allegations earlier this year were never proven, they did serve to distract for a number of weeks. No doubt that is again the hope with the latest whisper campaign.
In political news, Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan officially announced her candidacy for California's 8th Congressional District in the 2008 election yesterday in San Francisco. Sheehan will be competing with other candidates including US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who currently holds the seat. Among those present for the announcement was whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg who endorses the run. Sheehan will be running as independent candidate and for more on this see Rebecca's post from last night.
Sheehan declared last month that she would run for Congress if Pelosi refused to put impeachment back on the table by July 23rd after repeated (and rightful) anger over the Democratically controlled Congress' refusal to end the illegal war. As legal scholar Francis A. Boyle (Dissident Voice) observes, ."Despite the massive, overwhelming repudiation of the Iraq war and the Bush Jr. administration by the American people in the November 2006 national elections conjoined with their consequent installation of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party with a mandate to terminate the Iraq war, since its ascent to power in January 2007 the Democrats in Congress have taken no effective steps to stop, impede, or thwart the Bush Jr. administration's wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or anywhere else, including their long-standing threatened war against Iran. To the contrary, the new Democrat-controlled Congress decisively facilitated these serial Nuremberg crimes against peace on May 24, 2007 by enacting a $95 billion supplemental appropriation to fund war operations through September 30, 2007." Or as veteran DC correspondent Helen Thomas (Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Common Dreams) points out, "President Bush has the Democrats' number on Capitol Hill. All he has to do is play the fear card and invoke the war on terror and they will cave.What's more, the president has found out that he can break the law and the rubber stamp. Democratic Congress will give him a pass every time." Sheehan's announced candidacy comes as Matt Renner (Truthout) reports, "The Blue Dogs have apparently informed the Democratic leadership in the House that they support the ongoing occupation of Iraq. According to Mahoney, he met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and told her 'The president should be free to maintain troops in Iraq, if the purpose is to thwart terrorism'." The Blue Dogs are War Hawks (and include Loretta Sanchez whose greedy hands would rather grabs billions in pork than end the illegal war) and centrists who have repeatedly stabbed the Democrats base in the back. The 2004 demise of Blue Doggie Martin Frost should have been a lesson -- a Republican-lite running against a Republican will lose every time. That's what happened to Texas' Frost who shortly before his political demise was toying challenging Pelosi for the House leadership post. Frost, like most Blue Dogs, runs from the Democratic Party while taking the national monies. Frost's campaigns were noted by Texas community members for their use of yard signs and campaign materials that never mentioned Frost was a Democrat and for slurs and slams against other Democrats perceived as liberal (such as Pelosi) to assure voters he wasn't one of those 'crazy Democrats'. Long term Congress member Frost went up against newbie incumbent Pete Sessions thanks to the illegal redistricting of Texas' congressional lines (assisted in the process by the US Homeland Security Dept. which spied on state Democrats). Voters presented with wishy washy Frost and proud-to-be-a-Republican Sessions chose Sessions. There's a moral in the story. There's a moral in the story of St. John Conyers as well as in some outlets rush to claim that racism is involved in expecting a senior member of Congress who has repeatedly advocated impeachment of the Bully Boy, who has written a book about the necessity to impeach the Bully Boy, and who shows up at various gatherings (such as the large peace rally in DC this year) to state the people can fire Bully Boy. St. Conyers wants all the applause and refuses to do anything. For some reason, some outlets see themselves as defenders not of the people or the Constitution but as St. Conyers' personal fan club. The reality is Conyers could move on impeachment and, by his public statements (which his office often later recants or distorts) but elects not to. Disgusing those realities by suggesting a racist attack is going on against Conyers is really pathetic and, interesting to note, that many suggesting that lie were no where to be found when Cynthia McKinney was twice ousted from the House of Representatives via racial slurs. As Betty, Cedric and Ty have noted: "As we said last week, he's old, he's tired, it's past time he gave up his seat and let some new blood in. The only disgrace has been what he has done to his own image." (Betty's seen the latest nonsense and notes that it will be addressed by her in Sunday's roundtable.) The topic of impeachment wasn't avoided on PBS where Bill Moyers examined it seriously last month. That one hour look (including guests such as John Nichols) at impeachment on Bill Moyers Journal is repeating and can also be viewed, listened to or read online currently. As a weak alternative to impeachment, Senator Joe Biden is floating 'later actions.' As Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today: "Impeachment has been making headlines recently in the city of Kent, Ohio. Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden has suggested criminal charges could someday be filed against members of the Bush administration. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Biden said there are alternatives to the impeachment of President Bush. Biden said: 'I think we should be acquiring and accumulating all the data that is appropriate for possibly bringing criminal charges against members of this administration at a later date'." This 'later' nonsense has also been floated by St. Conyers is nothing but nonsense. The 1992 elections gave Democrats the control of Congress and the White House and they unwisely decided to put Iran-Contra behind them. The crimes of Reagan and Bush were swept under the rug and we're all paying for that today. By the same token, in January 2009, after Bully Boy leaves office, the DC conventional wisdom (that so many elected Dems are held hostage by) would be, "He's out of office, leave it alone." If impeachment does not take place, Bully Boy walks and anyone suggesting otherwise is taking an ahistorical view of the situation.
adam kokeshmarc traineli israel
amy goodmanantonia juhasz
the socialist worker
feminist wire daily
bill moyersbill moyers journal
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
cedrics big mixthomas friedman is a great manthe third estate sunday review