BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
ON WEDNESDAY, THE BULLY BOY OF THE UNITED STATES LAUGHED, SNORTED AND WHINY-ED LIKE A PONY AS HE DECLARED, "SO I'VE TOLD PEOPLE THAT IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN AVOIDING WORLD WAR III, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU OUGHT TO BE INTERESTED IN PREVENTING THEM FROM HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS."
ADDING THAT HE WAS SPEAKING "VERY SERIOUSLY," BULLY BOY'S WORDS CAUSED A CLAMP DOWN AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND REPEATED ASSURANCES THAT HE WAS BEING "RHETORICAL" TO WHICH ONE REPORTER, ONE OF THESE REPORTERS, SHOT BACK, "GET HIM TO SPELL IT!"
WHILE THE WHITE HOUSE ATTEMPTS TO DENY THAT THE BULLY BOY SEES WORLD WAR III AS LIKELY, THE REALITY IS THAT IN MAY OF THIS YEAR ON CNBC, BULLY BOY DECLARED WORLD WAR THREE STARTED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ANGER CONDI RICE DECLARED, "THAT IS ABSOLUTELY THE LAST TIME WE LET HIM DO SHOTS BEFORE FACING THE PRESS."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with war resistance. War resister Camilo Mejia speaks Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. Janet Parker (The Capital Times) notes, "This weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, energy is building among student activists who are hosting a national event, Students Rising: The 5th Anniversary Summit of the Campus Antiwar Network. Their featured speaker will be brave conscientious objector to war, Camilo Mejia. In 2004 Staff Sgt. Mejia applied for a discharge from the Army. He was the first known Iraq veteran to refuse to fight, citing moral concerns about the war and occupation. His public talk will be in the Humanities Building, Room 3650, at 8 p.m. Saturday." Pablo Paredes is another war resister. On Wednesday, he was in Berkeley with CODEPINK and other activists to protest the recruiting center on Shattuck Ave. Henry K. Lee (San Francisco Chronicle) reports on the right wing activists descending upon the area to demonstrate their support for recruiting centers to send more people off to die in an illegal war and points out one right winger made a fool out of himself. The right-winger's son died in Iraq (this isn't in the article) and -- the then under-age son was able to join the military only because he signed a waiver. Instead of addressing that, he elected to scream at Pablo Paredes, "Are you a soldier? They wouldn't let you looking like that!" A soldier? Paredes was in the navy and was a Petty Officer Third Class. Lee writes, "Paredes said later that he had served five years in the Navy and that people of color like himself bore the brunt of military service. 'I think the color of my skin shouldn't make me be on the front line,' Paredes said, adding that he left the Navy because he refused orders and opposed the war in Iraq." Along with Mejia, Stephen Funk and Aiden Delgado, Paredes is one of the early faces of war resistance and they -- and many others including Carl Webb -- demonstrated from the start that the movement was not "White" -- despite the mistaken claims of many.
Demonstrating further the diversity is the fact that one Iraq War resister is the first officer to publicy refuse to serve in the illegal war. That officer is Ehren Watada. Today is Iraq Moratorium day and many participants will be showing their solidarity with Watada whose legal status is on hold as federal judge Benjamin Settle reviews issues arising from the first court-martial of Watada (in February) when Judge Toilet (aka John Head) declared a mistrial over defense objection which should have prevented any further court-martials due to the double-jeopardy clause in the US Constitution. In a letter to People's Weekly World entitled "Watada's Leadership," T. Kyoshi Nagano explains how Watada's refusal to engage in an illegal war was upholding the highest of military standards by juxtaposing Watada's statements with those of US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Watada: "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our agression. My oath of office is to protect and defend America's laws and its people. By refusing unlawful orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today."
Gates: "For a real leader, the elements of personal virtue -- self-reliance, self-control, honor, truthfulness, morality -- are absolute. They are absolute even when doing what is right may bring embarrassment or bad publicy to your unit or the service or to you. Those are the moements that will truly test the leader withing you -- test whether you will take the hard parth or the easy path, the wrong path or the right path. The willingness always to take the right path, even if it is the hard path, is called character. In every aspect of your life, whether personal or professional, you must always maintain the courage of your convictions -- your personal integrity."
T, Kyoshi Nagano observes, "There is a tradition in the Japanese American community to act on personal belief from volunteer 442/Nisei Linguist (while their family and friends were in camps), the NoNo Boys and the Vietnam War resisters. There are words, yet actions speak loudly." While the federal court examines the issue of double-jeopardy, a stay has been issued through at least October 26th.
New war resisters pop up daily and some go public and some don't. One who has decided to go public is Michael Espinal who self-checked out and went to Canada after serving in Iraq. Denis St. Pierre (The Sudbury Star) reports that Espinal "witnessed -- and participated in -- authorized missions that saw hundreds -- perhaps thousands of innocent Iraqis killed, injured, imprisoned and humiliated, their homes destroyed, their families ripped apart. In Espinal's view, he and his colleagues committed numerous human rights abuses and criminal acts. When his first tour of duy in Iraq ended, he resolved not to return. . . . Espinal and his partner, Jennifer Harrison, who are expecting their first child in April, have been living in Sudbury for the last few weeks. They are the first Americans to attempt to settle in the city with the help from the War Resisters Support Campaign. War Resisters is a country-wide coalition of community, faith, labour and other organizations and individuals helping U.S. soldiers who seek asylum in Canada rather than fight in Iraq." [Note: They are posting video to go with the text. If you click on the link try later. There's also an excerpt of the article in this entry.]
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, 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, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, 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, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty 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 [(877) 447-4487], 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.
The National Lawyers Guild's convention begins shortly: The Military Law Task Force and the Center on Conscience & War are sponsoring a Continuing Legal Education seminar -- Representing Conscientious Objectors in Habeas Corpus Proceedings -- as part of the National Lawyers Guild National Convention in Washington, D.C. The half-day seminar will be held on Thursday, November 1st, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the convention site, the Holiday Inn on the Hill in D.C. This is a must-attend seminar, with excelent speakers and a wealth of information. The seminar will be moderated by the Military Law Task Force's co-chair Kathleen Gilberd and scheduled speakers are NYC Bar Association's Committee on Military Affairs and Justice's Deborah Karpatkin, the Center on Conscience & War's J.E. McNeil, the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee's Peter Goldberger, Louis Font who has represented Camilo Mejia, Dr. Mary Hanna and others, and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's James Feldman. The fee is $60 for attorneys; $25 for non-profit attorneys, students and legal workers; and you can also enquire about scholarships or reduced fees. The convention itself will run from October 31st through November 4th and it's full circle on the 70th anniversary of NLG since they "began in Washington, D.C." where "the founding convention took place in the District at the height of the New Deal in 1937, Activist, progressive lawyers, tired of butting heads with the reactionary white male lawyers then comprising the American Bar Association, formed the nucleus of the Guild."
Each Wednesday, CODEPINK protests at the military recruiting center in Berkeley. As Medea Benjamin explained to Kristin Bender (Alameda Times-Star), "Our message is very clear. We are peaceful people. We don't want to send our sons and daughters into this war. I think the sentiment of Berkeley is on this side of the street." Bender notes, "The Golden State in 2001 was the nation's largest source of new enlistees, with 23,503 residents joining the military in 2001. But in 2006, 2,400 fewer residents heeded the call, and today California ranks second behind Texas in recruitment." Aimee Allison and David Solnit address counter-recruiting in their book Army Of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World (published by Seven Stories Press and available at Courage to Resist). Speaking with Matthew Rothschild last week on The Progressive Radio, Allison noted, "One of the things that I think the military recruiters on the ground rely on are sustained access, regular access to high school kids in particular so they can develop relationships. For the recruiter, they become father or friend or guide and take students out to Burger King and, you know. But of all of the messages that they learn, that recruiters learn, through their hard sell and sustained selling techniques, they never mention the word 'kill.' And the reason why is because it's very deeply ingrained in human beings not to kill. And we've all had these kind of, someone makes us mad and there's a reason we don't act on that because our church, and our family and our society condition us against that kind of violence. So it's the center of the recruiters' message to tell them all the things they can do with their life without letting them know about what the military really is and that is an institution designed to train someone to kill on command and that was the most surprising thing for me in my own experiences." CODEPINK's actions (and the actions of many others throughout the US) are an attempt to break the myths and silence.
A backdoor draft currently exists and is more popularly known as "stop loss." In addition, the US government has set up the framework that would be utilized should the draft be reinstated -- including Selective Service boards. Kyle Knight (University of Southern Indiana's The Shield) explores what would quickly happen if the draft were reinstated, "First, all 20 year-olds must report to their local draft board then 21, 22, and so on. Other aspects of the draft also differ from Vietnam. The S.S.S. states that no one can cite school as a possible deferment. At most, the student could postpone until the end of the semester and not until they finish their degree. The S.S.S. states 'beliefs which qualify a registrant for C.O. status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest.' To claim conscientious objector you must appear before your local draft board and present a written statement on the influence of your beliefs on your life and how you arrived at them. You can even include someone to speak on your behalf, then the Selective Service Appeal Board will either reject or accept your claim. If accepted you must engage in one of two alternative service choices."
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Kyle Knight explores the draft, Michael Espinal goes public"
"Continued violence in Iraq"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"David Corn moving to Mother Jones"
"Rice Krisphy Kugel via Audrey in the Kitchen"
"Betty filling in for Rebecca"
"cindy sheehan, mark h. gaffney"
"Cedric subbing for Kat and talking Blackwater"
"Tori in Boston"
"Ty, Jim & Dona filling in for Elaine"
"Wally filling in for Mike"
"Chris Dodd, Michael Ratner"
"THIS JUST IN! THINNING OF THE HERD!"