BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- IOWA.
TODAY THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM ILLIONIS SENT MIXED MESSAGES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.
IN JEFFERSON, IOWA, HE TOLD PEOPLE HE WOULD "FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL TO THE END" FOR VICTORY. BUT IN INDIANOLA, IOWA, BARACK OBAMA BEGGED PEOPLE, "MAKE ME YOUR SECOND CHOICE" WHICH REALLY DOESN'T SOUND LIKE SOMEONE WHO WILL "FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL" FOR VICTORY.
IN JEFFERSON, IOWA HE CLAIMED THAT IF THERE WERE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT A VOTE THAT SAW HIM, AS THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, LOSING THE GENERAL ELECTION, HE WOULD FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT BECAUSE HE WAS ALSO "A VOTING RIGHTS ATTORNEY" BUT SOMEHOW THAT RESUME 'CREDIT' DIDN'T COME IN HANDY JANUARY 2005 WHEN THE BLACK CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS WAS ASKING ONE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TO STAND UP FOR THEM AND ALLOW FOR A DISCUSSION OF THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE. BAMBI PLAYED DUMB. BARBARA BOXER WAS THE SENATOR WHO WOULD STAND UP, NOT BAMBI.
AND WHEN THESE REPORTERS CHECKED WITH SENATOR BOXER'S OFFICE TODAY, WE WERE INFORMED THAT, NO, SHE WAS NOT A "VOTING RIGHTS ATTORNEY." WHICH WOULD SEEM TO SUGGEST THAT BAMBI'S EITHER INFLATING HIS RESUME YET AGAIN OR IT'S MORE CHICKEN SOP FOR THE SOUL FROM THE COWARD OF THE COUNTRY WHO CAN'T STAND UP FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN A GROWN MAN'S RIGHT TO WEAR EYE LINER.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
"I went in for financial reasons, I wanted to attend college but couldn't," Ghanim Khalil explains to Courage to Resist in an audio interview. Khalil joined up in the 90s and was in IRR before switching over to the reserves.
Ghanim Khalil: In February 2003, I had contacted Citizen Soldier. The director is Todd Ensign. He's someone who's been working with military people and vets for a long time and between me and him we thought the best option was for me to have a press conference because I tried to solve it in the military You know -- I went to my chaplain, I went to my staff N.C.O.s. and the best thing, the most safest thing for me, and I really, really care about the principles here, the safest thing for me was to have a press conference to let the military know how I feel, to let people -- the American people -- know how a soldier feels -- how a former Marine feels, and then see what happens from there. And that's why I held a press conference because I thought I can't keep silent and I knew the war was going to happen. I wasn't one of those people who thought, you know, maybe this thing is going to go away, that diplomacy was going to win out, I knew the war was going to happen because the war had started six months prior before with the bombardment had already started -- and people knew that -- and so that's what led up to the press conference and the press conference is where I said, you know, 'These are my reasons 1-2-3, A-B-C why I think this war is illegal and immoral and I don't want to be a part of it. I think it's unconstitutional.' That's why I had the press conference.
The press conference was held before a rally at the United Nations February 15th with Khalil declaring, "I have objections to this war. I believe that this war is for material gain. I believe that this war will lead to security problems for the American people and that our children will be endangered in the future." At the rally itself, he declared, "Today, I am in a position to make a difference or remain silent. Will I participate in a war which could lead to hundreds of thousands of civilian dead, endanger the safety of the American people and create chaos in the Middle East, all to benefit a few powerful and wealthy people? This war will spread hatred between America and the Muslim world. It is the duty of educated groups on both sides to put down our masks and weapons, so that there can be a dialogue -- not a clash -- of civilizations. Today, I'm making my choice and it's to make a difference."
Khalil discussed his book Contemplating Dissent: Why Saying No To The War In Iraq Was The Right thing To Do From a Muslim Perspective. The book is currently not available at Courage to Resist; however, added to the books, DVDs, postcards and clothing they do offer is Michelle Mason's must-see documentary Breaking Ranks featuring war resisters in Canada. And on that topic . . .
On November 15th, the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey? Does he even care? Judging by his column, the answer is no. An over hyped voice of the 'left' gives the greatest gift of all in 2007: The reality of how little the alleged 'left' cares about ending the illegal war. (Give to the DNC! Give to two presidential candidates who refuse to promise, that if elected in 2008, they would pull out the troops by 2013!) That just about sums it all up. In the real world, the Canadian Parliament has the power to let war resisters stay in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26.
Iraq War resister Ehren Watada is the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to the illegal war (June 2006). Phil Tajitsu Nash (Asian Week) mentions Watada and others (such as US House Rep Mike Honda) as he selects his choice for APA Person of the Year (attorney Michael Yaki who currently sits on the US Commission on Civil Rights). Meanwhile videographer Joseph La Sac cites Watada to Stacey Mulick (Tacoma's The News Tribune) who notes that "while filming at a rally related to Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, two military police officers told La Sac that he had to erase footage of military police and the gate at Fort Lewis. Not knowing any better, La Sac said he compiled. 'It's just heightened my awareness and other people's awareness regarding issues of freedom of the press,' La Sac, now a senior at the University of Puget Sound, said last week." La Sac now carries a card listing "the rights of photographers".
Watada went public in June of 2006. In August 2006, an Article 32 hearing was held. Following that it was stated that the military intended to court-martial Watada. The court-martial took place in February 2007. At that point, Watada's service was up (December 2006) but the military was keeping him to court-martial him. The Feb. court-martial was presided over by Judge Toilet (John Head) who refused to allow Watada to present a defense (not being allowed to explain motive is being refused a defense) and who, in the end, refused to obey the Constitution. On Monday, February 5th, Watada's court-martial began. It continued on Tuesday when the prosecution argued their case. Wednesday, Watada was to take the stand in his semi-defense.Over defense objection, Judge Toilet ruled a mistrial thus ending the court-martial. In doing so, the legal reading should be Watada walks. Double-jeopardy should take care of that.
Judge Toilet stated Watada would be court-martialed again in March of 2007. Didn't happen. Judge Toilet said it was coming, just you wait. November 8th Judge Benjamin Settle, a US District Court judge, put Head's planned court-martial on hold where it currently remains. Repeating, Watada's service contract ended in December 2006. He continues to report for assignments on base. The military should have released him long ago. He has now been extended a year just to court-martial him. Watada needs to be discharged immediately. Watada's story was one of the important ones in 2007 and had many victories. But, outside of Asian-geared media, see who mentions him. (Don't worry, we'll get there in this snapshot.)
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, 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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
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