BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
TOUGH TIMES FOR REPUBLICANS.
IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR, G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TOM TANCREDO EXPLAINED WHY HE WAS RUNNING FOR HIS PARTY'S NOMINATION, "WE AS CONSERVATIVES CANNOT AFFORD TO SIT THIS ONE OUT. . . . WELL, THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY. I WANT TO GIVE VOICE TO EVERY CONSERVATIVE IN THIS COUNTRY UNHEARD AND UNREPRESENTED."
WITH FAR LESS SWAGGER, HE TRIED TO BLUSTER TODAY BY ANNOUNCING, "I AM HAPPY TO SAY, I AM ECSTATIC TO SAY, WE HAVE MADE REMARKABLE PROGRESS." ECSTATIC? HE WAS ANNOUNCING HE WAS DROPPING OUT OF THE RACE. DOING SO, HE ENDORSED MITT ROMNEY FOR THE G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION.
THAT WOULD BE THE SAME MITT ROMNEY WHO HAS REPEATEDLY SPOKEN IN PUBLIC ABOUT SEEING HIS FATHER MARCH WITH THE LATE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING. IT TURNS OUT, HIS FATHER NEVER MARCHED WITH MLK. WHEN REACHED FOR COMMENT, HIS CAMPAIGN RESPONDED, "IT WAS THE '60S. MAYBE MITT HAD BEEN SMOKING BANANA PEELS AND THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT HE SAW? MAYBE HE GOT MLK CONFUSED WITH HUEY NEWTON? QUIT CALLING US!"
AS TOM DROPPED OUT AND MITT LOOKED LIKE A LIAR, ALL EYES TURNED TO RUDY G. WHO PROBABLY COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT THE ATTENTION.
'TOUGH GUY' RUDY G GAVE THE ORDER YESTERDAY TO TURN THE PLANE AROUND, HE HAD TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL! HIS STAFF IS SAYING THAT RUDY G, WHO WAS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL TODAY, ONLY HAD THE FLU. WORD TO THE CAMPAIGN: 'TOUGH GUYS' DON'T GO RUNNING TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THE SNIFFLES.
MEANWHILE SENATOR INSANE JOHN MCCAIN WAS GOING SPASTIC IN PUBLIC DENYING A REPORT THAT MAY OR MAY NOT EXIST BUT HAS NOT YET RUN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. WHEN REACHED FOR COMMENT, MCCAIN -- WHO INSISTED WE CALL HIM "BEVERLY" -- EXPLAINED, "I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE ON TOP OF THINGS AND THAT MEANS CONFRONTING THE COVERAGE. I AM DEDICATED TO CORRECTING THE RECORD. EVEN BEFORE IT IS ON THE RECORD. IF ELECTED, I WOULD CARRY MY EXTREME ATTENTION TO DETAIL EVEN FURTHER! VOTE INSANE! VOTE JOHN MCCAIN!"
AFTER GETTING OFF THE PHONE WITH "BEVERLY" BY EXPLAINING WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME "TO TRADE TURKEY STUFFING RECIPES," THESE REPORTERS CAUGHT DAVID CORN ON DEMOCRACY NOW! EXPLAINING G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MIKE HUCKABEE HAS CALLED ENVIRONMENTALISTS "PORNOGRAPHERS" WHICH WAS FOLLOWED BY LOIS DAVIDSON EXPLAINING HOW WHEN HUCKABEE RELEASED SERIAL RAPIST WAYNE DUMOND FROM PRISON EARLY, DUMOND WENT ON TO RAPE AND MURDER HER DAUGHTER CAROL SUE SHIELDS. A DOUBLE BLOW FOR THE HUCKSTER.
THE PHONE WAS RINGING. IT WAS G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FRED THOMPSON BEGGING FOR ATTENTION. "I CAN'T GET ANY ATTENTION," THOMPSON WHINED, "DON'T PEOPLE WANT TO SEE ME?" PEOPLE SEE HIM MULTIPLE TIMES EACH DAY ON CABLE RERUNS AND APPARENTLY THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with war resistance. Joe McMorrow (Western Catholic Reporter) notes Sophie Scholl and Franz Jagerstatter (who both resisted the Nazi regime in Germany) and how the Catholic Church in Germany remained silent and McMorrow builds on that to call out: "The general indifference by Canadian Catholics to the plight of American war deserters who have fled to Canada in recent years rather than fight in Iraq is evidence that selective conscientious objection to war is still viewed as somehow not a valid Catholic moral, position. This despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Catholic moral theologians agree with these deserters: the Iraq war is unjust; destertion, in a situation where there are no other alternatives, is preferable to participation in an unjust war. The war in Iraq is conservatively estimated to have taken the lives of over 100,000 civilians and violates every traditional criterion used to justify war: the invasion of Iraq is not defensive, is not declared by a lawful authority, is not a last resort, does not sufficiently distinguish between civilian and military participants, and is not likely to create more good than the harm it is inflicting. Yet, the plight of American deserters who have fled to Canada for refuge has not drawn a word of attention from the Canadian Conference of Cahtolic Bishops (CCCE)."
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 (email@example.com -- 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.
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. I would assume that this is fairly obvious but I would have assumed wrong: IVAW is asking that there be no anti-war rallies, marches, etc. called for the national level during that time period and that, since the Investigation is based in DC, that no "local" anti-war actions be planned for that period in DC. The illegal war started on March 19, 2003 so that's two days after the event. The 19th falls on a Wednesday. If there are other actions held during that period, we won't be noting them. This is something that was in planning stages for some time, something that a lot of people have worked very hard on and it's been announced for sometime. IVAW has carved out these dates and we will note the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation announcement in every snapshot leading up to this event. We won't be noting any other actions that take place during this time period. I don't believe any one group leads and I certainly don't believe the peace movement should attempt to hide behind the military (is there any room left with the White House and Democratic leadership already crowded around back there?). But this is a major event that's required intense planning and organizing and they gave more than enough notice ahead of time that everyone should have been aware of the event. Those days should belong to the Investigation. And the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation is a public event. So, in terms of mobilization, if any group or organization wants to mobilize, they can can mobilize people to Investigation which will include the testimonies of those who have served as well as people from Iraq and Afghanistan who have survived the illegal war.
Today on Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman noted, "On Capitol Hill, Justice Department officials are coming under criticism for refusing to attend a hearing on allegations of rape ans sexual assault of female contactors in Iraq. A former employee has sued Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR after she says she was gang-raped by employees of the company in Baghdad. The alleged victim, Jamie Leigh Jones, accuses the company and the U.S. government of covering up the crime." Feminist Wire Daily summarizes: "Jones filed a lawsuit against her former employers, Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR in May, stating that she was drugged and gang-raped by a group of her co-workers in the KBR camp in the Green Zone in Iraq in 2005. In her testimony, Jones stated that her experience while working for contractors in Iraq was not an isolated incident, reports the Associated Press. Representative Ted Poe, R-TX, who was contacted for help by Jones's father while she was held in Iraq by her co-workers after the attack, also testified that several women have now come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault while employed by Halliburton's former subsidiary, KBR. As of yet, no charges have been brought against Jones's alleged attackers. According to ABC News, legal experts say they might never even have to stand trial: A loophole in US law effectively leaves contractors working in Iraq out of the jurisdiction of US courts." [Feminist Daily News Wire's item is also up at Feminist Majority Foundation.] On yesterday's House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Maddy Sauer (ABC News) points out that DoJ "refused to send a representative to answer questions from Congress today on the investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault on female American contractors." Rebecca Carr (Cox News via The Plains Dealer) observes, "Glaring at the empty seat assigned to an absent Justice Department official, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, vowed to 'move Justice in the right direction.' Gohmert told Jones she is giving a voice to other victims of rape." Barbara H. Peterson (OpEdNews) considers the meanings of these events: "Is the United States taking a step backwards in the area of women's rights? It would seem so. Violence against American women goes un-prosecuted, and women who have suffered violence remain traumatized with no justice in sight." CNN quotes Rep Poe declaring, "We need a new sheriff in Iraq to enforce federal laws." We also a need a US State Department that provides the oversight it is supposed to. AP notes that Rep Poe "says three women -- including Tracy Barker, who submitted written testimony of her account and was at the hearing -- contacted him" -- three women who have also been assaulted. The Secretary of State is Condi Rice. She heads the State Department and she assumed those duties January 26, 2005 which means she was in the charge of the department that was supposed to be overseeing contractors when the assaults on Jones and Barker took place. Tracy Barker was harassed by contractors, true, but she was assaulted by an employee of the State Department -- Ali Mokhtare -- an employee who, as of 20/20's report last Friday was still employed by the State Department. It's not as if the State Department's a model department. Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that Charles Williams, who was in charge of oversight for the department's embassy construction in Iraq just became "the third senior State Department official to depart amid failures in managing the burgeoning U.S. diplomatic presence in Iraq. The department's inspector general and head of diplomatic presence in Iraq." Barker's statement was noted in yesterday's snapshot and maybe the fact that she submitted her statement in writing is why some of the press ignored her today? Jones testified in public. Flip through the New York Times today to find that report.
It's not there.
Jane Fonda speaking in January of this year (here for video, here for text)
Last month, in the Washington Post, there was a heart-breaking article by Nancy Trejos about the women's lives in Iraq. The headline was, "Women Lose Ground in the New Iraq. Once They Were Encouraged to Study and Work; Now Life Is 'Just Like Being in Jail'." The article was on page A12. If the female half of the world were visible and powerful, that article would have been the lead story, on the front page and above the fold.
And to return to the Abeer Al-Janabi's tragic story.
The U.S. Army wants us to believe that what happened to Abeer was just another tale of a few bad apples. One of the soldiers allegedly responsible -- the pupropted ringleader, private Steven Green, of Midland, Texas -- had a criminal record, and a history of drug abuse and emotional problems. Once, the army would have rejected him. But in 2005, desperate for recruits, they dismissed his dangerous past by granting him a so-called "moral waiver," and accepted him into their ranks.
On the first point, and Jamie Leigh Jones would be on the front page of today's New York Times (instead of not even noted) while on the second point, US soldiers carried out a criminal conspiracy to gang-rape and murder Abeer Qassim Hamza and to murder her parents, Qassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhsasen, and her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza on March 12, 2006. Brian De Palma's brilliant film Redacted is work of fiction inspired by Abeer.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Jamie Leigh Jones and other realities ignored"
"the strong women (and thank god we have them!)"
"The Ballet, Blackwater"
"Jamie Leigh Jones"
"Only women & countries get 'discovered'"
"Torture, Dave Lindorff, Dave Zirin"
"The conservatives lose their voice & savior"
"THIS JUST IN! WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE WACK JOBS NOW..."