BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- IOWA.
DOTTY RANDOLPH WANDERS THE STREETS OF DES MOINES WITH PLENTY OF OPINIONS AND NO ONE TO SHARE THEM WITH.
"EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU A REPORTER?" SHE ASKS EVERYONE SHE PASSES, MOST OF WHOM HAVE KNOWN HER FOR LIFE AND MIGHT LAUGH IN HER FACE WERE IT NOT FOR THE FACT THAT THEY TOO ARE LOOKING FOR JOURNALISTS.
JUST THIS MORNING, A NASTY FIGHT BROKE OUT BETWEEN 81-YEAR-OLD JOHN HARRISON AND 63-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM "SCRAPPY" JOHNSON WHEN THEY BOTH GREETED ONE ANOTHER WITH OBSERVATIONS OF THE WEATHER.
SCRAPPY DID SOME SERIOUS DAMAGE BEFORE THE FIGHT ENDED AND DESPITE THE FACT THAT A CROWD HAD GATHERED AT THE START OF THE PROLONGED FIGHT.
BUT NO ONE TRIED TO STOP THE FIGHT, THEY WERE ALL TOO BUSY SHOUTING OUT THEIR OPINIONS OF IT.
EXPLAINED JONAS BISKIND, A LOCAL DOCTOR, "THE PROBLEM HERE IS TOO MANY STORIES TO TELL AND NO ONE TO TELL THEM TODAY."
OR AS LOCAL DINER WAITRESS INEZ GORNICK EXPLAINED, "WE STILL GOT STORIES TO TELL. PRESS DONE PACKED UP AND MOVED ON US. AFTER MONTHS AND MONTHS OF ASKING US WHAT WE THOUGHT. NOT JUST ABOUT STUFF LIKE THE IRAQ WAR BUT ABOUT STUFF LIKE DO WE THINK HILLARY CLINTON MEANS IT WHEN SHE SMILES AND DO WE THINK MITT ROMNEY'S HAIR IS A LIABILITY OR A PLUS. I MEAN ANSWERING ALL THOSE QUESTIONS MADE US EXPERTS, RIGHT? SO NOW YOU GOT A WHOLE STATE OF EXPERTS TRAINED IN GAS BAGGING AND NO ONE TO GAS BAG TO. IT'S A COME DOWN."
DR. BISKIND HAS ATTEMPTED A REMEDY, SETTING UP A LOCAL STOREFRONT CLINIC ENTITLED "SHARE" WHERE IOWANS COME IN, SIT DOWN ACROSS FROM A PERSON PAID TO PRETEND TO BE A JOURNALIST (WE UNDERSTAND ADAM NAGOURNEY MOONLIGHTS FOR MAD MONEY) AND UNLOADS FOR THE SUM OF $20 BUCKS PER 15 MINUTE PERIOD AS THE PERSON PRETENDING TO BE A JOURNALIST SCRIBBLES DOWN THEIR EVERY SHARED 'REALITY.'
WHEN WE VISITED THE SHARE CLINIC, SOME WERE EXPLAINING HOW THEIR CHICKENS LAYING EGGS INDICATED A GOOD OR BAD ECONOMY AND WE ESPECIALLY ENJOYED JOE TYLER'S EXPLANATION OF WHAT HIS COW BESSIE MEANT IN TERMS OF GLOBAL SECURITY.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
World Report notes that January 26th is a day for national demonstrations in Canada in support of war resisters, "The date commemorates the day four years ago when Jeremy Hinzman first applied for refugee status in Canada. The Nelson event, which is planned for the United Church, will be held inside because of the harsh January weather. Ryan Johnson suggests 'some light refreshments and a time to write hand written letters with someone delivering them to the post office afterwards. . . It would be a huge statement to have a box full of letters going to parliament. In Tonronto they are mraching to the Canada Post to drop them in the box'."
What's it about? In Canada where some war resisters went to seek asylum, the Canadian Parliament has the power to let war resisters stay in Canada. November 15th, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Parliament is the solution.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.
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.
Yesterday, three US service members were announced dead by the US military. How did that play out in the media? To note two outlets, Democracy Now! and the New York Times, not very well. DN! covered the four people who died in Turkey in headlines and didn't note the three US service members killed in Iraq. The New York Times noted both on A9 of this morning's paper. Sabrina Tavernise covered "Bomb Explosion Kills 5 in Kurdish Area in Turkey" -- yes, it got it's own story -- and in a 14 paragraph story by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Khalid al-Ansary, it was noted in paragraph four: "In another development on Thursday, two American soldiers were shot dead and a third soldier was wounded in Diyala Province, the American military said. On Wednesday a soldier was killed by an improvised bomb south of Baghdad, the first death of an American soldier this year." It's not important to US outlets. It doesn't matter. They know nothing about the five killed in Turkey but that's more important to them. It says a great deal.
Meanwhile Donna St. George (Washington Post) reports on Hannah Gunterman McKinney, a woman serving in Iraq who was killed when the man she had sex (apparently consensual but it's sketchy) with ran her over and how her parents, Barbie and Matt Hearvin, were offered a variety of explanations for the September 4, 2006 death, "Her case would become one in a litany of noncombat deaths in Iraq, which number more than 700, from crashes, suicides, illnesses and accidents that sometimes reveal messy truths about life in the war zone. The cases can be especially brutal for parents who lose a child and struggle to understand why. In McKinney's case, many of the details are in a 1,460-page file and court-martial transcript obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act."
Another woman is the subject of Sanhita SinhaRoy's Q & A (In These Times) where she interviews Iraqi Haifa Zangana who favors the US withdrawing from Iraq immediately ("gradual withdrawal is actually a gradual building of bases in Iraq") and notes of the illegal war:
But here we are with troops, with military occupation, with economic occupation and the cultural occupation. They try to erase our memory, our history, our archaeological sites and kill our civilians.
In four and a half years, we have lost 1 million Iraqis. And that's terminated, physically. We're not talking about the consequences of conventional weapons, the depleted uranium, the phosphorous, the cluster bombs.
As for detentions, the International Red Cross has recorded up to 60,000. And those are security detainees.
Zangana is the author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance, (Seven Stories Press). Today KUNA reports that the UK base in southern Iraq (Basra Airport) was attacked with a missile yesterday.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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