Saturday, February 09, 2008

THIS JUST IN! BAMBI IS BULLY BOY!

 
IN A CALL WITH TWO BARACK OBAMA CAMPAIGN STAFFERS TODAY, THESE REPORTERS LEARNED THE CAMPAIGN'S BIGGEST FEAR.
 
 
LIKE BULLY BOY, BAMBI CAN ALSO BE HAUGHTY AND DISRESPECTFUL TO MEMBERS OF THE PRESS.  SADLY, SOME CAN FIND THE STORY AMUSING INCLUDING SOME IN THE PRESS.  BELOW IS NICKLAUS LOVELDAY'S ACCOUNT OF WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM WHILE ATTEMPTING TO DO HIS JOB AS A REPORTER FOR THE HENRY DAILY HERALD:
 
 
 
AFTER ABOUT FIVE QUESTIONS FROM DIFFERENT TELEVISION AND NEWSPAPERS REPORTERS, I STOOD UP TO ASK MINE.
"WAIT A MINUTE SON, THIS IS FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDIA ONLY," OBAMA SAID TO ME.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I WORK FOR THE LOCAL PAPER," I SAID WITH A CRACKLING NERVOUS VOICE.
"OH, I'M SORRY.  I THOUGHT YOU WERE A COLLEGE STUDENT.  YOU HAVE SUCH A BABY FACE," HE SAID WITH AN UNREMORSEFUL GRIN.
AT THAT POINT EVERYONE IN THE ROOM TURNED TO LOOK AT ME AND LAUGH.  THE 800 PEOPLE IN THE LOBBY LAUGHED AS MY FACE WAS PROJECTED ON THE BIG SCREEN.
 
THERE IS THE INSULT TO THE PRESS.  THE REFUSAL TO APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATELY BUT INSTEAD RIDICULE THE MAN AND COMPOUND THE INSULT WITH "BABY FACE."  AND THERE IS THE ISSUE OF SO WHAT IF THE REPORTER HAD BEEN A COLLEGE STUDENT?  HE WAS A REPORTER FOR A DAILY PAPER, BUT DOES BAMBI -- THE "YOUTH" POSTER BOY -- THINK HE COULD DISRESPECT COLLEGE STUDENTS.
 
SAID ONE STAFFER, "WE'RE TELLING HIM TO STOP LOOKING DOWN HIS NOSE IN PUBLIC BUT HIS ATTITUDE IS MUCH WORSE THAN PEOPLE KNOW.  WE'RE JUST HOPING THE PRESS DOESN'T START EXPLORING IT."
 
 
Starting with war resistance, Krystalline Kraus (The Rabble) traces the historical support Canada has provided to war resisters:
 
According to Lee Zaslofsky, a key organizer for the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam resister himself, he believes that Canada has a certain historical legacy to live up to by accepting war resisters.       
It was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Liberal Party who opened Canada's doors during the Vietnam war to thousands of Americans war resisters, who were often motivated by the same feeling of objection to an unjust and illegal war.    
"Of course, Canada's legacy extends back further to the [American] Civil War and before that when slaves came north via the underground railroad, and even before that with the United Empire Loyalists, so there is sort of a Canadian tradition of welcoming dissenters from the United States and this is another part of that," Zaslofsky explains.         
 
With the Canadian Supreme Court refusing to hear appeals on this issue in November, the country's Parliament remains the best hope for safe harbor war resisters may have.  You can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada.  Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- 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.
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Chuck Wiley, 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, Clara 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).
 
 

 
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.

 
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation. Dee Knight (Workers World) notes, "IVAW wants as many people as possible to attend the event. It is planning to provide live broadcasting of the sessions for those who cannot hear the testimony firsthand. 'We have been inspired by the tremendous support the movement has shown us,' IVAW says. 'We believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members'."  As part of their fundraising efforts for the event, they are holding houseparties and a recent one in Boston featured both IVAW's Liam Madden and the incomprable Howard Zinn as speakers.
 
In the United States, a new poll may cause a stir.  Jeannine Aversa (AP) reports that Americans surveyed by AP and Ipsos feel "The way to get the country out of recession -- and most people think we're in one -- is to get the country out of Iraq" and "Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they'll spend the economy into recovery."  The number saying ending the illegal war would pull the United States out a recession was 43% and included respondent Hilda Sanchez who declares, "Let's stop paying for this war.  There are a lot of people who are struggling.  We can use the money to pay for medical care and help people who were put out of their homes."  [Marin of error on the poll was plus/minus 3/1%.]
 
 


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