THESE REPORTERS CAUGHT UP WITH BAMBI OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISOR SAMMY POWER.A FEW HOURS AFTER HER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JUAN GONAZLEZ ON DEMOCRACY NOW! AIRED.
HAVING HAD FREQUENT RUN INS WITH POWER BEFORE, WE WERE NOT SURPRISED SHE ATTEMPTED TO RUN AWAY. WE WERE SURPRISED BY THE FACT THAT OUR MODERN DAY CARRIE NATIONS COULD RUN SO FAST. IF NOT FAST ENOUGH.
WE CONFRONTED HER WITH THE FACT THAT SHE SAID ON THE BROADCAST THAT BAMBI WOULD EXPAND THE MILITARY AND THAT THE MILITARY WOULD BE USED FOR WARS IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE INCLUDING DARFUR WHICH POWERS HAS LONG WANTED TO DESTROY BOTH BECAUSE SHE'S A POWER HUNGRY, BLOOD THIRSTY WAR HAWK AND BECAUSE SUDAN HAS OIL.
"OF COURSE BAMBI WILL DECLARE MANY MORE WARS! IT IS HIS RIGHT!" SNAPPED SAMMY POWER. "AMERICA WILL SMITE ALL ENEMIES BUT OUT OF LOVE AND COMPASSION. WE WILL ENSLAVE THEM OUT OF PITY. DEATH TO THE REST OF THE WORLD! UP WITH IMPERIALISM! I AM A PROBLEM FROM HELL!"
AS THESE REPORTERS ATTEMPTED TO PRESS HER WITH FURTHER QUESTIONS, HOWEVER SHE DEPLOYED HER DEADLY ODOR TO WARD OFF THESE REPORTERS, A MIXTURE OF MOLDLY LAUNDRY AND DECAYING FLESH. AS THESE REPORTERS WERE LEFT GASPING FOR BREATH, SAMMY POWER MANAGED TO ESCAPE.
Starting with war resistance. Who knew an Oscar winner and multi-nominated, internationally known actress was a news outlet? Saturday, Lee-Anne Goodman (The Canadian Press) quoted Julie Christie explaining how Stephen Harper, right-wing prime minister of Canada, was her problem with the country, "I love Canada, I've always loved Canada, I feel proud of Canada - it's only just now that I am starting to lose my pride in Canada because of this guy who is your prime minister." Goodman explained the "longtime peace activist, accused Harper of refusing to welcome traumatized American soldiers to Canada who are deserting the army amid amid the prolonged and bloody war in Iraq" and quoted Christie explaining, "I was in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s . . . the place was full of war resisters and they were accepted by Canada and I've loved Canada ever since then. The fact that he's turned that around, and the cruelty of that and the meanness of it, it's put a little edge on my love of Canada." Julie Christie's commnets were covered an amplified widely including by entertainment outlets such as Canada's Jam! Showbiz and news outlets Bruce Kirkland in The Winnipeg Sun. Long before her remarks were amplified, Christie had already said more on the topic of war resisters than Democracy Now!, The Nation or The Progressive had in an entire month (add the last two's websites to the print editions). That should disturb consumers of Panhandle Media long before they grasp how especially necessary coverage of war resisters is right now.
Not just due to the fact that the illegal war drags on, but also because war resisters in Canada were dealt a serious set-back when the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Today, Canada's Parliament remaining the best hope for safe harbor war resisters 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 (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. That is the sort of thing that should receive attention but instead it's ignored.
Earlier this month, Michele Richiniki (The Northeastern News) reported on Justiniano Rodrigues who signed up for the Army Reserves only to discover that war conflicted with the values of his Roman Catholic religion and he was advised by a sergeant that he was a conscientious objector. No guidance was given to Rodrigues on how to be declared a CO so he "began to take steps on his own. He met with various people to begin the process, including psychologists." As his date to deploy to Iraq loomed closer and more convinced that he could not participate in the Iraq War, Rodrigues decided (August 2006) to self-checkout. He explains to Richiniki, "At that point I didn't trust the war and wasn't going to leave the country with a company I didn't trust because of their misguiding. That's when I decided to go AWOL." Via The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Rodrigues finally began to receive the help that the military is supposed to provide CO applicants with. He now had a lawyer and they went to an Oklahoma military base where he turned himself in where, he explains, "I spent one week at the barracks and then they out-processed and discharged me." With a less than honorable discharge and Rodrigues is now attempting to be granted CO status. Today Jeff Miranda (The Northeastern News) writes about Rodrigues and people like his own brother who is in the ROTC program. Miranda concludes with this, "They're fighting a war so few believe in and there's no doubt to the degree of courage it takes to serve your country in a way few others have. It takes a different brand of courage to stand up for what you believe is right and speak your mind when everyone says you're wrong. My brother has proven he possesses one kind of courage. But his real strength might lie in learning to adopt both."
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, 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).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC action:
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. IVAW's co-chair Adam Kokesh will, of course, be participating and he explains why at his site, "But out of a strong sense of duty, some of us are trying to put our experiences to use for a good cause. Some of us couldn't live with ourselves if weren't doing everything we could to bring our brothers and sisters home as soon as possible. The environment may be unking, but that is why I will be testifying to shooting at civilians as a result of changing Rules of Engagement, abuse of detainees, and desecration of Iraqi bodies. It won't be easy but it must be done. Some of the stories are things that are difficult to admit that I was a part of, but if one more veteran realizes that they are not alone because of my testimony it will be worth it."
In northern Iraq over the weekend, the invasion launched by Turkey into the Kurdish region of Iraq continued. As noted in Friday's snapshot, the US State Dept was acknowledging that they had advance knowledge of the attack and that they shared intelligence with the government of Turkey. On Saturday, Tina Susman and Yesim Comert (Los Angeles Times) would report that "five bridges" were destroyed on Friday by the Turkish military "in violation of its pledge to target only rebel bases". Alissa J. Rubin and Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) would quote Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister of Iraq, condemning the invasion and calling for "Turkish troops" to withdraw "from Iraqi territory." The reporters would not noe that Zebari has condemned every action by the Turkish military in Iraq or that he was a Kurd. McClatchy Newspapers Yassen Taha and Leila Fadel would not only stick to the facts, they'd share them explaining that it was still unknown how many soldiers Turkey had sent into Iraq but the estimate offered by the puppet government in Baghdad was 1,000 while the PKK (labled as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union) stated that there were 10,000. They would note that it appeared "that Kurdish Regional President Massoud Barzani probably approved" Kurdish militia to move close to the battle and noted that "Barzani has been a frequent critic of the United States and Iraq's central government for their cooperation with Turkey in targeting the PKK, which is widely popular in Iraq's Kurdish region, but which the United States considers a terrorist organization. A confrontation between Turkish forces and the Kurdish militia would be a major escalation in the standoff over PKK attacks in Turkey, which have killed hundreds of Turkish civilians and soldiers in recent years." As the invasion continued Fadel would explore the prison system in the Kurdish region noting that this area that the White House has long touted as one of the "success stories" of the illegal war was also a region where "advocates and family charge" there "is a growing human rights crisis" in the Kurdish jail system and Fadel would cite Dana Ahmed Abdul Rhaman's mother who would share that after the year and a half her son has spent in a Kurdish jail, not only do they not know whey he's been held but they also do not "when he'll be released" and she will explain that in her only visit with her son, she saw that he had been tortured ("His face was as black as my dress"). It was a reality that went unaddressed on Democracy Now! today but then they booked a lobbyist for the Kurdish region as a guest. Today, McClatchy Newspapers reports that the the Union of Muslim Clerics in Kurdistan had issued a statement calling for Iraqis to engage in the battle against Turkey) while the New York Times notes acall from outside the region issued by Moqtada al-Sadr demanding Turkish troops withdraw from northern Iraq. Paul de Bendern (Reuters) reports that the invasion continues for the fifth day today and quotes White House flack Dana Perino declaring, "We hope that this is a short-term incursion so that they can help deal with the threat." Not quoted is the reply Perino gave today when asked if the Bully Boy knows "what percentage of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces to leave?" Perino replied, "Look, what we do know is that the -- there might be polls telling -- saying different things about who wants us where. What we know is that the Iraqi government wants us there, neighboring countries want us there. And we also know that if we were to leave too quickly that the possibility for chaos and mass violence is too great, and the President won't risk that." In other words, Perino is saying the White House just doesn't care what the Iraqi people want and that the focus of the press should be not on the will of the Iraqi people but on the puppet government the US installed in Baghdad. At the US State Department today, deputy spokesperson Tom Casey was asked about Turkey invading Iraq and stuck to the usual talking points, "The PKK is a threat to the United States, to Turkey, and to Iraq as well. We continue to urge cooperation between Turkish and Iraqi authorities on this. We are conducting diplomacy towards that end. We certainly want to see and make sure that the Turks continue with their stated policy, which is to make sure that any of these military actions minimize the impact and take very serious account of the concerns of civilian populations in the area." Casey was then pressed on US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates remarks on Sunday which asked for political and economic offers from Turkey to quell the violence of the PKK and Casey responded, "The PKK is a common enemy and I think all Secretary Gates is doing is stating the obvious, which is that a this is a problem that requires more than just a military solution and I think all sides recognize it and that's why we'll be continuing our diplomacy on it." At the Pentagon today, Lt. General Carter Ham declared, "We continue to provide intelligence and appropriate information to the Turkish government as directed, and as part of that agreement, the Turkish military forces informed us and have now undertaken a limited ground operation against the KGK terrorist elements in northern Iraq. Central Command, European Command and Multinational Force-Iraq are clearly monitoring these operations very carefully." He also refuted the notion that the Turkish invasion might be "winding down".
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