IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, BARACK TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "I GOT TIRED OF PRETENDING I WAS GOING TO END THE IRAQ WAR AND IN THE GENERAL ELECTION YOU HAVE TO RUN TO THE RIGHT. HAVING ALREADY USED HOMOPHOBIA AND SEXISM ALL DURING THE PRIMARY, WHAT OTHER RIGHT-WING TACTIC DID I HAVE TO OFFER EXCEPT MAYBE WEARING A BOW TIE?"
Starting with war resistance. On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion to grant safe harbor status to US war resisters in Canada. Aaron Wherry (Macleans.ca) observes, "Liberal Jim Karygiannis and New Democrat Olivia Chow put together a motion and got it to a vote." Ontario Now notes that the Tory party was against the motiong but they "were outvoted by the other three opposition parties, 1137-110 in the vote" and quotes MP Olivia Chow explaining, "There is a lot of support by ordinary citizens to allow U.S. war deserters the right to stay in Canada." Travis Lupik (The Straight) speaks with US war resister Brad McCall: "Reacting to the news, McCall told the Straight that he planned to celebrate, and then field interviews and prepare for the next battle. McCall said that he was hopeful that the Conservative government will abide by the House's recommendation, but cautioned that the war resisters had not won yet. 'I think they [the Conservatives] will probably just ignore it and see if anybody notices,' he said." [For previous coverage of McCall from The Straight click here and here.] Elliot Robins (Kootenay Western Star) speaks with US war resister Ryan Johnson who states, "We're pretty excited. It's a big step for war resisters here in Canada. We have a direct show of support from Parliament and it could be a very important thing to help end this [Iraq] war. . . . It's pretty hard to start your life based on the hope that a country that you've never been to before will suddenly decide to change its entire law around something to allow me to stay here. My life has been dramatically changed by our [Johnson and his wife, Jenna] decision to come to Canada, but even if I was deported, I wouldn't take back my decision to have come here."
Meanwhile Chris Cook (Pacific Free Press) takes a look at media in Canada (such as the CBC) and finds it lacking as it works hard to ignore the news about Tuesday's vote. What of so-called 'independent' media in the US? What's Panhandle Media in the US doing? As usual, not a damn thing. The Nation hasn't done a story on it or even a blog post (they have at least nine blogs supposedly updated regularly). It's not news to our 'friends' at The Nation. (Ask Katrina what happened on Wife Swap last night and she'll write you an essay.) The Progressive? Matty Rothschild and company are far too busy. CounterPunch -- the allegedly non-electoral hokum Counterpunch? At least 20 articles published today and yesterday. Number on war resisters? Zero. Cost of publicly pretending to give a damn about ending the illegal war? Priceless. Amy Goodman, apparently putting down her copy of Hu**ler magazine for a moment or two, surfaced yesterday morning with four sentences on the ruling. And still managed to do severe damages. "As many as 200 U.S. war resisters are currently living in Canada," she gushed. As many as? 200 was surpassed in 2006. But Goody hasn't sat down with one since November of 2006 so we can't expect up to date info from her. Mike addressed trashy Amy Goodman last night (including linking to the piece on Hu**ler that we can't here due to being 'work safe' for all readers). 14 days and she still hasn't found it worth informing her listeners that US war resister Corey Glass was ordered to leave Canada. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Apparently that's not news and not important to Panhandle Media.
Laughably, a Panhandle Media 'conference' takes place this weekend to talk up the importance of a . . . useless echo chamber? We're supposed to strengthen something that already refuses to deliver the news we need? We're supposed to give a damn about Panhandle Media? It's really past time to stop rewarding bad behavior. Now if we didn't have so many in Panhandle Media who were stupid, uncaring or damaged from intensive drug use, we might be able to end the illegal war. We might have ended it some time ago. But to do that, we'd need to be informed of two things (1) what is actually happening and (2) our own history.
Panhandle Media will never save one person, let alone the world. So let's save ourselves while they stay useless. In 1969, a member of the US Congress went to Canada to speak with war resisters. His name? Ed Koch. Better known today as the former mayor of NYC. Between then and the end of 1974, Kokch introduced how many amnesty bills in the US House of Representatives? Four. Now if we know that, we can ask why none of our 'friends' in Congress have yet to make that trip? Dennis Kucinich, Canada is calling. Where are our bills in Congress calling for amnesty for war resisters? Forget "laws" -- which are bills that have been passed -- where are our bills arguing for amnesty. By the end of 1974, because of the work by people like Koch, a Republican would step forward in the Senate with a bill for war resisters (only one group of them). Who was that Republican? Ask Panhandle Media. Remember they care sooo much and they are soooo informed and they have all the information to give you . . . right after the never ending pledge drive cycles.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, 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, Jose Vasquez, 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, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, 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.
Turning to the US political race, Allison Stevens (Women's eNews) reports on Hillary Clinton's primary campaign: "And Clinton's candidacy shined a high beam on stubborn strains of sexism, said Clare Giesen, executive director of the National Women's Political Caucus, a group in Washington, D.C., that works to elect pro-choice women to office. 'This campaign has unveiled sexism as none of us thought existed," she said. "It's like some feral object; it's just out of control.' The depth of sexist attitudes became apparent in national news media coverage of Clinton, Giesen said. A Feb. 1 media study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., showed that from Dec. 16 through Jan. 27, five out of six on-air evaluations of Obama were favorable but only half of Clinton were.
Giesen said sexist comments in the media serve as a rallying cry for women's rights advocates. 'There is a definite second act that comes after this election. Even if she got the nomination, what we have looked at is a real resistance to women in power, and a fear. And we've got to do a lot to educate people'." Froma Harrop (Rasmussen Reports) observes, "What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal. They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Websites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings -- and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people's nastiness. But worse than the online malice has been the affronts to their faces." Rev. Renita J. Weems (Something Within) compiles a list of what the campaign season taught her: "Fourth, now I know what I always suspected, namely that while racism is a sin, sexism is perfectly acceptable and tolerated in this country. Women are the worst culprits. The outright woman-hating jibes, the prejudice against Clinton as a middle-age woman, the physical mockery, and the anti-white woman rage have not been easy to witness. Clinton has not run a faultless campaign-- far from it. (Her surrogates need to be fired!) But Hillary Clinton the woman and the politician did not deserve the venom, the acrimony, the hatred, and the name-calling commentators and the public heaped on her throughout this race."