Monday, June 30, 2008

Barack's America!













Starting with war resistance.  Henry Aubin's "Canada is wrong not to give asylum to U.S. war resisters" (Montreal Gazette) ran earlier this month.  Today The Montreal Gazette notes the column was very popular with readers explaining "most writers supported Aubin's contention that welcoming U.S. war resisters would be the right thing to do" and quotes Nadia Alexan writing that "if there was ever a case made against an unjust immoral, manufactured war, the agression against Iraq should take the cake." 


May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister. He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam. After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. Douglas Glynn (The Barrie Examiner) quotes Corey stating, "The motion is not legally binding, though the majority of Parliament voted for it. I realized innocent people were being killed. I tried to quit the military while in Iraq," he said, "but my commander told me I was just stressed out and needed some R and R (rest and relaxation), because I was doing a job I was not trained to do. I went home on leave and said I was not coming back." So that's where it stands currently.

Courage to Resist is planning "July 9th actions at Canadian Consulates nationwide:"

Join a vigil and delegation to a Canadian consulate near you on Wednesday, July 9th to support war resisters! On the eve of Corey Glass' possible deportation, we will demand, "Dear Canada: Abide by the June 3rd resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!" More details and cities to be confirmed soon!

Washington DC - Time TBA - 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW (map). Sponsored by Veterans for Peace. Info: TBA
San Francisco - Noon to 1pm - 580 California St (map). Sponsored by Courage to Resist. Info: 510-488-3559; courage(at)
Seattle - Time TBA - 1501 4th Ave (map). Sponsored by Project Safe Haven. Info: 206-499-1220; projectsafehaven(at)
Dallas - Time TBA - 750 North St Paul St (map). Sponsored by North Texas for Justice and Peace. Info: 214-718-6362; hftomlinson(at)
New York City - Noon to 1pm - 1251 Avenue of the Americas (map). Sponsored by War Resisters' League. Info: 212-228-0450; wrl(at)
Philadelphia - Time TBA - 1650 Market St (map). Sponsored by Payday Network. Info: 215-848-1120; payday(at)
Minneapolis - Time TBA - 701 Fourth Ave S (map). Info: TBA
Los Angeles - Noon to 1pm - 550 South Hope St (map). Sponsored by Progressive Democrats LA. Info: pdlavote(at)
Help organize a vigil at one of these other Canadian Consulates: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Anchorage, Houston, Raleigh, Phoenix, or San Diego. Please contact Courage to Resist at 510-488-3559.
Veterans for Peace issued a joint call with Courage to Resist and Project Safe Haven for July 9th vigils at Canadian Consulates: "Dear Canada: Do Not Deport U.S. War Resisters!" Contact us if you can help organize a vigil, or can otherwise get involved. Locations of the 22 Canadian Consulates in the United States.
Recently on June 3rd the Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion to officially welcome war resisters! It now appears, however, that the Conservative government may disregard the motion.
Iraq combat veteran turned courageous war resister, 25-year-old Sgt. Corey Glass of the Indiana National Guard is still scheduled to be deported July 10th.
We will ask that the Canadian government respect the democratic decision of Parliament, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans by immediately implementing the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other current and future war resisters.
Join Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven at Canadian Consulates across the United States (Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles confirmed--more to be announced).
We mailed and delivered over 10,000 of the original letters to Canadian officials. Please sign the new letter, "Dear Canada: Abide by resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!" 

Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a "Rally to Stop the Deportation of Parkdale Resident Corey Glass" July 3rd, begins at 7:00 p.m. (with doors opening at six p.m.) at the May Robinson Building, 20 West Lodge, Toronto: "In 2002, Corey joined the Indiana National Guard. He was told he would not have to fight on foreign shores. But in 2005 he was sent to Iraq. What he saw there caused him to become a conscientious objector and he came to Canada. On May 21, 2008, he got his final order to leave Canada by July 10, 2008. Then on June 3 Parliament passed a motion for all the war resisters to stay in Canada. However the Harper government says it will ignore this motion."  They are also asking for a July 2nd call-in.  Diane Finley is the Immigration and Citizenship Minister and her phone numbers are (613) 996-4974 and (519) 426-3400 -- they also provide her e-mail addresses ("minister" at "") and ("finled1" at ""). 

To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").  Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote.  Now they've started a new letter you can use online hereThe War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.
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.

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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Over the weekend,  Joseph G. Cote filed "Marine is arrested, turned over" (Nashua Telegraph) which addressed the arrest of Marine Lance Cpl Jose Flores in Hudson, New Hampshire."  Citing Police Capt Donald Breault, Cote reported that "[a]  Marine representative had contacted Hudson police and asked them to arrest Flores because he was deemed a deserter".  Saturday AP's nonsense brief  was filed and Sunday AP filed more nonsense. Read the original article by Cote (which the first AP brief credits) and then the AP stories which maintain Flores was arrested at a traffic stop when there's not only no mention of that, what Cote reports is that the marines contacted the local police and told the police to pick up Flores.  It does matter. When the military has told the police to go to a parents' home in Colorado and search, when the military was calling police stations up and down California to alert them to Kyle Snyder, when 'traffic stops' turn out to be searching homes (one war resister picked up at a 'traffic stop') was actually picked up at his brother's home and discovered during the search. The military wants to lie and pretend all they do is enter a name in a data base after thirty days. The reality is an entire unit is patrolling the web looking for tidbits, checking out MySpace pages, phoning in tips to local police. It's time for the lying to stop and the AP has now made the same mistake two days in a row. At this point, it is no longer a mistake, it is a lie.


[. . .]


Turning to the US race for president.  The so-called 'unity' campaign keeps floundering.  Yesterday on CBS' Face The Nation (link has text and video), Barack Obama surrogate Wesley Clark was vouching for Barack's "good judgment" and other ridiculous things that Clark can see with some sort of decoder ring apparently.  While the recordless Barack got a tongue bath from Clark, fur balls seems to be coughed up as Clark turned his fire on US Senator John McCain (the presumed GOP presidential nominee).  While claiming "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war," mere minutes later, 'honor' turned to 'trashing' as Clark declared, "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."  CNN reports that McCain surrogate Rick Davis appeared on the cable network's American Morning today and declared, "Sending Wesley Clark out as a surrogate for your campaign and attacking John McCain and his war record and his military experience and his service is, I think, just the lowest form of politics." In the ongoing, illegal Iraq War, Byron W. Fouty, Alex R. Jimenez and Ahmed Quasai al-Taeli are classified by the Defense Department as "Missing or Captured." Rick Klein (ABC News) instructs, "Please, find me a single Democrat who thinks it's good politics to call into question the military credentials of a man who spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war."  Brian Montopoli (CBS News) reports the McCain camp assembled the following for a Monday morning conference call with the press: "Sen. John Warner, POWs Col. Bud Day and Lt. Col. Orson Swindle, McCain foreign policy advisor Bud McFarland, and Carl Smith a retired Navy pilot who served with McCain".  Indpendent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was among the guests on ABC's This Week.  The appearance preceded a Connecticut fundraiser which the AP reports raised $2000. AP also reported last week that 5% of Hillary Clinton supporters were now supporting Nader in the general election.


"If you really want to cover everybody in health insurance and save hundreds of lives and  . . . hundreds of thousands of illnesses," Nader declared to Stephanopoulos,  "you would go for single-payer which the majority of American people want and the majority of doctors want. . . . The HMOS are opposed to single-payer, the big health insurance compaines are opposed to single-payer.  If you want to give a hundred million Americans a break in terms of their livelihood and wages, you would go for labor law reform.  You'd repeal Taft-Hartley  and give them the opportunity -- low-income workers -- to organize and collectively bargain. . . . If you want more jobs in the innercity, you know, public works, schools, clinics, libraries, sewage treatment systems, you've got to reduce the bloated, wasteful military budget, George."


"I think the two parties are hurting our country," said Nader of the Democratic and Republican Parties, "and they need more competition.  As we see on our website, you will see the issues we have on the table are majoritarian issues: single-payer health care, do something about the wasteful military budget, labor law reform, consumer protection . . . living wage, etc. . . . The problem is, George, there's too much political bigotry against small parties and candidates.  You see it in these huge ballot access laws which we're trying to overcome now with our roadtrippers, very, very costly. We're excluded from the debates. Why do we ration debates? We ought to have staggered debates.  You've got Wimbledon, the sixtieth seed gets a chance, you've got the NCAA, the sixtieth team gets a chance.  You have a huge roll of wealth on it.  We're appealing to the people in this country. . . .  We're appealing to the people in this country who want more choices on the ballot and Nader-Gonzalez provides those choices."  Team Nader states:


We need $10 from you to get Nader/Gonzalez on ten state ballots in ten days.

So, if you haven't donated to Nader/Gonzalez yet, now is the time - please give ten dollars now.

Our goal - $40,000 by July 6.

We have more than fifty young, energetic roadtrippers busting it on the ground all around the country for Nader/Gonzalez - the only candidacy that will shift the power from the corporations back to the people.

(If you think Obama is that guy, think again. Obama is moving in the other direction - running away from the people into the arms of the corporations. Check out Obama's most recent flip-flop on giving immunity to telecom corporations under the government surveillance and wiretapping bill. And then watch Ralph Nader say no to wiretapping here.)

In Illinois we've collected and turned in more than twice the signatures we need.

In Arizona, we've collected and turned in more than three times the signatures we need.

In Nevada, we will turn in more than twice the signatures we need.

By July 6, with your help, we'll be penciled in for ten states - Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Utah.

And we're targeting 40 states by the end of the summer.

There is a reason the corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans are concerned about Nader/Gonzalez.

We're at six percent in the most recent CNN poll.

And we plan to be on 45 state ballots come November (up from 34 in 2004.)

So, drop a ten spot on Nader/Gonzalez now.

Of course, the more the merrier.

But $10 is what we're asking from each and every one of you - our loyal supporters.

So do it now.


RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Other Items"

"Oil and death"

"And the war drags on . . ."

"Ruth's Report"

"Who is sicking the police?"

"A personal loss for Nouri"

"Matthis, Gore Vidal"

"Eugene Kane is an Idiot or Liar"

"Michelle tries to make friends"


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