BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
PEACE RESISTER KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL SAT DOWN WITH THESE REPORTERS AFTER WE INFORMED WE HAD SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT HER LATEST POST.
KVH: I'M JUST SO THRILLED THAT ANYONE READ IT. USUALLY NO ONE DOES. SHOOT.
YOU USE THE MOST OVER USED COMPARISON OF LAW MAKING TO MAKING SAUSAGE.
KVH: THANK YOU! I DO TRY TO SOUND JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! IF YOU'RE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, YOU'RE NEVER WRONG!!!!
AND YOU'VE WRITTEN ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR BAD "SWEET INSPIRATION" POSTS. IN FACT, IF WE CAN DROP BACK, YOU USED TO WRITE THOSE WITH YOUR SOCIALIST COFFEE FETCHER -- YOU REMEMBER HIM, RIGHT, HE WENT ON TO BE THE OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN BLOGGER FOR THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN -- AND YOU'RE APPLAUDING SOCIALIST BERNIE SANDERS IN YOUR LATEST POST.
KVH: I NEVER CALL BERNIE A SOCIALIST! I WOULD NEVER DO THAT! NOT PUBLICLY!
BUT HE IS A SOCIALIST. HE ADMITS TO IT AND IT'S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
KVH: I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! NAH NAH NAH!
YOU CAN TAKE YOUR FINGERS OUT OF YOUR EARS, WE'RE CHANGING THE TOPIC.
YOU SPEAK WITH BERNIE SANDERS AND YOU NEVER ASK HIM ABOUT THE PORK HE GOT FOR HIS VOTE? AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A REPORTER?
KVH: I CALL MYSELF A PRINCESS! A PRINCESS! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! ALL GIRLS ARE PRINCESSES! I'M A PRINCESS!
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF THE NATION MAGAZINE.
KVH: I'M A PRINCESS! A PRINCESS! CALL ME PRINCESS!
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Michael Prysner: . . . the way that we're going to end this war and the way that we're going to stop this atrocity that's happening -- the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and thousands of soldiers -- which are no doubt going to increase as this war rages on -- is we need to build a movement, we need to build a mass, people's movement. Which is what we're doing. So I encourage everyone to pay attention to a national march on Washington, DC that's going to happen on March 20th. There's also going to be coinciding marches in Los Angeles and San Francisco. But a large organization of antiwar groups have come together. It was initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition -- you can go to A.N.S.W.E.R.org for information about the march. But we're calling on everyone to be a part of this action. We want soldiers, we want veterans, we want military families and we want all people in the United States who are suffering because of these wars. We're in the middle of a Depression where every month, more and more jobs are being lost. There's this health care debate going on, we're seeing that there's people that are not going to have access to quality health care. Education -- tuition is skyrocketing. We need money so badly, most people, yet we're spending over $500 million dollars a day to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. So if you're angry about this war which everyone should be, there is something you can do and that's become active in the movement. And the first thing you can do is become involved in the organizing for March 20th and of course participate in that demonstration as well. We need as many people as possible to send a message that the people are not in support of this war and we're going to fight until it's over.
Iraq War veteran Michael Prysner was explaining that on Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton and Charles Goyette. He and Iraq War veteran James Circello were on to discuss March Forward! "an affiliate of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition" composed of veterans and active-duty service members.
James Circello: Yeah. Well March Forward!'s position on the officer corps -- or we refer to them as the officer class -- it's pretty straight forward. The officers, they do little suffering in times of war. They merely put forth the line by Washington. And the enlisted members of the military -- who we view as workers -- are made to carry out these orders. They're made to follow these orders without question or you become slandered with the "unAmerican" and even jailed for-for disobeying orders that are obviously illegal. But our line is pretty simple in that the officer class, once they retire, they go straight into the Pentagon and right into the War Profiteers right across the street. And the enlisted were obviously cast out onto the street. There's a million homeless enlisted -- or veterans, I should say, on the street tonight and 2 million will be on the street homeless this year. So there's a real class struggle within the military and the enlisted soldiers are doing all the suffering, all the dying, all the killing, coming home with PTSD and missing limbs while the officers are celebrating and stacking their resumes for their future jobs.
Scott Horton: It's almost like all the commercials about "Be All That You Can Be" and 'once you get out, then you'll be guaranteed a great job,' all that's really true for the officers basically but they're selling that for the masses out there.
Michael Prysner: Right and it's interesting because if you look at the statistics, you're actually less likely to get hired if you're a veteran because it's somewhat of a liability for the employers. But just to clarify a little more about our view on the officer corps, you know, I-I, myself in my personal experience and this is an all too common story in Iraq and in Afghanistan and James had a similar experience and it's a story that you hear much too often where, for example, myself, officers join the military because they're trying to be successful in a career. Most people become enlisted soldiers because they're pushed in for economic reasons, because they need access to health care for their family, because they need, they want, a college education, because they want job training, because they want a place to live, things that all people need and deserve which, I think, are basic human rights. But that's what pushes most enlisted soldiers into the military. Officers join for a very different reason. And what results in that is officers generally do very little time in combat but what they do is they want their units to get attacked, they want to take fire. And I know myself, personally, I went on missions called -- which we called -- "Draw Fire" missions where there'd be an officer who knew that a certain vehicle had a ransom on it if the vehicle was destroyed so he knew that it was a target so he'd say, "Hey go get so-and-so and let's drive around town and see if we can get shot at?" This is because if his unit gets in combat or if he gets in combat, it's good for his career, it's good for his promotion. He'll get a bronze star and he'll get all of these things. So there's-there's many, many soldiers who have died, who have had life changing injuries, whose lives are destroyed because they had an officer who's going to do one tour in combat who wants to help his career and wants to move up in the ranks and people have died because of this.
Scott Horton: Well now, Michael -- that's Michael right?
Michael Prysner: Yes.
Scott Horton: Now, Michael, you're basically talking about the-the satire, Joseph Heller's satire Catch 22. You're telling me and you're telling my audience that that is truly and literally and really the operational incentive in a war like Iraq? For officers to get the people under them killed for points?
Michael Prysner: Yeah, there's something that is very frequent and it was something that was very frequent in the Vietnam war too and that's why there was such a massive GI rebellion against the officer corps in Vietnam as well. And, as James mentioned, it's very obvious to see the different interests that the officer corps has because there's a study -- two years ago there was a study released that showed there's over two thousand retired generals and colonels that now are employed by defense contractors. It's kind of the most common retirement path is either you're a lobbyist for defense contractors, you're sitting on corporate boards for defense contractors and oil companies while at the same time still being paid by the Pentagon as consultants. So all this team of generals right now that's telling us that we have to be in Afghanistan, that we can't leave. This team of generals, this team of officers, that's telling us that are people that are actually on the payroll of companies like Chevron, of some of the largest defense contractors in the world So we say that we have very different interests, the enlisted and the officers. It's very obvious what their interests are. So we think that we shouldn't be ordered into combat by officers that are trying to build their careers. We think that officers should be democratically elected by enlisted soldiers in their unit. And I think that's something that most enlisted soldiers.
[. . .]
James Circello: It takes a strong voice, and that is what March Forward! is trying to become, to tell the enlisted soldiers exactly what is happening. We all understand what is happening. There's-there's definitely dissent in the military ranks. Thousands of men and women have deserted the military in the last decade. The last time I checked, the statistic was upwards to 50,000 and that isn't shown. A lot of the times it's not a political stance. A lot of the time it's just that these soldiers miss their families, that they've been deployed four times and don't want to go back to a war zone. Or a lot of the time, it's that these soldiers are suffering through PTSD and no one is listening to them, no one the VA, the medical bases -- the medical stations on the bases, they won't diagnose them for fear that they won't be able to deploy them when the time comes. So soldiers have taken it upon themselves to stand up and to leave the military and a lot of the times they're quiet about it and March Forward! is calling for that in a wider scope for all soldiers that are being told to deploy to refuse that because Afghanistan and Iraq not only are they illegal and immoral but they're against our interests as workers in the United States.
Scott Horton: Alright everybody, I'm talking with James Circello and Mike Prysner, Michael Prysner, from March Forward! They're soldiers basically telling the rest of the soldiers to quit to refuse to participate in this -- well I call it madness, you call it what you want, anymore.
This morning a female service member e-mailed to be sure we all knew one of the worst parts of the "100% repulsive order" coming down from General Prude Anthony Cucolo. Backstory, yesterday's snapshot, over the weekend Cucolo couldn't stop giving interviews about his new order which punishes any women serving in northern Iraq for pregnancy -- married or unmarried, she's punished and that may include court-martial. Yes, women in the military are not allowed to have sex with other women unless they want to risk being drummed out of the military and now they better not have sex with men (unless they have their tubes tied because contraception is never 100% effective 100% of the time). But the female service member caught another detail of the order and steers us to Navy Seals Blog's post which notes: "If the pregnancy of a female soldier, however, was proven to be caused by a sexual assault, then the soldier will not be subjected to punishment."
Do they train these generals in anything or just slap them on the back and say, "Strut around in pure ignorance"? Vic Lee (San Francisco's ABC, KGO-TV, link has text and video) reported yesterday on sexual assualts in the military -- someone might want to get a copy to General Know Nothing. Brave women like Swords to Plowshares' Tia Christopher shared their stories. Tia Christopher went to report it and the officer above her's response was whether or not this was a joke? It was no joke for Christopher who never saw justice but did receives "an early discharge with a personality disorder." Lee notes, "The National Institute of Justice says one in five women will be sexually assaulted. The ratio in the military, according to the Department of Defense is one in three or four women and a new Pentagon report says sexual assaults are increasing." And when a woman comes forward, watch the brass and 'justice' system bend over backwards to ignore the assualt. Suzanne Swift is only one example of a woman fighting back in this decade and being punished, only one example of a complete and utter failure for the military to discipline their own or to take the victims seriously.
So now in a culture that doesn't take sexual assaults seriously and then blames the victim, a woman who ends up pregnant faces even more harassment. Maria Lauterbach was raped while she was in the Marines. She identified her rapist, Cesar Laurean. The military refused to take her seriously. She was forced to continue to be around him. At what point does the US Marine Corps intend to take accountability and responsibility for their role in what happened? Maria disappeared. As the police searched for her and her family frantically worried, the Marines refused to inform the police about Cesar Laurean or even restrict him to base. Which is how Maria's murdered managed to escape to Mexico. (He is now back in US custody.) He murdered her. Then he set her body on fire. Then he told his wife. If a Marine is missing and she's accused a fellow Marine of rape, it stands to reason that command puts the accused under watch. But that's how little women mattered at Camp Lejeune. A Marine can go missing and the brass doesn't give a damn. A woman who has accused another service member of raping her and they don't give a damn. That's reality for a lot of women in the service.
But the general in Iraq doesn't live with reality. He fancies himself a king issuing orders. The heat's been on Cucolo including from the Senate. Rebecca Santana (AP) reports that he held another press conference today where he "appeared to back from the policy [. . .] saying the policy was to emphasize the problems created" by pregnancy and that no woman who got pregnant would be put in jail for "the offense." American Women Veterans charted the developments on their Twitter account:
The General clarifies: "I see absolutely no circumstance where I would punish a female soldier by court martial... http://bit.ly/6U8XuW about 6 hours ago from Facebook
Senate heat came from US Senators Barbara Boxer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Mikulski and Jeanne Shaheen who sent the following to the US Secretary of the Army today:
December 22, 2009
The Honorable John McHugh
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101
Dear Secretary McHugh:
It has come to our attention that Major General Anthony Cucolo III -- the Commander of Multi-National Division-North, Iraq -- has implemented a stricter policy that criminalizes pregnancy for members of the United States Armed Forces under his command and for others "serving with, employed by, or accompanying" the military. While we fully understand and appreciate the demands facing both commanders and service members in Iraq, we believe this policy is deeply misguided and must be immediately rescinded.
Under the policy, it is possible to face punishment, including imprisonment, for "becoming pregnant, or impregnating a Soldier, while assigned to the Task Force Marne" Area of Operations. The policy even extends to married couples jointly serving in the warzone.
Although Major General Cucolo stated today that a pregnant soldier would not necessarily be punished by court-martialunder this policy, we believe the threat of criminal sanctions in the case of pregnancy goes far beyond what is needed to maintain good order and discipline. This policy could encourage female soldiers to delay seeking critical medical care with potentially serious consequences for mother and child.
This policy also undermines efforts to enhance benefits and services so that dual military couples can continue to serve. We can think of no greater deterrent to women contemplating a military career than the image of a pregnant woman being severely punished simply for conceiving a child. This defies comprehension.
As such, we urge you to immediately rescind this policy. Thank you for your prompt consideration of this most important request, and for your continued commitment to our men and women in uniform.
United States Senator
United States Senator
Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator
On ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Diane will be covering this story this evening. Meanwhile NOW president Terry O'Neill pronounces the order "ridiculous" and tells ABC News, "How dare any government say we're going to impose any kind of punishment on women for getting pregnant. This is not the 1800s."
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