I'm living with war everyday
I'm living with war in my heart everyday
I'm living with war right now
And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man
And on the flat-screen we kill and we're killed again
And when the night falls I pray for Peace
Try to remember Peace
I join the multitudes
I raise my hand in Peace
I never bow to the laws of the thought police
I take a holy vow
To never kill again
To never kill again
I'm living with war in my heart
I'm living with war in my heart and my mind
I'm living with war right now
-- "Living With War" (written by Neil Young, from the album of the same title)
There are so many reasons that I have for opening with that song. First of all, Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing which started today. But that's only one reason. Are you living with war? The country is at war. Bully Boy lied us into war.
As Betty's "A lady never gobbles? Thomas Friedman does" points out, War Hawks like Thomas Friedman want to accuse others of non-thought but when it was time to cheerlead a war based on lies, he was happy to check out. He's still happy to turn off his brain as he rushes to bemoan the 'strategy' of combat while refusing to address the fact that the people were lied to. That matters in a democracy and it's not a minor issue no matter how badly a War Hawk & Liar like Thomas Friedman wants to pretend like it's not worth addressing. The elected rule with our consent. That's democracy. And when we've been lied to, when we've been tricked, we haven't given our proper consent. That's reality and Thomas Friedman can't deal with that.
He cheerleaded this war because it fit his own personal interests/desires and he will never address the fact that the people were lied to. He lied to the people as well so he will avoid that issue. He's a liar.
And lying a nation into war is not a minor thing. It's not the equivalent of lying about sex. Who Bill Clinton did what with didn't effect the world. A war does. Bully Boy lied us into war and for that alone he should be impeached.
Thomas Friedman can't talk about that (because he'd have to fess up to his own lies). Since the United States is still supposed to be a democracy, it damn well matters that the people were lied to. The war was based on lies and to pretend you're addressing the war without addressing that is to be a LIAR.
Thomas Friedman wants to take the position that he's focused on the 'real' things, the important things. As though cleaning up the mess explains how the mess was made to being with. The mess is the issue. The mess will be the issue historically. You kid yourself and make yourself a fool when you have nothing else to offer but complaints about combat.
I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the pundits on the right, on the center and on the left. They don't want to address the lie. If the lie's not addressed, the war's not addressed. Long after the issue of combat has faded, the lie will remain and Americans need to know how and why it happened because that matters in the future. Let the War Historians study the combat. If you want to participate in this discussion and do any good for the nation, you better be willing to address the lies that got the country into Iraq.
But that won't happen because it's too much to expect from the media that's lost interest in Iraq -- big and small as C.I. says.
The nation is at war. Are you living with it? (I know community members do.) Are you addressing it? (Ditto.) Next month, actions will take place to protest the war. Let's get active and let's demonstrate to all the useless how much the illegal war does matter.
If you're feeling discouraged by the media, turn it off. Grab the music that speaks to you and find your inspiration and motivation in that. A good place to start is with Neil Young's Living With War (which I reviewed here). If you don't have Living With War already, go out and get it.
There's more reality (and inspiration) on that CD than in a week's worth of media coverage.
Now for C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and, as you read it, realize how little you heard about from various programs today:
Thursday, August 17, 2006 -- the first day of Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing which will determine whether or not to start a court martial inquiry over his refusal to deploy to Iraq and fight in an illegal war, chaos and violence continue in Iraq with the seat of the 'crackdown' being rocked with bombs, in Australia, the Jake Kovco inquiry follows up yesterday's hypnosis shocker by grabbing an unscheduled day off, a new studay finds that Iraqis opinions of Americans have dropped further as the war has dragged on, and the political 'death' of Mahmoud al-Mashhadani still seems premature.
Today, the Article 32 hearing began and Melanthia Mitchell (AP) reports that the military is showing video from last weekend's Veterans for Peace conference as part of their 'evidence.' AP also reports that "The prosecution played a total of three video clips with comments Watada made over the weekend as well as on June 7, when he publicly announced his decision to refuse deployment." The speech Watada gave is here at CounterPunch and here at Truthout which also includes the video option (QuickTime and Windows Media). In addition KPFA's Flashpoints played one part of the speech yesterday night and, presumably, will air the second part today or later this week (Flashpoints airs at 5:00 pm PST, 7:00 pm Central and 8:00 pm EST -- can be heard archived at the show's website, archived at KPFA or live while the show broadcasts).
What did Watada actually say as opposed to what did the military argue? If your indymedia choices have been following this, you know this already. If they've not made time or space for Watada this week, that may say something about the quality of your go-to indynews outlet.
Again, Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling to leave a message for Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use firstname.lastname@example.org to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." You can also check Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org. for the latest developments.
On his decision to say "no" to the illegal war, Watada told Melanthia Mitchell (AP): "You don't join the military just to blindly follow whatever orders you're given. An order to go to an unlawful and immoral war based on false pretenses is no different than to kill innocent civilians."
Writing at The Huffington Post, Peter Laufer notes the stands of Watada, Ricky Clousing and others. Peter Laufer observers: "With polls showing an increasing majority of Americans now opposed to the war, the question hangs in the air: When will our society honor and appreciate those soldiers who refuse to follow orders to fight in Iraq?"
Moving to an item a friend's wanted noted for the last two days: Where is Mahmoud al-Mashhadani? On Tuesday, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was 'the' news in many Iraq reports. Was he on his way out? One report noted that al-Mashhadani didn't return a phone call -- why was that? Marie Cocco (Truthdig) offers today that he's "openly toying with relinquishing his post". From where? From where is he openly toying with the idea? Juan Cole (Salon) offers that "when the Iraqi parliament reconvenes next month, the first item on the agenda will be firing Mashhadani." Cole feels that al-Mashhadani "has put his foot in his mouth too many times." al-Masshadani may very well be on the way out next month but right now he is in Jordan working on a trade agreement. It's an interesting part of the story left out of the mainstream media's he's-so-out-of-here narrative. Whether or not he remains speaker after the parliament reconvenes may be influenced by what's going on in Jordan.
While that may (or may not) influence how he is seen upon return, other observations were noted today. The World Values Surveys ("collaborative project between the Univeristy of Michigan Institute for Social Research and Eastern Michigan University) has relased their survey results which found (a) from 2004 to 2006, the percentage of Iraqis (surveyed) stating they did not want Americans as neighbors went from 87% to 90%; (b) 76% surveyed feel the US invaded "to control Iraqi oil"; (c) while 27% of respondents in 2004 felt that religion and politics should be separate, that figure is up to 41% for 2006; and (d) in 2004, 46% of Iraqis surveyed agreed that "In Iraq these days life is unpredictable and dangerous" -- the 2006 figures finds the percentage in agreement has climbed to 59%.
And on the ground in Iraq today? The usual drill.
Michael R. Gordon, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker (New York Times) reported that 1,666 bombs exploded in Iraq during the month of July (presumably this only covers bombings not called in by US forces). Bombings have continued in August. The BBC reports that a car bomb in Baghdad ("Sadr City district") took the lives of at least seven people and wounded an additional 25. The two month old 'crackdown' has not had any noticeable impact on safety in the region. AFP reports on two car bombs ("went off in rapid succession"), also in Baghdad, that left at least 65 wounded and at least 14 dead. Alister Bull (Scotsman) observes that the violence in the capital underscores "the precarious security situation as US and Iraqi forces try to stem sectarian violence." Reuters notes that a car bomb wounded three police officers in "west-central Baghdad". AFP characterizes it as "a sucide bomber" and notes that two civilians were also injured.
Outside of Baghdad, Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Daquq leaving two dead and a third wounded; mortar rounds wounded 21 in Muqdadiya in Sinjar, nine were wounded by "a suicide car bomber". Al Jazeera notes that the mortar attack in Muqdadiya took place in a market and that three police officers were among the wounded.
Reuters notes that a police officer (Lieutenant Colonel Abdul-llah Abdul-Kareem) was shot dead in Mosul while an unidentified police officer was shot in Falluja. AFP reports that "[a]nother six people were killed in a string of shootings in and around Baquba" and notes three brothers who owned a store together, "a salesman," a man whose car was stolen by assailants who then killed him, and a "civilian . . . shot dead in a coffee shop."
BBC reports that five corpses were discovered "near . . . Suwayra". Al Jazeera reports it was six and notes they were "mutilated." Reuters goes with six and notes that
the corpses were discovered "blindfolded . . . hands bound . . . multiple gunshot wounds" while the AFP notes five being discovered and adds that two more corpses were discovered "near Muqdadiyah". Reuters also notes that an Iraqi soldier was discovered shot to death (thirteen shots to the head) in Balad "a day after he was kidnapped."
In peace news, Matthew D. LaPlante and Rebecca Walsh (Salt Lake Tribune) report that Cindy Sheehan will visit Salt Lake City to protest Bully Boy who will be speaking to the American Legion August 31st. Kelly Patterson of Brigham Young University states that the protest may be larger than when Bully Boy spoke in Salt Lake City the year prior: "What's changed over the last year is public opinion about the war itself. Those kinds of shifts provide energy to people who feel very strongly about the war and its conduct. That makes this a more divisive environment -- even in Utah." KSL radio reports that "Sheehan indicated that Mayor [Rocky] Anderson had extended an invitation for her [to] come to Salt Lake and participate in the planned protest. Sheehan will give a speech during the protest at the city-county building downtown".
Camp Casey III continues through September 2nd and Camp DC opens September 5th and runs through the 21st to coincide with a week's worth of events lasting from September 21st to September 28th.
Writing on Sheehan's hospitalization last week, Missy Comley Beattie (CounterPunch) notes that a transfusion of five-pints of blood were required and compares that need to needs within this country. Comley Beattie concludes: "We are bleeding as a result of the president's insatiable lust for power." Noting Sheehan's return to Camp Casey III this summer, Cynthia Hall Clements (MinutemanMedia.org) observers: "The question should not be why Sheehan is the lone voice in the wilderness protesting for peace. The question should be why more of us aren't doing the same."
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death of soldier Jake Kovco in Baghdad took an unscheduled day off. AAP reports that DNA tests were to be covered and whether or not "they had identified the source of DNA on the gun that killed Pte Kovco in his Iraq barracks." The inquiry is expected to resume on Friday.
cedrics big mix
the new york times
jacob bruce kovco
gold star families for peace
missy comley beattie