Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Guns and Butter (Ruth)

Ruth here with you on Wednesdays until Kat returns from Ireland. The e-mails were passed on and the theme seems to be, "Where were you last weekend?" C.I. asked me to take the weekend off. We had all just returned from DC and I was grabbing Wednesdays here so C.I. said last week to just take the weekend off ("I'm serious, Ruth"). I have some plans for this weekend's report including one idea that my granddaughter Tracey, C.I. and I were talking about. But I will probably put that on hold and do something on Darrell Anderson just because there's been so little coverage from the media. Check out C.I.'s "Darrell Anderson" and thanks to Rebecca who told me I could grab that by copying and pasting from Wally & Cedric's sites because, in their joint-posts, they link to everything the community writes. BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX and their sites. Wally's is really The Daily Jot, which "Bully Boy Press" works for, but I can copy and paste already made links without having to bother anyone on the phone. Rebecca's most recent post was "iraq, iraq, iraq" which, again, I can grab from Wally and Cedric and not have to create a link of my own. I wish I knew how to pictures because then I could put in the painting everyone did of Darrell Anderson. But it's in C.I.'s entry (along with other entries).

KPFA's Guns and Butter today was a wonderful broadcast that you should listen to. When I was listening, I kept picturing Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive listening and him exploding into yet another tantrum. I'm sure his mother was a wonderful woman; however, I think it's a bit obvious she indulged him more than a bit. What mother doesn't want to do that with her children? But there can be disasterous results and many saw that when he decided he wanted to write about 9-11 and to focus on the truth movement.

Where do I stand on this? I am spellbound by Bonnie Faulkner's work. I applaud her. I applaud everyone involved in putting the show together because it is amazing. Most of it is over my head. I enjoyed the discussions of computer and molten iron but that was far above my comprehension level. But I never doubt that Ms. Faulkner is brave and deserves recognition for being willing to address the questions others try to shut down.

When I started listening to Pacifica, one of my first questions to C.I. was, "Can I cover Bonnie Faulkner's show?" C.I.'s reply was the usual, "It's your report." Which does mean I can write about whatever I want to. But I did wonder if there would be a problem with weighing in due to the nature of the show. C.I. told me "Go for it."

I was all geared up for that first report. I listened eagerly and the topic was a computer program which may have been Primus. I was lost in the details but I enjoyed the conversation. Too often that was the case for me. I could follow the genetically modified food discussion. I believe that was a two-parter. I could also follow her two-part conversation on Darfur which may be the only independent media program airing on Pacifica that has not marched to the Bully Boy's line. That was a wide ranging discussion and you could only hear it on Ms. Faulkner's show. Last week, one of the panelists, Keith Harmon Snow, was back on the program and I also enjoyed that.

Today's show was from the big dialogue that took place while we were in DC. That is probably my biggest regret about listening to KPFA. I live on the east coast and there are always so many wonderful events going on in the KPFA area. I hear about those and think, "I would love to attend that." Kat really wanted to attend that and C.I. kept begging her to go. But she wanted to stay in DC for Sunday because she knows those editions can be a nightmare.

So she missed it and I've written about it in a letter to her that I will drop in the mail tomorrow.
I would not dream of calling her because I have been there, where you are preparing for someone's death. But I know, for myself anyway, a letter was always welcome because I could put it in my pocket and pull it out at quiet moments. When my mother was dying, for instance, I might not be able to read a letter the day it arrived, but I would read it in spare moments over several days. Sometimes I would just need something to take my mind off what was going on for a few minutes. Regardless, it was something concrete, something I could hold and I found that comforting.

So today, Ms. Faulkner featured some of the speakers from the conference on 9-11. Ray McGovern was the voice I recognized most easily. Mr. McGovern, whom I will assume most of us know from his truth telling work and opposition to the Iraq war, set up the conference by remind everyone of the process by which the investigation finally came into being and the roadblocks that still exists. Eleanor Hill was mentioned by him. He noted that Ms. Hill was in charge of the investigation . . . briefly. He spoke of September 2002 and how Ms. Hill declared that "anything having to do with what the president was told" was omitted "even if it's open media" meaning even if it was information published already in the newspapers, magazines and other media. Then came the outcry from the 9-11 families and the appointment of the 9-11 Commission which was obviously a whitewash and anyone who doubts that need only think of the uproar that Bob Woodward's book has created. By that I mean, Condi Rice was informed in July 2001 by George Tenent, then CIA director, and so was Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft, Secretary of Defense and former Attorney General respectively.

What were they told? Who knows? Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor Rice stated publicly it would be "incomprehensible" if such a meeting took place and she did not remember but she did not remember it. The State Department confirmed the July 2001 meeting the next day. Now a Matthew Rothschild cannot be bothered asking questions about that. A Bonnie Faulkner can probe those issues.

David Ray Griffin and Peter Phillips were among the other people speaking or speaking out. Intellectuals Speak Out is the name of the book the speakers contributed to. I have that ordered and am waiting on it.

I see that I have gone over the three paragraph limit Kat has asked for. She does not want anyone substituting for her to spend too much time because she does not want us "put out." I am enjoying grabbing Wednesdays for her but I will semi-respect her limit.

I want to close with this. If you have never listened to Guns and Butter, here is the main reason I think you should. Bonnie Faulkner is an established journalist and the easiest thing for her to do would be to fall in line. By that I mean, stop asking questions, stop pursuing truth. Matthew Rothschild's public tantrum is the sort of greeting that the work she does is greeted with. I am not aware of Mr. Rothschild doing very much. I know that many years ago, The Progressive went to the mat on a story, years before he was editor, CEO and whatever other title he holds at The Progressive. The magazine may do one investigative article a year. So for that reason alone, Mr. Rothschild's public tantrum was humorous.

I have already stated that I cannot follow all the technology involved in many stories but apparently I am more quick witted than Mr. Rothschild who felt there was one theory and only one theory. He created a straw man and came off look liking an angry child who got sent to the corner. He could have written about peace, he could have written about the Iraq war, but he just wanted to slam others for what they believe. I remember those Important Men who stamped their feet in the sixties when we, the women, would say, "No, you take notes. No, you get the coffee." Important Men love you as long as you bask in their "glow." But when you refuse to play follow the leader, you see that these big, huggable, compassionate men are actually little boys throwing tantrums whenever it is not all about what they want and when they want it.

Now here is C.I.'s "Iraq Snapshot:"

Wednesday, October 4, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; the spin on the 'peace' plan of the puppet continues; 'Who's killing Iraqi educators?" is the question no one's asking; World Can't Wait calls for mass resistance on Thursday; Willie Caldwell continues to state the obvious; and an occupation riddle: When you think you've found killers and those who aid them, what do you do? Retrain them apparently, retrain them.

Those reading this morning's New York Times were greeted by
Michael Luo's report on the increased violence in Iraq and the new that, on Monday alone, eight US troops died (highest single day number since July 2005). The AP noted 52 Iraqis reported dead on Tuesday. CNN notes that the US military announced two more deaths this morning (announced this morning, both died on Tuesday) and noted the two deaths bring "the number of U.S. troop fatalities in the first three days of October to 15." Iraq Coalition Casualties, the count we follow, states that 17 US troops have died since the month began (the total since the start of the illegal war: 2733 US troops killed).

That's the reality. Someone tell the United Nations' IRIN News, "Don't fluff so, don't fluff so, don't fluff so close to me. Please, don't fluff so, don't fluff so . . ." In part one of an intended series of articles examing Nouri al-Maliki's so-called 'peace' plan,
IRIN ignores not only plank 3 but also seems unaware that the 'security councils' the puppet of the occupation is recommending already exist. Don't fluff so, don't fluff so
. . .
AFP gets closer to the truth referring to it as "Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's last plan to stop the country sliding into chaos." Rest assured, it probably is his "last" (not "latest") plan. He's lost all US support and a puppet with no one pulling the strings is just a doll that no one wants to play with.

And why would they?
AFP reports a mass suspect in the mass kidnappings: the Eighth Brigade of the Second Division of the Iraqi National Police. Willie Caldwell IV, the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, happy to finger point, states: "There was clear evidence that there was some complicity in allowing death squad elements to move freely, when in fact they were supposed to be impeding their movment. It was realized that removing them from Baghdad would, in fact, enhance security." Now take the 'news' with a grain of salt. It's an allegation. But considering the severity of the allegation, it's interesting that, AP reports, only the police commander in charge was "discharged and arrested for investigation in the kidnapping." And the rest? CNN reports that it's time for retraining. As though deciding to let 'death squads' pass your security check point is akin to not knowing how to use the office copier. AFP reports they're on a US military base being retrained. BBC reports: "A programme has been under way for more than a month for comprehensive assessment and re-training of all national police unites -- a process called by the Americans 'transofrmational training.'"
James Hider (Times of London) reports that since 2004, "US forces have been re-training the Iraqi police, but the programme has had little impact" and that a "survivor of Monday's mass kidnapping . . . described how half a dozen vehicles, with official security forces markings on them, pulled up and men in military fatigues rounded up all the Sunnis in the shops."


Mussab Al-Khairalla and Alastair Macdonald (Reuters) report the US military announcement that "Bomb attacks in Baghdad have hit an all-time high." In reply, insert Goldie Hawn's two-word reply when, in Private Benjamin, she's told she's not fit for the uniform.

A 'series' of bombs went off in Baghdad.
Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports that "a car bomb and two roadise bombs blew up in the span of 10 minutes in a shopping district of the Camp Sara neighborhood . . . left 15 dead and injured 87". Devika Bhat, James Hider and wires (Times of London) report: "Corpses were seen scattered in the streets next to the smoking wreckage as people frantically placed the wounded in their cars to take them to hospital before ambulances arrived at the scene. A woman sat weeping over the crumpled body of her son, refusing to allow police or rescue workers to take him away, while officials warned residents to leave the area for fear that more bombs were planned." Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports another bomb, close by, that was part of an attack on "a convoy carrying the Iraqi industry minister" which killed three guards and left nine more injured. There has been back and forth reporting all day on whether or not Fawzi al-Hariri (Industry Minister) was in the convoy or not. AFP notes the denial by the ministry and the confirmation by the police before reporting: "Security sources say that such denials are standard whenever there is an attack on an official convoy."

In addition,
Reuters reports that, in Baghdad, another car bomb left one dead and four more wounded while, outside Baghdad -- three police officers, "two soldiers and nine civilians" were injured in Tal Afar in a bombing; and mortar rounds targeting an army recruiting center left four dead and eight wounded in Mosul.


Devika Bhat, James Hider and wires (Times of London) report the shooting death of two police officers in Baquba.Reuters notes a translator for the US military was shot dead in Siniya.


AFP reports that seven corpses were discovered in Baghdad and four in Kut. Reuters reports that two corpses were discovered in Mosul, three in Tuz Khurmatu and one in Tikrit.

Reporting for Tuesday's
Free Speech News, Aaron Glantz and Salam Talib explored the issue of the deaths of Iraqi professors. 161 professors, minimum, have died in Iraq since the beginning of the illegal invasion. In addition, an estimated 3,250 have fled the country as part of the continue 'brain drain.' Interviewing a variety of people, Glantz and Talib explored this topic with one man interviewed noting that the killings are not accidental, they are targeted and another explaining that he and other professors had suggested living on or near unviersities only to have that idea shot down as well. (This report also aired on yesterday's The KPFA Evening News.)

As you read the above, you may be wondering, "What can I do about any of the above?"
World Can't Wait is calling for a day of mass resistance tomorrow (Thursday). Meredith May (San Francisco Chronicle) reports that: "Activists in San Francisco have been working late into the night this week, building a 40-foot statue of President Bush. It's not idolatry. They plan to jail his likeness for war crimes Thursday at Justin Herman Plaza as part of nationwide round of protests calling on Bush to step down. Anti-Bush demonstrations are planned in more than 150 cities across the nation, as well as in Canada and Switzerland, as part of a movement that has been coalescing on the Internet for the past year." Gary Leupp (Dissident Voice) reports that "World Can't Wait has done some excellent work in uniting a wide range of war opponents in numerous actions and events. Daniel Ellsberg, Ray McGovern, Alice Walker, Howard Zinn, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Ralph Nader, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, Tom Morello, Martin Sheen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gloria Steinem, Viggo Mortensen, Margaret Cho, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Bianca Jagger, Kurt Vonnegut, Rev. Jess Jackson, Gen. Janis Karpinski, Ron Kovic, U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney and thousands of others have endorsed the group's call to 'drive out the Bush regime' and to 'stop the attack on Iraq.'"

Sean Penn (at CounterPunch) states: "We the people of the United States have a unique opportunity. We can show each other and the world that what the Bush administration claims is their mission is not ours. And, by leading our country as a citizenry and demanding of our government an immediate end to our own military and profit investments in Iraq, display for the entire world that democracy is a government of people. What more powerful message to send the world than that we ourselves can choose in policy, in peace, and in humanitarian support." For more information, including events in your area, visit World Can't Wait.

Starying with peace news. War resister Darrell Anderson turned himself in at Fort Knox Tuesday afternoon after self-checking out in January 2005 and moving to Canada.
Peter Smith (Kentcky's The Courier-Journal) reports that Anderson told people who'd turned out to show their support, "I am proud to be a resister of this war . . . I believe the tide is turning in America." Armina Ligaya (Canada's Globe & Mail) reports Anderson stating, "They broke their contract before I broke mine.". AP reports Anderson declared, "I feel that by resisting, I made up for the things I did in Iraq. I feel I made up for the sins I committed in this war." Among those present when Darrell Anderson turned himself in were his wife Gail Greer, his mother Anita Anderson, his step-father Stephen Dennis and his attorney Jim Fennerty. Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) reports that Fennerty believes Anderson "could be released by Friday if things go as they Army says." Fennerty's referring to what an officer involved in the case stated last week, "that the Army had decided not to court-martial Anderson, and plans to release him within three to five days. Fennerty said the officer told him that a discharge would be mailed to Anderson a few days after that."

Darrell Anderson is one of many in and from the military resisting the Iraq war -- those resisting publicly include Camilo Mejia, Jeremy Hinzman, Carl Webb, Brandon Hughey, Pablo Paredes, Kyle Snyder, Patrick Hart,
Mark Wilkerson, Ricky Clousing and Aidan Delgado. September 2nd saw another war resister take action. That's when Augustin Aguayo self-checked out the Army. Last week, Aguayo turned himself in at Fort Irwin. Aaron Glantz (IPS) reports that Helga Aguayo (Augustin's wife) is attempting to "raise enough money to fly to Germany to testify at her husband's trial." As noted at Augustin Aguayo's home page, the military refused to let Helga or their two daughters have any contact with Augustin prior to his being deported to Germany to stand trial. Those wishing/able to donate can do say at

Ehren Watada is another war resister and the first officer to publicly refuse to serve in Iraq. He has stated that the war is illegal and, were he to participate, he'd be guilty of war crimes. His father, Bob Watada, has begun a second speaking tour to raise awareness about his son.

Wed. 10/4 7:00 pm Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Contact: So Cal Library 323-759-6063

Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email:

Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email:

Fri. 10/6 7:00 am Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles
Contact: Thalia 626-683-9004 email:

Fri 10/6 12:30 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center
SFV Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima 91331
Contact: Phil Shigkuni 818-893-1851, cell: 818-357-7488, email

Sat 10/7 2:00-4:00 pm Welcome Reception for Bob Watada
JACCC Garden Room, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles
Contact: NCRR 213-680-3484, email:

Sun 10/8 2:00-5:00 pm Forum with Bob Watada
Nat'l Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles.
Contact Ellen Endo 213-629-2231 or Mo 323-371-4502

Sun 10/8 6:00-8:00 pm An Evening of Discussion and Learning hosted by Rev. Phyllis Tyler
11326 CherryLee Dr., El Monte (Rev. Tyler is Senior Pastor of Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church in Alhambra) Co-sponsored by NCRR and the National Japanese American United Methodist Church Caucus
Contact: NCRR 213-680-3484 email:

Mon 10/9 7:00pm Veterans for Peace (Chapter 112) and Citizens for Peaceful Resolution
E.P. Foster Library, Topping Rm. 651, E. Main St., Ventura
Contact: Michael Cervantes 805-486-2884 email:

For a complete schedule, click
here. If you're unable to atten, Bob Morris (Politics in the Zeros) provides an MP3 file of Bob Watada speaking yesterday in Los Angeles.
And those wishing to donate to Ehren Watada's defense fund can make out checks to "ECCOR"; P.O. Box 235511, Honolulu, HI, 96823 or (for a tax deduction on your donation), "Hawaii People's Fund"; 810 N. Vineyard Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96817 *write "Lt. Watada legal defense" on the memo of the check. More information on war resisters can be found at
Courage to Resist