Everyone seems to think I'm mad at C.I. Including C.I.! C.I. came by today to listen to KPFA's Guns and Butter with me. (Really yesterday.) And to talk. I didn't realize it was coming across that way to people reading the "Roundtable" but enough were writing in to C.I. that there was a "Well maybe she is mad at me."
Katha Pollitt wrote a stupid sentence on Iraq (apparently her full coverage of Iraq) (or fool coverage) and I wanted to be sure she was called out. We did the "Roundtable" first and I was biting my tongue because I knew we were doing at least one other feature on Pollitt's statement.
But I find it very offensive that she never wrote about Abeer, for instance, and then for her to distort the peace movement the way she did just ticked me off. I wanted her to be called out for it. I may have been mad at C.I. in the roundtable. I don't think I was but I knew C.I. wasn't going to address Pollitt (because C.I. wanted to be sure the point that Darrell Anderson is feeling his way as he regroups and finds his path). That was the big point C.I. wanted made and there was nothing else that C.I. intended to speak on.
And Darrell Anderson is a strong voice (who voiced macho bullshit when he made that comment about grieving mothers) so I was fine with that. But maybe I really was mad? If I was, it would have been at more than just C.I. But I don't think I was mad and I certainly wasn't mad after the roundtable when we did write those pieces and C.I. and Ava were contributing.
I think part of the reason people think I'm mad is that there is no note to the readers. The HELLO program that images are posted with went dead, discontinued its service and didn't even give a heads up. And that created huge problems. We had no editorial without our illustration. We also had to ditch a feature that we couldn't use an illustration for. So we were scrambling like crazy. It was eleven in the morning when we got down (11:00 PST) and we were all tired. No one wanted to do a note. We were going to do it Tuesday but then all the problems came up with Blogger/Blogspot.
But that's why there's no note. I don't believe I was mad at C.I. But if I had been, it would have faded the second we worked on the other two pieces that ran. (Including the last minute editorial.)
We did have 'words' Sunday night about something else. (An e-mail that came in.) I thought C.I. was too nice about it. That wasn't me griping. That was just me saying, "You're being taken advantadge of." (The reply was "Maybe.") I think C.I.'s too nice to some people who should be told to go screw themselves. I think if you have a problem with an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, you don't write them without telling them what article, on what day, on what page. And it just ticked me off that someone who should know better thought they could weigh in weeks after something without saying, "It's here and here." C.I., because of our limited dicussion, did write back that there's not going to be any going back in old entries but I really think C.I. should have ignored the e-mail. I also know that the thing played as in 'dispute,' isn't in dispute. If you're outside San Francisco, it may be in dispute. If you follow the San Francisco press you know the disputed thing (and C.I. knows this as well) was only disputed for 1 thing -- it was said over and over in other outlets.
If I got an e-mail like that, I'd write back, "Kiss my ass."
I'm real sick of the me-me-me types who think the whole world is about them. And I think the community knows how much work C.I. is doing right now. You've got columns in all the newsletters, The Common Ills, TV reviews with Ava for The Third Estate Sunday Review and for Maria, Francisco and Miguel's newspapers, you've got public speaking over and over and over each week. You've got meetings and more than I could ever keep up with. So some little whiney me-me-me should be told to take a flying leap.
ADDED: GINA THANKED THIS MORNING FOR CALLING THE GINA & KRISTA ROUND-ROBIN A "NEWSPAPER" (ALONG WITH POLLY'S NEWSLETTER AND MARIA, MIGUEL AND FRANCISCO'S NEWSLETTER). "NEWSLETTERS." I HAVE FIXED IT. I WAS SO PISSED ABOUT THAT E-MAIL MENTIONED THAT I HAD A MINI-SLIP. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT THIS IN MID-FEBRUARY HERE. IF I DON'T TAKE IT TO ONE OF THE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTERS FIRST. IT REALLY HAS PISSED ME OFF.
YOU KNOW WHAT, I'LL WALK YOU THROUGH IT. IT WOULD BE LIKE ME WRITING C.I. "YOU SAID I SAID ____ AND I DIDN'T SAY IT TO ____." WHEN BOTH C.I. AND I KNEW THAT I SAID IT ELSEWHERE. AND COULD PROVIDE AMPLE LINKS TO IT. BUT I WANTED TO WHINE AND PLAY LIKE I WAS DISTORTED. ON TOP OF THAT, I WAS WRITING DAYS, WEEKS AFTER AND I DIDN'T SAY "IT'S IN THIS ENTRY ON ---- DATE AND THE TITLE IS ---." NOW IF I WROTE THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND SAID SOMETHING LIKE "YOU WROTE THAT I SAID SOMETHING ON NIGHTLINE AND I DID NOT." THEY MIGHT KNOW I SAID IT ON 60 MINUTES. (WHICH , FOR THIS STORY, I DID.) BUT WHEN IT WAS ADDRESSED, LINKS HAD BEEN PROVIDED BY C.I. SO ANY ONE WANTING TO, COULD FIND IT THEN. BUT HERE I AM, BUTTING IN WITH ME-ME-ME BECAUSE "I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC IN THE WORLD! EVERYBODY STOP EVERYTHING AND FEEL SORRY FOR ME!" AND WANTING SOMETHING CHANGED THAT DOESN'T NEED TO BE CHANGED. THE 60 MINUTES REMARK WAS LINKED TO IN REAL TIME. LATER, IN PASSING, MY REMARK WAS NOTED AND IT WAS STATED I SAID IT ON NIGHTLINE.
BIG WOOP-TO-DO. I SAID IT ON 60 MINUTES. EVEN IF I WANT TO PRETEND LIKE I NEVER SAID IT, I DID SAY IT. AND IF SOMEONE WANTS A CORRECTION (THEY WOULD GET, FROM ME, "KAT DIDN'T SAY IT ON NIGHTLINE, SHE SAID IT ON 60 MINUTES. THEY WOULDN'T GET "KAT SAYS SHE NEVER SAID IT.") THEY NEED TO SAY WHERE IT APPEARED AND THEY NEED TO GET REAL.
LIKE REBECCA, I'M SICK OF IT. LIKE REBECCA, I WILL QUOTE BATMAN RETURNS, "YOU MAKE ME SICK! ALWAYS WAITING FOR SOME BATMAN TO RESCUE YOU." TRULY, TAKE YOUR PATHETIC ASS THAT IS NOT THE MAIN STORY SOMEWHERE ELSE. NO ONE IN THE COMMUNITY, EXCEPT C.I., FEELS SORRY FOR YOU.
YOU ARE PATHETIC.
AND BEFORE PATHETIC E-MAILS "OH MY GOD! KAT KNOWS I WROTE!" I HAVE THE PASSWORDS TO THE COMMON ILLS E-MAIL ACCOUNTS. MEMBERS WRITE ME AT THE PRIVATE 1S, VISITORS WRITE ME AT THE PUBLIC ONE. C.I. WAS TRYING TO LEARN FLIKR (A PROGRAM FOR VISUALS) TO GET ISAIAH'S COMIC UP.
SEE, THAT'S WHAT WAS GOING ON SUNDAY. WE'D ALL WORKED FOREVER, OVER NIGHT, ON THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW. WE WERE TIRED. WE WERE ALL EXHAUSTED. WE ENDED UP WITHOUT OUR NEW VISUALS. (C.I. ADDED THE DRAWING FOR "MAILBAG" EARLY MONDAY MORNING. TY AND I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THAT ILLUSTRATION.) WE ENDED UP HAVING TO DITCH A FEATURE COMPLETELY AND AN EDITORIAL AND COME UP WITH NEW CONTENT. IN THE MEANTIME, PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE COMMON ILLS ARE WAITING FOR ISAIAH'S COMIC BECAUSE THAT POSTS ON SUNDAY. WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT?
SUNDAY MORNING, AROUND 4 OR 5 IN THE MORNING, IS WHEN C.I. LEARNS "HELLO" (THE ILLUSTRATION PROGRAM) IS NO LONGER GOING TO BE A PART OF BLOGGER/BLOGSPOT.
NOW C.I.'S FIRST DUTY IS TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMUNITY NOT TO PATHETIC. EVEN THOUGH PATHETIC THINKS THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD STOPS FOR HER.
SO C.I., AVA, JESS AND DALLAS ARE TRYING TO LOOK AT THE PROGRAMS THAT ARE COMPATIBLE WITH BLOGGER/BLOGSPOT AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE TO USE. THEY'RE CALLING AROUND TO GET FEEDBACK TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.
JESS SAY C.I. WAS UP PAST 1:30 PM BECAUSE JESS GAVE UP AT 1:30 AND WENT TO BED. REMEMBER, EVERYONE INVOLVED HAD BEEN UP SINCE SATURDAY MORNING WITH NO SLEEP (THE CORE SIX -- JESS, AVA, JIM, DONA, TY AND C.I. AS WELL AS ME -- STAYED UP THROUGHOUT THE EDITION. OTHERS GET SENT OFF TO SLEEP BECAUSE THERE'S NO NEED FOR THEM TO GIVE UP THEIR ENTIRE WEEKEND.) I WENT TO BED AROUND 11 AND SLEPT AT C.I.'S BECAUSE I WAS TOO TIRED TO GO HOME. I JUST GRABBED A GUEST BEDROOM AND FELL ASLEEP FACE DOWN ON THE BED IN MY CLOTHES, I WAS TOO TIRED TO WASH MY FACE, TOO TIRED TO EVEN KICK OFF MY SHOES.
I WOKE UP AROUND 6:00 PM AND C.I. WAS UP (CLAIMS THERE WAS A NAP IN THERE SOMEWHERE). THEY'VE DECIDED TO GO WITH FLICKR AFTER GETTING INPUT. BUT FLICKR HAS IT'S OWN STEPS TO LEARN AND C.I.'S TRYING TO DO THAT, TRYING TO SPEAK TO A FRIEND IN THE MILITARY CALLING FROM IRAQ, TRYING TO PULL TOGETHER SOMETHING FOR "AND THE WAR DRAGS ON." SO JESS GETS ON A LAPTOP AND I GET ON A LAPTOP AND WE START GOING THROUGH THE E-MAIL ACCOUNTS LOOKING FOR THINGS THAT MEMBERS ARE HIGHLIGHTING AND ALSO FIGURING OUT WHAT IS GOING ON THEIR MINDS BECAUSE C.I.'S ALREADY SAID "I DON'T THINK I HAVE A THING TO WRITE ABOUT."
C.I. QUOTES AN ANNE SEXTON POEM AND HAD COME UP WITH THAT FOR THE EDITORIAL WE DIDN'T RUN AT THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE ILLUSTRATION. JIM INSISTED C.I. USE THAT BECAUSE WE ALL KNEW (A) C.I. WAS TIRED AND (B) IT WAS C.I.'S IDEA TO BEGIN WITH. SO THAT GOT CARRIED OVER AND BIT BY BIT C.I. PULLED TOGETHER AND ENTRY -- I'M ALWAYS AMAZED. BUT I FIND PATHETIC'S E-MAIL AND I AM JUST LAUGHING AT IT SO HARD. I SHOW IT TO AVA AND JESS AND THEN START TALKING ABOUT IT TO C.I. DONA AND JIM BOTH SAID, "SCREW PATHETIC. IT WAS SAID. WE KNOW IT WAS. IT'S BEEN NOTED BEFORE. IF PATHETIC WANTS THAT PULLED" BECAUSE PATHETIC APPEARED TO WANT IT PULLED NOT 'I SAID IT 60 MINUTES, NOT NIGHTLINE' "THEN PATHETIC NEEDS TO WRITE WHERE IT'S AT."
ONE TIME A SILLY IDIOT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES E-MAILED C.I. OUTRAGED OVER A TYPO IN HIS NAME. (TYPOS ARE NO LONGER CORRECTED AT THE COMMON ILLS.) 1 LETTER WAS LEFT OUT OF HIS NAME. HE WAS SCREAMING IN HIS E-MAIL.
NOW HE DIDN'T SAY WHERE IT WAS EITHER. IF YOU WORK FOR A FUCKING PAPER, YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW YOU ASK FOR A CORRECTION. I'M NOT TALKING "NICELY" -- I'M SAYING, "ON ___ DATE, IN ___ THIS IS INCORRECT." WHAT HAPPENED THAT TIME WAS JIM, DONA, AVA, JESS, TY AND MYSELF WENT THROUGH WEEK AFTER WEEK OF ENTRIES TRYING TO FIND OUT THE THING THE MAN WAS GRIPING ABOUT. HE DIDN'T EVEN PUT IN HIS E-MAIL HOW IT WAS MISPELLED.
WE WERE ALL SAYING, "SCREW HIM."
C.I. FINALLY REMEMBERED THE ENTRY THE GUY HAD TO BE TALKING ABOUT. AND HERE'S THE THING, HE GOT HIS FUCKING CORRECTION. BUT IF HE HAD READ -- A SUPPOSED REPORTER -- HE WOULD HAVE SEEN CLEARLY THAT THIS WAS A EXCERPT FROM THE DAILY HOWLER. C.I. DIDN'T MISPELL HIS NAME, A PERSON BOB SOMERBY WAS QUOTING DID. (BOB SOMERBY WAS QUOTING AND THAT'S PROBABLY WHY IT WAS MISPELLED. YOU DON'T CHANGE A QUOTE UNLESS YOU BRACKET IT.)
NOW YOU DO YOU THINK THE CRY BABY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES E-MAILED BOB SOMERBY ABOUT THIS? IF HE DID, BOB SOMERBY'S NEVER CORRECTED IT. (HE SHOULDN'T CORRECT IT. IT'S IN A QUOTE.) BUT HE WANTED TO HAVE A FREAK FEST ON C.I.'S ASS.
AND TO ME THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT PATHETIC DID ON SUNDAY.
I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT KIND OF SHIT. YOU WANT SOMETHING FIXED, YOU SAY WHERE IT IS. AND IF C.I. EVER SPENDS FOREVER TRYING TO LOCATE IT, I WILL POST HERE EXACTLY WHERE PATHETIC MADE HER REMARKS.
PATHETIC IS PATHETIC. AND "60 MINUTES" OR "NIGHTLINE" REALLY DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN COVERED BEFORE. IT WAS A MISTAKE TO SAY "NIGHTLINE" INSTEAD OF "60 MINUTES" BUT IT'S ALREADY NOTED WHERE IT WAS SAID IN REAL TIME.
SO IF C.I. DOES GO LOOKING FOR THAT AND JUST NOTES "PATHETIC DID NOT SAY THAT HERE" AND DOESN'T ADD ON: "HOWEVER, SHE SAID IT HERE AND HERE." I WILL DO IT. I'LL EVEN NOTE IN ONE OF MUSIC REVIEWS AT THE COMMON ILLS TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE'S AWARE OF IT.
EXCEPT FOR C.I, WE'RE ALL PISSED ABOUT THAT. THERE ARE A MINIMUM OF 20 ENTRIES UP AT THE COMMON ILLS IN ONE WEEK. IF YOU HAVE WAITED DAYS AND DAYS AND DAYS AND WEEKS TO WEIGH IN YOU SHOULDN'T EXPECT SOMEONE TO SAY "OH I BETTER HUNT IT DOWN." IF YOU WANT YOUR MINOR THING NOTED, YOU NEED TO SAY "IT APPEARS IN ___ ON BLANK DATE."
PATHETIC CAN KISS MY ASS AND COME MID-FERBRUARY, I'LL HAVE A GREAT DEAL MORE TO SAY. YOU KNOW REBECCA'S SAYING IT IN REAL TIME. SHE CAN GET AWAY WITH THAT. I THINK C.I. WOULD BE HURT IF I DID IT. BUT REBECCA'S ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY (SHE AND ELAINE AND C.I. ALL WENT TO COLLEGE TOGETHER) SO SHE CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. (AND I ENCOURAGE HER TO DO SO. WHEN I READ IT THIS WEEK, I CALLED HER RIGHT AWAY AND SAID "THANK YOU!")
ALL CAPS WAS ADDED. I'VE MADE IT ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT SHOULD BE READ AS "SHOUTING" BUT ALSO BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE SURE IT WAS CLEAR THAT THIS WAS ADDED. BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY ALREADY IN PROGRESS . . .
But C.I. has a streak of compassion that I don't. If you make your bed, my opinion, you lie in it. I don't feel sorry for you. But C.I. will.
But I wasn't mad at C.I. about that, I was mad at me-me-me. (And I'm not the only one. Everyone is furious with me-me-me and can't believe that an idiot would write about something and not give a URL or a date and title. Forget everything else, do they grasp how much C.I. writes each day? C.I.'s not doing cat blogging for God's sake.)
So we're fine. We've always been fine. The only change in our friendship has been the death of Tower. C.I. was always up for Tower. Maggie got to the point, years ago, where she didn't want to go with me. "You'll spend hours there!" she'd exclaim. And I would. C.I. never minded that. I remember the Troops Home Fast, it was probably close to or after the thirty day mark. C.I. was just exhausted and something else had happened that I forget. So I went over and said, "Come on, we're going to Tower." And we did and we had the best time. Jess and Ty I have a blast with as well for the same reason, they love, love, love music.
Jim, Dona and Ava really like music. But with the other three it's a passion. It's not just me looking for some find, it's all three of us. And now Tower is no more. That still makes me sad. Some people grew up loving libraries or parks or whatever. For me, it was always Tower.
Okay, let's talk about Bonnie Faulkner who interview Tim Fisher today about 9-11 and global 'terrorism.' That was a really fascinating discussion. They talked about Genoa and how the protestors were attacked and how that strategy was being 'exported.' (Haven't we seen that with the attacks on environmentalists?)
Todd spoke about how NBC changed their 9-11 story as the day went by. First saying telling which tower crashed first and then, later in the day, reversing them so that the 1st 1 hit crashed 1st when that wasn't what happened. C.I. and I were talking about the program and I asked about that because I'm always curious what people remember about it.
C.I. said the order wouldn't have stood out because "what I was noticing was Mark Bingham." Mark Bingham was a hero in the early reports (and Elaine can back this up and what happened after) then he wasn't. He was gay and they apparently didn't know that. As they learned it, they made other people the heroes (Bingham was one of several early heroes) and then they ignored Mark Bingham.
But C.I. agreed that things were changing on the day, as the reports were being made. That they'd change and change as more time passed.
A point that we both agreed with is that when it's another country, people here have no problem charging corruption or criminality in a government. Take elections. In this country, the 2004 election 'results' weren't to be questioned. But we saw the same problems (exit polls and count not matching) lead to a declaration of 'fraud' when it was another government.
Todd noted the wave of attacks on the Truth Movement recently. He noted it could have been cooridnated. He didn't say it was. But it did seem strange the way everyone wanted to weigh in on that. All these publications that ignored it and suddenly were mini-experts. Now none of them bothered to call Bonnie Faulkner who is a journlist. (As opposed to a columnist.) If they really were interested in understanding it (even if only to disprove it) seems like they would have tried to speak to one of the few journalists who has covered this repeatedly.
I think it's strange that the cry is usually, "Read everything, then make up your mind." That cry was forgetten in all the slams, wasn't it?
Suddenly it wasn't expose yourself to everything and make up your mind.
Todd was talking about structure or structurism and he lost me there. We both thought we knew what he was talking about but weren't sure. C.I. related it to functionalism, conflict theory, interactionist, et al in sociology which I studied and I could match it up that way.
I don't know that this is what Todd was getting at but it is interesting if you relate it that way because then you have left voices arguing for functionalism when you would expect them to be proponets of conflict theory.
He related it to class conflict as well which I found very interesting.
By the way, if you missed it and aren't able to listen online (either due to speakers or hearing issues), Todd writes about this under the name Max Kolskegg at Serendipity. That's it for me tonight. I took part in a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin tonight and we also flew to DC. I'm exhausted. (The time changes always kill me.)
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, January 24, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Dahr Jamail explains the importance of war resisters, Bully Boy bombs (or, as Mike called him, "Bully Boy Butt Wipe") with his State of the Union address, the slaughter on Haifa Street continues, a Senate committee feels really proud of themselves but Russ Feingold pops their hot air, US Rep Maxine Waters speaks with Amy Goodman about this weekends demonstrations to end the war, US Rep Dennis Kucinich explains what puts him ahead of other Democratic candidates attempting to win their party's nomination for the 2008 presidential election, and Tony Blair's whimper is the whine heard round the world.
In the US, Ehren Watada is the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq and faces a court-martial on February 5th at Fort Lewis. Last week, the 'judge' (John Head) ruled on the parameters of the case. As Matt Hutaff (The Simon) reports the ruling amounts to "stripping the defendant of his constitutional rights. When Watada faces prosecution on February 5, he will be unable to assert free speech in questioning the legality of the war and is forbidden from using Nurember laws as defense. Watada's entire argument rests on the fact that troops are bound to serve honorably and follow lawful orders, and that the Iraq war is a hodepodge of neither." Paul Rockwell (San Francisco Bay Guardian) observes, "It is a sad day in American jurisprudence when a soldier of conscience is court-martialed -- not for lying, but for telling the truth; not for breaking a covenant with the military, but for upholding the rule of law in wartime." Eric Ruder (Socialist Worker) notes, "Activists in the Northwest and around the country are planning a February 5 day of action to show support for Watada, timed to coincide with the beginning of the Army's court-martial against him. Defending war resisters is a critical part of ending the war, because it gives confidence to other soldiers considering their options as Bush plans a 'surge' of 21,500 more troops to Iraq." Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) notes that among those people showing support for Watada on February 5th at Fort Lewis will be war resister Darrell Anderson who "set off on a cross-country bus tour with the Iraq Veterans Against the War organization, making stops in several cities to support war resisters."
Meanwhile, war resister Agustin Aguayo was due to be arraigned on Monday but Stars & Stripes reports that the arraingment has now been postponed until Thursday. Aguayo served in Iraq and applied for Conscientious Objector status afterwards. The military denied that and Aguayo has been appealing that. On November 21, 2006, the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC heard Aguayo's appeal. They have not yet ruled on it. As Aaron Glantz reported on the November 20, 2006 broadcast of The KPFA Evening News, Aguayo's case was the first of it's kind hear in "a federal court since 1971". Despite the fact that the case was on appeal, the military had told Aguayo he had to redeploy to Iraq. In September, Aguayo self-checked out and turned himself in the same month. He was gone less than 30 days (September 2nd through September 26th.). However, last week, the military announced that they would be charging him with desertion. As Kevin Dougherty (Stars & Stripes) noted in November, 30 days, though not a rule, is "the standard benchmark." That charge and missing movement could, if convicted on both counts, result in Aguayo serving seven years in prison.
Interviewed by Alan Maass (Socialist Worker), Dahr Jamail noted the importance of war resisters and observed: "There are between 8,000 and 10,000 people AWOL from the military, and I imagine that number has increased dramatically over just the last week. I know it was starting to increase dramatically even before Bush made his speech. More people than ever are heading off to Canada or going underground, so that they don't have to go to Iraq and be targets. If anyone is seriously interested in ending this occupation and wants to do something to make it happen, people should follow the instruction of Lt. Ehren Watada. In his speech at the Veterans for Peace national convention in August of last year, he said that the best thing people could do is adopt the family of someone who wants to become a resister, and do what they need to do to support those families, economically and morally, so that their people don't have to go to Iraq."
Agustin Aguayo, Ehren Watada and Darrell Anderson are part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes Kyle Snyder, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Mark Wilkerson, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
In Iraq today, the Independent of London's Patrick Cockburn, speaking with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, noted the Bully Boy's laughable speech from Tuesday evening, "He talked about chaos coming to Iraq. Well, I mean, I'm in the center of Baghdad, and it's difficult to imagine anything more chaotic. There's heavy fighting going on in an area called Haifa Street just near the Green Zone. I can hear mortars occasionally going off. It's said that there is an attempt to assassinate one of the vice presidents a few streets away from here. So we have almost total chaos in Baghad at the moment."
KUNA reports a bombing in Mosul that left a police officer and a civilian wounded. Reuters reports a bombing that killed four police officers and left three civilians wounded in Baghdad, a mortar attack in Baghdad that left one man wounded, and a mortar attack on City Hospital in Baghdad that killed two and left 20 wounded. Shootings?
Reuters reports that two people wounded in an attack "on a minibus carrying Shi'ite pilgrims" in Baghdad. The BBC reports that another educator has been killed in Iraq and describe Diya al-Meqoter as "a well-known professor and econcomist who presented a programme on Sharquiya television. . . He was known for supporting poor people needing loans to set up business, and he also headed Iraq's consumer association, a non-government agency which campaigned for fair pricing." RTE reports an attack on the country's minister of higher education, Abd Dhiab al-Ajili, that left one of his body guard dead "and another was shot in the head and seriously wounded."
KUNA reports 52 corpses discovered in Mosul (all with"scars of torture") which comes after Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times) reported that the number of corpses discovered in Baghdad was decreasing.
Meanwhile the slaughter on Haifa Street in Baghdad continues. Ross Colvin and Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) repeat the US military's version of events ('insurgents, insurgents, insurgents') to explain the US military's air raid on high rises on the largely residential street; however, they also note: "A local journalist said he helped transport 37 wounded people to hospital, including women and children, in three ambulances that managed to get through the security cordon." KUNA reports: "An Iraqi security source and eyewitnesses said US helicopters had been bombing the street compound since early morning today, noting the clashes were most intense near Al-Sheikh Cemetery, which witnessed similar clashes last week. Eyewitnesses told KUNA over the phone that ambulances were rushed to the scene of the clashes." This attack is what Patrick Cockburn was describing to Amy Goodman on today's Democracy Now!
Today the US military announced today: "One Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group and one Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Tuesday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province" and they announced: "Insurgent small arms fire targeting a Multi-National Division Baghdad patrol killed one Soldier near the citys center Jan. 24."
The US military also announced that Adam L. Huryta was court-martialed on January 22nd "for assaulting a fellow soldier with a survival knife." Huryta, as the release goes, disagreed with a position he was ordered to take while an Iraqi was being questioned so he repeatedly stabbed another US soldier and, having been found guilty in the court-martial held at LSA Anaconda, Huryta has received: "eight months in jail, reduction to E-1, and a bad conduct discharge." Ponder that. Ponder that as Ehren Watada faces six years in prison if convicted and Agustin Aguayo faces seven -- neither of whom went after another US service member with a hunting knife.
On Tuesday, Bully Boy yammered on for a little less than fity-minutes as he delivered a Constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech. At one point he spoke of the need to find resolve -- possibly he lost it on one of his many vacations? (If he ever had it.) On KPFA's The Morning Show today, Andrea Lewis and Philip Maldari addressed the speech with Elizabeth de la Vega (author of United States versus George W. Bush) and US Rep Dennis Kucinich. de la Veage noted that "we heard almost the same exact statements about Iraq that we've heard since before 9-11 on the Middle East" and characterized it as "more of the same" talk about Iraq while noting her alarm over Bully Boy's words regarding Iran.
Kucinich noted his plan for ending the war which includes: "First that the US announced it will end the occupation, closes the bases and withdraws" -- using the existing funds to bring US troops back to the US, allow reconstruction contracts to be turned over to Iraqis, build and international peace keeping force, etc. On the subject of impeachment, which de la Vega has written of, Kucinich stated his "focus right now is to end the war and bring the troops home" but "I don't take issue with anything that anybody's doing to hold this administration accountable." He did note that if Bully Boy attacked Iran without Congressional authorization, he did expect there would be an impeachment.
On the issue of 'bipartisanship,' Kucinich declared, "If we have a bipartisan effort to keep the troops in Iraq, that's not the kind of bipartisanship I'm lookng for." Andrea Lewis pointed out that Kucinich is running to become the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nominee and asked him to explain how he stands apart from other declared candidates. Kucinich responded that "the single most important decision anyone in the Oval Office will make is whether or not to commit America's young men and women to war" and, unlike other declared nominees, the American people know that Kucinich has opposed the illegal war from the start, from before it began while the others "all offered to vote for the war or they voted to fund the war" and, unlike the others, he never "bought George Bush's line."
Some did. Less and less are buying it today which explains the underwhelming response to the State of the Union speech. Al Jazeera reports that the reaction to Bully Boy's speech was 'indifference' -- Hoda Abdel Hamid: "Iraqis told me 'we don't believe in all his promises -- he's goin gto ask us to be patient, but he's not the one living under the bombs. All Iraqis can hear this morning is explosions -- there are mortars going off and there is a heavy gun battle going on just a couple of hundred metres away. This is what Iraqis are listening to."
In England the on-his-way-out-the-door Tony Blair continues to face strong calls to take British troops out of Iraq. (On Tuesday, the British consulate in Basra was attacked -- as it often is -- and two British soldiers were wounded.) The Guardian of London reports that Menzies Campbell, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, "called for the first time for a pull-out of all British forces from the country by the end of October" which Blair rejected and Campbell then went on to challenge Blair to stay for the debate. Tony Blair whimpered, left a puddle on the floor, and scurried off quickly.
In what Andrew North (BBC) has called the "first sign of disagreement" regarding Iraq, Tony Blair's cabinet and Bully Boy's appear to be odds regarding southern Iraq. The BBC reports that Zalmay Khalilzad, in an interview with them, voiced his belief that "UK forces . . . remain at their current levels in southern Iraq" despite the fact that at least "a partial withdrawal of British foces from Basra this year" has long been discussed publicly by Blair as well England's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.
Turning to the US Senate where a toothless, symbolic measure has passed through committee, Frederic J. Frommer (AP) reports that Senator Russ Feingold has declared, "My far, Mr. Chairman, is this is slow walking. This is not a time for legislative nuancing. This is not a time for trying to forge a compromise that everybody can be a part of. This is a time to stop the needless deaths of American troops in Iraq. We have a moral responsibility, as well as a responsibility to the lives of the American people, to start doing it now." The toothless, feckless, symbolic measure, the BBC reports, passed on a 12-9 vote.
A measure so meaningless, it took three men to devise it: Carl Levin, Joe Biden, and Chuck Hagel. The lunchtime poll reads: "It's really, really, really, really-really, really not in the best interests of the United States for Bully Boy to send more troops to Iraq and if he does so they will be really, really, really, really-really, really ticked off -- so ticked off, in fact, they might just decide to take another lunchtime poll! Watch your step, Bully Boy! Blah, blah, blah." The poll was a vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, CNN reports, the non-binding, toothless measure should go before the full Senate for a vote next week.
Joe Biden is of course interested in flaunting his useless nature with something far more than meaningless legislation, he also wants to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. John Kerry has announced what we noted here weeks ago -- stick the fork in, he's done. One candidate who is still in the race is US Senator Hillary Clinton. Weighing in at Truthout, Cindy Sheehan recalls, "I, my sister Dede and another Gold Star Mother, Lynn Braddach, whose son, Travis Nall was killed in Iraq in 2003, met with Senator Clinton in DC in September of 2005. We poured our hearts and souls out to her. We cried as we told her of our sons and our fear for the people of Iraq and the escalating body count of our brave young people. She sat there stone-faced and walked out and told Sarah Ferguson of the Village Voice, 'My bottom line is that I don't want their sons to die in vain. . . . I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. . . I don't think it's the right time to withdraw.' She may as well have slapped us in the face using Bloody George's line and using our sons' sacrifice to justify her war mongering. On Thursday, January 18th, Senator Clinton introduced a meaningless bill to put a cap on the number of soldiers that can be in Iraq, set at January 1st levels. It is as weak and meaningless as a nonbinding resolution -- and a politically safe move, since almost three fourts of the country oppose Bloody George. By the time she introduced her Senate bill last Thursday, over 1000 of our young people had come home in body bags and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis had died, while she was waiting for the best political time to be semi-against the war. How many of our troops are lying in Walter Reed with devastating injuries that could have been prevented if a Senate leader like Clinton had taken a moral stance instead of a political one?"
Which is a good time to offer the contrast: US Representative Maxine Waters. Appearing on Democracy Now! today, Waters discussed the proposal she and US Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey have on the table: "No more troops going to Iraq. Number two, to start to wind out of Iraq. Make sure that you work with the Iraqis for a security plan that they come up with that would include the international community and those in the region and no American soldiers in that kind of security plan. We also talk about reconstruction. We have bombed Baghdad and other parts of Iraq to smithereens. We owe it to them to be involved in a reconstruction plan that's real. Thirdly, we would leave some troops over the horizon in neighboring communities, in the event the coalition forces that are put together by the Iraqis would ask for a bit of assistance at any given time." Waters and Goodman also discussed the Saturday protest in DC and that the representative has "sent a letter to all members of Congress" encouraging them to also take part.
Information on the demonstrations can be found at CODEPINK's Bring the Peace Mandate to D.C. on J27! activities will also be taking place in communities around the country. Saturday, Laura Flanders will be broadcasting live from DC to cover the demonstrations on RadioNation with Laura Flanders. Aaron Glantz (IPS) reports on the upcoming demonstrations and notes United for Peace & Justice's Leslie Cagan stating, "The voters of this country figured out that they could use the November elections as a vehicle to voice their opposition to the war. What happened there was that the voters gave Congress a mandate to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home." Glanz notes that in addition to events in DC, there are "large mobilisations planned for Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. In addition smaller actions are planned for more than 50 cities." In DC, Saturday the rally will be held at the National Mall from eleven in the morning to one p.m. at which point a march will begin. Larry Margasak (AP) notes of the DC rally and march: "Scheduled speakers include members of Congress sponsoring anti-war measures; civili rights activist Jesse Jackson; veterans against the war; actors such as Danny Glover, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon; and a voice from the . . . [pro-peace] past, Jane Fonda."
Those in DC Saturday may want to check out Anthony Arnove, author most recently of IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal, who will be speaking at Busboys and Poets at 5:00 pm while those in the NYC area on Sunday should check out Joan Mellen speech at 7:30 p.m. at the 92nd Street Y (92nd Street and Lesington Avenue). Mellan, a professor at Temple University and the author of seventeen books, will be presenting a lecture on the JFK assasination . . . and beyond. Tickets are $25. Mellen's latest book is A Farewell to Justice which probes the assasination of JFK. She was a guest on Law and Disorder November 7, 2005. And the March 15, 2006 broadcast of KPFA's Guns and Butter featured her speech "How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy's Assassins Has Led to Today's Crisis of Democracy." You can also read a transcript of that speech here.Again, that's Sunday, January 28th, 7:30 p.m. the 92nd Street Y in NYC.
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