Friday, July 27, 2007


C.I. filling in for Kat who is exhausted from this past week (we were speaking about Iraq to students and various groups). We dropped her off at her place and she really is tired so I said I'd do a quick post for her tonight so she didn't have to do one tonight or tomorrow.

I promised not to "work too hard" on this and just talk about Dan Gerstein making a fool of himself on Democracy Now! today. In bold throughout (unless noted otherwise) is Idiot Gerstein.

And I think a lot of the evidence that Ray and people in the impeachment movement have assumed shows impeachable offenses was presented to the American people before the 2004 election, and they still reelected George Bush.

No, the people did not know about the warrantless, illegal spying on the American people. They didn't know about it because it was among the stories that the New York Times could have broken but sat on. They broke that story in 2005. The Downing Street Memos had not been published (and derided wrongly by many in MSM as old news). Those who forced themselves to believe Bully Boy hadn't lied are less in number. As the fatalities rose, so did their skepticism.
Those who wanted to believe Bully Boy had not allowed anyone in his administration to break the law by outing a CIA agent (it is against the law for those in the government -- and he can thank his own father for that and Vicky ToeJam's distortions never changed reality on what happened), no longer can. He publicly promised that no one in his administration would remain if they had any part in it. Scooter Libby took part in it. (As did Karl Rove and others.) Scooter Libby was convicted for lying about his role in it when Patrick Fitzgerald was conducting the investigation. Scooter Libby was sentenced and fined. Bully Boy wiped out the sentence. There are far fewer people willing to take him at his word from the first term on this. Before the election, they could fool themselves. They didn't know Karl Rove was talking to Matt Cooper (that would have made a huge difference in the election but it was more important to Cooper to protect Karl Rove than to be a journalist or tell the truth -- though the two don't have to be mutually exclusive).

There is the gaming of the prosecutors in the Justice Department. There is now evidence (e-mails) that at least Karl Rove (possibly higher, but at least Karl Rove) took part in denying the voting rights of minorities in 2004. Those are high crimes and misdeanors. In addition, there is now the fact that US citizens were denied their right to take part by White House staffers. The right to vote, the right to participate are core issues in a democracy and this pattern of denial of those rights qualifies as a high crime.

As for the time issue, March 5, 1868 Andrew Jackson was impeached by the House. This despite the fact that his term would end in January of 1869 if he wasn't re-elected (he wasn't, he did run for the House and lost). The grounds for his impeachment? One case. He had fired a member of his cabinet after Congress had passed a law giving them the power to approve of his firings in the same way they did his appointments. (This was overturned in the 20th century by the Supreme Court.) They impeached him. The Senate, by one vote, didn't follow through.

Today, in 1974, by the way, the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon.

DAN GERSTEIN: Richard Nixon was not impeached for Cambodia. He was impeached for obstruction of justice and crimes to cover up actions he's done that were about self-aggrandizement, about his personal power. I’ve reviewed a lot of the, you know, supposed evidence or charges against George Bush. Regardless of whether they were bad for the country, they were not about consolidating his personal power. They were not for -- to protect his -- you know, not about his self-interest. And I think that's a major distinction.

You've reviewed nothing you simpering wimpering idiot. The same abuses of and for personal power can be found in the Bully Boy. Gerstein's not well connected. He's an idiot. Ask Karen Hughes, under oath, why Bully Boy discussed the Dixie Chicks in his interview with Tom Brokaw. Hughes, under oath, might tell the truth. (That's just trivia, by the way, not saying he's impeachable on that. I am saying anyone who doesn't know the answer to that question doesn't know the realities of the White House and needs to stop pretending to be an expert. I heard about that in real time when they were first raising the issue that Bully Boy would address the Dixie Chicks issue. I know why, I know who brought it up and I know when they rehearsed. I also know Bully Boy blew it with his petulance -- the point was to make him appear above the fray but he's as petty as his mother and couldn't pull it off, even with the rehearsals. And FYI, I knew about it before Hughes got involved. I know all about the excitement on that first day as it worked through the pipeline and they thought they'd found the perfect opportunity to portray him as a 'statesman.' I also know he was flattered after the interview even though everyone knew he blew it.) (Idiots like Gerstein probably thought that was a 'genuine' moment. It wasn't. It was carefully planned and if Bully Boy wasn't such an idiot it probably would've worked. Karl Rove is not Bully Boy's brain. Karen Hughes is the one who always knew the best way to sell the Bully Boy and only his inept behaviors prevented that from happening. I'm sure they'll be more successful with their next Monkey Boy.)

What that does, in essence, is make the 2008 election potentially a jump ball and put at risk our chances of taking the White House back.

A jump ball? Just another geek who wishes he could fill out a jock cup if you ask me.

What is a jump ball? In my limited knowledge of sports, I believe two people compete to get control of the ball. It's an equal competition. But Gerstein doesn't want an equal race.

The reality is that this is the same crap that guaranteed the election would be close (I think Kerry won in Ohio and should have fought -- Gerstein disagrees with that and centrists can never be persuaded they're wrong).

It should have been a win but the Kerry campaign played it safe because of dumb advisers. Like Gerstein today. They played it dumb and they played it safe. The way Gerstein does today on impeachment.

And every other issue.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Dan, let me ask you something. You're the former aide to Senator Lieberman. Senator Lieberman is one of the chief voices for this war. He's not calling for it to end.
DAN GERSTEIN: He is not calling for it to end.
AMY GOODMAN: Your thoughts? Do you disagree with him?
DAN GERSTEIN: You're asking me my personal view? I think the war was a mistake.

Dan Gerstein is not against the illegal war. Amy Goodman should have followed up and put him on the spot. He thinks it was conducted wrong. He is not a dove. He was on board for the illegal war and only began changing his mind (a) due to polls and (b) due to the fact that it is so obviously lost. He feels the American image and power has been tarnished. That is why he now says the illegal war is a mistake. But he doesn't use the word "illegal."

That's actually something in his favor here. If it weren't for that, we'd have someone who believes it is an illegal war and that it was wrong to ever start it. In which case, he would be revealed as someone with no morals at all.

He's not immoral or ammoral -- he has his own schema and it's far different from mine -- but on this issue no one can call him a fraud who worked to push through a war he thought was illegal. That is not the case.

He's a Democrat "all things being equal." When they're not equal, the implication is he votes for Republicans.

He's a sterile little boy in a bubble needing the easiest choices in the world. That's why he has to note the 1998 elections when they have nothing to do with a presidential election.

The most basic issue is that an off-year election (a non-presidential one) always has a lower turnout so you can't compare 1998 to 2008. Cindy Sheehan compared the 2008 election to the 2000 one and the 1976 one. That is the correct comparison.

The other thing is that you're talking odds in any race and 2002's illegal war vote by the Dems was all about (for many but not all) the election. They were advised it would help them in the elections. It didn't. And we saw a historical first take place in 2002.

That will always happen. Predicting the election is like predicting whether or not it will rain on a Sunday two months from now. You can guess, you can't say for sure.

But these types crunch their numbers and make their predicitions and never get held accountable for them. No political operative should ever be included a real debate and he shouldn't have been. They could have provided a Republican who is against impeachment. They could have provided one in the House (there are a number of House Republicans who would like to go on the show -- the 2004 RNC convention interviews Goodman did resulted in some good e-mails for some agreeing to them).

There are people with real convictions. They should be included in a debate.

I think he was included in the Democracy Now! debate because he represents (Goodman and Gonzalez would be correct) the real roadblock to impeachment. It's not Republicans, it's the political consultants for the Democrats.

It's a huge mistake. The consultants fear that their 2008 chances would be screwed up for a Dem White House win. (There's no proof to back up that fear.) They also fear that Bully Boy will manage to garner sympathy.

He won't. He's sympathy proof. The Dixie Chick moment demonstrated that. After all the talk about how he would address it, all the rehearsals (this wasn't NBC rehearsals, just to be clear, NBC's crew and Brokaw are probably unaware of all that went into that moment before they ever showed up with cameras), all the cautionary tips from Karen Hughes, Bully Boy still couldn't stick to the script. He still couldn't play it the way it was rehearsed.

He's too petty and too much of a bully. (Just like his mother.) A sympathetic moment is not something he can carry off. He can strut. He loves to strut. He just can't appeal to sympathy.
And he wouldn't be sympathetic. He'd get too cocky. He always does and he always has.

Jeb Bush can pull off sympathetic. Bully Boy can't. It's ingrained in him. Just to do those sincere moments during a national tragedy, he has to widen his eyes and pitch his voice higher (while speaking slower so he comes off like the only thing he forgot was his dunce cap).

That's the reality of the Bully Boy. And he's called the Bully Boy for two reasons. One after a great song by Pretenders. Two, he had nasty words with a close friend (years and years ago) when the friend noted that Big Babs was something of a Bully. He's more sensitive to that word than he is to "fat" and he's very obsessed with his weight. (Big Babs didn't want any fat kids.)
(As the Rolling Stones once sang, "You Can't Always Get What You Want . . .") (Third reason, he is a bully.)

Here's today's "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, July 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Cindy Sheehan debates a moron, Operation Happy Talk continues.

Starting with war resisters. From
September 2nd through September 26th, Agustin Aguayo was absent without leave. Aguayo self-checked out when facing a second deployment to Iraq and while his case was moving through the civilian courts. Aguayo was denied CO status by a military that doesn't know their own regulations. John A. Rogowsky Jr. is another, among many others, who have been wrongly denied CO status. From "Selective Service System: Fast Facts:" "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be." Despite that basic reality, Aguayo, Rogowsky and others have been told that they're not religious enough, that their religion is not recognized, when religion really is NOT required for CO status. In Aguayo's case, the military refused to recognize that time in Iraq deepened Aguayo's faith (already present when he enlisted).
Speaking with Don Bustany on
KPFK's Middle East in Focus Wednesday, Aguayo shared his story.and noted that when he arrived in Iraq in February of 2004, the medics were gathered for a speech that was in conflict in with the printed training material. They were told that they were medics and they were combat troops and that, "'You medics,' speaking to us, 'has to make it clear, has to make it clear in the minds of your infantry man that they must finish their job because if they don't then there will be more work for you'." As Aguayo looked around he saw acceptance and an eagerness to get back to the routine but "I could not accept that I was being told those things."
He also spoke of the eagerness to blame Iraqis for any problems as opposed to questioning the illegal war or the Bully Boy who sent them there. Aguayo began to realize, "I was a particiant, a supporter, of all the missions that took place." Today Aguayo is sharing his story publicly.
Mialka Bonadonna (LAist) reports he will be speaking tonight (Friday) in Los Angeles, 7:00 pm at 3303 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd floor.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Jared Hood and James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

From reality to Operation Happy Talk. The push-back is on and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno has enlisted.
Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) writes of the press briefing Odierno gave yesterday where he issued the talking points that US military deaths were falling. Parker rightly notes that seven deaths were announced after the press briefing and the one of the deaths announced on Thursday dated back to Sunday. The US military was delaying announcing deaths. Reality is that in terms of what has been annouced, the deaths were 67 on Thursday and that July is not yet over but July 2007 is already the deadliest July for US service members since the start of the illegal war. July 2006: 43 US service members were killed in Iraq. In July 2005 and July 2004, 54 US service members were killed in Iraq. In July 2003, 48 US service members were killed in Iraq.

Last week, Odierno enlisted in the push-back in a vareity of ways at a press briefing with reporters at the US Pentagon via video-link. In terms of downgrading expectations for the September report to the US Congress by the military, he declared that the report that was needed would come in November and clarified, "
What I was saying is -- again, my remarks were, in 45 days I will have a better idea if the trends are continuing, and that's September. Obviously, we have an assessment we will conduct in September that will provide -- that General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will provide. I was not looking at extending that time frame when they have to report back. What I imagine we'll have to do is do assessments that follow that initial assessment in September, and that's -- I'm assuming we'll continue to do assessments while we're here." Yesterday, Odierno stressed "trends" as well but forgot to include 7 deaths he should have known about in his remarks.

In addition, at the same press briefing, he attempted to yet again sell the non-proven link between resistance fighters in Iraq and the Iranian government. When pressed by reporters for evidence, Odierno's confident remarks of such a link were replaced with his statements that, "
We don't see any evidence -- significant evidence". And a third way he enlisted was in calling into question the right of an open debate in a free society when he took to suggesting that discussions in the media and in the US Congress about US forces withdrawing from Iraq, was 'emboldening' al Qaeda. Again, when pressed, Odierno had to back off from his original remarks and admit he had "no specific intelligence" on any such emboldening.

Operation Happy Talk is not confined to the US military brass and the US administration.
Andrew Grice (Independent of London) reports that the UK Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup (I did not make that name up) has declared, "We are very close to being able to hand over Basra in my judgement. Just when we will reach that point is at the moment uncertain but I am fairly confident it'll be in the second half of the year." Basra is one base, the Basra Palace (and it's also the last of four provinces the British military currently controls -- the other three were already turned over) Grice interprets Jock Stirrup's remarks to mean control of Basra could be handed off before the year's end; however, it could come much sooner. After all, British troops, the Soldiers of the Queen's Royal Hussars, proved they could hustle when they pulled out of the Maysan province with less than 24 hours notice after their base their repeatedly was attacked back in August. As Haidar Hani (AP) reported then that following the British hitting the road in 'stripped down mode': "Looters ravaged a former British base Friday . . . taking everything from doors and window frames to corrugated roofing and metal pipes". Iraqi authorites noted then that the British had only given them 24 hours notice that the departure was coming. As with that base, the Basra Palace has been under rocket and mortar attacks repeatedly. In addition, IRIN reports that approximately "150 doctors in Basra, Iraq's second largest city about 600km south of Baghdad, began a three-day strike on 23 July, demanding the government protect them and their families." This was to call attention to the lack of security and this comes as over "618 medical employees" have been killed since the start of the illegal war.

Turning to realities that US administration prefers we don't know.
Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) report that the White House "has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on." This is an agreed upon 'benchmark' by the US administration and Congress -- and one even Iraqis could agree to even though they were consulted when it was time to draw on benchmarks. When you can't meet the benchmark, this administration stops reporting it.
This approach is an affront to democracy and one of many the current administration has repeatedly shown not only to people in the US but to people around the world. Today,
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) hosted a debate on the issue of impeachment. All sides were represented, with Cindy Sheehan representing the pro-impeachment and Dan Gerstein representing the lunatic fringe. Gerstein is a Democratic Party Hack and not even a good one. His full credentials were not listed on the program and that's probably due to the fact that if he'd had to sit through even a partial litany of his many losses, he would have walked off on air.

Gerstein doesn't want impeachment. He doesn't think anything that's been done rises to the level of impeachment. He thinks the way to 'fix' is to vote Democrats into power in 2008 (he might want to check out his consulting p.r. faxes because I'm seeing something about him being in favor of Democrats "all things being equal"). To impeach the Bully Boy and/or Cheney would be a distraction that would harm the Democrats chances to regain the White House in 2008.

Gerstein's been more wrong than right when gazing into his crystal ball and that may say it all but for those who've forgotten his nasty snit-fits when his boy Joe Lieberman lost the primary to Ned Lamont, try google-ing.

The reality, as Cindy Sheehan pointed out, is that impeachment hasn't been a problem in terms of the White House. Gerstein is wrong, Sheehan is right. Gerstein tried to use the 1998 Congressional election (not a White House election) as an example. After the 2002 Congressional election demonstrated that no patterns were holding, no tea leafs could be read, Gerstein might try sticking to reality and leaving his fantasy land where he knows the outcome. (If he truly did, he might be a player and not a Lieberman lackey.)

From the broadcast:

CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, also in Article II, yeah, Clause 4, it says for treason and bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. I believe that -- and there's, you know, legal proof out there that when he commuted Scooter Libby's sentence, he committed treason, because Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing justice in the cover-up of the Bush administration outing Valerie Plame. And I believe that the American people will be behind this. The Democrats aren't trying to end the war. They just gave George Bush $120 billion more to wage it. And he has said the troops aren't coming home while he's president. So I think we need to look at it as human-based and not political. John Conyers told me in a meeting previously to the one we had on Monday that winning the presidency in '08 was more important to him than ending the war in Iraq. When are our leaders going to -- I guarantee there's 150,000 mothers in this country, who it's more important to them to end the war in Iraq and get their children home safely than who's president in '08. And I think, historically, when this impeachment has been tried, like I said before, the party who tried it, even though it hasn't been successful, has -- it has galvanized the base of that party to say, "Wow, our leaders are courageous. Our leaders have integrity. Our leaders are leading us from a moral base, not from political expediency."

It was hilarious to see the Sterile Gerstein LIE and we'll use the word even though he will take offense but that is reality. A liar, for instance, is someone who attacks Cindy Sheehan as an attention hog (or whatever the term he used) only a short time ago but pretends to have the upmost respect for her during the debate today. The Peace Mom cleaned his clock.
In today's violence,
CNN reports that 17 Iraqis -- count includes 2 women -- were killed by the US military and the Iraqi military today in Karbala with hospital officials reporting at least twenty-five wounded ("including women and children") had been brought to the hospital. To no one's surprise the US military is claiming "Not true!" The US military asserts, in the same press release -- keep that in mind, that "No Iraqi civilians were present in the area while the strike was performed" -- the strike involved "aeiral fires" -- and that this was "a raid in a neighborhood in Karbala." One of those, no doubt, ghost town neighborhoods in Karbala? By their own admission, the raid took place in a neighborhood. The raid took place during the sleeping hours. The raid involved air strikes as well as shooting on the ground. And there is the matter of the bodies of the dead and the wounded.

Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a man was killed in a Baghdad bombing when the car he was driving was stopped by assailants who put "explosives into his car" and then attempted to use the man and his car in an attack on a police check point (two police officers were wounded), a Baghdad mortar attack that left four wounded, two people wounded when "U.S. troops bombed Al Husseiniya district" in Baghdad, an Al Muqdadiyah roadside bombing claimed 1 life with five others wounded, a Kirkuk rocket attack that claimed 2 lives, and a Karbala roadside bombing targeting Brig. Gen. Raed Shakir Hamed that left 3 of his bodyguards killed while he survived. Reuters notes a Mahmudiya mortar attack that claimed the life of 1 woman and left a child and an adult wounded, that a Samarra roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 7 police officers so . . .


Reuters notes the Samarra police decided to open fire and 3 innocent civilians were killed (open fire after the bombing). Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Saidiyah and Adeeb Abdul Salam were shot dead in a Baghdad home invasion, a person shot dead in Buhruz and attorney Hussam Al Nahi was shot dead in Basra. Reuters notes an Iraqi soldier shot dead in Kirkuk.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 7 corpses discovered in Baghdad, two corpses delivered to Al Muqdadiyah hospital, 1 corpse discovered in Baquba. KUNA reports the corpses of five women were discovered in Mosul today and that the women had been kidnapped yesterday while returning from work.

Today, the
US military announced: "One Task Force Lightning Soldier died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion near his vehicle while conducting operations in Diyala province, Thursday." The death brings ICCC's current total to 3646 US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war with 67 killed for the month thus far.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Walking you through

Beth asked me to help her out by addressing the thing she woke up to discover "hundreds of e-mails on!" Beth is the ombudsperson for The Common Ills and handles members issues or concerns. She's going on vacation Friday and had already done this week's column (for the gina & krista round-robin). First, be sure to read the round-robin tomorrow because it does address this issue.

I'm probably the best person to address this issue (and glad to help Beth out) because C.I. was finishing up returning calls yesterday (after the snapshot posted), I grabbed C.I.'s laptop to check e-mails and started with the public account. So I was actually the first one to read both e-mails. I was also the first one to hit the roof over them. C.I. will hear criticism and consider it. It can be the most basic or the most off the wall and C.I. will give time to seriously consider it. At some point during this Elaine called about the snapshot and I filled her in.

Her attitude was not unlike me, outrage, immediate outrage. (By the way, check Like Maria Said Paz tonight because Elaine was writing about this while C.I. was still considering the e-mails. Since C.I. was going to address them, Elaine saved that to draft. Sunny will be posting Elaine's thing tonight -- Elaine has group on Thursdays -- so be sure to check that out.)

So here's how it went and let's cast the roles.

Want to be starring:

Centrist who trashes war resisters and IVAW
Centrist's friend, a woman regionally involved with a group that's supposed to be fighting to end the illegal war

Centrist has been whining for some time over one entry that mentioned him (Keesha correctly guessed who he is, her comments are noted in this morning's "Disciples of Christ say no to illegal war"). He originally wrote this threatening, abusive e-mail to C.I. where he attempted to intimidate C.I. and screamed all sorts of words like "loser" and "coward" and I don't remember what all. I didn't read that e-mail, I heard it about it from Ava. We were all going out and Ava was laughing at the little baby. She'd responded to him. So we were in the car heading out and Jim says, "All of that over one line about ___?" And Ava said, "Yeah, he's a crazy psycho." So that should have been the end of it. But then the crazy psycho writes this whine the next day. And he plays "injured party" and ends with some b.s. about do not write me, I will block you or something. (I did read that e-mail. I was laughing too hard at him confusing C.I. with Gina to remember much about it other than the ending.)

But that wasn't the end of it. He's repeatedly e-mailed. Calls come in from DC all the time asking C.I., "Are you aware that ____ is going around trashing you?"

C.I. didn't care. The guy's been mentioned once at the site and C.I.'s got real issues to address. (It should be noted that the one liner the whiner objected to could have been removed. Ava knew C.I. would offer that so when she responded in the first e-mail -- which was also homophobic, by the way -- she told Whiner all he had to do was reply that he wanted the one liner deleted and it would be. When C.I. wrote that, Mike, myself, Ava and a room of full people heard the entry before it went up. It was hilarious. We knew C.I. was going to cut the humor down, and did, but we were all begging for it to all go in.)

So then yesterday, the guy's back again and making these comments about a peace organization (as well as listing people he's tattling on C.I. too -- like C.I. gives a damn -- although, I wouldn't be surprised if those listed who have asked/begged for money find out that they will no longer be handed over sums by C.I.). Then he has his friend who is regionally in one of the organizations (and once held leadership) write in to vouch for what a sweetheart the PSYCHO is.

That's what I was talking about yesterday, by the way, how before any woman rushes in to vouch for a man to another woman, SHE BETTER DAMN WELL KNOW WHAT HAS GONE DOWN.

For some reason, before anything else, she has to mention that group repeatedly. With the pyscho already having mentioned "link" I took it (and so did Elaine) to be, "Uh, oh, you're in trouble." But you know what, that organization BEGS for money from C.I. and that organization does nothing for The Common Ills. It has never linked to TCI, it has never noted TCI. So if there's any "trouble" (I checked the e-mails and neither of the two wrote back), it's for the organization.

Most know who it is and Ty says it's a "firestorm" back home with people saying, "F*ck them" and "Screw them" when friends are showing up to talk to C.I. about this (C.I. is on the road, we both are, speaking against the illegal war). The woman who repeatedly plugged her tightness with the organization should make it clear if she was speaking for it or not before C.I. gets back home because people are out for blood -- and can you blame them?

"Coward" is the favorite word of the Psycho Centrist. It's among the words he applied to war resisters. Which is why it's always been so funny to me that he's so offended by a one liner (on him) from C.I. But for that ___ (his friend) to write her dumb ass e-mail was offensive not only because she didn't (I hope) know of her friend's previous psycho e-mailing but also because she was saying that they were "on the same page."

No. This community is not on the same page as anyone who trashes war resisters. Not now, not ever. That she is, while tossing out the organization's name repeatedly, begs the question of whether or not she's speaking for herself or for the organization? If she's speaking for the organization, my judgement is that the organization is now useless.

You can't say you're for peace and also decide to stand with someone who attacks war resisters and you can't defend attacks on war resisters. Not when you need money. Because people who have forked in the past aren't going to if your new position is that war resisters either can be attacked or that you agree with the attacks.

It's that simple.

What offended C.I. the most wasn't PSYCHO who had been dealt with and was being ignored, it was his friend rushing in to defend him and to assert that support for war resisters was so unimportant that those defending war resisters are "nit picking."

That woman is a NIT WIT. And anyone who can't speak up for war resisters is already shameful, those who attack war resisters are appalling. That Nit Wit can't grasp that makes me question the organization she repeatedly notes in her e-mail.

I find it hilarious that PSYCHO gets praise near universally from all over (apparently including an alleged peace organization) and C.I. makes one crack about his weight and that's just too much for PSYCHO.

That's really all this is about on his end. C.I. deconstructed the public statements by PSYCHO trashing war resisters and IVAW and made a crack about PSYCHO's weight and that's what PSYCHO can't let go of. As Jess will tell you, PSYCHO's repeatedly e-mailed with press and video clippings and noting that he doesn't think he looks fat in those.

Now Ava (in her only reply) told PSYCHO if the weight crack bothered the little centrists, all he had to do was e-mail and say so because she was sure C.I. would remove it. (Based on how much C.I. had already removed before the entry posted.) But here's the thing, he's making fun of IVAW and war resisters and someone pointing out how wrong he is there and then including a pot shot back at him -- at his weight -- and it's THE END OF THE WORLD. If PSYCHO used half the time working out that he has noting his weight repeatedly in e-mail after e-mail, he might not be overweight.

(Elaine will tell you that C.I. has always known instinctively where to hit when it's time to respond. She can give example after example. Having seen PYSCHO's nonsense, I see how right she is.)

But he took shots at war resisters and IVAW, big tough talking baby, and then wants to scream "unfair" when someone notes his very obvious weight. Talk about being able to dish out but not take it.

C.I. defends war resisters. One of the few voices who do. It's not a half-way defense or support, it's out there loud and publicly. And that one person will call PSYCHO out for attacking war resisters is one voice too many for PSYCHO.

I got yesterday how offensive it was for that woman to interject herself into this issue. And I addressed it in terms of, ___ you don't know what went down, shut your mouth till you find out.

But today, I'm getting more and more how offensive it was on the level that C.I. saw it from the start. Because C.I. didn't take the e-mail personally, C.I. saw it as an announcement on behalf of an organization that it was now okay to attack war resisters. (C.I. rarely takes any of the crap in e-mails personally. Instead, it's consider the critique and then address it. But if C.I. took it personally, there would be tears every time a whiner with the New York Times writes to show of the kind of language they apparently use all the time.)

I should probably talk about that. "Tone" isn't a concern with C.I. People can and do gripe in any language and C.I. doesn't care. When they threaten, that's different. Threatening e-mails are not e-mails with name calling. Threatening e-mails are not some reporter whining how unfair C.I. is and using colorful language. Threats are threats, bullying is bullying. That's not tolerated.

Except apparently by an organization allegedly committed to peace. And that was and it is the issue. I missed that yesterday. But if that organization is saying it's open season on war resisters because they've found some new voices to hide behind, then that organization is saying something very frightening and very appalling.

The organization is going to be named in the roundtable that's going on right now. It should be. I'm sure C.I. is pointing out that this isn't anyone with the organization in national leadership. But the fact that anyone with the organization thinks that attacks and smears on war resisters is okay is troubling.

So that's what's going on and I hope I did a good enough job of this that Beth doesn't have to address it (other than anything arising from tonight's roundtable) when she gets back from vacation.

Now somewhere in here I was saving a space for C.I.'s "Dear Drama Queen" -- I can't find the space now. (I need a big computer screen, not a laptop one.) But that's the response. I'd also suggest you read Cedric's "The quiz" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! TAKE THE QUIZ!" They came up with that after we had all been doing a phone conference about just this issue. Wally will not post without getting to use C.I. as a test audience so it went up late in case you missed it.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, July 26, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, jock boys in the press treat a soccer match (not even a title win) as bigger news than 50 dead, the White House is all a titter over Bully Boy's upcoming meeting with Gordon Brown, the US military announces multiple deaths in Iraq (announces seven deaths, not the five many press outlets are reporting), the refugee crisis continues, and more.

Starting with war resisters.
The San Francisco Chapter of Veterans for Peace (Chapter 69) and Asian Pacific Islanders Resist have penned an op-ed (San Francisco Bay Guardian) noting that responsibilities don't fly out the window during an illegal war. In this section, they address the kanagroo courts that those who speak out face in the alleged name of military 'justice': "Many soldiers of conscience who dared to speak openly about the immorality and illegality of the war have been court-martialed and imprisoned. Their cases, dating back to 2004, raise serious doubts about the capacity of our soldiers to receive justice in our military courts. Five months prior to the Abu Ghraib scandal, a soft-spoken Army soldier named Camilo Mejía was visibly upset by the atrocities he observed during his tour of duty in Iraq. Repulsed by the slaughter of civilians and the needless deaths of American GIs -- all reported in his riveting combat memoir, Road from Ar Ramadi (New Press, 2007) -- Mejía gathered his courage and made formal complaints to his superiors. Commanders refused to listen and questioned his patriotism. Eventually Mejía was sentenced to a year in prison for speaking out, for telling the truth. His trial, like subsequent trials of war resisters, was a travesty of justice. The judge, Col. Gary Smith, ruled that evidence of the illegality of the war was inadmissible in court, that international law is irrelevant, and that a soldier's only duty is to follow orders, regardless of their legality. In essence, Mejía spent months in prison for upholding the rule of law in wartime. Had commanders listened to Mejía, had judges respected due process and the rule of law, the Abu Ghraib scandal that humiliated our troops might never have occurred."

Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia is Mejia's story of becmoing the first Iraq veteran to publicly become a war resisters (Stephen Funk is the first known war resisters in this illegal war and his resistance began when he refused to take part in an illegal war). Along with detailing the court-martial, Mejia also explains how, as that was about to get underweigh, the US military suddenly needed him to refile his CO application. Why? Well he'd outlined abuses and the military had ignored them so refiling it would make it appear that he was just then, as the court-martial approached, for the first time, noting the abuses he'd witnessed. Another point in the Mejia case that is often overlooked is that the US military was in violation of their own rules. Non-US citizen Mejia's eight-year contract was coming to an end. From Iraq, he and superiors made a call during which Mejia learned that his mother had contacted their senator (US Senator Bill Nelson) who had already made an issue of this -- as a noncitizen, Mejia could not be extended. That was the rule and Mejia was informed of that on the phone, when he repeated that and handed the phone to his superior, the superior "lost" the call. The same military that refused to grant Mejia CO status was also in violation of their own rules and this was all before Mejia self-checked out. That's why mainstream (or alternative) media dubbing Mejia a "deserter" without ever exploring those facts is more than a little simplistic.

Mejia's book came out in May and is one of two books published by war resisters this year.
Joshua Key's
The Deserter's Tale is the other one and, in it, Key outlines his own experiences in Iraq and how he came to the decision to self-check out. Joshua and Brandi Key and their children went underground and then moved to Canada. The Deserter's Tale has repeatedly won positive reviews since its release including an unwritten 'rave' from the US military which so enjoyed it, they sent two members to Canada to pose as Canadian police officers and badger Winnie Ng as to Key's whereabouts. Though far less fanatical, Phil Shannon (Autralia's Green Left Weekly) recently reviewed the book and found it to be
"told with unadorned but compelling simplicity, follows the life-altering path of a US citizen who turned from super-patriot to war-resister."

Currently, war resister
Agustin Aguayo is on a speaking tour telling his story and The Acorn reports that Aguayo will speak this Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Grant Brimhall, Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. James Rd., that the event is "free and open to the public" and more information is available by calling (805) 375-9939. War resister Pablo Paredes will also be at the event.

This comes as
Terry Lee Goodrich (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) reports on yesterday's meeting of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly during which they passed a resolution "opposing the war in Iraq as contrary to Jesus' teachings" and
supporting war resisters who refuse to serve in the illegal war based upon church teachings.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Jared Hood and James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

Meanwhile, the White House has to deal with not one but two reports in September. On September 15th, General David Petraeus will present his report detailing the 'progress' resulting from Bully Boy's escalation of US troops in Iraq (approximately 160,000 are now on the ground).
Robin Wright (Washington Post) reveals the General Accounting Office will also be presenting a report on September 1st: "The GAO's international affairs team has had far more experience in Iraq than the study group led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) or any of the other independent panels that have weighed in on Iraq. Indeed, the study group consulted the GAO team in preparing its report. Over the past four years, the GAO has issued 91 reports on Iraq, on topics including the mismanagement of Iraq's oil industry and problems in its new army.The GAO team is back in Iraq this week doing research to make its own assessment of the 18 benchmarks covered by the administration's reports." The 'benchmarks' were pushed by the White House and Congress mandated them. These are the same 'benchmarks' that the White House and the US military now attempts to play down as part of the push-back on the September deadline.

They aren't pushing back against the US Congress which still has no real desire to end the illegal war, instead they are pushing back against public opinion domestically which repeatedly finds approximately 70% of Americans are opposed to Bully Boy's illegal war of choice with 61% now wanting any futher funding of the illegal war to come with a timeline for withdrawal.

Norman Solomon observes (at Common Dreams), "Despite all the talk about how members of Congress have been turning against the war, few are clearly advocating a genuine end to U.S. military intervention in Iraq" and that the media joins in prolonging the illegal war, "Media outlets will keep telling us that the U.S. government is developing serious plans to 'leave' Iraq. But we would be foolish to believe those tall tales. The antiwar movement has an enormous amount of grassroots work to do -- changing the political terrain of the United States from the bottom up -- before the calculus of political opportunism in Washington determines that it would be more expedient to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq than to keep it going under one guise or another." Solomon details the efforts by PBS' NewsHour and Time magazine to mitigate public outrage, " The game involves dangling illusionary references to 'withdrawal' in front of the public" while no real withdrawal is being proposed and Solomon cites IPS' Phylis Bennis on yesterday's House amendment regarding permanent bases in Iraq, "The bill states an important principle opposing the 'establishment' of new bases in Iraq and 'not to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.' But it is limited in several ways. It prohibits only those bases which are acknowledged to be for the purpose of permanently stationing U.S. troops in Iraq; therefore any base constructed for temporarily stationing troops, or rotating troops, or anything less than an officially permanent deployment, would still be accepted. Further, the bill says nothing about the need to decommission the existing U.S. bases already built in Iraq; it only prohibits 'establishing' military installations, implying only new ones would be prohibited."

Meanwhile the press corps are in a frenzy over
a gaggle where White House flack Tony Snow confirmed that, grab the tissues, Bully Boy will host new UK prime minister Gordon Brown at Camp David. A two day meeting -- Sunday and Monday! And "they'll have a dinner" after Brown arrives Sunday. They'll take meeting "the following day." Of course, it's really not news since it's been in the British papers for days but let's all pretend and pretend that Tony Snow wasn't short on specifics, "This will be their first meeting" . . . well "at least here in the States" . . . "since Mr. Brown has become Prime Minister." Snow was probably closer to reality when he noted that the two would cover "sort of the predictable topics".

In other "feel good" news,
Richard A. Oppel Jr and Qais Mizher (New York Times) gush excitedly over a soccer game (one that is apparently so important, the paper front pages an AFP photo by Ali Yussef of boys and men running around in a frenzy) including two paragraphs on the fact that at least 50 Iraqis DIED while offering 17 paragraphs about the games and 'reactions' which the reporters didn't actually observe. But why should at least 50 dead interfere with selling 'good news' and letting alleged reporters grab their moment to play "Boys will be boys"?

Left out of their mouth breathing coverage are any women and why bother there? Why bother intruding on a jock moment with some actual reality? As
IRIN has noted, women activists in Iraq are under attack and receiving no support from the US and WFO's Haifaa Nour explains, "I know my life is under threat and I might be killed at any time especially for refusing to wear a veil or other traditional clothes, but if I do so, I will just be abetting the extremists." But the jock boys are too busy tearing off their shirts, beating their sunken chests and pounding away on the keyboards to note any of that reality. The jock boys also miss out on what some see as a telling bit of information. Angeel Hussein (Telegraph of London) observes, "American attempts to co-opt Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad have suffered a set back after Sunni and Shia Muslim militants in a key district of the city forged an alliance against United States forces. . . . the al-Girtani tribe reached across Iraq's sectarian divide, in what is believed to be the first partnership of its kind. 'We fought the Shia because of pressure from al-Qa'eda,' said Turki al-Girtani, the tribe leader. 'Now after they were beaten we have to refocus on the real enemy, which is the US army'." Rah, rah, boys of the New York Times, rah, rah!

BBC reports on the conference in Jordan to explore the Iraqi refugee crisis (4 million refugees when internally and externally displaced are counted) and notes the UN estimates 50,000 Iraqi refugees are being created each month. The CBC notes that Jordan has an estimated 750,000 Iraqi refugees and that they are asking for help. Voices in the Wilderness Kathy Kelly (CounterPunch) observes, "The U.S. could direct the amount of money spent on just six hours of the war in Iraq and fully meet the UNHCR request to assist millions of people who have barely survived this U.S. 'war of choice'." In other news of money spent or not spent, James Glanz (New York Times) continues to report on the contract waste in Iraq, noting today, "One of the largest American contractors working in Iraq, Bechtel National, met its original objectives on fewer than half of the projects it received as part of a $1.8 billion reconstruction contract, while most of the rest were canceled, reduced in scope or never completed as designed, federal investigators have found in a report released yesterday." [Glanz' article appears on A6 within the paper and has no 'cheery' photo illustrating the paper's front page.]

Despite the rah-rah over a sports match, violence continued in Iraq today including in the land of the 'crackdown' Baghdad.
CBS and AP report on a Baghdad car bombing that claimed the lives of at least 21 (at least sixty wounded) and left smoke billowing "into the sky after the thunderous explosion" while "nine cars burned" as well as a three story building. Paul Tait (Reuters) reports the death toll has climbed to at least 25 with at least 115 wounded and that the death toll is expected to climb while describing the scene, "Bodies lay strewn around the street after the blast, which smashed three buildings into piles of masonry and concrete. It was at least the fourth to hit the predominantly Shi'ite district of Karrada this week."

In other violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that claimed 4 lives in the south, one in the west that claimed 6 lives (including an Iraqi soldier), a Hilla bombing that claimed 7 lives (five of which were police officer), Reuters notes mortar attacks in Mosul that claimed 1 life and left seven wounded.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 5 police officers were killed in Tikrit "while chasing gunmen" and the Karrada shooting death of Abdul Satar Abdul Jabar who had been "a general manager in the ministry of housing and rebuilding." Reuters notes three police officers shot dead in Yarubiya.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 20 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes two corpses discovered in Latifiya ("blindfolded, handcuffed and riddled with bullets").

Today the
US military announced: "One MNC-I Soldier was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated during clearing operations in Baghdad July 24." That death took place two days ago and was announced today. And they announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West died July 22 in a non-combat related incident in Al Anbar Province." That death took place four days ago and was announced today. And they announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed during a small arms fire engagement in a southern section of the Iraqi capital July 25." That death took place one day ago. And they announced: "Three Marines and one Sailor assigned to Multi National Force-West died July 24 while conducting combat operations in Diyala Province." Those deaths took place two days ago and were announced today. Before someone wants to harp on "time differences" all announcements are coming out of Baghdad. Also note that this is seven deaths and not, as so many in the press are reporting, five deaths. It's easy to be confused with the MNF's new pattern of delaying death announcements -- but the press isn't commenting on that either. The totals currently at ICCC are 3645 US service members killed in the illegal war since it started with 66 for the month thus far.

Svea Herbst-Bayliss (Reuters) reports that the parents of Jeffrey Lucey have filed a federal lawsuit against the US government over the suicide of their son "in his parents' Massachusetts basement less than a year after returning home from fighting during the invasion of Iraq in 2003" with the father, Kevin Lucey, maintaining, "The government is guilty of not taking care of the troops after they come home."

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) interviewed Iraqi Nesreen (last name withheld) and Brooklyn teacher Bruce Wallace about their project to dispell "the other" and bridge the physical distance between Iraqi and US students. From the broadcast:

AMY GOODMAN: Nesreen, let's begin with you. Talk about the situation in Baghdad, what it's like for you to teach, for your kids to go to school.
NESREEN: Well, everything is difficult in Baghdad. Me, as a teacher, when I go to school, it is hard to get to my school, simply because the American troops are there in the streets, and they sometimes close all the streets or sometimes they are stuck or stop in the streets to -- you know, it's a kind of delay there will be for going to school, and looking for landmines or trying to attack some people, some Iraqi people, looking for insurgents.
And on my way to school, I saw many, many bad things, such as dead bodies or sometimes the random shooting all of a sudden started. And when I go to a school, sometimes I find students and sometimes very few students and sometimes no students.
JUAN GONZALEZ: In terms of the -- the images that we see here, obviously, in the United States, when they are presented, are of constant bombings that occur on an almost daily basis. On a day-to-day level for your students, what is life like? Does that violence -- is it there constantly or is it once in a while?
NESREEN: Constantly. Yeah, because, you know, the situation is very, very difficult right there in the school. Some of my students stopped coming to school, because their parents were threatened or family is threatened, some of them afraid to come to school because of the bad situation in the streets or afraid of kidnapping, things like that.
[. . .]
AMY GOODMAN: How about your kids in the Brooklyn school? We asked Nesreen about her girls. What about the effect of this email exchange with your kids? How old are they?
BRUCE WALLACE: They're high school students in Brooklyn, so they are between twelve and eighteen years old. For them, it was partly an awakening of knowledge, and for myself also. I have a few college degrees. I went up to the Master's level. I knew nothing about Iraq. I had to look for it on the map. I knew nothing about the culture, nothing about the people. For me, it was an awakening, and for my students also. I remember one email that said, "Oh, you hear Jay-Z in Baghdad?" We just had no idea of who these people were, and little by little learned to understand them as people very much like ourselves. And that was a very powerful thing for the students.

No front page photo on the New York Times of that.

Finally, in political news,
CBS and AP report, "Iraq's Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi's office said the moderate Sunni leader had met with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker on Wednesday to discuss his political bloc's objections to the leadership of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The meeting occurred on the same day al-Hashemi's Iraqi Accordance Front suspended membership in the government, a bid that appeared timed to deepen disenchantment in Washington with the Shiite prime minister's faltering leadership." Things get worse for the puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki but, by all means, let's all focus on a soccer game.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Abusive men hide behind and are enabled by women

Let's get real for a moment here. Men who abuse do so because they think they can get away with it. And often times, they think that because some other women has allowed them to think that.

When a woman rushes in to offer defense of a man, she might need to check herself first and figure out if her wonderful buddy is so wonderful.

A former friend of mine felt the need when Toni broke up with a "prince" to come running and telling Toni that she needed to take him back. The "prince" was a prince. A wonderful guy. Reality is that Toni ended up in the ER before she sent him packing. Reality is that he had charges pressed against him (and got convicted). Toni had told me to share this story sometime because what really shocked her the most wasn't that the "prince" turned out to be an abusive asshole (and a convicted one) but that a woman would come to her (one she'd never spoken to) in the name of 'friendship' and 'sisterhood' to explain how wonderful the "prince" was.

It was none of this busybodies business, but Toni did explain that he'd beaten her up. To which the idiot replied, "Oh, well he's under a lot of pressure at work."

Toni ended with a broken arm, two black eyes and a tooth knocked out and some stupid little ___ wants to tell her it's no big deal and Toni should be understanding because the "prince" has a tough job.

That's f**king bullsh*t.

Toni knows I never have any idea what to write about here and often freak at the idea of five posts a week. She said, "Share that sometime, I won't mind." So thank you, I will.

Seeing the "prince" turn into a nightmare was a shock. Getting beat up was a shock. But to have another woman come to her and tell Toni she needed to take the "prince" back went beyond shock especially after Toni explained that he had beaten her up and the woman still wanted to make excuses for him.

C.I.'s not been beat up (I think C.I. would kill any man who tried and I'm not joking). But C.I. got a threatening e-mail awhile back from a loser bully and today the loser bully wrote again. I went into the e-mails looking for something to me (I get my e-mail at the unless you are a community member -- community members use the private e-mail accounts). I saw the bully had written again and had already heard from Ava and Jess about the bully's more recent e-mails. The bully is a whining centrist who has been whining over and over after his initial abusive e-mail (which C.I. didn't respond to -- C.I. doesn't respond to nut jobs). I read it and thought, "How pathetic."

Then I found an e-mail from a woman telling C.I. basically to forgive Mr. Abusive and that C.I. and Mr. Abusive were on the "same page." ____ needs to buy a damn clue if she thinks for a minute C.I. is on the "same page" with any man who threatens women.

Now today's idiot is with an alleged peace organization. I say alleged and you know immediately which one I'm talking about due to a recent post. If it is the new position of that organization that they do not support war resisters or IVAW, they can march their happy little asses out of this community. This community might be the last support they have currently because they're not really doing much that matters these days.

If the idiot was writing on behalf of the organization, I will be posting a blistering commentary on how the organization became useless. And I may name the little ___ who thinks the natural thing to do is defend a man to a woman he has threatened.

C.I. has avoided the bastard's e-mails. Every few e-mails the bastard writes that he's never writing again but then he's back again causing laughter from Ava and Jess as the bastard includes multiple links to this interview he gave or this print article on him.

I think it's great that they can laugh. But I'm older than they are and I know a thing about abusive men from my own life as well as friend's experiences.

I don't find it funny, I don't find it amusing.

And if the woman's unaware of how her 'friend' speaks to other women, that's her own damn fault. No one asked her to write another woman to forgive the jerk. Except maybe the jerk.
But here's a tip for women everywhere. If a woman doesn't like a man, she's usually got a reason. She doesn't need you to rush in to try to make peace. If a woman doesn't like a man, if she really doesn't like him, she usually has her reasons and you should DAMN well respect that.
When you don't, you not only do harm to one woman, you do harm to all women and you let little LIARS who abuse women or threaten women think they can continue to get away with it because all they have to do is go running to another woman and she'll smooth it over.

C.I.'s not going to let this be smoothed over, nor should that happen.

Women who want to stop the abuse of women would do DAMN WELL to stop defending men for things they didn't see happen.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, Ann Wright explains what John Conyers can't grasp (or pretends not to grasp), Katrina vanden Heuvel thinks being editor & publisher means playing favorites, Baraba Lee proves there are some leaders in Congress, Tina Richards proves there are truth tellers, BBC tells about back in the day when the Bush family tried to overthrow FDR, and more.

Starting with war resistance. Today on
KPFK's Uprising, Sonali Kohatkar interviewed Agustin Aguayo and Helga Aguayo. Aguayo self-checked out the US military at the start of September on the eve of his second deployment to Iraq (and while his CO requests were being ignored to such a point that they were now fighting in the civilian courts) and turned himself before the end of the month. Earlier this year, in Germany, Aguayo was court-martialed. He is now speaking out about his experiences.

Agustin explained to Kohatkar that the time since being released from military prison and returning to the United States have been an adjustment becuase "for so long I was part of a system where everything was laid out." Helga spoke of what it was like for her when the persecution of her husband was taking place, "It's been very difficult. . . . It's been very stressful. My health has detirated a little but I'm getting stronger." Helga and Agusin are the parents of twin daughters (12-year-olds). Agustin declared that he speaks now to get the word out and "something of great importance to me is reaching out to the youth". Agustin noted the recruitment efforts targeting young people today and hopes that by speaking he can count that "and share with them the other side of the story, the side advertisements and recruiters won't ever tell them."

In addition to the false promises recruiters to make to all children (generally the children of low income families), Kohatkar noted that there is also the promise of citizenship offered to those who will fight in the US military although they are not citizens. Kohatkar noted that 32,000 immigrants had been naturalized as a result of serving in the US miltiary.

Reflecting on his awakening (it was a religious awakening and Agustin has spoken of it in those terms), Agustin stated, "I came to see myself as what I truly am. A person that is peaceful. . . . The missions I was participating in were not naturally peaceful ones so I regret some of them."

Helga spoke to the issues of what can be done from the outside. She termed the period during which the military was persecuting her husband "sheer terror for us" and spoke of living in fear that the military would physically harm if she spoke out or retaliate against him. What she discovered was, "The louder I spoke, the more support I got. The louder I spoke, the more media attention it got him. So I had to get over my fear."

Where things stand now is that Agustin is "still part of the military" and "basically I have a legal right to appeal my court-martial". Kohtkar asked what was the worst that could happen right now? Noting the current "political environment," Agustin pointed out that "recently Marines and soldiers with the inactive-ready reserves have been prosecuted for speaking out." That would include
Adam Kokesh (Cloy Richards and Liam Madden have also been among those harassed). Agustin also noted how many were leaving the military often "in a quiet way without making any statements, including to their family." Helga credited IVAW and others with "The moral support, the guidance" they offered and noted, "I do believe that we can stop this war. You know the politicians have failed us and now it's up to us. . . . Maybe I'm being too optimistic but I think that eventually we can stop this war."

Aguayo is telling his story publicly and
The Acorn reports that Aguayo will speak this Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Grant Brimhall, Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. James Rd., that the event is "free and open to the public" and more information is available by calling (805) 375-9939. War resister Pablo Paredes will also be at the event.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Jared Hood and James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one 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, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters.

Now let's turn to periodical news and the biggest laugh (cited by friends at two networks and three daily papers),
the Peace Resister Katrina vanden Heuvel. Itwas embarrassing enough that (once again) she was pushing a group on her blog (Editor's Cut) whose board both she and her father serve on (without DISLCOSING THAT while lavishing praise on the centrist group). But she's not a journalist. She's not a trained jouranlist and she continues to run The Nation as if it is the Palm Beach Social Pictoral and not an alleged independent weekly.

Today she demonstrates that not only may the posts editor and publisher beyond her grasp but so may be basic comprehension. In the Democratic 'debate' this week, US Senator Barack Obama was asked a question and offered a response. It demonstrated his lack of experience
but Katrina vanden Heuvel drums up the case against Hillary Clinton and pushes the DLC Barack Obama by altering reality. "In Monday's debate," she writes, "and with the benefit of having time to think through her response, Hillary Clinton posed as the foreign policy sophisticate to Barack Obama the bold leader who did not hesitate to say that he would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela." No that is not what happened.

Transcript of the 'debate' (New York Times) shows Obama was asked if he would "meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?" The first year. Would he meet in the first year. Obama responded, "I would." Blah blah blah followed.

David Corn gets it right. And it is a mistake. (Tim Russert slipped in "insurgent Obama" on NBC's Today this morning.) There is nothing wrong with diplomatic meetings, they should be encouraged. But Katrina vanden Heuvel fudges reality to make it appear that's the issue when it isn't. Obama agreed to meetings his first year in office. You don't do that. You don't show your hand in that way and you certainly don't announce first year meetings when you're not even in office. This has nothing to do with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez or any other leader, it has nothing to do with other countries. It has everything to do with the way diplomacy is conducted. You can indicate you're willing to consider it, you don't say, "Yes, I will have those meetings." In terms of the way diplomacy is conducted and in terms of the way Obama's mistake will continue to play out, David Corn is correct.

Corn writes for The Nation. Katrina vanden Heuvel holds the magazine's posts of editor and publisher. Disagreeing with a writer for the magazine -- someone serving under -- publicly might or might not be 'bad form' but the fact that she then holds up another writer at the magazine is causing huge laughs: "My colleague Ari Berman posted his smart and sharp counter to David's argument . . ." As the editor and the publisher, vanden Heuvel should give the appearance of detatchment with regards to those working beneath her. Instead, she picks a favorite. Again, she's not trained in journalism. But she sure did provide a lot of laughter today.

Berman also shades reality by changing the issue at stake (the first year vanishes from Berman's critique as it did from Katrina vanden Heuvel's). Now let's get to the real reality here. (Friends pushed for this to be noted but that alone wouldn't have gotten it included in the snapshot.) The tongue baths of Obama from The Nation are appalling.
As Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford have explained, Barack Obama was DLC in 2004. He only ran from it when it threatened to become harmful. Katrina vanden Heuvel and Ari Berman are gushing over Obama. They are far, far from reality. Barack Obama repeatedly stated in 2004 that the US could not withdraw from Iraq. He repeatedly (publicly and privately) went on record being opposed to a withdrawal. Why is it that an alleged left magazine has elected not to explore that and instead play cheerleader for him? (While giving non-stop hisses to Hillary Clinton.)

The Nation's not trying to end the illegal war. A strong but ultimately meaningless editorial every two years is not trying to end the illegal war.
An article that boasts of "dozens" of photos of abuse to Iraqis being turned over to the magazine that fails to feature any of those photographs isn't trying to end the illegal war or even to be a distant relation of journalism. But the magazine wants to pretend (and really needs) it cares about the illegal war. If it cares about the illegal war, it's past time for the magazine to get honest about Barack Obama. It's beyond time for them to quit repeating the mainstream narrative of how Barack was right about the illegal war before it started unlike Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd without noting that repeatedly in 2004, Barack Obama argued that the US must not withdraw, must 'win' the illegal war, etc. The one who wants credit for being right that the illegal war was wrong also needs to take his blame for saying that an illegal war should continue to drag on. Pretending otherwise isn't helping anyone.

Pretending that Congressional leaders are attempting to end the illegal war isn't helping anyone either.
Tina Richards (via Democracy Rising) notes the obvious that's treated as if it must be kept unspoken -- the Levin-Reed Amendment will not "bring our troops home" or "end the war": "I had an opportunity to ask [Senate Majority] Leader [Harry] Reid about how many troops will be abandoned in Iraq. He bluntly stated, 'we haven't spoken to the military yet, at this stage we don't know.' We don't know? They have pushed and prodded for this Amendment and they don't know? If Members of Congress do not have any idea how large of a future force this amendment calls for, then how can we as military families possibly support it? Senator Reid has admitted that this proposed 'pull-out plan' does nothing yet leave the decision up to the military leadership, who take their direction from President Bush. It must be made clear to the public that the Levin-Reed Amendment does not call for a specific withdrawal from Iraq nor does it seek to revamp the American mission in the region."

Funding the war is Killing The Troops. The message of Tina Richards' Grassroots America and Iraq Veterans Against the War. It's basic, it's easy to communicate. Want to bring the troops home safely? Stop funding the illegal war. Want to stop the US military air war on Iraq? Stop funding the illegal war.

Want to stop the illegal war? Stop farming yourself as the Pep Squad for Democratic Leadership in Congress which refuses to end the illegal war but prefers 'symbolic' action and shell games.

Appearing on
KPFK 's Radio Active yesterday, Cindy Sheehan explained to host Michael Slate why she was running for the Congressional seat currently held by Nancy Pelosi (who also holds the title of House Majority Leader). Sheehan explained that, in light of US House Rep John Conyers' public promises (that the MSM has ignored) in recent days, she was hopeful going into the meeting on Monday with Conyers. The meeting didn't go well. Sheehan explained that Conyers said they didn't have the votes "he doesn't want to look foolish . . . Fox News would have a field day with that." Conyers proposed that the answer was in voting for Democrats in 2008. Sheehan explained that this is an example of how "the two-party system that really gets nothing done. Congress has made themselves invalid and irrelevant . . . I think it's about time that they do their job." And if they won't, then it is up to the voters, Sheehan explained, noting that the most recent legislation has shown "more earmarks for defense spending than the Republicans did."

Today on
KPFK Uprising featured a Global Voices for Justice interview with John Conyers that was taped over the weekend. Conyers described the situtation as "really bad. We've never been in this situation before, with someone like that in the White House." But, Conyers wanted the public to understand, "You don't have to be in office to get impeached. You can get impeached for something you did in office."

Conyers is off his rocker or insane. The US Congress has never impeached a non-sitting president. In a two-party system, such a move would provide both parties pause. It is insane to think (or suggest, as Conyers did) that the impeachment of the Bully Boy can take place after 2008, after he leaves office. Right now, with him occupying the White House, it is like moving mountains to get the Congressional leaders just to acknowledge the option of impeachment exists. We're supposed to believe that will change after Bully Boy leaves office?

Conyers also declared that Congress has "a job . . . We're supposed to be creating legislation for the country." If he really believes that lie, then in 2009, won't Congress still have "a job to do"? Won't they still need to create legislation?

But Conyers wanted to lie and declare that impeachment "means there's no more legislation. . . . That's it."

On Radio Active yesterday, retired diplomat and retired Col. Ann Wright addressed Conyer's nonsense noting that there were plenty of people in DC who could be added to Congressional staffs: "You can do more than 2 or 3 things at once that there are plenty of young men and young women in this town that could be hired onto committees to do a multiple number of things. And should not we the people of the United States have a little bit of accountabiliy for this administration when we know what's being going on? And when we elected a Congress, changed the Congress around so that the Democrats are in charge specifically to get some accountability -- and now those same Democrats are backing off from it."

Jimmy Breslin addressed the topic of impeachment this week (Newsday via Common Dreams):

The other day, Bush said he couldn't understand why in the world would some people say that millions of Americans have no health insurance. "Why, all they have to do is go to the emergency room," he said.

Said this with the smirk, the insolent smug, contemptuous way he speaks to citizens.

People, particularly these politicians, these frightened beggars in suits, seem petrified about impeachment. It could wreck the country.

Ridiculous. I've been around this business twice and we're all still here and no politician was even injured. Richard Nixon lied during a war and helped get some 58,500 Americans killed and many escaped by hanging onto helicopter skids. Nixon left peacefully. Mike Mansfield of Montana, the Democratic Senate majority leader, said on television that the Senate impeachment trial of Nixon would be televised and there would be no immunity. That meant Nixon would have to face the country under oath and if he lied he would go to prison. He knew he was finished as he heard this. Mansfield said no more. He got up and left. Barbara Walters, on the "Today" show, said, "He doesn't say very much, does he?"

The second time the subject was Bill Clinton for illegal holding in the hallway.

This time, we have dead bodies involved. Consider what is accomplished by the simple power of the word impeachment. If you read these broken-down news writers or terrified politicians claiming that an impeachment would leave the nation in pieces, don't give a moment to them.

It opens with the appointing of an investigator to report to the House on evidence that calls for impeachment. He could bring witnesses forward. That would be all you'd need. Here in the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon came John Dean. His history shows how far down the honesty and honor of this country has gone. Dean was the White House counsel. Richard Nixon, at his worst, never told him not to appear or to remain silent in front of the Congress. Dean went on and did his best to fill prisons. After that came Alexander Butterfield, a nobody. All he had to say was that the White House had a taping system that caught all the conversations in the White House. Any of them not on tape were erased by a participant.

The same is desperately needed now. Curious, following the words, an investigator -- the mind here sees George Mitchell and Warren Rudman, and you name me better -- can slap a hand on the slitherers and sneaks who have kept us in war for five years and who use failing generals to beg for more time and more lives of our young. A final word in September? Two years more, the generals and Bush people say.

Say impeachment and you'll get your troops home.

David Swanson's AfterDowningStreet goes historical and steers to people to a BBC special entitled "The Whitehouse Coup" which "uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American. The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush's Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression. Mike Thomas investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy."

In the US currently, US House Rep Barbara Lee put forward proposed legislation in the House today "
to prevent permanent military bases in Iraq and bar U.S. control over Iraqi oil resources." H.R. 2929 passed on a 399 to 24 vote. It would need to pass the Senate as well before it can be law. Said Lee, "We must soundly reject the vision of an open ended occupation as bad policy that undermines the safety of our troops and recognize it for what it is: another recruiting poster for terrorists."

In Iraq,
CBS and AP report more political trouble for puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki with the "largest Sunni Arab bloc" in Parliament has put its membership on hold and should they resign "al-Maliki's Cabinet would limp along with about a third of its seats vacant and without its billing as a 'national unity' government."

National unity? Today in Iraq . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 53 dead from bombings in Baghdad alone -- 20 from a car bombing at a check point, 30 from a car bombing targeting people celebrating a soccer victory, 3 from a car bomb in northern Baghdad .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 farmers were shot dead in Kirkuk. Reuters reports seven people making a pilgrimage to Baghdad were wounded in Kerbala.


>Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Mustafa Qaid Mizhir Al Asi was kidnapped in Kirkuk, while 4 were kidnapped in Sadiyah -- the heads of the 4 were later found -- no signs of the rest of the bodies.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 18 corpses were discovered in the capital. Reuters reports 5 corpses discovered in Iskandairya.

Today, the
US military announced: "A 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldier died of a non-battle related cause July 24."

In DC today, a nonsense committe made up of 9 members (including Donna Shalala and Bob Dole) announced recommendations. This was to address veterans' care. As the Washington Post's Dana Priest expected,
speaking on NPR's Morning Edition today, there were no specifics on Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the recommendations were instead about systematic changes. The Final Report can be read [PDF format warning] here. and [PDF format warning] here for the findings. Your thoughts mayrun along the lines of "What planet have they been living on?" Proving they are 'hip' and 'with it' they want to create a "My eBenefits" page and it would allow medical information to be shared. Were they in comas when the Veterans Dept. repeatedly lost computers and put the privacy of veterans medical information at risk? The panel takes issue (rightly) with the VA for it's refusal to address the PTSD issues of returning service members; however, it then proposes that the VA get increased responsibility in determining the disability pay system. Does no one see the conflict? On the one hand, the VA hasn't been recognizing the very serious PTSD issues but on the other they would now be in charge of dispensing the benefit monies. As AP noted earlier this week, the VA is being sued by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan "on behalf of hundreds of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on several fronts -- from providing prompt disability benefits, to adding staff to reduce wait times for medical care to boosting services for post-traumatic stress disorder."

Ron Jacobs (CounterPunch) reports on upcoming actions to follow the Bully Boy and share his Maine vacation with him: "a broad coalition of antiwar groups are holding a protest and covergence over the August 24-26 weekend. Like the encampment spearheaded by Cindy Sheehan outside of Crawford, Texas last summer, this protest aims to bring the antiwar message to the man who claims the war as his won." Among those present for the August 25th events will be Agustin Aguayo, David Rovics, the Indigo Girls and Dennis Kucinich.


agustin aguayo

jimmy breslin

mcclatchy newspapers