Friday, November 17, 2006

Iraq, Watada, et al (C.I.)

Honolulu-born Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's challenge to the legality of the war in Iraq will be discussed Sunday afternoon at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa campus.
Sponsored by the Honolulu chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, "Ehren Watada: Conscience and Constitutionality" will feature Ehren Watada's father Bob Watada, along with the 28-year-old lieutenant's attorney, Eric Seitz, and UH Richardson School of Law professor Jon Van Dyke, who will address the constitutionality of Watada's actions.
The free public event runs 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the School of Architecture auditorium and will include questions.
Since being charged June 22 for refusing to deploy with his Fort Lewis Stryker unit, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Watada has been assigned to administrative duties and prohibited from traveling beyond a 250-mile radius of his base in Washington.
Earlier this month, Fort Lewis, Wash., commander Lt. Gen. James Dubik recommended that the Army proceed with a general court-martial against Watada for refusing to deploy. Watada and his attorney had been in negotiations with the Army since an Article 32 hearing on Aug. 17 to avert a trial, but talks broke down this month.

The above is The Honolulu Advertiser's "Forum to discuss Watada challenge to Iraq war" and Joan noted it. I'll carry it over to The Common Ills tomorrow morning but I'll note it here tonight because it does keep war resister Ehren Watada's name in the foreground. C.I. here, filling in for Kat. Kat is back in the US. She'll be back at her own home next week.

The snapshot will be at the end but Beth e-mailed asking me to clarify something. At the end of the snapshot, I note that a friend at C4 had phoned (repeatedly) and that was about the abductions Thursday in Baghdad which have gotten very little attention. (The mass kidnapping, Thursday, in south Iraq grabbed the spotlight.) In the first entry this morning (at The Common Ills), I wrongly thought Reuters had gotten it wrong in placing where the kidnapping took place.
I'm not home, I'm on the road. Thursday evening, we were in Betty's area so we stopped in to visit and stayed with her overnight. Kat's there right now in fact. As she did on her pleasure trip (the trip she's back from wasn't pleasure), she stopped in Atlanta to visit with Betty and Betty's kids.

I couldn't pick up a cell phone signal, was without my usual morning papers, and rushing the entries so Dona and I could catch our plane. There were a few e-mails from visitors saying "The kidnapping Thursday wasn't in Baghdad" and I went online to the Times where Kirk Semple was writing about a (but I thought the) kidnapping in Iraq on Thursday which took place in southern Iraq. So I just assumed I was wrong and Reuters' breaking story had misidentified. I posted, Dona and I caught our flight and there were so many voice mails on the cell that I didn't have time to return all of them while we were on our way to a campus to speak. When the first one was finished, I tried to go through as many voicemails as possible and a friend from C4 had called repeatedly. He was saying (repeatedly) there was a kidnapping in Baghdad on Thursday.
So we talked about that and I asked if they had anything on their website (C4 doesn't have the sort of website that BBC News does). (C4 is Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.) He starts telling me about the report on that and an interview with the Iraq Minister of Higher Education.

I'd already told one friend I'd called "maybe" on something going in the snapshot and another that their suggestion wasn't going in. So I knew I'd hear from them about the fact that C4 got in. (And I did.) So that note (indicated by "*") was just to give a thank you and make sure there weren't hurt feelings. (If I'd put in the snapshot, it runs at the bottom, it would have prevented hurt feelings. The two that called later Friday to complain hadn't seen the note at the bottom.)
After I got off the phone with the friend from C4, I immeidately called Jim to ask him to add a note to the morning entry stating there were two kidnappings. Which he did and thanks to Jim for that and thanks to Ava who added to the second entry.

Beth got two groups of e-mails. One asking for the backstory and one asking why it wasn't in the text of the snapshot but at the end? She's taking this coming week off (she writes a weekly column, she's the ombudsmperson, in the gina & krista round-robin) and felt that might pile up while she was gone (e-mails on the topic). So she asked if I could grab it here. It wasn't in the text because it wasn't a member. Community members who point out something get credited in the text.

For last Friday, I asked for topics or questions and there were a number. Brandon's didn't get answered here because I used it as a topic for the following Sunday's column in Polly's Brew. But I noted that, in addition to Brandon, there were others e-mailing and if I was filling in Friday, I'd tried to grab some more (of the ones already sent in). I also noted that Maria, Francisco and Miguel were starting their newsletter the first week of December. They have decided on a title so let me note that, El Espiritu. That'll be the first week of December, Gina and Krista interviewed them in Friday's round-robin (e-mail addresses to them are included) and Polly has a piece on them (e-mail addresses included) for Sunday's Polly's Brew. So if you're a member and you're interested, contact them so they can put you on the weekly mailing lists. They will be going out each Sunday.

Kevin wanted to know about the "holiday schedule" for Thanksgiving week. (Which is now next week but seemed a bit futher away when he wrote last week.) For The Common Ills, there will be posts. Other community sites are still figuring out what they'll be doing. We haven't taken a day off -- which is a curse, not a boast -- and we'll have posts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I'll have a full house of guests so they may go up when I can grab time, but they will go up. Isaiah's hoping to have a bonus comic during that time. If he does, that's wonderful. If not, he's doing The World Today Just Nuts for The Common Ills, he's doing illustrations and comics for the gina & krista round-robin, Polly's Brew and will be doing them for El Espiritu as well. But there will be entries going up. Based on my own time and what's going on Iraq, there will be a snapshot on either Friday or Thursday. (If there's a great deal going on in Iraq, there will be snapshots both days; however, time constraint may mean they're tiny snapshots.)

On a related note, Rebecca's "illustrations, iraq, women voter turnout in 2006, ..." noted Kat was back in the US Thursday and e-mails have come in wondering about her next review. She just got back, she's not even home. She was dealing with a dying relative and then with the funeral. Those of us who have filled in while she was gone have told her we could go another a week if she needs time. By the same token, she doesn't need to be focusing on a music review right now unless (a) she has the time and (b) she feels like it. She might and she may. If so, great. If not, that's fine too.

Also related, Betty's "The Girth of the Tabby" went up Thursday. She will be posting a new chapter next week. The latest provides more details into the Betinna story. Clues have been dropped all along and next week's chapter should be very interesting so (a) look for that and (b) know that's one site that will be posting over the holiday.

Markus wondered why we were ignoring Margaret Kimberley? We weren't trying to. I didn't have time for that question here last Friday, but I did reply to Marcus on Tuesday of this week. (I'm way behind in e-mails. If it's something anyone helping with the e-mails can grab immediately, they do. Otherwise, the e-mails that need a response from me are put into a folder and I go through them as time permits.)

Back story, Margaret Kimberley is a columnist and a voice that's very popular with the community. Members enjoy her no-nonsense approach to looking at the world and her writing style. We usually highlight all of her weekly columns. We haven't highlighted her since August.
The Black Commentator went on their summer vacation and we highlighted her last column. When they returned from vacation, there was nothing by her. I know that because after a few weeks of e-mails, I started checking myself. (E-mails wondering why her column wasn't at The Black Commentator.) At one point, I even checked her own site to see if there was something up there.

Markus e-mailed Thursday. I added The Black Agenda to our links Thursday night (our links at The Common Ills). I have no idea what happened (Markus has a few guesses) but the voices we were highlighting at The Black Commentator are now at The Black Agenda. There wasn't time to note that Thursday night. I'd hoped there would be time Friday morning, but there wasn't. But members should check out The Black Agenda where you'll find Kimberly and Glen Ford, among others.

Thanks to Markus for passing on that they had moved to The Black Agenda.

Lewis wrote: "I think the biggest story of our time in this country [United States] is the Iraq war." He wondered if I agree. The community certainly does because they've requested (and voted) that the emphasis be on Iraq. There are always a number of important stories -- ongoing stories -- in any period of time. I'd put Iraq at the top of the list due to the fact that it is an ongoing (illegal) war, the fact that so many are dying, that the US is openly involved in it (Bully Boy started it), that it has an immediate impact and that it will have an impact for some time to come. On the latter, I'm not referring to the historical impact (though that's true as well). I'm referring to what will come after in the United States. The civil rights movment and the peace movement created and sparked many other movements during the Vietnam era and immediately after. Some examples (not all) were the feminist movement, Black Power, the Chicano movement, and the LBGT movement. When people come together to work on an issue, other things spark from that. They may, as women did, notice that the topic of 'freedom' and start to question why 'freedom' is being applied only to men?

Back then, you heard all this talk of 'division' and 'identity politics.' It struck me then (and does today) as nonsense. A gay person noting their own historical struggle isn't playing 'division,' he or she is affirming themselves. Women saying "We don't have to just fetch the coffee, we should be involved in the decision" isn't 'division.'

Unless you accept that the White straight male is the benchmark and the norm. If you accept that, then certainly anything that focuses on any other aspect is 'identity politics.' (Which always seems to be said with a sneer.) The Toads seem to feel that anything that travels beyond their accepted notion of what is 'political' and what is 'acceptable' is and should be off limits.

That may be the White straight male (of a certain class) perspective but it isn't an encompassing perspective and it shows little understanding of conflict theory (sociology) despite so many having dabbled in that to some degree in the sixties. They'll make, today, their lofty speeches about how the economic needs to be focused upon and that will solve everything. No, it won't.

Pre-Stonewall, gays and lesbians with money may have had a cushion but they were still discriminated against. (BLGT people are still discriminated against today.) It wasn't just about money. Racism isn't just about money.

Issues that effect women, issues that weren't discussed before last century's second wave of feminism, weren't just about money. A well off woman could be as likely to be battered as a woman struggling to get by. Rape didn't effect only one economic class.

Little (White) boys have been allowed to draw the lines on what is acceptable and what isn't for too long. Today, some still can't recover from the fact that the sixties tore down a lot of that and destroyed that pompous voice they thought they were entitled to speak in and that all would be forced to listen to.

They like to pass themselves off as 'objective,' but they're the most subjective of all. Taking their own experiences and extrapolating that it is the 'norm.' Some women do like sports. Some don't. And not every man likes sports. But they think nothing tossing out their sports analogies, the little boys, and assuming that anyone who is bored isn't part of the norm. It's like the scene in 9 to 5 where Dabney Coleman is speaking to Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda about that b.s. of "a team is only as strong as it's weakest link" and blah blah blah. (Funniest moment is when his chair rebels. He's not as in control as he -- or the little boys -- would like to believe.)

Pay attention this March when "March Madness" rolls around as those who hector others about being 'serious' suddenly find time to gab about that. I'm thinking of one in particular (who loves to sneer that people who aren't as serious as him should just stay home and bake something -- his sexism is on serious display everytime he makes that remark) who can't let March (often other big sports periods as well) pass by without gabbing about that. He'll drop everything for that while sneering the rest of the year when very real sexism is noted and discussed (like with Summers' sexism) and trash people for not being 'serious.'

Why can he do that? Because he thinks he is the norm, he thinks he is the defining mark and we all have to follow him.

We don't (have to follow him) and he isn't (the norm). The same racism and sexism that's behind the right-wing tract The Closing of the American Mind is on display on the left in those who want to dismiss very real issues that effect people -- but not them -- because being White, being male and being at least middle class prevents them from ever having to live with the discriminations many others do on a daily basis.

Those little boys (and a few Queen Bees) are behind the attempts to drop reproductive rights from the Democratic Party. If you never had to face the realities of pregnancy (wanted or unwanted) and if you were so pompous and full of yourself that you couldn't take into account anyone else's experience, it would make perfect sense to see reproductive rights as a 'drag' on the Democratic Party.

But the reality is that reproductive rights are more popular (with women and men) than the Democratic Party. But if you're one of the little boys (or Queen Bees), it makes perfect sense to say, "Drop it."

More women voted in the 2006 election than men and more women voted Democratic than men. That's reality. Reality is also that the Democratic Party ran some anti-choice candidates and, in fact, forced out pro-choice candidates in primaries to get those male candidates on the slate.

Feminism isn't identity politics. Feminism is concerned with equality for all. You can't say the same about the little boys who run from issues of race and gender and sexuality. And the little boys who want to push the notion that they are the norm might do well to wake up to the demographic fact that women are the statistical norm in the US.

Iraq matters because it's an illegal war, it matters because people are dying, it matters because it (again) demonstrates that change comes from the bottom, not the top, it matters because people are taking brave stands, it matters because people are getting involved, it matters because it's creating a sense of accountability (which the Bully Boy is ignoring -- his ignoring of that is registering as well) and it matters because people working on this issue will see other issues and find other sparks that will carry through in the immediate future after the illegal war has ended.

The 'single issue voters' are the little boys. It's not women and men concerned about gender, race and sexuality. The single issue voters are the ones who bandy about "It's the economy, stupid." They're the ones focused on only one thing. As though social justice will come about because of an economy?

This week, Dona and I traveled to four states speaking with high school students and college students. The spark, the connections, are already being made. There's change coming in the future. Those young people who are working on ending the war will be impacting the future.

Sadly, it appears that the changes coming will take many by surprise because not many have bothered to cover what's going on. But desk jockeys rarely know about the world around them.

Here's today's "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 17, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; Bully Boy's long journey to Vietnam is complete (you can refer to the various stops since Tuesday or you can take it back to his days in and out of the National Guard); Ehren Watada's father Bob wraps up his current speaking tour Friday night; Tony Blair may have lost a supporter; war resister Kyle Snyder still needs support; and the US military has all sorts of announcements and numbers including 57,000 US troops to deploy to Iraq next year.

Starting with yesterday's kidnappings -- there were two. Reuters cover this: "Passengers from up to six minibuses may have been abducted after being stopped at a fake security checkpoint in the capital, police and local residents said" from yesterday and, in addition, there was a kidnapping in southern Iraq.

England's C4 reported on the mass kidnapping in Baghdad one of the few that did.* Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) noted: "Much of the day's other violence was directed at Shiite Muslims. Gunmen erected fake checkpoints in a Sunni neighborhood and seized Shiite passengers off minibuses." Alastair Macdonald (Reuters) noted: "Six missing minibuses were mostly carrying Shiites when gunmen, some in uniform, pulled them over for bogus security checks, police sources said."

The dickering over this kidnapping among Iraqi's various members of government follows the pattern after Tuesday's mass kidnapping which Kirk Semple (New York Times) observed was being seen (by Jalal Talabani, Iraqi president) as a potential "complete collapse of the government"). Queried by Jon Snow, of England's C4, as to whether "you think there are other ministers in the government who are complicit?" in the kidnappings, Iraq's minister of Higher Eductation, Abd Dhiab, stated he did believe that and, while refusing to answer whether he personally believed the police could be trusted, he noted that "the people" do not feel they can be.

Jon Snow: You seem to be describing a situation of anarchy here?

Abd Dhiab: Anarchy clearly, nobody can deny that.

Jon Snow: But, I mean, if you feel you have to resign then in a way we're beginning to see the disengration of the government?

Abd Dhiab (in a rambling answer) agreed. Kirk Semple noted Mohammed Bashar al-Faidi (Muslim Scholars Associaton) declared on Al Jazeera TV, "I don't know how to describe it, but it represents the bankruptcy of the sectarian government following one scandal after the other." The willingness of officials go to public with their own stark observations about Iraq comes as Nouri al-Maliki, puppet of the occupation, is in Turkey. Louise Roug (LA Times) reports that al-Maliki believes the matters can wait until next week to be resolved in a meeting of his cabinet.

Bully Boy believes that the answer for a 'win' is, as Simon Tisdall (Guardian of London) reports, "a last big push" that could result in increasing US troops in Iraq -- not withdrawing them. Tisdall also reveals that sources say "Bush family loyalist James Baker" and others on the supposed independent Iraq Study Group are now doing the bidding of the Pentagon and will include the following points as "victory strategy:"

1) Increase US troop levels by up to 20,000 to secure Baghdad and allow redeployments elsewhere in Iraq.

2) Focus on regional cooperation with international conference and/or direct diplomatic involvement of countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

3) Revive reconciliation process between Sunni, Shia and others.

4) Increased resources from Congress to fund training and equipment of Iraqi security forces.

David Jackson (USA Today) reports that Bully Boy declared in Hanoi that "he was unaware of a British newspaper report that he is considering an additional 30,000 troops in Iraq."
20,000 and, if Bully Boy's denying, chances are it's true. (Flashback to his performance of "My Guy" to Rumsfled right before the election and then, after the election, his rendention of "Hit the Road, Jack.") The AP reports that Bully Boy has compared Iraq to Vietnam yet again and offered, "We'll succeed unless we quit." Not quite as catchy as "stay the course" but certainly many of lemmings will show up, possibly in face paint, at his domestic gatherings to change "We'll succeed unless we quit." Of course, the reality is you suceed unless you lose and, more reality, the illegal war is lost.

CNN reports it's whack-a-mole time again "as 2,2000 more Marines are being deployed to Iraq's volatile Anbar province". Interviewed by Joshua Scheer (Truthdig), US Congress Rep. Dennis Kucinich noted of al-Anbar that it's "a place which was already declared 'lost' for the purposes of military occupation. Why are we sacrificing our young men and women? Why are we keeping them in an impossible situation? Why are we stoking a civil war with our continued presence? We have to take a new direction in Iraq, and that direction is out."

This as Al Jazeera reports Rabah al-Alwan of "the Union of Lawyers in al-Anbar governorate in western Iraq" is asserting that 211 families have been thrown out of their homes in Al-Anbar Province so that the US military can occupy them. Among the homes seized is al-Alwan's and he states: "Ten months ago, the US army seized my house and dozens of houses in the neighbourhood where I live. Residents were not allowed take any of their savings, jewellery, furniture or clothes. . . . They [US snipers] killed a lot of people, such as Ayad Mutar and Muhamad Ayad, for approaching their [own] houses to try to get some of their families' clothes and belongings." al-Alwan tells of promises to compensate families for their homes with money that never got handed over, of attacks on the homes now that the US military is lodged in them, and the continued occupation of the home have led former occupants to join the resistance.

Hearts and minds? Or are they supposed to take comfort in the empty words mouthed by the Bully Boy, as noted by Mark Tran (Guardian of London), "One lesson is that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."
A while? What is known is that the illegal war hits the four-year anniversary in March of 2007 -- four months from now.

What is known also includes the fact that yesterday's other kidnapping, in southern Iraq, resulted in the kidnapping of at least five people. The BBC reports that the abducted were four Americans and one Austrian. Will Weissert (AP) reports that two of the abducted turned up: an Austrian who was dead and an American "gravely wounded" -- in addition, Weissert notes that "[n]ine Asian employees" were kidnapped and that they have been released. Xinhua reports that 14 people were kidnapped and that the area was under the control of Iraqis having been turned over to them by Italy in September. Kirk Semple (New York Times) identifies the site of the kidnapping as the Nassiriya. AP places the location as Safwan. Edward Wong (New York Times) reports that searches are ongoing to find the abducted but that there are denials of any of the kidnapped being released or found.

In other reported violence . . .


Reuters notes that four police officers were shot dead outside a bank in Baghdad, that two brothers are dead from a Baghdad attack, that a civilian was shot dead in Kirkuk and "his baby daughter" injured and, in Baquba "Lieutenant Colonel Sattar Jabar, chief of police media" was shot dead. Aref Mohammed (Reuters) reports "the British military said a British private security guard was wounded in a clash with Iraqi police. The police said two policemen and another Westerner were killed" and that Zubayr was where "police said colleagues stopped an unmarked car. Western in civilian clothes inside opened fire, killing two officers and wounding two women passers-by. Police returned fire, killing one of the Westerns and wounding another." The 'Westerners' may or may not be British or American.


Reuters notes two corpses were discovered near Falluja and and two near Numaniya. CNN reports that 25 corpses ("bullet-riddled") were discovered in Baghdad today.

Also today, the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was killed by small arms fire Thursday during combat operations in Diyala province." The total number of US troops who have died thus far this month to 45, and to 2865 since the start of the illegal war. This as Donna Miles announces on behalf of the Defense Department that 57,000 US troops will being deploy to Iraq (8,300 to Afghanistan). The 57,000 will be part of the rotation to keep the total number of US troops on the ground in Iraq at 144,000 -- the increased number that was put in place last summer for the now-cracked-up Baghdad crackdown.

In other signs of the dissention in the puppet government, Hannah Allamn and Mohamed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) report that the Shi'ite dominated Interior Ministry "issued an arrest warrant for one of the country's most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics, charging him with violating antiterrorism laws." The BBC notes the cleric, Harith al-Dhari, is the head of the Association of Muslim Scholars and that he is currently in Jordan. Ross Colvin (Reuters) notes that the reaction to the warrant (issued while both al-Dhari and al-Maliki were out of the country) has been intense with the largest Sunni political party (The Islamic Party) calling it a "mercy bullet" that would put the dying government down. Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) notes that the Association of Muslim Scholars is requesting "Sunni politicians . . . quit Iraq's government" in response to the arrest warrant and notes that: "The move came as cracks emerged within Iraq's six-month-old unity government over the numbers of government employees taken in a mass kidnapping on Tuesday and whether some were tortured and killed." In addition to the above support, Al-Dhari also received support from Sunni clerics and, as Will Weissert (AP) reports, from one of Iraq's vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, who stated that the warrant "is destructive to the national reconcilliation plan." And CNN updates to note that the Iraqi government has backed off ("clarified") the warrant which they now maintain was never to arrest al-Dhari but merely to "check security files linked" to him.

In other news, Mike Corder (AP) reports that De Volkskrant, Dutch newspaper, has reported that "Dutch military interrogators abused dozens of Iraqi prisoners in 2003, dousing them with water to keep them awake and exposing them to high-pitched noises and strong lights" and conducted by "members of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service in November 2003 in buildings of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Samawah, 230 miles southeast of Baghdad." Alexandra Hudson and Nicola Leske (Reuters) report that the report, which emerged Friday, has already resulted in announcement from the Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kamp that he knew abuses were possible but an earlier investigation had not turned up anything -- now he's "announced an independent investigation into the earlier study by military police and his own conduct in the affair." As the BBC notes, the revelations come "days before the country's parliamentary elections."

Meanwhile, in England, the Guardian of London reports that Margaret Hodge has created a stir in England. The MP Hodge is seen as an ally of Tony Blair so it came as a surprise to some when it was reported that she called the illegal war Tony Blair's "big mistake in foreign affairs" while speaking to the Islington Fabian Society where she also noted that she accepted pre-war claims because "he was our leader and I trusted him."

In peace news, Vietnam war resister Gerry Condon has posted a letter at Soldiers Say No! on Kyle Snyder. To recap, Snyder, on October 31st, turned himself in at Fort Knox only to self-check out again after discovering the military had lied yet again. Since then Snyder has been underground, surfacing to speaking out against the war.

Condon is requesting more calls supporting to Snyder:

Thanks to all of you who have made calls to the Commanding General at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The phones have been ringing off the walls there. Now it is time to make the phones ring at Fort Leonard Wood. Say hello to Fort Leonard Woods's brand new commander, Major General William McCoy, Jr., recently returned from the U.S. occupation of Iraq (you can read his emotional address upon assuming his new command at are the numbers to call at Fort Leonard WoodOffice of the Commanding General (that's how they answer) 573-596-0131Public Affairs Office, tel. 573-563-4013 or 4105, fax: 573-563-4012, email: want to deliver one clear message:RELEASE KYLE SNYDER WITHOUT ANY PUNISHMENT
Kyle Snyder is a US war resister and part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes people such as Ehren Watada, Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman. That's just the ones who have gone public. (Over thirty US war resisters are currently in Canada attempting to be legally recognized.)
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. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress in January.

Bob Watada, father of Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq, is wrapping up a speaking tour he and Rosa Sakanishi (Ehren's step-mother) have been on to raise awareness on Ehren Watada. The tour winds down tonight, a full schedule can be found here, and this is the final date:

Nov 17, 7PM, Atlanta, GA, Location: The First Iconium Baptist Church, Sponsor: Veterans For Peace Chapter 125, The Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition/Atlanta, Atlanta WAND, Contact: Debra Clark, 770-855-6163,

In addition, to Atlanta, Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports this event on Sunday:

The Honolulu chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League will hold a symposium surrounding the actions of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who is the first military officer to face a court martial for refusing to fight in Iraq. It will begin at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the University of Hawaii's architecture auditorium. The featured speaker will be Watada's father, Bob; Jon Van Dyke of the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law and Watada's attorney, Eric Seitz.

iraqehren watadabob watada
kyle snyder
the new york timeskirk semple
the washington postsudarsan raghavan
gregg k. kakesako
joshua scheer
edward wong

[*Thank you to a friend at C4 for calling -- repeatedly -- to pass the C4 interview on.]