Saturday, November 25, 2006

Back to posting

For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.

That's from the Bully Boy's September 15, 2006 Rose Garden press conference. What's he talking of? I have no idea but Chris e-mailed this to me (I'm catching up on e-mails) while I was in Ireland. KSM is thought to be, according to the press and the administration, one of the 9-11 masterminds. It would appear that Bully Boy is saying that KSM had a plan to plant explosives.
Whether that was before or after 9-11, I have no idea. But this strange statement didn't prompt a follow up from anyone in the press. You can use the link to go to the press conference and read it or watch it yourself. In fairness to the press, (a) Bully Boy has spent so long making a fool out of himself in public that they might not bat an eyes these days when he offers something as strange as the above and (b) a number of them have been fawning over him so long (take Sheryl Gay Stolberg who comes off like she's doing the laugh-hair-toss flirt with him) that they wouldn't follow up if they could.

It's Kat, I'm back. I intended to blog last night. C.I. and I were listening to Betty's last chapter because she wanted input before she posted it, "A Crossdresser or Two." Then I logged on here in order to blog. However, the "beta switch." Or is it "The Great Beta Switch"?

All sites have to switch over at some point. C.I. twice tried to set my site up for the switch. And both times would get to the page saying something like: "We're sorry. We can't switch you now." I expected that to happen to me as well. However, it did allow the switch to start.

What I hadn't counted on was it taking sooooooooooooo long.

Rebecca switched first and reported that happening. But everyone else who's switched over hasn't had that same problem (everyone with a site in the community). I waited about two and half hours, reading e-mails and listening to music, before I finally went to bed.

Thank you to Rebecca who did a post here while I was on vacation. She was waiting so long for the switch that she ended up posting here to have something for the night. Thank you to Betty, Ruth and C.I. who posted each week while I was gone. I appreciate all four and spent Tuesday catching up on things online, including reading their substitute posts.

No one heard a damn thing I said.

Seriously, early on, they attempted to but that got chucked out the window.

I didn't say, "I've got to go to Ireland, I wish someone would fill in." I know they're all busy. When the three of them, Betty, Ruth and C.I., came up with a schedule to fill in for me, my only request was no more than three paragraphs plus the day's snapshot.

That lasts maybe for the first week, then you've got these entire essays.

Don't get me wrong, they're wonderful essays.

But no one should expect the same from me. And I may only post twice a week, or I may do little posts and post five times a week. Ideally, I'd like to the do the latter because C.I.'s Iraq snapshots are too important not to note.

You'll remember when the vote was ongoing, I offered that I was going with the snapshot (and got creamed by a few members for weighing in during the voting -- although people were weiging in the round-robin, hello!).

But with the lack of attention given to Iraq by many press outlets ("big and small"), the snapshots are especially important to me. So, time permitting, the ideal would be to do a few jots each day (much shorter than this post is becoming already) and then include the snapshot just to get it out there.

All three of them did wonderful posts. I enjoyed reading them Tuesday. Betty was coming in here on Mondays, a difficult day, start of the week, end of the day for her, which is the end of a work day, the end of a Mom day, and she was exhuasted, I know. But she always found something interesting to write about and did so in a very involving manner. So thank you very much.

Ruth? Oh my God! I was against all three of them filling in (against anyone filling in) but I know Ruth has a report each week and that she trashes drafts, pulls 'completed' ones at the last minute to rework something, you name it. Giving her one more 'assignement' seemed to be overload. But didn't she do a wonderful job? I'm blown away by her post Wednesday which really does tell a personal story but, at the same time, really address some of the themes of KPFA's Guns and Butter's broadcast. Thank you very much.

C.I.? I added to C.I.'s burden with two phone calls and postcards. I would write a sentence, scribble, on a postcard, just in passing, friend to friend, and C.I. would think it was a suggestion for a post, or think that if I were here, I'd be writing about whatever I scribbled, and attempt to do that. That includes, "What's on the community's mind?" which resulted in C.I. soliciting e-mails and attempting to respond to as many as possible (which required not just writing a post but also reading a ton of e-mails). I did ask for one entry while I was gone and did so over the phone, that was about the KPFA elections. With that, I asked directly and assumed C.I. was off writing three paragraphs about it. Instead, it was pretty much a brief history/overview. In that case, I had asked for a topic to be written, but I truly didn't expect that essay and I honestly wasn't suggesting topics for her when I sent out postcards. I was just attempting to stay in touch. Postcards were easy to jot a thought on. (I also wrote Betty and Ruth letters while I was in Ireland.) So thank you to C.I.

I know all three are busy and I appreciate they're filling in.

I'm back now so don't expect . . . anything!

I do have two other topics I want to address.

First up, Drunk Uncle. Leslie referred me to a debate that aired before I left for Ireland. I didn't know about the debate. Leslie wrote the first week of November. I did listen to it and wanted to share a few thoughts.

I think it's true now more than ever that the whole thing has been, as C.I. called it, attention seeking behavior. I think he came off rude and uninformed in the debate. Neither surprised me. Though the other guest, the one he debated, and the host never raised the issue of explosives at the base of the Twin Towers, Drunk Uncle kept tossing that out as a red herring repeatedly, with sneers. I note that because he went to that well every time and no one else was. It was his standard bait and switch.

I'll also note that he's not a Democrat. C.I.'s stated that before (and may have noted it at The Common Ills) but Drunk Uncle said he wasn't a Democrat. I'm noting that here only because I know there's been some disputing of that. Since I listened to the debate and since he raised that point, let me note that he said he wasn't in this entry before I forget it a few weeks on down the line.

You know what else he's not? Informed. He's not informed.

Despite his claim that "I studied this very closely," he hasn't. He's so underinformed the debate was worth listening to just to hear him make an idiot out of himself repeatedly. A caller from Texas raised the issue of Dick Cheney, NORAD and war games. Drunk Uncle had no idea what was being raised. He pompously 'answered' the question. He made a fool of himself. So much so that the caller from Texas responded, "I think you should do your research a little more."

Have truer words ever been spoken?

Should Drunk Uncle ever get around to doing that (I'm not holding my breath), he might want to realize that "Paul Wolf" or possibly "Paul Wolfe" is not the name of anyone most of us know from the first Bully Boy administration. When he doesn't even know the names of the primaries advising Bully Boy, there's a problem.

He made a fool out of himself.


Leslie, thank you, I loved listening to the debate. I've never laughed so hard in my life.

Third thing. Kelefa Sanneh's "Beyoncé Bounces Back: Film, Album and Warning." I've never disagreed with an opinion more and I've never enjoyed reading one more. Beyonce is the eternal joke to me and her sheltered outlook will never make her an artist. (Time and experience might destroy that outlook and leave with her something resembling maturity.)
But I did enjoy Kelefa's piece and would rate among the finest things she's written and among the finest written in the Times or most outlets this year. She wrote as someone who loves music, not the cut-and-dry crap we get so much of. I've noted before that I enjoy her writing and I've noted before when I've strongly disagreed with her. Since she wrote the best piece of musical writing to appear in the mainstream, I told myself all week that, on Friday, I'd be sure to give her credit she was due for that. (I note it on Saturday due to the "Beta" switch.)

Thank you to everyone for their e-mails and well wishes. I'm almost done reading them. It was a difficult time and I appreciate the support.

Now here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 24, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, over 200 die in Baghdad on Thursday, war resister John A. Rogowskyj Jr. finds that the US military feels no obligation to follow even their own written policy, Bully Boy's meet up in Jordan comes under attack, and is Nouri al-Maliki on the way out?
Starting with resistance within the US military. Conscientious objector John A. Rogowskyj Jr. was deployed to Iraq at the start of this month. The twenty-two-year-old Marine was deployed, as the
Associated Press notes, after a Marine captain recommended he be discharged, after a major said he couldn't serve in compbat duty in June, because a D.V. Odell Jr. ("commander of the Fourth Marine Division") doesn't seem to grasp what a c.o. is the policy that the US military has on them. The AP notes that Odell, a major general, found Rogowskyj to be "theologically confused and [he] does not reflect any officially recognized faith group."
Take that, America's fore fathers. The slow witted Odell Junior might also make some time to check out "
Selective Service System: Fast Facts" which notes: "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest." By the military's own guidelines, Odell Junior's statements are not only insulting but ignorant. "May be religious in nature, but don't have to be." Rogowskyj was deployed as a result of Odell Junior's failure to grasp the policies the military has set in place. There ought to be disciplinary actions for Odell (busted back down to a New Orleans post?). More likely, everyone will play stupid (well the tone is set from the Oval Office).
Edward Colimore (Philadelphia Inquirer) reports that Rogowskyj declares in the court papers: "I see now that I must separate from the military with all due haste, or suffer without the forgiveness of grace, for defying the truth that I see plainly before me, that violence as a means or end cannot be tolerated."To repeat for the slow witted Odell Junior, who not only fails to grasp the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution but also fails to grasp official military policy, Rogowkyj need not belong to any church or faith, need not subscribe to Odell Junior's notions of 'old time religion,' in order to be granted c.o. status.
Rogowskyj signed up for the reserves in 2002 thinking he would be helping stateside during national emergencies.
In Iraq, yesterday the violence prompted ABC to break in to their daytime lineup with a breaking news announcement by Elizabeth Vargas on what is being called the most deadly attack in Iraq since the illegal war began. For which ABC got the usual number of complaints, though nothing like the concerned and outraged comments they received in 2003 when they broke in to announce that Bully Boy was carrying a fake turkey around a base in Iraq.
Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports that 144 people were killed. That number is incorrect today and was wrong yesterday as well when AFP reported that 152 were already dead. Today, All Headline News reports that the death toll is now 202, that at least 250 more are injured with doctors not expecting all to live and that "Officials said that the death toll could rise, as body parts and bodies are dispersed throughout the city and could not be counted." The BBC reports that "at least three" car bombs were used in the cooridnated attacks on Thursday followed by mortar rounds and quotes photo journalist Kareem al-Rubaie on witnessing the violence, "I saw a car from a wedding party, covered in ribbons and flowers. It was burning. There were pools of blood on the street and children dead on the ground." Reuters places the number of bombs at six. CNN reported Thursday: "Thursday's attacks, launched within the course of half an hour, were part of a spasm of violence that shook two Baghdad bastions of support for anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr -- the Sadr City slum in the Iraqi capital's northeast and the Health Ministry compound, controlled by the cleric's political movement."
BBC reports that Baghdad is now under curfew and the Baghdad Airport has been closed. Reuters states that all vehicle traffic is banned in Baghdad for Saturday as well. AFP adds that the airport in Basra has been closed as well as well as "its southern seaports."
The 202 dead and counting from Thursday's attack surpasses the previous reported most violent day in Iraq. The
BBC notes September 14, 2005 as a day when there were 182 reported deaths in Baghdad.
As if the violence on Thursday wasn't bad enough, rumors floated that Dick Cheney was in Iraq on Thursday.
CBS and AP report that the White House denies those rumors. Current rumor is that Cheney was supposed to be in Baghdad and the press would be alerted after landing; however, the violence on Thursday resulted in the trip being cancelled.
Press reports continue to caution that Iraq might be on the brink of civil war which leaves one wondering how they might have reported Sherman's March to the Sea?
The violence and chaos continued today.
CBS and AP report that a mortar attack was launched at the Association of Muslim Scholars in Baghdad leaving four guards injured. This is seen as a retaliation for Thursday's attack as are the multiple attacks, noted by Al Jazeera, in the Hurriay district of Baghdad that targeted "four Sunni Mosques with rocket-propelled grenades" and claimed the lives of at least thirty. Reuters reports one dead and two wounded from mortar attacks in Diwaniya and the bombing of "an office of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's . . . in . . . Baquba". CNN reports that a man set off a bomb "strapped to his body" and one in his car in a parking lot in Tal Afar and killed at least 22 people while wounding 30 more.
Reuters reports that at least two funeral goers are wounded in Baghdad after a US helicopter fired on a funeral.
Reuters reports that thirty corpses were discovered in Baghdad while three were discovered in Mosul. Reporting on Wednesday's UN report, Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) noted that, in the September and October period studied by the UN, "Sixty-five percent of all deaths in Baghdad were categorized as unindentified corpses, the signature of militias, who kidnap, kill and throw away bodies at a rate that now outstrips the slaughter inflicted by suicide bombers."They do so even when the capitol is under 'curfew' (and the never ending 'crackdown').
In addition,
AP reports: "Militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive as Iraqi soldiers stood by, and seven Sunni mosques came under attack as Shiites took revenge for the slaughter of 215 people in the Sadr City slum."
BBC reports the death of a British solider in Basra and notes that 126 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war. The British military announces: "The soldier sustained gunshot wounds during the operation and was evacuated to a nearby military hospital. Despite the best possible medical care, the soldier later died from his injuries. The soldier was a member of the Parachute Regiment, on secondment to Headquarters Multinational Division South East, Iraq."
Thursday's attacks and today's is having ripple effects in Iraq that go beyond bombs and bullets.
Charles Wolfson (CBS) reported on next week's planned meet up in Jordan between Bully Boy and puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki. The meet up was quickly announced following the announcement of al-Maliki going to Tehran for a Saturday meeting with the presidents of Iran and Syria. The meet up with the Bully Boy is now in question.
CNN reports that, today, "Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc threatened to withdraw support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki should he meet President Bush as planned next week" and quotes spokesperson Salih al-Aleiki stating: "We announce that if the security situation and the basic services do not improve, and if the prime minister goes ahead and meets with the criminal Bush in Amman, then we will suspend our memberships with the Iraqi parliament and the government." As Robin Stringer (Bloomberg News) notes, it's not an idle threat: "The United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition of Shiite political parties, won 128 of the 275 seats in the Iraqi parliament in December's elections." Should the al-Sadr block withdraw their support, the United Iraqi Alliance would fall from a 128 member bloc to a 98 member one. That's on the condition that all 98 remain behind al-Maliki -- should he find new support his bloc could increase. The second largest bloc, with 53 members, is the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan which successfully backed (with US support) Jalal Talabani for president of Iraq.
The above follows on the heels of
Tom Hayden's report (for Common Dreams) that the US is putting out feelers for new governing officials in Iraq which could include the disposing of al-Maliki.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guns and Butter (Ruth)

Ruth here filling in for Kat and, yes, she is back in the United States, and she is back home. However, she was dealing with a gravely ill relative, then with a funeral, has been out of the country for about a month, and it is Thanksgiving tomorrow. So she has a great deal on her plate and really needs some time to adjust. That works out well for me because today was the second part of the Guns and Butter interview with John Judge.

It was thirty-three years ago today, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Whenever TV decides to note that day seriously, they show the films and the photos. When I think of it now, and I was alive then, I see it in black & white. I am almost positive that my family had a color TV by then, but such is the power of repetition that I now see those days, in my mind, in black & white.

What was I doing when JFK was killed? I was getting a home perm from my aunt. She had recently divorced and, in those days, it was supposed to be a scandal, at least in my family. I do, however, remember quite a few divorces in the fifties. She had been a homemaker, the word was "house wife" in those days, so now she was "unemployed." Employment, from everyone in my family, was supposed to be her quickly getting remarried.

She was not dating anyone, she had no one she was interested in and, honestly, no desire to get married anytime soon. But that was the attitude, in my family, at least, in those days. She was pretty much expected to spend whole days preparing for dates that she would be matched for, matched by family members. She loathed every man she was fixed up with.

All of my young life, she had brushed my hair, combed it, and, very often, cut it. For that reason, I had suggested that she think about becoming a beautician. That is what we called it in those days. A date so awful had taken place a few days prior.

The man had not made an advance, the 'date' had been a dinner at my grandparents. While he was probably a nice man, he was sixty-years-old which seemed old to her then and old to me then as well. He had proposed during dinner. This was the dinner that they were meeting for the first time. There were cries of "Wonderful!" and more; however, she did not like him. She did not know him. There were her parents and other members of our family attempting to palm her off on a stranger.

So she had decided to throw caution to the wind. She was receiving a small monthly alimony payment and she was going to use that to go to beauty school. She had driven, quite a ways, to my college to tell me that because I was the only one who supported that. As a treat, and probably as a test, she was going to give me a home perm.

We had the radio on in the background and I am sure they were talking about what was happening but we were busy with what my hair was going to look like and what my aunt's life was going to be like. At one point, someone hollered to me that there was a call so I went to the hall, we did not have phones in our rooms, and it was my mother who told me, first, that President Kennedy had been shot and, second, that they were all worried about my aunt.

My mother explained that my aunt had disappeared a few days prior and now, with President Kennedy's death, everyone was sure she would lose it.

I did not tell my mother that my aunt was with me and felt guilty about that. But I was really just focused on the fact that President Kennedy had died. There is this notion that we all, back then, found out in the same instant. That is really not true or was not for me.

My mother watched the CBS soaps and I believe Walter Cronkite broke the news on CBS, so she probably found out fairly quickly. But after I hung up the phone, I stood in the hall for awhile collecting my thoughts and, when someone would pass, I would tell her that President Kennedy had been shot and was dead. I just kept repeating that to anyone who would pass.

I do not remember the looks I got but I know at least one woman who told me afterwards that she thought I had gone nuts. At some point, my aunt came out in the hall to tell me the time was up on whatever chemicals were put on my hair. I told her and we did not say anything for the longest.

Today, with twenty-four hour news, cell phones, text messages, and what have you, we tend to get news quickly and all be on the same page rather quickly. But it was different in those days. At my college, a radio in the room was not uncommon but I do not believe any of us had a TV in our room. The phone was in the hall. If you were looking for news, you knew to tune in for the evening news.

After we were done with my perm and it was dry, my aunt suggested we leave and get a drink. Walking on campus, I could see people starting to learn what had happened. In the bar that we went to, the word was already out. Officially, this was the first bar I had gone to. Unoffiically, it was not. So I knew that bars were places of laughter and loud talking. That was not the case. It was pretty much silence. When someone did speak, they usually spoke in low tones, almost whispers.

I did not see any 'grown men' crying. You read about those stories and I am sure they are true. But what I remember is silence. My aunt had given me a big speech, remember she thought this was the first time that I was visiting a bar, about what to expect. I think she was surprised by the mood as well.

When we returned to campus, I did see students who looked like they had been crying or were about to start and there was also a male professor who had obviously been crying. But I think for some of us, the reaction was more along the lines of being stunned.

Later, the day of the funeral, I do remember open crying. I also remember a group of us seeing a photo, in Life I believe, of John-John, John F. Kennedy Jr., in his little suit, saluting. That led to open crying as well.

I am not trying to portray people back then as more stoic. I am trying to say that the news did not reach everyone at the same time and that, as I remember it, the reaction was just shock. Later, with the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Senator Robert Kennedy, there was an point of reference. I remember crying immediately on all three. There was not a moment of disbelief.

When people talk about "The Death of Camelot," I often wonder if that comes across? The feeling of shock and disbelief? I wonder that because generations have grown up with the idea of assassinations. A man attempting to bring peace can be shot down. When that happened to Dr. King, my generation and those older than I was, had a template to build on. Generations that came after had a whole history of templates.

When we learned about Abraham Lincoln in grade school, there would be anger that he was shot down. There would be talk about it on the playground. I remember one girl I played jacks with being very angry. But the event was so far removed from the days we were living in that it seemed a thing of the past. Things like that happened either in the far past or in other countries, not in the United States.

The assassinations of the sixties, one after the other, drove home the point that it does happen here. Those who came of age after the sixties grew up knowing that.

I was not a fan of President Ronald Reagan and, of course, he lived, but I do not remember being stunned that it happened. There had already been attempts on President Gerald Ford before that. John Lennon, whom I was a huge fan of, was assassinated before the attempt on President Reagan. I did cry when I heard the news but I was not stunned. My feelings were more along the lines of, "Of course it happened."

So what did John Judge and Bonnie Faulker discuss during the second part of the interview on KPFA's Guns and Butter today? Believe it or not, the story I shared is not that off topic. They discussed how we can be prepared for things and signaled to things. Was the assassination of President Kennedy a signal? Has it continued to be one?

The topics touched on went beyond President Kennedy to include Nazi Germany, big business, the 2000 election and a great deal more. If you missed the broadcast, you can hear the show at
KPFA's archives or at the Guns and Butter website.

Next week, Guns and Butter will not air. That is true of other programs on KPFA as well, at least on Wednesday, because the day will be highlighting the Pacifica archives. I believe last year, stations highlighted the historic reading of Leo Tolstoy's War & Peace. I did not know what the topic was going to be, or the theme, but I just called C.I. and was told "I believe it is Pete Seeger and the focus on peace." C.I. said emphasize "I believe."

Pete Seeger, for anyone not familiar with him, is a folk singer and activist. Bruce Springsteen recorded a tribute to him recently which Kat reviewed back in May.

One other note, C-Span will have three broadcasts of the KPFA fundraiser, 9-11: An American Empire, that Ms. Faulkner hosted this weekend on Book TV. The first will be on Friday at 4:00 pm EST. The second will be on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. and 10:00 pm, both EST. Check the schedule at C-Span's Book TV.

Now for C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, November 22, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; a lesson is learned (hopefully) that stand up comedy is not for everyone; is England planning to withdraw troops from Iraq?; October becomes the deadliest month for Iraqis since the illegal war began;

Starting with news of war resisters within the US military. Yesterday,
Ehren Watada held a press conference, early in the morning. Possibly too early for the independent print publications or possibly it didn't make the New York Times so they had no heads up? Whatever the reason, Alex Massie (UK's Telgraph) did cover it and notes that Watada, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq, intends to "fight with with everything I have for my freedom and that of all Americans. I will face imprisonment to stand up for my beliefs" which means "subpoena withnesses - including 'decision-makers' - whose testimony will . . . demonstrate the war's illegality."

Turning to news of another US war resister,
Agustin Aguayo, who had a day in court yesterday, even if he wasn't present for it. Leo Shane III (Stars and Stripes) reports that while Aguayo is held in "military confinement in Mannheim, Germany," his attorney, Peter Goldberger, told the judges of the US Court of Appeals in D.C. that Aguayo was wrongly denied c.o. status and not supplied a sound reason for the denials: "Enough is enough. This decision by the Army has been baseless and cruel. They've had two previous chances to recognize his status, and they've failed to give a reason for denying it twice."

Turning to news of war resister
Darrell Anderson who self-checked out of the military in January 2005 and turned himself in at Fort Knox on October 3, 2006. By the end of the week, he was released from military custody and it was announced he would not be charged. He continues to speak out and will be taking part in events next month.

Courage to Resist:

Military resisters, their families, veterans and concerned community members call for public action Dec. 8-10th!
It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of the growing movement of thousands of courageous men and women GI's who have in many different ways followed the their conscience, upholding international law, taking a principled stand against unjust, illegal war and occupation and stood up for their rights. Widespread public support and pressure will help create true support for courageous troops facing isolation and repression, and help protect their civil liberties and human rights. We call for the following:1) Support for War Objectors 2) Protect the Right to Conscientious Objection 3) Protect the Liberties & Human Rights of GI's 4) Sanctuary for War Objectors. We urge you to join us December 8-10th for a weekend of action in supportof GI Resistance and GI Rights!

As part of those events, Darrell Anderson will be at the College of Marin on Friday, December 8th to speak at a screening of The Ground Truth. Also speaking will be Anita Anderson (or Anita Dennis to use her married name), Darrell's mother. This is one of a number of events
Courage to Resist and other organizations will be staging.

And we can't note Anderson without noting
Kyle Snyder who shared the same attorney and was supposed to share the same agreement. Synder self-checked out and moved to Canada after serving in Iraq. He returned to the United States last month and, on October 31st, turning himself in at Fort Knox only to self-check out again after discovering the military had lied yet again. As Courage to Resist notes, "At the risk of arrest, he is speaking out bravely on behalf of war resisters and active duty GI's." They are asking that you: "Call Ft. Leonard Wood Fort Leonard Wood Office of the Commanding General Major General William McCoy, Jr., 573-596-0131 and the Public Affairs Office, 573-563-4013 email: -- Demand that the Army 'Discharge Kyle Snyder with No Punishment'."

Until resistance is covered, the illegal war continues. And the dead and wounded mount on all sides as the war continues.
CNN reports that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq has issued a new figure: 3,709. 3,709 is the figure of Iraqis killed during the month of October. The UNAMI found "that 7,054 civilians were violently killed, with no less than 4,984 in Baghdad alone, most of them as a result of gunshot wounds. Compared to the number of 6,599 killed in July and August reported by HRO [UN Human Rights Office] previously, it is evident that violence continued to claim an increasing number of victims. . . . During the period under review, the report points out that freedom of expression continued to be undermined, minorities continued to be adversely and directly affected, women's conditions continued to deteriorate, the targeting of professionals, such as journalists, teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors and other intellectuals, political, tribal and religious leaders, Government officials and members of the security forces continued unabated and that violence is impacting education, preventing many schools and universites from opening. According to the report, the deteriorating situtation in the country, coupled with increasing poverty, has generated unparalleled movements of IDPs [Internally Displaced People] in search of safety within and outside the country. In addition, the document indicates that the total number of detainees in Iraq as of 31 October stood at 29,256 (13,571 of which are in MNF I facilities), noting a decrease from 35,543 at the end of August."

And the violence and chaos continues. Among the reported events today . . .


Reuters notes that bombs continued to explode in Iraq: roadside bombs in Baghdad injured two polie officers,


CBS and AP report on the shooting death of Raad Jaafar Hamadi who worked "for the state-run al-Sabah newspaper in Baghdad . . . The slaying raised to at least 92 the number of journalists who have been killed in Iraq since the war began. Thirty-six other media employees -- including drivers, interpreters and guards -- also have been killed, all of them Iraqi except one Lebanese." Al Jazeera notes that he was shot by four people "travelling in a black BMW". Reuters notes the following gunfire incidents: Ahmed al-Allawi seriously wounded in an attack in Kerbala, a police officer shot dead in Falluja, and three police officers shot dead in Baquba. CNN notes the shooting deaths of two in Muqtadya (five more wounded).


Reuters notes that 14 corpses were discovered in Mosul, three near Ramadi, and the "police Major Basim Hasan al-Hasnawi" was discovered shot to death in Kerbala.

Also today, the
US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, died of a non-battle injury in Salah ad Din Province Tuesday." Don't expect to read about it indymedia, the soldier probably couldn't have made them a playa so they have no time. Which was followed later by this announcement: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, was killed and three others were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle while they were conducting operations in Salah ad Din Province Tuesday." The two deaths bring the US troops fatality count to 49 for the month and to 2869 since the start of the illegal war. (If ICCC has not updated those numbers when this goes up, Monday we noted their count of 47 and 2867.)

Is there a change in the air? In England,
This Is London reports: "Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett this afternoon surprised MPs by signalling the countdown to a withdrawal from Iraq. She told the Commons that Basra, where the bulk of the UK's 7,200 personnel are stationed, could be handed over from British military control to Iraqi forces as early as next spring." Basra has been a violent area for British soldiers (and for Iraqis). Earlier this month, on England's Rememberance Sunday, four British troops were killed while on a boat patrol in Basra and three more were wounded. The four killed included Sharron Elliott who was "the second British female servicewoman to die in action." The other three were Jason Hylton, Ben Nowak, and Lee Hopkins. Mortar attacks have been common in Basra and, in August, a British soldier died as a result of wounds received from mortar rounds. In October, a British soldier died in Basra from road traffic. The end of October was also when the British consulate in Basra was evacuated after it was decided it was no longer safe after two months of mortar attacks. (In August, British troops 'evacuated' from their base in Amara due to repeated mortar attacks.)

Mark Tran (Guardian of London) reports that Dhi Qar and Muthanna have already been returned to Iraqi control and that "[m]ost UK troops are stationed in and around Basra". Tran also notes that General Richard Dannatt had earlier stated (and later dickered over the wording) the statement that England should leave Iraq "some time soon." Dekiva Bhat (Times of London) notes that Beckett expressed "confidence" about turning over another province, Maysan, "in January" which would leave Basra as the only area UK troops are currently responsible for patrolling. Bhat notes the opinion of the paper's Diplomatic Editor Richard Beeston: "The most likely forms of a withcrawal, Beeston said, would see British troops leaving Basra but remaining in the Shaiba logistics base, outside the city, where they would have armoured units and helicopters on stand-by should Iraqi forces need reinforcements. He added that it appeared that the US military was thinking in similar tones -- considering the possibility of handing over to Iraqi forces by withdrawing from bases but without completely leaving the country."

In which case, it wouldn't be a withdrawal at all. It would be more like a man who says he's going to pull out and doesn't.

Turning to news of long, public "deaths," some people shouldn't try to do stand up -- both because they aren't funny and because they can't handle hecklers. Yes, we're talking Poppy Bush. On Tuesday, Poppy Bush took his tired act to the United Arab Emirates and it wasn't pretty. Even the sure laugh getter of "
My son is a honest man" didn't turn out the way Poppy would have liked. While Poppy tried to command the stage, it was a female heckler, who stated: "We do not respect your son. We do not respect what he's doing all over the world," who got the crowd pumping. AP reports: "Bush appeared stunned as the auidence of young business leaders whooped and whistled in approval." Poppy Bush stated that the Bully Boy "is working hard for peace" a 'funny' that didn't help pull the audience to his side and even the laugh getter of "This is going to work out in Iraq" didn't turn him into Jon Stewart. Attacking the audience, Bully Boy began baiting them with "How come everybody wants to come to the United States if the United States is so bad?"

Possibly he was so weakened by that point causing even the hecklers to not notice the significant and obvious drop in attempted enrollments at US campuses? And apparently finally responding to the public fact that his family built their money not just on oil but also by collaborating with the Nazi war machine,
Poppy Bush stated: "To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money, I think that's crazy." Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell (Guardian of London) reported the following in 2004:

George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

Let the record show that Poppy Bush has stated the drive wasn't just about money. Apparently that family also believed in 'causes.'

In news of a draft in the United States, which
US Rep. Charlie Rangel is advocating, Marc Sandalow (San Francisco Chronicle) notes that "Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this morning she does not support bringing back the military draft." Also weighing in against Rangel's proposal are Ron Jacobs (at Op-Ed News) and Mike (Mikey Likes It!).

Lastly, as
Danny Schechter News Dissector reminds today is the anniversary of the assassination of JFK (November 22, 1963). Danny notes Beyond JFK and refers to people to Globalvision for more info. Beyond JFK is a documentary he made while Oliver Stone's JFK was being filmed. He interviews various people who were there (including Robert MacNeil -- formerly of The NewsHour). If you rent or purchase the DVD special edition (two disc) of Oliver Stone's JFK, the documentary is included as a bonus disc. Jess notes a number of e-mails are asking about it.

In addition,on today's
KPFA's Guns and Butter (airs over the airwaves and online at 1:00 pm PST, 3:00 pm Central and 4:00 pm EST) Bonnie Faulkner offers the second half of her interview with John Judge on the topic of the JFK assassination. And Joan Mellen (who is still doing events on her book tour for Farewell to Justice) essay on the topic remains popular with members. (Book tour events include Mandeville, LA on Jan 16th and NYC Jan. 28th).

mikey likes it

Monday, November 20, 2006

Abeer (Betty filling in for Kat)

Betty here, filling in for Kat. If you haven't seen the painting above before, it's from The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Justice for Abeer and her family?" which is one of three pieces of art work for the feature. While I did help with the feature, I had nothing to do with the illustrations so let me objectively state, I think they're amazing. They were hoping to capture the size of the men who raped and killed Abeer who was only 14-years-old. Do we get it because it doesn't seem like we do. One US soldier was a lookout, three US soldiers went into the home of Abeer's family. They went in there not a mission, in fact they left their post to do these crimes, then, according to James Barker's confession, Steven Green took Abeer's parents and her 5-year-old sister into the bedroom while, according to Barker's court room confession, he and Paul Cortez took turns raping 14-year-old Abeer, holding down her hands. Then Green would have his 'turn' raping her and, according to Barker, shoot her to death.

Why isn't everyone outraged by this? My father goes to BuzzFlash. He told me today that they had a link to a story on the 52-year-old Iraqi male that was dragged from his home and killed. What about Abeer? What about her parents and her sister? Where is the outrage?

I'm outraged. I spent today showing people at work the story we worked on (and noting I deserved no praise for the illustrations at all because I had nothing to do with them). I wanted to highlight one of the paintings and I asked repeatedly which one? Everyone felt this was the one. It's like a sport to the two men in the painting. One has the task of holding and the other of raping. And the sheer size of the men compared to Abeer -- you can only see her hands.

It was a sport, a criminal one. They 'tag teamed' raped her. You should be outraged.

Changing topics, Kat came back to the US on Thursday. She stopped in my area and stayed with me for the weekend which my kids loved. (As did I.) She was exhausted (she was in Ireland with a relative who was dying and she was there for the funeral -- she was representing her family who didn't have the time at work to take off so she was the US representative). It was a long stay. She thought it would be two weeks but it ended up much longer than that. I'm noting this with her permission. She doesn't want to blog about it. (I don't blame her for that.)
So she's back and today she left for California so she's now back home. She'll probably be blogging this week. If not, the usual fill in schedule will apply.

When she arrived on Thursday, she was really drained. And I think everyone can understand that. Now she's back home and it will probably take a bit to catch up on that.

She did read some of the e-mails that had come in while she was gone (on Friday) and is attempting to respond but that may just be "thanks" because the ones she did respond to on Friday ended up being longer than she planned. I told her that no one who wrote would be offended to hear about what had been going on. But she's afraid the responses she was able to do were going to depress.

Will she do a review this month? She's not sure if she'll be able to. She's really wiped out. She'd like to but with so little time left that may not happen. She was able to meet with Dominick and two other Irish community members on her last day. She'd hoped to do that sooner but this wasn't a pleasure trip. Photos will run in this week's gina & krista round-robin.

Now here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, November 20, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Ehren Watada's court-martial gets a start date, talk of returning to a draft in the United States, the US military announces more deaths, Bully Boy finds that he's as unpopular in in Indonesia as he is elsewhere, a new military review quickly dispenses any hopes of the illegal war coming to an end, and the November death toll for Iraqis has already surpassed October's toll.

Starting with US war resister
Ehren Watada. In June, Lt. Watada went public with his decision to refuse to deploy to Iraq thereby becoming the first commissioned officer to publicly say no to the illegal war. In August, an Article 32 hearing was held. The US military announced August 24th that the recommandation by the hearing's presiding officer, Lt. Colonel Mark Keith, was to court-martial Watada. Thursday, November 9th, as noted on that day's broadcast of The KPFA Evening News, the Army announced it would court-martial Watada. As Gregg Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reported then, no date had been set but Eric Seitz, the civilian attorney representing Watada, expected the court-martial would be held in 2007. Today, Robert Shikina (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports "that Watada's pretrial hering is set for Jan. 4, with the court-martial beginning Feb. 5."

Sunday, the Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Chapter, held an symposium
at the University of Hawaii on Watada's decision to refuse to fight in an illegal war. Bob Watada, father of Ehrne, Jon Van Dyke (of the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law) and attorney Eric Seitz.
Robert Shikina reports that letter from Carolyn Ho, Ehren's mother, was read to those attending: "For some elected officials to claim that this is beyond their purview and Lt. Watada is courageous but should take the consequences for his decision is an outright evasion of responsibility and lack of moral courage." On the same event, Derrick DePledge (Honolulu Advertiser) reports: "Van Dyke and Seitz say the war is illegal under United Nations charter and that Watada was right not to deploy on moral grounds. The U.S., in its justification for war, alleged that Iraq had failed to comply with U. N. disarmament resolutions. The U.S. and its allies discussed a new resolution on the war with the other nations on the U.N. Security Council, but when diplomacy stalled, determined that a new resolution was not required before the 2003 invasion. 'This war cannot be justified -- logically or factually or legally,' Seitz said." Shikina notes 83-year-old John Masunaga's impressions: "'Ehren's standing up for something we all should have stood up for,' he said, noting the internment of Japanese Americans. 'The Time World War II started, we were trying to prove ourselves good loyal citizens. Sometimes you have to speak up and try to right some of the wrongs."

At the gathering, Seitz spoke of the efforts to silence Watada.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 a.m., Ehren Watada will be participating in a "Tele-news Call" along with Seitz and Bob Watada. More information can be found here. As The Honolulu Advertiser notes, Ehren Watada could be sentenced to up to six years if convicted in the court martial -- six years in a military prison.

Watada is part of a growing resistance to the war within the military. Along with Watada, others standing up publicly include Joshua Key, Kyle Snyder, 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, Joshua Casteel, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman. And those are only some of the names of those resisting who have gone public. In addition, over thirty US war resisters are currently in Canada attempting to be legally recognized. It is a movement regardless of how it is covered (or, more often, not covered) and regardless of what the likes of
Mommy's Pantyhose may think.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Soldier Say No! 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 (on MLK day). One of those organizing Appeal to Redress, Jonathan Hutto, was interviewed by John Catalinotto (Workers World) and explained, noting the MLK memorial, "I am moved by this, by King taking a place where there are memorials to Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson. Theirs were dedicated to presidents. King's is dedicated to justice and peace. That's the vein in which we want to present this appeal."

In Iraq the violence and the chaos continues.


Reuters reports a car bomb in Ramadi that took two lives (plus the occupant of the car) and left six wounded, three more were wounded in Ramadi from a mortar round, in Mosul three Iraqi soliders were killed and four wounded from a car bomb, a roadside bomb in Iskandariya killed two, a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed three (five more wounded), and a second roadside bomb in Baghdad resulted in no known deaths but left two wounded.


Xinhua reports that two professors were shot dead: Ahmed Hamid al-Taie of the Mosul University (killed in Mosul) and Fulayeh al-Ghurabi of the Babil University (killed in Babil).
Over 155 educators have been targeted in killed in Iraq since the illegal war began.
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily (IPS) reported on recent attacks and spoke with "an administration manager of a large university in Baghdad" who told them: "Iraqi universities have turned into militia and death squad headquarters. . . Pictures of clerics and sectarian flags all over are not the only problem, but there is the interference of clerics and their followers in everything [and that clerics can] sack teachers and students, forbid certain texts, impose certain uniforms and ever arrest and kill those who belong to other sects or those who object to their behavior."

In other shootings,
AFP notes that Baquba was the location for where a police officer was shot dead in front of his house, where another police officer "and his personal driver" were shot dead, where "[s]ix civilians were killed in random gunfire" and where an attack on a police patrol resulted in one death and three injured. CBS and AP report that Walid Hassan was shot to death in Baghdad: "a famous comedian on al-Sharquiya TV . . . had performed in a comedy series called 'Caricature,' which mocked coalition forces and the Iraqi government since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq." Reuters notes that he was shot three times in the head.


Reuters reports that sixty corpses were found in Baghdad, eight in Tikrit and fourteen "south of Baghdad."

AFP reports that, yesterday in Baghdad, "a health official" was abducted and that the kidnapping was confirmed today. BBC notes that it is Ammar Al-Saffar who is Iraq's Deputy Health Minister and: "The Iraqi police say several vehicles pulled up outside Mr Al-Saffar's house in a Sunni neighbourhood of northern Baghdad. Eyewitnesses say they were a mixture of pick-up trucks and police cars. Mr Al-Saffar was taken away by six men wearing military uniforms and three men in suits." Al Jazeera notes that Hakim al-Zamily was targeted (al-Zalimy is also a deputy health minister) and reports he stated: "We as health officials have become a target."

KPFA's The Morning Show today, Alieen Alfandary noted that there have been more than 100 Iraqi deaths since Sunday morning and that toll for November (1370) thus far has already surpassed October's toll (1,216).

US military announced this morning "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Sunday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province" and they announced "A Soldier from 89th Military Police Brigade was killed by injuries sustained when his vehicle struck an Improvised Explosive Device southeastern Baghdad at approximately 8 p.m. Nov. 18."

In Bogor, Indonesia, the
BBC reports, Bully Boy's photo op with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the greeting was "[h]undreds of protestors" voicing their objection the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and carrying wanted posters of the Bully Boy. The day prior, similar protests took place in Jakarta. Alexandre Da Silva (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that Bully Boy's next stop is Hickham Air Force Base in Hawaii this evening and "Motorists are warned to avoid any side roads near Hickam and Camp Smith 6 [p.m.] and 8 a.m. tomorrow because of possible delays from road closures".

In other peace news,
Karen Dolan (via The Black Agenda Report) reports on the Cities for Peace success in this month's elections where "162 communities in Wisconsin, Illionis and Massachusetts voted on ballot measures calling for the U.S. to end the Iraq war. In every one of those communities, the measures swept to victory."

That option, ending the war, was considered and dismissed by the Pentagon.
Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) reports that the Pentagon has a "closley guarded review" with "three basic options: Send in more troops, shrink the force but stay longer, or pull out". Ricks notes that 'send more' option isn't an option "the study group . . . concluded that there are not enough troops in the U.S. military and not enough effective Iraqi forces".

Flashback to November 16th:

The total number of US troops in Iraq?
According to CBS' David Martin, not enough and never will be based upon John Abizaid's remarks to the Senate yesterday "But when you look at the overall American force poll that's available out there, the ability to sustain that commitment is simply not something that we have right now with the size of the Army and the Marine Corps." Let that sink in. According to Abizaid, a War Hawk who never met a battlefield he didn't go weak-kneed over, there are not enough available foot soldiers in the US army or members of the Marines to do what Abizaid feels needs to be done in Iraq.

Ricks reports the group favors an approach which "calls for cutting the U.S. combat presence in favor of a long-term expansion of the training and advisory efforts. Under this mixture of options, which is gaining favor inside the military, the U.S. presence in Iraq, currently about 140,000 troops, would be boosted by 20,000 to 30,000 for a short period, the officials said."

And the withdrawal option? Off the table. As
Reuters notes, "Mr Bush has adamantly opposed setting a specific timetable for withdrawal" or, one could safely note, withdrawal at all since he's bragged that US troops would still be in Iraq after he was out of the White House.

Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports that Walid al-Moallem, Syria's foreign minister, stated "Sunday that his government was prepared to help stabilize Iraq, and uring a visit . . . [in Iraq] called for a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops, saying that it would help reduce the violence." As the BBC notes, "Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, recently urged US President Georg W Bush to involve Iraq's neighbours, Syria and Iran, in an effort to stabilise the country."

Blair made headlines this weekend as a result of an interview with David Frost for Al Jazeera TV.
Tim Shipman (Daily Mail) reported: "Challenged by veteran interviewer Sir David Frost that the Western invasion of Iraq has 'so far been pretty much of a disaster,' Mr. Blair said: 'It has'." Despite that admission, Blair doesn't believe in withdrawal. Philip Webster (Times of London) notes the admission and ties it with British MP and Blair ally Margaret Hodge's statements last week. As the Guardian of London noted last week, Hodge stated the illegal war was Tony Blair's "big mistake in foreign affairs" that it was exporting "moral imperialism".

From the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sunday, John Howard, who holds the position of prime minister in Australia and also fills in as "joke of the country" just for kicks, weighed in.
Reuters reports that Howard does not agree it's been a "disaster," "tougher," but not a "disaster." Reuters notes that the "tougher" no "disaster" call by Howard came "on a day [Sunday] in which 50 people have been killed in attacks across Iraq." Tougher, says Howard, not a disaster.

He might consider speaking to person Ali Jasim did.
Jasim (Reuters) reports on Abd al-Sattar Obeid who states, "I'm alone now. I have no sons. . . . Yesterday there was a mourning procession for my son and my brother and his two songs who were killed 40 days ago. In the evening, during the rites, some gunmen arrived, about 20 of them. They didn't bother to mask their faces. They were carrying Kalashnikovs and pistols. I begged them. I told them: 'Please don't kill anyone. We have done nothing. What have we done to deserve this?' But they didn't listen to me. They killed my two other sons and ran."

"Tougher" says John Howard, not "disaster."

Meanwhile, in the United States,
AP reports that War Hawk/War Criminal Henry Kissinger has stated (on the BBC) of the illegal war, "If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose write runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that's possible." For any who fell alseep, Kissinger said "no" to military victory in Iraq. Australia's ABC reports that Kissinger "says it is now time to start talking to Iran and Syria to find a way out of Iraq."

Does it feel like we just went in a circle? Back to Iraq and Syria, the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, and the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem are meeting and, as
Xinhua reports, "discussing a range of issues" And Reuters reports that Iraq's president, Jabal Talabani, is due in Tehran to meet with Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this weekend. Though Reuters says there's no word on Syria being included, Al Jazeera reports that Syria's president has been invited and quotes Ali al-Adeeb ("legistlator from the governing Dawa party of Nuri al-Maliki") as saying: "All three countries intend to hold a three-way summit among Iraq, Iran and Syria to discuss the security situation and the repercussions for stability of the region." CNN also reports that the upcoming summit is expected to include Syria.

In US Congressional news,
Charles Bibington (Washington Post) reports that Republican Senator John McCain wants "more U.S. troops in Iraq," while Democratic Senator Carl Levin believes "troop withdrawals must begin within four to six months," and Democratic House Rep. Charles Rangel is calling for a return of the draft and told Face the Nation Sunday, "I will be introducing that bill as soon as we start the new session." On CBS' Face the Nation, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham rejected such a notion but stated "I am willing to send more American troops". Rangel, as host Bob Schieffer pointed out, will chair the House Ways and Means Committee in January. Schieffer asked Rangel, noting that he had called for it before, if he was serious about bringing back the draft?

Rangel: You bet your life, underscore serious. There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft. And if members of Congress and the administration thought their kids from their communties would be placed in harm's way. . . . I will be introducing that bill as soon as we start the new session.

Schieffer: You will, you will introduce that bill?

Rangel: You can depend on that. I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft. To do so would be hypocritical.

AP notes that the incoming (in Jan.) House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, knows nothing about the draft proposal and would not support it according to incoming (in Jan.) House Majority Leader, Democrat Steny Hoyer.

Finally, on the topic of 'friendly fire,'
on October 6th, an inquest was underway in London into the death of ITN reporter Terry Lloyd in Iraq with witness Nicholas Walshe testifying to seeing Lloyd "shot in the head by US troops as he was driven away from a gunfight." Walshe was only one of many witnesses. No US troops participated. The coroner, Andrew Alker, ruled on October 13th that "Terry Lloyd died following a gunshot wound to the head. The evidence this bullet was fired by the Americans is overwhelming" (CNN). Terry Lloyd's daughter Chelsey was quoted by CNN stating: "They did not come to this inquist to explain their actions. Let them do so in our criminal courts where they are guaranteed to get a fair trial." David Johnson is the deputy US ambassador to England. He is apparently overtaxed and heavily burdened. All the above was over a month ago. The Guardian of London reports that Johnson has stated that he will pass on "[g]overnment concerns about the failure of US soldiers to attend the inquest of British service personnel killed by so-called friendly fire in Iraq". Again, one month after the Lloyd inquest issued its findings, the deput US ambassador to England intends to pass on concerns, weeks after the inquest into the deaths of British soldiers Kevin Main and David Williams.

ehren watadabob watada