Friday, March 17, 2006

Air Assault Launched, Speak out, Amy Goodman Stands Up To The Embed

Good evening. Starting late because we were doing the roundtable for the gina & krista roundrobin that goes out tomorrow. We wanted to get that out of the way so that Gina and Krista didn't have to stay up any later than necessary putting it together. I really think they do a great job and they'd include C.I. in the "they" as will I. It's Gina and Krista's newsletter but they know they don't ever have to ask C.I. for anything, they just have to say "We're a little short" and C.I. will jump in to help. So let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

US Launches Largest Air Assault Since Iraq Invasion
US and Iraqi troops have launched what the military is calling the largest air assault in the three years since the Iraq invasion. In a press release, the army said over fifteen hundred troops and fifty aircraft have been deployed in a "suspected insurgent operating area" northeast of Samarra. Operation "Swarmer" is expected to last for several days. No casualties have been reported so far.

No surprise that no casualities have been reported. That's standard M.O. for this administration. But you can be sure there are casualties. "Suspected insurgent operating areas" are getting bombed. Not known ones, mind you, suspected. I was really glad they included that because it's so important. We're back to bombing like we did when the invasion began. We've bombed since, but this is on that level. We won't read about it in the papers or hear about on the networks, probably. Except in the same terms as last time which was basically, "Wow!" and "Awesome." Asheligh Banfield made a point (and got in trouble for it) that the reporter's job wasn't just to show the hardware but to show what happened where the bombs landed. We didn't get that before and we won't get it now, not from the corporate media. (That's a point Amy Goodman's made many times too, by the way. That we don't get the stories from corporate media about what happens where the bombs land.)

Over 500 Events Planned For Events Marking Third Year of Iraq War
And as the invasion and occupation of Iraq reaches the three-year mark this Sunday, activists are staging anti-war events around the world. At least 500 protests are being held in the US this weekend alone. United for Peace and Justice has organized actions in all 50 states. Some began earlier this week. A veterans march for peace, which began in Alabama Tuesday, will end in New Orleans. According to USA Today, a new poll shows 60 percent of Americans believe the war was not "worth it." In London, the Stop the War Coalition will stage a protest Saturday to demand the withdrawal of US and British troops from Iraq. Similar demonstrations are to be held in cities in Iraq, as well as in Mexico, Japan, and other parts of Europe.

Third year mark. You better be doing something. Don't want to be a war cheerleader, do you? One of The New Republicans saying, "Cool! I love it when we go to war and people die!"? Don't want to suffer from a nasty case of "War Got Your Tongue?" -- right?

Let me pass on this if you're not a regular Democracy Now! viewer. After a protest, you can expect Democracy Now! to cover it. When the corporate media didn't care, Democracy Now! was there. So probably Monday or Tuesday they'll have something on the protests.

Okay, now this is going to be really late going up. Elaine just called. She was reading "War Got Your Tongue?" for the first time since we all wrote it. She was asking me if I'd read it since we wrote it? (I have.) She thinks that may be one of the best things we've written as a group and I agree.

It was funny because she goes, "Just let me read the opening to you." And then she goes, "Okay, there's a point coming up, so let me just read that one." And she ended up reading the whole thing to me over the phone.

That was written as a "special edition." And we were all dead tired by the time that was done. I can't believe it took her this long to get around to reading it. I've probably read it twenty times since it went up December 9th. But it is pretty powerful.

And the whole point of it is that we are all powerful, all of us. If we use our power. Being silent on the third anniversary isn't using your power.

You gotta use your power or be useless. It's your choice.

Amy Goodman could be useless. She could say, "Oh, who cares?" I'm sure she gets tired of fighting to bring attention to something. Everybody gets tired sometimes. But she always does it. She always owns her power and she uses it. She knows that too many people won't. She's one person (though she works like fifty) and she does what she has to in order to get a story out.
If she can do it, you can at least try.

So this weekend, remember that you have power. You have the power of your voice. You can use your power and know you made a difference or you can stay silent and let other people do the work.

If you're letting others do the work, you're not owning your power. Own it. And use it.

And if you need more motivation, check out C.I.'s "And the war drags on (Indymedia Roundup)."

We were doing last night's roundtable for the roundrobin while C.I. was typing that. If you read the discussion, you know C.I. was in their tossing things out throughout. We'd hear the click, click of the keyboard and know C.I. was doing that entry. Because of the points C.I. was making (and building on the points of others in some cases), none of us probably expected much from the entry. I didn't even read it until I got to campus and Tony starts pounding on my back going it was F--king Awesome. I didn't believe him, so we headed to the library so I could log on and read it. It is F--king Awesome. Read "And the war drags on (Indymedia Roundup)" and you'll think C.I. just had all the time in the world and was just focused on writing that. Not that there was a column to write for the roundrobin and for Polly's new newsletter (which was pretty incredible so hats off to Polly). During the discussion, C.I. was coughing and sipping the cough medicine. The voice sounded shredded from all the events C.I.'s been at all week. So I wasn't expecting much at all. But that opening is so powerful. When we were eating dinner tonight, Dad was like, "That's what I call spirit."

Here's something else you should check out "New York Times Chief Military Correspondent Michael Gordon Defends Pre-War Reporting on WMDs" because Amy Goodman doesn't let Michael Gordon get away with anything. He's so insulting and rude to her but she stays focused. Ma said he came off like a real condescending priss-pot. I heard it, but Ma saw and she said especially at the end he was wagging his finger at the camera like we all needed a lecture from a reporter who couldn't get the facts straight during the lead up to the war. By the way, Ma's planning on blogging tomorrow night like usual (at Trina's Kitchen) but if she doesn't, it's because she and all of us are probably going to be tired. We're going to make our voices heard. Are you?

Another things you should check out is Like Maria Said Paz to get Elaine's take on things. But more than anything, you need to use your voice this weekend. You need to be counted and be heard.