Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Darrell Anderson takes a back seat to the sex report

Tuesday and you know I've got a ton to say if you read the snapshot. But before that, I want to note something Beau e-mailed me. The Australian Olympic winner Peter Norman is dead. He was photographed with Tommie Smith and John Carlos when the two gave their clenched fist, Black Power salute at the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico:

Norman won the silver medal in the 200 meters at the Mexico City Games. Smith set a world record in winning the gold medal and Carlos took the bronze, and their civil rights protest became a flash point of the Olympics.
Smith and Carlos stood shoeless, each wearing a black glove on his raised, clenched fist. They bowed their heads while the national anthem played.
Norman, a physical education teacher, stood on the front podium during the ceremony. He wore a human rights badge on his shirt in support of the two Americans and their statement against racial discrimination in the United States.
"It was like a pebble into the middle of a pond, and the ripples are still traveling," Norman said last year.
Smith, Carlos and Norman drew criticism and threats for their actions, gestures that came in the aftermath that year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy."I was happy to identify with (Smith) and the principles he believed in," Norman was later quoted as saying.

The "human rights badge" was, and this is from Dave Zirin's What's My Name Fool?, the Olympic Project for Human Rights and Zirin describes it as a button. Zirin writes:

OPHR had three central demands: resotre Muhammad Ali's title, remove Avery Brundage as head of the United States Olympic Committee, and disinvite South Africa and Rhodesia from the Olympics. Ali's title had been stripped earlier that year for his resistance to the Vietnam draft. By standing with Ali, OPHR also expressed opposition to the war. Olympic Committee head Avery Brundage was a notorious white supremacist, best remembered today for sealing the deal on Hitler's hosting the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The demand to disinvite South Africa and Rhodesia conveyed internationalism and solidarity with the Black Freedom struggles against apartheid in Africa.
. . .
It was on the second day of the Games that Smith and Carlos took their stand. Smith set a world record, winning the 200 meter gold, and Carlos captured the bronze. Smith then took out the black gloves. When the silver medalist, a runner from Australia named Peter Norman, saw what was happening, he ran into the stands to grab an OPHR patch off a supporter's chest to show his solidarity on the medal stand.

Smith and Carlos were stripped of their medals for their brave stand. You can order Dave Zirin's book at Haymarket Books (and other places, but that's the publisher). It's a great book and I wouldn't have known about Smith and Carlos if it weren't for Zirin's book. You can learn a lot of great sports history in that book so check it out.

This morning, C.I. was working on an entry ("Darrell Anderson's back in the US, where's independent media?") and got a call that Democracy Now! would be interviewing Darrell Anderson. So C.I. noted it (and should). Jess told me that the big back and forth was over (a) was the community (which is still angry that the program ignored the revelations about the US military keeping track of Iraqi dead despite the oficial lie and with the their treatment of the Iraq war as an after thought) and (b) if it was included in the snapshot (as was planned), some of us would pull it out.

On (a), C.I. didn't see how you could criticize the lack of coverage when there was a program about to do coverage. I agree with that. And C.I. likes the show. That's no secret. Everyone in the community knows that were it up to C.I., the show would be noted every day. On (b), C.I. knows I regularly will pull out something from the snapshot that I don't care for (a source I don't care for) and C.I.'s fine with that and told Jess and Jim that we already have an agreement that anything I don't like, pull it. (I've never pulled C.I.'s commentary. I agree with that. I am not as generous to some sources cited because I don't think they take the program serious enough.)

But the truth is, I would've left that in. When I saw that entry ("Darrell Anderson's back in the US, where's independent media?") I knew it was going to be one-day only coverage, but I was so glad something was being done that I started thinking, "Gee, maybe it's time to go back to watching the show?" More than that, I was planning on grabbing the new book after class today. There are very few grudges I have the energy to really work at and, as I've written here, my emotions this summer about the show (depression, outrage, etc.) were because I thought it was more than it was. I thought it actually stood for what it the p.r. said it stood for.

So I was planning on including any link in the snapshot and was really feeling grateful. Too grateful. The fact that KPFA airs Democracy Now! twice a day and that KPFA listeners never heard Darrell Anderson's story today (but got to go to town with Mark Foley coverage via ABC) destroyed all the goodwill and gratitude I was feeling. It demonstrated, again, that the war just doesn't matter. Amy Goodman couldn't bother to inform KPFA listeners about Anderson.

Yeah, you can say, "You can listen online to whatever you missed." You can say that. But don't pretend that you're putting any weight behind the story if you pull it twice -- two airings and it was pulled both times. That is bullshit. Twice today, the message was sent that Darrell Anderson was worth the cutting room floor. That's bullshit.

You got to hear all about ABC. You didn't quite hear the truth because either Amy Goodman didn't know it or didn't care. But a blog published the original reporting on Foley. I don't know which one. But they did it before ABC and that's what originally interested ABC. You didn't hear that. You heard about the 'power' of big broadcast. That's not the truth about what got the story going or where the word first (and finally) got out.

But it was a nice plug for ABC. And the decision was made to run the plug twice and not Darrell Anderson. That's bullshit.

Darrell Anderson is news. It's Democracy Now!'s job to cover him. Especially when they toss out that crap about how they are the "war and peace report." But today, they were "the sex report." There was nothing about that (long) report that was on par with what Robert Parry did in "Why Capitol Pages Fear Retaliation" yesterday. It was a great advertisement for big media, it was a great ass smooch. It wasn't reporting but like Elaine said yesterday, Monday was a PBS informercial. So Amy Goodman 'covered' the most talked about story today and it was aired twice on KPFA. The least covered story? Didn't get broadcast.

As Amy Goodman might say, when criticizing the New York Times, it's "a matter of emphasis." And today the emphasis wasn't on peace. Well maybe it will get Goodman booked on ABC's This Week, right? That's what it's all about, right? Not going where the silences are but doing what everyone else does. That's all the Sudan coverage has been -- putting on the op-ed writers published in the Times and elsewhere, presenting just one opinion. Jonathan Steele does an op-ed in The Guardian of London explaining why military intervention is not an answer and Goodman, who has booked him frequently, can't find his number. Keith Harmon Snow speaks out and he's not booked. It's one note coverage. And you have to wonder, Democracy When?
There's nothing brave in repeating the conventional wisdom. Nothing brave in joining the Sammy Powers movement and screaming: "Bring the troops home! And send them to Darfur!"
But that's the only voice that Democracy Now! books. Talk about "Manufactored Consent."

Now today's snapshot has something I disagree with in the commentary. C.I. takes the blame for promoting Democracy Now! today when, for KPFA listeners, they didn't even get to hear the story. (C.I. listens to KPFA over the airwaves and doesn't care to listen to things on the computer.) Jess said the e-mails had started coming in after the first airing of the show. C.I. was sure that the second broadcast would include Darrell Anderson. It didn't. And the e-mails continued to come in. I'm leaving it in, even though I disagree because I don't think it's C.I.'s fault to believe that an important story will air, because C.I. can and will (all the time) say, "I was wrong."

The phrase C.I. doesn't use (that I wish would be used) is "I told you so." Body counts? "I told you so." Go down the list. It's a long list. "I told you so." But, and we've all seen it and talked about, those words don't pop out. Even when we're all arguing about a line at The Third Estate Sunday Review and have to get it to something C.I. can live with (C.I. will not go with anything that the community would disagree with or be insulted by). When we finally get it to something liveable, C.I. will say, "There will be complaints, but I can live with it." Then there will be complaints and Ty will usually shove those over to Jim to deal with. And C.I. doesn't say, "I told you so." Or, the next time C.I.'s objecting to something, doesn't say, "Okay, remember last week when I was right . . ."

But if C.I.'s going to slice up the blame pie, let me grab a slice because when I saw that this morning, I immediately went to the "Oh good" place and started feeling better about the show. Getting sucked in because it was about to do what it should be doing. I'm tired of that. You do your damn job or you don't. And I'm really tired of hearing what's on PBS and what's on ABC and blah blah with Iraq and the peace movement taking the back seat (when they even get offered a ride) week after week.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, October 3, 2006. Violence and chaos continues in Iraq; war resister Darrell Anderson has turned himself in today at Fort Knox, the puppet of the occupation has a 'plan' which (US) domestics fluff and Andrew North (BBC) notes is greeted in Baghdad with "desperation"; Dahr Jamail writes of 'tribal' leaders with, apparently, summer homes in the Green Zone; and indpendent media continues to hone the method with which they covered Iraq all through the summer: War as an After Thought. (Credit to Mike for that phrase.) Or possibly it's just a case of "going to where the sex is"?
In Iraq, the American fatality toll continues to rise. Opening papers today, one might have been greeted with
Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Qais Mizher (New York Times) reporting that: "the military reported the deaths of 10 more American and British servicemen since Saturday. At least 13 troops have been killed in the past three days." The count has continued to rise and you can drop "three past days" (and therefore Saturday). Since Sunday, October 1st, thirteen US troops have died, and one British soldier, and it's only the third day of the month. The total American military fatality count since the start of the illegal war is 2729. To date, 19910 Americans have been wounded in the illegal war.
The month with the most known number of American wounded soldiers was April 2004 which had a total of
1213. Among those wounded in April 2004 was war resister Darrell Anderson who has turned himself in today at Fort Knox after self-checking out of the military in January 2005 when Anderson drove with his parents to Canada, through a snowstorm.
There, Anderson attempted to seek refugee status (which Canada has refused to grant any war resister thus far), worked odd jobs, met Gail Greer (who was working on a film about war resisters), dated her for a year, and then in February of 2006, Anderson and Greer married. This should have increased his chances for Anderson to remain in Canada (Greer is a Canadian citizen). A missed filing date by his attorney led to the refugee status claim going out the window.
Anderson was already floating the possibility of returning to the United States early this summer.
Confirming this to Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader), Anita Anderson (Darrell Anderson's mother) stated that she hoped he would remaing in Canada "because he's probably going to get sponsorship in Canada now that he is married to a Canadian girl. But he's constantly stressed out and worried, and he feels like he can't live out the rest of his life this way."
That feeling, the lack of medical help available to him as an immigrant (Anderson suffers from PST due to the roadside bombing), the lack of income (Anderson had no work-permit) and a desire to draw attention to the realities of the illegal war, led to Anderson deciding to return to the United States. Before turning himself in today, Anderson spoke with reporters.
Brett Barrouquere (AP) reports that Darell Anderson stated, "I feel that by resisting I made up for the things I did in Iraq. I feel I made up for the sins committed in this war."
More information on war resisters can be found at
Courage to Resist and you can even find information on Suzanne Swift, who is not a war resister, but someone who suffered many tragic experiences while serving and should now be released from the military with an honorable discharge as a result of the abuse she suffered while serving.
Darrell Anderson is news. For those who may wonder
why something else isn't noted, I can't note what I don't hear. So, despite listening to a radio station which airs Democracy Now! twice each morning, I can't note what Darrell Anderson said -- I didn't hear it because they didn't air it. Apparently when the show needs to be boiled down to a little under forty minutes (due to fundraising), "going to where the silence is" means twice airing a lengthy segment on Mark Foley (whom no one is covering, apparently) and ditching Darrell Anderson (whom apparently is the saturation topic of all the networks and cable).
That's treating war, AGAIN, as an afterthought and the shame is on me for being foolish enough to think it might be different today. To repeat, when you broadcast a 60 minute show twice in four hours, you can find a way to include Darrell Anderson if you think his actions are news. Obviously some didn't feel it was. We may not have gone "where the silence is" but we did get to "go where the sex is" and to "go where big media is and has been since last week." Well
Monday was an infomercial for PBS so "fairness" must have dictated that Tuesday be an informercial for ABC. Tomorrow? Maybe the Pax Network.
In Iraq, the violence continues, whether it or anything Iraq related is covered or not.
CBS and AP report a bombing at "a fish market in Baghdad" left three dead and nineteen wounded. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports that the bomber wore "a belt rigged with explosives in the outdoor market". AFP reports that one person died and nine were wounded by a bomb which "exploded near a well-known Shiite mosque" and that mortar rounds killed one person in Baghdad and ten in Mussayib.
Reuters reports that two corpses were discovered in Rashad while AFP reports seven corpses were discovered in Baquba and three in Kirkuk.
Reuters reports fourteen people were shot dead in Baquba today (including "four members of the same family" who were in the midst of "moving to another house"); in Haditha one civilian was shot dead; in Mosul one civilian was shot dead; and in Ramadi: "Clashes between gunmen and U.S. forces killed a man and wounded three others, including a child".
Ramadi is the locale
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail (IPS) report on that so-called
"tribal agreement" was never really that noting "Some Sunni leaders," not all, and the criticism they are under from residents in Ramdia such as Sheikh Sa-adoon ("chief of a large Sunni tribe"): "They are a group of thieves who are arming thieves, and this is something dangerous and nasty. This only means we will have more disturbances here, and it could create a local civil war." A lot is also made of the fact that the small "some" aren't in Al-Anbar, they're in the Green Zone. So the much lauded "tribal agreement" was never composed of as many as the press said it was and now it turns out that the "tribal leaders" are living it up in the Green Zone.
Need more reality?
Operation Happy Talkers are on the move and telling you that Nouri al-Maliki offers a 'four-point' peace plan. You may have trouble reading of the 'four-point' plan because the third point isn't about "peace" or "democracy" so reports tend to ignore it. The first step has already been (rightly)
dismissed by Andrew North (BBC) of the "local security committees": "In fact, most neighourhoods of Baghdad set up their own local security bodies some time ago to protect themselves -- because they do not trust the authorities to look after them." AP reports that the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the 'peace' plan (reality title: "continued carnage plan"). Step three? Let's drop back to the September 7th snapshot:
Switching to the issue of broadcasting, were they showing episodes of Barney Miller or NYPD Blue? Who knows but police pulled the plug on the satellite network al-Arabiya in Baghdad.
CNN was told by a company official (Najib Ben Cherif) that the offices "is being shut for a month." AP is iffy on who gave the order but notes that Nouri al-Malike started making warnings/threats to television stations back in July. CNN reports: "A news alert on Iraqi State TV said the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the office closed for a month."
Ah, yes, the puppet's war with the press. The so-called peace plan is more of the same. The third 'plank' is about the media. Which is why the "brave" US media repeatedly cites the first two and stays silent while a free media (something a democracy is dependent upon) walks the plank.
It's disgusting and shameful, the third 'plank.' The whole 'plan' is a joke.
Reuters is one of the few to go beyond the first two 'steps' but even it does a really poor job and those over coverage of Iraq in the mainstream (producers to suits) are very concerned about this. (So why don't they report it?) The "plan" isn't a plan for peace, it's a plan for the puppet to attempt to save his own ass for a few more months. Lee Keath (AP) is only one of many ignoring the third step (possibly AP thinks readers are unable to count to four?) but does note that al-Maliki took office last May with a 24-point plan that, to this day, "has done little to stem the daily killings." Nor will this so-called 'peace plan.' The US military and the American "ambassador" have announced that Nouri al-Maliki better show some results ('after all we've paid' going unspoken).
So al-Maliki pulls a page from Paul Bremer's book and decides to go after the media. For those who've forgotten, on March 28, 2004, al-Hawza was closed down as a result of running a cartoon of Bremer leading to the violence in Falluja in April 2004.
It's not just that there's no new plan (by the Bully Boy or by the puppet), it's that they never learn from their mistakes. (First mistake for the US administration was plotting an illegal invasion.)
But this failure goes across the board to War Hawks of all nations.
Terri Judd and Kim Sengupta (Independent of London) report: "A coroner has severely criticised British army officers, saying their failure to plan was partly to blame for the capture and execution of two of their men in the early days of the Iraq war. Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 36 and a father of two, and Sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, were murdered by Iraqi intelligence after being captured in an ambush when they strayed into dangerous territory. . . . Instead of being told to skirt around the town of Az-Subayr, in southern Iraq, they were ordered to go through the outskirts. When they took a wrong turn, it led them straight through the town where they were hit by a hail of bullets and a rocket-propelled grenade before being dragged from their vehicle."
In peace news, Bob Watada, father of
Ehren Watada, is gearing up to go back out on the road in October. Remember Ehren Watada? If not, Watada, as David Krieger (National Catholic Reporter) writes, "is taking a stand by refusing to follow such orders. He is exercising his rights as an American citizen, an officer of the U.S. Army and a human being with the capacity for thought and reflection. He is making it clear that he did not check his conscience at the door when he joined the military three years ago and is unwilling to be placed in a situation where he will have no choice but to commit war crimes."
Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. After an
Article 32 hearing in August, he awaits word on what the chain of command will do with the findings and his father Bob Watada is on his second series of speaking engagements. Here are some of the events he will be speaking at starting with tonight's event:

Tues 10/3 7:00pm ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
1800 Argyle Ave. #400, Los Angeles
Contact: Carlos Alvarez, 323-464-1636, email:

Wed. 10/4 12:00-2:30 pm Angela Oh's Korean American Experience Class
Life Sciences Bldg., RM 4127, UCLA Westwood Campus

Wed. 10/4 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Contact: So Cal Library 323-759-6063

Thurs 10/5 5:00 pm World Can't Wait March & Rally
(March starts at noon at pershing S1/Bob speaks in front of Federal Bldg 300 N. Los Angeles St. at 5:00 pm.
Contact: Nicole Lee 323-462-4771 email:

Fri. 10/6 7:00 am Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles
Contact: Thalia 626-683-9004 email:

Fri 10/6 12:30 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center
SFV Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima 91331
Contact: Phil Shigkuni 818-893-1851, cell: 818-357-7488, email

Sat 10/7 2:00-4:00 pm Welcome Reception for Bob Watada
JACCC Garden Room, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles
Contact: NCRR 213-680-3484, email:

Sun 10/8 2:00-5:00 pm Forum with Bob Watada
Nat'l Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles.
Contact Ellen Endo 213-629-2231 or Mo 323-371-4502

A full schedule (PDF format) can be found