Monday, October 16, 2006

Informed Dissent, Iraq, elections, and more

Monday, Monday. Hope everybody had a great weekend. I'm going to note something from C.I.'s snapshot first off (I'll put the whole thing up later in this post):

Mike noted Pacifica's new program Informed Dissent which is a thirty minute, weekly program covering the national election. The September 23rd broadcast focused on the Iraq war and featured many discussions and reports. On the war, Jodie Evans (CODEPINK) declared, "This issue is effecting every other" and listed concrete examples of what isn't being funded as the illegal war is. Evans also noted that, "It's baffling to look at the Democratic Party and see how spineless and lacking in leadership they are." Informed Dissent airs once a week, a half-hour show, looking at the 2006 US elections, hosted by Mitch Jeserich and featuring contributions from many Pacifica broadcasters.

Use the link if you're interested. I don't know where it airs. Eddie, C.I. and I were on the phone today because I asked C.I. to note the program and we both hadn't heard it. C.I. didn't think it was on KPFA. Because C.I. was speaking today, Eddie played it over the phone to C.I. and me. (Blame me for the snapshot being so late, I had work and class so it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I had any time to listen.) (Eddie played it because C.I. would be doing the snapshot on the laptop and that always requires several screens being up so streaming stops and starts.)

Informed Dissent has several episodes up but no October ones yet. We listened to the last one in September because Eddie figured, since it was about Iraq, C.I. could get something from the snapshot for that. There was a lot of stuff in there and since Jodie Evans is covered already, I'll talk about some of the other stuff. If you remember the Christmas Coup Comedy Players, you'll be happy to know that Janet Coleman and David Dozier do a skit in that episode. I started listening to that the second Ruth was noting it in her reports. Then it disappeared. It may be back on WBAI now but I haven't heard that it's back. I like it when Coleman's Condi because that's always funny but this one was too and they were doing a poetry contest about the war. You got a report on a Texas race involving a guy whose name I've forgotten but Eddie told me after we were listening that Joe Barton (the Republican in the race) is in the Texas news because he's preventing assistance going to autism. This wasn't one of those radio segments where, "The Democrat is God and we should all worship." The guy doing the interview asked some hard questions like if the Dem candidate would vote against funding the war and the candidate goes he wouldn't. He actually said a lot more but that's what it boiled down to, no matter how you dress it up.

There was a lively debate between a woman and a guy about the war and I agreed with the woman. I think she was with ANSWER (I was in the car and the cell was going out during part of this but it's a lengthy debate). Her point I liked best was that it's been a long time since the mass protests during Vietnam and that the protests today were growing but that people needed to get into the swing of it and see it and learn it. The guy just seemed to think a vote was the answer to everything. She talked about how this was a long term thing. He was also pretty negative on the peace movement. At the end she said something like she was so glad she didn't have to listen to him everyday and I agreed 110%! :D

They had a report on Ned Lamont, I think Leigh Ann Caldwell did this, and they were very clear that Lamont is a mainstream candidate and not a big lefty. I don't have anything against him but it really grates on my nerves when he's promoted like the answer to the left. He's better than Joe Lieberman, no question, and I hope he wins, but he's not the Mr. Left.

I'm trying to think what else. I asked C.I. if it could be included in a snapshot this week and C.I. said okay but I needed to note it too. It goes by real fast. I was surprised when it was over. I think they used "Gimmie Shelter" by the Rolling Stones as they went out.

This was so much better than most of the reporting you hear. The mainstream bends over backwards to lean right and Air America Radio's male hosts see no evil other than Joe Lieberman. I thought this was a really good program for people who are left and interested in the elections. It didn't suck up and it didn't pull punches. So, check out Informed Dissent if you're looking for some solid election coverage.

Now let me do what I usually do on Mondays, talk about The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Editorial: What does it say? -- great painting. I really love it. In "And the war drags on," C.I. talked about it, it was done by Jess, Jim, Ty and Dona and they did a great job. The words are pretty cool as well. I think this is a really great editorial and I'll agree with C.I. that it's too bad it continues to need to be written.

TV Review: Try to ignore the Shark in the room -- Ava and C.I. take on a really bad show. I wish I'd known they were doing this one because Tony likes Jeri Ryan, I mean really, really likes her. So I caught the show before the one they're quoting when he was over here and wanted to watch two Thursdays ago. But it describes the show perfectly (and you know it's funny).

War Hawks Anonymous (Parody) -- Jim basically locked Ava and C.I. in a room (at Elaine's request) last week and got them to riff on a 12 step group for War Hawks (which C.I. had joked to Elaine about). So Jim had all these lines from Ava and C.I. when we worked on this. It's funny.

Target: 14-year-old Julia Wilson -- I hope you heard about this. Julia Wilson is 14-years-old and the Secret Service pulled her out of class to badger her about a drawing she drew. They apparently have a lot of time on their hands.

The Brazen Cindra -- Cindra signed up for the military because her daughter was injured in Iraq and left 70% disabled. The right-wing embraced Cindra as the anti-Cindy Sheehan. They made her a hero all summer and, woops!, Cindra lied. Her daughter wasn't disabled, her daughter wasn't injured in Iraq, her daughter never went to Iraq, and her daughter was never in the military.

Felon in the Congress -- These always seem like they'll be quick to write but never are. It's sort of poem of some of last week's big news.

And? That's it. Elaine, Fly Boy, Rebecca and I had plans Saturday night. The California gang had to be somewhere. Betty had to take her kids and her sisters kids to the movies. So everybody started late. There's an illustration that will go up with a story next week. But it hadn't dried so they couldn't scan it and they wanted the illustration with it. There wasn't time for CounterSpin either. When it was obvious that the edition would be coming up short, Jim asked Ava and C.I. to pull something from their TV review and write about that at length and so there's also "About the TV reviews" which is really good. But everyone was tired and they're doing the note tonight, or that was the plan Sunday morning.

Elaine said she was exhausted from the weekend but I think she's going to talk about the artwork so go check out Like Maria Said Paz. And you know you need some laughter so check out Cedric's "Bully Boy does it for love (humor)" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY GETS HOT & HEAVY FOR LOVE!" (joint-post) and also Betty's "The Queen Bee Gets Stung."
And Halloween's going to be here before you know it, so check out Ma's "Halloween in the Kitchen." For all the news you need on Iraq, C.I.'s got it in the "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, October 16, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Lynndie England speaks, Iraq's health care system continues to 'collapse,' Iraqi school children offer their opinions, Bully Boy makes another pledge that others will have to back up and, related note, two more US troops die in Iraq as CNN reports that the death count for 'coalition' forces has reached 3,000.
Starting with some of the reported violence in the continued chaos that is the illegal war.
Ibon Villelabetia (Reuters) reports that tweny people died in Baghdad as a result of two car bombings. CBS and AP note two more bombs, in Baghdad, that took the life of one police officer. Reuters reports three roadside bombs left three dead in Baghdad, while two security guards were wounded elsewhere (in Basra by "rocket-propelled grenades" and in Najaf by a roadside bomb). AFP reports a car bomb in Suweira left 15 dead and 35 wounded.
AFP reports that four people were shot dead in Khalis "near a bus terminal". Al Jazeera reports that Emad al-Farron ("brother of Munqith al-Faroon, the chief prosecutor in the genocide trial of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein") was shot dead in Baghdad. CNN reports that three poeple were shot dead in Muqdadiya. Reuters reports that a police officer was shot dead in Madaen and "two bodyguards of former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari" were shot dead in Khalis.
Reuters reports that two corpses were discovered in Mosul. Al Jazeera notes that three corpses were discovered in Baquba. CNN reports that 26 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today.
CNN noted, the death toll for those serving in the 'coalition' has now hit the 3,000 mark and that includes: "119 British, 32 Italians, 18 Ukrainians, 17 Poles, 13 Bulgarians, and 11 Spaniards, as well as service members from Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Holland, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Lativa, Romania, Salvador, Slovakia, and Thailand." US? Busy day for the US military as they issued three statements on deaths (all were announced today): two soldiers died Sunday in Salah Ad Din Province, two others also died Sunday in Kirkuk, and one died in Baghdad Sunday night. The toll for the month of October (US military fatalities) now stands at 58 with 2771 being the total since the start of the illegal war.
As the
Anchorage Daily News notes five soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team have died "since the unit's deployment was extended in August". AP reports that the fifth to die was Nicholas Sowinksi, a twenty-five year old from Tempe arizona who died Wednesday. As the AP notes: "Member of the Fort Wainwright-based brigade were told just days before they were preparing to return to Alaska that their one-year tour in Iraq would be extended. Some soldiers had already returned to Alaska and were sent back to Iraq." They died, to be clear, after they were backdoor drafted by completing their tour only to learn, at the last minute, that their tour was being extended. Also on the topic of Alaska, Charlie LeDuff (New York Times) reports on the burial of Billy Brown of North Slope, Alaska. Brown died during "training maneuvers at Camp Shelby in Missippi" so will not be included in the count of those who have died in Iraq -- he was fifty-four-years-old.
Despite all the above, Bully Boy apparently woke up this morning feeling groovy and wanted to share that "No April rain, No flowers bloom, No wedding Saturday within the month of June, But what it is, Is something true, Made up of these three words that I must say to you, I just called to say I love you . . ." And who better to share that with than the puppet of the occupation?
Daniela Deane (Washington Post) reports that Bully Boy called Nouri al-Maliki who'd heard rumors that he might be ditched in two months ("I put out for you!") and that Bully Boy explained he had no intention of leaving (while he leered at Iran and gave North Korea the once over). Deane reports the news came from Miss Rona -- Tony Snow who gushed over the call at today's press briefing.
Snow Job plays yenta while
Rick Jervis (USA Today) reports that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki "will not force militias to disarm until later this year" and that he explained the importance of patience from "his expansive, marble-and-gold-trimmed residence, a former palace of deposed leader Saddam Hussein located inside the tightly guarded Green Zone."
Outside the safety of the Green Zone,
Charles J. Hanley (AP) reports, the reality is that "reconstruction funds are drying up and they're [contractors] are pulling out" despite the fact that "[f]ewer than half the electricity and oil projects planned have been completed".
On the same issue,
David Wilson (CounterPunch) reports that that a little under a third of all Iraqis "live on less than $1 per day," that "[m]ore than 500,000 residents of Baghdad can only get water for a few hours a day due to leaking pipes and the inability of the city's water purifying plant to meet demand," "Iraq's power generation and supply grid is in a state of collapse," that a quarter of all Iraqi doctors have left the country since 2003, and that doctors practice at the risk of death squads, US snipers and more. [On the topic of fleeing, Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reports that the continued fighting in Balad, which has claimed at least 91 lives since Friday, has led "Sunni Muslims" to flee "across the Tigris River today."]
Reconstruction isn't the only thing being cancelled.
Michael Howard (Guardian of London) reports that the Iraqi reconciliation converence that was to have been held this coming Saturday has been cancelled and that "emergency reasons" are cited. If that seems strangely familiar, drop back to June 14th when the Arab League conference was yet again postponed because of 'instability.' The so-called 'crackdown' in Baghdad was about to start back then. It's been ongoing ever since with no real results.
Though the reconcialition conference is once again shoved back,
Stephen Negus (Financial Times of London) reports that a group calling itself the Mutayibeen Coalition is calling "for the creation of a separate Sunni Islamic state in the country."
As the illegal war continues,
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail (IPS) report on the mood in Iraq among school children in Khaldiya. One tells them, "Americans are bad. They killed my family" and another states, "God will send all Americans to hellfire."
Mike noted Pacifica's new program Informed Dissent which is a thirty minute, weekly program covering the national election. The September 23rd broadcast focused on the Iraq war and featured many discussions and reports. On the war, Jodie Evans (CODEPINK) declared, "This issue is effecting every other" and listed concrete examples of what isn't being funded as the illegal war is. Evans also noted that, "It's baffling to look at the Democratic Party and see how spineless and lacking in leadership they are." Informed Dissent airs once a week, a half-hour show, looking at the 2006 US elections, hosted by Mitch Jeserich and featuring contributions from many Pacifica broadcasters.
On the topic of elections,
Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) explains why No-Momentum may overtake Ned Lamont and urges Lamont to free himself of his handlers and find his own voice.
Tara McKelvey reports on Lynndie England who (a) has learned, via her lawyer, to say "I heard . . ." when speaking of incidents to avoid further charges, (b) is an animal lover who enjoyed, in Iraq, the corpses of goats and cats being used for 'fun,' (c) has not placed Charles Graner on the birth certificate or asked for a blood test because she does not want him to have any legal rights to her two-year-old son Carter. Janis Karpinsky offers that England chose to go along with Graner in abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib (as directed from above) because: "In situations like Iraq, the first thing some young female soldiers look for is a protector -- a senior male, let's say, who's sitting in a vehicle with her. She says, 'I'm really afraid.' And he says, 'Don't worry.' A closeness develops. It's intentional on his part. And naive on hers. Graner is a big, hunky guy. He can probably put his arms around England and still touch his shoulders. Does she feel safe with him? Yes. And all she has to do is be sexually wild with him." McKelvey reports that for . . . Marie Claire. Let's repeat that, McKelvey reported it for Marie Claire. Translation, where is independent media? Good for Marie Claire, but where is independent media?

In peace news,
Ehren Watada is the first US military officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. His father, Bob Watada, is completing his second speaking tour to raise awareness on his son:
Mon. 10/16 4:30-5:30 pm National Lawyers Guild of San DiegoRoom 300, Thomas Jefferson Law School, 2120 San Diego Ave, San Diego

Teresa Watanabe (Los Angeles Times) reports Bob Watada explaining that his son "heard the father of an injured soldier lament on a radio show: 'Why can't anyone stand up and stop all of this?'" and decided he had to stand up.
More information on Ehren Watada can be found at and more information on him and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.