Monday, October 30, 2006

Third, Marjorie Cohn, Iraq

Monday, Monday. Let's get right into it. This is new content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

A Note to Our Readers -- Jim explains what's in the edition.

Editorial: Three Little Words -- This is really a great editorial. They were hoping to have news on Kyle Snyder and write about that but when that didn't happen, they didn't know what to cover. Jess said C.I. was planning on making the "three little words" topic part of "And the war drags on" but gave it to them so that they could finish up the edition. It's really cool.

TV: Kidnapped by the Water Cooler Set -- Ava and C.I. tackle Kidnapped and the Water Cooler Set.

Tina Turner: A retrospective -- This started from a thing Elaine did at her site and then Jim and Dona complimented her on it and she suggested the follow up be a group effort. Kat worked on this too.

'Independent' media? -- Tired of soft coverage of candidates and the non-stop rah-rah? Read this. I've got a highlight to go with this, by the way. So remember this.

Oh, that 'campus' beat -- Tired of campus 'activists' always being students working with the Democratic Party? (Someone's got to get the coffee!) Tired of coverage of 'activism' that always translates as servant? Read this.

13 Things You Can't Tell By Looking at Them (Movies) -- This is a roundtable where we talk about a movie that we watch that might surprise you.

Did war resister Kyle Snyder return to the US Saturday? -- I don't know. If he did, there was no coverage Saturday, Sunday or today.

Patricia Heaton's Pep Talk (parody) -- The nightmare continues off screen.

Gold Star of the Week: The Progressive -- They covered Ricky Clousing.

MyTV's Fascist House -- I think Kat (who thought this regular feature up back in September) is really the only one who gets how cool it is. :D Readers love it but when the core six are getting ready to put it together, they're always like, "Is it funny?" Yes! :D

So what's up? -- Explaining the nightmares of Blogger/Blogspot which put the edition behind and pretty much screwed up all sites this weekend over and over.

Okay, remember I promised you a highlight on the topic of vote-vote-vote!? This is from Lance Selfa's "Liberal Doormats: Tread on Us:"

On September 17, Carpenter presented Brown with a "Backbone Campaign" award as part of PDA-supported effort to reward Democrats who stand up against special interests, the Republicans and the White House. In Brown's case, the PDA was commending him for leading opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
A few days later, Brown's backbone crumbled. He was one of only 34 House Democrats to vote for Bush's torture bill.
Of course, Brown was in a difficult position. What's opposing torture and supporting the right of habeus corpus against the possibility of facing a Republican attack-ad melding his face with Osama bin Laden's?
The PDA continues to back Brown, which goes to show once again that liberal groups working within the Democratic Party end up as the "gofers." They work the hardest at inspiring people to vote for an uninspiring party, and receive little in return. Yet they redouble their efforts to elect the Democrats.
As the socialist Hal Draper wrote in 1967 about the "lib-labs" (liberal-labor) of his day: "The Democrats have learned well that they have the lib-lab vote in their back pocket, and that therefore the forces to be appeased are those forces on the right."
Don't the liberals ever get tired of being treated as doormats? How about calling another press conference and publicly rescinding the award to Brown? Now that would be a show of backbone.

I'd like to read a lot more article like that and a lot less ass-smooching. But all we're going to get is ass-smooching until after the election from most 'independent' outlets.

Check out Cedric's "Bully Boy puts Americans last (parody)" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! FAT AND FLUFFY, BULLY BOY 'FESSES UP" about Bully Boy's get out the vote appearance in Georgia today.

Sometimes, when the fluff gets too much and it depresses, you really need some good news. It's not always available but here is some:

On October 20, 2006, Professor Marjorie Cohn assumed the presidency of the National Lawyers Guild. A member of the NLG since 1971, Professor Cohn is a criminal defense attorney and teaches criminal law and human rights at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Her articles appear regularly on AlterNet, Commondreams, CounterPunch, ZNet, Buzzflash and MWCNews. Professor Cohn lectures throughout the world on international human rights and U.S. foreign policy. A news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV, she has also provided legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Air America Radio, NPR and Pacifica Radio. Co-author of the book Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice, Professor Cohn's book, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published next spring by PoliPointPress. Professor Cohn is the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. She is the recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association's 2005 Service to Legal Education Award, was voted in 2006 by her peers as one of the top attorneys in San Diego, and serves on the Roster of Experts at the Institute for Public Accuracy.
Professor Cohn said, "The Guild was founded in 1937 as the first integrated bar association because the American Bar Association was an all-white organization. Since then, Guild lawyers, law students and legal workers have stood side-by-side with people struggling for the rights for workers, women, people of color, gays, lesbians and transgendered, the disabled, immigrants, the accused, GIs, and anti-war protestors. The Guild's guiding motto is that 'human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.' Becoming president of the National Lawyers Guild is the greatest honor I have ever received and the most awesome responsibility I have ever undertaken."
The National Lawyers Guild is headquartered in New York and has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters.

C.I. called to check and see how I was this afternoon. (Classes have been kicking my butt.) And I mentioned that I was kind of down and C.I. told me about the thing I put in. Cohn's been president-elect for awhile now and she's a really strong voice. I was really pissed about the Lynne Stewart sentencing. I know it could have gone worse but I was pissed that the judge didn't just say, forget it all. She was railroaded. I didn't feel like looking for the silver lining but that's all I was hearing. C.I. told me to go listen to the KPFA Evening News and I did (it was the show broadcast the day Stewart was sentenced) and Cohn was the guest. I wasn't really eager because there are a lot of strong voices and I really felt like they all went into silver-lining-territory. Then Cohn started talking and she wasn't in the mood for that crap. She was angry and you could hear it in her voice.

Someone asked why I never note Law & Disorder anymore? Well, I dropped everything that wasn't addressing Iraq during the summer vacation indymedia took. I'd listen again but Nina recorded it when we were a couple and I'd listen to it when she gave me the tape. Now I'm with Elaine. And I'm real busy and there's never time. I like the Michaels and Heidi and Dahlia but I just don't have the time these days. This really is a killer semester. Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz and get Elaine's thoughts.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and pay attention to the Watada news:

Monday, October 30, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; the US reaches a 'benchmark' but not one that will market well; Different Drummer opens to business; and war resister Ehren Watada's father and step-mother continue raising awareness on their son.

Today, the
US military released a press statement announcing: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Sunday from injuries sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar province." That death brought the total number of US troops who have died in Iraq this month to 100. On that benchmark, John Ward Anderson and Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) reported that this month has been "the deadliest month for U.S. forces since Jan. 2005 when 107 U.S. soldiers were killed." Already, the number has climbed today to 101 (for the month, 2814 since the start of the illegal war). Reuters notes: "A sniper killed a member of the U.S. military police in east Baghdad, the military said in a statement. It was the 101st death in Iraq this month, making October the deadliest month for U.S. troops since January last year."

Meanwhile, in the United States,
Different Drummer opened to business last Friday in Watertown, NY. Celebrating the first G.I. coffeehouse of the current war, included a free screening on Saturday of the films The Ground Truth and this Saturday will offer a free screening of Arlington West (2:00 pm). The coffeehouse, located at 12 Paddoack Arcade, 1 Public Square, provides music, coffee, counseling for soldiers and more. The mission statement reads: "TO PROMOTE the free and uncensored exchange of ideas and information among military personnel and civilians. This includes, but isn't limited to, issues of war and peace, foreign policy, the military mission of our soldiers both at home and abroad, and the proper balance between the rights of citizen soldiers and military authority in a democratic society. TO PROVIDE accurate information, referrals, and counseling regarding the rights and duties of America's service members under U.S. and international law. TO ENTERTAIN servicemembers, civilians, and their families with performances of music, dance, comedy rap, poetry, and authors' readings reflecting a wide variety of viewpoints." The coffeehouse is a project of Citizen Soldier.

In Iraq, chaos and violence continued today.


AFP reports "a deadly bomb attack" in Baghdad today and quotes Abu Zeinad ("eyewitness") stating, "The bomb was hidden in a plastic bag. It's the third time that an attack has hit this place this year". The BBC notes that the explosion took place "early in the morning in Mudhafa Square". Reuters counts 28 dead and 60 wounded.
In addition to that bombing,
Reuters also notes 5 other car bombs in Baghdad today which left 13 dead and 43 wounded. Outside of Baghdad, the BBC notes a bombing in Kirkuk that claimed the lives of two police officer. Reuters adds that it also took the life of "a three-year-old girl" while 19 were left injured while, near Kahalis, a roadside bomb killed two workers and left three wounded while, in Mosul, five were wounded by mortar rounds.


CBS and AP report that Essam al-Rawi, "a leading Iraqi academic and prominent Sunni political activist," was shot dead outside of his home. Christopher Bodeen (AP) notes that appoximately "154 university professors have been killed since the March 2003 U.S. invasion." Reuters notes an attack by "gunmen" on a police station in Baiji which killed two police officers.


Reuters notes six corpses ("signs of torture, blindfolded . . . bullet wounds") were discovered in Mahmudiya, five corpses (ditto) were discovered in Suwayra. In an update, Reuters noted that four corpses were also discovered in Mosul.

Al Jazeera reports that Iraq's foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari is stating that the United Nation Security Council resolution 1637 should be renewed and the occupation continued. Polling demonstrates that the Iraqi people do not support Zebair's conclusion. But the request comes one day after, as CNN reported yesterday, Nouri al-Maliki's convoy came under attack in Baghdad and one of his guards was wounded.

This also comes as the British consulate in Basra is being 'evacuated.'
Thomas Harding reported the evacuation in The Telegraph of London noting: "Despite a large British military presence at the headquarters in Basra Palace, a private security assessment has advised the counsul general and her staff to leave the building after experiencing regular mortar attacks in the last two months." [Polly noted that yesterday.] David Sanderson (Times of London) reports that: "Civilian employees will be moved to the airport, eight miles outside the city" and that the evacuation will not include "the Counsul-General and other staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development". This follows the August 24th 'evacuation' of the British military base in Amara (also due to mortar attacks).

In peace news, Bob Watada continues his third speaking tour to raise awareness on his son,
Ehren Watada, who is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. As Austin's KXAN notes, today Bob Watada is speaking "at Garza Independece High School.". Kim Miller (Austin's CBS 42) reports that Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi (Ehren's step-mother) also spoke in Austin Sunday with Sakanshi noting: "We know that he is taking the hardest way to do it. But he is eager to do it. Willing to do it because he thinks he's doing the right thing." Rudy Koski (Austin's KVUE) reports that at Sunday's gathering (Cafe Caffeine on Mary Street), Bob Watada stated of his son, "He is a patriot, by any definition he is a patriot because he is standing up for what is right in this country."

After Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi finishing speaking to students today, they next to head Oklahoma. Here are some of the upcoming dates of the speaking tour:

Oct 31, 7-9PM Norman, OK Location: Cleveland County Fairgrounds - Lobby615 E. Robinson Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War Contact: Jeri Reed, 405-307-0352, cell 405-606-9598,

Nov 1, TBA Miami, Florida Democracy for America Miami Dade and the South Florida Veterans For Peace Chapter 32 Venue and time TBA

Nov 2, TBA Cincinnati, OH Meet Dr. Victoria (Vic) Wulsin, candidate for congress 2nd district Ohio currently leading Jean Schmidt who called Rep John Murtha from PA. a coward. Sponsor: Vietnam Veterans Against the WarVenue: TBA

Nov 3, TBA St. Paul MN. Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand Avenue Sponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © 612-269-8934

Nov 4, 11AM Milwaukee, WI.Location: Great Lakes Arlington Event Contact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991, Sponsor: VFP Chapter 102* See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"

Nov. 5, 2PM Boston, MA Encuentro 533 Harrison Ave. 5th floor (Chinatown)Sponsors: Asian American Movement Ezine Asian American Resource Workshop Boston Hawaiian Club Chinese Progressive Association Massachusetts Global Action New England Japanese American Citizens League

Nov 5, 7PM Cambridge, MA. Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard Square Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith Chapter Contact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350

Nov 6, 2-4:30PM Boston, MA Location: University of Massachusetts/Boston Sponsor: The Institute for Asian American Studies William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequence Time: 2-4:30 pm

Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.Brad Buccholz (Austin American-Statesman) interviewed Bob Watada for a piece that ran Sunday and wondered whether imprisonment was "a certainity" for Ehren? Bob Watada replied: "Well, right now, this is what the military wants to do. They have him for eight and a half years, for simply saying 'I do not want to go to Iraq to commit further war crimes. I don't want to go to Iraq to lead my men into commiting war crimes and putting their lives at risk, for nothing . . .' They (The Army) are basically trying to shut him up. They don't want their soldiers to tell the truth of what is going on in Iraq, though many, many are now. But (Ehren) is the first officer to publicly come out and say, 'This who war is based on a deception.' There were no weapons of mass destruction. There were no chemical and biological weapons. . . . There were no (9-11) terrorists in Iraq, and yet we're killing thousands of people over there, and getting ourselves killed (in violation of) the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Charter."
More information on
Ehren Watada and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.