Thursday, November 30, 2006

Iraq Study Group, Law and Disorder, A. Alexander

Thursday, one day till the weekend starts. Yes, I did have a post earlier. C.I. called and asked if I'd have any time to post on campus before or after class? I go sure because I assumed it was something important (it was) and C.I. goes, "I have to speak, I'm passing the phone to Kat."

So Kat fills me in. All the press is yapping about is the fact that James Baker's dumb ass group is saying maybe someday, no rush, maybe they can maybe think about moving some troops around. Maybe they can't get 'em back to the US, but maybe they can get 'em onto some bases in Iraq or maybe some bases in neighboring countries. And maybe people are stupid enough that they'll think that's actually a plan!


Kat goes C.I. wants to include the cool Iraq Study Group that Tony, Nina and me started in the snapshot. I go, "Cool." But Kat goes that maybe I could write something quick? I see Tony and waive him over and go, "Go get Nina." While he's doing that I check to make sure recommendations are what C.I.'s looking for? Kat goes that would be great but anything is fine.

So there were like fifteen minutes before class and we go running to the library to grab a computer and there's a wait. So we write it up while we're waiting and it's still not our turn for a computer. Tony is totally macking on this woman from one of our classes last year and she goes she's already been waiting ten minutes. As the clock keeps ticking, there's no time. I tell Tony and Nina to go on so they won't end up late but the woman, Lisa, goes, "Oh you were going to blog at your site?" I go yeah and explain we were putting up something from our Iraq Study Group. She goes James Baker is an idiot and she'll post it for me. So she reads over it to make sure she can read what we wrote and I gave her my password and we went on to class.

Well, Tony got her digits and then we went on to class. The e-mails I've read so far can't stop talking about the fifth point, about Dexy Filkins. I have to give credit where it's due, that was all Nina. We thought we were through and Nina grabbed the paper and added that all by herself. She even put in the titles of C.I.'s pieces to link to.

Tony, Nina and I started the group and now it's groups because it's so big. Nina and I nod to each other stuff but this was the first time we really talked in months. We were mainly working on the recommendations but she also talked a little about (and she said I could mention this) the guy she's been dating. He sounds really cool and she deserves someone really cool. I'm really happy for her.

We also talked about the Iraq Study Group she heads now because, after we broke up, she really wanted to start her group right then. The plan had been to wait until the fall and start splitting the big group up into smaller ones. But it made sense and so she grabbed some and started holding meetings at her folks' place.

But those were the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and we are the ones who started it, Tony, Nina and me.

This is by A. Alexander and Lisa e-mailed me about it. Same Lisa that's going out with Tony Saturday and who typed up the post for us today. She wrote, "See this is why C.I. says the peace movement doesn't need to hide behind generals." This is from A. Alexander's "The Generals Join in to Support Bush's Iraq Lies:"

There is always a new excuse and a new rationalization either as to why we invaded Iraq, or why we cannot possibly leave. Now that the Democrats have been elected and the Bush administration might actually have to answer for their past and present Iraq decisions, we are forced to endure two new propaganda pitches. The first being that Iraq isn't in the midst of a civil war and the second is that something called "al-Qaeda in Iraq" has suddenly overrun the country. Both claims are nothing more than violent lies.
Every post-war intelligence estimate has shown that foreign fighters make up only about 5 percent of Iraq's insurgency. Yet, the lie that Iraq is being overrun by al-Qaeda-like operatives is the latest Bush administration rationalization for why we cannot leave Iraq. In the run up to the elections "cut and run" failed to do the trick. Iraq's military and police have become infested with sectarian militia members, so they'll never be able to "stand-up" and allow the U.S. military to "stand-down." How then to ensure Democrats won't muster the political courage to pull the plug on Bush's Iraq disaster? Convince the American people that leaving Iraq, no matter how bloody it becomes, would result in a million-billion al-Qaeda operatives taking over Iraq's oil and then coming to invade America.
How to know this latest administration push is nothing more than spin and lies? Easy! When the hand-picked, "yes-men" Generals in Iraq are repeating, verbatim, what Bush and his people like Stephen Hadley are saying - you know it is typical coordinated Bush administration spin and lies. It is what Republicans like to call "staying on message."

Now I'm going to get back to WBAI's Law and Disorder. I'd wanted to talk about Jonathan Hutto's appearance. He was the second guest. (Do I care about the third guest? Not really. I think the law group he represents has screwed up their client's case from the start. C.I. pointed that out when it was first in the news and also noted when Amy Goodman asked a question, not a trick question, and it was like, "Uh, we, uh, never thought about that.") So Jonathan Hutto is one of the people behind Appeal for Redress which is a petition to Congress that people serving in the military can sign. The plan is to deliver it on MLK day because Dr. King was one of the inspirations for this, his strength in using his voice to speak out (and that includes speaking out against the Vietnam war). Heidi Boghosian asked him if there was any pressure on him to stop or attempts to get back at him for the petition. He explained some of the conditions on him, like he has to be off duty and using his own time. He said he was sure there were people who wished he wouldn't pursue it but no one's made an issue out of it. Appeal for Redress is where to go if you want to sign the petition. If you're not in the military and you want to help you can (a) get the word out and (b) if you have money to give, you can e-mail Hutto (his e-mail address is on the page) about where to send donations.

The third segment was on an important issue. If I say "the American citizen who's going to be executed in Iraq," every community member knows what I'm talking about. But we also know that the legal team hasn't been on top of their game and there's enough things to cover that I'll focus on something else. (I'm not saying the interview is a waste to listen to. I'm saying the legal strategy has been off from the start. To just use the Amy Goodman segment, she wasn't trying to trip the guest up. It was a good question. And the guest was like, "Uh, uh, I don't know.")

This was the fourth part of their four part series on the police state we're living under. If you missed any of it, Law and Disorder has those and other broadcast archived.

That's it for me tonight. I'm tired and cold. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

November 30, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the Baker-Hamiliton Love-Fest sucks up more headlines than the addled-brain panel deserves, shifts on the political ground occur but the media's too busy being whimpering little dogs chasing after their master to note reality, and peace organizations call for a show of support for war resisters and for some action.

Starting with yesterday's
The KPFA Evening News where Sandra Lupien spoke with Global Exchange's Raed Jarrar who explained that some members of Iraq's parliament were under the impression that they would be discussing the possibility of renewing the UN mandate for US forces next week and were unaware that the puppet of the occupation had already 'addressed' that (on Tuesday). Jarrar discussed how what support there was for the puppet had faded as it had been apparent how ineffectual Nouri al-Maliki was, how he's now seen as a failure and how hope is pretty much destroyed.

Raed Jarrar: Let me add one thing, during the last three days some major developments are happening. Yesterday one of the secular groups pulled out of the government -- a group called Reconciliation and Liberation Front, they pulled out from the government. And today a southern group pulled out from the government. And tommorow it's a big possiblity that a number of secular and Sunni and Shia are planning to pull out from the government as well and form this newly, form a front under the name Iraq Salvation Government or the National Iraqi Salvation Front or something.

So all of these things are happening now, at the same time that Maliki is meeting with Bush, so it seems the Iraqi political map is going to change radically within the next few days or

Staying with that topic (the one the New York Times may trip over and discover tomorrow),
CNN reports that Muqtada al-Sadr announced a possible new political alliance with Sunnis and Christians. Calling the group" you know this is coming "'a national front,' the head of al-Sadr's bloc in Parliament -- Falah Hassan Shanshel -- said the groups would target the U.N. Security Council's decision to extend the mandate of 160,000 multinational force in Iraq for another year."

Meanwhile, the
Iraq Study Group has issued their findings: (1) All US troops should be brought home immediately; (2) Reparations shall be paid by the US government to Iraq through the United Nations; (3) The US Congress should immediately begin impeachments hearings; (4) A War Crimes Tribunal should hear testimony into the destruction of Falluja; (5) Dexter Filkins shall be charged with crimes against humanity for his 'reporting' on Falluja and, in fact, all of his reporting on or from Iraq.

The findings were published today by the original Iraq Study Group, not the lame Lee Hamilton-James Baker Circle Jerk. The findings are signed by the original chairs: Nina, Tony and
Mike. And if the findings seem more democratic than those of the James Baker Circle Jerk, well one was of the people, the other was created to provide cover for the US administration.

Turning to news of the James Baker Circle Jerk. They did not recommend withdrawal.
David E. Sanger and David S. Cloud (New York Times) reported in this morning's paper that the James Baker Circle Jerk would recommend that 15 combat brigades be stationed at bases in Iraq or neighboring countries and the James Baker Circle Jerk would not endorse withdrawal of US troops. The James Baker Circle Jerk hopefully checked with "neighboring countries" because, as many will remember, Turkey got aid from the US while hemming and hawwing and, woops, what do you know, their air space would not be used for Bully Boy's illegal war. The James Baker Circle Jerk was a way for him to tap into the Saudi monies he's always tapped into and greed merchants like Lee Hamilton got to go along for the ride. At 75-years-old, there may be nothing left for him to do but stand around open mouthed. But then the James Baker Circle Jerk was never about the "best and brightest." It was, instead, the tired, the corrupt and the cronies.

The Davids are back with their update to say, "Our sources were right." Yes, in what passes for bravery at the Times, all that sucking up allows them their exclusives about reports that will be released. So they've twice wasted everyone's time stroking their sources off on in print while real issues went uncovered and critical abilities (which are supposed to be in a journalist's bag of tricks) again get shoved to the curb. They've chased after Bully Boy, they've chased after the James Baker Circle Jerk.

They just can't find Iraq with a seeing eye dog and an escort. (Should that read a heavily armed escorts? It should.) As
Tom Hayden (The Huffington Post) noted Tuesday, on potential findings of the cover group, "It only postpones the inevitable, the need to exit Iraq before the blood of war sills over into the national presidential election."

Let's leave the James Baker Circle Jerk to the boys (and Sandy Day O'Connor) and instead focus on reality. The
BBC reports that two Iraqi women were killed in Baquba on Wednesday by US forces which follows by one day the killing of "five girls . . . by US tank fire in Ramadi." This comes at a time when the ICRC issues a statement ending with: "The ICRC calls again upon all parties to the conflict to respect the rules of international humanitarian law and to spare civilians and civilian property. In addition, it urges all those who can make use of their moral and political influence on the ground to call for respect of human life and dignity." "All parties." Yes, the Red Cross/Red Crescent would be referring to "all parties" which does include foreign fighters such as the US.

Al Jazeera reports Bully Boy has stated no troops are leaving, that they'll remain till his "job is complete" which apparently means his Blood Lust has yet to be satisfied, after three years, and more will need to die as a result.

A lot is being made of the brief meeting (Brief Encounter?) between Bully Boy and Nouri al-Maliki that finally took place on Thursday.
'A 'speedy handover' (of Iraq forces) to the puppet!' pants CBS and AP. Did no one read the memo yesterday? The memo was published (online) by the New York Times. Did anyone bother to read it? What did Stephen Hadley write about ways that the puppet could look strong? Handing him "additional control over Iraq forces, although we must recognize that in the immediate time frame, we would likely be able to give him more authority over existing forces, not more forces."

Apparently there was no point in the Times publishing that memo, even those who read it appear to act as though they hadn't.

AFP notes Bully Boy wanted to put an end to the "speculation" that the US might attempt "some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq." No word on whether Bully Boy belched after that remark but the lack of grace hardly needs underscoring after three years of an illegal war.

While Bully Boy demonstrates his lack of grace, common sense, et al,
AFP reports that South Korea is pulling their 2,300 troops out of Iraq by the end of 2007. KUNA reports that: "The government also accepted the ruling party's proposal to draw up an action plan for the all-out withdrwal by June 2007, according to Yonhap News Agency." The so-called 'coalition' gets increasingly smaller. Meanwhile, Nouri al-Maliki announces, according to Reuters, that Iraqi troops can take over control in June 2007. Predictions from the Puppet who couldn't meet the Constitutionally mandated deadline for selecting his cabinet? The man who went on to miss the 'bonus' time he gave himself to select the cabinet?

As the press rushes to cover the circle jerk or the Bully Boy,
Dave Clark (AFP) reports: "Baghdad's overlowing morgues have welcomed another grim daily harvest of bullet-riddled coprses".


DPA reports three Iraq police officers were killed by a roadside bomb in al-Mosayyab and three more were left wounded. Dave Clark (AFP) reports that mortar attacks wounded 13 in Samawa.


Thomas Wagner and Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) report that, in Basra, Nasir Gatami ("deputy of the local chapter of a group called Sunni Endowment) and three of his bodyguards were shot dead. The BBC raises the number of bodyguards killed to six. Dave Clark (AFP) reports six shot dead in sectarian conflict in Baquba while a police officer was shot dead in Falluja.


BBC reports that "At least 80 bodies" were discovered in Iraq "in the past 24 hours." The Daily Telegraph notes that 58 of those corpses were discovered in Baghdad.

That's the reality of Iraq -- some of it. What managed to get reported by the ones not confusing the James Baker Circle Jerk or the Bully Boy's travel itineray with the Beatles landing at JFK. Worshipful fans don't generally make for solid reporters and, for those noticing how Iraq has been sidelined by "Follow The Officials!", that's tragically clear.

Not tomorrow, but the Friday after next, December 8th,
Courage to Resist will beging three days of public action:

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!
Participating Groups and Individuals
Downloadable Organizing Kit

United for Peace and Justice notes:

It takes courage to say that you will not fight -- especially if you are a soldier. As more members of the U.S. military step forward for peace, the peace movement must step forward to support them.
Large numbers are now refusing to serve: The Department of Defense estimates that there are about 8,000 AWOL service members. The
GI Rights Hotline (800-394-9544) is currently receiving about 3,000 calls a month.
Most importantly, a growing number of soldiers are speaking out, against the illegality and immorality of the Iraq war and the orders they are being told to carry out. These brave men and women are risking jail time and their futures to stand up against the war.
Click here to find out how you can support them.

On Monday,
WBAI's Law and Disorder interviewed Jonathan Hutto with Appeal for Redress which is gathering signatures calling for Congress to bring the troops. Signatures of those currently serving in the military. Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian, Dalia Hashad and Michael Smith spoke about the historical importance of this and how the rights for those serving were won, not given and Hutto stated that currently they have "a little over 1200" signatures.

War resisters also include Kyle Snyder,
Ehren Watada, Joshua Key, 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, Joshua Casteel, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Patrick Hart, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman. Those are only some of the names of those resisting who have gone public.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!, the War Resisters Support Campaign, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.