Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Marjorie Cohn, Gail Russell Chaddock

Wednesday and how are you feeling? I feel pretty damn good. I agree with Dona, the best thing to do was to get it out and judging by the e-mails, everyone else agrees as well. Jess thinks we had our strongest night as a community and I agree. Be sure to check out Elaine's
"Indymedia, bad hair and bad manners" which is very funny, Betty's "I've lost my faith in independent media (Betty)" which is really great, Rebecca's "how fair is fair?" which is her rewrite of Monday's post and she's as angry as I was yesterday, Kat's "Wow" which you'll really enjoy and Wally and Cedric's joint post of "THIS JUST IN! YOU DON'T MEAN SH*T TO A TREE, INDYMEDIA!" and "The ungrateful." I agree with Jess that yesterday night was some of the community's best writing.

This is from Majorie Cohn's "Repression in Oaxaca:"

There's an Aztec legend of a warrior who was in love with a princess. When he left to go into battle, the lovers promised each other eternal love. The warrior died in battle, but to fulfill his promise to the princess, he came back as a brilliant orange flower. That flower now graces Flamboyan trees throughout Latin America. Another Flamboyan legend speaks of the struggle of the Puerto Rican people against colonial domination.
On Sunday, June, 10, 2007, under a Flamboyan tree, the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) held a press conference to announce the liberation of one of the leaders of the year-long popular struggle for social and economic justice in Oaxaca. Marcelino Coache Verano, secretary general of the free union of Oaxaca municipal workers, had been arrested, severely beaten, and held for six months in prison before he was released on May 31, with all charges against him dismissed
The press conference kicked off a week of actions to commemorate the brutal June 14, 2006 attack by 1,000 armed police against people peacefully demonstrating in support of the demands of some 70,000 teachers for higher wages, improvement of school buildings, and better resources for children. A teacher typically earns the equivalent of $220 every two weeks, and must purchase school supplies herself. Although the Mexican constitution guarantees free education, mothers have to pay registration fees.
State governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz sent in state police, accompanied by dogs, who viciously attacked the sleeping teachers and supporters. They tear-gassed everyone in the vicinity, including pregnant women and children; one woman miscarried as a result. Ninety-two people were wounded. Members of the community reacted with outrage, fighting back with anything they could find. They chased the police from the square, and re-established the camp.
On June 17, several hundred local organizations came together to form the APPO, comprising almost 350 different civil organizations working in areas of indigenous issues, sustainable community development, human rights, and social justice. APPO demanded that Governor Ulises Ruiz step down. Meanwhile, the movement continued to grow, with large but peaceful demonstrations. On August 1, hundreds of women marched, and when denied air time by the government radio station, occupied the station and broadcast their position themselves.
Throughout this period, police raids, beatings, and shooting continued. On October 28, four people were killed, including indymedia journalist and U.S. citizen Brad Will and a Mexican teacher, Emilio Alonso Fabian.

Elaine supports CounterPunch and I have no problem with them. I think the National Lawyers Guild does great work. I'm explaining that because I am working on a list of who I will highlight and who I won't. I meant what I said yesterday about being sick of seeing C.I. ripped off and being sick of people showing up to ask for help and then acting like they don't owe something in return.

I'm tired of it and tired of people thinking, "Oh, I'll use The Common Ills to publicize myself. But play like I don't. I'll play dumb on air and act like I didn't ask for attention." As Kat noted, if something's in the snapshot that it in there because C.I. was asked to put it in, we're all informed of that. C.I. makes it very easy to post the snapshot by e-mailing it to all of us and in that e-mail, at the top, is a list of everyone who asked for a plug in case we don't feel comfortable with it. The snapshot goes up at how many sites? Counting mirror sites, Fridays goes up, in part or in full, at ten sites.

And then there's the stuff C.I. just gets the word out on because it's good stuff. C.I. has been too nice and too willing to help out others when the reality is that they are selfish and they never give anything back. When they need something, run to C.I.!

You know, my parents would be embarrassed if they ever heard that I asked people to do something for me and never did a damn thing in return. As far as I'm concerned, they're leeches. They treat The Common Ills like it's a truck. When they need to move, call C.I. and then after they've been moved, don't call again until it's time to move again. They have no manners. I think Elaine got that absolutely right in her post yesterday.

Now this is from mainstream media and I won't feel bad about highlighting it ever because MSM is always out for itself and doesn't pretend (or write in e-mails) "We're all in this together." Yeah, "we" are, as long as we're really to promote you and build you up and as long as we're happy with doing that and never even getting the most simple thank you. This is from
Gail Russell Chaddock's "Bush tries to win back GOP lawmakers:"

For President Bush to pull off a legacy in the final 19 months of his presidency, he needs to shore up support within GOP ranks on Capitol Hill, especially among those who will face voters in 2008.
From immigration and the Iraq war to embryonic stem-cell research and hirings and firings at the Justice Department, Republican lawmakers are increasingly breaking with the president on key votes -- and the defections are coming from many who were once his staunchest supporters. Thirty-eight Senate Republicans voted against moving ahead on immigration reform last week, sidelining Mr. Bush's top domestic priority. Then, on Monday, seven Republicans -- five of them up for reelection in 2008 -- joined all Senate Democrats in a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
But the most searing intraparty rows could come in early September, when Congress plans a close look at progress in the war in Iraq.
"If President Bush had been a more popular president running a more effective war in Iraq, Republicans would still be in the majority, and that's how many of them still look at it," says Jennifer Duffy, senior analyst with the Cook Political Report.
Until Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in the midterm election in November, Bush sustained a level of support from his own party that his father and President Ronald Reagan seldom approached. Senate Republicans have backed Bush on key votes about 85 percent of the time during his presidency, according to a January survey by Congressional Quarterly.
But the Iraq war and, most recently, the president's support for comprehensive immigration reform have eroded Bush's standing with his Republican base and emboldened Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill to go their own way.

I don't doubt the above but isn't amazing how much crap the Democrats are full of? Even with the above, they still can't get anything done. They can't end the illegal war, they can't even get a no-confidence vote on Gonzales. They won't impeach, they're just the do-nothing Dems. They've proven that week after week, month after month.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military annouonces the deaths of more service members, the US military and government play The Al-Maliki Squeeze while the puppet babbles incoherently, the mosque bombed in Samarra in February of 2006 is bombed again, and more.

Starting with news of war resistance, Kim Johnson, Duluth's
WDIO, reports on Luke Kamunen who, like his two twin brothers Leo and Leif, self-checked out of the US military on the Christmas break and notes, "The brothers' story is not an isolated one. In fact, the Department of Defense reports desertions have risen 35 percent in the past two years -- from more than 2,400 in 2004 to about 3,300 in 2006" and notes that Luke Kamunen "was surprised" to encounter many others who had done the same "when he was detained by the military". (As noted here before, Luke is now discharged, his brothers state they will turn themselves into the US military at some point.)

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Resistance to the illegal war isn't limited to one segment of the population.
Amy Goodman (writing at Truthdig) reports on the off broadway production Voices in Conflict -- a high school production that Wilton High School (in Connecticut) decided wasn't fit for the school's theater. As disturbing as the attempted censorship of the play was, Goodman reports on equally alarming detail -- in the high schol clases, these students are not allowed to discuss Iraq even in US history whether they each have "to bring in a current-event news item" -- Jimmy Presson explains, "We are not allowed to talk about the war while discussing current events." Who teaches that class? And do they also work at The Nation? (Democracy Now!, by the way, spends the hour today with Vanessa Redgrave discussing art, politics and more.)

Turning to Iraq . . .

This morning
Damien Cave (New York Times) reported on the latest ravings of the madman installed by the US as puppet of the occupation -- al-Maliki declaring that, "We have eliminated the danger of sectarian war." Sounds like someone needs to check their Desoxyn dosage. But reality can sometimes break through even the thickest drug induced fog even if it can be processed correctely. Look at Nouri al-Maliki's statements today. AP reports he's now likening events into Iraq to the American Civil War which would seem indicate that Iraq has not "elimated the danger of sectarian war" as al-Maliki claimed yesterday.

What semi-snapped out of his drugged stupor? A bombing in Samara.
BBC calls the site "one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, the al-Askari shrine in Samarra." The Scotsman notes that bombing "was a repeat of last year's bombing that shattered the Askariya shrine's dome" while Steve Negus (Financial Times of London) explains that bombing "destroyed the minarets of the Askariya shrine." Minarets? Those are the two towers or columns that previously stod on either side of the mosque. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "It wasn't clear how the attackers evaded the shrine's guards to mount the stunning operation, detonating the blasts aound 9 a.m., and bringing down the two slender golden minarets that flanked the dome's ruins at the century-old mosque." Sam Knight (Times of London) notes two reactions -- the puppet "declared a curfew in Baghdad and asked for American reinforcements to be sent to the mainly Sunni town, which has been under a military blockade in recent weeks, to contain any violence" and Moqtadr al-Sadr "called for restraint, declaring three days of mourning and peacful demonstrations." Deborah Haynes (Times of London) notes the reaction of some Iraqis in Baghdad -- shop keeper Shiras Assem decalres, "We are preparing for any attack by the Mahdi Army. We closed the street and we expect to be attacked. Maybe they will hit the local Sunni mosque. We have set up a night watch until this morning. We will not sleep tonight."; and broker Marwan Faled who declares, "We have gather together the young me[n] in our street, each one has a weapon. We told them to be ready if anyone attacks us we will all open fire. We expect an attack during the curfew because we don't trust the checkpoint at end of our road. I plan to stay at home over the next few days because I believe more people will be killed." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) notes that the Iraqi police have stated the columns were brought down by "mortar rounds fired by unknown fighters" while "witnesses said the explosions seems to have come from inside the church" and that despite appeals "for calm" already "five Sunni mosques in the southern port city of Basra were attacked, apparently in reprisal, and Sunni mosques were also struck in Zaiyuna and south of Baghdad." AFP reports that yesterday "there had been a row between the security forces" with two different groups (one from Baghdad, the other from Tikrit) present and saying they were in charge of security as well "some exchange of [gun] fire too" before the Baghdad contingent assumed security responsibilities and they quote an eye witness who states, "I was near the shrine when I heard big explosions that sent a thick cloud of dust in the sky covering the entire area. I quickly ran to the street from where I could see the shrine clearly. I saw one of the minarets was down. Seven minutes later as I was watching the shrine, another explosion occured and the second minaret came crumbling down." Al Jazeera notes that al-Maliki announced that the security team guarding the mosque (that would be the forces sent from Baghdad) would be arrested. Along with the curfew, ban on public demonstrations and driving in Samarra that has been imposed, Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times and the link also contains an AP Television clip) adds that Moqtada al-Sadr's 30 member parliament bloc has walked out in protest and this "could present a major challenge to Maliki, who is under intense pressure to deliver political and economic reforms aimed at appeasing the Sunni Arab minority". In addition to the Samarra curfew and bans, Mariam Karouny (Reuters) details the "three-day curfew in Baghdad" that has resulted from the Samarra attack though how a capital under crackdown for over a year can be further 'cracked down' may be open to question. Since Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for public, peaceful demonstrations, al-Maliki's "three-day curfew" may be an attempt to circumvent al-Sadr.

Zavis noted the "intense pressure" al-Maliki was facing from non-Iraqis.
War Pornographer Michael Gordon (New York Times) noted yesterday that he accompanied US ambassador Ryan Crocker and Admiral William J. Fallon to a face-to-face with puppet Nouri al-Maliki and the point of the meeting was to pressure on the 'benchmark' of getting the oil legislation privatized (turning over as much as 70% of the profits to foreign corporations) passed in July.
Damien Cave (New York Times) reported that the deputy US Secretary of State John D. Negroponte showed up out of the blue in Baghdad yesterday to pressure al-Maliki who released a statement following the meeting attesting that he would use all of his limited power "to persuade Parliament to approve several proposals that the Americans had identified as benchmarks, including an oil law". The law, like 'liberation' has always been just around the corner and you can drop back a year ago when al-Maliki was first 'rolling up the sleeves' to push through the US written oil law that would then be imposed upon the allegedly soveign nation of Iraq. Andy Rowell (Oil Change) observes that the privatization "seems to be in real trouble" and notes Tariq Shaif telling "a news conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank" some unpleasant realities while Rowell notes that al-Maliki's cabinet's Happy Talk of 'give us one month' is vaguely familiar: "If my memory serves me right, that's what he said about three months ago." Which is true and, again, al-Maliki was installed claiming the theft of Iraqi oil was top of his list but he's still 'trying', all this time later.


Reuters reports a Baghdad mortar attack that claimed 4 lives (10 more wounded), a Taji bombing that killed an Iraqi soldier (4 more wounded), a Mandili bombing that killed three (five more wounded), and a Ramadi car bombing that killed 4 Iraqi police officers (11 more wounded).


Reuters reports one college student shot dead

Meanwhile, on the heels of yesterday's news from IRIN that Iraqi children are having to work to support families comes
Tina Susman and Zeena Kareem (Los Angeles Times) report on the rise of cholera in Iraqi children with five reported case "in the last three weeks, a worrying sign as summer sets in and the war leaves sewage and sanitation systems a shambles. All of the cases were among children younger than 12 in the southern city of Najaf and were reported by medical officials on alert for signs of the potentially lethal ailment, Claire Hajaj of the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, said Tuesday."

In addition, the
US military announced today: "One Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed when a roadside bomb detonated during combat operations in an eastern section of Baghdad June 11." And they announced: "One Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed when a roadside bomb detonated during combat operations in an easter section of Baghdad June 11." And they announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killed June 12 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." ICCC's current count for the total number of US service members who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war is 3513.

In media news, as independent media continues to be under attack, News Dissector Danny Schechter's "
Special Blog: Can Our Media Channel Survive?" announces the potential fate of which may shut down: "If we can get 1500 of our readers (that means you) to give $25, we can keep going for another quarter. [PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION ONLINE]"

Finally, independent journalist John Pilger is on a speaking tour with his new book Freedom Next Time and his documentary Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (which looks at DC, Afghanistan and Iraq). June 13th finds him in San Francisco showing his film and discussing his book at
Yerba Beuna Center for Arts (beginning at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm) and the price of admission is $15 general and $5 for students. "Presented by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, The Nation Institute, and KPFA, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. For ticket information, call 415-978-2787 or order online at In person tickets at YBCA Box office located inside the Galleries and Forum Building, 701 Mission Street at Third. (Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: noon - 5 pm; Thu: noon - 8 pm.) For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email" From San Francisco, he moves on to Chicago for the 2007 Socialism conference. At 11:30 am Saturday June 16th, he and Anthony Arnove will participate in a conversation, audience dialogue and book signing (Arnove is the author most recently of IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal) and that evening (still June 16th) at 7:30 Pilger will be at Chicago Crowne Plaza O'Hare (5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018) as part of a panel of international activists. To attend the conference, the fee is $85. For Saturday and Sunday only, the price is $70. To attend only one session, the cost is ten dollars. "Presented by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, The Nation Institute, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. Co-sponsors: Obrera Socialista, Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review, and Haymarket Books. For ticket information, call 773-583-8665 or e-mail For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email" The Socialism 2007 conference will take place in Chicago from June 14-17. Along with Pilger and Arnove, others participating will include Laura Flanders, Kelly Dougherty, Joshua Frank, Amy Goodman, Sharon Smith, Dave Zirin, Camilo Mejia, Jeremy Scahill, Jeffrey St. Clair and many others.