Friday and usually I'd put a ":D" but not tonight.
Marcia wrote "Community note and Hillary" last night and I didn't see it. I usually read the evening and night posts the next day before blogging. At work, Tony's dad (my boss) asks me, "Who the hell ripped off C.I.?" I didn't know what he was talking about. I texted Marcia and she was explaining what was what and I was really pissed. Then I got a text from Liang and then I called Martha and by the time I got done at work and headed for campus Martha was calling me and telling me about an e-mail Eddie got and to call him.
So here's what happened, and Marcia outlines it in "Community note and Hillary." Tuesday was the Democratic debate. Ava, Kat and C.I. were speaking about Iraq during the debate. Rebecca hears something that puzzles her so she leaves a voice mail for C.I. When Ava, Kat and C.I. are done speaking, C.I. calls Rebecca and Rebecca reads the statement Bambi made in the debate. C.I. explains how it is a HUGE lie. C.I. writes about it in "Barack Obama lied in the debate" and Rebecca in "obama caught lying again." C.I. hadn't heard it so, while on the phone with Rebecca, looks for a transcript online and finds three: MSNBC, Washington Post and New York Times. C.I. goes with the Times because some members have problems with Washington Post (shock message or something in their browser) and because after NBC did the trash Katie Couric before she left NBC, MSNBC only gets a link or a mention if a friend at NBC asks C.I. for it. (Like when C.I. gives a heads up to what's going to happen on the Today show.) C.I. was on the laptop and didn't have time to page down, page down and knows that members hate that so when there's a link to a transcript at NYT, it's always the "single page" option.
So that was Tuesday and C.I. outlined how Bambi lied and Rebecca wrote for everyone to go check out C.I.'s piece on it.
So Wednesday night/Thursday morning, Lambert at Corrente suddenly discovers the lie. He's Columbus showing up in America and thinking he's found something.
Now the back story there, Kat, Betty, Elaine, Rebecca, Cedric, Wally and I do "Highlights" each week. Most of the time I'm typing. I'm the worst and slowest typist. But everyone's tired. But that's why you see ":D" for instance. I've typed that for sure. And a lot of times stuff has more than I type because I'm going "Hold on, hold on" because I'm so darn slow at typing. It's the last thing written every week. The gang (Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.) are editing and polishing stuff already written. But the rest of us go off and write "Highlights" and then the edition is done. Read Sunday's "Highlights" and you'll find this:
"Lambert and the Cult" -- Elaine addresses the Cult of Obama (and notes right now, as she did in the post, that it's based on comments she and C.I. have been making to each other). She also reminds us of a truest so we need to write this quickly to get that in before everyone forgets and the edition's put to bed.
We had finished all but highlights. "Truest statement of the week" was done and it was Julie Christie. I go tell them we're done (everyone else working on Highlights is off sleeping or whatever) and tell them about Lambert's quote. Jim goes, "Mike, do you know how tired we are?" Dona goes, "Maybe we can mention it next week." But next week (now this weekend) there's always new stuff and it would have to fight with every other idea. Everyone is exhausted and of course the gang's going to the Oscars. Jim (as he points out in his "A Note to Our Readers") got an extra Ava and C.I. feauture out of them (they did "TV: The strong and the weak" and "Radio: Panhandle Media") by promising it would mean that the edition was done sooner and they could actually get some real sleep before having to go to the Oscars. (That's also why Elaine and I subbed for C.I. Sunday night -- and again, I did the typing and I'm the worst at that.) So C.I., who still has to do a morning entry for The Common Ills and post Isaiah's latest comic is tired and will have to continue when everyone else can grab some breakfast, unwind and get ready to grab some sleep. But C.I. goes, "No, Corrente does good work. If Lambert's got a statement that qualifies for a 'truest,' we need to make the time to note it."
And that's how and why Lambert got "Truest statement of the week II." The easiest thing in the world would have been to blow it off and it almost got blown off. There was a big debate about whether to link to just Corrente (Lambert was commenting at someone else's post) or link to the post? They hated the post. (So apparently did Lambert.) But they finally figured link to the comment. This was AT LEAST A 15 MINUTE DELAY on a day they had no time. On a day where C.I. still had to do an entry for The Common Ills and post Isaiah's comic (and Flickr is a pain in the ass -- I don't think C.I. made that announcement, by the way, but Flickr said "full" and that may mean come Sunday that C.I. has to create a new account which will delay the posting even more). Jim, Dona, Jess, Ty and Kat are just going for fun. Ava and C.I. know people there and they want to look good. But even with that, C.I. made time to give credit to someone who earned it.
But Lambert gave C.I. no credit. And when members saw it they got pissed. That's how Marcia found out Thursday. I didn't know a thing until this morning at work. Martha and Liang had both either called or e-mailed her (or maybe both). They saw it on Thursday and they complained about Lambert's post not crediting C.I. using Corrente's contact form. They never heard a damn word. Martha even registered with Corrente to leave a comment and she never got "approved" by Lambert.
Eddie found out about it today and was pissed. Rightly so, and you know I mean that because why did this blog start? Because I got tired of the rip off artists and the assholes treating C.I. like this. So Eddie e-mails and he gets these replies from Lambert.
Liang and Martha (and Liang especially) wants it noted that Lambert never wrote them back. So not only is he comfortable ripping off a woman, he's comfortable ignoring other women.
Now I need to be really clear here because when this has happened before, C.I. has issued orders, "Do not ask for links to The Common Ills." We all follow that. We no longer ask. Any member asking is going to tick C.I. off if it gets back. Eddie didn't ask for a link.
Eddie just told Lambert it wasn't right to rip off anyone.
Now there was another blogger who was involved from a distance. Eddie also wrote him. That guy wrote back that he hadn't seen it and had he seen it he would have credited C.I. and asked what he needed to do? Eddie wrote him back that all was cool. And it was. And it is. The guy didn't know and had credited Lambert as having discovered something.
But Lambert wasn't cool in his e-mails.
He's writing crap like "reset" the conversation. "Reset"? Does he think he's the US military? Is he Bobby Gates and George Casey? Maybe he's Davey BetrayUs?
He's using stuff like "slippery little scut." Eddie asked me what that was and I have no idea. Maybe he meant "slut"? Maybe that's the way Lambert talks? He calls people "sluts." Maybe "slippery little slut" was supposed to be C.I.? I don't know, I don't care. His e-mails are insulting.
He writes about "a big blogosphere" and then it's like he's accusing Eddie of being C.I.
Sorry to break it to you Lambert, but C.I. doesn't ask for links, doesn't beg for links and doesn't contact blogs. C.I.'s got a real life. And wants to get back to it hence the announcement that The Common Ills will probably go dark in November. C.I. made that announcement in the summer of 2005 and C.I. really does have a life to get back to -- as Elaine's pointed out many times, when the illegal war was starting and C.I. was already speaking out against it, C.I. ended a promising relationship because it wasn't fair to that guy to have a relationship and be traveling at least twice a month for two weeks to speak out against the Iraq War. C.I. hasn't worked since then either. Everything's been put on hold to try to end this illegal war. (And Ma would kill me if I didn't again say thank to C.I. for paying my college tuition.) That's why Elaine posted last summer that she told C.I. no more giving to every charity in the world. Elaine remembers Vietnam and how C.I. was a soft touch for every sob story and at the end of that war, C.I. was broke-busted. It took a lot of work to make money starting from scratch but luck, talent and hard work allowed it to happen. C.I. could be at home sitting by the pool every damn day instead of going on the road Monday through Friday to speak to high school students and college students and women's groups and labor groups about the illegal war. But Elaine was really concerned because money was going out and none was coming in. And C.I. will give to anyone, any one with a dream that just needs X to pull it off, anyone at all. So Elaine pointed out, "We're not that young anymore and it's not going to be as easy to start all over." So now C.I. gives to nothing but feminist causes. Anyone else asks, C.I. says "Let me think about it" and then calls Elaine who says it's a good idea or a bad idea. C.I.'s very wealthy (so is Elaine) and that's not the issue, the issue is C.I. would give it all away without blinking like during Vietnam and where would that lead? Elaine does not give to indymedia (they both give to peace groups and to individuals who are resisting) and the reason is she saw those beggars bleed C.I. dry. And when the money was gone, they had no use for C.I. That's why she doesn't give to 'independent' media. She'll pledge a few dollars for NPR and sometimes Pacifica but she's not giving up her money to the ungrateful beggars and that was before we all saw what liars they could be as they launched their attacks on Hillary while lying about Bambi. (And Elaine saw it coming. She said that's happening and could tell you how it happened before.) So my point here is that C.I. has a real life. C.I. has an offline life. And C.I. doesn't give a damn about if someone does a write up or not. C.I.'s always avoided the press offline and only cared about the photos. That's the most C.I. will ever check out.
Though Betty wrote about a book once and I won't do the link because I think it embarrassed C.I. It was raining, C.I. was in Atlanta visiting Betty while speaking to some groups there, this is 2006 and Betty was filling in for Rebecca who was on her honeymoon. And C.I. was just so tired and Betty and her kids went off to look at other books in the store and C.I. pulls this book off the shelf by someone -- someone who wasn't close -- and Betty comes back -- she jokes it's like Soap Dish -- and C.I. was just so touched because this guy had written nice stuff and they had never gotten along. Jess has talked about the magazine cover July 4, 2005 when he was helping C.I. clean out some stuff in the big walk-in closet in C.I.'s bedroom and he goes, "You kept this because you're on the cover!" And C.I. looks at the magazine and says, "Flip to the letter section, the fourth letter . . ." and it was about a Republican C.I. hates and that's why it was kept. As Jess has talked about in roundtables, C.I. ripped off the cover because heaven forbid a magazine be kept that might make people think, "I only kept this because I'm on the cover.)
Rebecca will tell you that when C.I. gives a rare interview, the person's checked out in depth ahead of time. C.I.'s never going to read it, will look at the photos (due to having photo approval) and that's that. Now that's offline.
Do you know how many times C.I.'s been mentioned as "C.I."? A lot. When NPR mentioned something C.I. had written (it was a friend who swears "I didn't know it was you" but C.I. still thinks a friend was just trying to work in a plug to be a good friend), C.I. never covered that topic again (it was about the Supreme Court nominee) and never wrote like that again. There was no, "Oh, let me get mentioned on NPR again!" Instead it was more like, "If NPR's mentioning me, I'm not writing left enough." Or how about the books that have mentioned The Common Ills? C.I. doesn't, for instance, offer up slug line (I don't know what that is but C.I. always uses that and it sounds right here) at The Common Ills saying, "As Daniel Okrent, the first NYT ombudsman said . . ." Not on Okrent, not on anyone. In fact, since Okrent's book came out, he's never mentioned again. And short of dying, he won't be.
C.I.'s not looking for attention, C.I. turns any praise back to the community giving them full credit for whatever makes it online. When friends offer links, C.I. begs them not to link. And I've written before about how when Ava and C.I.'s TV commentaries get too much attention, they immediately scale back to chase away the non-regulars. C.I. grew up in a newspaper family and doesn't have any illusions about the press, doesn't want any more press than is necessary for an issue or for a project (political or work related). There's a young actor who is really a great person and he will tell you (he's told me when I've met him out in California) that he learned to draw a wall between the press and himself because of C.I. (Yes, that's the one that everyone saw in ____ last summer who was talking like C.I. when asked personal questions.) C.I.'s children have never been used for publicity, there's a strict wall between what is off-limits and what isn't.
So it's really insulting that when Lambert's caught ripping off, he wants to accuse Eddie of being C.I. C.I. doesn't give a damn about being ripped out (we all know the mantra: "It's about the work, not the person."). C.I. doesn't give a damn about links. C.I. only de-linked from Lotta Links in July when members said they'd tried to get The Nation study highlighted. In that instance, we'd all worked on that article. And to turn it down (and on July 4th which is a slow day since most people are off) was to turn me, Jim, Dona, Ava, Jess, Ty, Betty, Rebecca, Elaine, Wally, Cedric, Ruth, etc. down. That pissed off C.I. Lotta Links wasn't linking to C.I. and C.I. couldn't care less. (And was still providing Lotta Links links everytime their crappy editor would e-mail and ask for them.) But that the rest of us weren't linked pissed C.I. off. (Elaine will tell you that C.I. doesn't care. C.I.'s attitude comes from being raised with money and it being instilled that the role was to help others not be a glory hog. Elaine can tell you stories -- their families knew each other but they didn't become friends until college, although Elaine's brother and C.I. were friends before that -- about how it was so important not to be a glory hog or vain that C.I. never got a compliment on beauty from anyone growing up. And C.I. was and is beautiful. Attention that others seek makes C.I. uncomfortable and it goes to being raised with money and to having it instilled that if you got a compliment for anything it was something you did and you had better have worked your ass off before a compliment came in.) (C.I. is, however, the freest with compliments of anyone I know. They are sincere. And if you ever feel down on yourself, C.I. is the first person you want to call.)
So I am really pissed that Lambert wanted to deflect from his mistake/error/theft by accusing Eddie of being C.I. (Eddie's pissed for the same reason. Martha, who's had that happen to her before, can laugh about it. But it pisses Eddie off and it really pisses me off.)
Sorry Lambert, but while you spent the day scratching your ass and figuring out what you could "discover" today, C.I. woke up from about four hours sleep, went for a morning run, showered, did the entries at The Common Ills (one of which was dictacted) and was speaking on campuses with Kat and Ava. Lunch was probably a glass of water while dictating the snapshot. There was no time to e-mail you and I know C.I. wouldn't because C.I.'s line whenever a rip off takes place is, "I didn't e-mail [blogger/organization/website/newspaper], they e-mailed me." Which means: I don't care.
And would you if you had a ton of money, a huge house, a life to get back to? No, you wouldn't.
But Lambert doesn't have those things, I guess. I don't have a ton of money or a huge house but I'm not jealous of people who do.
So Lamb Chops writes, "I don't recall reading your post, having just checked it, although I read a lot of them, and a lot of them look alike." Yeah, what you wrote Wednesday night/Thursday morning LOOKED A LOT LIKE what C.I. wrote Tuesday night.
"I don't read you regularly." C.I. will be so crushed.
C.I. who has repeatedly turned down solo interviews for "C.I." and who, with Ava, has regularly turned down interview requests from entertainment sites and magazines will be so crushed that you don't read The Common Ills "regularly."
(Although the line is actually, "I don't have time to visit websites." That's what C.I. would say, if asked. And has said many times.)
Lamb Chops isn't done with his e-mailing, his last message is "I added a link, which is no admission that I "ripped you off."Is "kiss my ass" Texian enough for you? Good. Thought so."
Eddie's from Texas and "texaseddie" is in the first part of his e-mail address. Eddie had asked him what "scut" was and said it didn't sound "Texan." So that's Lamb Chops' little insult at Texas. That should help Hillary going into the primary and caucus there on Tuesday, right? And Lamb Chops is all about Hillary, supposedly.
Lamb Chops, kiss my Irish-American ass. In my eyes, you are not just someone who ripped off C.I., you're someone who didn't have the decency to correct your own action. And when called on it (by a man, he ignored Liang and Martha), you immediately attack C.I. I guess that's how he was taught to be a man. Guess he didn't have a father like mine because I wouldn't get away with that crap as a kid or today. I'd hear about it from my father. (And I know better than to act that way.)
So that's the story of Lamb Chops who wrote a post on Wednesday night/Thursday morning 'strangely' like (try exactly including where he linked for the transcript) C.I.'s entry on Tuesday night and, when Lamb Chops was repeatedly called out, he finally responds to a man by putting down the site who beat him to it, the site that had it in real time, the site that had his entire post and then some on Tuesday night which would be long before Lambert wrote it.
I knew a kid in school, 8th grade, who got caught cheating. He screamed and yelled too. I didn't respect him because if you're caught, you're caught. You just admit it and own up to it. If you can't do that, you're just a whiney little brat.
Again, another blogger responded to Eddie's e-mail. And from what Heather had said, she tried to tip the blogger off that Dave Lindorff had said we should vote for Bambi "because he risked jail to do drugs as a Black man," he thought the first e-mail wasn't read, that you got an auto reply and had to register. So he just scribbled it and would have written nicer (as he did at Corrente) if he'd known it was going to be read. But that guy had the decency to say, "I didn't know about it" and how can I make it right and stuff like that. So there's no problem with that guy and C.I. doesn't want anyone asking for links. (I will trade links, most of us will, C.I. doesn't. If you're appropriate for the community, C.I. links to you. And you're told you don't have to link back. And many don't. Go through blogs and websites that offer links at The Common Ills and see how many bother to link back.) So the matter was taken care of in one e-mail and Eddie replied not to worry about it.
Lambert could have shown some maturity and it wouldn't have been an issue. But he'd already ignored Martha and Liang who wrote the day before. And then he wants to be insulting and snide? It's like that kid in 8th grade who got busted and wanted to have a fit instead of being mature and accepting what was coming.
The thing that really ticks off Eddie and everybody else is the fact that Lambert (a) can't respond to women and (b) thinks it's okay not to credit a woman for her work. That sucks. And Eddie commented at another blog -- on Tuesday night -- about C.I.'s thing on Bambi lying. Because it was important. Bambi's lying about his 'record' on the illegal war. And excuse me, but Elaine and C.I. have called that out since long before Bambi announced. They met him when he was running for the Senate. Elaine got an invite and called C.I. to say, "Come with." They were, as they've written at their sites over and over, thrilled and prepared to max out with their donations. They get there. Bambi gives a questionable speech and afterward, they ask him about the illegal war. He's not for troops out. He's for "us" to stay there because "we" are there now. Elaine's written about that over and over and she tells each time that she was shocked and speechless. C.I. wasn't and Elaine writes about how C.I. pinned Bambi down on what he was saying and what he was saying was that he wasn't for withdrawing troops. Elaine and C.I. left immediately. It's why they weren't taken by the 'beauty' of his War Hawk speech at the DNC convention. (Rebecca says they openly boo-ed. C.I. doesn't comment but Elaine always says Rebecca's being "colorful" and that she doubts she and C.I. were booing in the convention hall while Bambi was making his speech.)
C.I.'s "I Hate The War" last night dealt with Bambi and I loved this part:
Now Hillary Clinton's judged by her advisors. That's not the case for Bambi. One of his advisors is Zbigniew Brezezinski. ZB's claim to fame is turning Afghanistan into a slaughter field (to draw the USSR in!) and creating the climate for the current Afghanistan War all before 1981. Somehow, that's not a major concern. And though Bambi's been a Senate schill and lackey for the nuclear industry, we're told by liars like Sammy Power that Bambi's a no-nuker. Does a no-nuker have Brezezinski as an advisor?
Am I the only one who ever visited the Carter White House? I remember it very clearly, the little "toys" (replicas) of nuclear weapons decorating Brezezinski's office. Has he ever publicly rejected those "toys" he took so much pride in, the ones he maintained were the only things keeping the United States "free"? No, he never has. And that's still his attitude but for some strange reason, Bambi's advisors don't lead to probing of Bambi.
Hey Lamb Chops, why don't you describe some White House offices? Why don't you offer us some of your experiences?
I have only a few. (I didn't even meet Mary Matalin -- sp? -- C.I. introduced Wally and Cedric to her when she came up to say hello to C.I. They swear, Wally and Cedric swear, she was a very sweet woman. They were all prepared to hate her and making little jokes when she waved and started walking over. But they swear she was one of the nicest people. They disagree with everything she believes in, but like they've pointed out somewhere at their sites, she has manners. Lamb Chops doesn't appear to have any manners.) Most of the people I meet through C.I. are when we're all at C.I.'s in the summer and that's people like actors and musicians (some cool ones, no question). And of course Ty works for ___ and he's a really cool guy. I did get to meet some people (including one "newsmaker") at Ava's father's news outlet. I like actors and stuff, I'm not insulting them. But I only met maybe three people in Congress but Wally and Cedric spend more time in DC with C.I. When we go up there for a rally or whatever, I'm usally arriving the day of and Wally will go up there as soon as C.I.'s going to be there. He knows a ton now. And it's not like I'm Ty's grandmother. Her favorite person in the world is Tina Turner so when Tina was doing the last concert and C.I. got her tickets and got her backstage to meet Tina, that was it for her. For me, that would probably be a politician or a writer, having a "that's it!" kind of experience.
On the topic of famous people, I think it's funny that actors, actresses, producers, writers, etc. never get too steamed about what C.I. and Ava write in their TV commentaries but when they cover news programs, they hear about it. People are pissed. People want to insist "that's private" or "that's gotcha!" or "you never should have written about that." They wrote about a woman in network programming once who is just basically a traitor to her own gender. That woman didn't care and even laughs about that piece. But the news people are so damn touchy. Talk about behind the scenes when the cameras stop rolling and it's, "How could you!"
So back to my point, Lamb Chops is no one in C.I.'s life. I mentioned that when I picked C.I., Ava and Kat up at the airport and C.I. had no idea (and said, "Michael, what the hell are you talking about?" :D). After it was over, C.I. had a comment and I go, "I'm writing about this tonight and I'm putting it in." C.I. rolled the eyes and said, "Well put in that you didn't have a pen and paper and whatever you're quoting me on is from memory." (Like Rebecca always has to say "That's how I remember it." :D) So here's C.I.'s quote, "We've highlighted Lambert, Leah and Farmer before and I'm sure we will again. Bambi lied and the important thing is that he got called out for it."
I'm not so high minded. I'm not as low-minded as Lamb Chops, but I'm not at the "Who cares?" level C.I. is.
I should also add, C.I. suddently had about a dozen topics "you might be interested in." :D They were interesting topics but I didn't take the bait and am writing about Lamb Chops tonight. (I may grab some of the other topics next week.) Lambert "is a dirty bird." I don't know what that means but my grandfather said it tonight when he showed up for the Iraq study group and I was telling him what happened. I'm thinking it's like the middle finger, you know, how it's the bird. Flip the bird. But I liked it and the meeting started before I could ask him what it meant and he's old so he left to go back to his home and get some sleep before I could ask him what it means. But Lambert is a dirty bird. :D
I've mentioned the following:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ.
And I'm sure I mentioned my mother (Trina's Kitchen) :D. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, February 29, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, a priest is kidnapped in Mosul, the Turkish invasion of nothern Iraq apparently ends, and more.
Starting with war resistance. Courage to Resist interviews war resister Robin Long who is seeking safe harbor status in Canada. Long was stationed at Fort Knox and hearing stories from returning service members that didn't have a thing to do with democracy. "In the army you just want to fit in," Long explained noting how the US military uses collective punishment to discipline their own -- which is to create a shunning among the enlisted. Those returning from Iraq, "a lot of them were bragging about I guess you could say what was going on there," Long explained, and he was hearing and seeing things that weren't being covered in the media such as pictures of the first kill ("holding a head up" for the photo "and smiling with a peace sign," photos of an Iraqi run over by a jeep, etc.). After self-checking out of the military, he stayed in a friend's basement for two months and then went to Canada with two friends. At the border, Long was asked if he was AWOL ("which I found out later that they weren't allowed to do") and replied that he was on leave. About his decision, Long says he has no second thoughts. If he is deported would he be stopped at the US border and taken to jail? Long shared that war resister Brad McCall had a friend take his car back to the United States and when the car crossed the border into the US "they were holding him at gun point, the guy that was bringing his car back, thinking that he was the war resister. So that's a pretty good idea of what's going to happen to me if I try to cross the border. If I'm deported they're going to be waiting there."
War resisters who have moved to Canada were dealt a serious set-back when the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Today, Canada's Parliament remaining the best hope for safe harbor war resisters have, you can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (email@example.com -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. That is the sort of thing that should receive attention but instead it's ignored.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC action:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation. Dee Knight (Workers World) notes, "IVAW wants as many people as possible to attend the event. It is planning to provide live broadcasting of the sessions for those who cannot hear the testimony firsthand. 'We have been inspired by the tremendous support the movement has shown us,' IVAW says. 'We believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members'." As part of their fundraising efforts for the event, they are holding houseparties and a recent one in Boston featured both IVAW's Liam Madden and the incomprable Howard Zinn as speakers. IVAW's co-chair Adam Kokesh will, of course, be participating and he explains why at his site, "But out of a strong sense of duty, some of us are trying to put our experiences to use for a good cause. Some of us couldn't live with ourselves if weren't doing everything we could to bring our brothers and sisters home as soon as possible. The environment may be unking, but that is why I will be testifying to shooting at civilians as a result of changing Rules of Engagement, abuse of detainees, and desecration of Iraqi bodies. It won't be easy but it must be done. Some of the stories are things that are difficult to admit that I was a part of, but if one more veteran realizes that they are not alone because of my testimony it will be worth it."
Aaron Glantz (at IPS) writes about the March action:
Iraq Veterans Against the War is calling the gathering "Winter Soldier," after a quote from the U.S. revolutionary Thomas Paine, who wrote in 1776: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Organisers say video and photographic evidence will also be presented, and the testimony and panels will be broadcast live on Satellite TV and streaming video on ivaw.org. Winter Soldier is modeled on a similar event held by Vietnam Veterans 37 years ago. In 1971, over 100 members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with fellow citizens. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. "Initially even the My Lai massacre was denied," notes Gerald Nicosia, whose book "Home to War" provides the most exhaustive history of the Vietnam veterans' movement. "The U.S. military has traditionally denied these accusations based on the fact that 'this is a crazy soldier' or 'this is a malcontent' -- that you can't trust this person. And that is the reason that Vietnam Veterans Against the War did this unified presentation in Detriot in 1971." "They brought together their bona fides and wore their medals and showed it was more than one or two or three malcontents. It was medal-winning, honored soldiers -- veterans in a group verifying what each other said to try to convince people that these charges cannot be denied. That people are doing these things as a matter of policy." Early this morning, Gareth Jones and Paul de Bendern (Reuters) were reporting that Turkey's invasion has "wound down" at least in terms of "ground offensive". Tim Butcher (Telegraph of London) states, "Turkey has pulled out of northern Iraq after a week-long offensive against Kurdish rebels. The Turkish army claimed to have killed 240 Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) members with the loss of 27 of its own troops." Mark Bentley and Camilla Hall (Bloomberg News) note that this was Turkey's "biggest military incursion into the country in 11 years." Suna Erdem (Times of London) observes, "The announcement came a day after President Bush urged Turkey, its Nato ally, to end the incursion, but the military statement said the start and end dates had been set by general staff without any outside influence."
On the Turkish Embassy (in the US) website, bulletin points include, "This operation" -- the invasion of nothern Iraq -- "will be limited in size, scope and duration. Turkey has been among the staunchest advocates of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and national unity of Iraq. Turkish civilian and military authorities have been in contact with the relevant Iraqi and US authorities at highest levels prior to the operations." AFP reports that the Turkish military began returning to Turkey this morning while AGI states, "All the soldiers that had taken part in the attack on the Iraqi part of Kurdistan are back in Turkey." AFP also notes that the PKK states they killed 100 Turkish soldiers during the invasion, "downed a Turkish attack helicopter" and their death toll was 5. So was the "limited . . . duration" always supposed to translate as the invasion ending today? One caught by surprise is the Turkish Daily News which, in a Friday article, notes, "NATO allies Turkey and the United States failed to reach a consensus yesterday over a timetable for the withdrawal of Turkish troops" and quotes Yasar Buyukanit, Turkey's Chief of General Staff General, stating, "Short term is a relative notion. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes it is a year." Al Jazeera quotes their corespondent Mike Hanna, "The Turkish military insists that the decision was taken by the military alone but reports we're receiving from across the border in Turkey is that questions are being raised about the Turkish withdrawal coming so soon after what appeared to be mounting US pressure on the troops to pull out" and notes that a PKK spokesperson (Ahmed Davis) confirms that the Turkish military has withdrawn. [Sidebar, Naomi Klein's husband, journalist Avi Lewis, is hosting a weekly program on Al Jazeera entitled Frontline USA. Click here for a YouTube clip and here for another YouTube clip.] However, Mark Tran (Guardian of London) quotes unnamed US officials in Baghdad who caution that all Turkish troops may not be out of Iraq. Tran notes US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and others note the comments of the Bully Boy of the United States but is anyone noting yesterday's approximately $6.2 billion four-year loan to Turkey from the World Bank?
Azad Aslan writes the Kurdish Globe's editorial which opens with, "Similar to previous incursions, the recent Turkish invasion into south Kurdistan has only one major goal: to diminish and belittle the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region." Hiba Dawood (whom many know from Free Speech Radio News but Dawood is also a UPI correspondent) notes another editorial from a Kurdish paper (Al Ahali) that was written "by Faisal Abdul Hassan, an Iraqi exile in Morocco, said the Iraqi central government had no efficient response to the assault except sending a 'bashful' demand to the Turkish government to withdraw from Kurdistan." At the White House today, Gordon Johndroe worded carefully regarding the end of the invasion when he told reporters, "We've seen those reports that are just coming out. I think there's one thing that remains clear, and that is the United States, Turkey and Iraq all will continue to view the PKK as a terrorist organization that needs to be dealt with. So we will continue to have cooperation with them on dealing with that organization." NPR offers an audio report via Ivan Watson on today's Morning Edition.
Yesterday's snapshot noted Turksih entertainer Bulent Ersoy who spoke out against the invasion and she was then the subject of criticism. Pelin Turgut (Time magazine) explains, "So pervasive is the nationalist climate that Ersoy has been vilified for declaring -- on a national TV equivalent of American Ido, where she is a judge -- that if she had a son, she would not have sent him to fight this war. She is now under investigation for being 'anti-military.' Ersoy is widely popular but the response to her declaration has been bellicose." Nicholas Birch (The Scotsman) offers the quote and news. The quote differs from Reuters' version yesterday only slightly, "I am not a mother, nor ever will be, but I would not bury my child for somebody else's war." At which point, Turkey's version of Dennis Miller (Erbu Gundes) exploded, "May God give me a son so that I can send him off to our glorious army" followed by a phrase trotted out for military funerals leading Ersoy to add, "Always the same cliched phrases. Children go, bitter tears, funerals . . . And afterwards, these cliched phrases." Birch reports, "An Istanbul prosecutor promptly opened an investigation into her for alienating the people from military service, a crime punishable by up to three years in jail." The Turkish Daily News explains the criminal sentence (if found guilty) is two years but it "could be increased by one-third because the crime was committed via public medium." They also add this to her quote, "These wars are not like ones in the past. It is all decided by people sitting at tables and deciding that some boys should die. I am not a mother so I cannot relate to a mother's pain when she hears her son has died. But I am a human being." Today's Zaman reports that she has the support of European Parliament member Cem Ozdemir who states, "Bulent Ersoy is voicing the pain felt by mothers, and she is also questioning the ongoing Iraqi occupation. . . . We hope that a period of suppression is not started in Turkey that will deal a heavy blow to freedom of thought."
Meanwhile, Amit R. Paley and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) report that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki was talking big in Baghdad and they observe: Maliki's confidence seems untethered to political reality. Predicting when his government will fall has become a parlor game in certain circles in Baghdad. And some of his pronouncements -- like one on Thursday that "sectarianism has been eliminated" -- have struck Iraqi and American officials as bordering on the delusional. Sectarian killings are still common and political reconciliation remains elusive, a fact underscored by the veto this week of a law calling for nationwide elections, one of the few major pieces of legislation approved by parliament." They go on to quote "a senior U.S. official in Baghdad" who states basically, to replace the puppet at this time would mean even more "stagnation." The puppet as metaphor for the illegal war.
Noting al-Maliki's "unity" speech, Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) observes that violence continues in Iraq and that, "One of our Shiite Iraqi staffers asked if Maliki would go to Adil, a restive Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad where Sunni insurgents still operate and Shiites know they are not welcome. Maybe he can check out Hurriyah where Sunni residents have not returned. They were run out of the neighborhood in 2006 and some men were burned alive. Maybe he can ask the more than 88,000 mostly Sunni contractors that work with the U.S. to fight Al Qaida how they feel about the reconciliation effort. Many of them are former insurgents, very few have been absorbed into the government. People complain now that many act as warlords, in each neighborhood the law is in their hands."
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that left two people wounded, a Diyala Province home bombing that went off during the midst of an Iraq military raid claiming the life of 1 corpse and a Mosul roadside bombing claimed 2 lives.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Judge Abid Jassim and attorney Ahmed Al-Luizi were shot dead in Mosul.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the archbishop of the Cahtholic Church in Mosul was kidnapped and 3 "of his companisons" were killed. The BBC explains, "Archbisop Paulos Faraj Rahho was seized as he left a church in the eastern al-Nour district, it added. . . . Most of Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians are Chaldeans -- Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but recognise the Pope's authority." Catholic World News states, "Bishop Paulos Faraj Raho was seized by terrorists who attacked his car as he left the Holy Spirit cathedral in Mosul after leading the Stations of the Cross on Friday, February 29. Three companions who had been in the car with him were killed." AP reports that Pope Benedict XVI has issued an appeal for "reason and humanity".
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad, Sameea Sofi's corpse was discovered outside of Kirkuk, General Mudhir Hadi Salih and General Amir Muhammad Al-Jibouri's corpses were discovered in Diyala province (blindfolded, shot to death) and the corpse of Ahmed Khalaf was discovered in Kirkuk (he was a local council member in Hawija).
Turning to US politics. "What I learned being in and out as you correctly point out is that there are a lot of people who have a lot of questions about the government and they don't exactly know where to turn to for answers because the corporate media don't tell the people the truth," so explains Cynthia McKinney to Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) in a video produced by Terry Morrone (a typo yesterday, it is "Terry Morrone"). Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party presidential nomination. In a wide ranging interview, former US Congress women McKinney explains why she became a member of the Green Party:
The Democrats are the ones who failed to repeal the Patriot Act, the Democrats are the ones who continue to fund the war. The Democrats are the ones who say that the Bush tax cuts are alright even though they railed against them when they were in the minority. Now that they are in the majority and they could do something about it they fail to do it. And so I decided on my birthday that I would declare my independence from the Democratic Party. And I would declare my independence from any national leadership that was complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and all of the rest of it. I reject and I'm happy to have joined with other people in the Green Party who reject that as well.
And in terms of rejection, some Greens are less than pleased with Ralph Nader who announced his campaign for president on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday. The Green Party notes: "Green Party leaders expressed their disappointment in Ralph Nader's decision, announced on Thursday, not to seek the 2008 Green presidential nomination." They quote the party's co-chair Phil Huckelberry declaring, "A lot of Greens have supported Mr. Nader and wanted him to win the party's nomination. There has been an active effort by many Green leaders to 'draft' Mr. Nader as a Green candidate, and his success in recent Green primaries demonstrates that he remains a very popular figure within the Green Party. There is widespread disappointment among Greens that he chose to go a different route." Here's a tip, one that Jess (rightly) pointed out two Sundays ago -- no party holds primaries with a place-holders. That is ridiculous. If you can't declare you are running by a party's primary, you get no votes. You get no one holding your place. As Jess noted two Sundays ago, that needs to change immediately so that it never happens again. There's a chance of a roundtable at Third this Sunday to address this topic.
Ralph Nader's presidential website is up and running (and allowing comments). Among the topics written of thus far are impeachment and Palestinians. He has selected a running mate, Matt Gonzalez. Gonzalez is already doing what vice presidential candidates are supposed to do: hitting hard. Writing at CounterPunch, he takes on the myth of "anti-war" Barack Obama noting that, "I'm afraid to say I'm not just uninspired: I'm downright fearful. . . . First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature. Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago Tribune as saying, 'There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute.' The Tribune went on to say that Obama "now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration.' Obama's campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn't he have taken the opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy occupation? Well, as it turns out, he's done just that." The myth of "anti-war" Barack Obama was addressed here last night so we'll instead focus on Hillary Clinton.
Hillary is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The following statement is from Senator Clinton's office, not her campaign:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that she has cosponsored legislation to ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq.
"From this war's very beginning, this administration has permitted thousands of heavily-armed military contractors to march through Iraq without any law or court to rein them in or hold them accountable. These private security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our mission in Iraq. The time to show these contractors the door is long past due. We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq, and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the U.S. government and follow the chain of command," said Senator Clinton.The legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel. It also includes a whistleblower clause to protect contract personnel who uncover contract violations, criminal actions, or human rights abuses.
As KeShawn pointed out in an e-mail today, Hillary Clinton's endorsements do not get noted on Democracy Now! -- though Goodman can repeat in headlines (two days in a row this week) the same endorsement of Barack -- among her recent endorsers is Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. He joins a lengthy list of retired military and defense officials who have endorsed her (active military cannot make endorsements) and you can read about that at her campaign site. Hillary was in Waco, Texas today and among the issues she addressed was reducing the strain on US service members so that they will be deployed for 12 months and not the 15 month tours that have become the norm. Bully Boy could stop that now. He could have stopped it before it began. As noted yesterday, US House Rep Patrick Murphy asked General George Casey if Congress needed to pass legislation to get the tour of duty down to 12 months and keep it there but Casey felt it would 'tie up' the military's hands. Today in Waco, Hillary pledged that any US service member serving a 12 month tour of overseas "will have at least 12 months at home." She also addressed the issue of veterans' care and the need for a new GI Bill of Rights. Meanwhile, her opponet Barack Obama's homophobia is the subject of Susan UnPC's recent post (No Quarter) which notes Bambi's heebie-jeebies when he came to the Bay Area. Don't worry, Laura Flanders grants him absolution or at least provides silence from her perch as "out lesbian" for Bambi. Meanwhile Taylor Marsh (TaylorMarsh.com) notes that the Canadian government was warned by Bambi's campaign prior to Tuesday's debate not to pay attention to Bambi's NAFTA remarks, they were just words. She covers it here as well and offers a video.
From video to radio. WBAI's pledge drive is ending and Sunday The Nex Hour offers "Post-Warholian radio artists Andrew Andrew host." That's at 11:00 am to noon EST Sunday on NYC airwaves and streaming on WBAI while Monday they offer Cat Radio Cafe from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST: "Poet Marie Howe reads from her new collection, "The Kingdom of Ordinary Time"; actor/playwright Brian Dykstra on his new one-man show on religion, "The Jesus Factor"; and actor Paul Hecht and musician Lisa Terry on "Parthenia, a Consort of Viols, Presents Hot Off the Press Concert of New Music and Poetry." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer."
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