Monday, Monday. I always think of the Mamas and the Papas and that song ("Monday, Monday") at the start of the week. Hope everybody had a great weekend. I know Hillary's speech (though great) was depressing but she only suspended her campaign. That means she keeps her delegates.
C.I. passed on Liam Lahey's "Parkdale resident faces deportation to U.S.:"
Corey Glass looks and sounds much like any average 25-year-old. And he would be if it weren't for the fact he'll be deported to the U.S. on July 10 to face charges of desertion from the U.S. Army and the Iraq War.
Glass, who arrived in Canada in August 2007 and resides in a modest apartment in Parkdale, hails from Fairmount, Ind. He voluntarily joined the National Guard in 2004 believing he could help in disaster zone scenarios or to defend American soil should the country fall under an enemy attack.
Trained as a radio operator, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant (from that of an E4 Specialist - an enlisted rank that falls between a private and a corporal) and he was subsequently shipped to Iraq in early 2005. When he got there, he was assigned two tasks, neither of which had anything to do with radios.
"I have no idea why they promoted me, I even argued against it," he said. "You have to go to school to be a sergeant and I didn't school for that."
Though he was slated to serve 18 months in Iraq, he only served six as both a military intelligence analyst and as a battle non-commissioned officer working 16-hour days on average.
"It got to me one day after something that happened and I can't go into that detail but I had to quit," he said. "I didn't feel (the war) was the right thing to do from the beginning and I definitely didn't feel we should be doing this to the Iraqis. ... I went because I was ordered to go but it got to a point where my conscience wasn't clear with what I was doing."
He tried unsuccessfully to get transferred to a unit outside of Iraq. Instead, he was granted a two-week pass stateside to unwind due to stress.
"I told them I wouldn't be coming back," he said. "They said to me, 'You'll be back. Desertion is punishable by death during wartime.' ... I felt I did everything I could (through official channels) to not be a part of the gross human rights violations going on over there."
He didn't go back but he didn't have a strategy either. So he hid in the U.S. for eight months before typing the word "desertion" into the Google search engine and up popped website after website about Canada. That led him to the Toronto-based U.S. War Resisters Support Campaign whose members took Glass in and helped him find housing.
That's from the Ontario Mirror Guardian. Corey Glass has been given a one-month extension on the threat of deportation. He was supposed to be deported this week (Thursday) if he hadn't left Canada. He's getting a month for an appeal. He shouldn't have to appeal anything because Canada should be granting him and all other war resisters citizenship.
This is Amnesty's "USA: James Corey Glass has right not to serve in Iraq:"
Amnesty International believes James Corey Glass to have a genuine conscientious objection to serving as a combatant in the US forces in Iraq, and would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience if imprisoned on his return to the USA. He is facing deportation from Canada on 12 June.
James Glass joined the army in 2002, enlisting in the National Guard where he was assigned to non-combatant duties in the USA. His unit was later ordered to deploy to Iraq, where he served five months of active service in 2005.
According to his statement, he had concerns about the legality of the war before his deployment to Iraq. While serving there, he developed further serious objections to the war, including what he saw as the abusive treatment of civilians by the US military and failure within the system to address such abuses. He stated that, whilst in Iraq, he reported his concerns to his superiors and asked to be relieved of duty. His request was denied but he was granted a two-week leave. He refused to return to his unit and went absent without leave (AWOL) in February 2006.
Since being in Canada, James Glass has become a member of the "War Resisters Campaign" and has spoken out publicly about his objection to the Iraq war.
US law recognizes the right to conscientious objection only on grounds of opposition to war in any form. James Glass was therefore unable to seek a claim for discharge from the army on grounds of his objection to the Iraq War. Other similar cases where US soldiers have sought to register their conscientious objection and apply for non-combatant status have been turned down.
If returned to the USA he faces a possible court-martial, where he could be imprisoned for between one and five years.
Some US military personnel who have refused to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan due to their conscientious objection to US policy and practice in the "war on terror" have been imprisoned solely for their beliefs. Amnesty International has considered some to be prisoners of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Some of these conscientious objectors have been court-martialled and sentenced despite pending applications for conscientious objector status, others were imprisoned after their applications were turned down on the basis that they were objecting to particular wars rather than to war in general.
Amnesty International has declared a number of conscientious objectors in the USA to be prisoners of conscience. They included Camilo Mejia, who was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for his objections to the war in Iraq, and Abdullah Webster, who refused to participate in the same war due to his religious beliefs. Another, Kevin Benderman, was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment after he refused to re-deploy to Iraq because of the scenes of devastation he witnessed there. Agustín Aguayo was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment for his refusal to participate in the war in Iraq. All four have since been released.
Amnesty International is of the view that the right to refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience is inherent in the notion of freedom of thought, conscience and religion as recognised in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Amnesty International considers a conscientious objector to be any person who, for reasons of conscience or profound conviction, refuses either to perform any form of service in the armed forces or applies for non-combatant status. This can include refusal to participate in a war because one disagrees with its aims or the manner in which it was being waged, even if one does not oppose taking part in all wars.
Wherever such a person is detained or imprisoned solely for these believe, Amnesty International considers that person to be a prisoner of conscience. AI also considers conscientious objectors to be prisoners of conscience if they are imprisoned as a consequence of leaving the armed forces without authorization for reasons of conscience, if because of those reasons; they have taken reasonable steps to secure release from military obligations.
Joel e-mailed to ask me if I knew anything about Chuck? That was the best show. It aired on NBC on Mondays. I hope they start repeating it soon because I will watch the repeats. Chuck's a computer guy who works for a store like Best Buy. His college career at Standford was destroyed by his best friend. He finds out later that his best friend did that to make sure the CIA wouldn't recruit Chuck. The friend was CIA and sends Chuck an e-mail right before he dies (but he didn't really die). Chuck absorbs all the information (computer information, database) in the e-mail when he opens it. The CIA wants him, the NSA wants him.
He falls in love with Sarah. His best friend from college is alive and comes back and he used to be with Sarah. So you have all that going on. His new best friend is Morgan and they work together at the Best Buy like store. It's a show with action, comedy and a love story. It's pretty much got everything and it moves real quick.
So when it does come on this summer, make sure to check it out. Here's NBC's website for the show. I really don't watch a lot of TV and it's been forever since I got into a TV show, but I really love Chuck. (Ava and C.I. turned me on to it.) It's the best show of the fall 2007 shows and it's also the best show in years because I really haven't been into a TV show in a long time.
Okay, let's talk Third. Along with Dallas, this is who did Sunday's edition:
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 here's what the edition includes.
Truest statement of the week -- I thought it was a mistake not to have a truest. I wasn't surprised that they went ahead and picked one later. Everything but the note and this went up Sunday morning. Readers e-mailed asking about truest so they added this Sunday night with the note. (Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I. added this.)
A note to our readers -- Jim breaks down the edition.
Editorial: Know Your History! You Have The Right! -- I really love this. I like that we're covering war resistance and not waiting around for Panhandle Media to do it. We all know they won't, right? Amy Goodman can waste an hour on a speech Bill Moyers gave this weekend. Waste a full hour today. But she can't talk about war resistance. The media's pathetic.
TV: The Ugly People's Orgy -- Ava and C.I. wanted to do entertainment TV to say "thank you" to all the readers who have been waiting and waiting for a return to that. They also weren't thrilled when Jim started mentioning some 'names' who'd been writing to praise their pieces. When that happens, Ava and C.I. pull back. They write for the regular readers. Here they take on the new drama Swingtown and this is really hilarious and it's funny. It's funny that it's funny because one of their big concerns was, "Can we still do it?" They haven't done a strictly entertainment review since like November or October. They pull it off to no one's surprise but their own. :D
The VA Computer Breach You Don't Know About (Jim) -- This is Jim's solo piece and C.I. wrote in the e-mail (with the story on Corey) "Mike, I'll add your post." That's cool. There's no problem. I wrote about when Ava and C.I. found about the VA scandal. Thursday, I think. But there's no reason to worry. This was Jim's story and he did a great job. He notes Ava and C.I. in the thank yous (and in the text) and that's because they found this story, they researched it. They tracked it down. Jim got their cells and was trying to track it down. (Had their cells with their permission.) He did a really good job tracking it down. This is an important story and Jim should be proud.
Piggies on parade -- Jim, C.I. and I were running last week and on our run we started talking about stuff, like we always do, and Jim brings up Third, like he always does, and we basically outlined a four-part series for this week. So this was part one and it focuses on the guys using sexism and includes Amy Goodman in that because she chose to post in a skin mag for men. This is really good.
What Did You Do In The War, Mommy? -- So what about the women who used sexism against Hillary? That's what this feature addresses.
Norman Solomon remembers 'the ladies' -- And we couldn't note the sexism without noting how every other week someone was coming out with a "Women, don't vote for Hillary!" piece of crap. It was usually a man. And usually a White man. But I never saw a "African-Americans, don't for Barack!" Did you? Never saw it. This went through several drafts and at one point Ava and C.I. were putting back in stuff that we'd all written that had fallen through in a draft. They also addes some bits. When we heard it read out loud, we asked them to please do one more draft where they just punched it up. Which they did and this is a really strong piece.
Ms.went from playing dumb to outright insulting -- The fourth-part of the series was on the women who stayed silent and that really needed to focus on Ms. That's really shameful of the magazine. Why do they even exist?
Watch your back, Ralph -- Obamabots are all around you, leaving messages, trying to destroy candidates.
Nader, McCain & Barr, pay attention -- Here's how Barack works. It rains. You didn't bring an umbrella. He attacks you for it. Then, when you're out of the running, he turns around and attacks the person who brought an umbrella. You can never win with Barack so don't try. Candidates who debate him should nail him down on what he's criticizing and, when he flips, point it out.
Name that racist! -- Why it's Donna Brazile!
Typical Obama supporter -- The Cult of Obama is an ugly cult. Here's one member expressing homophobia.
Highlights -- Kat, Ruth, Marica, Rebecca, Betty, Rebecca, Cedric, Wally, Elaine and I wrote this and picked it out except where noted.
Also check out my mother's "Idiots like Sharon Smith only hurt Barack" -- she really wrote something great about some-time-feminist Sharon Smith.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, June 9, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, justice in England (if not in the US), Corey Glass is told he does not have to leave Canada June 12th, the US military pumps service members full of drugs, and more.
Starting with Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. He will not be deported Thursday (the 12th). Torstar News Service reports: "Initially ordered to leave the country by June 12, Glass' departure date has been extended to July 10, after a month-long appeal process by his lawyer was finally approved last week." So he has a month to appeal. Dan Robson (Toronto Star) explains, "The former American soldier was set to become the first Iraq-war resister to be deported from Canada, after his application for refugee status was rejected more than two weeks ago. Glass said his lawyer put forward the appeal so he would have sufficient time to properly settle his accounts and allow him to leave his job in a professional manner." Friday, Amnesty issued their statement, "USA: James Corey Glass has right not to serve in Iraq," which noted, "Amnesty International believes James Corey Glass to have a genuine conscientious objection to serving as a combatant in the US forces in Iraq, and would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience if imprisoned on his return to the USA."
And last Tuesday, the House of Commons in Canada voted to let war resisters stay in the country. Krystalline Kraus (Rabble News) reports, "Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs (137 in total) stood in favour -- literally stood up to vote as procedure dictates, though for a second the line of MPs could be confused for a makeshift honour guard of sorts -- of the 'war resister' motiong. From the ranks of the Conservative Party, 110 MPs stood against" and quotes US war resister Robin Long explaining, "I feel a small but growing and powerful group of people have woken up and are taking a stand . . . and these people are going to wake everyone else up, leading the people back to power and away from the corporate agenda Bush." October 1, 2007, Robin Long was arrested and told he would be deported.
The New Democratic Party of Canada issued a statement "calling on the [prime minister Stephen] Harper government to reexamine their decision to deport Long and allow him to stay in Canada." By October 4, 2007 the threat volume was lowered. Last week, Dianne Mathiowetz and Jaimeson Champion (Workers World) reported, "The motion to halt the deportations is a strong step against a series of recent reactionary rulings issued by the Canadian Supreme Court. The court's refusals to hear the appeals for refugee status filed by numerous GI resisters have paved the way for the possible deportation of dozens, if not hundreds, of conscientious objectors. The vote in the Canadian Parliament comes on the heels of a deportation order given to GI resister Corey Glass. Glass, an Indiana resident, signed up for the National Guard in 2002. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and served five months as a military intelligence sergeant before going AWOL to protest what he deemed an 'illegal and immoral' war. Glass moved to Toronto, Canada, in August 2006." Kevin Brooker (Calgary Herald) argues, "There are many outward reasons why granting sanctuary to an estimated 200 former soldiers should be an automatic gesture for Canada. Foremost is the simple fact that the United Nations itself, not to mention enlightened voices around the world, declared the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to be a violation of the UN charter. It also would support the Nuremberg Principles, which compel a soldier to withdraw from military acts, like this one, which are patently illegal." And Jan Heynen writes to the Ottawa Citizen to support war resisters:
Let them stay Last Tuesday, the Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together to adopt a recommendation which, if implemented, would require the Canadian government to allow permanent resident status to U.S. war resistors and their families and to cease all deportation and removal proceedings against the war resisters. Canada refused to join the war in Iraq. It is consistent with that decision to accept people into the country who don't agree either with the legality of that war.The illegality of that war has been demonstrated many times. It has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, both Iraqi and U.S. Our own government should follow the parliamentary directive, which many people agree with. It can restore some of the shine to our reputation in the world as a peacemaker. Jan Heynen, Ottawa
To keep the pressure on, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail email@example.com -- that's "finley.d" at "parl.gc.ca") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's "pm" at "pm.gc.ca").
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, 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, Jose Vasquez, 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, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, 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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Turning to England where gender discrimation and harasment appears to be taken much more seriously than in the US. Caroline Gammel (Telegraph of London) reports that Rabia Siddique ("female major who helped rescue two SAS Soldiers" and also "a lawyer who worked for the Army Legal Services") went public about being being "victimised by senior officers and subjected to months of religious, racial and sex discrimination and quotes her stating, "For the last several years I have very much enjoyed and been honoured to serve my country as a legal officer in the armed forces. Unfortunately I have been treated unfavourably because I am a Muslim, Asian woman. As a result of this treatment my career, which I was fully committed to, has suffered which has caused me great distress. Because of this I have felt compelled to bring a claim to this employment tribunal." In the US, Rabia Siddique might next pop up in the news a year and a half from now. Instead, Caroline Gammel later reported that Siddique's case had been resolved and "an undisclosed settlement was agreed. Her lawyer Joanna Wade said Major Siddique had been 'very happy' with the agreement, but refused to divulge details. Part of the deal was the latter from Gen Sir Richard" and quotes Siddique declaring, "I am also pleased to hear what the Chief of the General Staff has said about lessons that may be learnt, which is primarily what I was seeking by bringing these claims." Tom Kelley and Michael Seamark (The Daily Mail) report, "Military chiefs have vowed to learn lessons from the treatment of a female Muslim Army lawyer who was 'given a hug instead of a medal' for her part in trying to free soldiers kidnapped in Iraq. , , , A last-minute settlement was agreed yesterday as her case was due to be heard by Central London employment tribunal." The kidnapping case referred to was the two British military personnel caught in Basra with bombs, guns, etc. in a civlian car, wearing wigs and disguises to appear "Iraqi". Robert F. Worth (New York Times) noted in real time, "The arrest and detention of the British officers, who were in Arab dress, was handled appropriately, said the spokesman, who agreed to discuss the episode on the condition of anonymity. A judge issued an arrest warrant and informed both the Basra governor and the city council about the case, he said." Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) observed then, "The fight broke out when British forces attacked a police station after the detention of two British soldiers apparently disguised in local dress." Solo, Tavernise reported, "The official said that the soldiers were undercover officers dressed as Iraqis and that Iraqi police officers had arrested them after the men fired at a traffic police officer." Sean Rayment (Telegraph of London) first reported on Rabia Siddique's case at the first of this month. Military service member or civilian contractor, think of all the US women who wait and wait for something resembling justice. Which usually never arrives.
Meanwhile Mark Thompson (Time magazine) reports on 'treatment,' "For the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The medicaines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resources: soldiers on the front lines." Yeah, I think Louis Mayer used to trot a line like that out years ago at Metro and we all know it did wonders for Judy Garland. Remember, when everything falls apart (as it does), the defense is always that it's never the organization's fault, only the individuals. While US service members are pumped with drugs, AP reported on puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki visiting Iraq and insisting to Iran that the treaty and he the White House are trying to force through will not allow Iraq to be used as a stage to launch a US war with Iran. The question of course is does the puppet tell the White House the truth or does he tell Iran the truth? AP notes: "Iran fiercely opposes the deal, fearing it will lead to permanent US bases on its doorstep amid fears of an eventual American attack. Iran has led a vocal campaign against the deal, with powerful former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani vowing last week that people in Iraq and the region won't allow it. That has led to US accusations that Tehran is actively trying to scuttle the agreement - putting al-Maliki's government in a tight spot between its two rival allies." Asraf Khalil (Los Angeles Times) reports that while the talks went on, "a public affairs program broadcast on Iranian television" featured "one panelist" who "compared American bases in Iraq to the installation of Russian missiles in Cuba during the Cold War betwen the United States and the Soviet Union." Andrew E. Kramer (New York Times) reports that while the meetings were going on, the US military in Iraq was yet again trumpeting the capture of a supect that they insisted was linked to Iran but, as Kramer noted, "The United States military regularly announces the detention of militia fighters it says are operating with Iranian support. Iranian authorities deny they have a hand in the fighting."
Kramer also notes 2 US service members died from bombings Sunday (one in Baghad, the otehr in Kirkuk). The number of US service members killed since the start of the illegal war currently stands at 4094. Also on Sunday, Reuters reports, the Turkish military and the PKK again fought on the border and "an operation against the rebels" PKK "continued on Monday." CBS and AP notes, "U.S. soldiers under heavy fire during a raid Monday in northwestern Iraq called in airstrikes and killed five suspected al Qaeda in Iraq militants, the military said." The airstrike comes as Deborah Haynes (Times of London) reports Iraqi officials are saying they want the US service members "confined to their bases" and off the streets. In other Iraq news, Deborah Haynes (Times of London) also reports on the diplomatic front: "The Turkish Prime Minister is preparing to make his first trip to Iraq since the invasion, while Jordan will soon send an ambassador to Baghdad, in the latest signs of a desire in the region to work with the US-backed Iraqi Government. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, and Jalal Talabani, the President, during his forthcoming stay, according to Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi Government spokesman." Who would Jordan be sending? The post has not been filled.
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded five people, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 3 lives and left twelve injured, a Baghdad grenade attack that left two police officers wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded five people, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded two police officers, a Zanjili grenade attack that wounded two Iraqi police officers, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded one police officer, an Al-Muradiyah roadside bombing that injured four women who "were doing farming in one of the orachards," an Al Wahihiya mortar attack that claimed 1 life and left two injured and a Dali Abbas roadside bombing injured one person.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports unknown assailants shot up a Baghdad jewelry store resulting in 3 deaths and two police officers wounded, unknown assailants shot dead "two prominent Sheikhs in Mosul," a woman was shot dead in Balad Ruz, a "retired officer" was shot dead in Hibhib and a shooting in Muqdadiyah left two "seriously wounded". Reuters notes a Mosul home invasion where two residents were murdered and a police officer shot dead in Mosul.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 25 corpses (unidentified) at the Baquba morgue were buried after 40 days without being claimed.
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