Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stupid Ass Sirota

Tuesday and we're plunging right in because "Sad Sirota" is also Stupid Ass Sirota. At In The Toilet (who funds it -- they play mum -- but it's not subscribers to the once bi-weekly that's now a monthly and still struggling to find anyone to read it), Stupid Ass Sirota offers "Democracy Haters."

Now if you believe that democracy depends upon an informed citizenry, Stupid Ass Sirota is writing about himself -- he's the "Democracy Hater." As we noted in "Sad Sirota," while screeching this weekend (accusing people of conspiracies and much more), Stupid Ass Sirota also wrote this:

As just one example, in Montana in 2004, a strongly progressive populist gubernatorial candidate named Brian Schweitzer used his love of hunting to publicly package himself as a supposed "conservative Democrat." This helped him win over the independent voters he needed to carry the deeply red state of Montana. It also made some Montana progressive understandably suspicious of him at the start of his term, just as some congressional progressives are genuinely suspicious of the conservatively packaged Iraq bill. But to be a mature political movement in a majority position, progressives in Montana learned to understand the difference between political rhetoric and packaging, and the wielding of political power. And they've seen a supposedly "conservative governor" champion the most progressive agenda the state has seen in a generation.

Stupid Ass Sirota, who today wants to act concerned about democracy, mere days ago was praising a campaign that lie to voters telling them someone was a "conservative Democrat" when he wasn't. It gets worse, Stupid Ass Sirota forgets to tell voters that the campaign of lies was a campaign he worked on. So not only does he think it's good to lie to voters, he also participated.

Now today he wants to act as though he's a friend to democracy?

He's a party hack and the reason my grandfather stopped reading In The Toilet not all that long ago. He read that magazine forever. He loved it. And then the guy in charge of it died and it's just an embarrassment. (C.I. coined the term "In The Toilet" -- coined it upon meeting my grandfather because that magazine is one of his biggest beefs today. When C.I. coined that term, I don't think I've ever seen my grandfather laugh so hard and he laughs all the time.)

Stupid Ass Sirota asks in his latest column (no link, no linkie to trash):

How much opposition to the Iraq War must be expressed in America before Congress takes note and does something?

How stupid does Stupid Ass Sirota think we all are? Does he think we've all forgotten his attacks on everyone who had the strength to point out that the Pelosi measure did nothing? Does he think we've forgotten his pompous lectures?

Today he wants to play "one of you." Here's what he wrote on the 21st of this month when he was telling people to shut up with their valid complaints about the Pelosi measure:

The first key question is why would Democrats attach strongly progressive, binding antiwar legislation to a seemingly anti-progressive war funding bill? I am usually the first one to suggest the deceptive intent of nefarious anti-progressive actors. But before doing so, I consider who is pushing what. In this case, the chief tactician is Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey, who I got to know well working for him for two years on the Hill. This is the same David Obey who railed against the Vietnam War as a young congressman, the same David Obey who has tried to force Congress to limit American military involvement in Colombia, the same David Obey who voted against the Iraq War, the same David Obey who has since used his position on the Appropriations Committee to try to limit the current war.

I go with that because, if you've forgotten, he rushed to his boy David Obey and I don't think most people were aware he'd worked for Obey. (I wasn't. C.I. told me -- that was the point last week when C.I. quoted the "credits" of Sirota someone e-mailed and noted it wasn't a "full listing" -- it just noted AIPAC and Bernie Sanders.) When he couldn't shut up about Obey (in his rush to defend him after the idiot went wackjob on Tina Richards), did he mention to us that he worked for him? Was that in his columns?

Is there anyone he hasn't worked for? Maybe he caddied for Cheney?

Stupid Ass Sirota couldn't stop lying in that column so maybe he felt disclosing he worked for Obey was a trade off? From that Working for Change, March 21st column:

Here are the facts: The Iraq supplemental bill begins redeploying troops by March 2008, and completes a full withdrawal by September 2008. You can label the bill anything you like. For all I care, you can label it the Iraq War Indefinite Continuation Act and Fox News can run slick graphics cheering on the legislation as the greatest escalation of militarism since Genghis Khan. But as long as that language is in there and the bill passes, then at the end of the day, real, binding power has been wielded to end the war.

No, the language isn't in there, Stupid Ass. The language allows troops to be reclassified so they're not coming out of Iraq and it has no "binding power". I'd think he was a complete idiot if it weren't for the fact that, as his bragging about lying to Montana voters demonstrates, he's a professional liar who gets off on lying to people.

Here's where the "Democracy Hater," Stupid Ass Sirota, really lets rip on people objecting to the Pelosi measure:

Congressional progressives now face the same pangs that come with evolving into a movement with majority power, rather than serving merely as contrairian voices in the minority. They are undoubtedly being pressured by a small but very vocal group of organizations that make up what's known as the Professional Protest Industry -- organizations that exist solely to see the world as they want it, not as it is (a note: not everyone working to kill the supplemental is part of the Professional Protest Industry -- many folks just legitimately believe stopping the supplemental is the best way to go, and I absolutely respect that even though I think it is the wrong strategy - however, there is no denying that there is a loud, vocal Professional Protest Industry - check out International ANSWER or the LaRouchies for a few examples). As a matter of existence, this industry wants -- no, needs -- to prioritize the public debate over wielding real legislative power, because that is the niche that makes them relevant. That these organizations have attacked some of the most steadfastly progressive groups for not being antiwar "enough" shows exactly where their priorities are.

He means attacked his lord and master David Obey. Sirota is a stupid ass. When the doctor slapped his ass at birth, he was a stupid ass, and when the dirt's falling on top of his coffin, he'll be buried a stupid ass.

He's stupid, In The Toliet is stupid for keeping a hack on the payroll. Nobody needs to pay a liar. And this dumb ass column in In The Toilet is just his last minute attempt to crawl out from under the rocks that fell on him when he let his true colors show. He's so full of shit and when he's writing at In The Toilet, he forgets to brag about what he bragged on to the Washington Post last week -- how he "dashed off a memo to progressive lawmakers Wednesday night, imploring them to 'accept the congressional world as it is right now,' not to insist on the world as they wish it to be, and vote for the bill."

Today he wants to play one of the people. Last week he was screaming at the people, today's he's their best friend. It's because he's a liar and he knows he needs that public he hates so much. He needs to just go away. And instead of sending my grandfather those crappy, glossy letters begging him to come back to In The Toilet, they should just fire David Sirota and they'd have a lot better chance.

I'm hoping this posts without problems tonight. (Elaine's already had problems tonight.) Thanks to C.I. for helping me figure out an alternative way to get my post up yesterday. Rebecca's "gonzales aide pleads the 5th" is a must read (and she had problems posting last night too).

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and it's got everything!!! :D Pay attention to Ricky Clousing:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq and since it involves a mass bombing the media wakes up a little, waking up does not include -- for most -- getting the Pelosi measure right, 2 nuns are killed in Iraq due to their gender and their religion but see who in the mainstream tackles it, and what's Michael Gordon selling this time -- war! war! war!

Starting with
this from Iraq Veterans Against the War:

Last week, as the U.S. death toll in Iraq climbed over 3,242, Congress voted to continue the war by approving the $124 billion supplemental bill. This week, the Senate is expected to similarly approve funding for this war that continues to violently destroy U.S. and Iraqi lives every day. The Democratic leadership claims that, to end the war, they must continue funding it. Iraq Veterans Against the War knows that, despite the Democrats guarantees of time tables and restrictions, the supplemental will not end the occupation of Iraq or prevent further escalation of the war. It is time for our brothers and sisters in the military to come home and for the Iraqi people to be allowed their right to self-determination.

"To end the war, they must continue to fund it". Emphasized for those who will hear that and remember the 'logic' of "to save the village, we had to destroy the village." (That's the popular version of the quote. Following the slaughter of Ben Tre, the actual quote was: "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.") So that's where it stands now, as
Iraq Veterans Against the War points out, the solution of the US Congress is that "to end the war, they must continue to fund it."

Yesterday, on
Flashpoints, Robert Knight devoted his entire Knight Report to the realities of the Pelosi measure: "Pelosi bragged that the measure was 'a giant step to end the war and responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq.' But in reality, the bill fulfills neither claim. The measure grants President Bush the unimpeded prerogative of maintaining his current escalation in Iraq through October 2007 at which time he is merely requested to self-certify success in his self-defined benchmarks. Those benchmarks include provisions for the Iraqi occupation regime to reign in death squads and to enact the US designed and multi-national friendly oil law that is presently before Iraq's absentee occupation parliament. Regardless of Bush's automatic auto-certification, no actual troop withdrawals would be required before August 2008 during the height of the national party conventions at which time the Democrats would then blame the Republicans with a war whose continuation they would have guaranteed until the eve of November 2008 presidential election. But even when the August deadline matures, Bush would still be allowed to maintain more than half of the 150,00 troops in Iraq due to a term of art in the legislation that requests the redeployment but not the homecoming of some 70,000 so-called combat troops. This would leave an equal or greater number of US troops in Iraq under the vague but permanent classifications of counter-insurgency, security and training for what New York Senator Hillary Clinton calls 'remaining vital national security interests in the heart of the oil region'." To hear The Knight Report in full check Flashpoints and in the KPFA archives. (Those unable to listen can click here for a 'rush' and 'rushed' transcript.)

decrying the Pelosi measure is Joshua Frank (CounterPunch): "Having been one of the unfortunate geeks who actually read the bill, I can tell you only one thing -- it's a complete farce. In order for troops to come home the Bushies would have to confim whether or not 'progress' has been made in Iraq, not Congress. So with more money in hand and sole authority on deciding whether or not the war is going as planned, the White House, even if Bush signed the bill, would never have to end the thing. The proposal wasn't a compromise as many have claimed, but a dagger in the heart of all those of us who want to bring this war to a screeching halt."

Turning to news of war resistance,
Ricky Clousing spoke March 17, 2007 at a rally in Fayetteville, "Hello, my name is Sgt. Ricky Clousing. I was stationed here in Fort Bragg
in the 82 Airborn division. I served with the 82nd in December of 2004 in Iraq as an interroagtor and after witnessing the abuse of power and the injustices that happened on a daily basis I decided I no longer could be a part of not only the 82nd airborn but also the organization of the military. So after deciding to go AWOL and serving a few months in jail, I'm here to say thank you guys because I received amazing support through my process and my journey. I'm not going to share my whole story because a lot of you might be familiar with it but I really want to just let you guys know how much it meant to me the support and letters and the organization for events like this and what not that you guys really blazed a trail for people like me for refusing to fight anymore and my brothers here that decided not to do it. So I just want to say that a lot of the times since I've gone and spoken at a different place that people, a lot of times, put things on a pedestal and different situations or people or places. And I think that it's important to express that we are all part of this bigger puzzle and this bigger of collective idea of peace and how to attain that Just be careful of putting people in those positions because it takes the responsibility that we all have to do our part -- and part of that is being here today and marching and walking and spreading the word on an individual level. So just remember that war isn't good for children and other living things. Thank you guys very, very much."

On August 11, 2006, Ricky Clousing went public with his story of how he checked himself out of the military following his service in Iraq -- making an announcement in Seattle at the
Veterans for Peace conference. October 12, 2006, Clousing was court-martialed. The sentence was three months, bad conduct discharge and a reduction in rank. Clousing referred in the speech to the letters and support he received. Currently, US war resister Mark Wilkerson is is serving a sentence for self-checking out. From Courage to Resist: "Write to Mark while he is in the brig c/o his wife Sarah: Mark and Sarah Wilkerson, PO Box 25037, Colorado Springs CO 80936. Please consider a donation to Mark Wilkerson's legal defense fund.." On August 31st, Wilkerson spoke at Camp Casey III -- a press conference -- announcing his intent to turn himself in after having self-checked out a year and a half ago. That evening he was interviewed by Dennis Bernstein for KPFA's Flashpoints, where they discussed Wilkerson's service in Iraq and how his views changed from those he'd held at 17-years-old. He attempted to receive c.o. status but his was denied. He attempted to prepare for the rebuttal process but was informed he'd be redeploying to Iraq and any rebuttal would have to wait until his second deployment ended. When Bernstein asked him if he had any regrets about his decision to self-check out, Wilkerson responded, "I completely stand by my decision. For me, this was a time in my life when I decided I had to make a stand regardless of whether [it meant] prison or death". On February 22nd of this year, his court-martial began at Fort Hood in Texas. Wilkerson was sentenced to seven months in military prison and will receive a bad conduct discharge.

Clousing and Wilkerson are a part of movement of resistance within the military that also includes
Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Joshua Key, Dean Walcott, Joshua Key, Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight 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, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

editorial page editor of the San Jose Mercury News, Stephen E. Wright, wrote of the changes in his own life since his son shipped off to the illegal war this month, "But now we talk about the war, via my son, almost daily: How's he doing? Have you heard from him? Is he in Iraq yet? In a far more presonal way, we discuss the impact on families and friends, the political meaneuvering and the lack of progress in bringing stability to the country. What we don't talk about are the daily news stories about soldiers killed in action. Having a son on his way to Iraq hasn't changed my view of the war. We should not have invaded the country. If this were a righteous war, it would be more bearable to see him go. But now there's a knot in the pit of my stomach every time I think about where he's headed, what he might have to do and what might be done to him."

Taking a look at what happens to some who return,
Tom Roeder and Cary Leider (Colorado Springs Gazette) report on the increase in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among returning service members, "Nearly 600 Fort Carson soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder last year, up from 102 cases in 2003 when soldiers started returning from their first tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the fourth straight year with a significant increase in the number of soldiers being diagnosed with PTSD. With symptoms that range from hyperawareness, to angry outbursts, PTSD is an anxiety reaction to traumatic events, which Iraq brings by the truckload. It plauges up to 10 percent of soldiers returning from war. Now the military is discovering a new problem. Substantial numbers of troops are showing lingering signs of traumatic brain injuries suffered in Iraq, mainly concussions caused by roadside bombs."

Turning to Iraq, let's dispense with the nonsense right away.
CNN speaks with Admiral William J. Fallon who's new to Iraq and new to the world of reality. Fallon puts forward the laughable belief that though Baghdad is chaos, outside things are just peachy keen and notes southern Iraq as a reference point. He may fool many US audiences that haven't received much reality about southern Iraq. For those who do not know better: YOU ARE BEING LIED TO. He also cites a region in the Kurdish north. Remember that when the elections for the boraders of that area get closer. Selcan Hacaoglu (AP) reports that Tariq al-Hashimi (Iraq's Sunni vice president) has "warned against a possible Turkish incursion into Iraq to fight separatist Kurdish guerrillas and promised to prevent cross-border attacks by the rebels." Though the domestic, US media prefers to ignore it, there's a battle raging over who will have claim to that area and the actual, physical make up of the area.


A bombing took place in Tal Afar resulting in mass casulties.
Al Jazeera reports "bodies and wounded were brought to hospital after the two vehicle-borne bombings." Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that one vehicle was a a truck carrying flour and that the death toll was at least 55 with 130 injured. AFP reports a mortar attack in the Abu Chir section of Baghdad that killed "[t]wo children, a man and a woman" with 14 others left wounded. Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing that killed a police officer and left two more wounded and a car bombing in Ramadi that claimed 17 lives and left 32 wounded. And Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) also reports a rocket attack: "This morning gunmen attacked the car of Sheikh Harith al Thari the son of the tribal leader Sheikh Thahir al Thari not far from his house. The attackers wanted to kidnap him, he and his companion resisted and killed some of the attackers. The attackers used an RPG rocket and destroyed the car. Later in the day the 1920 Revolution Brigades announced he was one of their field leaders. Sources from the area said he was a media man for the Brigades and his death comes after refusing to pledge loyalty to the Iraq Islamic State, Al Qaeda linked group."


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that US and Iraqi forces conducted a raid in Najaf and "shot at a driving by car and killed the driver and injured a pregnant woman, they were heading to the hospital" while, in Baghdad, Abbas Salah was shot dead.
AFP notes two people shot dead and seven more wounded in the Shorja section of Baghdad while two police officers and two civilians were shot dead in Mosul. Reuters notes three people shot dead in Ishaqi, a police lieutenant shot dead in Baghdad,


Okay, the New York Times continues to want to push the myths of the huge return to Baghdad. To do that, they have to ignore the minorities that have been run out of the city (including Catholics and Jews).
CBS and AP report that, in Kirkuk, two Chaldean Catholic nuns were stabbed to death ("no sign of a robbery" -- of course not, it was a crime against women and religious persecution) at the home of Margaret Naoum (the younger sister, 79-years-old). The older sister (85-years-old) was named Fawzeiyah Naoum. They stabbed older sister Fawzeiyah to death with three stabs, and they stabbed younger sister Margaret seven times.


Reuters notes 15 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today, 3 in Mosul, and 6 in Diwaniya.

Today the
US military announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West died March 24 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province."

In the US, US House Rep and 2008 presidential candidate
Dennis Kucinich has taken a strong stand against the illegal war. Recently, his wife Elizabeth Kucinich has begun posting to his presidential campaign website and noted this of the Pelosi measure that passed: "Dennis and I are in mourning. We mourn the deaths of those who have passed and those whose lives are now on the line, both in the military and civilian Iraqis. We mourn the destruction, the ecocide. We mourn with families in Iraq and the US who will see more death and devastation. We mourn the callous and calculated political spin cloaking the Congress's hawkish support of war with the rhetoric of peace."

Dennis Kucinich will appear on Wednesday's
Democracy Now! -- and, hopefully, before then it can be explained to the program that the Pelosi measure does not, as was stated on today's show, "also establish a timeline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by next year." Assuming that Bully Boy will go along with the toothless measure, only "combat troops" would be withdrawn (Robert Knight: "recalls the tactic by which earlier administrations once referred to US soldiers in Vietnam as advisers rather than troops.") This is too important to get it wrong and basic journalism provides no excuses. As Tom Engelhardts (TomDispatch) observed on the "troops" myth and "combat troops" reality, "The two categories are now so conveniently blurred that it would be pardonable if few Americans grasped the difference any more than did Charles Gibson, anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. On last Friday's news, he claimed the House had voted to get 'all US forces' out when his own White House correspondent used the correct phrase, 'combat forces'." How the House leadership wants to pimp the bill is not reality so Tell The Truth. That's what we'll call this item should it need to be be repeated in the snapshot: Tell The Truth & Know The Truth because, in fairness, some people may not know what the bill does say.

Then there are those who haven't earned the same benefit of the doubt.
Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) may not know what Paul Bremer does which would explain why she was all over the US orders to the puppet government to do away with the de-Baathifcation laws -- the same laws that didn't exist until the US administration's Paul Bremer decided to create it and enforce it. Tell The Truth, Rubin!

Finally, the Ultimate
War Pornographer Michael Gordon took Scott Shane with him on an unsourced wet dream of further war, of expanding it to Iran.