Wednesday, April 06, 2005

AP on CIA, Regina (Chicana on the Edge) on stereotypes, Pam (Big Brass Blog)on NAACP, Dhar Jamail, Medea Benjamin and Peter Camejo

From the Associated Press, note Katherine Shrader's "Officials Ask Why Iraq Details Surface Now:"

The CIA and members of Congress said they want to know how a presidential commission unearthed details on intelligence failures about Iraq's prewar weapons programs that previous investigations missed.

Make of it what you will -- shifting the blame, shifting the focus.

Now, in the reality based world, let's note a few things.

Over at Chicana on the Edge, Regina's addressing stereotypes:

Why is it so hard to accept the existence of someone whose nationality is blurred? Why can so few people understand that since I'm not white enough to count as white, but not Mexican enough to count as Mexican, I occupy a rather lonely middle ground where I seem doomed to disappoint everyone? All my life people have passed judgment on me when they've learned how poor my Spanish is. At least my co-workers aren't doing that. On the contrary, they're refusing to accept the reality of my limited bilingualism. It almost feels like a compliment: maybe I've been accepted as "one of them." Only I know I haven't been every time I have to stop the conversation and say, "No te entiendo. No te entiendo."

Billie notes that Ron's addressing the John Cornyn issue over at Why Are We Back in Iraq?:

But here's the best part of this campaign to prevent the Solomon Amendment (which allows the military to recruit on campuses) from being overruled by "activist judges."
"Tell the U.S. Senate that America deserves conservative judges, not legislators in robes." (
You see, this has nothing to do with "activist judges", it's just another half-baked partisan distortion by Republicans. Cornyn isn't looking for "non-activist" judges, he wants to pack the courts with conservative judges.

Over at Big Brass Blog, Pam's examing "Calif. NAACP is first chapter to endorse same-sex marriage:"

This is good news, but sad, because all chapters of the NAACP should be against discrimination of any kind. When the organization held its national convention in Philly in 2004, the topic of gay civil marriage was purposefully missing from the agenda. Julian Bond, head of the organization, said that "it would be a healthy discussion to have...but I would be fearful of what might happen." So much for courage in the midst of states writing bigotry into their respective Constitutions. The NAACP's ball-less homo-bigots are content to let it all slide, save Alice Huffman with her big brass ones in California.

Krista: Remember the Dahr Jamail interview that you couldn't find at the online magazine? Well Dahr's posted it at Iraq Dispatches:

What happened was that most of the fighters in the city left even before the siege began--even the military admitted to that. So of the roughly 3,000 people killed, the vast majority were civilians. Falluja was declared a "free-fire" zone for the military, meaning that they were not distinguishing between civilians and fighters, which is, of course, a violation of international law in a city where there might be civilians.
As far as accomplishing this goal of "rooting out fighters" and/or providing "security and stability" for the January 30 election, we can see that neither have been accomplished.

The magazine was Socialist Worker Magazine and the interview is conducted by Eric Ruder. It's entitled "Independent journalist Dahr Jamail:“Life in Falluja is a horror story.”

At CodePink, Medea Benjamin has an essay (with photos) entitled "The Salinas 24-Hour Emergency Read-In, Chicken Soup for the Soul:"

Looking around the Cesar Chavez library at 5 am was a sight to behold. To my right I counted 32 tents pitched in the grass, tents of library-loving campers who had come from San Diego and Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Sacramento, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo, as well as local campers from Salinas. In the front of the library, where we had set up a "Seat of Wisdom", a group of students was quietly reading a novel to each other.

Third Party alerts us to Peter Camejo's "The Crisis in the Green Party" from CounterPunch:

When I speak of Cobb supporters I mean precisely those who are in the leadership of that current. Many of the Greens who voted for or supported Cobb are not in agreement with many of the views being projected by what I call the "Lesser Evil" current. I define that current based on the statement by 18 Green leader supporters of Cobb that refer to themselves as supporters of voting for the Lesser Evil (their word).
They wanted to "win", to defeat Nader. Looking back we can now see clearly that after being crushed in the primaries (they received 12%) and in most state conventions, the Cobb supporters could not win unless they stacked the convention. By stacking I mean something quite simple. Regardless of the vote in a state convention or primary the Lesser Evil current set out to get as many of their supporters to become delegates. An example would be if in a State Cobb got 26% of the vote instead of only 26% of the delegates from among those who voted for Cobb going to the convention and 74% of those who voted for another candidate going the majority of delegates going to the convention were Greens who voted for Cobb. To do this is not only anti-democratic it is a conscious effort to over turn the will of the membership.
By doing this "packing" they refused to accept the wishes of the membership. This fact more than anything else is what threatens the Green Party today. If democracy is not respected within the Green Party then what exactly is the Party? Internal democracy is not a negotiable issue. When the membership votes, its collective will must be respected and recognized.

For the record, community member Third Party is a Green Party member. If someone comes across an article offering a different view, we'll be happy to link to it. And if any member wants to comment on the article (in a private e-mail or with comments to be shared with the community), they are free to do so. I feel the need to add this paragraph because I am not a Green Party member and I'm not an expert on the Green Party. I do have friends who will agree with the above article and I do have friends who will disagree (friends who are Greens) so I am aware that Camejo's views are shared by some in the Green Party and hopefully Camejo
is addressing a concern that others share. With this link, I am not taking sides. This site doesn't exist to beat up on the Green Party. But we're also not here to look the other way. I thank Third Party for bringing the article to our attention and if this is an issue the community wants to address, we will. And we will link to alternate views as well.

The e-mail address for this site is