When not on duty, Josh dressed in black and shared Tabbie's love of shopping at Hot Topic.
"He was the hot 'goth' guy," she recalled. The two attended the same high school. Before long, they were fast friends who liked to spend time together talking, listening to music and making art. While in high school, Josh won awards for computer-animation projects. His future seemed bright.
After graduation, Josh joined the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He'd only been in Iraq a couple of weeks when he and another soldier encountered what the military calls an "improvised explosive device," or IED, while on patrol in Baghdad.
My daughter, 18, learned of Josh's death via a message left on her cell phone. She asked to leave her job at Barnes & Noble in mid-shift and went home to tell her roommates.
Hysteria was followed by silence, then action. Tabbie set up a memorial to her friend on a coffee table in the apartment shared with other young adults who like to strum guitars, surf the Internet and play "Halo 2."
She propped up a photograph of Josh and arranged candles around it. She played a CD she's owned since high school, sinking into the couch as Ozzy sang:
"I'm not the kind of person you think I am / I'm not the Antichrist or the iron man / I have a vision that I just can't control / I feel I've lost my spirit and sold my soul / Got no control."
As I listened, I couldn't help thinking that if we'd all worked harder to hold this administration accountable, Josh might not have been shipped to Iraq the week before Christmas.
I realized I've been overly complacent, an anti-war passivist, not an activist. This needs to change. Before more mothers lose sons, more sisters lose brothers and more children lose parents. Before more teenage girls lose best friends.
The above, sent in by Karen, is from Deidre Pike's "An improvised explosive device: on the death of a young soldier and best friend" (Tucson Weekly). Karen wrote that reading about
Joshua Morberg touched her.
Karen: It made me cry and I think Ms. Pike really brought him to her article. He really came to life and was a real person as she told the story and that's not usually the case. I'm sure it took something out of her to write it but she did a wonderful job and she really made you feel the loss. I've never met Army Private Joshua Morberg but I feel like I know some of what made him unqiue.
Which is more than reason enough to start with Pike's item. (Thanks to Karen for finding it and sharing it.) It's Thursday and we do the indymedia roundup. We're doing one entry tonight and I belive we've got five entries. We have something on Iraq, something on activism, and something on Bully Boy spying. It's a nice cross-section. My apologies for only doing one entry but I'm really tired. As for the post worked on (all night) last night, I don't even want to look at it right now. So we'll have it up on Friday, after I can review it.
Gareth e-mailed to note news on Iraq. From Kim Sengupta's "Suicide attacks put Iraq's political future in doubt" (The Independent of London):
More than 120 people were killed in one of the bloodiest days of the Iraq conflict yesterday in a series of attacks, including two devastating suicide bombings.
The violence, which also claimed the lives of seven American soldiers, brought the number of deaths to 170 in 48 hours and prompted further doubts about the fiture political stability of Iraq following the elections last month.
The suicide blasts were in the Shia holy city of Karbala and at Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad. Another three explosions took place in Baghdad and a massive fire started after an oil pipeline was blown up near Kirkuk in the north.
Iraq's Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and other prominent politicians condemned the attacks, saying they were intended to sabotage progress being made towards forming a broad-based coalition government. But the country's largest Shia party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) bitterly denounced Sunni Arab groups for inciting sectarian violence after faring poorly at the polls. Reinforcing fears of further descent into civil war, they warned some factions may take direct action because the American-led coalition was allegedly hampering attempts by government forces to combat the insurgents.
Callie felt that Steve Sebelius' "Impeach the administration" (Las Vegas City Life) "walks you through slowly, in case anyone's confused about the laws broken":
President George W. Bush, to our knowledge, has not received oral sex from an intern in the White House.
But he ought to be impeached anyway.
Bush's crimes may not be as sexy as those that led a partisan House of Representatives to impeach former President Bill Clinton, but they are of so much greater importance to the fabric of the Republic that Clinton seems a choirboy by comparison.
Bush has admitted authorizing the warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens' overseas telephone calls by the National Security Agency, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. And he's pledged to continue the program, even as his Justice Department hunts for the person who leaked word of it to the New York Times. (It's doubtful this patriot, if discovered, is in line for the Presidential Medal of Freedom reserved for the likes of George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, who helped sell Bush on the case for war.)
As justification, Bush cites his authority as commander-in-chief of U.S. armed forces, found in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. But that section doesn't explicitly or implicitly grant the president any special powers to suspend the Constitution. Moreover, it must be read consistently with the Bill of Rights, the framers of which intended to specifically limit the powers of the government.
The Fourth Amendment, specifically, reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." Under this amendment, the government must first have probable cause to believe a crime has been or may be committed, and second must present its evidence to a judge and swear that it's true, and third the judge must find probable cause and only then may a search be conducted.
So much going on. What can you do? News on the World Can't Wait was spotted by Stan, "Bush Step Down- Massive Protests Jan.31 and Feb.4th" (DC Indymedia):
BUSH: STEP DOWN And Take Your Program With You!
1. Jan. 31, on The Night of President Bush’s State of the Union Address:
Bring the Noise!
Drown Out Bush’s Lies!
In large cities and small towns all across the country, join in rallies one hour before Bush's address as we make our determination to "Drive Out the Bush Regime" the political message of the day.
At 9:00 PM EST, just as Bush starts to speak, everywhere we will BRING THE NOISE. In a cacophony of sound, we will drown out his address with music: from drums to violins, from hip hop and classical; and with noise: banging pots and ringing church bells, sound car horns and lifting our voices.
2. DEMONSTRATE on SATURDAY, FEB. 4
(following the State of the Union)
The Saturday after the State of the Union address, massive numbers will protest at the seat of government. Prominent voices of conscience will help deliver the people’s verdict on Bush's criminal regime with our demand:
Bush Step Down And Take Your Program with You!
Start Organizing Now! Flier now available:
Find a rally in your city on Jan. 31, or organize one yourself.
January 31 Convergences
Jan. 31, on The Night of President Bush's State of the Union Address:
Bring the Noise! Drown Out Bush's Lies!
In large cities and small towns all across the country, join in rallies one hour before Bush's address as we make our determination to "Drive Out the Bush Regime" the political message of the day. At 9:00 PM EST, just as Bush starts to speak, everywhere we will BRING THE NOISE. In a cacophony of sound, we will drown out his address with music: from drums to violins, from hip hop and classical; and with noise: banging pots and ringing church bells, sound car horns and lifting our voices.To organize a rally in your area, email info (at) worldcantwait.org
Beginning list of convergences accross the country (more to come):
(all rallies begin at 8pm EST unless otherwise noted)
5pm KTLA TV, Van Ness & Sunset Blvd.
6pm march to CNN, Cahuenga & Sunset Blvd.
Horton Plaza Fountain. Fourth and Broadway. 4:30pm
5pm Pioneer Plaza(Tribune Plaza) on N. Michigan Ave. near Chicago Tribune and NBC TV affiliate. Neigborhood Drownouts also planned.
Fourth and Main, Royal Oak,
Kalamazoo: The Ravenwood Coffee, 773 W. Michigan Ave.
Bergen County: Van Neste Square in Ridgewood, NJ
Times Square, 42nd and Broadway
Westerley: March and demonstration downtown
And in case you're wondering about participating, people collectively can make a difference. Melinda notes Patrick O'Neill's "Raleigh activists march to Guantánamo" (Raleigh-Durham Independent):
Cubans were amazed last month to see a group of 25 U.S. citizens marching with banners along roads on the eastern end of the island leading to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, where the United States has been holding suspected terrorists, some for more than four years without due process.
For four days, a group of Catholic Workers and Christian activists from around the country walked more than 60 miles from Santiago to within five miles of Guantánamo to protest the detention and torture of suspected terrorists. The march coincided with the Dec. 10 observance of International Human Rights Day.
Scott Langley and Sheila Stumph, co-founders in 2004 of the Raleigh Catholic Worker House near Central Prison, which offers a place to stay for families visiting loved ones on death row, were among the 25 marchers who had hoped to be permitted to enter the prison. Instead, the marchers were stopped at a Cuban checkpoint about five miles from Guantánamo and about nine miles from the prison.
After their arrival Dec. 5, the marchers began a series of what became ongoing meetings with officials, Stumph said. They were initially threatened with deportation by Cuban authorities, who clearly did not want the efforts of the 25 to provoke a U.S. government reaction.
"When they said, 'This is impossible to do in Cuba,' we said, 'Well, we're a group that believes in the impossible, and that's what faith is for us,'" Stumph said.
He wasn't just another number in Bully Boy's war of choice.
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