Thursday, June 22, 2006

Other Items (Giuliana Sgrena on Democracy Now! today)

"There have been so many lies, and so many things have been hidden," she said. "I have had enough. I have absolutely no doubt that the same thing that happened to Patrick -- being shot by people he was training -- has happened over and over and is still happening today.
"He was killed by the Iraqis that he was training. People in this country need to know that."

That's Nadia McCaffrey, mother of the late Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr. who may not have the name "Pat Tillman" but should be getting some national attention. The excerpt is from Hector Becerra and Scott Gold's "Iraqis Killed Their U.S. Trainers, Probe Finds" in the Times, the Los Angeles Times. We noted it yesterday and Rachel asked that we excerpt the above. Rachel wondered if "the Times of New York feels this is a 'regional' story or just not important?" Good question.

Robert Fisk and others have spoken and written of how common these events are. New York Times readers are again left in the dark. (Like yesterday when Grimey filed another laughable book review but forgot to note the author's connection to the paper of no record.) The lies and the superficial coverage (yes, Burnsie, we ESPECIALLY mean you) keep selling the war.

Micah notes an AFP item the Times carries which announces (quietly for the Times) that the recruitment age for the American military is being bumped up from 40 to 42. There's a reason for that. They can't make their recruitment levels. "Levels." They may lower their quotas to try to meet them but they were 10,000 behind in 2004 and 10,000 behind in 2005. That's reality. Just don't expect to read it in the Times and certainly not on the front page.

As Republicans get ready to grand stand on the illegal war for the 2006 elections, you can thank those who postured in the Senate yesterday. That includes Hillary Clinton. Rick notes Robert Scheer's "Hillary's Hypocrisy" (TruthDig via The Nation):

How do you triangulate among death, hypocrisy and stupidity? Not at all logically, which is why Hillary Clinton's dissembling on Iraq has become a fatal embarrassment not only for her but for anyone who hopes she can provide progressive leadership for the nation. If she has still not found the courage to reverse course on this disastrous war, why assume that as President she would behave any differently?
It is unconscionable that those who can accurately measure the true cost of the Iraq folly in wasted lives and resources--more than 2,500 Americans, tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of billions of dollars--dare prefer her to potential 2008 presidential election rivals John Kerry, Al Gore, Russ Feingold and John Edwards, who have all come to speak honestly of this quagmire and our need to extricate ourselves from it.
If your priority is to support an inspiring female candidate to break America's ultimate glass ceiling, why not draft Barbara Boxer? Not electable? Nonsense: The California senator thrashed her conservative GOP opponent in a reelection campaign that shunned the failed strategy of Democratic hacks and instead emphasized principle over opportunism. She proved her political integrity again this past week by voting alongside Kerry and Feingold to set a date for getting out of Iraq.

This goes with the above (and hopefully the entire entry) but I just saw Sally's e-mail so we'll put it in here and if it interrupts the flow, well maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we're all a little too comfortable as the war drags on. This is an e-mail from CODEPINK that Sally said was just sent out this morning:

You might have seen polls showing that the majority of Iraqis and Americans want to see a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But did you know that when Bush visited Iraq on June 13, Iraq's President and Vice President asked him to set a timeline? And in a startling op-ed piece in Tuesday's Washington Post, Iraq's National Security Adviser Mowaffik Al-Rubaie admitted that Iraqis now see foreign troops as occupiers rather than the liberators, and said that their removal will strengthen the fledgling government by legitimizing it in the eyes of the Iraqi people.
Yet the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress refuse to set a timeline for withdrawal, saying U.S. troops need to stay to protect Iraqis until there is stability. But when the Iraqi people were asked who they trust to protect their personal safety,
only 1 percent said the coalition forces!
And did you know that when we in the peace movement were successful in convincing the House and Senate to approve amendments to the emergency supplemental spending bill calling for no permanent bases in Iraq, the Republican leaders in the joint conference committee simply
eliminated the provision from the final bill. Little wonder that 80 percent of Iraqis fear that the U.S. plans to have permanent bases in their country.
The rulers of our nation refuse to set a date for withdrawal and renounce permanent bases because they plan to be in Iraq not for one or two more years, but for decades to come. Their goal is not democracy in Iraq, but control of Middle Eastern oil.
The choice is clear: Are we going to allow our soldiers and the Iraqi people to keep dying so that U.S. corporations can try to control Iraq's oil? Or are we going to do everything within our power to end this war?
If you, like us, are determined to bring our troops home, here are two things you can do:
1. Support the hunger strike we will be launching in Washington DC and around the country on July 4th. You can join us for a day, a week or open-ended. Just this week we have an amazing new list of fasters, including Sean Penn, Alice Walker, Howard Zinn, Dolores Huerta and Lt. Ehren Watada. Go to to learn, sign up, or donate funds to make this fast as effective as possible.
2. Help build a bloc of U.S. voters-millions of us-who pledge to only vote for candidates who commit to a speedy withdrawal from Iraq. We ask you to commit, during the course of the summer, to getting 100 people to sign the
Voter Pledge for Peace. If we can get millions of voters to sign the pledge, we will have a chance to influence not only the upcoming Congressional elections but the 2008 presidential campaign. You can download a hardcopy here and send it back to us with 100 signatures.
Let's show the leaders of this country, and people around the world, that we are as committed to building peace as they are to waging war.
With peace in our hearts,Allison, Dana, Erin, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Katie, Medea, Meredith, Nancy, Rae, Samantha and Tiffany
Remember, you can join in many travel opportunities this summer, from a New Orleans work camp to Camp Casey in Crawford to a retreat/spa in Austin.
Click here for info.

Read the above again and grasp that CODEPINK, in an e-mail, told you more than the Times did today. Show your support for CODEPINK.

Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today:

Leading Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena joins us in our firehouse studio. In February 2005, she was taken hostage by a group of Iraqis and held for four weeks. On the day of her release, as she was being escorted to Baghdad International Airport by Italian security, US forces fired on her vehicle. The attack killed Major General Nicola Calipari, the number-two man in Italian military intelligence. Sgrena's new book is titled "FriendlyFire."

Friday in NYC, Amy Goodman will have an event with Sgrena. In addition there are events with Danny Schechter, Laura Flanders, Deepa Fernandes and other voices of note:

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Thur, June 22 *
A Reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States
For more information: Web: Email: Phone: 917-546-6847
The Center for Economic Research and Social Change presents a special
evening of readings from Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's
Voices of a
People's History of the United States
, with
Deepa Fernandes
Amy Goodman
Brian Jones
Josh Hamilton
Robert Robideau
Staceyann Chin
Erin Cherry
Suheir Hammad
Paul Robeson, Jr.
Laura Flanders
John Sayles
Lili Taylor
Wally Shawn
Christina Kirk
Anthony Arnove
and other special guests
Voices is a the critically acclaimed primary-source companion volume to
Howard Zinn's a People's History of the United States that features the
words of dissenters, and visionaries from our past -- and present.
Tickets are only $10 with a registration for the Socialism 2006 conference
or $15 for single sales.
Single tickets on sale via Ticket Central
Online at
By phone at (212) 279-4200 (daily 12-8pm)
In person at the box office at 416 West 42nd Street

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:

Fri, June 23 *
TIME: 7:30 PM
Amy Goodman Speaks With Italian Journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was
kidnapped in Iraq in February of 2005
Tickets are $10, advance purchase recommended
For more information:
or 917-319-7008

* Amy Goodman in Stony Ridge, NY:

Fri, June 30 *
TIME: 7:30 PM
Sounding the Alarm for Freedom: Media Responsibility in Time of War
Tickets are $5 (students free)
For more information: (845) 876 7535
Panel Discussion featuring:
Congressman Maurice Hinchey: leader in media reform legislation
Amy Goodman: award winning investigative journalist for "Democracy Now"
Jeff Cohen: founder of FAIR, panelist on "News Watch" (Fox) and "Crossfire"
Danny Schechter: media critic and filmmaker ("Weapons of Mass Deception")
Dr. Alan Chartock, President and CEO of WAMC, will host the panel, which
will be broadcast by member stations of WAMC/NPR.

Lastly, Rachel notes this broadcast on WBAI today (time given is Eastern):

11:00 am-noon: Joy of Resistance
Media coverage of the Duke University rape case: Athlete and frat boy rape cultures,"sluts" and "good women", sex, class and race. Lucinda Marshall (Women's Peace Network), Alisa Bierria (INCITE!), Latifa Lyles (NOW VP). Hosts: Maretta Short (Women of Color and Allies), Fran Luck. Plus: Part 2 of Welfare-to-Work Programs exposed; worldwide feminist news.

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