Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Other Items (Sara Rich -- Suzanne Swift's mother -- on Democracy Now! today)

Letter from Suzanne Swift's Mom
Suzanne joined the Army with stars in her eyes. She was told she would see far away travel, be trained as a military police officer and when she got out she would be given money for college. Hell of a deal. Not once did the recruiter mention the deadly statistics for women in the military and how going to war dehumanizes many soldiers to a point where they think that raping and harassing women is acceptable behavior.
What has happened to Suzanne is happening to 2 out of every three women in the military right now. Young women and men are being subjected to sexual harassment, intimidation and assault every day and this is a national call to action. We must stop the climate of fear that our soldiers are living in every day. No more sweeping it under the carpet. Help us change the system where this is acceptable and victims are dismissed and their needs ignored. Take action and pay attention. My daughter is stepping up with her very life. What are you going to do to effect change today?
Support Suzanne and thousands of others in taking action. We demand that Suzanne be given a full honorable discharge from the Army and that all her mental heath needs be fully met. On this July 15, Suzanne will be 22 years old. Don't allow her to spend another minute under the care of a system that fails so many of it's own every day. Suzanne deserves an honorable discharge today!
Contributions to Suzanne's legal defense fund are needed. Contributions are tax deductable.
Join me at the gates of Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA on July 15 to show support for Suzanne.
Plan a support event in your own city.
For more information go to
Thank you for your time and energy.
Sara Rich, M.S.W
Listen to an audio interview with Sara Rich calling for the day of action on July 15.
How to Help Suzanne Today
1) On July 15 join with people across the country to demand an immediatehonorable discharge for Suzanne Swift.
Send Sara a note to let her know what you are planning in your city on July 15 to:formydaughtersuzanne@yahoo.com
www.SuzanneSwift.org for forthcoming organizing materials
Sign the support petition to demand the immediate release of Suzanne Swift from Fort Lewis, WA where she is being detained for refusing to return to her unit where she was sexually harassed, abused and demeaned.
Download the informational flyer and help to educate your community about Suzanne's case.
4) Send messages of support to Suzanne (you can collect them on July 15!)Friends of SuzanneP.O. Box 51584Eugene, OR 97405
Donate to Suzanne's legal defense fund

Mike passed on the above from Courage to Resist and plans to note it this evening when he posts as well. Moving back to the New York Times (and these are running late because so many friends wanted to call and laugh about Dexy this morning -- see previous entry), we'll take a look at Edward Wong's "Insurgent Group Posts Video of 2 Mutilated U.S. Soldiers" which is kind-of, sort-of about the alleged rape and murder of who and three members of her family? Wong forgets to tell you. The Washington Post dubs it "one of the gravest of a series being investigated by the U.S. military in which Americans are accused of killing Iraqi civilians," but Wong can't even tell you the name of the young girl who was allegedly raped and killed: Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi. Apparently, he spent the bulk of his phone time with Rita Katz and the SITE institute which gets yet another in a long series of 'shout outs' from the Times (and again fails to note anything about the group).

That's how you render a victim invisble, how you leave the dead faceless and the Times has been doing that for some time. He's more concerned with what Rita Katz is feeding him about a video tape (that SITE argues presents dubious claims so Wong argues that as well) than he is in discussing reality. The reality is that Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi is dead. There's no alleged to the fact that she was murdered. How and by whom may be the subject of an investigation (with US forces charged in the crimes) but there's no disputing that she was murdered in the supposed 'liberated' Iraq.

Giving her a name might make it all too messy and real for the readers so it's better to lead with a videotape that Wong goes to great lengths (SITE works so hard) to make sure the readers grasp how much bunk he thinks it's full of.

And in the process, he loses sight of the fact that six Americans have now been charged in, what he dubs, "the March 12 episode" that resulted in the death of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, her mother, her father and her younger sister.

One paper calls it the 'gravest,' another runs to SITE to figure out, "What's our angle?"

I'm running late (too much fun at Dexy's expense this morning) so we'll wrap this up with two things.

First, the following sites posted yesterday:

Betty (of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man) continues substituting for Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Trina of Trina's Kitchen;
Sunny continued substituting for Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz (Elaine's back on Wednesday);
and Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix and Wally of The Daily Jot did a joint entry posted at both their sites

Second, today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now!:

* An Iraqi journalist reports on the rape and killing of an Iraqi teenage girl and her family by US soldiers
* Sara Rich tells the in-depth story of her daughter Suzanne Swift, a 21-year-old Army Specialist who went AWOL after serving in Iraq for a year. Not only did she feel the war lacked purpose, Swift said her superiors repeatedly sexually harassed her while serving in Iraq.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.