Saturday, December 09, 2006

Day 2 of national call for honoring war resisters

On October 31, 2006 Snyder crossed the border back to the U.S. and went to Fort Knox, Kentucky "because Major Brian Patterson had promised me orally that I would be discharged," he said. "Instead, I was refused because my unit is stateside and it is being deployed to Iraq a third time." Fearful that he'd either be court-martialed or forcibly returned to his unit for another stint in Iraq, Snyder went AWOL "and since then I’ve been fearful and hate the things that have been said about me."
The things that have been said about Snyder include the usual hate letters -- "People have sent me e-mails saying I should be hanged or shot," he said -- as well as the total rejection of his parents. While the foster parents who actually raised him "are really for me," Snyder explained, "My father thinks I'm a disgrace, and my mother thinks my leaving Iraq was a sin and I should repent. It's been 4 1/2 years since I've seen them. The first thing I would have done if I'd been discharged was to go to a Thanksgiving dinner with my family. But I don't want to see them when I'm in this position."

One thing Snyder did when he returned to the U.S. was hook up with Iraqi Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and join the bus tour they're taking around the country. Indeed, the bus was parked outside the Church of the Brethren while Snyder spoke and some fellow resisters, including Darrell Anderson and Ethan Crowell, attended the meeting. Anderson briefly took the microphone himself while Snyder was wrapping up an interview with an Associated Press reporter.

The above is from Mark Gabrish Conlan's "Kyle Snyder, War Resister, Speaks to Peace & Justice Coalition" (Zenger's Newsmagazine). Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ehren Watada, Joshua Key, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman -- some of the war resisters who have gone public.

This is day two of a three day for activism on the issue of war resistance by Courage to Resist:

"The GI resistance was one of the main things that ended the Vietnam war, and it's going to be a very important part of ending the one we're in now." -Kyle Snyder, AWOL Iraq veteran and war resister
This weekend people across the U.S. are taking action to support the growing gi resistance movement. There are three days of events Dec 8-10 in over 20 cities from New York City to Honolulu, HI! Showing widespread support for soldiers who resist is one of the best ways those of us outside the military can encourage the growing momentum of the GI resistance movement--a movement that has the direct power to end this war.We need to build momentum and CONTINUED SUPPORT for soldiers who have the courage to resist. You can do this by continuing to educate your community about the GI resistance movement and why support is crucial.

[. . .]
Support the GI Movement and End the War, Again by David Zieger, published on Common Dreams, December 6, 2006
GET INVOLVED TODAY! HERE'S HOW..Downloadable Organizing Kit
Participating Groups and Individuals

And Laura Flanders has Carolyn Ho (Ehren Watada's mother) on her program today. Also today, Yanar Mohammed, an Iraqi feminist, and Joan Wile & Vinie Burrows (Granny Rockettes for Peace). If I'm understanding the e-mails Martha and Joan both passed on Rev. Billy and the Church of Stopping Choir will be on as well. If that sounds like an amazing show (and it does), Sunday?

As most members know, after working on the edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review all night Saturday and all morning Sunday, those of us out here (Ava, Jess, Jim, Ty, Dona and Kat) are exhausted. Usually, we'll catch the last hour (on bad days, the last thirty minutes) of the Sunday broadcast. We'll have to figure out something because Sunday's show is a must. Angela Y. Davis on commercial, national radio is a rare event. Community favorite (and truth teller) Robert Parry is also on the Sunday show. John Nichols who was fighting for media reform before most of us knew the term and Ian Williams (who covers the United Nations for The Nation) will also be on. Four reasons not to miss Sunday's show. RadioNation with Laura Flanders on Air America radio, online, XM satellite radio, from 7:00 pm EST till 10:00 pm EST Saturday and Sunday. Sidebar: If you're one of the members who e-mailed The Third Estate Sunday Review last Saturday about not being able to stream at AAR -- hopefully the problem's fixed. If not, refer to the station you were e-mailed about. It's the same station I noted in yesterday's gina & krista round-robin.

Back to Carolyn Ho. She has been speaking out and raising awareness about her son. Bob Watada has done speaking tours on the West coast twice and throughout America on the last tour. Carolyn Ho has been very active and, Joan asked that we note this, Hawaii doesn't receive much attention ("or any campaign stops") "as a rule." Joan's seen Carolyn Ho speak twice. "Do not miss her," she writes. Carolyn Ho also held a press conference yesterday in NYC.
This is an exclusive interview Flanders has and it's one that will probably be referred to years from now, when the next illegal war rages and people have to speak up and fight back again.

Liang has a Saturday listening party each week with friends (they listen to Flanders). If you're trying to find something you can do this weekend and running out of ideas, invite some friends over and listen to the program. Discuss it after (or during). Kevin e-mailed that he's had Sir! No Sir! on his list of things to purchase for months and now it's too late (I believe it's only available at the website, you can rent it via NetFlix). He's trying to get together friends tonight and asked for an idea in an e-mail he labeled "URGENT!!!!"

That's what you can do. You can listen to the program on the radio (traditional or satellite) or stream it online. If you're wanting to provide some printed material as well (hand outs can have a long life), information on this movement of 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.

The e-mail address for this site is

kyle snyder