Friday, February 02, 2007

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Carolyn Ho had a powerful partner onstage with her Thursday night, if only in spirit: her son, Army Lt. Ehren Watada.Watada is in Fort Lewis, Wash., awaiting his court-martial Monday, but Ho brought along a DVD of a speech he gave at a Vets for Peace meeting in August.Ho spoke at Emerson High School in Gary, Purdue University Calumet and Valparaiso University on behalf of her son, who faces court-martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq.Ho has toured the country for Watada, not only as his biggest supporter but as his mother.
"I am proud of my son because he is a citizen of the world," Ho said. "He feels the anguish of the Iraqi people, not only for the deaths of our (men and women) but the deaths of innocent men, women and children."

The above is from Mary Wilds' "Mother of man facing court-martial visits VU" (The Times of Northwest Indiana). Also on Ehren Watada, Megan notes a letter from "LETTERS TO THE CONTRA COSTA TIMES" (Contra Costa Times):

Supports Watada
Lt. Ehren Watada's court martial hearing is scheduled to begin Monday. Therein lies the fate of a courageous young Army officer who refused deployment to Iraq.
He's expressed his decision wasn't easy. It was a gradual awareness and realization of facts about the war that were publicly disclosed over time.
It became obvious our administration lacked reliable intelligence and was lying to justify an illegal and immoral war.
I respect and support Watada for his decision. By refusing to obey orders, he knew he'd probably face a jail sentence. But he responded to a higher calling to serve his fellow man as an American and a world citizen.
Like Watada, we must all learn from history and reflect on the World Court decisions at the Nuremberg trials after World War II. Leaders and officers in Germany, Italy and Japan were individually held accountable, charged with actions of inhumanity and sentenced accordingly.
Support activities for Watada continue. A rally will be held Sunday in San Francisco, and vigils are scheduled for Monday through Wednesday. More information is available on the Internet under his name.
I hope for the best outcome possible -- that Watada be allowed to resign his commission and that court martial charges be dropped.
Hatsue Katsura
El Cerrito

Just as independent print media has failed to cover Ehren Watada, the mainstream has failed to cover the realities of all those 'crash landings' and crashes. While independent media (print) turns a cold shoulder to Ehren Watada, the mainstream media does appear to be waking up to realities and willing to report crashes with something other than rah-rah press releases from the US military. Lloyd notes Ernesto Londono's "U.S. Probes Helicopter Crash Near Baghdad" (Washington Post):

An American helicopter crashed north of Baghdad Friday morning, and an Iraqi police spokesman said it had been downed by a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile.
A U.S. military spokesman said he couldn't confirm the crash.

"We're looking into that," Lt. Col. Christopher C. Garver said about the report.
Iraqi police major Hatem Al-Dulaimi said the helicopter was downed at approximately 8 a.m. near Taji, which is 15 miles north of Baghdad.
There was no information on the number of casualties.

Reuters notes:

Last month, 12 soldiers, were killed when a Blackhawk transport helicopter came down northeast of Baghdad. There was a media report that it was shot down although there has been no confirmation of that.
On Sunday, two Americans were killed when their attack helicopter came down during a battle south of Baghdad with what the Iraqi government described as hundreds of fighters from a militant messianic cult. Iraqi officers said it was shot down.
Last week, five American security contractors were killed in central Baghdad, four of them aboard a helicopter that came down and the fifth shot dead aboard a second helicopter.

And yesterday, Kat noted: "2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Pacific time on KPFA tomorrow will be dedicated to Molly Ivins so you can also listen (online, airwaves) to that." That's today.

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