Sunday, April 01, 2007

And the war drags on . . .

Glass was supported yesterday by his girlfriend, 24-year-old Whitney Hewitt of Toronto. There was also an early morning vigil held for him outside the board building by War Resisters Support Campaign members.
Glass has been in Toronto since August following seven months of hiding. He went AWOL from the army during a two-week leave to return home.
He had joined the National Guard in Indiana four years ago under the impression he would be filling sand bags and helping guard U.S. soil. Instead, he was sent to Iraq, a war he says he couldn't fight with a clear conscience.
"I'm kind of mad," Glass said outside the closed-door hearing. "I signed up for what I thought was a humanitarian organization, the National Guard."
Glass set up computer and telephone systems before leaving for Iraq. A sergeant, he worked in intelligence overseas.
He misses his parents and three siblings, who support his decision to flee, but Glass says he will not go back to the U.S. if his claim is denied here.
"I guess I'll have to find out what I have to do then and start looking for other countries," he said.
"I feel bad for him because I see how much he misses his family and hates that he can't go back," said Hewitt.
A decision on Glass' claim will be made at a later date.

The above, noted by Vince, is from Matthew Chung's "Deserter hoping he will not 'have to sit 20 years in prison'" (Saturday's Toronto Star) and it's about US war resister Corey Glass who went before the Canadian Immigration and Refugee board on Friday. (An article by Chung was noted in Friday's snapshot -- this is a longer version of that article with more details.) Vince also wanted to note "Editorial: War resistance continues and increases" (The Third Estate Sunday Review) and writes that from where he sits (in Canada) the support for war resisters is increasing as is the frustration with the (so-called) independent Immigration and Refugee board (which has denied every claim by a resister of the current illegal war that has come before them). Information on US war resisters in Canada can be found at War Resisters Support Campaign which is a Canadian organization that aids war resisters. Courage to Resist offers information, bulletins and reports on war resistance and End Zone notes this from an e-mail they sent out Thursday:

Iraq vets, families, and resisters lead march on Pentagon, events nationwide
Top: Iraq vets lead Washington DC march 3/17/07.
Photo: Jeff Paterson.
Bottom: Iraq War resister Darrel Anderson rallies the troops in front of the Pentagon 3/17/06. Photo: Bill Hackwell.
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. March 27, 2007
On March 17, the 40th anniversary of the historic anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon, tens of thousands again marched on the Pentagon -- this time of course to demand “U.S out of Iraq now!” Organized by the ANSWER Coalition, and led by Iraq Veterans Against the War, military families and GI resisters, the march began at the Lincoln Memorial and crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge before turning south towards the Pentagon. Anita Dennis, speaking in front of the Pentagon for Courage to Resist with a stage lined with Iraq veterans, called on the rally to support the troops that refuse to fight -- as her son Darrel Anderson did after returning from his first tour of duty in Iraq.
More photos
Darrell Anderson's fight is not yet over. He still suffers from PTSD and other health issues related to his service in Iraq. He needs and deserves VA benefits that his "other than honorable" prevent him from obtaining. Darrell has $4,000 in oustanding legal fees that he needs to pay before he can fight for his discharge upgrade to get VA benefits. Please help this Iraq combat veteran and courageous resister get the support and care he deserves. Please send donations to "Darrell Anderson Legal Fees Fund", P.O. Box 54675, Lexington KY 40555-4675. Contact:
In Los Angeles, the Aguayo family joined Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress and the Asian American Vietnam Veterans Organization to support war resisters.
Anti-war Iraq vets hold "Operation First Casualty," occupation staged at Washington DC landmarks
Iraq vet Garrett Reppenhagen searches detainee on Capitol Building lawn during "Operation First Casualty" 3/19/07. Photo: Jeff Paterson.
On March 19, 2007 a platoon of
Iraq Veterans Against the War took to the streets of downtown Washington DC reenacting their experiences in Iraq as participants in an unjust war. A dozen others filled the roles of Iraq civilians under foreign occupation. Troops reenacted mass roundups and detentions, prisoner searches and interrogations, and patrol operations on the Capitol Building lawns, the gates of the White House, the Washington Monument, the Treasury Building, Union Station, and a military recruiting station. Troops barked orders, "To shut the hell up or I'll blow their freaking head of!" to suspected insurgents and/or Iraqi civilians.
Marine Sgt. Adam Charles Kokesh described his involvement, "I walked point in our squad as we patrolled Washington to bring home the truth of the war and call attention to our cause. I didn't want to do it. I was scared. I feared that violating the sanctity of the Marine Corps utility uniform would be sacrilege... But to not participate when perfectly able would have been to betray myself... What we did was a little bit crazy, and you have to be a little screwy to do something like this. But we're the lucky ones."
Leaflets were distributed to people walking by to explain that "this is what is happening every day in Iraq." Although the IVAW platoon was detained briefly near the Capitol Building, and shadowed by a multi-agency SWAT team, no casualties were taken. Midway throw the day the platoon joined a press conference with Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, and the Appeal for Redress to call on congress to "Support the troops by de-funding the war."
More photos

War resistance does matter. It matters in terms of the illegal war being objected to on the record, it matters in terms of ending the illegal war, it matters in terms of people being able to share their stories. The silence on war resistance has gone beyond sadness to betrayal. Darrell Anderson has been speaking out for some time. What big independent magazine for the left has interviewed him? Kyle Snyder? Or any of them? Has Joshua Key's book been reviewed? (No.)
With all the Party Hacks tossed checks for jotting down talking points (that would be The Nation, I've noticed no Party Hacks brought into The Progressive), someone couldn't ask Anderson to write of his experiences? Someone couldn't toss a column to Snyder or Brandon Hughey? It's really safe to do a story about an online petition -- a cover story -- or, now, to do a cover story on Walter Reed (after Bob Woodruff, Anne Hull and Dana Priest have already worked hard to raise serious awareness on the issue). If you're supposed to be against the war, why is that you're not interested in the stories that veterans have to share? Not the rah-rah stories or the on the one hand and on the other, but the stories that aren't getting told.

NPR, the New York Times and Cox News Service have all covered the fact that the Army was undercounting self-check outs. War resistance is much greater than the military let on, as anyone paying attention knew. The numbers climb each month, the word travels . . . everywhere but in our big indies. Where's the notion of taking the lead on coverage? Or even of following? No where. Those who refuse to lead shouldn't be surprised when people start looking to them, on in one case, where they've become the joke on campus across the country (except Alaska -- I can say that's true in 49 states, but I haven't visited Alaska).

Iraq Veterans Against the War is making more of an impact across the country on the issue of the war than is the big indies. They're a strong group that does amazing work but they're making the impact without any real competition from the ones who could be leading on the issue.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the American military fatality count in Iraq, since the start of the illegal war, stood at 3239 (AP) and 3241 (ICCC). Tonight? 3253 is that AP count and the Reuters count. 3252 is the ICCC count with 81 for the month of March thus far (the US military frequently releases information on deaths for the previous month a day or two -- or three -- after the start of the next month). Today, the US military announced: "While conducting a combat security patrol, two MND-B Soldiers died and two others were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit southwest of the Iraqi capital March 31. Four additional Soldiers were killed when a second improvised explosive device detonated near a separate unit responding to the initial IED strike southwest of the Iraqi capital April 1. " And they announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West died April 1 in a non-combat related incident in Al Anbar Province."


Meanwhile, Crazy John McCain (illustration from Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts.) is back in Baghdad for an hour or two, heavily guarded by troops and wearing a bullet proof vest as he attempts to sell another wave of Operation Happy Talk. Kim Gamel (AP) reports:

McCain, R-Ariz., was combative during the news conference, refusing to respond to a question about whether the U.S. had plans to attack Iran. He also replied testily to a question about remarks he had made in the United States last week that it was safe to walk some Baghdad streets.
[. . .]
More than 600 Iraqis have been killed in sectarian violence since March 25, most in a series of high-profile suicide bombings. Among them were at least 152 people killed in a suicide truck bombing in Tal Afar -- the deadliest single strike since the war began four years ago. Shiites, including police, went on a revenge shooting rampage afterward, killing at least 45 Sunni men.
In the latest Iraqi violence, a bomb hit a popular market in Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing three people and wounding four. It was the second attack in the city in as many days. Two Iraqis seeking work were killed in a car bombing on Saturday.

Gamel also notes 20 corpses were discovered in Iraq today. In other violence, Reuters reports 19 people were kidnapped in Baquba, two dead from a bombing in Mosul (17 wounded), an Iraqi police officer shot dead in Tikrit, "an Iraqi contractor and his son" shot dead in Diwaniya, and two children wounded by a grenade in Baghdad. Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 7 people injured by a mortar attacks in Baghdad, and a bombing in Kirkuk that killed one person (3 wounded).

Turning to violence aimed at the nation of Iraq itself, both bills in Congress (yet to be reconciled) promote the privatization of Iraq's oil industry. On the topic of this theft, Tori notes Nancy Wohlforth and Fred Mason's "Iraqi Oil Belongs To The Iraqi People" (Common Dreams):

Many of us felt shame in the opening days of the invasion as our soldiers were ordered to protect the Oil Ministry, oil fields, refineries, and distribution system while wholesale looting of Iraq's antiquities unfolded. The message to the Iraqis was clear: "We've come for the oil." There were no weapons of mass destruction. Hussein is gone yet we are still there. Rather than democracy, we brought massive destruction and civil war to Iraq.
Giving credence to Iraqis' fears, a new Petroleum Law will be presented to the Iraqi Parliament that, if enacted, will put effective control of Iraq's vast oil resources in the hands of foreign companies. Nationalized since 1975, Iraq's oil was, before the years of sanctions and the invasion, the foundation for a relatively high standard of living, producing more PhD's per capita than the U.S. and a health care system prized as the best in the region.
President Bush says the war is not about oil but his actions belie that claim. In the months before the March 2003 invasion, members of the U.S. State Department "Oil and Energy Working Group" met to plan how to open Iraq to international oil companies. As reported by investigative journalist Greg Palast, the oil law now proposed by the Iraqi Council of Ministers is a virtual photocopy of a plan first drafted by U.S. oil industry executives and consultants in Houston long before Iraq was "liberated."
The proposed Petroleum Law creates a Federal Oil and Gas Council on which would sit representatives of Exxon- Mobil, Shell, BP, etc., whose tasks include approving their own contracts. Instead of Iraqi central government decision-making on oil, the proposal authorizes regional authorities to individually sign contracts with foreign companies, promoting contract bidding wars between regions that could lead to breaking Iraq into three states.
The practice in Iraq - as in other countries with giant reserves - has been that control of oil production rests with public sector oil companies. The role of foreign companies is limited to "service contracts." A company is contracted to provide a stated service for a limited period - build a refinery, lay a pipeline, drill a field. Decisions on development, distribution, and flow of profits remain with the government. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran run their industries this way.

With news of where the Iraqi oil law stands currently, we'll note Alexandra Zavis' "U.S.-backed political goals elusive for Iraq" (Los Angeles Times):

Iraqi politicians have made little headway in months of backroom wrangling on the so-called benchmarks for continued U.S. support, and observers say it is unlikely they will ever agree on some of the most difficult problems.
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has promised to ensure passage of two measures that the Bush administration considers critical to stabilizing Iraq: a deal on sharing the country's oil wealth and relaxation of rules barring members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from the government and military. Yet neither step has made it to the floor of parliament.
Other measures also have languished, including discussion of a plan to disband militias, partial amnesty for insurgents, scheduling of local elections and action on constitutional amendments.

The greed and the corruption is bipartisan and Zach provides an update on the War Profiteer Dianne Feinstain. From Peter Byrne's "Feinstein Resigns: Senator exits MILCON following Metro expose, vet-care scandal" (MetroActive):

SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.
As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp. Perhaps she resigned from MILCON because she could not take the heat generated by
Metro's expose of her ethics (which was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute). Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?

Staying on the topic of Congressional scandals, Mia highlights Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair's "That Was an Antiwar Vote?" (CounterPunch) on the reality of the Congressional measures (not the spin):

So the bill essentially adopts and enforces Bush's war plan and attendant "benchmarks" as spelled out in his January 10 speech. On March 27, the Senate voted 50-48 to start withdrawal in March 2008, said schedule being nonbinding on the President. At any rate, Bush has promised to veto all schedules for withdrawal coming out of Congress. Meanwhile the war goes on, with a supplemental, Democrat-approved $124 billion, more than Bush himself requested. As Congress considers the half trillion dollar FY 2008 Pentagon budget, there is no sign that the Democratic leadership will permit any serious attack on further war funding.
Thus when it comes to the actual war, which has led to the bloody disintegration of Iraqi society, the deaths of up to 5,000 Iraqis a month, the death and mutilation of US soldiers every day, nothing at all has happened since the Democrats rode to victory in November courtesy of popular revulsion in America against the war. Bush's reaction to this censure at the polls was to appoint a new commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, to oversee the troop surge in Baghdad and Anbar province. The Democrats voted unanimously to approve Petraeus and now they have okayed the money for the surge. Bush hinted that he would like to widen the war to Iran. Nancy Pelosi, chastened by catcalls at the annual AIPAC convention, swiftly abandoned all talk of compelling Bush to seek congressional authorization to make war on Iran.
Although nothing of any significance actually happened on March 23, to read liberal commentators one would think we'd witnessed some profound upheaval, courtesy of Nancy Pelosi's skillful uniting of the various Democratic factions. What she accomplished in practice was the neutering of the antiwar faction. In the end only eight Democrats (plus two Republicans) voted against the Supplemental Appropriation out of opposition to the war. The balance of 202 no votes came from Republicans who opposed Pelosi's bill as anti-Bush and antiwar. So, in Congress 420 representatives officially have no problem with the war in Iraq continuing until the eve of the next election. Ten are foursquare against it, which is more or less where Congress has always been, in terms of committed naysayers.

And as Feinstein learns the gravy train can't go on forever, Nancy Pelosi demonstrates that the strong arming that took place two weeks ago in the House is something she enjoys doing with citizens as well. Erika notes Kevin Zeese's "Police Escort Marine Mom from Pelosi’s Office" (Democracy Rising):

Marine Mom, Tina Richards, after waiting eight hours in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office since 11:00 AM Friday morning, was escorted out by Capitol Police shortly after 7:00 PM. The Speaker decided to have the mother of a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq threatened with arrest and escorted from the building rather than schedule a meeting with her and other military families.
Richards was threatened with an unlawful entry charge which, according to the police, could include a stay away order from the Capitol Grounds for one year. "My goal is to bring 10,000 people to Washington, DC to lobby against the war, so being forced to stay away would have prevented me from accomplishing that objective."
"I came to the Speaker's office to seek an answer to a simple question -- will the Speaker meet with those most affected by this war -- the one percent of the nation who serve in the military and their families?" said Richards, whose son is now 80% disabled according to the Veterans Administration. "We live with this war every hour of every day. We want the Democratic leadership that controls the Congress to listen to our concerns and understand why it is so important to end this war, not extend it."
Representatives of the media were not allowed to film the event as the Speaker forbids media cameras in her office. (Whatever happened to "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press?") To prevent them from taping, the Speaker's press secretary closed the doors so the media could not see inside.
Richards has been seeking an appointment with the Speaker since November 8, 2006. Three weeks ago as she was preparing to appear on Hardball with Chris Mathews, the Speaker's office called saying they wanted to schedule a meeting. But, since the media attention died down, the Speaker's office has not returned her calls or responded to her requests for a meeting with military families, veterans, Gold Star families and active duty soldiers.

That's Cloy Richards' mother, Tina Richards, who had the courage to confront David Obey and didn't the worst of the Party Hacks line up to vouch for Obey (whom he'd worked for -- no conflicts of interest there, apparently) and look what Little Nancy did, she strung along Tina Richards hoping media attention would vanish and then had her ejected from the office. What a thrill for everyone, Little Nancy proving the reality that a woman can be just as insensitive and just as a much of a bully as any man. If there's enough of an outcry, Pelosi will claim she had no idea what was happening and insist that she wants to meet with Tina Richards as soon as possible. And the Party Hacks will attempt to police the discussion, attempt to tell people that they don't understand how "we" (remember the Party Hack -- who has never served in Congress and probably never will -- referred to Congressional Democrats as "we") are so hard pressed, under so much stress, that these things happen and besides it's all Tina Richards fault.
The reality is that those serving in Congress ran for office and if they're going to behave like bullies they need to be called out on it. The reality is that if they can't handle their jobs, they shouldn't have run for office.

Staying on the topic of politics, here and at The Third Estate Sunday Review, we've noted a contest the Green Party of Suffolk was holding. They have announced the winners:

The Green Party of Suffolk is proud to share a new video
The Green Party of Suffolk held an "End the Iraq War - Bring Home Our Troops Poster Contest." The project encouraged members of the community to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to ending the War in Iraq. Winners were announced on March 17th, 2007.
The winners are:
In the under 18 category: David A. Komorowski of Miller Place.
In the 18 and over: Alberto C. Castro of Tennessee. Honorable Mention: Maya Gouw of South Setauket.

The Green Party of Suffolk will be sharing these posters by displaying photos and videos at various green web-sites, and by creating poster art t-shirts, to go on sale shortly at the Green Party of Suffolk's website.

Turning to news of broken hearts, Mia also notes Missy Comley Beattie's "Guess Who Isn't Coming to Dinner: The Story of King Abdullah and the O-Word" (CounterPunch) which has news of a sad breakup:

Remember Abdullah's visit with George at the Crawford retreat in April of 2005? The two were seen holding hands as they walked near the ranch house. It was reported that they were talking about the beautiful flowers adorning the grounds. Later, when questioned about the public touchy-feely, Abdullah said:
In our culture, holding hands is a sign of friendship and a sign of loyalty and you do it with people who are dear to you. And President Bush is a friend whose friendship I value and treasure.
Well, what a difference two years make. It seems George and Abdullah will no longer be doing it (holding hands). And the breakup was initiated by the Saudi king. Not only has Abdullah canceled a very important date (think senior-prom significance) with George-an appearance at a dinner in his honor at the White House-he has, for the first time, called the U.S. position in Iraq "illegal."
Yes, King Abdullah spoke on Wednesday at the opening of the Arab League and said: "In the beloved Iraq, the bloodshed is continuing under an illegal foreign occupation and detestable sectarianism."
So, why in the fifth year of a war that has killed almost 3,250 U.S. troops and more than 650,000 Iraqis is the Saudi king now jilting Bush? Because Abdullah has reached his limit with the neocons, their policy to support Israel unequivocally, and specifically with Bush disciple Cobralethal Rice, who habitually offers her unsolicited advice-the latest directive is for Arab governments to "begin reaching out to Israel."

Maybe Bully Boy can provide the answer to Whitney Houston's oft asked question: Where do broken hearts go?

While he attempts to answer that, Eddie notes Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey Peace Awards" (BuzzFlash):

The individuals/or groups that are receiving the honor have made significant contributions to the success of Camp Casey, Crawford, TX AND to the peace and justice movements in general.
Willie and Annie Nelson were chosen not only for their generous support of Camp Casey, but also for their tireless work for the environment, farmers, and Vets. I met Annie and Willie last May when I did a speaking event near their main home in Maui. I stayed at their lovely home when I was there and we have been friends ever since.

Everyone knows who Willie is. His talent, his humor, his generosity, and his longevity in an industry that often eats one up and spits you out! Annie, who is near my age, lived in the next town over from me and we grew up doing the same thing: cruising Bellflower Blvd., surfing at Seal Beach, attending Cerritos Community College. Annie has a brilliant grasp of politics and other current events and is raising two amazing boys, Micah and Lukas, who are also growing up with a commitment and love for peace and a drive to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Another honoree is Jodie Evans and CODEPINK Women for Peace. Jodie and two other CODEPINK women, Alicia Sexton and Tiffany Burns, showed up in Crawford on Monday, Aug. 8. We set up camp on Saturday, Aug. 6 and even though more people were showing up, I was basically on my own for taking phone calls (I naively put my phone number on a press release), doing interviews, and scheduling interviews.
I went to the Crawford Peace House that Monday morning to take a shower and my phone wouldn't stop ringing. I had plugged it into an outlet to charge and I would be on one interview and I would hear 5 others ring in and leave messages. I could not catch up, because as soon as I hung up from one interview, another would call in. I was getting desperate. I was thinking to myself: "Cindy, what the hell did you do?" I was so sorry I had committed to stay in Crawford until George met with me or he left to go back to DC. I was just about to hop on one of the trains that run right next to the Peace House and escape when there was a tap on my shoulder. (I was on the floor bent over a yellow pad, talking on the phone and trying to take messages, too).I looked up, and the most beautiful site met my eyes: It was Jodie. She took over. Alicia and Tiff took my phone and they made me go to the bathroom and get something to eat and they made a coherent plan for the dozens of media requests I already had. Since that day, CODEPINK, Jodie and Medea Benjamin have been great support and supporters of Gold Star Families for Peace and Camp Casey.
Ann Wright and Veterans for Peace are also receiving an honor this year. The VFP were with me right from the first second we took that historic walk down Prairie Chapel Road, and even before. Ret. Colonel Ann Wright came to Crawford directly after the VFP convention ended in Dallas on Sunday, August 7 and she never left (Remember those days of overdue rental cars?). She used all her diplomatic and military skills to keep Camp Casey running as smoothly as one of her embassies. Everyone looks up with profound respect, love, and admiration to her. Since that summer, she and I have competed in number of arrests and miles traveled. She has me on the first one, but I think I edge her out, but not by much, on miles traveled. One of the best things about Camp Casey is that I can call such an amazing human being my friend!
No award of this kind would be complete without honoring the Crawford Peace House, which has been our logistical and moral support there in Crawford from the beginning. I received an e-mail from one of the directors, Hadi Jawad, the night I sent out the initial e-mail stating my intentions to confront George at his ranch, pledging any kind of support they could give to me. I don't think Hadi or I really knew what we were getting into! The CPH has been unrelenting in its support of peace and justice for almost four years now. On Easter Sunday, the CPH will be celebrating four years of existence in the belly of the beast!
Each year, the Camp Casey Peace Institute will award a cash prize to a young peace activist. This year's award will be going to Ms. Ava Lowery of Peace Takes Courage. Despite many death threats and Reich-wing smear attacks, Ava has courageously used her skills and heart to create videos exposing the lies and inhumanity of this war. Ava is also an alumnus of Camp Casey as she and her uncle and brother honored us with their presence last August. Young people such as Ava should give all of us "old hippies" hope and encouragement for our struggle that we know will be taken up very competently and intensely by people such as Ava Lowery, long after we are gone.
There have been so many groups and individuals who have made Camp Casey successful. None of us do what we do for awards or accolades. We do it to end the war and bring peace to our world.
However, it is important to recognize the outstanding contributions and sacrifices of outstanding individuals.
Please go to the Camp Casey Peace Institute for more info and to purchase tickets for our event in Austin, TX on April 5, 2007. It is important to show this year's honorees and an all-star lineup of presenters how much we appreciate their efforts and love!

That's a longer excerpt than we'd usually do but, like Eddie, I had no idea where to cut it. Young people get ignored and lied about ("They're all apathetic!") so we weren't losing that. The date and info needed to be included. It wouldn't be fair to note some of the winners and not all. So we've got a longer excerpt than usual and you can use the link to read the full thing at BuzzFlash.

Pru gets the final highlight, "George Galloway: Resist the war drive against Iran" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

The capture by Iranian forces of 15 British sailors in the Gulf brought shrill, bellicose headlines last weekend and calls for retribution.
The anti-war movement has done a superb job in winning a clear majority against the war and occupation in Iraq.
But no one should believe that because the case against the "war on terror" is so overwhelming then no British government can garner support for another military misadventure.
The capture of the British sailors has all the hallmarks of the kind of incident that has been used in the past as a reason either for war or for escalating confrontation.
In 1949 the British gunboat HMS Amethyst was fired on in the Yangtze river in China. There was much outrage in Britain at Mao’s People's Liberation Army, which was on the verge of taking power, for shooting at the ship. There was little questioning of what a British ship was doing on a Chinese river.
Whether or not the British sailors were in Iranian waters is disputed. But what is not in dispute is that Britain has joined the US in pouring warships into the Gulf while pressuring and threatening Iran.
Reliable US sources have reported that special forces are already operating in Iran.The Stop the War Coalition has rightly argued that the occupation of Iraq threatens to generate a wider regional war.
The commander of the ship HMS Cornwall unwittingly captured the mentality of imperial occupation when he said the sailors had been captured in "our waters". He meant the waters belonging under international law and treaty to the Republic of Iraq.
In addition to the immediate argument that this incident is not worth yet more bloodshed and war, it is vital to challenge this imperialist delusion.
Part of that is simply asking the obvious question: imagine if Iran occupied France, had scores of warships in the Channel, was reported to have commandos operating in the home counties, and was pushing for sanctions against Britain -- how would public opinion, the media and the British government react?
What makes anyone think Iran is any different?
Secondly, as propagandists try to gloss the "war on terror" in fake humanitarianism, more and more people need to shout out the single greatest lesson of the anti-war movement.
It is not the business of Western governments and the corporations that back them, steeped in the blood and sweat of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, to bring "order" to the "savages".
It is the business of those of us who live in those imperialist states to do all in our power to stop their militarism and to act in solidarity with those around the globe fighting for a better world.
Everywhere you go this week, make sure people are asking: what on earth are British gunboats doing in Iraqi or Iranian waters in a place called the Arabian or Persian Gulf thousands of miles from home?
It is up to all of us to oppose the war drive against Iran. Can you start a discussion at work or college, arrange a Stop the War meeting, get a letter into your local paper, petition on the streets?
And as the People's Assembly in London agreed last week, if there is an attack on Iran, we will need civil disobedience in every community, walkouts in every school, protests and strikes in every workplace.
If George Bush bombs Iran, we should bring this country to a standstill.
© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.
If you found this article useful please help us maintain SW by »
making a donation.

The e-mail address for this site is

cindy sheehan