As the political debate rages on about the Iraq war, two men reflect on their decisions to go AWOL during the Vietnam War.
They live in the same Canadian town where a current deserter has taken up residence.
"I knew what was going on in Vietnam," said Ernest Hekkanen, "I knew that it wouldn't be effective for me to linger in jail, either, as a protestor."
"Was it right to come to Canada, or was it more correct to stay there, and resist down there?" wonders Jeff Mock.
"I decided that I didn't want to particpate in what I perceived to be an illegal war," said Ryan Johnson.
Hekkanen, an author, Mock, a tofu maker and Johnson, a U.S. Army deserter from the Iraq war, all live in Nelson, British Columbia. Forty years separate their life changing decisions.
[. . .]
The political landscape of Nelson has changed since the draft dodgers came across the border 40 years ago. They were welcome then. Now Nelson's mayor says they don't belong here.
"I would say that, from my perspective, most people would say if you change your mind the place to fight your battle would be at home in the United States," says Mayor John Dooley. He feels strongly about those who run from their military duty.
[. . .]
"Yes, well, the mayor is full of hypocritical thinking," Hekkanen says. "They can't deny it."
The above is from Richard Brown's "AWOL in Canada: Political climate different than for those who fled from Vietnam War" (KXLY). Brown also reported on US war resister Ryan Johnson last week (noted in Friday's snapshot).
On the front page of the New York Times this morning, Kirk Semple's "Iran To Attend Regional Talks On Iraq Violence" offers Condi continuing her long estrangement with the truth. On the upcoming conference in Egypt -- which Iran will be attending -- Rice states, "This is not a meeting about the United States and Iran. This is a meeting about Iraq and about what Iraq's neighbors and interested parties can do to help stabilize the situation in Iraq." Would the US not be an "interested party"? One would assume so considering that it occupies Iraq.
Sheryl Gay Stolber's "Quiet Bush Aide Seeks Iraq Czar, Creating a Stir" is an amusing look at Stephen J. Hadley who insists that an Iraq czar is neeed though he prefers the terms "implementation and execution manager" for the person who would daily brief Bully Boy about Iraq (and Afghanistan) and then follow up with cabinet heads to make sure they do as told. For those who are confused, let's break it down into a simple example. Bully Boy wanted to be editor of the high school yearbook. He was made editor. Then? He's not up to the task so the journalism instructor has to quickly create (out of whole cloth) the position of co-editor.
Rebecca advises that a speech by Harry Belafonte is broadcast during the second half of Democracy Now! today. Those who remember (and share) Cedric's offense at Katrina vanden Heuvel's attempt to draw a line between respectable and Belafonte (that's probably every community member including myself) will enjoy this speech according to Rebecca. [Added: He amplifies his strong statements that led to cowardly persons to tsk-tsk in order to appear "reasonable" though most just came off as idiotic and racist. So be sure to catch Belafonte's strong speech if you're able -- text, audio and video will be the options when it's up at the Democracy Now! page -- video and closed captioning on TV, audio on radio.) And Bonnie e-mailed remind that "Kat's Korner: Bright Eyes releases the studio album you've waited for" went up Saturday and a link would be useful for members who don't have computer access on the weekends. Kat's reviewing Bright Eyes' Cassadaga.
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