If you're looking for a new symbol of the anti-war movement, consider Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh. The Iraq veteran has been threatened with a dishonorable discharge for wearing desert fatigues in an anti-war protest. A military official said "it's the political activity that is prohibited."
If that truly were the case, how many military personnel would be discharged for having served as political props for this administration over the last six years?
Would we have to discharge everyone posing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln behind the fighter-pilot president and in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner?
No, that would be absurd.
You see, when it comes to ideas and emotions, you can't exactly cordon them off. You can't apply deed restrictions. You can't purchase the proprietary rights as you would, say, mineral rights or a brand name.
That's why Cindy Sheehan can walk away without worrying about the grassroots movement she came to symbolize. The idea is not up for auction.
The above, noted by Erika, is from John Young's "Fighting the war, and anti-war battle, on eBay" (Times Argus). In the New York Times this morning, A6, Damien Cave and Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "Iraq's Parliament Leaders Agree to Remove Speaker" addresses Mahmoud al-Mashadani (AP reports this has now happened) ouster as as Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament. Last summer this was also attempted and didn't take and the Times reported he was in hiding -- he wasn't. He was in Jordan on a trip scheduled months before. This morning, Cave and Oppel note, "The 275-member Council of Representatives has yet to produce a law establishing how to share revenues from the country's oil, a plan for local elections or any of the other so-called benchmark laws that American officials have been demanding.
AP is reporting that the ouster has taken place (al-Mashadani remains a member of Parliament). Meanwhile, the US military announces three more deaths: "Three Coalition Force Soldiers were killed and six were wounded when the checkpoint they were manning was struck by a suicide car bomb south of Baghdad near Mahmoudiya June 10. An interpreter was also wounded in the attack, which destroyed part of a highway overpass. All the wounded were evacuated to Coalition medical facilities for treatment." The bridge bombings. On the rise and rarely seriously addressed by the press. AP notes of this bombing:
Meanwhile, engineers were at the scene of Sunday's suicide car bombing on the bridge, using bulldozers and other heavy equipment to clear the highway, Baghdad's main north-south artery, which was partially blocked by debris from the overpass. An Iraqi interpreter also was wounded in the attack, according to the statement that gave the casualty toll.
U.S. armored vehicles provided cover fire from their cannons after the bombing, which occurred in the area dubbed the "triangle of death" for its frequent Sunni insurgent attacks.
The blast dropped one of two sections of the "Checkpoint 20" bridge crossing over the north-south expressway, six miles east of Mahmoudiya.
It appeared that a northbound suicide driver stopped and detonated his vehicle beside a support pillar, said Lt. Col. Garry Bush, an Army munitions officer who was in the convoy, which also carried an Associated Press reporter and photographer and arrived two minutes after the blast.
And in terms of back door deals, Ali al-Fadhily's "Lawmaker Confirms Kurd-Shia Clashes in Baghdad" (IPS) reports what the puppet does while MSM looks the other way:
A May 29 IPS report on clashes between Kurdish Peshmerga troops and militiamen of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad has been confirmed by an Iraqi member of Parliament, representing the Sunni-led Iraqi Accordance Front (Al-Tawafuq).
Speaking on condition of strict anonymity inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone of central Baghdad where the Iraqi government meets, the MP told IPS that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "sold Kirkuk in exchange for Kurdish support for his collapsing government, and other matters such as not being in the way of Shiite militias in Baghdad."
He clarified that he believes al-Maliki made a pact with Kurdish MPs to relinquish plans for trying to have the central government in Baghdad control economic and oil issues in the Kurdish controlled city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, but did not express confidence that the deal would be honoured.
All political manoeuvrings these days are "about who is to take over power in the country," he added, "while people are getting killed by the hundreds every day."
Last month the clashes between the Kurdish and Shia militias occurred in the Amil and Bayaa areas of southwest Baghdad. The Kurds were manning a checkpoint that was part of the Baghdad security plan when they were attacked by the Shia militiamen.
The clashes underscore the tense and extremely volatile political situation, exposing a very real possibility that Kurdish-Shiite fighting could ignite in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, as al-Sadr has many followers in that mostly Kurdish city.
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richard a. oppel jr.