Thursday, July 19, 2007

And the war drags on . . .

Jimmy Massey, a founding member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), says active-duty soldiers and their families are turning against the Iraq war as more and more learn the nation was duped into the war by George W. Bush’s lies about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
IVAW is working hard to speed that process with an outreach program that included a bus tour to military bases across the Southeast, Massey told the World in a phone interview. Several IVAW members were arrested when they attempted to enter Fort Benning in Georgia to meet with soldiers July 1, Massey said. Awaiting trial on charges of criminal trespass are Liam Madden, Nathan Lewis and Adam Koresh. Madden and Lewis were arrested while wearing their IVAW T-shirts. Koresh then changed into a plain T-shirt, but he was arrested too. Two days earlier, they and two other IVAW members were detained at Fort Jackson under similar circumstances but were released without charges.
Massey was a witness to the arrests. He is a 12-year veteran of the Marine Corps, a combat infantryman in the initial attack on Iraq four years ago. Now 100 percent disabled, he lives on disability payments from the Veterans Administration. Most of every VA check, he said, goes to support IVAW.

The above, noted by Kyle, is from Tim Wheeler's "Iraq veteran says soldiers turning against war" (People's Weekly World) and we'll pair that up with something we've noted before, "Why Bush won’t admit failure in Iraq," an interview with Anthony Arnove:

WHAT WILL it take to end the occupation?
I THINK it will take much more pressure at home and also within the rank and file of the U.S. military in Iraq.
We have to take advantage of the cracks that are opening within the establishment to campaign vocally and publicly against the war, involving greater numbers of the people and communities affected by the war at home--which has gone hand in hand with the war against the Iraqi people.
We need to put pressure on both the Democrats and Republicans, and not simply collapse into a lobbying wing for the Democratic Party.
There will be immense pressure on the antiwar movement to give up its independence and get behind whatever candidate the Democrats put forward in 2008, no matter what their limitations. People will tell us this is how we can be relevant.
I think the antiwar movement would be irrelevant, though, if we did this. We’ll be much more effective if we articulate our own principles and demands--including immediate withdrawal--and fight for them.
And we also need to defend and support those soldiers who in greater numbers are speaking out, refusing service, declaring conscientious objection and, at great personal risk, organizing against the war.
In particular, I think we all need to help build Iraq Veterans Against the War, which is playing a vital role in building a movement of Iraq vets and also active-duty troops who can bring an end to this occupation.

We noted the interview earlier this week when it was in the (US) Socialist Worker and Z-Net is now running it as well. Samantha pulled that section and requested it be noted. What's it going to take to end the illegal war?

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 Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3611. Tonight? 3628. The Senate did nothing this week. They 'took it to the mat' on something that wouldn't even end the illegal war. It would prolong it. It would deceive some (a great many, judging by the cheerleading) long enough for the peace movement to have to yet again regroup and figure out how to come back. "Combat troops" -- that was what they were selling. Permanent bases? Didn't touch on it. All troops out? Didn't touch on it. The theft of Iraqi oil? Ditto. The right of Iraqis to self-determination? Well if you can stretch scolding Iraqis over the fact that the US installed puppet government (from a US installed system) then they had that covered.

As Kat's noted tonight, the new marketing scheme from the White House is that the September wait isn't enough time. Imagine that. The White House that sold a turned corner just around the corner for years has set a deadline and now wants to ignore it? Barbara Slavin's "General: September too soon to assess Iraq" (USA Today) addresses the latest box of Illegal War Helper.

What's it going to take to end the illegal war? People growing the hell up.

That won't happen by The Huffington Post running attacks on Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy Sheehan's announced she might challenge Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat and it's time for the idiots to emerge. That they would is not surprising, that Arianna's going to allow them to at her site is. Arianna knows (or should) full well that her 'friends' will abandon her the moment she takes a stand for something they do not agree with. More than anyone, she should be able to relate to Cindy Sheehan and the journey Sheehan's now on.

But it's time for the Hurricane Clones. First up, noted by Keesha (who knows we won't link to it, it's trash) is Julie Bergman Sender. JBS -- empahsis on the latter two -- wants to appeal to Cindy not to run in the name of "sisterhood." I know Demi Moore, she's a wonderful and highly underrated actress. That's why she was able to make something strong out of the crap that was G.I. Jane.

JBS preaches 'sisterhood' today to warn Cindy Sheehan against running for the seat currently occupied by Pelosi. Where was that alleged 'sisterhood' during the creation of G.I. Jane? No where to be found. That was the usual masculinist crap that stunk up movie screens throughout the 80s. JBS is really proud of the 'sisterhood' of G.I. Jane and there is no 'sisterhood.'

Demi is all alone in that film and her biggest opponent, her most powerful one, is played by . . . a woman. It's the good woman vs. the bad woman. It's Fatal Attraction in camo. It's not 'sisterhood' and having put her name to that film, JBS is the last to ever lecture another woman about 'sisterhood.' When those backlash films of the 80s were all the rage, it was embarrassing. But G.I. Jane's not from that period. It comes a decade after. Long after, in fact, Susan Faludi and others had called that crap out.

So JBS needs to couch her attack on Cindy (and it is an attack) on something other than 'sisterhood' because no woman that knows JBS will do anything but howl with laugher. (Actually, a number of women and men are currently laughing at JBS.)

JBS is part of the Hurrican Clones -- those who sell themselves to the Democratic Party.

Cindy is warned not to run because Nancy Pelosi is the 1st woman to be Speaker of the House. JBS is obviously very worried about Cindy Sheehan's chances of winning the race that she feels the need to trot out the 'women have to stick together' line when it's never applied to her professional life. She's one of the Take Back America crew, a Hurricane Clone dispatched to do the bidding that her mistress won't. JBS may score some ponts online but her name was crap before I worked the phones today.

This selective 'sisterhood' rears its ugly head from time to time and the results are never anything a feminist can take pride in. We could, after all, have Elizabeth Holtzman in Congress today. She was the best candidate. She wasn't tied up in any scandals due to her husband. But the selective 'sisterhood' crowd rolled out their campaign against her to back the laughable Geraldine Ferraro (who performed poorly in a debate with George H.W. Bush -- how bad do you have to be for that! -- in 1984). Now Ferraro took her marbles and went home. Holtzman? She's still fighting. She's still trying to make this country the best it can be. But back then, the alleged 'sisterhood' was telling Holtzman to drop out, telling her that it was "Gerri"'s race (to lose). They sullied Holtzman's name, trashed her image and anything else they could think of when she wouldn't drop out of the race. Holtzman would have been an asset back in Congress. She's remained one out of it. But the anti-democracy crowd that thinks feminism translates as the occasional bit done for reproductive rights (usually with the weakest organizations around) didn't care about the most qualified or the fact that every American has a right to run for office. They just cared that their designated 'girl' (unlike Ferraro, Holtzman is a woman) get in.

Pelosi, the faux sisterhood tells us, is a step up for women. True or false, she's got her place in the history book. There's really no need for them to wet their panties over the thought that Cindy might run against her.

They should concern themselves with helping Nancy Pelosi overcome her own negatives. Nancy Pelosi wouldn't meet with Tina Richards. That detail falls out of the selective 'sisterhood.'
Most details do. That's because the selective 'sisterhood' is never about feminism and most who take to dispensing the call couldn't pass for a feminist standing next to Bobby Riggs.

Feminism is supposed to be about supporting equality. But there is no support from JBS for Cindy Sheehan to run for Congress. Suddenly, the idea of equality goes out the window and we've got a system where some people have their destinies and no one can challenge them.

That's crap. And JBS is full of it. Howls of laughter greeted her plea in the name of 'sisterhood.' It's not playing in the entertainment world and it won't.

JBS needs to understand that democracy, true democracy, means all seats are up for grabs. She futher needs to grasp that feminism is not telling a woman, any woman, to take a rest because she feels a political race shouldn't be a 'race' it should be a coronation.

Nancy Pelosi has done a very poor job as Speaker of the House. That's in who she's put in charge, that's in the leadership she has offered. People can lie and spin it all the way they want but Congress' approval ratings are now lower than when the Republicans were recently in charge. That is reality.

Reality is that Pelosi boxed herself in with a huge tactical error when she announced (last year) that impeachment was "off the table." She never should have said it and it's pig headed for her not to take it back. The words Pelosi is searching for are, "I made a mistake. Obviously Congress represents the people and should this be action the people feel is needed we will fulfill our obligations to be representatives by pursuing it."

JBS is making her own tactical error. Her plan is to force Cindy out of running. That worked once before when Cindy was talked out of running against Dianne Feinstein. JBS obviously didn't grasp that when Cindy Sheehan made her announcement in May, she was beyond pissed. She's not going to be intimidated into anything, she's not going to go along to get along.

She's tried "Big Picturing" and has seen where that leads. Cindy may or may not run. Only she will make that decision. But for a JBS to try to hide behind feminism as the excuse to launch the "Cindy Don't Run" campaign is just laughable. Again, her history is known in the entertainment field and all her little scribble produced was laughter. (JBS tries to get in a slam at the peace movement and noting how they 'used' Cindy. The real peace movement didn't. The peace movement that subverts themselves to the Democratic Party -- the way JBS is doing -- did use Sheehan.)

JBS will not be voting in the Pelosi race no matter who runs. JBS doesn't live in the Bay Area. JBS needs to butt the hell out of a race she won't even be allowed to vote in. She can give from her small pond monies to Pelosi all she wants, but no one in the Bay Area needs to hear what an outsider thinks about a local race.

JBS needs to drop the 'sisterhood' pose and stick to the little she knows: producing some more tits and ass films where you pit woman against woman or maybe another periodic feature that's a nightmare for every actor and actress working on it. But don't take up the banner of 'sisterhood' this late in the game.

Pelosi will win or lose based on the votes she gets in the Bay Area. JBS doesn't live in it, doesn't vote in it, needs to take her crap about 'sisterhood' and run with it somewhere else.

JBS laughably writes (to the tune of "The Greatest Love of All"?): "Nancy Pelosi is not perfect. But she is bold and passionate and I believe committed to ending this war; and committed to stripping the Bush administration and its agents-of-destruction of the power to continue to wage this war with a blank check and the empty threat that disagreeing with staying the course in Iraq is not supportive of our troops." A) That's for her constituents to decide, not an outsider. B) As someone present when Pelosi spoke last year trying to finesse the issue of "permanent bases," you're tongue lathering of Pelosi goes beyond hype. Pelosi offered that nothing is "permanent." No, nothing is. Everything eventually breaks down to dust.

Pelosi's actions in 2006 and 2007 suggest she doesn't want to hand Bully Boy a blank check . . . without at least having overdraft protection. She's done nothing to say she wants to end the illegal war. Saying that she doesn't support a measure is either craven or a sign of how ineffectual she is because, as Speaker, she could have prevented any measure she didn't like from reaching the floor.

Evaulating that action (and others) and whether or not to support her is something those who have her name on their ballot list will decided. JBS needs to stick to her own Congressional district because no one needs to hear from her about who should run and who shouldn't.

JBS is a lot like the cowards who turned on MLK. That falls through the cracks when 'history' is told. But when MLK didn't dance the way the 'liberals' liked, they turned on him too. When he took on the illegal war, he made enemies that still exist to this day. Oh, they're happy to note his death each year and work in an "I Have a Dream" ref but, and you saw this play out recently with the death of Coretta Scott King which got less press than the death of a playwright, they will not forgive him and they will not honor him for taking on the real structures in this country.
To twist the knife a little further, they will go out of their way to ignore the passing of the woman who kept the dream alive, carried both his torch and her own.

JBS tosses out that Cindy's going to find herself called a "left wing crazy." You know what? All the greats are derided widely. Comes with trying to break down the barriers. JBS wouldn't know about that because she didn't break any, she rode them happily in the center or accepted them -- one of the weakest and meekest of all. That's what she really fears about Cindy. Cindy can't be corralled, can't be controlled, can't be ordered. Cindy Sheehan is an independent agent.

She, and only she, will decide whether or not to run. The voters of the district, and only those voters, will decide whether or not she deserves to serve in Congress. But it's a measure of Cindy's power that the serfs and slaves come forward to start the attacks. If Cindy Sheehan should be at all insulted it's that the errand girl from the grocer has been dispatched to do someone higher's bidding (nod to Coppola's great film -- a great film, so you know JBS wasn't anywhere near it -- and, FYI, "someone higher" is not a reference to Arianna). JBS is out and about to test the waters. Can more slam pieces on Cindy be written? Can they get away with it?

The answer is up to you. The left can get serious or they can play stupid and let the war drag on. In a democracy, every one who wants to run for an office can. That's Ralph Nader, that's Cindy Sheehan, that's even a wack job like JBS. No candidate is 'entitled' to a vote. They earn it. Some on the left, who would actually be voting in a Sheehan and Pelosi match up, may not feel Sheehan's their choice. That's their right. That's their power. But for someone who won't even be voting in the race to tell a potential candidate that they shouldn't run isn't democracy.

It is cowardice. It is duplicity. It is shameful. It is in no way sisterhood. It is absolutely undemocratic.

In this community, members in that area and out of that voting area support Cindy Sheehan's right to run. It's a real shame that some supposed/alleged independent media wants to send/teach another message which is elections are not about giving the voters choices, they are about eliminating competition. Tom Hayden, in his Pasedena address (broadcast Tuesday on KPFK's Uprising), revealed what this sort of strategizing leads to. Pombo in the US Congress. The State Senate didn't want him in the State House and figured he would be less harmful in DC so they gerrymandered his district to make sure he wouldn't stand a shot at the state legislature so he ends up in the US Congress for over a decade.. It's time for people to stop thinking they can ease the way and start trusting the people. It's beyond time for alleged Democrats (JBS is a Democrat) to stop telling people not to run and to stop attempting to circumvent democracy.

JBS rose to her low-medium level despite setbacks and barriers. It's really sad that she wants to turn around and create some for another woman. And, no, that is not sisterhood.

And this sort of crap, this rushing in to insist "Don't run" and warn that 'some' will call you a "left wing crazy" if you do, isn't about ending the war or about giving the people the right to decide for themselves. It's about protecting elected Democrats. And as long as they're given protection, as long as their asses are protected, they will continue to play their little con game on the American people.

So what's going to end the illegal war? Growing the hell up. As Howard Zinn rightly noted, we are citizens not politicians. Add to that, we are not a built in cheering section. When we are willing to conduct ourselves like grown ups (not fans) and use our own individual power, we will be able to end the illegal war.

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