Thursday, July 12, 2007

Other Items

For those who can't determine street theather (apparently includes the US military brass), TruthDig has posted a clip of Operation First Casualty which is the street theater Iraq Veterans Against the War has been performing and the grounds for which the US military wrongly went after Adam Kokesh. At one point, the US military wrongly thought they could determine who wore uniforms (in part or parcel -- Kokesh was wearing fatigues with on ensignia or personal markings) in productions and used that as a form of 'approval.' In 1970, the US Supreme Court ruled that if the military was granting permission to some, that all had the right (because we do have free speech in this country) and that the right to wear uniforms including street theater. This issue was, again, settled in 1970. It's only the bulk of the press that's been confused.

Meanwhile, as Congress decided not to worry themselves about issues of deployment yesterday (including the needed downtime between deployments), it was left to those out of Congress to raise the needed issues. From Steve Liewer's "'Wheel of care' key goal of S.D. 'summit'" (San Diego Union-Tribune):

A moody Marine not long from the Iraq war suffers a full-blown battle flashback from the lights and pounding beat of a downtown nightclub. Bouncers pull him outside, but he winds up in jail when, still hallucinating, he cold-cocks a Middle Eastern cab driver he mistakes for an Iraqi insurgent.
A 16-year Camp Pendleton staff sergeant with a clean disciplinary record grows sullen and insolent after multiple combat tours in Iraq. He turns to alcohol and drugs, loses his family, goes AWOL, and lives on the street. He lands in the brig, facing a dishonorable discharge and the loss of veterans' benefits to cover treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
These recent cases are the kinds that local activist Jon Nachison fears will fall through what he calls the "Grand Canyon-sized" holes in the safety net that's supposed to aid the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In growing numbers, they now are coming home with brain injuries and stress disorders.

So Nachison -- a co-founder of the Stand Down for homeless vets – called together dozens of experts on combat mental health, legal issues, homelessness, employment and family therapy for a "summit" yesterday at the Handlery Hotel & Resort in Mission Valley.

Lloyd notes Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman's "Opposition to War Grows in the Senate" (Washington Post) with more of what the Senate didn't do yesterday:

A bipartisan consensus to dramatically alter the U.S. military mission in Iraq began to emerge in the Senate yesterday, but no specific approach has yet attracted the broad support necessary for a veto-proof majority.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has so far refused to bend on his demand for a firm timeline for troop withdrawals, despite signs that a growing number of Republicans may agree to slightly weaker measures that would still force President Bush to immediately change his Iraq strategy. Potential GOP defectors number about 10.

Surprising even his colleagues, Reid harshly dismissed the measure with the broadest bipartisan backing -- a compilation of Iraq Study Group recommendations offered by freshman Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.). The Salazar proposal, which as of last night had attracted six Democratic and six Republican co-sponsors, "won't change one thing that the president does," Reid said, who is opposed to anything short of legislation ending U.S. combat operations.

Good for Reid. It's a weak measure (proposed at a time when DC still hadn't grasped the turn agains the illegal war) and if the best Congress can do all this time later is run with a reheated James Baker Circle Jerk, they should all resign. The Circle Jerk is where the nonsense of 'benchmarks' (set by the US and not about the Iraqi people's interests) first really started to get non-stop traction. If you think back, you'll remember some apologists for the Circle Jerk coming forward to defend it and forgetting to even cover the theft of Iraqi oil enshrined in the nonsense.

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