Thursday, August 23, 2007

Camilo Mejia at Different Drummer tonight at 6:30 pm

We're dropping back to Carolyn Tyler's report for KGO to note that Buddhist Quang Son Ta buys into Bully Boy's deliberate lies (Quang Son Ta bought into the lies during Vietnam which is why he elected to work for the US military) and declares, "If we pull out of Iraq, OK the sacrifice of 5,000 men already die and 100,000 soldiers wounded, is wasted." That's really appalling. That someone whose own country was invaded wants to list the dead from the current illegal war and isn't able to note the over one million dead Iraqis.

He worries about the "sacrifice" and the "lives wasted" but the US is in Iraq for? Depending upon the time of the day and Bully Boy's most current lie, it's to help/assist/liberate. But War Hawk Quang Son Ta's not concerned with those deaths, at least not concerned enough to note them.

The Iraq War is an illegal war. As Iraq Veterans Against the War, Tina Richards and Military Families Speak Out are, Fuding the war is killing the troops. It's not saving them, it's not saving Iraqis.

Reuters reports 25 dead from "a battle between Sunni Arab militants and al Qaeda" outside Baquba, a drive-by shooting in Mosul claimed 1 life, mortar attacks in Kut claimed 2 lives,
a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed 1 life, a Baghdad mortar attack claimed 2 lives, 15 corpses were discovered in Baghdad and 2 in Mosul. That's 48 deaths reported (and the US forces killed one 'insurgent' today so that's 49).

Yesterday, a US helicopter was "downed" (the military's term) and Martha notes this from Joshua Partlow's "Maliki Scolds His American Critics" (Washington Post):

Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were flying back to base over rural terrain in northern Iraq early Wednesday, after a night mission, when one suffered what appeared to be a mechanical failure and went down, said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a U.S. military spokesman in northern Iraq.
"The helicopter was not shot down; it was a mechanical malfunction, and that is based on a number of different facts and observations that we have to this point," Donnelly said. "For us, the most important thing is taking care of the families and the soldiers of the unit who are affected by this. We're all feeling a deep loss here."
Killed were the 14 troops aboard -- four crew members and 10 passengers, who were not identified Wednesday. Another U.S. soldier died, and three were wounded, in fighting Wednesday around villages between Baghdad and Fallujah. The 15 American fatalities represented the highest daily toll since January.

Joan notes this from The Honolulu Advertiser's "Army's worst day:"

Ten Hawai'i soldiers were among those killed when a Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed today in northern Iraq, a statement from Schofield Barracks said tonight.
The four crew members were from Fort Lewis, Wash., and the 10 passengers were based out of Schofield Barracks, according to the Army. All aboard the helicopter died.
The soldiers were assigned to Task Force Lightning, which includes units from Schofield and other bases across the nation.

Bill Moyers Journal latest broadcast (aired Friday on most PBS stations, possibly later on other PBS stations) included his "Farewell to Karl Rove:"

It's so easy, as Karl knew, to scapegoat people you outnumber, and if God is love, as rumor has it, Rove knew that, in politics, you better bet on fear and loathing. Never mind that in stroking the basest bigotry of true believers you coarsen both politics and religion.
At the same time he was recruiting an army of the lord for the born-again Bush, Rove was also shaking down corporations for campaign cash. Crony capitalism became a biblical injunction. Greed and God won four elections in a row - twice in the lone star state and twice again in the nation at large. But the result has been to leave Texas under the thumb of big money with huge holes ripped in its social contract, and the U.S. government in shambles - paralyzed, polarized, and mired in war, debt and corruption.
Rove himself is deeply enmeshed in some of the scandals being investigated as we speak, including those missing emails that could tell us who turned the attorney general of the United States into a partisan sock puppet. Rove is riding out of Dodge city as the posse rides in. At his press conference this week he asked God to bless the president and the country, even as reports were circulating that he himself had confessed to friends his own agnosticism; he wished he could believe, but he cannot. That kind of intellectual honesty is to be admired, but you have to wonder how all those folks on the Christian right must feel discovering they were used for partisan reasons by a skeptic, a secular manipulator. On his last play of the game all Karl Rove had to offer them was a hail mary pass, while telling himself there's no one there to catch it.

On Sunday, Karl Rove reported to the mother ship (Fox "News") and Moyers' response can be found here. If you're missing the obvious tie-in, Moyers isn't waiting to respond or being silent (the way so many did yesterday while Bully Boy pushed lies).

Today, Camilo Mejia has a reading from his book Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia at Different Drummer (near Fort Drum -- 12 Paddock Arcade, 1 Public Square, Watertown, NY 13601) at 6:30 pm. Marcia notes he is a guest on today's Democracy Now! Brandon notes this from Tony Pecinovsky's "Vets pledge fight for 'record-breaking peace'" (People's Weekly World):

Conscientious objector Camilo Mejia, who served six months in Iraq with the Florida National Guard, told the World, “There is no greater argument against war than the experience of war itself.” Mejia added, “In the military you’re not free to decide for yourself what is right and wrong. The fog of war is very real. Your main concern is staying alive.”
After returning home, Mejia refused to return to combat. He was charged with desertion and sentenced to a one-year term.
"I couldn't return," he said, "knowing that we are committing war crimes. This war is criminal. But I’m no longer a prisoner of fear. I have hope that we can end this war."
Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich told the convention, "Those who serve today, serve with honor. Those who sent them, have no honor. The Bush administration accepts war as a instrument of policy, but it is obvious who is paying the price. Their right-wing dogma has made us less safe." Kucinich added, "They initiated this war without a plan for leaving, because they don’t intend to leave."
"The surge isn't working. It's contributing to the future of the insurgency," Col. Janis Karpinski told an Aug. 15 kick-off press conference." Karpinski, who served over 28 years in the U.S. Army, was given command of the 800th Military Police Brigade in 2003 and supervised 15 detention centers.
"Anybody defined as a terrorist, associate of a terrorist, or who has information related to terrorists" is held "without trial, as long as the military wants, without any rights," she said, adding that military intelligence officers encourage torture and humiliation of detainees.

The e-mail address for this site is