Thursday, November 08, 2007

And the war drags on . . .

"If you know some history that is outside the establishing view of history, you will not be fooled by the things you hear from the White House, or from members of Congress, or from leaders of political parties," he said in his lecture, organized by BU Students for a Democratic Society, Boston Youth and Student Anti-War Movement.
The study of the history of government deception in wartime needs a closer look, Zinn said.
"What's being told is that we are fighting in Iraq for democracy. We are occupying in order to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people," he said. "If you look at the history of American occupations, look at the history of U.S. interventions in other parts of the world -- where have we brought democracy? There’s no evidence of America bringing democracy to the countries that we occupy."
Zinn said the turnout was encouraging. Attendees said they reserved spots beforehand, and many filled in balcony seating.
"It was a lot of things people need to hear," said College of Arts and Sciences junior Haley Ott. "There's a stigma against activism, [so] for someone like him [to speak], it's useful to have people inside like that."
Zinn stressed the necessity of citizen involvement, a sentiment BU Anti-War Coalition member Alek Drobnjak said he strongly supports.
"He made a point on people getting involved, which was very important," the College of Engineering sophomore said. "We need more people to join our clubs and participate in our government."

The above is from Vivian Ho's "Zinn Renews Call To End 'Sham' War" (The Daily Free Press via Common Dreams). From November 10 through December 16th, a Rebel Voices will be at Culture Project -- based on Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's best-selling book Voices of a People's History of the United States. Along with Mejia, the voices of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Malcom X and others will be featured. Zinn will take part in the November 18th presentation (opening night). Tickets are on sale now. And, as Zinn points out, we are being lied to.

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 3837. Tonight? 3859. Just Foreign Policy's total for the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war stood at 1,099,372. Tonight? 1,103,188.

With a strong, competative media, we might not be fed spin on a regular basis. This week has seen non-stop lying, that so many in the press ran with, about the mythical mass returns to Baghdad. Even though their own reporting had documented (even as late as two weeks ago), that refugees only return when the money runs out (and often die when that return happens), the myth of the week was the 'large' number of returning. First it was in the last three months they had allegedly returned, then it was in this month. At this rate, they'll be saying the 'return' took place in one day. The numbers doubled and no one was supposed to notice that. No relief group could back up the spin (because it wasn't true) but that didn't stop many in the press from repeating the nonsense. No one bothered to think, "Now they haven't gone door to door in Baghdad doing a census, let alone outside of Baghdad, so how did they get these numbers?" They ran with it and when a few questions were posed, suddenly the numbers were coming from the "border crossing." Now all the borders do not have checkpoints but let's pretend they do and let's pretend they're not staffed by the US military. Iraqis were allowing over 45,000 returns in one month? With no concern that any might be some of those that Bully Boy has labeled a 'terrorist'? Well, they've got their excuse for the next wave of violence, if nothing else: Iraqi's mass return resulted in terrorists entering Iraq in mass numbers!

Here's a clue, when the UN and the Red Cresent isn't trumpeting a return, it's not happening.

There was also the lie of the cholera nearly vanishing. But what the World Health Organization found -- date covers through last week -- was, "The most important development this week is the steep increase in the number of cholera cases reported from Baghdad compared to last week. The number of laboratory confirmed cases jumped from 11 to 24 cholera cases representing an increase of 227% in the cumulative cases." But we were told it was vanishing. As if cholera goes away because it gets a little press attention? As if that press attention means the conditions that created it vanished overnight?

What will be tomorrow's talking point? Possibly what KUNA's reporting: "Iraqi President Jalal Al-Talabani assured U.S. officials, Thursday, that his country would solve all disupted issues by the end of 2007." Oh. Okay. Well then, let's all find something else to focus on. Except for the fact that puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, has a cabinet that's falling apart. Still. Wisam Mohammed (Reuters) reports that al-Maliki has given up on wooing the Sunni bloc that walked out in August. His cabinet is missing five ministers (had he met their demands, that wouldn't be the case).

But all is calm, peaceful and wonderful in Iraq. Trust the Green Zone bound reporters, they've never steered anyone wrong before, right? Well . . . There's Dexy and oh so many more.

But Nancy Pelosi will lead the House to pass a resolution! It will be symoblic, but it's a resolution! It will give the Bully Boy $50 billion dollars more for the illegal war but, hey, he wants like $20 billion more than that, so Pelosi's really sticking it to him! Except, on today's Free Speech Radio News, Leigh Ann Caldwell reported that the $471 billion defense budget does allow Bully Boy some wiggle room on taking a little here and there to apply it to the illegal war --"but a provision was included in the bill to allow the president to borrow money" if his blood lust is not satisfied.

Turning to the Illinois Green Party:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Patrick Kelly, 773-203-9631,
Phil Huckelberry, 309-268-9974,
Springfield - At least 32 Green Party candidates have filed their petitions to run for public office today, a new record for the rapidly growing state political party, and many more filed for committeeperson posts.
Among the candidates are four presidential candidates, nine running for U.S. Congress, six running for state legislature and several running for county and other local offices across the state.
"This truly is a monumental moment for the Green Party," says congressional campaign coordinator Walter Pituc. "Previously, we'd only had one congressional candidate ever in Illinois Green Party history. This year, we had candidates file in nine districts. That's pretty remarkable growth, and we're only going to continue to grow beyond this election."
Those running for U.S. Congress include author and Berwyn library trustee Jerome Pohlen (3rd); economist Alan Auguston (5th); activist Moe Shanfield (9th); Navy Reserves veteran David Kalbfleisch (10th); Iraq War veteran and former Heartland Community College Board student trustee Jason Wallace (11th); IT project manager Rodger Jennings (12th); software engineer Steve Alesch (13th); McHenry Community College trustee Scott Summers (16th); and retired coal miner Vic Roberts (19th).
The Illinois Green Party also filed petitions on behalf of presidential candidates college professor Jared Ball, Green Party activist Howie Hawkins, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and air quality inspector Kent Mesplay.
Dozens more are running for precinct/ward/township committeepeople.
In 2006, the Illinois Green Party gathered 39,300 signatures to get Rich Whitney and five other candidates on the ballot for statewide offices. Whitney earned 10% of the vote in the general election -- twice as many votes as needed to "establish" the Green Party in Illinois. As an established political party, the Greens enjoy greater ballot access, having to collect fewer signatures. Along with that, the Greens participate in the Feb. 5, 2008, primary, giving voters in most areas the chance to pull a Green ballot for the first time.
The campaign filings here makes the Illinois Green Party one of the most active Green organizations in the nation, setting the stage for the 2008 Green Party National Convention, to be held in Chicago on July 10-13.
For a complete list of candidates, visit

From yesterday's snapshot:

Today Crystal Yednak (New York Times) reports on students attempting to end the illegal war and adults who attempt to punish them: "A school superintendent's decision to suspend, and perhaps expel, about two dozen students who took part in a protest against the Iraq war at a suburban high school drew criticism Tuesday from the students and their parents, who demanded that their children be allowed to return to classes. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted, "Last Thursday, students at Morton West High School in the town of Berwyn locked arms and sang protest songs in an approved area on school grounds. One participant said the group had been told they would face no more than a Saturday detention for missing class. But they were each given ten-day suspensions and told they could be expelled. The American Civil Liberties Union says it may take up the case." Back to Yednak on when the students were asked to move and did:
But several students said the protesters, whose numbers had dwindled to about 25, obeyed the administration's request to move from a high-traffic area in the cafeteria to a less-crowded hall near the principal's office. There, they intertwined arms, sang along to an acoustic guitar and talked about how the war was affecting the world, said Matt Heffernan, a junior who took part."We agreed to move to another side of the building," Matt said. "We also made a deal that if we moved there, there would be no disciplinary action taken upon us."Matt said the group had been told that the most severe punishment would be a Saturday detention for cutting class that day.

The Columbia College Chicago chapter of SDS has started an online petition:

In Defense of the Morton West Antiwar Students
We are writing in defense of the students who now face excessive disciplinary actions at the hands of various Morton West school administrators. Our sympathies lie with the courageous and moral struggle that the students have taken up, and with their parents who still support them. The struggle for a peaceful and just society absent of war should not be met with punishment, but should be supported by the community as a whole, especially from within the educational setting. Furthermore, It is our firm belief that an injury to freedom for students anywhere is an injury to freedom for students everywhere. This is why we urge all Morton West administrators to drop all disciplinary action against the said students, and to remove any indications of said events from their permanent records. We urge you to respect these students right to free expression now and in the future. (Written by Columbia College Chicago Students for a Democratic Society)

If you would like to sign, use the link.

The e-mail address for this site is