Saturday, March 15, 2008

For Those Who Care, IVAW's action continues

Today, presumably, Americans went to work and they came home looking forward to a weekend doing what they do on the weekend. Work probably did not permit many Americans to tune in on their computers to the testimony of Iraq Veterans Against the War and others who support their efforts. Thankfully, I was able to tune in for a significant chunk of the hearings and will post bits and pieces that caught my attention.
I ask that others on OpEdNews treat this as an open thread and add comments on what they heard. Or, I ask that others write articles that talk about some of the testimony I missed so I can become informed of what was said.
As I tuned in to the hearings in the morning while I was on break during class, I heard a terrible story of suicide being told by two parents of the soldier that had died. They described his mental state with detail. Their faces were of anguish.
When they went to play a song to highlight their son's last days, the music played without words. The malfunction---the technical difficulty---was tough to handle when considering that it seems ever since their son came home from war nothing has gone right.

The above is from Kevin Gosztola's "The Irony and Absurdity of Occupation (Winter Soldier Day 2)" (OpEdNews). OpEdNews has been covering it. Others can't make the same claim. Nothing up at The Progressive, no column at Common Dreams (they have a news headline), nothing up at CounterPunch, Mother Jones has nothing up, In These Times has nothing up.

BuzzFlash finally offers something but nothing in their link headlines (one to War Comes Home, one to an Amy Goodman story from Friday) that says, "Click here to listen because this is happening now." The links are also buried far down in the page, not even making the top fifty of the page. It's embarrassing and shameful.

Aimee Allison and Aaron Glantz have been interviewing guests during testimony breaks and we've been told that the MSM is not covering it but no one seems to be noticing just how AWOL the beggars of 'independent media' are. Where are they? They want your money, they beg for your money, they tell you 'we can't do this without you, only with you.' They say you need them because they're the only ones who will cover these important stories. Those stories don't, apparently, include US service members sharing what they saw, what they took part in while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They're really good about asking for your money and they're real good about pretending they want to end the illegal war. But where the hell are they?

And have you checked the websites of so-called peace groups? It's not suprise that (aka MoveOn) is doing nothing to promote the Winter Solider Investigation but have you checked, for example, CODEPINK which allegedly was started to stop the Iraq War and yet focuses on so many things that it may need to call itself CODEPINK Global Exchange shortly. Though they offer nothing on their front page about IVAW's action, they have plenty of time for impeachment, Hurricane Katrina and Luis Posada Carriles.

It was a CODEPEACE member -- tossing the organization's name around -- who felt the need to write this site and whine about the way I'd written of someone who was attacking IVAW at the time or I never would have mentioned his name. I had pointed out that he was going to wake up to find a lot of the 'anti-war' groups he was active with weren't about ending the illegal war -- and, to his credit, he publicly called them out when he did find that out months later) but a long comes a CODESTINKER up in arms and also wanting to promote the propangda film No Exit Out (or whatever Charlie Ferguson's War was). I think they may need to do some regrouping. No Exit exists to sell the lie that the problem with the Iraq War was that it was planned -- Naomi Klein and Antonia Juhasz, among others, have documented that it was indeed planned. No Exit -- made by a war supporter who supported it from the start, supported it while making the war and supported while promoting the bad film -- got picked up by a lot of alleged 'anti-war' types. Either they don't want to end the illegal war or they're too stupid to grasp what they allegedy watched.

The thing was planned and listen to the testimony offered by service members in the panel on corruption Friday and there's a plan -- a plan for corporations to rake in the dough.

"I guess in times like these, you know who your friends are," sings Tori Amos ("Taxi Ride," Scarlett's Walk). Never forget it. People are revealing themselves.

They've got a full plate and don't have time for ending the Iraq War but watch the same do-nothings trot themselves out to indymedia next week for interviews where they claim that ending the illegal war is their number one priority. Watch 'em flock to the stage of Take Back America next week -- liars, not leaders. A few who crave power (that they will never have) so madly they'll say anything. A few who are communists and treat that as if it's something to hide in a closet so they're lying as well. And always the centrists.

Heaven forbid anyone get serious about ending the illegal war from those ranks.

As long as I'm calling out CODEPINK, and hoping I never need to do so again, let me state something for the record. I promoted (with cautionary notes of check with a doctor first) and took part in the fast for peace action they had in the summer of 2006. NEVER AGAIN. Never again does an organization for and by women need to promote the idea that WOMEN SHOULD STARVE THEMSELVES. Not for peace, not for anything. Eating disorders are rampant in the United States. What idiot thought a fast was the way to go?

And, you'll note, the fast was dropped by most quickly as they rushed out of the country to hop around Lebanon while Iraq fell off the radar. Starving for Attention was what Cherry Boone O'Neill called her autobiography and, if nothing else, that should have made someone think, "Do we want to do a fast? Do we realize how easily we could be ridiculed?" No one thought that which shows a huge lack of planning and insight. They're very lucky the right-wing ignored them instead of using that book title to mock them.

If they call another fast, I'll be the first from the left to mock them because women do not need to starve for attention, women do not need to be weakend (which is what a fast does physically) in order to get their way. We don't trade our health and straggle around meekly hoping pity ends the illegal war. Yes, the suffragettes used the method (effectively) but that was many, many years ago and a women's organization today -- knowing full well the eating disorders in this country -- should NEVER promote an ongoing fast as a political action. Not only can it be seen as encouraging eating disorders (and encouraging the notion that when we go weak, we get what we want), it also eliminates a number of women from participating because they are in recovery for eating disorders.

Starving for attention? Foreign Policy in Focus offers nothing and IPS (organization, not journalistic website) offers Phyllis Bennis determined to embarrass herself with a piece entitled
"Iraq War Entering Year Six: Multiple Crises Rising in Middle East" whose opening statement is,
"Gaza is under murderous assault and the United States is escalating regional threats while pushing new sanctions against Iran." Gee, Phyl, looks like you forgot Iraq before you even started. What it reads like is "Oh my, the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War is coming up! Let me dash off a column but Iraq's not really interesting enough to me for a full column so let me promote my pet causes." Yeah, that's ending the illegal war. Some 'leaders' need to step off stage quickly.

Phyllis Bennis then offers six bulletin points. One is about Iraq. She might claim two are, but the first one is not about Iraq, it just uses the Iraq war to promote her pet causes, "As the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War approaches amid a renewed rise in violence, claimed U.S. regional goals of 'democratization,' 'stability,' 'freedom' are overwhelmed by violent, anti-democratic, unilateral and militaristic U.S. actions across the beleaguered Middle East." From that point, it's everything but Iraq until point six when she again offers a shout-out and nothing more than a shout-out: "In Baghdad, even as violence once again begins to climb upwards, Iranian President Ahmadinejad paid a high-profile, walk-the-streets-in-safety visit under the noses of the U.S. occupation." Phyll, your teachers may have waded through that garbage but people who care about Iraq are going to be scratching their heads by that point (if not sooner) and bailing on your column which isn't even started. The Iraq War's fifth anniverary is in your title, try writing about it.

For those who care, Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldiers Investigation continues today. The hearings opened Thursday, continued all day yesterday and are airing today and tomorrow. You can stream at the IVAW website or cath the broadcast n KPFA with Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz hosting and the KPFA live stream will also be available at Glantz' War Comes Home as well as on KPFK, WBAI and at the Pacifica Radio homepage. The times are nine in the morning until seven at night for Saturday and ten in the morning until four in the afternoon on Sunday that should apply to all Pacifica stations that are broadcasting the hearings. Viewing options and meet ups can be found at Iraq Veterans Against the War. (Dish Network is airing it on satellite TV today). Today's testimonies will cover discussions on gender and sexuality, racism and the 'other' to dehumanize the enemy and various costs of the illegal war. Sunday will cover how the US military is breaking under the strain of the wars and on the GI resistance. (Click here for a schedule.)

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aaron glantz