Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Hate The War

Obama makes it quite clear that he not only considers white men's riches to be sacrosanct, but he believes every word of the mythical origins of the white settlers who seized power from the British Crown. These men were "farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787," said Obama. No mention of slaveholders or slave traders in the bunch. By dishing out a historical narrative of race in America that omits the theft of the continent and genocide of Native Americans Obama tacitly accepts the lie that most European settlers were escaping religious persecution -- a fairy tale that even children’s schoolbooks seldom tell anymore -- and pretends that the whites acquired Indian lands by legal means. But what's the point of arguing about such matters, since everyone involved -- especially the Indians -- is dead.
Having taken "off the table," so to speak, almost every aspect and resource of American life that over many generations created a thoroughly racist society, Obama then encourages Americans to engage each other in mutual self-help, all the while deftly avoiding any speech that might upset whites, especially males, jealous of their privileges. "I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together -- unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction -- towards a better future for ourchildren and our grandchildren." What does that mean? Nothing, except that people should be nicer to each other and avoid hurting anybody’s feelings by bringing up racial privilege.

The above, noted by Lewis, is from Glen Ford's "Obama Runs a Crooked Game" (Black Agenda Report). Lewis: "Bambi's history of race was disgusting and dismaying. I'm glad to see that after all the White gas bags stroked themselves over the speech, it's finally being noted by a few that the slaughter of and the theft from Native Americans doesn't even exist in Bambi's racially history."

You have to wonder about that, you really have to wonder, as Panhandle Media props up Bambi even for a speech that avoided the invasion and occupation by which this country (US) was created. But if you think about it, you'll realize that Panhandle Media isn't really interested in the ongoing invasion and occupation (Iraq War). It's cute to see our 'leaders' who couldn't touch on Iraq at all (until the corporatist peace movement decided to run with "Iraq is costing us money!") are all rushing to point out how the Iraq War has fallen off (big/real) media's radar. I believe it was Amy Goodman who waited until January 25th to get around to Iraq and the first month of this year. I believe it's Amy Goodman (and many others) who've ignored all war resisters to emerge after the fall of 2006. That will soon be two years ago. That ignoring is only all the more laughable when you read her latest 'book' (released next month). It should be filed under humor. The snapshots are dictated and today's included an aside that I didn't mean to be included but, yes, Ava and I will be tackling that 'book' at Third.

Courage to Resist, several members have e-mailed, is sending out reminders to people who have registered but not used their form to contact the Canadian government and show your support for US war resisters in Canada being granted asylum. I've written before about their site coming up on campus with a college student asking if you had to pay to sign the forum? If that's prevented anyone from signing it that wants to, the answer is no. There is an option to make a donation (which would help defray costs); however, if you don't have any money to spare, that's no reason to skip out on the form. The issue is set to come up in mid-April.

Kayla notes this from an e-mail:

Recently, Tina Richards resigned from her post at Grassroots America. After first marching to Capitol Hill to speak on behalf of her son, an Iraq veteran, Tina has accomplished much as a veteran's rights advocate. What she has done to honor our country and returning soldiers overshadows any monument Public Parks could erect or any bill passed on the hill.
Many of the Marines I served with in battle have told me countless times to tell Tina "Thank you", "Keep up the good work", and "We love what you're doing for us". As her son, I couldn't be more proud to have a mother who loves, cherishes, and defends the very country I have been so willing to give my life for.
It is with my love for her, for God, for America, and most importantly, for the love of all who have served and are serving in our military that I, Cloy Richards, look forward to accepting the appointment of CEO of Grassroots America, a non-profit. Grassroots America will continue its efforts to empower military families, minority voices, veterans and disabled veterans alike. We will continue to change the debate on Capitol Hill. We will continue to stand up and speak out and help everyone who is silenced or muzzled find their voices and speak truth to power. We will continue Tina's great work...together.
I look forward to working with everyone who has helped Tina during her many battles in D.C. and I hope we can accomplish much more together. Thank you for your time and supportFor God and country...
Cloy Richards,
Grassroots America

Yes, Tina Richards is gone from Grassroots America. She set a high benchmark but her son and others can certainly continue the work and, with their own hardwork and creativity, take Grassroots America to even more people. Not tonight (I just want to get this up and over), I'll change the links to put Cloy Richard's name in place of his mother (I will also be removing some links when I have that time).

In terms of Tina, she was made to suffer, as we all remember very well, for speaking out. She was treated so rudely by some of our 'anti-war' Congress members such as David Obey. She fought on and she's not ending her fight. But she also needs to make money and a wonderful opportunity came via Iran's Press TV which offered her a program. I don't believe it's on yet. If it is or when it it is, if it has a link, we'll add it right below Grassroots America. My reaction when I learned of it was, "What a great face for America to be selected." At a time when there are still so many pushing for a war between the US and Iran, Tina Richards will be a wonderful choice to act as not only a host but as a diplomatic face for the country. It would be wonderful if one of the US networks thought to do something similar with an Iranian host but I won't hold my breath on that. So she gets to make some money (not enough, to be sure) and she gets to be a common sense American voice at a time when that's really needed. So she's truly providing a service.

I don't think the following factored into it, but it's also true that you can get stuck in a rut where you're just grinding it out, so this prevents that from happening to Grassroots America. Again, I don't think that applied for Tina Richards, but when you pick any issue, let's go with Winter Soldier, and look at what so many of our 'leading' 'voices' didn't do to get the word out on that action, it's obvious that if it's not burnout effecting so many, it's just lack of caring. Grassroots was her baby and it takes a lot of strength and courage to hand something like that over. It probably helps that it was to someone she rightly trusts (her son Cloy) but it was still a very difficult decision and she showed real courage in making it. (Among the sites being delinked when I do go into the template is a peace organization that hasn't added anything to their website in over a year. I'm sure we all know which one I mean.) So take a moment to note all the work she did and appreciate that she's continuing that work in a new role that is an important one. And appreciate that Cloy Richards is carrying it on and will be taking the organization in new directions. They both have given so much already and out of a belief that we can all make a difference.

Of course, some choose to ignore that power and embrace being useless. Which never ends an illegal war or accomplishes much of anything.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3992. Tonight? 4004. Four over the 4,000 mark. How quickly that came and went. And when you really think about it, how little attention it received.

Just Foreign Policy lists 1,193,619 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal war. The slaughter in Basra continues. And spreads to other cities. As usual, the puppet government is responding with curfews. The 'crackdown' never worked in Baghdad, but it's really all they have, isn't it? The illegal war has been the same bag of tricks from the White House over and over. Peace never came, after five years, peace never came. But at this point, it really seems about running out the clock so that it can be dumped on whomever ends up in the White House. The way Tony Blair did to Gordon Brown in England and, if you pay attention, it's obvious that Gordon Brown has yet to grasp that it's his 'blot' (to use Colin Powell's term) as well now.

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