For the second year in a row, Paso Robles High School decided to hold a war debate forum to give students the opportunity to decide about the military.
A shortened version of a documentary made by two filmmakers kicked off the war debate. A somber group at Paso Robles High School watched as the film paid tribute to fallen soldiers.
"I thought it was pretty awesome. They showed the knowledge that was needed," said 12th grader James Smith.
After the 20 minute video, a panel of speakers addressed the students. They included three members from the Iraq Veterans Against the War and three military recruiters.
"I want to share my experiences with students. I feel that they don't get to hear how veterans are feeling. I wish I would have had the opportunity to hear different sides to the argument of militarism," said Agustin Aguayo, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
The above is from Amber Lee's "Paso Robles students hold war debate to mark five-year anniversary of Iraq war" (KSBY). Today Aguayo and his wife Helga Aguayo will be speaking at UCLA Riverside, in the Interdisciplinary Building at 6:00 pm.
Last month saw Turkey invade northern Iraq and on the eve of a visit to Turkey by the Iraqi president (scheduled to take place tomorrow), Asso Ahmed and Alexandra Zavis' "Turkish planes bomb northern Iraq, Kurds say" (Los Angeles Times) detail the latest developments:
Turkey unleashed air and artillery strikes against Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq on Wednesday, officials in this Kurdish city said, five days after the Turks completed a major ground offensive in the mountainous border region.
Turkey declared at the time that it had achieved its goal of denying the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a free hand to attack its territory from sanctuaries in Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region. But U.S. and Turkish military analysts were skeptical that the operation would have more than a temporary effect.
On Wednesday, Turkish warplanes crossed about 15 miles inside Iraq to bomb targets in the Dashti Barzji area, north of the city of Dahuk, said Capt. Mohammed Ali, a member of the Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq. Artillery strikes were reported around Amadiya in the same area, he said.
Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, is still due to visit Turkey tomorrow for a visit expected to last Friday and Saturday. In the United States, the illegal war has no authorization but that continues to be distorted. Reuters reports:
The U.S. military has authority to conduct combat operations in Iraq beyond the end of this year, even though a United Nations mandate for force ends then, a State Department official said on Wednesday.
David Satterfield, the State Department's coordinator for Iraq, said Congress had authorized U.S. combat in Iraq back in 2002, and the Bush administration did not believe it needed to seek "explicit additional authorization" from Congress for U.S. combat beyond the end of this year.
Satterfield made his statement in a letter to Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat who told Reuters the letter signaled the administration thought of the Iraq war as limitless.
"This is a forever thing with them," said Ackerman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia.
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