Saturday, May 17, 2008

Iraq not safe for anyone

"Many people have been killed going to meetings in Iraq." It was an offhand remark made by a US military advisor in a casual conversation about virtual work -- its benefits, its pitfalls, its resisters, its committed participants. Until that moment, it had never before crossed my mind that traveling to a face-to-face meeting could be lethal.
Turns out Army commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken measures to reduce travel. "One of the first things I did here was set up a collaborative network to offset the fact that we couldn't travel easily or safely," Lieutenant General Jim Dubik explained in an email to me. "Needless to say, doing so contributed hugely to the coordination of our work."
Dubik is Commanding General of Multinational Security Transition-Iraq. Dubik's work follows a decade-long history of Web 2.0 and other media experimentation in the US Army (see The Social General).

The above is from Jessica Lipnack's "When face time is a matter of life and death" (The Industry Standard) and worth noting because when generals are admitting they can't travel freely or 'safely,' it's admitting what a failure the illegal war is.

Turning to e-mails, regarding the Iraq Veterans Against the War's testimony to Congress on Thursday, yes, ___, it was important enough to be the focus of Thursday and Friday's snapshots. And it will be mentioned in Monday's as well. If you don't see it as important, we're not trying to grow the community and you're welcome to listen in on a private conversation but non-members do not steer this community. In regards to another visitor wanting her favorite member of Congress noted, that member won't be noted. That entire section won't be noted. The person needs to learn to speak, needs to note crib from Barbara Boxer without crediting her (we noted Boxer's remarks back in October) and needs to grasp that a Congressional hearing is not the place to campaign for their presidential candidate. That Congressional member is a joke and we will not waste our time -- at any site -- publishing the remarks by that person.

If you missed Iraq Veterans Against the War testifying to Congress Thursday, you can click here for KPFA's archived broadcast anchored by Aaron Glantz (The War Comes Home) and Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None).

In March, Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Allison and Glantz anchoring. They also anchored a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd.

Turning to Brandon who guessed first. Yes, you can always spot a closeted Communist of a certain age by their refusal to give credit to the gay rights movement. Brandon found the article I was referencing (without naming) and found the man (yes, it was a man) listing the big movements of the 'sixities' and failing to give credit to the LBGT movement which was more a part of the 'sixties' than some movements mentioned. Closeted Communists will not support gay rights. They did not support or embrace them in the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s. They deliberately refused to acknowledge them. The fear was that including gays and lesbians might make them appear less than 'normal.' It's a shameful part of the Communist Party's history and it is why, in the entertainment industry, they repeatedly attempted to embrace some unions while ignoring others.

With the exception of noting that the man went off a female radio host who was correct in her facts (the man didn't know what he was talking about and obviously hadn't read the book he chose to bring up), I haven't weighed in on him. He doesn't inject himself into the Democratic primary. But, for the record, I didn't like him the 'sixties,' Elaine and I found him very divisive. He was very rude to several vets who went open about their sexuality after serving in Vietnam and he was always using trickery for publicity. (That is why, although he's noted, he's not noted all the time. He still uses trickery today and anything that doesn't pass the smell test from or about him does not get noted.)

My opinion has always been he's a nasty, little man. But, note, we've highlighted him before and will again. (Should he attempt to self-present as a Democrat he would not be highlighted again.) As back then, he does some good work today but he also does a lot of damage.

The California case (noted on Friday) is a landmark decision. There will be others. But we emphasized here, I made that choice, because of the fact that those in the political closet would not do so and a number of them are in charge of 'Democratic' outlets. Why didn't homophobia used by Barack in South Carolina get called out by our brave 'independent' media? It goes to the party many actually belong to and that party's refusal to address gay issues. You might look at a certain radio station in an area seen by the country as gay and you might think, "Gee, it is strange that in all their hours of programming, they don't offer one program on gay issues." The program director's a closeted Communist and don't hold your breath that gay issues will ever be judged worthy under that person's 'leadership.' Individual programmers can (and have) raised the issues on their own shows but no show covers it and that's the reason why. It should be obvious that when you have time for non-stop music, for programs covering disabilities, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, crackpot medicine, etc. but have no time for even a once a week, half-hour show on gay and lesbian issues, something's going on. That's what's going on. And it always amazes me that the city's large gay community has not staged a massive protest over the refusal of the station to program for the LGBT community. While calling itself 'community radio' and pretending to serve the area. It's laughable. The feminist movement refused to draw those lines to be 'acceptable' and it's why the likes of Betsy Reed and others have such disdain for feminism.

Before anyone e-mails to say, "Do you know how many LGBTs are working for that station!" Yes, I do know. I know that some are furious that LGBT programming proposals are regularly shot down. And I know that some are Party members who've instilled that ugly history of the Communist Party and are perfectly willing to go along with being rendered second-class citizens. There will be no change -- short of massive protests -- while the program director is in charge. Equally trues is that's the reason Amy Goodman refused to explore the landmark verdict on Democracy Now! Friday. She's a "movement child" and will never admit that her own party has ever done any wrong. She will also go out of her way to ignore LGBT issues because she instilled that belief that it's not 'normal' and that it's 'damaging' to the Party. So once to twice a year, the LGBT community might get a segment. Otherwise, she'll ignore the stories or reduce them, as she did Friday, to a headline. The New York Times offered three articles in Friday's paper. If you're confused why Goody, who so often takes her lead from that paper, refused to do a segment on it, there is your answer. She'll offer a personality once or twice a year while repeatedly refusing to explore the issues. "We're not about 'sound-byte' radio and don't play cutesty on the issue," Amy Goodman said some such nonsense while begging for more money. (And applauding WBAI for playing Democracy Now in full "all the other stations" didn't. That's because all the other stations waste two hours each Monday through Friday on broadcasting that show while WBAI only offers it once. Once is more than enough.) She plays 'cutesy' all the time. NPR covers same-sex issues, they are called 'news stories' and 'public affairs discussion.' The only one who finds the topic too 'icky' for the program is Goody herself. (Who was reportedly pitching to Fire Island for a change over the airwaves Friday because it was pointed out to her that she never lists them while noting all the areas that can receive WBAI.)

"We're all in this together," Goody likes to lie but somehow "all" never includes the LGBT community or feminists. Again, "movment child." Propagandist, not journalist. And WBAI's happy to allow her to babble on for up twelve minutes into the next program and then wants to pretend, "Look how much money she raises!" Other programmers have to stick to time guidelines. Never Goody. She rode into WBAI like she owned it and continues to do so. That's the failure on WBAI's part and most clear on Thursday when they refused to broadcast all of the hearing, let Goody babble on and on, and then had a 'comedy bit' as an introduction to the hearing in progress. Yeah, that's the way to transition into a hearing in progress on the illegal war, jokes.

And to be clear, those not in the political closet, and part of the Communist Party today, are not afraid to raise LGBT issues. But that was part of the reason for the massive splintering. (That and the refusal to allow 'leadership' to live in political closets.) But to deny the very real homophobia that is a history of the supposedly progressive Communist Party of the last century is to lie. You get a lot of those lies with those writing books on McCarthyism who refuse to note that the first victims were LGBTs serving in the government and that the term targeted was "subversive". After the LGBTs were purged over driven under ground, the targeting of those suspected of being Communists began.

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aaron glantz