Sunday, June 08, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

Starting with Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. He will not be deported Thursday (the 12th). Torstar News Service reports: "Initially ordered to leave the country by June 12, Glass’ departure date has been extended to July 10, after a month-long appeal process by his lawyer was finally approved last week." So he has a month to appeal. In addition, last Tuesday, the House of Commons in Canada voted to let war resisters stay in the country. Deporting Glass or any war resister after that historic vote will be difficult for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The motion passed and, while it is non-binding, it represents the opinion of the House of Commons. Harper's got enough problems on his hand and any actions he takes that stir up the ill will of the Canadian people (such as trying to deport Glass or anyone else) could lead to fall of Harper's government as other parties in the Parliament band together to vote in a new prime minister. It's a risk he may or may not take. Other parties include Olvia Chow's NDP party. The NDP led on the motion. They're leading in criticism of Harper's government. Saturday, they issued "NDP council adopts motion to help manufacturing sector:"

At the NDP’s federal council meeting this weekend, the Party’s highest governing body signalled its deep concern about the manufacturing and forestry job loss crisis in Canada with the adoption of an emergency motion calling on the federal government to stem the tide of lost jobs in Canada on the week of the GM announcement of the closing of its plant in Oshawa.
"Prime Minister Harper needs to show leadership and implement a strategy for the new energy economy," said NDP leader Jack Layton. "The NDP tabled a practical and achievable green auto plan in 2003 and can be part of a jobs strategy for a sustainable future. When will this government implement a strategy that will bring this industry back on its feet?"
With good, full-time manufacturing jobs being lost, the NDP caucus has been fiercely opposing the Conservative government's federal budget that strips $54 billion from the Employment Insurance surplus. With Liberal Party support, the Conservative budget is scheduled to pass the House of Commons Monday evening.
The NDP's motion also urges the government of Canada to insist that auto manufacturers respect the principle of the auto pact that requires one vehicle to be manufactured in Canada for each vehicle they sell in Canada and that signing of unfair trade deals with countries which provide for Canada to export raw materials while permitting restrictions our automobiles be halted.

A visitor e-mails to note this story on Tuesday's historic vote. My apologies, I haven't had time to read it (the outlet is one we highlight frequently). I did carry it over to Third and we did link to it this morning but none of us have had time to read it. The visitor also provides a Corey Glass Facebook page. Anyone interested can google that. We never link to Facebook. That decision was made long before the scandals of information on users being harvested by Facebook, long before the scandals of how hard it is to 'unjoin' after you sign up. When the Peace Resister matched Facebook with Obama (2006) and all the calls to be 'one with us, we can seize the Democratic Party' came in (and those who made the mistake of putting it in writing, I still have those e-mails), Facebook became something we would NEVER link to for any reason. Sorry, that's this site's policy and it will never change.

Canada's loony The Chronicle Herald is up in arms of the motion, no surprise (it's a right-wing echo chamber) but the motion passed and they can write all the half-baked and factually challenged editorials they want, the motion still passed. And Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) supports it. Yesterday they issued "NUPGE urges Harper to let Iraq war resisters stay in Canada:"

James Clancy calls on minority Conservative government to respect the will of Parliament and stop the deportation of Corey Glass on June 12
Ottawa (9 June 2008) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is asking the Harper government to honour a House of Commons motion that clears U.S. Iraq war resisters and their families to live permanently in Canada.
The non-binding parliamentary motion was approved June 3 with support from all three opposition parties by a margin of 137 to 110. Conservative MPs opposed the motion and the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated it will ignore parliament on the issue.
The War Resisters Support Campaign, based in Toronto, estimates that as many as 200 American soldiers have come to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq. Many of those active in the campaign are resisters who were granted refuge in Canada during the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 1970s.
In a letter to Harper, NUPGE president James Clancy urged Harper to intervene in the case of Corey Glass, who has been in Canada for the past two years. His application for citizenship on "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds was denied on May 21 and the Canadian Border Services Agency has ordered him to be deported on June 12.
"From all indications, your government is planning to ignore the democratic will of the House of Commons," Clancy wrote.
"I am urging you and your government to reconsider this position. This is a matter of some urgency. The war resisters have taken a principled stand against participating in an illegal and disastrous war in Iraq. Their reasons echo those that Canada used when it, too, refused to participate in this war," Clancy said.
"Canada must continue to act to honour its own principles and maintain our status in the world community as a peace-building nation. We should quickly welcome the young men and women and their families who have come here to live in peace and who are already starting to contribute to our country's future," he said.
Clancy urged Harper to "act now to make it possible" for the resisters to stay in Canada by:
● Stopping the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war; and
● Supporting the democratic decision of the House of Commons and the will of the Canadian people. NUPGE
More information:
War Resisters Support Campaign

Though largely ignored by the US press (Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times being two of the exceptions), Jim Fox (Tampa Bay Times) includes last week's news in a roundup today:

U.S. military deserters see some hope in a decision by Canada's Parliament calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government to let them stay in the country.
The opposition parties outvoted the minority Conservative government to pass a motion granting permanent residence status to deserters and their families.
The measure, however, isn't binding and it's expected the government will ignore it.
"We are very happy that we won," said Phil McDowell, a former U.S. Army sergeant from Warwick, R.I. "We're hopeful that the government will respect the democratic process."
There are about 200 military deserters in Canada avoiding service in Iraq. About 50,000 draft dodgers and resisters arrived over the course of the Vietnam War.

A bad AP article gets published in the Auburn Citizen (NY). It's bad for a number of reasons including the lie that only "draft dodgers" were welcomed by Canada. That LIE just won't die will it? (And certainly Panhandle Media won't tell you the truth.) "Deserters" were welcomed as well, the draft had no bearing on Canada accepting war resisters during Vietnam. Gerald Ford was the first president to offer any kind of amnesty -- it was a laughable amnesty; however, check the record, it was for "draft dodgers" and "deserters". Those are the facts. AP should bother to familiarize themselves with the facts before churning out another crap-ass article.

Staying with war resisters but turning to the US and the topic of Ehren Watada, who became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq in June of 2006. Gregg K. Kakesako's "Watada trial hung up in federal court" (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) provides this update:

Ken Kagan, Watada's attorney, told the Star-Bulletin that federal judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma will probably take up the matter early this fall. In November, Settle ruled that no court-martial will be held for Watada pending the outcome of his claim that it would violate his Fifth Amendment rights by trying him twice for the same charges.
Watada, who contends the war is illegal, is charged with missing his unit's deployment to Iraq on June 22, 2006, and with conduct unbecoming an officer for denouncing President Bush and the war. If convicted, he could be sentenced to six years in prison and be dishonorably discharged. Since then, his unit fought in Iraq for 18 months and returned in October
Kagan said he expects the case to eventually go before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where it may take up to three years before a decision is rendered. "Our experience has shown us that 9th Circuit matters consume somewhere between 18 months to three years," Kagan said. "I don't know of any reason they would put it on some fast track."
Watada's first court-martial ended in a mistrial in February 2007. Settle wrote that the military judge likely abused his discretion in declaring the mistrial. Watada's term of service in the military ended December 2006, but the legal proceedings have prevented his discharge.

And exactly where is the US Congress on Watada? The ridiculous and elderly US senators from Hawaii won't do a damn thing (despite all the money Bob Watada raised to get them into office). And what of the others? During Vietnam, Congress raised the issues of amnesty. During Vietnam, the US Congress could at least talk about the issues. Let's not pretend that the Pelosi and Reid led Congress is doing a damn thing today.

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 Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war hit the 4,085 mark. And tonight? 4094. Today the US military announced: "A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near a patrol base in the Ta’Mim province, June 8, killing one Coalition force Soldier. During the attack, 18 CF Soldiers were wounded as well as two local national contractors. All casualties were evacuated to a Coalition hospital."

Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates that 1,221,154. About the counter, removed on purpose? No. Removed by accident when a friend removed links that were trash. At some point, when they put more than 24 hours into a day, the counter will be back up. I don't have the time currently. We note it twice a week, the link is there and it's up at all community sites.

Turning to some of the reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded four people, a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded five people, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 4 lives (police recruits) and left twenty-three people wounded, a Baghdad mortar attack that claimed 3 lives and left seven wounded, a Baghdad grenade attack that left two people wounded and a Kirkuk truck bombing ("targeted a combinded base for Iraqi and American forces in Rashad area") that claimed 1 life and left twenty people wounded. Dropping back to Saturday, McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported a Baghdad bombing of a truck that wounded three, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 1 life and left two injured, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 3 lives and left fifteen wounded and a woman exploded herself in Al Anbar Province at a police station while taking out the life of 1 police officer and leaving six wounded.


Saturday McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported an armed clash in Mosul in which US forces shot dead 3 suspects while Iraqi police in Baaj shot dead another suspect and, in Al Anbar Province, Iraqi "security" shot dead a suspect and took another into custody.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Saturday McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reported 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 1 in Kirkuk (a child who had been kidnapped was discovered dead in Kirkuk).

Skip notes this AP article that Australia's The Age runs which has puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, insisting to Iran that the treaty and he the White House are trying to force through will not allow Iraq to be used as a stage to launch a US war with Iran. The question of course is does the puppet tell the White House the truth or does he tell Iran the truth? From the article:

Iran fiercely opposes the deal, fearing it will lead to permanent US bases on its doorstep amid fears of an eventual American attack.
Iran has led a vocal campaign against the deal, with powerful former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani vowing last week that people in Iraq and the region won't allow it. That has led to US accusations that Tehran is actively trying to scuttle the agreement - putting al-Maliki's government in a tight spot between its two rival allies.

New content went up at Third this morning:

Truest statement of the week
A note to our readers
Editorial: Know Your History! You Have The Right!
TV: The Ugly People's Orgy
The VA Computer Breach You Don't Know About (Jim)
Piggies on parade
What Did You Do In The War, Mommy?
Norman Solomon remembers 'the ladies'
Ms.went from playing dumb to outright insulting
Watch your back, Ralph
Nader, McCain & Barr, pay attention
Name that racist!
Typical Obama supporter

Jim's note went up tonight when illustrations were also added as well as links to previous Third pieces that readers e-mailed. And, oh look, cowardly Norman Solomon, at Matt Stearns article for McClatchy. Who are women blaming for the media's sexism in the 2008 primary race? Why, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Olbermann, the buddy you want to cock-knock with as opposed to calling out. Olbermann's name even makes it into the headline. Save your crap, Norman, no wants to watch you pretend to give a damn about sexism while you (and FAIR in all its forms) refuse to call out Olbermann but still want to be seen as "media critics." You've made jokes out of yourself. "FAIR" has covered Oblermann non-stop, mentioning him only to praise him. That disgusting and insulting article in the latest edition of Extra! (FAIR's first textual calling out of the sexism -- all this time later) goes after the easy targets like Tucker Carlson who lost his MSNBC show. FAIR either needs to do their job or start calling themselves a "semi-media critic." (Motto: We never accuse our friends, even in the MSM!") Women don't need lectures from men to begin with but they certainly won't listen to men who stayed silent on the sexism throughout the race and, now that they realize, "Oh, golly, women are pissed!," rush in with half-baked, half-thought b.s. that gives a brief shout out to sexism and goes after all the "safe" targets (Tucker, Rush, etc.). FAIR never noted David Schuster's suspension. The MSM supsends an employee for on air sexism. You'd think a 'media watchdog' would be applauding. Instead FAIR played stupid and apparently thinks women are as stupid as FAIR pretends to be.
Until you can call out your cock buddies from the locker room, don't even try to hop on your 'unity' horse and address women. You're pathetic.

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