Sunday, June 29, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

In an AP brief that runs today (at Marine Corps Times), they again misstate the facts: "A Marine who was declared absent without leave has been picked up here after being stopped on a traffic warrant. Joseph G. Cote's "Marine is arrested, turned over" (Nashua Telegraph) is no longer credited (see yesterday's entry) but AP did not originate or report the story, they merely summarized the work Cotes did. Arrested at a traffic stop? No, that's not what Cotes reported. Along with the desertion charge, Cotes had an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation of some kind. That's where the traffic warrant comes up but Jose Flores was not picked up at a traffic stop. Citing police Capt. Donald Breault, Cotes reported, "A Marine representative had contacted Hudson police and asked them to arrest Flores because he was deemed a deserter". It does matter. When the military has told the police to go to a parents' home in Colorado and search, when the military was calling police stations up and down California to alert them to Kyle Snyder, when 'traffic stops' turn out to be searching homes (one war resister picked up at a 'traffic stop') was actually picked up at his brother's home and discovered during the search. The military wants to lie and pretend all they do is enter a name in a data base after thirty days. The reality is an entire unit is patrolling the web looking for tidbits, checking out MySpace pages, phoning in tips to local police. It's time for the lying to stop and the AP has now made the same mistake two days in a row. At this point, it is no longer a mistake, it is a lie.

Turning to war resisters in Canada (where the US military has also sicked the police on them -- Kyle Snyder and Josh Key being two examples). May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister. He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam. After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. Douglas Glynn (The Barrie Examiner) quotes Corey stating, "The motion is not legally binding, though the majority of Parliament voted for it. I realized innocent people were being killed. I tried to quit the military while in Iraq," he said, "but my commander told me I was just stressed out and needed some R and R (rest and relaxation), because I was doing a job I was not trained to do. I went home on leave and said I was not coming back." So that's where it stands currently.

Here's what can be done. Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a "Rally to Stop the Deportation of Parkdale Resident Corey Glass" July 3rd, begins at 7:00 p.m. (with doors opening at six p.m.) at the May Robinson Building, 20 West Lodge, Toronto: "In 2002, Corey joined the Indiana National Guard. He was told he would not have to fight on foreign shores. But in 2005 he was sent to Iraq. What he saw there caused him to become a conscientious objector and he came to Canada. On May 21, 2008, he got his final order to leave Canada by July 10, 2008. Then on June 3 Parliament passed a motion for all the war resisters to stay in Canada. However the Harper government says it will ignore this motion." They are also asking for a July 2nd call-in. Diane Finley is the Immigration and Citizenship Minister and her phone numbers are (613) 996-4974 and (519) 426-3400 -- they also provide her e-mail addresses ("minister" at "") and ("finled1" at "").

To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at ""). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.

Community member Dallas forwarded the following e-mail:

Following is a brief history of the movement’s actions and those actions' results, a primer of sorts for the "Dear Canada, Let them stay" campaign:
Recently on June 3rd the Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion to officially welcome war resisters! It now appears, however, that theConservative government may disregard the motion. Iraq combat veteran turned courageous war resister, 25-year-old Sgt. Corey Glass of the Indiana National Guard is still scheduled to be deported July 10th.
We will ask that the Canadian government respect the democratic decision of Parliament, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans by immediately implementing the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other current and future war resisters.
Join Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven at Canadian Consulates across the United States.We mailed and delivered over 10,000 of the original letters to Canadianofficials. Please sign the new letter, "Dear Canada: Abide by resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!"
Address of the Canadian Consulate in Dallas:
Consulate General of Canada
750 North St. Paul Street, Suite 1700
Dallas, TX 75201
Tel: (214) 922-9806
For more information:
Courage to Resist
(List of consulate vigils nationwide coming soon)

Use the links above for more information protests in Dallas, DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, LA and NYC. In addition, Courage to Resist would like to organize actions in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Achorage, Houston, Raleigh, Phoenix and San Diego and, if you're able to help on that, they ask you to call 510-488-3559.

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 4,102 mark. And tonight? 4113. Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates that 1,225,898 (the same as last Sunday).

In some of today's reported violence (which didn't stop just because JFP's counter did) . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Kirkuk roadside bombing that wounded seven people. Saturday McClatchy's Mohammed Al Dulaimy reported a Baghdad explosion (grenade) left two people wounded, a Salahuddin Province car bombing claimed the lives of 7 police officers, a Diyala Province mortar attack that claimed 3 lives ("a girl, her mother and aunt"), a "female sucide bomber" was shot dead in Al-Wijahiyah resulting in her bomb exploding and injuring another person


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Abdul Jabbar Mijhid ("head of Basra operation intelligence centre") was assassinated Saturday night and today three people were wounded at a farm by unknown assailants.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
Saturday McClatchy's Mohammed Al Dulaimy reported 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 25 discovered in Samarra.

Meanwhile Hannah Allem (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that Friday's Karbala raid that claimed the life of a relative of Nouri al-Maliki was carried out by US Special forces and notes:

Outrage over the mysterious operation has spread to the highest levels of the Iraqi government, which is demanding an explanation for how such a raid occurred in a province ostensibly under full Iraqi command.
"This is a Special Forces operation, an antiterrorism unit that operates almost independently so there's been no coordination with the local forces on the ground," said a high-ranking member of the Iraqi government who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the extreme sensitivity of the issue. "That's why it's so important to have a Status of Forces Agreement to regulate this relationship. As long as it's vague and open, these incidents will continue to happen."

Ralph Nader was among the guests on ABC's This Week. We noted it at Third:

Truest statement of the week
A note to our readers
Editorial: What did happen, what can happen
TV: Nothing but personal says the Big O
Ralph Nader, Defending Article II
Sexism: Exhibit A, David Carr
The Outsider pronounces the 'surge' a success!
It started in DC . . .
The Christ-child is born
Ralph Nader on today's This Week (ABC)

Congress -- the Democratically controlled Congress elected in November 2006 to end the illegal war, given control of both houses of Congress -- did nothing (again) to end the illegal war. Pru notes Great Britain's Socialist Worker's "US Democrats back funds for endless war:"

The US Congress has approved a £83 billion war chest for Afghanistan and Iraq -- with the vital votes of the Democrats. The new round of funding will push the cost of the occupations to £330 billion.
The vote was a crucial test for the Democrats, who won control of both chambers in the Congress in November 2006 on the back of growing discontent over the war.
The Democrats agreed to drop all their original objections to the war funds. They were due to make the setting of a date for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq a crucial proviso for approving the bill.
But they dropped their objections after George Bush's administration agreed to pour more money into veteran healthcare, and topped up spending on New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The leader of the Republican bloc in the Senate described the vote by the Democrats as "a real victory. It gets our troops the funding they need for success – without hamstringing our commanders in the field with politically motivated war restrictions."
The vote comes as an opinion poll commissioned by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 63 percent of US voters think the war with Iraq was not worth fighting, and 55 percent want US troops to withdraw from Iraq.
The Democrats are also set to approve a law that would give the US government the right to tap telephone calls and read private emails.
The bill will also grant immunity from prosecution for telecoms companies that snooped on their employees and customers.
This move torpedoes lawsuits taken out by citizens who alleged these companies had broken privacy laws.
The following should be read alongside this article: »
Afghanistan: a war that won't be won by Nato's occupation» Israel's latest threat to drop bombs on Iran
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