Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, over 34 reported deaths in Iraq today, the US military announces more deaths, Ralph Nader is called "White" (he's not) by Saint Barack's Holler Monkeys, the Los Angeles Times continues to make life difficult for every other mainstream media outlet, and more.
With less than 16 days remaining until U.S. war
They will be holding 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." 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 firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's "finley.d" at "parl.gc.ca") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail email@example.com -- that's "pm" at "pm.gc.ca"). 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.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
At the White House today, Bully Boy met with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani (in the US to again visit the Mayo Clinic) and Bully Boy noted of the illegal war he started, "There's still a lot of work to be done, we recognize that. We talked of a variety of subjects. We talked about a strategic framework agreement that suits the Iraq government. We talked about elections and different laws that have been passed. I did compliment the President on working hard to see to it that the legislative session this year has been very successful. We talked about the fact that the economy is improving, and that the attitude of the people there has improved immeasurably over the years." After Bully Boy stopped repeating "we talked" and completed his summer vacation report, Talabani noted, "We improved our relation with our neighbors -- with Turkey, with Egypt, with Jordan, with Kuwait. We normalized our relation with Iran and with Syria, also. So Iraqi government is now going to play its role in the Arab world as one -- a founder of the Arab League. And there is no -- I think no more, any kind of isolation of our government." In other White House news, press flack Dana Perino was badgered for war with Zimbabwe today ("Why is military action not an option!") -- never assume the press merely takes dictation. Perino noted on the Talabani meet-up and talk of a treaty ("agreement") that she "couldn't put odds on it either way."
Today the US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division – North Soldiers and an interpreter were killed in an improvised explosive device attack in Ninewah Province at 10:45 p.m., June 24." This brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4109 with 25 for the month thus far. And that's 7 announced dead this week so far. Two US soldiers were killed in Iraq yesterday in a bombing and Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) reports, "The explosion occured hours before a vote to replace Abdul Hassan Jbara as chairman of the Sadr City District Advisory Council." The US State Dept's Stephen Farley was also killed in the bombing and CBS and AP report that Brett Farley (his son) stated that his father was nervous about the vote, "It was today that they were scheduled to vote on electing a new chairman, a pro-democracy chairman, and he told me pointedly that it was the biggest moment that they had faced over there. He fully understood what the risk was, but he was willing to bear it." Zavis explains, "The bomb was planted outside the office of his [Abdul Hassan Jbara's] deputy and would-be successor, Hassan Shamma" according to "council members who were there" and the police. Alissa J. Rubin and Mudhafer al-Husaini (New York Times) quote council member Qasim Abdul Zahra stating, "The explosion happened just outside the room, near the Americans . . . They were the ones that received the most shrapnel and that's why we are still alive." At the State Dept yesterday, Casey stated of Farley and others, "They're there to help support the development of local government institutions, help them in providing services for the people in developing Baghdad and developing Iraq's democratic institutions and practices." Casey descirbed Stephen Farley as "a expert in local governance issues and was -- of course, understandably, one of the reasons why he would be visiting the town council was to talk to them as they're working on setting up some of their practices and systems there. But basically, part of his function, or his main function, was to help assist in the development of local government institutions" and Farley was "one of the many other people who the State Department has employed and worked with over time who have expertise in some of these areas that, again, as the Secretary has testified to, aren't nomrally the kinds of things that either regular duty, active duty military officers, or regular Foreign Service Officers generally have as part of their experience." Casey was asked if Farley "was some sort of contractor" and replied, "Yeah. I mean, that would – I think that would probably pretty much adequately describe his employment status. But he was a direct hire of the State Department, he's part of our diplomatic and part of our State Department family, and certainly we are – you know, we're very privileged to have him working with us on this, and it's an important component of our staffing in Iraq to have these kinds of people with these kinds of specialties and expertise who can really help assist us in doing the work."
In some of today's reported violence . . .
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing claimed 3 lives and wounded ten people, a Diyala Province home bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and wounded three more, and a Karbala car bombing that claimed the lives of 2 people and left fifteen more wounded. Reuters notes a Kirkuk car bombing that claimed 1 life and a Tikrit US air assault "on a house killed a family, including four children aged between four and and 11".
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an armed clash in Diyala Province that claimed the life of 1 "Awakening" Council member, Khalid Mahmoud ("Mosul municipality director") and the man driving him were shot dead in Mosul and an armed clash in Nasiriyah City that involved the Iraqi military and "US helicopters to control" that resulted in seven people being wounded. Reuters notes the US military shot dead 2 'suspects' in Samara and they shot dead 3 people in a car "near Baghdad airport". On the 3 in Baghdad, Doug Smith (Los Angeles Times) reports, "Officials at Yarmouk Hospital identified the dead as a manager and two female employees of a bank at the airport. Iraqi police also reported that two bodyguards were injured" while the US military maintains they were attacked by the bank employees.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 5 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
As Rebecca noted last night, CNN reports that there have now been 20 female "suicide bombers" since the start of the year. Which is CNN's jumping off point to launch into talk of the female "Awakening" Council members and either CNN didn't get the facts correct or the women have gotten a bump in pay since they will now be paid (by the US government) $300 a month, the same amount that the males make.
Turning to the US presidential race, Paul Farhi (Washington Post) profiles independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader: "Joan Claybrook, who has known Nader since 1966 and worked with him on his pioneering auto-safety crusade against General Moters, says he reads 10 books a week and speaks seven languages (Chinese, Portugese, Italian and Arabic among them) well enough to converse with native speakers. . . . 'Ralph is really a charming guy,' says Claybrook, who heads the advocacy group Public Citizen. 'He has a great sense of humor. If the public knew him really well, they would be enthralled with him'."
Meanwhile Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) scores Barack: "Give AIPAC everything they want and then some. Check. Slander black men. Check. Continue illegal government surveillance. Check. Endorse conservative white Congressman against black progressive challenger. Check. . . . Obama is held to no standard at all. He is free to do exactly as he pleases to black people, who are all too happy to go along with any treatement that he chooses to mete out. This sorry state of affairs is the result of years of black political inaction and misleadership. The Congressional Black Caucus long ago gave up the fight, the movement tat gave black Americans full citizenship has been derided as a relic from a past age, instead of being seen as a blueprint for present da action. It is little wonder that the Obama campaign 'come-to-Jesus' meeting is consider a substitute for true political organizing." Slander Black men? As Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report via ZNet) explained, "The Democratic presidential nominee-apparent seldom speaks directly to Black people, but when he does it is usually to denounce individuals once close to him or to criticize The Race in general for some moral failing. Thus it was no surprise that Barack Obama used the occassion of Father's Day to give Black males the back of his hand, no doubt to the delight of millions of potential white supporters. Black males have 'abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men,' said Obama, citing statistics on female-headed households. 'You and I know how true this is in the African-American community.' Even the New York Times could see through Obam's transparent bid for white approval at Black people's expense. Reporter Julie Bosman noted that Obama 'laid out his case in start terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make' -- terms (such as boy?) that 'his campaign hopes [will] resonate among white soical conservatives in a race where these voters may be up for grabs'." And see Cedric and Wally's "Bambi attacks" and "THIS JUST IN! BARACK ATTACKS AGAIN!". That's something to keep in mind because something true was said about Saint Obama and it's time for The Cult of Saint Obama to start screaming.
Rocky Mountain News' M.E. Sprengelmeyer asked Ralph Nader if he thought there was a difference between Barack Obama and the 2000 candidate Al Gore (or any other Democratic candidates in the recent past)? Here for audio of the first half, here for full transcript.
Ralph Nader: No. I mean, he's deceiving people. He takes, he takes -- in this very building he would take money from corporate lawyers who are not registered lobbyists but whose desks are across the aisle from corporate lawyers who are register lobbyists in the same law firm -- that's been reported more than once in the mainstream press. Six out of seven industrties as of a month ago have given more money to Obama than they have to McCain. Only transportation industry was more equal opportunity corruption . Look at the health care industry which has poured money into his campaign. The Secuirty industry. Defense industry. No. There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comees to being a Democratic presidential candidate he's half African-American. Wheter that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk White? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards. I think his main problem is that he censors himself he knows exactly who has power, who has too much, who has too little what needs to be done right down the community level but he has bought the advice that if you want to win the election you better take it easy on the coproation abuses and do XYZ and when I hear that I say Oh I see. So he's doing all this to win the eleciton and then he'll be diferent? Well let's see if it worked. Did it work for Mondale? Did it work for Dukakis? Did it work for Clinton? Yes, but only because of Perot? Did it work for Gore? Did it work for Kerry?
M.E. Sprengelmeyer: Do you think he's trying to, what was your term, 'talk white'?
Ralph Nader: Of course. I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a Black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law. Haven't heard a thing. I mean, the amount of economic exploitation in the ghettos is shocking. You'd think he'd propose a task force to at least study it. I mean, these people are eroded every day. The kids, bodies are asbestos and lead, municipal services discriminate against them because it's the poor area, including fire and police protection and building code enforcement. And then the lenders, the loan sharks get at them, and the dirty food ends up in the ghettos, like the contaminated meat. It's a dumping ground for shoddy merchandise. You don't see many credit unions there. You don't see many libraries there. You dont's ee many health clinics there. This is, we're talking 40-50 million Americans who are predominatly African-Americans and Latinos. Anybody see that kind of campaigning? Have yous ee him campaign in real poor areas of the city very frequently? No, he doesn't campaign there.
M.E. Sprengelmeyer: What do you think the purpose of that is?
Ralph Nader: He wants to show that he is not a threatening, a political threatening, another politically-threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to White guilt. You appeal to White guilt not by coming on as a Black is beautiful, Black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the White power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.
And the response? Muted from the Obama campaign . . . at first. They set out their Holler Monkeys to yet again scream "RACISM!" All the usual crew was there yet again. Latoya Peterson (Racialicious) needs someone to explain to her that Nader is not White. Not that facts matter to her. At Josh Michah Marsh's Hairy Crack, Eric Kleefeld at least has more sense than Peterson (he doesn't call Nader "White"). Kathy (LeftField) plays dumb -- it's playing right? -- and stresses Barack is a "black presidential candidate." Barack Obama is bi-racial. The Christ-child's lineage must not be questioned. See, there was never the conversation on race that the press told you was talking place. It never could take place because it would mean facing the fact that Barack was bi-racial, not "Black." And look, there's Ben Wyskida of The Nation, the arm pit sniffing Benny-boy, making cracks about Nader's race ("deeply black"). Does Ben think saying that to someone of Arab descent is 'funny' because that sounds pretty RACIST.
Isn't it cute that the publicity director for The Nation should blog at PINKOMAG.COM -- it's only natural, right? Pinko? Oh, it's a joke? Like Sam Graham-Felsen 'pretending' to be a Marxist? (And Ben, that's not a hint for you to bother/bore me again.)The push back's really important because the Christ-child has to be seen as Black. Even though he isn't. (It's the White guilt vote that Nader gets at.) So all the usual Holler Monkeys are recruited into service of the lie. Including 'plays mainstream journalist' Don Frederick whose ass should be fired from the Los Angeles Times -- in fact they should all be fired, all their 'political bloggers.' Having stated that John McCain was having a "hissy fit" over campaign finance should have made it clear how in the tank for Obama the paper is and, guess what, that's exactly what a MSM outlet CAN NEVER BE SEEN AS.
If the paper won't police their own, it may be time for others in Real Media to point out the problems. This is how the charges of bias get started (and they are true in LAT's case) and it these charges amplify and grow and soon all MSM outlets are tarred and feathered due to the actions of one outlet. It's unacceptable.
Sunday at Third, interesting feature that will be a docu-drama piece on the Christ-child's miracle birth and other things. Noting that allows me to pull six paragraphs and get the snapshot reduced to a reasonable size. Julie Bosman (New York Times) reports Nader's spokesperson Chris Driscoll said there would be no apology. Nor should their be. Bosman quotes Driscoll reading a statement attributed to Ralph Nader, "Obama's abstract campaign has been delusional and irresponsible when it comes to avoiding concrete policies that truly defend and empower the 100 million Americans living in poverty or near poverty." Sugar (Sugar N Spice) notes that Barack's made clear that he doesn't "care about inner-city crime and poverty" and notes his 'joke' "in Philadelphia last week. A city so plagued with murders and mayhem it is now commonly called Killadelphia. He stated, 'If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun . . . Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans.' He thought it was cute. I think it akin to telling folks in a Cancer ward, 'I guess we better not take any of you guys on a tour of Chernobyl site anytime soon, huh? Heehee."