Thursday, July 24, 2008

Other Items

Almost 40 years ago, being young and idealistic, we came to this beautiful country to escape the demands that the U. S. military and government were placing on its citizens and society.
We knew little of the country we came to but soon learned how important it was that people in Canada cared to help U. S. conscientious objectors.
In 1968, with the help of the Mennonite, Quaker and United Church communities, the Canadian government agreed to allow U. S. deserters and draft evaders to stay in Canada and not be forced to return. This is not true for the current illegal Iraq war, where the Americans continue to send troops.
There are hundreds of American Iraq war resisters in Canada. In spite of the fact that a majority of Parliament voted to allow the resisters to stay, the Conservative Harper government has stated that resisters will be deported and returned to the United States to face prosecution. Only Harper's Conservatives are supporting this deportation, but they get to decide.
While this small deportation may look unimportant to most Canadians, Vietnam era immigrants remember the feeling of arriving in a country that
If we help them stay, they will contribute their efforts to Canada as we did then and they will remember your kindness as we do now
cared about its citizens; a country that believed in aspiring to fairness and justice.
We know that most Canadians do not agree with Prime Minister Harper's order for deportation -- recent national polls indicate that 64 per cent of Canadians support granting permanent residency to U. S. war resisters -- and we also know that Harper is not about to change without significant pressure.
We ask that you remember and recognize the value that Vietnam war resisters brought to this country over the last 40 years and that you recognize the same potential in these new young U. S. resisters asking for the same opportunity.

If we help them stay, they will contribute their efforts to Canada as we did then and they will remember your kindness as we do now.
Please contact your local MP, Prime Minister Harper, Immigration Minister Diane Finley and Public Security Minister Stockwell Day to add your voices to the many other Canadians who are saying "let war resisters stay."
Andrew Armitage, Leigh
Tim Hill, Owen Sound
thill@bmts.comDonald Holman, Traverston,
zetlin@bmts.comRobert Hope, Owen Sound
bob@rbhope.caTerri Hope, Owen Sound
terri@rbhope.caTony McQuail, Lucknow
Elizabeth Zetlin, Traverston,

The above is "A plea from Vietnam war resisters to let Iraq resisters stay in Canada" (Owen Sound Sun Times) which is an important action. It says: Canada welcomed deserters during Vietnam as well as draft dodgers. That does its part to kill the nonsense of "There's no draft today!" It says: We came to Canada and we have made our lives here. That does its part to kill the stereotypes the right-wing Canadian press is circulating. It puts a face on the issue and reminds Canadians of their history -- the real history, not the lie of "It was just draft dodgers!"

Meanwhile in the United States, Amy Clarke's "AWOL soldier arrested in Central" (Greenvile News) and WSPA's "AWOL soldier arrested in Upstate" explain 24-year-old Iraq War veteran Dustin Moore was arrested Sunday for being AWOL, that he suffers from PTSD and his mother states the military did not "provide the treatment he needed." Traffic stop? Informant. Unnamed informant by the press. Considering the pattern, that unnamed informant would be the US military.

The assault on Diyala Province is supposedly to begin August 1st. Nicholas Spangler's "Iraqi army prepares assault in Diyala as election law vetoed" (McClatchy Newspapers)

Some members of the Sunni Awakening, tribesmen paid by the United States to fight al Qaida Iraq, are fleeing. "They think the security plan will target them after the insurgents," Mulla Sh'hab Alsafi, leader of one local Awakening group, told McClatchy.
Diyala, home to Kurds, Arab Sunni and Shiites, is one of the most ethnically and religiously mixed provinces in Iraq. Rich in agriculture, it's likely to be hotly contested in the upcoming provincial elections, along with the northern provinces of Ninevah, Salahuddin and Kirkuk.
Those elections, which had been scheduled for October, could return control of some of the northern provinces to Sunni Arabs, who boycotted the last round, held in 2005.
But the October date was thrown into doubt after Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the Iraqi parliament on Tuesday. At issue was power sharing in Kurdish-dominated Kirkuk, which sits on some of the largest oilfields in the country. The bill passed in their absence would reduce Kurdish representation on the provincial council and transfer security authority for the region from the Kurdish troops already there to Iraqi Army troops from outside the region.

As noted yesterday, Jalal Talabani, president of Iraq, is stating the bill is dead. Today
Amit R. Paley's "Iraqi President Vows Veto of Election Bill" (Washington Post) examines some aspects of it:

The dispute over the measure centered on the status of Kirkuk, an oil-rich provincial capital in northern Iraq that Kurdish leaders believe should come under the authority of their semiautonomous regional government. Most of the Iraqi political parties had already agreed that elections on the status of Kirkuk would be delayed indefinitely -- the clash was over how the city should be governed in the interim.
The legislation approved by parliament would divide control of the Tamim provincial council among Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens; currently the Kurds control the balance of power on the council as well as the governorship. The bill also calls for Kirkuk to be controlled by troops from central and southern Iraq, instead of the Kurdish pesh merga forces that now patrol the city. When the speaker of parliament called for a secret ballot to vote on those parts of the legislation, the Kurds walked out of the session.

And Sabrina Tavernise and Riyadh Muhammed offer "Iraqi Measure on Provincial Voting Is Vetoed" (New York Times) which covers the same topic but also includes this:

Capt. Mahmoud al-Bayati, a police officer in Kirkuk, said that Arkan al-Naiemi, the son of the editor in chief of the weekly newspaper Sound of Villages, was accidentally shot dead by American soldiers on Wednesday, when he failed to stop his car after a convoy of Humvees pulled out in front of him. A request for comment e-mailed to the United States military went unanswered.

Ideally, that section and another report earlier this week get noted in today's snapshot.

Betty notes Jim Galloway's "Something for those turned off by the conservatism of Barack Obama" (Atlanta Journal-Constipation):

Insider: You're not going to be on the ballot in Georgia.
Nader: No. Georgia's one of the worst obstructive states in the country, as some litigation in Georgia has tried to point out from time to time.
Insider: If you're not going to be on the ballot, what's the purpose of the Athens meeting?
Nader: The write-in. It is a fund-raiser, actually. There are actually only two states that say write-ins are not counted at all. That's Oklahoma and Oregon.
We'll get a write-in in Georgia, and it's important to go into a state and point out how undemocratic it is for independent and third-party candidates rights. It's comparable to a Jim Crow law, it's so obstructive…..
So it's a very difficult state, and we’re not the only candidacy that’s pointed that out.
[. . .]
I've talked to thousands of Obama supporters, obviously, going around the country. Almost none of them associate any major policy initiative with him in Congress. And as a state senator, he even voted to cap pain and suffering damages of medical malpractice victims to $250,000. That's pretty inexcusable.
He's weak on the civil justice system, which is the principle way defrauded and wrongfully injured people challenge corporate power….
He's never met a weapons system he didn’t like. He's not challenged the military-industrial complex at all. And he gets a huge amount of money -- more than [Republican John] McCain has got -- from corporate interests and corporate attorneys....
For him, nuclear power is still on the table -- which is very insensitive, given that some of his major backers are nuclear power executives in Chicago.

Note, AJC is Betty's local paper and we don't ever note it unless she finds something. We never note the faux-gressive Cynthia there who has launched a non-stop, never ending war on Cynthia McKinney. We do not note that paper as a general rule. When there's an exception to that rule, it will come because Betty asks for it. (Or her father.) Staying on the topic of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, we'll note this from Team Nader:

Nader Releases Letter to Conyers on Impeachment Hearing

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


News Release
Contact: Chris Driscoll, 202-360-3273,


WASHINGTON, July 23, 2008----Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader today sent the following letter to U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers on the hearings about presidential misconduct scheduled for Friday, July 25.

July 23, 2008

Chairman John Conyers
House Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Conyers:

For years I have been urging you to initiate a resolution of impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for chronic, repeated violations of our Constitution and the many "high crimes and misdemeanors" they commit day after day. These two men are the worst recidivist impeachable occupiers of the Presidency and Vice Presidency in American history.

Since assuming power over both Houses, the Democratic leadership declared impeachment to be "off the table."

During our 2004 Nader/Camejo independent campaign for the Presidency, we invited the American people to sign on in support of our demand for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Many thousands of citizens signed.

We have had several conversations and two meetings where impeachment was discussed. On March 24, 2008, I wrote you a letter describing the various options open to you as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (see enclosed.)

A few days ago, it was reported that your Committee will hold hearings this Friday July 25, 2008 on Congressman Dennis Kucinich's article of impeachment referred to your jurisdiction.

You have invited four members of the House to testify including, of course, Congressman Kucinich and several observers of the subject, including the inestimable former mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson, Bruce Fein and John Dean. The Libertarian candidate for President, Bob Barr is also on the witness list, but I am not.

This is not the first time that I have been excluded from testifying on subjects both of us have been concerned about and have discussed. Remember your invitation to testify at your unofficial public hearing right after the 2004 elections regarding "irregularities" in Ohio? Within two days, your chief of staff, Perry Applebaum, persuaded you to disinvite me.

Applebaum has been a problem with my appearing before a Committee Chairman whom I have known, admired and worked with for nearly forty years. He has performed his exclusionary behavior on other occasions. It is time to make this public and to ascertain why he prevails again and again with his superior either not to invite or to deny requests to testify regarding subjects well within my knowledge, experience, and forthrightness.


Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 34103
Washington, D.C. 20043

For more information on the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign, see:



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