Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hate The War

Jessie is a friend,
Yeah I know hes been a good friend of mine
But lately somethings changed
It ain't hard to define
Jessies got himself a girl
And I want to make her mine . . .

Some of you will already recognize the Rick Springfield written and performed number one hit "Jessie's Girl." It pertains to this entry. We're talking about the treaty masquerading as the Status Of Forces Agreement that the White House wishes to put in place with their client state regime in Baghdad. It is a treaty, it is not a SOFA.

People in the press are going goo-goo-gaa-gaa like overgrown infants (some actually are overgrown infants) over how there will be withdrawal in 2011! The contract is not about 2011. As we pointed out Sunday and Monday, the contract is about 2009. December 31st of this year, the UN mandate authorizing the occupation ends. It is either renewed or else there needs to be some form of agreement worked out by individual countries with the puppet government in Baghdad.

The treaty exists to extend the occupation of Iraq. It does not exist for some noble, high-minded reason. But doesn't the press pretend otherwise? The same way they did when they sold the illegal war and pretended it was about something high-minded, about helping the Iraqi people or about WMDs or something really important!

It wasn't and neither is the treaty. Idiots in the press have pimped it hard -- far too many editorial boards to name in full (but best in show goes for the dog the Los Angeles Times offered up). Some are idiots, some are lying.

The treaty only officially runs one year. It is not a three year treaty unless both sides decide it will be. (It actually could be forced/played as a three-year treaty on Barack's administration by the puppet government but I don't think they have that skill or talent. I could be wrong and often am. But the current administration shares my belief or else they wouldn't keep writing al-Maliki's speeches for him, now would they?)

Rick Springfield. Yes, there is a way to relate the two. The US-Iraq treaty is a one year treaty with two pick-up options. They may or may not be picked up. The treaty is for 2009.

Rick Springfield was a recording artist back in the seventies. Many years later, he recorded what would become Working Class Dog (the highly talented Keith Olson worked on that project). Before it was released, he ended up on General Hospital playing Dr. Noah Drake. While playing the character, "Jessie's Girl" came out and was a huge hit. "I've Done Everything For You" would follow. (The best vocal was "Carried Away" for any Springfield fans out there.) As the follow up was being worked on, a friend at RCA was telling me the big rollout they had planned, the tour, the promotion and I asked, "Well how's he going to get time off for that?" He signed a one-year contract.

Well, yeah, but it's not that simple and I explained it. Did it register? Apparently not. Months later, the same friend's calling me as the tour dates are getting closer and I again ask what about the contract fpr GH? It's not an issue, I'm told. It's not an issue and TV Guide just did an article on Rick and they repeated he was leaving the show so it's true.

Excuse the ___ out of me? Since when does anyone in the entertainment industry ever believe that the reporters do their own work? TV Guide printed what RCA and Springfield told them. They certainly didn't talk to ABC. But fine, whatever, you can't tell some people anything.

But, uh-oh, Rick Springfield's gearing up to leave the daytime drama when he's informed (by ABC) he's not leaving.

He had a one-year contract, yes. With an option for a renewal. And Rick wrongly thought the option was his option. No, it doesn't work that way and it never did. ABC would never sign any actor and give them an option that would allow the actor to say "I think I will do another year." They'd never be able to let go half the losers they've hired. The option was on ABC's side, ABC could exercise it or not. And the network would do so if the performer was playing a popular character. Noah was a popular character.

Rick Springfield did not end up leaving General Hospital that year. ABC exercised the option and he continued to work on the series. He had to bust his ass on the weekends (which often started Thursday night) to try to the scheduled tour as best as possible (many dates were rescheduled since he couldn't perform mid-week). It was a headache for him, it was a headache for RCA.

Rick singed a one-year contract. It had an option. ABC picked up the option.

The treaty being passed off as a SOFA is a one-year contract with two pick-up options. If neither side elects to drop out in 2010 ro 2011, options could turn it into a three year contract. But it's really just a one-year contract. So all this talk of what happens in 2011? It's nonsense.
Imagine Springfield had flopped as Noah and Working Class Dog hadn't taken off. If he'd gone around thinking he had a two-year contract for General Hospital, he would have been very shocked if the soap had dropped him when the one-year contract ran out.

The treaty masquerading as a SOFA is a one-year contract. 2010 and 2011 are options. They are not set in stone. When either party can cancel out -- on one year's notice -- you can't point to what MIGHT happen in 2011 as guaranteed by a contract. That's insanity. The contract, if approved, only covers 2009. That's because the one-year notice doesn't allow either party's cancellation to make it end in 2009. (Example: If Barack wanted to cancel it the day he was sworn in as president, January 20, 2009, and immediately gave notice, the contract would still run until January 20, 2010.) Focusing on what might happen if both parties decide to pick up the option for 2010 and 2011 isn't focusing on what the contract, if approved, promises.

The press is counting the chickens before they're hatched and trying to sell the treaty to the American public on things that are not guaranteed.

The same WMD wasn't guaranteed but the illegal war was sold on them. The press needs to deal with the concrete. The concrete of the treaty is, if passed, 2009 is the only year that is a given and even then there are differences between the Arabic version and the White House version (which is probably why the White House refuses to release it to the American people).

Want to make a difference? Kendrick notes this from American Freedom Campaign:

Does this sound right to you?
Next week, the Iraqi Parliament is expected to vote on whether to approve an agreement setting the terms of the ongoing military relationship between the United States and Iraq. So far, so good. A legislative body, representing the people of a nation, shall determine the extent to which that nation's future will be intertwined with that of another.
Of course, one would expect that the United States Congress would be given the same opportunity. That, however, is not the case. Or at least it is not what the Bush administration is allowing to happen. Shockingly, the Bush administration is not even letting Congress
read the full agreement before it is signed!
We need you to send a message immediately to U.S. House and Senate leaders, urging them to demand the constitutional input and approval to which they are entitled.
The administration has asserted that the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq is merely a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and therefore does not require congressional approval. Yet the agreement goes far beyond the traditional limits of a SOFA, which typically set the terms for bringing materials and equipment into a nation and outline the legal procedures that will apply to members of the military who are accused of crimes.
Believe it or not, the current agreement contains terms that will actually give Iraq a measure of control over U.S. forces. No foreign nation or international entity has ever been given the authority to direct U.S. forces without prior congressional approval - either through a majority vote of both chambers or a two-thirds vote in the Senate in the case of treaties.
If this agreement goes into effect without congressional approval, it will establish a precedent under which future presidents can exercise broad unilateral control over the U.S. military - and even give foreign nations control over our troops.
Congress must take immediate action. Unfortunately, they are about to adjourn for at least a couple of weeks. But it is not too late for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a statement, signaling their strong belief that Congress will not be bound by and need not fund an agreement that has not been approved by Congress.
Please send an E-mail encouraging such action to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid immediately by clicking on the following link:
This is truly a dire situation and we hope that you will join us in calling for action.
Thank you.
Steve Fox

Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund

Rebecca's noted this and also commented so be sure to check out her post. And just to be clear, this entry is not to mak fun of Rick Springfield. I barely knew him but he was a nice person. He also was talented and if he hadn't worn himself out doing the soap and national tours (and existing on Vitamin B shots), his string of hits might have gone longer. I have no ill will towards Rick and am not including him in this entry to have a ha-ha at him. He had an agent, for example, and the agent's job was to explain to him the contract he signed. He had an attorney (ditto). RCA didn't understand acting contracts and that was their bad (including my friend who should have immediately picked up the phone and called RCA's legal dept which would have grapsed what Rick has signed). And it may have been a two-year contract with an option (for ABC) and not a one-year. That was a long, long time ago and my only involvement is documented above (warning my friend -- who wouldn't listen and just knew everything -- that the ABC contract's option was in the network's favor, not Rick's).

This was the issue we've talked about repeatedly re: the contract. A 'three-year' contract that allows either party to cancel out the second or third year is not a three year contract. It is a one-year contract with two pick-up options.

That was the point in the snapshot today: From American Friends Service Committee's translation of the Arabic version (which, remember, is different than the English version that the White House refuses to publicly release -- and this morning the State Dept's Sean McCormick referred questions of its release to the American people back to the White House, FYI):

Article Thirty
Contract Validity
1 - This agreement is valid for three years unless it is terminated earlier by either parties in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article.
[. . .]
3 - Cancellation of this agreement requires a written notice provided one year in advance.

That third section, does no one understand contract law? What you have is a one-year agreement with two options for renewal (it's automatically renewed if no one cancels). It's a one-year contract. Were a performer to sign it, he or she would be signing a one year contract with two pick-up options. This isn't a three-year contract at all. And since either side can cancel it at any point with only a year's heads up, what it says will happen in 2011 really doesn't matter. All that really matters is what it says for 2009 because that's the only period that both sides are bound to. This isn't some deep, obscure psuedo-science. It's basic contract law. It is a one-year contract covering only 2009. After 2009, it can be renewed for 2010 just by not announcing an intent to depart from the contract and, if it is renewed, it can run through 2011 in the same manner. But this is not a three-year contract.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4197. Tonight? 4201. That's incorrect. The death noted in the snapshot today (announced by MNF) is not included in the tally. So it's actually at least 4202 currently. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,288,426 as the number of Iraqis killed isnce the start of the illegal war, up from 1,284,105.

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