Sunday, February 22, 2009

2 more US soldiers announced dead

Yesterday the US miltary announced: "BAGHDAD -- A Multi-National Division--Baghdad Soldier died Feb. 21 while conducting a combat patrol near Baghdad. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is currently under investigation." Making that announcement was so tiring for M-NF that they allowed the Dept of Defense to make the other one yesterday, "The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. PFC Cwislyn K. Walter, 19, of Honolulu died Feb. 19 in Kuwait City, Kuwait, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the 29th Special Troops Battalion, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Hawaii National Guard. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation." The announcements bring the number of deaths of US service members in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4247.

In this morning's New York Times, Sam Dagher offers "Fresh Paint and Flowers At Iraqi House of Horrors." This is not a repeat. Dagher's "With New Name and Mission, the Infamous Abu Ghraib Prison Is to Reopen" ran in yesterday's paper. Today's article is based on the tour of Abu Ghraib he took Saturday. We'll note the jailer's quote (not authorized to speak to the press officially): "It reminds me of the past. I hate this place. It is depressing." And we'll note this section because it's an important of the story of what's taking place in Iraq:

In northern Iraq on Saturday, a security official in Mosul said Iraqi forces arrested 75 people during raids on several neighborhoods on the east side of the city. The official said that at least 25 of them were being sought in terrorism investigations.
Iraq's antiterrorism law provides wide leeway in arresting and convicting terrorism suspects. Critics say it undermines reconciliation efforts and puts pressure on courts and prisons.

New content is going up at Third. Kat's got a review that goes up this morning. There may be a comic tonight. (I'm not sure. A roundtable with Isaiah goes up at Third this morning. I haven't spoken to him since Saturday night/evening -- Ava and I weren't part of the roundtable. At that time, I told him if he wanted to take Sunday off, Kat had a review going up and everyone would understand. I don't know what he ended up deciding.) Remember Jim and Dona are filling in for me tonight with "And the war drags on . . ."

Oh, one thing I do know. I asked Isaiah how to link in the comics? His comics here will continue to be a link to his previous comic on his name and we'll note at the end, "Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts."

Wednesday's snapshot included:

. . . the State Dept denies speaking with Jordan or Turkey about air space or land in the case of a draw down in the near future . . .
At the US State Dept today, spokesperson Gordon Duguid was asked if the airspace or land of Turkey and Jordan could be used for US equipment "when the time comes" and Duguid responded, "I am not aware of any discussions on that. I know that the President has asked for a review from the Pentagon on just how you could draw down U.S. forces in Iraq. I am not aware that the review has been finalized, so I would have to refer you to the Pentagon for where that stands at the moment." From

Was Duguid out of the looop? AP's Chelsea J. Carter reports, "The American military is shipping battlefield equipment through Jordan and Kuwait, testing possible exit routes in advance of a U.S. withdrawal in Iraq, military officials said." If Duguid was out of the loop, one might wonder why the US military knew what the US State Dept didn't?

Next month, people will stand up against the war and organizations participating include The National Assembly to End the Wars, the ANSWER coalition, World Can't Wait and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Here's IVAW's announcement of the March action (which we are trying to note in some way each day between now and March 21st):

IVAW's Afghanistan Resolution and National Mobilization March 21stAs an organization of service men and women who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, stateside, and around the world, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War have seen the impact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the people of these occupied countries and our fellow service members and veterans, as well as the cost of the wars at home and abroad. In recognition that our struggle to withdraw troops from Iraq and demand reparations for the Iraqi people is only part of the struggle to right the wrongs being committed in our name, Iraq Veterans Against the War has voted to adopt an official resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. (To read the full resolution, click here.)
To that end, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be joining a national coalition which is being mobilized to march on the Pentagon, March 21st, to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and further our mission and goals in solidarity with the national anti-war movement. This demonstration will be the first opportunity to show President Obama and the new administration that our struggle was not only against the Bush administration - and that we will not sit around and hope that troops are removed under his rule, but that we will demand they be removed immediately.For more information on the March 21st March on the Pentagon, and additional events being organized in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orlando, to include transportation, meetings, and how you can get involved, please visit: or

We'll note the following from David Zeiger, director of the amazing Sir! No Sir!:

FTA available Tuesday!

Broadcast Premiere
Monday, February 23, 9 pm.On the Sundance Channel

Dear Friends and supporters of Sir! No Sir!
Why did FTA disappear 37 years ago? To put it another way, why did a film featuring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland at the height of their careers, less than a year after their hugely popular film Klute (for which Jane won the Academy Award for Best Actress), suddenly get yanked from theaters after only one week?
The answer lies in the film itself, and the turmoil it revealed. 1972 was no ordinary year. It was the year of Watergate. It was the year of Nixon's horrific, relentless bombing campaign against the people of North Vietnam. And it was the year that the rebellion of soldiers and marines against the Vietnam War spread to the navy and air force. FTA is the film that reveals and revels in that rebellion in a way that no other film did then or had for 35 years, until I made Sir! No Sir!
Francine Parker, who directed FTA, swore to me a couple of years ago that Sam Arkoff, the enigmatic head of American International Pictures, which was distributing the film, told her he had received a threatening phone call from the White House-and that is why he pulled the film. Is the story true? There's no proof, but I can't think of another reasonable explanation for Sam Arkoff, a man who knew how to wring every penny out of a film, yanking one starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland from theaters at a big loss (and, apparently, destroying all of the prints, since none were ever found). And what happened after that certainly gives credence to the story.
With the yanking of FTA, the story of the GI Movement against the Vietnam War was also yanked from public view, and has since been deeply buried under a swath of myths and lies that poured out of a newly "patriotic" Hollywood in the late seventies and early eighties. Rambo was just the tip of the iceberg, as the memory of an illegal, immoral, and hideously deadly war was replaced by Ronald Reagan's declaration that "The antiwar movement betrayed our troops."
I brought back FTA because I want you to see and feel the truth. Sadly, Francine Parker died a year ago, before she could see her film finally get its due. But the film is here. Watch it, and let yourself feel the electricity of that time. More importantly, ask yourself what it is about "then" that feels like "now," that speaks directly to us today. When you listen to Donald Sutherland give his mesmerizing rendition of the soliloquy from Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun, look around you and ask yourself if anything has really changed.
And while you're doing that, enjoy the film. It's a lot of fun.
David Zeiger

Sir! No Sir! tells the long suppressed story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960’s- one that had a profound impact on American society yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time.

Click here to order FTA on DVD.

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