Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the war drags on . . .

28-year-old Kristoffer Walker is saying no to the Iraq War. James A. Carlson (AP) reports the Iraq War veteran will not be returning to Iraq.

He said he now views the Iraq war as "an illegitimate, unnecessary campaign," and he feels that by making him take part, the government broke the contract under which he agreed to defend the U.S. "I feel absolutely justified in doing what I'm doing now based on their breach of the initial contract," he said.

WEAU13 reports Walker states, "Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Iraq, is an immoral operation and it's also being poorly managed." KARE11 reports pathetic dirt bag Lt Col Nathan Banks is responding to the stand by whining that Kristoffer is "letting his battle buddies down." Hop your ass on over to Iraq, Nathan, if you're so damn worried. And before you do that, let us know all about the hand-to-hand combat you 'brave' spokespeople see while serving in the military.

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 was 4245 and tonight? 4247. Two deaths were announced this weekend, C.I. noted them this morning. Just Foreign Policy's counter finally moved up two weeks ago (after no updates since January 4th) to 1,311,696 killed since the start of the illegal war and finally updating their counter was so much work, they needed to take two weeks off.

Jim and Dona here filling in for C.I. We opened with war resistance and we've got a lot more to cover but let's move over to war stupidity. Where there is Iraq War stupidity, there is Patrick Cockburn. It sure is cute to watch Paddy's cock burn with desire for Barack and Nouri. Someone thinks Paddy's a reporter and that's hilarious. The only ones we see praising him at this late date are the ones who aren't even following Iraq -- yeah, Noam Chomsky, we mean you. You offer that reflexive praise to him completely unaware that he hit the breakers in 2007 and has just been cracking up ever since.

Paddy cock burn tosses out "Iraq faces a new war as tensions rise in north" today. Does it, Paddy, does it? The north? Really? You're going to stick with that, are you?

Reality: In 2008, as C.I. noted here, Mosul overtook Baghdad in reported violence. Reality, while Paddy was running over to Palestine and elsewhere and occassionally dashing into Iraq for a day or two, northern Iraq's violence was obvious for anyone who bothered to look. C.I. was noting it all summer long. C.I.'s continued to note it including this year. Paddy didn't have a word to say, not a peep. Until today. Suddenly, Paddy's alarmed that violence is up in Mosul (even though it started last year). Suddenly, Paddy's on the job.

Tell us again, Paddy, about the Iraqi girl who was hanged. You know, the one who was actually stoned. Tell us again, Paddy, how a supposed reporter makes that sort of HUGE mistake and never corrects it. Get the hell off the national stage you big, stupid joke.

In more war stupidity, Iraq is not stable. It is not a democracy and it is not a stable. So only a fool would propose that a nuclear power plant be built in Iraq; however, AFP reports they al-Maliki's government is inviting "France to help build a nuclear power plant". (In related news, the Independent of London is promoting nuclear energy in the UK with the lie that it is 'green' and 'safe.') Meanwhile Arwa Damon (CNN) reports that Iraq's "Ministry of Justice has launched a campaign to show" the alleged changes in Abu Ghraib -- more insanity.

More prisons means Iraq needs more prisoners and Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that Sunni member of Parliament, Mohammed Daini, has been fingered publicly by al-Maliki's puppet government as responsible for an April 2007 bombing of Parliament and many "ochter crimes". As usual, no evidence was produced to back up these assertions though they did whine that the alleged criminal would remain free because member of Parliament have immunity. Immunity apparently also extends to al-Maliki's officials who make charges in public which they cannot back up. BBC adds:

Iraq's Shia-led government may now seek to have Mohammed al-Daini's immunity revoked after a warrant was issued.
Alleged confessions obtained from two bodyguards linked Mr al-Daini to the attack, in which seven people died in a parliamentary canteen.
He condemned the bodyguards' arrest and pledged to respond to the accusations.

Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi service members and left two more injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing that left four people injured, another Mosul roadside bombing which wounded five Iraqi service members, a Mosul grenade attack which wounded a woman, a Samarra sticky bombing which left "a neighbourhood guard leader" injured, a Tikrit roadside bombing which wounded IIP official Jamal Shaiban and his driver, and dropping back to Saturday a Baghdad roadside bombing which left four people injured and a Baaj bombing that claimed the lives of 5 Iraqi soldiers. Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy) adds provincial election candidate Mohammed Hadi was killed ("in his house") in Babil this Saturday morning.

At Third this morning, we offered the following:

Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: It's the people's movement
TV: Dollhouse is baroque, somebody better fix it
Giggles at the smack-down hide the real issue
The sexism at Harper's
I'm ready for my mani-pedi, Mr. DeMille
Animation roundtable
The continued witch hunt of Senator Roland Burris
Small change turns to no change
Our celebrity hero
FTA Tuesday

Here, this morning, Kat offered her review of india.arie's great new album, Testimony Vol. 2: Love and Politics. And tonight? We have good news and we have bad news. Isaiah has a new comic. We'll post it after this, you'll love it. The bad news? Isaiah has two comics. You'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see the next one. It continues the thread of tonight's and you'll really be laughing when you see the one that goes up tomorrow. You just think tonight's comic is funny until you see tomorrow's.

Now this is from David Zeiger, director of the documentary 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.

"Wait!" cry European community members, "DVDs have different fields and we need DVDs compatible with the players in our countries!" Yes and, for European community members, Pru notes "Winter Soldier Sir! No Sir! FTA" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

This is a long awaited chance to get hold of three classic films about the hidden history of US troops in the Vietnam War.
Sir! No Sir! was made in 2005 and documents the raging discontent in the US army towards the end of the war.
Using archive footage and interviews with ex-soldiers, it records the underground newspapers and subversive coffee houses that sprung up round the US bases.
Winter Soldier, filmed in a hotel in Detroit in 1972, shows the harrowing testimony of US soldiers recently returned from Vietnam. Their raw accounts of the atrocities they committed show the brutality of US imperialism.
FTA (Fuck The Army) follows actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland presenting their anti-war show to US troops.
The film was screened for just a week in the US in 1972 before all prints “disappeared”. Thirty seven years later a copy of the film has been found. It is being released on DVD for the first time.
Winter Soldier Sir! No Sir! FTAReleased on DVD by Stoney Road Films
To order the films send an email to or phone 0035 316 678 841.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
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