Meeting reporters outside the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in San Diego, Long said he wished every morning that he could see his son running toward him and hear his voice.
"Instead I woke up to reveille and I saw high fences and razor wire," said Long, from Boise, Idaho. "This punishment was for having a moral opposition to the Iraq war."
Long enlisted in 2003 and was trained as a tank crewman but fled to Canada in 2005 when his unit was on the verge of deploying to Iraq. He said his views about the war had changed since his enlistment.
Long said that, like much of the American public, he began to doubt the wisdom of the war when the U.S. was unable to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Long said he was influenced by a quotation attributed to Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
That's from Tony Perry's "Army deserter tells of his time behind bars" (Los Angeles Times) and the article has a nice photo of Robin taken by Perry. US war resister Robin Long was released from the brig on Thursday and held a press conference Friday morning. John Wilken's "'I had to do what I felt was right,' Army deserter tells news conference" (San Diego Union-Tribune):
He worked in the supply room at Miramar and wrote several open letters calling the war “illegal and immoral.” Anti-war activists rallied around him on the Internet and at the base, where they held monthly vigils. Hundreds of people sent him letters from as far away as South Africa.
With time off for good behavior, he was released Thursday after 371 days in custody. At first, he said, he found freedom an overwhelming swirl of noise, crowds and color.
Now he's busy with plans to start school next month at a holistic institute in San Francisco. He hopes Renée, his common-law wife, and Océan, his son, can visit him there while he studies massage therapy. His goal is to return to Canada.
In today's New York Times, Sam Dagher's "G.I. Kills Iraqi Driver Who Failed To Stop, U.S. Military Says" appears on A5 of the national edition and recounts the death of 1 truckdriver who was shot dead north of Baghdad at two in the morning not a checkpoint, but where the US military had stopped due to a US vehicle breaking down. Dagher notes, "Major [Derrick] Cheng [US military spokesperson] did not immediately respond to questions about what kind of signal the soldiers used."
On the item below, one Granny had a real problem with being bitchy. We've deleted one word from this press release. If she wants to focus on Iraq, try focusing on it. The next time it happens, we won't delete a word, we just won't note them. There's enough sexism in the world already and if I were the Raging Grannies -- apparently now named the Peace Grannies -- if I were a bunch of Reds from Brooklyn who felt it was my obligation to tell the truth, I damn well wouldn't have provided cover for Barry O throughout 2008 which, for the record, Red Grannies did. Now they're red with blood on their hands. Good to know they now remember Iraq. NOW. In real time, in 2008, they were too busy showing how bitchy grannies could be as they worked over time to rip apart Hillary Clinton. Now since they aren't Democrats they never should have butted it in. But they have blood on their hands now -- whether they acknowledge it or not.
And being bitchy about Sarah Palin, doesn't wipe away the blood Grannies. You made yourselves a joke in 2008 -- who ever heard of a bunch of Communists drooling over a Democrat to begin with? (Though they were far from alone.) If they want to get their act and ass together in 2009, we'll note 'em. But one more piece of bitchy from the Grannies and we're done with them. By the way, note that the Red Cowards can get bitchy with Palin but their press release on the Iraq War? They never mention Barry, now do they? Apparently the Iraq War continues all on its own. Without any presidential directives. Or maybe Red Grannies are still just a bunch of fools and cowards? Here's their press release and does do a lot to indicate that elderly Communists in the United States have much bravery or much worth saying:
FOR RELEASE ANY TIME
CONTACT: Joan Wile - 917-441-0651
GRANNIES HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN;
WAR STILL NO. 1 ISSUE FOR PEACE GRANNIES
Two Vigil Protests Held Weekly
As most of America focuses on the death of Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin's [. . .] resignation interview and Gov. Sanford's marital straying, New York's peace grandmothers still concentrate on the all-important issue of war and peace. As they have since we invaded Iraq, the women and their supporters feel it is urgent that the troops come home from both Iraq and Afghanistan. "There has never been nor can ever be anything to be accomplished by these immoral wars other than death and destruction," said Barbara Walker, one of the peace grandmothers.
They have recently stepped up the momentum of their anti-war actions so that, in addition to maintaining their five-and-a-half plus years Wednesday Grandmothers Against the War vigil at Rockefeller Center, the sister group Granny Peace Brigade now holds a Friday "Costs of War" tableau protest at the Times Square recruitment center (re-named, laughably, the U.S. Military Career Center). In this event, the grannies have a choreographed Q & A routine displaying on posters the answers to such chanted questions as: How much does it cost to keep one soldier deployed in Iraq? How many Iraqi civilians killed? How many soldier suicides? How many starving Iraqi children?
The location at Times Square is very significant for the grannies, inasmuch as 18 of them were arrested and jailed there when they tried to enlist in October 2005 in order to replace America's grandchildren so they could live long lives like the grannies have been privileged to enjoy. They were on trial for 6 days in Manhattan's criminal court and were acquitted after their defense by civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel and his associate, Earl Ward. The story traveled around the world overnight and was instrumental in jump-starting the anti-war movement, which had been largely quiescent before then.
The media is invited to either or both of these events any time. The Rockefeller Center vigil is held religiously every week no matter what the weather. The recruitment center action may be affected by the weather, so it is advisable to call me if it is raining.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER VIGIL
PLACE: West side of 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts.
DAY AND TIME: Wednesday afternoons, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
TIMES SQUARE RECRUITING CENTER PROTEST
PLACE: Broadway and 43rd St.DAY AND TIME: Fridays, noon to 1:30 p.m.
For the record, we're not interested in any of Red Grannies sex fantasies about female politicians. We weren't in 2008 and we're not interested now. But for those who only know the Grannies from their easy p.r. and don't grasp "bitchy," bitchy is attempting to destroy Hillary via little 'skits' about her bedroom habits. Which honestly say more about Joan Wile's bedroom sadness than they could ever about Hillary Clinton.
And one correction. If they're not calling out Barack, we're not interested. It's not just their continued bitchy, we're not interested period. Elderly Communists better grow the hell up and find the courage to call out a sitting president continuing an illegal war or they better retire to Florida or where ever the elderly Brooklyn contingent of CPUSA goes.
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