Sunday, June 27, 2010

And the war drags on . . .

To some of us, the problem is not so much that Obama has proven to be a dismal failure --because we know that he has been a huge success to the ruling class and corporations -- but that partisan politics always overshadows common sense and true peace. We lost a lot of time giving Obama a “chance,” and thousands have lost their lives and their ways of life.
I was outraged when, after three days in office, Obama authorized a drone strike into Northern Pakistan that killed dozens of civilians, but I was excoriated for being outraged. I was devastated when he announced an increase in troops (3 times so far) to Afghanistan, and attacked for not caring about Afghan women (the ones our Empire are "protecting" by killing them and their children). I was laughed out of town when I was infuriated that Obama had declared himself "Judge, jury and executioner" of American citizens. People who formerly supported me told me to "shut up and go away, you have had your 15 minutes of fame."
I was deeply hurt and lonely when everyone from celebrities to my friends in the peace-trenches abandoned me for someone who did not even have a principled campaign platform. However, I could not abandon my principles to support someone who did not conform to them.

The above is from Cindy Sheehan's "Where Have all the Peaceniks Gone? by Cindy Sheehan" (Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box) and for ways to action, you can refer to her Peace Action organization. And, in Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan's story, you can find a lot of illuminating details. (By story, I'm referring to her public life.) For example, Nancy Pelosi campaigned on ending the illegal war. She was all over the media promising that if the Democrats got one house in Congress, the Iraq War was over. And, in those 2006 mid-term elections, the American people gave the Democratic Party control of, not one, but both houses of Congress. And the illegal war did not end. Do you remember what happened next?

Cindy Sheehan announced she was challenging Pelosi. Do you remember what happened? Do you remember the hate poured on Cindy for this action. And this is when people 'cared' about ending the Iraq War -- supposedly cared. Nancy Pelosi made a promise, she did not keep it. And so, in the 2008 elections, Cindy ran against her. And instead of people saying, "You know she's right? Good for Cindy," we got attacks on Cindy.

Katha Pollitt, of The Nation and cyber stalking, wanted the world to know that she admired Cindy, she really, really did, but this just wasn't the right thing for Cindy to do. Furthermore, Katha wanted the world to know (in that badly written column -- the bulk of her columns are badly written), Cindy was risking her legacy and what she stood for.

What did Cindy stand for?

She stood for peace. I know that. I think you know that. I think we've all seen Cindy give more than her share. We've seen her rip herself apart before a crowd to convey just how criminal and tragic this illegal war is.

And we know that because we've heard speak in person if we're lucky or we've heard her through the media but where had we not heard it?

Didn't plan on giving a pop quiz tonight but here we are.

Where did we not hear of Cindy's work and efforts?

One place was . . . Katha Pollitt's columns.

Katha Pollitt -- alleged feminist -- supposedly writes about women. Strange isn't it, that over two years after Cindy Sheehan was on the nation scence, Katha was finally writing about her and then only to tell her not to run against Pelosi?

Strange isn't it that Katha wanted to claim to admire Cindy and to be concerned about the legacy Cindy had created -- but that alleged admiration for Cindy had never resulted in Katha writing about her before? Nor had Katha been impressed with Cindy's legacy and message since she never wrote about those.

Alleged feminist Katha never was overly concerned about the Iraq War.

Alleged feminist Katha should have been all over the story of Abeer -- the 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was gang-raped by US soldiers while Steven D. Green killed her mother, her father and her baby sister in the next room. Then Green joined the gang-rape and then he shot Abeer in the head, shot her dead. The soldiers attempted to set her corpse on fire. That not working, they attempted to make it appear that 'insurgents' had attacked the family.

Where was Katha?

After months and months of hectoring, Katha finally found time to write one sentence about Abeer. She had plenty of time to play bitchy and useless. She just never had time to write about the toll of the illegal war. If Katha had been writing during Vietnam, she'd have been covering Tricia Nixon's wardrobe. That's how useless trashy, fat Katha is. (And I'm calling her fat and she's a fat ass with rolly poly arms. Katha, your friends will not again convince to remove "fat ass" from an entry here just because it hurts your little feelings. Don't have them contact me, you are a fat ass. You're a War Hawk and when I call you that it doesn't bother you. But when I note your chins, your girth and your fat ass, you cry. Good. Cry me a river, Katha. And after you're done, you'll still be a fat ass.)

What was done to Abeer was horrifying, it was a War Crime and Katha didn't have time for it. After a year of silence, trashy Katha was shamed into writing one sentence -- a single sentence -- and she never covered it again. Not during the court-martials, not during the trial in Kentucky. She was too busy being the Charlotte Rae den mother to a bunch of push-up-bra, 'do me' 'feminists.' And she's imparted on them that the key to 'feminist' 'writing' is to be bitchy and catty on superficial topics that really don't ever impact most people's lives. Caitleen Kaitlyn of The Altantic or The New Republic or whatever just wrote an essay and Katha's going to carve her up. She's not really going to offer why Caitleen Kaitlyn is wrong (though CK is wrong) because she's going to be too focused on coming up with a good, bitchy one liner. Then she's going to feel so proud of herself and all she (wrongly) thinks she accomplished.

Can you think of anything more shameful than being a left or 'left' writer in the last ten years, being a columnist and having written basically zilch on the Iraq War? Can you think of anything more shameful? (I'll allow that Katha's stalking her ex-boyfriend was shameful but I really think her silence on the Iraq War was more shameful. In fact, her cyber stalking is actually pathetic and demonstrates that she is not a feminist.)

You can do that with any number of people. Use Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan as your reference point and then pick through to see what left and 'left' voices bothered to note her before they suddenly turned on her. I think you'll find a pattern that emerges quickly: Those who really didn't bother to take on the illegal war? They're the first to attack Cindy from the 'left' while pretending to admire her previous work.

Those are the whores who keep the illegal war going. Call them fat, call them smelly, call them whatever upsets them because they sure weren't touched by an illegal war, sure didn't give a damn about the Iraqi people, so gift them with some pain on behalf of all the victims of the illegal war.

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 4407. Tonight? 4408. But don't worry, it wasn't anyone Katha Pollitt knew so it didn't upset her little world.

In violence reported today . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing wounded one person, another claimed the life of 1 police officer (who was moonlighting as a taxi driver at the time), a third wounded passport officer Capt Hasen and his wife, and, dropping back to Friday, a Mosul bombing near Nebi Younis Mosque which wounded four people.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 people were shot dead in Mosul, drops back to Saturday to note a Mosul home invasion in which 1 police officer was shot dead. Reuters adds a Mosul real estate agency was "stormed" with the owner (whose son was a police officer) killed.

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. And he says "big thanks" to Kat for her review of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Mojo and her review of Sarah McLachlan's Laws of Illusion last Sunday that let him not feel guilty about taking the day off. Pru notes "Europe’s workers reject being made to carry the burden" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

Bosses and governments across Europe are attempting to drive through policies to make everyone work longer and get paid less.

But they are facing resistance from the workers’ movement. As the struggle rises, so does the discussion of how best to fight back. Here we look at key debates in three countries.

Italy—are strikes the way to win?

Millions of public and private sector workers were to strike across Italy on Friday of this week.

The CGIL, the country’s biggest union, has called public sector workers out on a one-day strike.

Private sector workers were to join them for four hours.

The workers are striking against a brutal programme of cuts from Silvio Berlusconi’s right wing government.

This will slash £20 billion from public spending.

The CGIL’s slogan is, “Everything on our shoulders? NO.”

There is deep disaffection with the government’s support for the rich and rampant corruption.

But the mainstream and radical left have failed to channel these frustrations.

Some union leaders are also holding back the fight. The other main unions, the CSIL and the UIL, have offered little criticism of the cuts and are refusing to strike alongside the CGIL.

And even Guglielmo Epifani, the CGIL leader, made a speech at a union-led demonstration in Rome last month praising other European leaders for cutting “fairly”.

This will be news to workers across the continent!

Elena Francessco, a school teacher, told Socialist Worker, “I think we have to do more.

“It is good that we came out for one day in March but just to repeat that now is not enough.

“People have to fight harder before it is too late. This country is in pieces.”

France—how to stop pension cuts?

French workers in all the main union federations were set to hold a day of strikes and demonstrations on Thursday of this week over attacks on pensions.

Organisers said that some 50 separate marches would take place across France.

Right wing president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced a rise in the minimum retirement age to 62. And to get a full state pension workers will have to stay in employment until they are 67.

Workers’ contributions are also rising.

Thursday’s protests follow another set of strikes and demonstrations at the end of May.

Activists are now pressing for a speedy follow-up.

“We should not wait until the middle or end of September for the next action,” a spokesperson for the left wing Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste told Socialist Worker.

“We don’t just need a successful day of protests. We need the sense of a series of actions.

“In some parts of France activists have ‘Mondays in the sun’, where they meet and hold actions each Monday throughout the summer.

“We need more of those sort of initiatives to achieve a general strike—extended action that freezes the economy until we win.”

Greece—after the general strikes

Greece is heading for its fifth one day general strike this year on Tuesday of next week.

The Labour-style Pasok government is pushing through huge public spending cuts and attacks on workers’ living standards.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund bail-out fund of 110 billion euros is dependent on hard austerity policies.

But workers’ resistance is increasing the pressure on the government.

“Next week’s general strike will be against the pension reform bill, which is beginning to go through parliament,” said Panos Garganas, the editor of the Workers Solidarity newspaper in Greece.

“The unions are planning to hold another general strike when the bill is heard before the full parliament.

“There is intense speculation that a number of Pasok MPs will not vote for the bill, which has been delayed.

“There is even some speculation that the government will fall. It is a month since the last general strike, but it has not been quiet. Transport workers in Athens have held a number of strikes, while doctors and teachers have protested and taken other action.

“Rail workers were to hold a three-day national stoppage this week against privatisation, with two days set for next week.

“The ‘stabilisation programme’ is cutting the deficit but making the recession worse, according the latest figures.

“Some 10 billion euros of the bail-out money is going to go to the banks in an attempt to stabilise them.

“Many on the left are arguing that we need more action like that of the transport worker, and a 48-hour general strike when the pension reform bill is debated.

“There is also a debate on the left about the need to not pay the debt, nationalise the banks and have an anti-capitalist break from the EU.”

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

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