Friday, July 02, 2010

2 US service members announced dead

Today the US military announced: "BAGHDAD – Two U.S. Soldiers have died in unrelated non-combat incidents. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member’s primary next of kin. The incidents are under investigation." If that's not the most s**t poor announcement USF/MNF has ever made, I don't know what is. When did the two die? Where did the two die? Why are those details not being supplied? Does anyone supervise these press releases?

Meanwhile Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) interviews the top US commander in Iraq, Gen Ray Odierno. Odierno's talking points have all been heard before. They're also incredibly facile and show a total lack of understanding with regards to terrorism. You kill one terrorist, you make many more. You don't combat terrorism with violence. You may be able to use violence as a stalling tactic, but in a longterm picture, violence and only violence just fuels further terrorism.

Which is why Odierno's pronouncements and the similar ones that Petraeus made before him ever year, never turn out to be true.

Odierno wants the world to know that al Qaeda in Mesopotamia faces financing hardships -- apparently, they'll be holding a telethon shortly? No, they don't face anything. You kill off one backer or arrest another, more sprout in their place. The reasons for terrorism are not addressed via violence. The reasons terrorism breeds are not addressed in violence.

Whether Odierno grasps that or not, I have no idea. But his statements are not encouraging to anyone thinking the US government might know how to 'combat' terrorism. Nor does this DoD press release.

Joan Wile is the founder of Grandmothers Against the War and has written the book Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace. She and others will be taking part in a peace celebration Sunday:

Public Reading of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,
the Declaration of Independence, and Yoko Ono Statement

by Joan Wile, author, "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press '08)

There will always be Independence Day parades, picnics, and fireworks, but there is only one Reading of the Constitution, to be held in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, this coming July 4, starting at noon. For the fourth year in a row, famed civil liberties attorney, Norman Siegel, and his friends will read portions of the U.S. Constitution aloud, interspersed with comments from Siegel and other constitutional authorities on the status of certain amendments today. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND!!

"The 4th of July is a special day for all Americans and New Yorkers. We look forward to reading out loud and discussing our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence to demonstrate that these unique principles and values should be remembered at this time," said Siegel.

Americans have seen many of our Constitutional rights trampled upon in recent years, and it is Siegel's hope that a review and analysis of the Bill of Rights and some of the important Constitution amendments will encourage people to fight to protect those rights guaranteed in the document which is the basis of our democracy.

Mr. Siegel will be accompanied, as in the three previous years of the Reading, by the granny contingent -- Grandmothers Against the War, the Raging Grannies, and the Granny Peace Brigade, which he defended in 2005 when they were on trial for attempting to enlist in the military at the Times Square recruiting center. It is no surprise that after a six-day trial in criminal court, they were all acquitted, helped by the expert defense of Mr. Siegel and his co-attorney, Earl Ward.

This unique commemoration began 42 years ago when Mr. Siegel started, alone, to read the Constitution to himself every July 4 wherever he was. In 2007, the grannies promoted the idea to him of making it an annual public event in the beautiful and tranquil oasis, Strawberry Fields, donated to New York City by Yoko Ono in memory of her husband, John Lennon.

Many people turned out for the event all three years, and thus began a beautiful and inspiring tradition, which, it is hoped, will continue on indefinitely as a regular Only in New York feature. It is thought that it may be not only a one-of-a-kind July 4 celebration in New York, but perhaps in the entire United States.

Yoko Ono has always been enthusiastic about the Reading and wrote a statement and poem to be read aloud each year in honor of the occasion. It will be read again this year.

DATE: July 4, 2010
TIME: 12 o'clock noon
PLACE: Strawberry Fields, Central Park -- enter park at W. 72nd St.., follow the sign down
a short path

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