Monday, July 12, 2010

Cindy Sheehan on trial in DC and PTSD

AP notes that Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan is set to appear in a DC Superior Court today for her peaceful actions March 20th. Mark Sashine (OpEdNews) writes of Cindy in "Thread Of Courage, Martha Corey, Stephen Lux, Cindy Sheehan:"

People like Cindy Sheehan are indispensable; they are the people for all seasons. They are the quite heroes, the locomotives of progress, the driving forces of goodness. In all times when they appear the people around them seem not worth the effort. We, the people prefer to take it easy and we do not move until "fried rooster kicks us in the ass' per the Russian saying. In many cases that is too late and then we bury our children and cry hypocritical tears out of our lying eyes. We are usually neither good, nor bad, something amorphous; we are mediocre even in our human functions: sex, love, hate, parenthood. We seem to deserve what is coming. But that is not true.

Along with her hearing, Cindy is in DC working with Peace of the Action and here's this week's DC schedule:


For this week, we will be targeting recruiting centers and defense contractors and lobbyists—and we will do some special “lobbying” of our own on Capitol Hill. (The POTA DC Trial has been inserted into this week because of the recent scheduling by the court.)

July 12th (Monday):
– Peace of the Action DC Trial
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 13th (Tuesday):
– Peace of the Action DC Trial
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

or (trial may be one day or two. so we have two options this day.)

– meet in Lafayette Park at 9am
– group to move together to Military Recruiting Station (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 14th (Wednesday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to move together to Military Recruiting Station (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 15th (Thursday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to move together to War Profiteer (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 16th (Friday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to flyer, bullhorn in LaFayette Park and in front of the White House
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet


July 17th (Saturday):
– POTA Retreat (location TBA 2pm to 5pm)

This will be an intense think tank session on the future of Peace of the Action and the future of anti-war protests in the U.S. With small numbers, where should our limited resources be focused? We have to dream up an entire movement based on very low numbers and very limited funds -- bring your creative solutions and a positive attitude that a better world is possible!

– POTA Dinner/Rally (possible picnic Lafayette Park)

Jon Gold will be at the hearing -- he's among those charged -- and will be taking part in the actions because he's part of Peace of the Action (and the "Jon" who does most of the posting to PotA). At OpEdNews, he writes:

Right now, our soldiers are fighting illegal, preemptive wars (Yes, I know it's better to call them occupations Ward Reilly), with no end in sight. They are being told that the people they are fighting are less than human. They are killing innocent people. People with families, and lives that they care about, JUST LIKE all of you. Our soldiers are committing suicide at an ASTOUNDING rate because of what they have had to endure, and what they are being told to do. Even a soldier that accepts what they're being told about who they are fighting eventually sees that what they are doing is wrong. It takes its toll (no, I have never served, but it's NOT rocket science). They should be brought home immediately. Illegal occupations under Bush, are JUST as illegal under Obama. C'mon "anti-war" movement. You're SUPPOSED to know better. You're SUPPOSED to be those people that DO NOT rely on the Television set to tell you what's going on, and instead, know to research, and pay attention to alternative sources of information. WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?!? It's Cindy Sheehan for crying out loud. The literal face of peace in the world that we live in. If she makes an effort to stop these illegal occupations, then you should do EVERYTHING within your power to be there, or support her as best as you can. You shouldn't only show up when the "mainstream media" is present.
Our civil liberties are disappearing, and let me tell you, after having been thrown out of Lafayette Park more times than I remember, I can honestly say that the right to "peaceably assemble" is GONE. The right to petition your Government for a "redress of grievances" is GONE. The secret service made sure to tell Cindy that she has a "stay away order" that states if she walks on the White House sidewalk, she will go to prison for 6 months. I have an identical "stay away order." It was depressing to see our friends "bullhorning" the White House, and not being able to participate. Our trial is this Monday, 7/12/2010

Also today, the VA issues their changes regarding PTSD. The Washington Post editorial board applauds the changes, "NEW REGULATIONS promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs and scheduled to take effect this week will make it easier for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to claim disability benefits. Under the old system, veterans were required to provide evidence of a specific traumatic incident or stressor -- an exploding bomb, an air raid -- that might have triggered their disorders. Now, they have to prove only that they served in a war zone where the conditions were consistent with the stress they claim." Mike Sager (San adds, "For years, proving PTSD has been a huge nightmare of red tape for many vets seeking help and treatment. Up until now, VA rules required documentation of specific precipitating events -- this bomb blast, that mortar attack, this firefight needed to be pinpointed as the cause of this frightening and debilitating illness. Unlike most debilitating war injuries, PTSD doesn't show."

Tina Moore (New York Daily News) heaps credit on Barack Obama for this which is a bit like crediting Katrina vanden Heuvel for the work Cindy Sheehan has done. Meaning that a large number, a large number, of Congressional members have worked on this issue, held hearings on it, pushed for changes and that's been going on for years now. Barack Obama, as a senator, did nothing on this issue.

The people who worked on this issue, the people who forced this issue, include US House Reps Bob Filner, John Hall, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Dr. Vic Snyder, Michael H. Michaud, Corrine Brown, Harry Teague, Debbie Halvorson, Ann Kirkpatrick, Jerry McNerney, Ciro D. Rodriguez, Patrick Murphy, and many others. Those are the ones who come to mind because those are the ones who worked the issue the hardest and did so in hearings that might or might not have been on that topic but they continued to shine a light on it. In terms of hearings, John Hall has conducted one after another on this and no one else can match him on that. In terms of the Senate, Daniel Akaka, Patty Murray, Jon Tester, Mark Begich, Roland Burris, Carl Levin and Evan Bayh have been among the leaders. That's just on the Democratic side. There have been Republicans leaders as well.

It's really strange to me that after all their work, a New York Daily News reporter is rushing to make it appear Barack rolled over one morning and made a snap decision. This is something Congress has worked and worked on and they have been the body to push this. It's a damn shame that after all the work they've done, they're not getting any of the credit. There are many, many ways that Congress mis-steps or outright fails the people. It's a shame when they worked so hard and devoted so much time on such an important issue and it finally gets results that they receive none of the credit.

And let's finish out on veterans issues by noting that a number of veterans are in rural areas and even those who are not do not necessarily have DSL. Many still operate under dial up due to (a) the area they live in, (b) their budgets and (c) their computer's operating platform (no, not everyone has packed away their Windows 98 computers). This became very evident when we did a survery of veteran community members and veterans readers. Bob Filner is Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. And at his own Congressional website, he is offering various commentaries -- including on veterans issues -- for DSL users and for dial-up, you select the one that serves you. Radio note, To The Point (airs on many NPR stations and streams online) explores the changes in the VA. Warren Olney hosts the program. TV notes, Angelina Jolie is a UN Goodwill Ambassador. She often speaks to the needs of refugees -- including in Iraq. Today she's on Good Morning America this morning and Nightline tonight -- both on ABC, check local listings. (I don't think she'll be discussing refugees but I've known Angelina for years and a friend at ABC News returned my call on another issue this morning and mentioned the programs so I'm doing the plug for those reasons.)

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Dorks of Summer" went up last night and we'll close with this from Barry Grey's "General who says 'It's fun to kill people' picked to oversee US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq" (WSWS):

Mattis received an official rebuke for his comments. They were, however, not an aberration. In his 2006 book Fiasco: The American military Adventure in Iraq, Thomas Ricks writes that one of the rules the Marine commander gave his troops to live by was, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
In a speech to Task Force Ripper during Desert Storm, he reportedly said, 'It's the mission of every Marine in the battalion to send one dead Iraqi home to Mama."
In announcing the appointment, Defense Secretary Robert Gates lauded Mattis as "one of our military’s outstanding combat leaders and strategic thinkers, bringing an essential mix of experience, judgment and perspective to this important post." He shrugged off the official rebuke against Mattis, saying the incident was five years old.
Obama's elevation of this fascistic killer to the overall command of two major wars, covert and overt military operations in Yemen and Somalia, and the planning of new wars evoked no protest either from prominent Democrats, the major media, or supposedly “left” liberal organizations such as the Nation magazine. On the other hand, it drew enthusiastic praise from the Wall Street Journal, which published an editorial Friday headlined “An Obama Home Run.” The Journal declared that “it is to Mr. Obama’s credit that he has chosen to draw a line from Iran to Afghanistan with the one-two punch of Petraeus and Mattis.”
It has not taken long to expose the gullibility of all those who hailed the sacking of McChrystal -- ostensibly because of disparaging remarks about Obama and other civilian officials made by the general and his aides in a Rolling Stone article—as a powerful affirmation of civilian control over the military. The World Socialist Web Site concluded within days of McChrystal's firing that the issue of civilian control was used to give a democratic gloss to a decision to intensify the military slaughter in Afghanistan.

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