Thursday, December 23, 2010

Washington Post busted for EUI

Veterans for Peace and Daniel Ellsberg should be this year's person of the year because of their courage and bravery to stand up for all of us who believe that "war is not the answer." Moreover in a time of economic recession, the war machine is bankrupting our country. As John Amidon, a Marine Corps veteran from Albany asked at the White House protest, "How is the war economy working for you?"
While unemployment rates hover near 10 percent, there is no doubt that the U.S. economy and quality of life is faltering. Worldwide we are 14th in education, 37th in the World Health Organization's ranking on medical systems, and 23rd in the U.N. Environmental Sustainability Index on being most livable and greenest benefits. There is one place we take the undeniable world lead. The US military spending accounts for a whopping 46.5 percent of world military spending--the next ten countries combined come in at only 20.7 percent.

The above is from Juana Bordas' "The peacemakers: Daniel Ellsberg and Veterans for Peace" (Washington Post) writing of the efforts in DC last Thursday. Participant Linda LeTendre (Daily Gazette) reports:

At the end of the rally, before the silent, solemn procession to the White House fence, in honor of those killed in Iraq and Afghan wars of lies and deceptions, the VFP played taps and folded an American flag that had been left behind at a recent funeral for the veteran of one of those wars. Two attendees in full dress uniform held and folded the flag. I had the image of all of the people who stood along the roads and bridges when the bodies of the two local men, Benjamin Osborn and David Miller, were returned to the Capital District. I thought if all of those people were here now or spoke out against war these two fine young men might still be with us.
I was blessed enough to be held in custody with one of those in uniform; a wonderful young man who had to move from his hometown in Georgia because no one understood why as a veteran he was against these wars. Even his family did not understand. (He remains in my prayers.)
Our plan was to attach ourselves to the White House fence until President Obama came out and talked to us or until we were arrested and dragged away. I don't have to tell you how it ended.
Mr. Ellsberg was one of 139 people arrested at that action.
Also arrested was Chris Hedges, who recently spoke at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. For two decades he was foreign correspondent for the New York Times and he writes a regular column for He is also a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School.

Meanwhile that must have been some office party that the editorial board of the Washington Post is still coming down fromjudging by "A good year in Iraq." First up, meet the new Iraqi Body Count -- an organization that provides cover for the war and allows supporters of the illegal war to point to it and insist/slur "Things aren't so bad!" Sure enough, the editorial board of the Post does just that noting the laughable "civilian deaths" count at iCasualities. As we noted -- long, long before we walked away from that crap ass website, they're not doing a civilian count. They're noting how many deaths Reuters reports. They ignore AP, they ignore McClatchy, they ignore all outlets but Reuters. Last time we pointed that out, they rushed to include a few other Western outlets for a day or two. So they'll probably pull that again this time. But they are such an undercount that they regularly have even less deaths then the Iraqi government reports each month. You only cite iCasualties if you're pro-war.

And you only hail 2010 as a "good year" in Iraq if you're EUI -- editorialzing under the influence. Over 9 months without a government. And it's still not got one. The Cabinet is not full. Nine months where nothing got down. The 2007 benchmarks have never, ever been reached -- and those were benchmarks they were supposed to achieve (ideally) in one year. 2010 was further proof that Iraq's a failed state -- a point the editorial board will agree with me on only if the theft-of-Iraqi-oil legislation doesn't come to pass. At which point, forget violence and death counts, they will take to computer to insist that things are awful in Iraq.

This is the year Iraq set the world record for longest time between an election and the formation of a government. And this is hailed as "a good year in Iraq"? Who spiked the egg nog?

We'll close with this from David Swanson's "Be The Peace You Want To See On Earth" (War Is A Crime):

When President Barack Obama joined the ranks of Henry Kissinger and the other gentle souls who have received Nobel Peace Prizes, he did something that I don't think anyone else had previously done in a Peace Prize acceptance speech. He argued for war:

"There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified. I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: 'Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.'…But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by [King's and Gandhi's] examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history…. So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace."

But, you know, I've never found any opponent of war who didn't believe there was evil in the world. After all, we oppose war because it is evil. Did Martin Luther King, Jr., stand idle in the face of threats? Are you serious? Did King oppose protecting and defending people? He worked for that very goal! Obama claims that his only choices are war or nothing. But the reason people know the names Gandhi (who was never given a Nobel Peace Prize) and King is that they suggested other options and proved that those other approaches could work. This fundamental disagreement cannot be smoothed over. Either war is the only option or it is not -- in which case we must consider the alternatives.


David Swanson is author of "War Is A Lie," from which this is excerpted and modified.


David Swanson is the author of "War Is A Lie"

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