Monday, January 31, 2011

Troy Yocum

Not only is Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum willingly embarking on this 7,000 mile journey, he is now doing it with a foot infection.
"It has gotten really infected," said Yocum as he made his way through San Marcos Saturday afternoon. "So, the infection has kind of taken over my foot. It is making me walk slower."
When Yocum removes his shoes and socks, you can see how the infection is spreading across his toes. The pain the infection is causing him can be seen when he winces and grimaces with every step he takes.

The above is from Jacqueline Ingles' KXAN report
on Troy Yocum's journey through San Marcos. The link is video and text. Troy plans to take one week off due to the infection.


(Troy Yocum photo taken by John Crosby)

Hike for our Heroes is a non-profit started by Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum who is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. He began the walk last April with the plan of 7,000 miles. There are about 3,000 miles left to go.

Meanwhile Jessica James (KBTX) reports on the send-off ceremony for some members of the 3rd Brigade First Calvary at Fort Hood who are headed to Iraq.

As the wars continue, so does the ego mania of Julian Assange who is not and never was a journalist. In Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark's "An Inside Look at Difficult Negotiaions with Julian Assange," Der Spiegel portrays the source's ego mania in a lengthy article and the most disturbing paragraph for Assange (and his groupies) would probably be this one where, having decided the New York Times is no longer 'in the loop,' Assange is confronting the Guardian and Der Spiegel in a meeting to find out if the Times has copies of the latest cables and how they got hold of them:

The mood was tense. "Does the New York Times have a copy?" Assange wanted to know. He repeated the question, and it sliced through the room, which by now was very still. "And if so, where did it get a copy?" Assange mentioned the written agreement he had signed with the Guardian in the summer, which stipulated that WikiLeaks was merely providing the Guardian with the embassy cables for its review, and that publication or duplication was only permissible with the consent of WikiLeaks. Assange felt that a breach of contract had taken place, which is why he had brought along his attorneys.

Check out the ego mania of Assange and how ridiculous he sounds insisting that the US government cables (which deserved to see the light of day, no question) must not be shared witout his consent and if they were shared with another paper this would be a violation of the written agreement? There's not a big difference between Assange's attacks and postures and those of the US State Dept. And, as the paragraph demonstrates, WikiLeaks was no longer WikiLeaks. It was about making Julian Assange a celebrity. That's what's destroyed the organization and why a number of people have left it and are setting up a new version which will adhere to the beliefs WikiLeaks once espoused. Note this paragraph and, Mascolo is Georg Mascolo, editor-in-chief of the Guardian.

Assange was using terms like "theft" and "criminal activities," against which he said he would take legal action, because the copy was, as he claimed, "illegal." At that moment, he was apparently unaware of the dual meaning of what he had just said. Mascolo replied: "There are nothing but illegal copies of this material."

That's a book excerpt. The New York Times has their own book due out. It's a shame that, in real time, a number of outlets couldn't address this issue. That includes CNN which has a longer story of their Assange encounters beyong "We didn't wish to sign a binding agreement with WikiLeaks."

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio (airs this morning on WBAI at 9:00 am EST and around the country throughout the week), Michael S. Smith, Heidi Boghosian and Michael Ratner speak with Flint Taylor about torture in Chicago prisons, Bill Goodman about Haiti and Sarah Hogarth and James Cockcroft about Honduras.

Finally, Historians Against the War offer this reply to the State of the Union Address:

The peace movement is critical of Mr. Obama’s desire to maintain a significant military presence in Iraq, despite his earlier advocacy of complete withdrawal of our fighting forces from that country. We need to bring a complete end to our unjust intervention in Iraq. Although 60 percent of the U.S. public now believes that the war in Afghanistan is “not worth fighting,” the administration’s December 2010 review of Afghanistan policy led to dubious claims of successes, which the president repeated in his State of the Union address, and to a decision to continue the war for four more years. The choice to continue a policy which the government’s own National Intelligence Estimate makes clear is failing is a grave error. How many more people must die before the forces in conflict sit around a table to negotiate an end to an unwinnable war? With the government making use of private corporations to carry out its military enterprise and warfare, military expenditures have continued to grow under Mr. Obama, reaching over one trillion dollars in 2010 alone. How can the government meet the needs of the people of the United States when military expenditures are at such a level?
Peace forces are also troubled by the administration’s human rights record, by its failure to close the Guantánamo prison as promised, by the opening of military trials of detainees in defiance of international human rights standards, by the many deaths of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan in attacks that amount to war crimes, by continuing interventions against left-wing governments in Latin America, by the recent FBI raids against peace activists, and by the U.S.’s failure to pressure Israel to end its denial of Palestinian rights. Although peace and justice activists support the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” we do not agree that democratic reform should be used to promote further militarization of our society as Mr. Obama did with his call to universities to open their doors to the ROTC and military recruiters. Our university graduates are needed in fields that meet people’s needs and that develop the country’s infrastructure rather than in staffing an overextended empire.
The human cost to the civilians in societies where we are intervening and to our own and other combatants is tragic and unsustainable. Continuing down the path of spending almost as much on the military as all other countries put together is bankrupting the country, failing to achieve the control our government seeks, and making us less safe.

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