Thursday, August 04, 2011

I Hate The War

Someone on the left who was called out in the last 14 days e-mailed the public account today. I'm not offended in the least by the e-mail but I'm going to respond here.

I'm not "always right" and certainly don't think I am. I am wrong more times than could ever be counted. And when I'm wrong, I have no problem admitting it because I've had tons of practice being wrong.

With regards to having "saw through" Barack Obama, I've written about this repeatedly as has Elaine. When Barack was running for the US Senate is when friends began saying that here was this anti-war candidate and we must support him, we must, we must. We attended the big money fundraiser (in Elaine's home base) and were prepared to max out with our donations.

But what happened was we got our face time with Barack and we didn't get the manual that said: Fawning over Barack is required at all times.

Elaine immediately raised the issue of the Iraq War. Barack responded that the US was now in Iraq so blah, blah, blah. Point being, he wasn't going to support withdrawal or advocate for cutting off war funds. I know that because after his blah, blah, blah, that was the question I asked. (June 7, 2008 is one example of Elaine writing about it, it's not the only example or even the first time -- it's the one that stands out to me because of the significance of June 7th for personal reasons.) We immediately left and, no, we didn't write checks. And we were clear about why we were bailing. He was a fake and he was a fraud.

All he had was a speech before the start of the war. That was it. All this time later, that's especially appalling. I've spent eight years going around the country speaking out against this war, Elaine's turned her entire practice into pro bono work for veterans. And Barack gave one little speech?

He's a fake, he's a fraud.

Now if that hadn't taken place, maybe we would have been taken in in 2008? I don't know. But if you read what I wrote then, you'll see me stating repeatedly that Barack needs to get honest. He never did.

The SOFA? I know contract law. It has been in my personal interest to know contract law, especially to know how to break a contract. I knew what the SOFA said and what it meant for that reason.

In the last nearly three years at Third, I've noted that if it weren't for The Common Ills, I might not be calling out Barack. I might just keep my mouth shut. I don't know. My best guess is that were it not for The Common Ills and the Iraq War, I probably would have voted for him -- prior to 2008, every presidential election was a Democratic vote for me -- if only out of tribal beliefs. ("My side's better than your side!") And after he was sworn in, I probably would have left the country and focused on water issues in Latin America for political activism. (Prior to the start of the Iraq War, I was surrounded with treaties and verdicts on water issues to try to understand that issue. That was the issue I wanted to bone up on and understand.) And for fun, I would've spent a lot of time in Europe.

That's why my fire isn't aimed at this voter or that celebrity. I could be among the silent very easily. But gas bags in whatever form (professional, whatever) are supposed to offer analysis and, ideally, truth. Those people (which includes the e-mailer) need to be called out.

Independent media spent the Bush era lecturing big media about accountability and owning mistakes and blah, bla, blah. Fine. I believe in all of those things. But my belief is not that Big Media has to do practice that while Panhandle Media can do whatever it wants.

There are no ethics in Panhandle Media. Can you imagine if ABC had done 2 hours of post-debate coverage (Hillary and Barack debating) and every 'expert' brought on the show had endorsed John McCain but ABC 'forgot' to inform viewers of that? That's exactly what KPFA did but all the 'experts' had endorsed Barack. Those two hours were supposed to have featured "your phone calls." One phone call in two hours, at the end of the show?

How did that happen?

It happened because Larry Bensky didn't want to address the big issue to KPFA listeners. He wouldn't let them on air. But they had KPFA blog and they managed to make it clear that they were outraged by something. And because they kept blogging about it, Larry started griping at them on air telling them that the blog -- about the debate -- was only there for them to post questions. No thoughts, no opinions, just questions.

That was your first damn clue that Barack was going to have to be carried across the finish line. (The issue KPFA listeners kept raising was Barack's use of homophobia. Larry refused to allow those opinions on air and tried to squelch them on the blog.)

I don't exist in a vacuum. I am answerable to the community. This site and my own writing has changed tremendously in all the years and that's a reflection of what the community shaped. You rarely get "in fairness" which was my trademark phrase once up a time.

I could not be writing here each day and answerable to the community and taking their input and processing it and been silent. Equally true, I could not have paid attention to the Iraq War -- the ongoing Iraq War -- and been silent.

The community forced me to speak out strongly (via demands and support) and I lacked the ability to fake it.

So these people who are paid to offer 'analysis' and yet can't speak out, can't tell the truth? I have no sympathy for them. They all, all the little whores of 'independent' media, want to pretend that they worship I.F. Stone.

If I.F. Stone had been around in 2008, who would he have suggested people vote for? Most likely, John McCain. He had similar strategy he espoused in his newsletter, about how a reactionary candidate could further radicalize the country to the left. But they didn't want to tell you that. However, they did want to tell you who to vote for.

In 2008, a station manager went on WBAI and felt he could tell listeners who they should vote for when all he was supposed to be doing was a time and weather break.

Norman Solomon, who wants you to believe that he has the ethics for Congress, refused to disclose that he was a delegate for Barack Obama when doing radio appearances. Now he gets paid for his written column that a few newspapers carry. He made sure to put a disclosure in his columns. But he kept going on the radio and pretending he was an independent analyst -- when he was a pledged delegate for Barack. And the hosts presenting him knew he was a pledged delegate. If George Will had done that, it be time to mount a letter writing campaign. But Norman got away with it. Almost. Again, KPFA listeners know how to throw their weight around. And they demanded he be identified as what he was. So in July, months after, it was finally revealed on air that Norman was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama.

What he did goes against everything he espouses. He tried to fool listeners, he tried to trick them. Now he was announcing early in the year in his written column that he was a pledged delegate. Why? Because he didn't want to lose those newspapers. He knew he would. But when it wouldn't hurt his pocket book, when the only abuse involved was his abuse of trust, he was happy to pretend.

He wants to fill Lynn Woolsey's seat in Congress.

He's never taken accountability for betraying every ethic he espoused and he wants support on his bid for Congress?

Does that honestly sound like someone who needs to be in Congress?

This is not a 'sour grapes' issue. There are many people who endorsed Barack (including some very good friends of mine) that I've never had a problem with. (A number of friends were defended here by me in 2008 for their endorsement of Barack.) But the liars and the whores?

Melissa Harris Lacewell Perry -- Melissa LieFace -- did a little radio show, Rev Jesse Jackson's. And on that show there was a pig named Amy Goodman. LieFace had already spent over six months working on Barack's campaign including going out to California in 2007. LieFace was on Jesse's show to espouse her love for Barack.

LieFace then shows up on Democracy Now! (see Ava and my "Democracy Sometimes?") and Amy presents her as an independent analyst. A professor who just happened to be in New Hampshire. (LieFace is no longer a professor at a prestigious university. While The Nation doesn't care about ethics, big universities do. And, tip, when there's a threat of organized denial of donations, nontenured professors get hurried out the door real quick when they violate ethical policies. She's at a lesser university now. A smaller pond.) She praised Barack as the second coming of MLK and she ignored Hillary but had words for others. What a lousy analyst! Hillary won New Hampshire!

But the following week LieFace was back on Democracy Now! and this time she was revealing that she had been campaigning for Barack. It came out as she snarled and threatened Gloria Steinem.

It was a wonderful performance. And many found it convincing. I believe Ava and I were the only ones to pointedly question Melissa's attack on White woman and claim that she was 'sitting here in all my Blackness.' Melissa's bi-racial or mixed. Melissa has a White parent. Considering she presented herself as the authority that Barack was Black, that's a detail she probably should have been forthcoming with. But when your whole life is Diana Ross & the Supremes "I'm Living In Shame," maybe honesty's just too hard?

It wasn't bad enough that Melissa pulled that stunt on Goody's show, she later showed up on PBS' Charlie Rose show and 'forgot' to reveal she was working for Barack's campign.

Again, she's no longer with Princeton. The trash has been taken to the curb and the container is labeled "The Nation magazine." I could continue on her astro-turf campaigns including the one against Tavis Smiley, but we'll move on due to time.

Those are the things that people need to take accountability for. We're not talking, "oops, I believed in the wrong candidate." We're talking ethical transgressions.

Do we want to talk about the War Whores? Tom Hayden, Laura Flanders, Danny Schechter. Danny made a movie on the Iraq War. Some people found it cheesy (the New York Times among them). I actually thought it was Danny's finest documentary. But he's not interested in Iraq now that Bush is out of office. Hmm. If I spent months working on a documentary, I'd assume the issue meant something to me. If I was an idiot and made myself part of the story in the documentary (why a lot of people saw it as a vanity exercise on Danny's part), I'd be damn sure to stay on the Iraq War issue so that my detractors didn't have ammo. Tom Hayden wanted you to know that Barack would end the Iraq War. When, Tom, when?

Tom and Laura wanted you to know that they would hold Barack's feet to the fire.

When, Tom and Laura, when?

All anyone expected was for people to walk it the way they talked it. That's not an unreasonable expectation. Those who didn't need to take accountability. The Iraq War did not end. A six-year-old child was among the dead today. Just today. How many more Iraqis have to be killed? And who will cry for them? Who will mourn their loss in the United States?

When those questions can be answered, we may have a functioning independent press. That should address all the issues you raised in your e-mail.

("Indpendent" refers to "alternative press," "Beggar Media," "Panhandle Media." Someone always gets confused when we use "independent" and assumes we're referring to all of the American press because we do have a First Amendment in this country. It's used here to refer Pacifica Radio, The Nation, The Progressive, etc.)

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4477. Tonight it is [PDF format warning] still 4477.

The e-mail address for this site is