Friday, July 04, 2008

Iraq snapshot

Friday, July 4, 2008.  Chaos and violence continue (if little reported), .Barack can't eat his waffles but he can waffle, Ralph Nader takes his presidential campaign to the people and more.


Starting with war resistance.  Brett Clarkson and Jason Buckland (Toronto Sun) report US war resister Corey Glass, scheduled to be deported from Canada July 10th, is believing nothing "until he receives a DD 214 -- a form from the US department of defence that confirms he has been discharged from active duty service -- he can still be charged when he returns to the U.S."  Lindsey Weibe (Winnipeg Free Press) reports that supports of US war resisters staged a sit-in at the "Pembina Highway office of Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge yesterday".



 In the US, Courage to Resist is planning "July 9th actions at Canadian Consulates nationwide:"

Join a vigil and delegation to a Canadian consulate near you on Wednesday, July 9th to support war resisters! On the eve of Corey Glass' possible deportation, we will demand, "Dear Canada: Abide by the June 3rd resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!" More details and cities to be confirmed soon!

Washington DC - Time TBA - 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW (map). Sponsored by Veterans for Peace. Info: TBA
San Francisco - Noon to 1pm - 580 California St (map). Sponsored by Courage to Resist. Info: 510-488-3559; courage(at)
Seattle - Time TBA - 1501 4th Ave (map). Sponsored by Project Safe Haven. Info: 206-499-1220; projectsafehaven(at)
Dallas - Time TBA - 750 North St Paul St (map). Sponsored by North Texas for Justice and Peace. Info: 214-718-6362; hftomlinson(at)
New York City - Noon to 1pm - 1251 Avenue of the Americas (map). Sponsored by War Resisters' League. Info: 212-228-0450; wrl(at)
Philadelphia - Time TBA - 1650 Market St (map). Sponsored by Payday Network. Info: 215-848-1120; payday(at)
Minneapolis - Time TBA - 701 Fourth Ave S (map). Info: TBA
Los Angeles - Noon to 1pm - 550 South Hope St (map). Sponsored by Progressive Democrats LA. Info: pdlavote(at)
Help organize a vigil at one of these other Canadian Consulates: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Anchorage, Houston, Raleigh, Phoenix, or San Diego. Please contact Courage to Resist at 510-488-3559.
Veterans for Peace issued a joint call with Courage to Resist and Project Safe Haven for July 9th vigils at Canadian Consulates: "Dear Canada: Do Not Deport U.S. War Resisters!" Contact us if you can help organize a vigil, or can otherwise get involved. Locations of the 22 Canadian Consulates in the United States.
Recently on June 3rd the Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion to officially welcome war resisters! It now appears, however, that the Conservative government may disregard the motion.
Iraq combat veteran turned courageous war resister, 25-year-old Sgt. Corey Glass of the Indiana National Guard is still scheduled to be deported July 10th.
We will ask that the Canadian government respect the democratic decision of Parliament, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans by immediately implementing the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other current and future war resisters.
Join Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven at Canadian Consulates across the United States (Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles confirmed--more to be announced).
We mailed and delivered over 10,000 of the original letters to Canadian officials. Please sign the new letter, "Dear Canada: Abide by resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!" 


To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").  Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote.  Now they've started a new letter you can use online hereThe War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).


It's Fourth of July weekend.  Reuters made it through it without filing a single "Factbox" report of the violence.  Not everyone had the day off . . .




Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Baghdad roadside bombings resulting in four people being wounded.  And dropping back to Thursday, MNF announced today, "Two local nationals were killed and one was wounded when an explosion occurred near the Yarmouk Hospital in west Baghdad at approximately 8:55 p.m., July 3."




Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 Iraqi civilian shot dead and two more wounded by US forces as they were driving on a highway and that they shot dead the a six-year-old girl, wounded four of her brother and her mother as they stormed into the home of Hasen Atiyah al-Iqabi in Baquba.




Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.


Turning to the US presidential race.  Barack Obama?  Arab News notes, "For Obama, who recently changed his positions on campaign finance and a wiretapping law, the suggestion that he was also changing course on a central premise of his candidacy holds particular peril. While Obama has long said he would consult commanders in the field when withdrawing troops, that point might have been lost on many Democratic primary voters who supported his call to end the war."  What's going on?  A bit of reality on War Hawk Barack. Suzanne Goldenberg (Guardian of London) puts it this way, ".Barack Obama was yesterday fending off charges from right and left that he had abandoned the core premise of his candidacy - the withdrawal of all US combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office - in an attempt to attract voters from the political centre." Suzanne's a little out of it.  So were Katrina vanden Heuvel and Arianna Huffington on ABC's This Week last Sunday.  Withdrawal in 16 months?  That's 'so January 2008.'  Barack promised withdrawal of all (combat) troops within 10 months in a speech in Houston, Texas.  Always one to carry water for Barack, Tom Hayden immediately penned "End the War in 2009" (which popped up online at The Nation, Feb. 20th and elsewhere a bit later). Hayden: "In his victory speech in Texas Tuesday, Barack Obama promised to end the Iraq war in 2009, a new commitment that parallels recent opinion pieces in The Nation.  Prior to his Houston remarks, Obama's previous position favored an American combat troop withdrawal over a sixteen-to-eighteen-month timeframe.  He has been less specific on the number and mission of any advisors he would elave behind."  (The Texas primary was in March.  Barack was in Texas campaigning, for any more confused than usual by Tom-Tom's bad-bad writing.)  Texas community members saw the 10 month 'promise' pushed in advertising as well as on the campaign trail.  Those were his words (and Tom-Tom notes 'words matter') so let's all drop the nonsense that Barack's plan was 16 months (or at least leave the lying to Katrina who's become so very good at it).  Goldenberg's uninformed, ignorant or lying -- take your pick.  In her piece (dated tomorrow), she traces the uproar to Thursday when Barack said he might 'refine' his Iraq 'plan.'  If that's when the uproar started, is Arianna Huffington psychic?  Arianna was calling him out for 'refining' on Iraq Sunday on This Week. More water carrying from the allegedly 'independent' Guardian of London (which never wrote about the Downing Street Memos because 'independence' did not include informing people that Tony Blair lied England into an illegal war -- no time for 'truth-telling'  while Blair was in office at any rate.)  CNN reports that presumed GOP presidential candidate John McCain and the RNC are calling Barack a "flip-flopper" and they quote Barack's 'clarification' where Barack lies and says he has always said 16 months.  No, Barack, you went to ten months in February.  AP reports he celebrated the 4th of July in Butte, Montana (Kansas, he's done with you, he got what he needed) eating a hot dog. Tom Baldwin (Times of London) observes, "Grassroots activists whose energy and donations have helped to propel Barack Obama towards the White House are suddenly choking on the bitter pill of disillusion.

In less than a month since clinching the Democratic nomination, he has performed a series of policy pirouettes to assuage concerns about his candidacy among a wider and more conservative electorate." Geoff Elliott (The Australian) points out, "Barack Obama has started a dramtic reversal of the policies that helped him defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination, softening hardlines stances on the Iraq war and troop withdrawals.

Campaigning in North Dakota, Senator Obama said that while the US could not sustain a long-term presence in Iraq, his trip to the Gulf nation this month might prompt him to "refine my policies" on the war." John Bentley (CBS News) quotes Brian Rogers of the McCain campaign stating, "Today, Barack Obama reversed that position, proving once again his words do not matter. He has now adopted John McCain's position that we cannot risk the progress we have made in Iraq by beginning to withdraw our troops immediately without concern for conditions on the ground. Now that Barack Obama has changed course and proven his past positions to be just empty words, we would like to congratulate him on taking John McCain's principled stand on this critical national security issue. If he had visited Iraq sooner or actually had a one-on-one meeting with Gen. Petraeus, he would have changed his position long ago."  Jonathan Weisman (Washington Post) terms it Barack exploring "the possibility of slowing a promised, gradual withdrawal from Iraq". NPR has two audio reports here. How bad it is?  A friend just called to laugh at ____'s latest nonsense.  In place of a now killed feature for Third, we may address ____'s latest nonsense and his plethora of lies throughout the campaign.  Poor ____, it's even harder to airbrush out reality today than it was following his expulsion from the Red Family commune in his "smash the state" days (when he fancied himself Chris Jones in Wild In The Street).


 Ralph Nader is opposed to the illegal war and has always been opposed to it.  He called it before it started and throughout.  He has not waffled like Saint Barack.  Yesterday he spoke at the University of Hawaii-Manou. Craig Gima (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports


In a news conference before the speech, Nader said Hawaii voters are being marginalized by the major candidates.

"When political candidates do not campaign in a state, voter turnout suffers," Nader said, adding that he has campaigned in all 50 states in the last two elections.

Nader said he supports the Akaka Bill and native Hawaiian rights, and said Hawaii should be a model for the rest of the country in renewable energy.

"This is the only place in the world where every form of renewable energy occurs," he said.

Nader also said that if elected he would push for universal health care, an increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour and the repeal of what he called the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.


Derrick DePledge (Honolulu Advertiser) notes that no presidential candidate has campaigned in Hawaii since Richard Nixon in 1960, notes Nader is already on the ballot in Hawaii for the presidential election and quotes him explaining, ""I didn't start running for president until the doors started closing in Washington against consumer, environmental, labor and other citizen groups. So when you don't have a chance to have a chance to improve your country on Capitol Hill and before the regulatory agencies, you either close up shop and go to Monterey and watch the whales or you go into the electoral arena."  Third Party Watch covers it here. Ahead of the apperance KHNL, AP and KITV reported on it. Thursday the Reno Gazette Journal reported Nader's campaign had turned in their signatures to be on the ballot in Nevada.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the campaign collected 12,000 signatures -- far more than needed to qualify. KRNV reports that if the Democrats attempt any of the manuevers they did in 2004, the Nader campaign will fight it.


The Nader Team notes:



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Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


The Nader Team