Saturday, May 17, 2008

Other Items

To hear retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez explain it, the mistakes of the Iraq war that happened while he was in command there weren't his fault. Not Abu Ghraib, not the birth of the insurgency, not the decision to let rebel cleric Muqtada al Sadr survive.
Sanchez was a soldier, and according to him, a general's job is to give advice. What the civilian leaders decide after that is out of a general's hands.
"It's our responsibility to provide the best judgment we can," Sanchez said in an interview with McClatchy. "But when those decisions are made, if they are not illegal or immoral, civilian control of the military dictates that we comply."
His explanation is part of an ongoing debate within the military, triggered by the Iraq quagmire: What is the role of a soldier?

The above is from Nancy A. Youssef's "Sanchez on Iraq errors: Don't blame me, I was just a general" (McClatchy Newspapers). As she notes, he's on a book tour as well as an attempt to refurbish his image. The argument he's making is it's all Donald Rumsfeld's fault. And enjoy that because it is doubtful Rumsfeld will play sole fall guy. Unlike Paul Bremer, Rumsfeld's yet to discount false charges. (Both Rumsfeld and Bremer bear and share responsibility for the illegal war and the abuses. They are not the sole ones to blame.) But don't be surprised if, after the election (when the illegal war will still be dragging on), Rumsfeld doesn't decide to air a few realities that will apportion some of the deserved blame both under him and above him. That's not a defense of Donald Rumsfeld and shouldn't be read as one. It is noting that Bremer and Rumsfeld have been made the fall guys for everything that War Hawks will admit to having gone wrong. In some cases, it is valid. In other cases, the blame goes much higher. Sanchez takes no blame for his own actions -- denies blame, denies responsibility -- and thinks he can pass of pinning the blame largely on Rumsfeld (with some apportioned to Bremer) and call that 'accountability.'

Lewis notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Getting Out the Vote in Kentucky and Oregon" (

Today in Kentucky: Hillary hosts a community picnic and tours the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY. She also hosts a "Get Out The Vote" rally in Frankfort and attends the 29th Annual MainStrasse Village Maifest in Convington.
"What's Right" in OR: "The Clinton Campaign launched a new ad in Oregon [yesterday], emphasizing that while the pundits in Washington focus on who’s up and who’s down, Hillary Clinton will focus on what’s right for Oregon families."
Read more and watch here.
On The Air In KY: "Hillary vows to take on the special interests and be a partner for working families in two new ads airing in Kentucky today. With families living paycheck to paycheck, Hillary vows to stand up for the middle class and provide solutions to our toughest challenges in the 30-second spot, entitled 'Partner.' In the second 30-second spot, entitled 'Right Track,' Hillary promises to close corporate tax loopholes and put America back on the right track."
Read more. Watch "Partner" and watch "Right Track."
Surprise Call in Salem, OR: As Hillary thanked volunteers in her Salem, OR campaign office, volunteer Terry Green was on the phone with "a voter who was in doubt…[Terry said:] 'Maybe you'd like to talk to Hillary. She's just three feet away’…Clinton eagerly accepted the phone and spent about a minute speaking with the unidentified voter. ‘It was electrifying, the warmth she manifested...Sen. Clinton didn't talk, she listened.'"
Read more.
Impressing Undecided Voters in OR: "Jennifer Hildrich, 50, of Portland said she was torn between ‘the outsider talking about change and a new day’ and ‘the savvy political insight of someone who will get something done.’ Hildrich said Clinton impressed her with her detailed plans for addressing major issues. Then Clinton closed the deal for Hildrich when she implored voters to consider who would be the most effective president on day one. Judee Jacoby, 64, of Damascus said she too showed up at the town hall meeting on the fence over whether to back Obama or Clinton. By meeting's end, she was firmly in Clinton's camp…'I just feel she is very personable and warm, someone an average American like me can relate to.'"
Read more.
Kentucky Veterans Tour Continues: The Kentucky Veterans For Hillary continued on its 50-day, 20-city tour of the Bluegrass state, joined today by the Former Adjutant General of Indiana National Guard Major General George A. Buskirk (Ret.) and Admiral David Stone (Ret.)
On Tap: Hillary will continue to fight hard for every vote in Kentucky, and will hold “Get Out The Vote” rallies in Bowling Green and Mayfield on Sunday.

Since yesterday morning, the following community websites have updated.

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally's The Daily Jot;
Trina's Trina's Kitchen;
Ruth's Ruth's Report;

The e-mail address for this site is

Iraq not safe for anyone

"Many people have been killed going to meetings in Iraq." It was an offhand remark made by a US military advisor in a casual conversation about virtual work -- its benefits, its pitfalls, its resisters, its committed participants. Until that moment, it had never before crossed my mind that traveling to a face-to-face meeting could be lethal.
Turns out Army commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken measures to reduce travel. "One of the first things I did here was set up a collaborative network to offset the fact that we couldn't travel easily or safely," Lieutenant General Jim Dubik explained in an email to me. "Needless to say, doing so contributed hugely to the coordination of our work."
Dubik is Commanding General of Multinational Security Transition-Iraq. Dubik's work follows a decade-long history of Web 2.0 and other media experimentation in the US Army (see The Social General).

The above is from Jessica Lipnack's "When face time is a matter of life and death" (The Industry Standard) and worth noting because when generals are admitting they can't travel freely or 'safely,' it's admitting what a failure the illegal war is.

Turning to e-mails, regarding the Iraq Veterans Against the War's testimony to Congress on Thursday, yes, ___, it was important enough to be the focus of Thursday and Friday's snapshots. And it will be mentioned in Monday's as well. If you don't see it as important, we're not trying to grow the community and you're welcome to listen in on a private conversation but non-members do not steer this community. In regards to another visitor wanting her favorite member of Congress noted, that member won't be noted. That entire section won't be noted. The person needs to learn to speak, needs to note crib from Barbara Boxer without crediting her (we noted Boxer's remarks back in October) and needs to grasp that a Congressional hearing is not the place to campaign for their presidential candidate. That Congressional member is a joke and we will not waste our time -- at any site -- publishing the remarks by that person.

If you missed Iraq Veterans Against the War testifying to Congress Thursday, you can click here for KPFA's archived broadcast anchored by Aaron Glantz (The War Comes Home) and Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None).

In March, Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Allison and Glantz anchoring. They also anchored a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd.

Turning to Brandon who guessed first. Yes, you can always spot a closeted Communist of a certain age by their refusal to give credit to the gay rights movement. Brandon found the article I was referencing (without naming) and found the man (yes, it was a man) listing the big movements of the 'sixities' and failing to give credit to the LBGT movement which was more a part of the 'sixties' than some movements mentioned. Closeted Communists will not support gay rights. They did not support or embrace them in the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s. They deliberately refused to acknowledge them. The fear was that including gays and lesbians might make them appear less than 'normal.' It's a shameful part of the Communist Party's history and it is why, in the entertainment industry, they repeatedly attempted to embrace some unions while ignoring others.

With the exception of noting that the man went off a female radio host who was correct in her facts (the man didn't know what he was talking about and obviously hadn't read the book he chose to bring up), I haven't weighed in on him. He doesn't inject himself into the Democratic primary. But, for the record, I didn't like him the 'sixties,' Elaine and I found him very divisive. He was very rude to several vets who went open about their sexuality after serving in Vietnam and he was always using trickery for publicity. (That is why, although he's noted, he's not noted all the time. He still uses trickery today and anything that doesn't pass the smell test from or about him does not get noted.)

My opinion has always been he's a nasty, little man. But, note, we've highlighted him before and will again. (Should he attempt to self-present as a Democrat he would not be highlighted again.) As back then, he does some good work today but he also does a lot of damage.

The California case (noted on Friday) is a landmark decision. There will be others. But we emphasized here, I made that choice, because of the fact that those in the political closet would not do so and a number of them are in charge of 'Democratic' outlets. Why didn't homophobia used by Barack in South Carolina get called out by our brave 'independent' media? It goes to the party many actually belong to and that party's refusal to address gay issues. You might look at a certain radio station in an area seen by the country as gay and you might think, "Gee, it is strange that in all their hours of programming, they don't offer one program on gay issues." The program director's a closeted Communist and don't hold your breath that gay issues will ever be judged worthy under that person's 'leadership.' Individual programmers can (and have) raised the issues on their own shows but no show covers it and that's the reason why. It should be obvious that when you have time for non-stop music, for programs covering disabilities, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, crackpot medicine, etc. but have no time for even a once a week, half-hour show on gay and lesbian issues, something's going on. That's what's going on. And it always amazes me that the city's large gay community has not staged a massive protest over the refusal of the station to program for the LGBT community. While calling itself 'community radio' and pretending to serve the area. It's laughable. The feminist movement refused to draw those lines to be 'acceptable' and it's why the likes of Betsy Reed and others have such disdain for feminism.

Before anyone e-mails to say, "Do you know how many LGBTs are working for that station!" Yes, I do know. I know that some are furious that LGBT programming proposals are regularly shot down. And I know that some are Party members who've instilled that ugly history of the Communist Party and are perfectly willing to go along with being rendered second-class citizens. There will be no change -- short of massive protests -- while the program director is in charge. Equally trues is that's the reason Amy Goodman refused to explore the landmark verdict on Democracy Now! Friday. She's a "movement child" and will never admit that her own party has ever done any wrong. She will also go out of her way to ignore LGBT issues because she instilled that belief that it's not 'normal' and that it's 'damaging' to the Party. So once to twice a year, the LGBT community might get a segment. Otherwise, she'll ignore the stories or reduce them, as she did Friday, to a headline. The New York Times offered three articles in Friday's paper. If you're confused why Goody, who so often takes her lead from that paper, refused to do a segment on it, there is your answer. She'll offer a personality once or twice a year while repeatedly refusing to explore the issues. "We're not about 'sound-byte' radio and don't play cutesty on the issue," Amy Goodman said some such nonsense while begging for more money. (And applauding WBAI for playing Democracy Now in full "all the other stations" didn't. That's because all the other stations waste two hours each Monday through Friday on broadcasting that show while WBAI only offers it once. Once is more than enough.) She plays 'cutesy' all the time. NPR covers same-sex issues, they are called 'news stories' and 'public affairs discussion.' The only one who finds the topic too 'icky' for the program is Goody herself. (Who was reportedly pitching to Fire Island for a change over the airwaves Friday because it was pointed out to her that she never lists them while noting all the areas that can receive WBAI.)

"We're all in this together," Goody likes to lie but somehow "all" never includes the LGBT community or feminists. Again, "movment child." Propagandist, not journalist. And WBAI's happy to allow her to babble on for up twelve minutes into the next program and then wants to pretend, "Look how much money she raises!" Other programmers have to stick to time guidelines. Never Goody. She rode into WBAI like she owned it and continues to do so. That's the failure on WBAI's part and most clear on Thursday when they refused to broadcast all of the hearing, let Goody babble on and on, and then had a 'comedy bit' as an introduction to the hearing in progress. Yeah, that's the way to transition into a hearing in progress on the illegal war, jokes.

And to be clear, those not in the political closet, and part of the Communist Party today, are not afraid to raise LGBT issues. But that was part of the reason for the massive splintering. (That and the refusal to allow 'leadership' to live in political closets.) But to deny the very real homophobia that is a history of the supposedly progressive Communist Party of the last century is to lie. You get a lot of those lies with those writing books on McCarthyism who refuse to note that the first victims were LGBTs serving in the government and that the term targeted was "subversive". After the LGBTs were purged over driven under ground, the targeting of those suspected of being Communists began.

The e-mail address for this site is

aaron glantz

Friday, May 16, 2008

Iraq snapshot

Friday, May 16, 2008.  Chaos and violence continue, an important DVD is released next week, what's up with Chalabi now, and more.
Starting with war resistance as Iraq Veterans Against the War noted yesterday (text, video)
Good afternoon.  My name is Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, and I served in the Army as a Photojournalist until being honorable discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines.  As an Army journalist whose job it was to collect and filter servicemember's stories, I heard many stomach-churning testimonies of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq.  For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes, but never again will I allow fear to silence me.  Never again will I fail to stand.  In February, I received a letter from the Army ordering my return to active duty, for the purpose of mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength, clarity and resolve to declare to the military and the world that this Soldier will not be deploying to Iraq.  This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes.  Furthermore, deployment in support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being, but in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army if they so wish to pursue them.  I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq.
IVAW includes a link to an online donations form that people can select "legal fund" from and notes that is the address to express support to Matthis Chiroux.  (That's thankyoumathhis at ). 
As for those war resisters who are in Canada need support as well as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes 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).
As noted yesterday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, chaired by Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and featured veterans offering testimony Thursday -- Iraq Veterans Against the War.  The hearing was broadcast on CSPAN and KPFA (click here for KPFA's archived broadcast) and at Aaron Glantz' website The War Comes Home.  Earlier (in March)  Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz anchoring Pacifica's live coverage.  (It was also broadcast at the IVAW site.)  Allison and Glantz also hosted a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd.  We'll focus on the second half of the first panel (which should get us through the second hour) and it was during this portion, after the veterans had offered their testimonies, that co-chair Maxine Waters first spoke and we'll pick up with this section. 
US House Rep Maxine Waters: I have often wondered as I have read accounts of killings in Iraq of civilians, where they are described to us in the newspaper as 'some attack' or 'some killings' that have been executed because 'suspected terrorists' or 'suspected this' or suspected 'that'.  And when I see women and children and civilians be killed, I often wonder who are those people?  No one will ever be able to know what the true story is and they have nobody to stand up for them to say that they are innocent, that they are guilty of on crime.  They just get killed and they die and that's it.  And I wonder often times about those families and those children that we see getting killed in ways that you described here this morning. Mr. Goldsmith I want you to know I am so moved by your testimony that you had the courage to come here today and share with us what you have shared and say "This is how I thought a long time ago but that's not who I am today."  That is very powerful, that is very moving.  And I had to be contained up here by my leader  . . . I just wanted to stand up and applaud  and she said "Just be cool because we want to honor everybody in a special way."
US House Rep Waters was directing her last statements to Kristofer Goldsmith who testified last on the panel.  Goldsmith presentation included visual slides.  Juxtaposed were photos of him in uniform after completing basic training and him as a young child dressed up in a military uniform.  He discussed specifically what his motivation was prior to deployment: to kill Iraqis, to kill Muslims.  He spoke of the transformation he'd gone through -- which was what Waters was noting.  He spoke of Sadr City (which will pick up at a later time) and, with time running out, noted US Senator and presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain's opposition to the GI Bill US Senator Jim Webb is proposing.  He said it wouldn't apply to him because he was he dishonorably discharged for attempting suicide so he wouldn't receive the benefit (due to the classification of the discharge) but it was sorely needed.  Goldsmith would also note how telling his story was theraputic and how there are those who aren't able to tell their own stories: "It is very hard for us to find the courage to come up here and I would like to thank you again for hearing us."
US House Rep Maxin Waters: I don't like to make committments that I'm not sure I can follow or carry out but you're going to get your GI Bill, you're going to go to college.
Kristofer Goldsmith: Thank you.  
US House Rep Maxine Waters: I want to tell you here and today that I'm on it, I'm focused. I don't know what I have to do but I'm going to get it.  You're going to get it. I'm going to make that committment to you today. And whoever's standing in our collective way because, I know,  that my collegues here share in my feelings about this. They [those opposed such as McCain] better get out of the way because we're going to get it. You have to have it.  You must have it.  And I'm so glad that you did not take you life, that it did not work.  And I want you to know that no matter the disappointment, no matter the lies, no matter the experiences, there's some people here [in Congress] who believe in you, some people who are going to continue to fight to bring our soldiers home and some people here will stand up and fight for you no matter what the obstacles are.  And I just wish you all would just defy this leader [Lynn Woolsey] and give him and everybody a big round of applause.
Rep Waters was referring to Rep Woolsey's explanation that this was a hearing and they would need to hold their applause.  Also speaking was US House Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee who expressed her gratitude towards Kelly Dougherty for using her "anguish" to motivate greater change.  Dougherty, who introduced the witnesses of the first panel, is an Iraq War veteran and the executive director of IVAW, the organization she co-founded.  Jackson-Lee cited the testimonies and the need to end the illegal war.
US House Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee: And I feel a sense of urgency.  I will leave the mike for a moment to go to the [House] floor to take some of the points you've made to offer them in my opposition to the war and what will be my vote to against any more funding for the war in Iraq. We made a personal committment that we will never vote for another cent.  Sometimes we're blindsided.  Sometimes they sneak it in or sneak it around. We try to be Sherlock Holmes and to find it and make sure we do not cast our vote.  What I think I heard from Mr. Goldsmith was that there was this stop-loss policy of Secretary [Donald] Rumsfeld and I think that what I've heard from my constituents that a general discharge -- in fact I think we heard that yesterday, about a general discharge  -- now blocks everyone from their education benefits.  So let me join with Congresswoman Waters to say this has to be fixed. Morphed.  Refined.  Distinguished.  So that individuals who have for causes, for reasons, for tragedies, found themselves under this particular discharge do not have to suffer anymore.  Let me also very quickly say that you are creating a movement.  It pains me to hear that you are representing those who are shouting in the darkness.  So maybe as we have had and I know that you have gathered but those hundreds of thousands need to hear our voice.  Let us welcome them to Washington.  Let's bring 100,000 of your members to Washington and let's call the roll on members of Congress to come and tell them why this war continues.  I think frankly that should be the challenge today.
Along with explaining what needs to happen to pressure Congress into action (those weren't pie-in-the-sky words, she was offering serious advice), Rep Jackson Lee noted that the Act of Congress by which the illegal war was 'justified' has expired and referenced her own bill.  The title of that bill is Military Success in Iraq and Diplomatic Surge for National and Political Reconciliation in Iraq Act of 2007.  It notes that the Military Force Against iraq Resolution has expired and calls for the "Withdrawal of Armed Forces and Contractor Security Forces From Iraq -- Not later than October 1, 2007 or 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, whichever shall occur first".  It was referred to two House committees (Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Affairs) in February of last year.  It remains in committee.  The bill itself and Rep Jackson Lee's remarks at the hearing Thursday argues that US service members have done all that was asked of them and that it is time to withdrawal ("You have done everything we asked you to, Saddam Hussein is not there . . .").  
As the first panel wound down, Rep Lynn Woolsey asked the witnesses to share how they dealt with their own grief.  Jason Lemieux explained that after he returned from Iraq he sought PTSD counseling in Florida which was ended, not by his choice, when the counselor transferred/rotated. Today his focus is on attempting "to right to write as much as I can the wrongs I have done".  Scott Ewing spoke of his work with IVAW and his academic work of providing him with a sense of direction and purpose. Kristofer  Goldsmith explained his own history which included self-medicating with alcohol early on.  He noted that seeking help at the VA requires waiting and waiting and waiting some more due to the long, long backup at the VA.  In February, things improved for him when he was contacted by IVAW and began sharing his story with others.  Geoffrey Millard noted that he puts on his black (IVAW) t-shirt every day: "I get to wake up every morning, put on that black t-shirt and work to bring the troops home, take care of them when they get home and make sure that Iraqis receive reperations.  That is what keeps me going, gets my head off the pillow, every morning".
Rep Woolsey thanked them but noted that in terms of obligations and debt, "Moral debt belongs up here [Congress].  We thank you, you did the job you were hired to do . . . and you did it the best you could.  The moral debt belongs to us."
Had the hearings received any significant media attention, that was the moment that should have been played.  Woolsey was against the Iraq War before it started and has repeatedly called for an end and taken action to end it.  But there was a member of Congress stating very clearly that the government held the moral debt.  (Think of the Richard Clarke moment at the 9-11 hearings.) It was needed and it's to her credit (and her strength) that she made the statement.
Turning to Iraq, Nancy A. Youssef, Leila Fadel and Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) report that CIA asset Ahmad Chalabi is apparently again on the outs with the US and they quote a "senior military official" saying: "That's it.  He's out." Thug, would be dictator and journalist-go-to-guy Chalabi has been repeatedly counted out and always surfaced again. This time he is supposedly on the outs with puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki and supposedly to close to Iran (the latter charges have repeatedly dogged Chalabi in the last few years) but he denies he's any closer to the Iranian government than is al-Maliki.
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Baghdad roadside bombings that claimed 1 life and left five wounded and a Falluja car bombing that claimed the life of "1 baby, six months old" and left seven people (including a two-month-old baby) wounded.
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Sadr City hospital personnel have seen 2 deaths and eleven people wounded as a result of the ongoing fighting in the US-led assault on Sadr City and, outside Falluja, 1 police officer shot and in critical condition.
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 1 in Sirwan Lake.
On a different topic.  Every year many, many movies are released.  Most will never speak to anyone.  A few will have a quality (a performance, a director's gaze, etc.) that will make it worthy of at least one viewing.  Some should be firmly embraced because they are that important, that well done and that necessary. Molly Bingham and Steve Connors' amazing documentary Meeting Resistance, available on DVD Tuesday (May 20th) is one that deserves to be embraced and has been in limited theartical showings.  These are excerpts from the press release:
"Meeting Resistance," is about the people and make-up of the Iraqi resistance. Since it was released in theaters last fall, we have shown the film in more than 80 U.S. cities, as well as to several key military audiences. We've made more than 200 appearances with the film to talk about our understanding of the conflict in Iraq and take questions from the audience. When the lights come up, we are greeted with the kind of silence associated with people trying to reconcile what they thought they knew with what they now understand. We've come to realize that our film is delivering a paradigm shift about the Iraq conflict--one audience at a time.   

There are two wars in Iraq. "Meeting Resistance" explores the first war, the popularly supported resistance to occupation, which contains the majority of the organized violence that is happening in Iraq. Using primary source material, critical analysis and cross-referencing, we crafted a film that tells the story of that conflict. The second war is the civil war--an internal political struggle being waged over competing visions of Iraq's future, of which the country's sectarian violence is a symptom, not a cause.  

"Meeting Resistance" is a journalistic documentary, not an advocacy or polemic film. Although we did not set out to challenge the narrative of the Iraq conflict--the one that has been constructed in Washington--our reporting eventually led us to do so.        

U.S. military's briefings in the Green Zone during 2003 and 2004 told journalists that the violence against American troops came from "dead-enders" and "Ba'athi die-hards," from common criminals, religious extremists, foreign fighters, and al-Qaeda--characterized as "fringe elements". While some might fit some of these descriptions, the vast majority of those involved are citizens from the core of Iraqi society.          

In time, we came to see the U.S. military's misnaming of the "enemy" as an intentional act--as a key part of their objective to control the "information battle space." They aspire to control the perception of the enemy's identity, and through the news media persuade the American public that these "fringe elements" of Iraqi society are the only ones who oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq. A military push (or surge) to isolate and eliminate them would accomplish a perceived "victory."        

The National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq delivered to the White House in October 2003 was leaked in February 2006 by Robert Hutchings, the 2003-2005 chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Speaking in interviews, Hutchings revealed that the report said that it is composed of nationalists fighting for their country with deep roots in the society and that the U.S. military, if it remains in Iraq, will be fighting a counterinsurgency war for years to come, a conclusion that echoed what we had found in our on-the-ground reporting for "Meeting Resistance."          

If the predominant narrative about the Iraq conflict was truly based in reality, it would involve pointing out that the majority of Iraqis want a withdrawal of all foreign forces, and that the Department of Defense's quarterly reports to Congress, on average, show that from April 2004 to December 2007, 74 % of significant attacks initiated by Iraqis targeted U.S.-led coalition forces.           

Americans would also find out that half of registered marriages in Baghdad in 2002 were mixed marriages between Sunni and Shia, Kurd and Arab, Christian and Muslim, and many of the tribes and clans and families are, in fact, mixed between Sunni and Shia. Also, nearly all of the Arab Iraqis polled oppose dividing the country along ethnic and sectarian lines, and the vast majority demands that Iraq have a strong central government, not the decentralized powerlessness imposed by the American-influenced constitution.          

It is not that these points have never been reported, but the booming voice of "disinformation"--from which the Pentagon wants the American public to view the conflict--drowns much of this information out. Ultimately, our film has helped reveal the success of the Pentagon's strategy to obscure the real nature of the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, too many in the news media have been willing to allow that to happen.          

Throughout the world's history, there have been occupations--and resistance to those occupations. Why then do Americans have such a difficult time grasping that our troops are unwelcome by the vast majority of the Iraqi population? And why has reporting by our mainstream news media generally failed to recognize and draw our attention to this central, core aspect of the violence?           

Steve Connors and Molly Bingham are directors of "Meeting Resistance." Their film is distributed by First Run Features and available on DVD May 20th.       
Changing topics again. Independent journalist, photo-journalist and artist David Bacon examines and explores the issues of immigrant rights frequently.  At the Americas Program,
Bacon notes the massive rallies, marches and demonstrations for immigration rights in 2006 and 2007: "Yet today the federal government is taking actions that make holding a job a criminal act. Some states and local communities, seeing a green light from the Department of Homeland Security, are passing measures that go even further. These actions need a reality check."  That should have been noted last Friday but time ran out.  There's another piece I'd like to note but can't find.  We'll grab it Friday and remember at Bacon's site, you have text and photos.
Turning to the US presidential race, Hillary Clinton is asking for your help: "Tell the Democratic National Committee to count the votes of Florida and Michigan."  As Texas Darlin ( notes, Hillary's not losing and the calls of "Get out!" are coming about for just that fact.  Jeralyn (TalkLeft) reports on a conference call with Hillary: "The number one message: It's the math not the map. In addition to the popular vote, the electoral map shows her with a cushion and Obama with a deficit. She has won 311 electoral votes to Obama's 217. While a few of her's like Texas and Oklahoma will be a challenge in November, many of his states will be: Alaska, Idaho, Utah, to name a few."

Other Items

Congressional Democrats began to put into practice their philosophy of asking the wealthy to shoulder more of the cost of government programs on Thursday as the House approved an expansive new veterans education benefit that would be paid for by a tax on affluent Americans.
Some Republicans joined Democrats in approving the aid, for veterans who enlisted after the Sept. 11 attacks, with a cost estimated at $52 billion over 10 years.
A vote to provide an additional $163 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan went down in a surprise defeat, at least temporarily, because of objections from members of both parties.
In pushing the tax plan, Democrats are banking on the idea that most Americans will have no quarrel with requiring those on the highest economic rung to pay for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the equivalent of a free four-year college education at a public university.
The proposal is the most striking example so far of a Democratic refrain being heard increasingly in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail: Americans with significant financial resources need to contribute more to efforts to help those less prosperous.

The above is from Carl Hulse and the New York Times' meltdown for officialdom entitled "House Approves Tax on Rich to Aid G.I.'s" and, note, the 'poor' folks the paper's defending make a minimum of $500,000 a year individually or one million a year as a couple. The paper finds it "striking." Which is why that's the narrative the paper goes with. There were any number of ways to present the story. You could, for example, note the participants (on both sides of the aisle) who prevented the supplemental. You could talk about what did pass. The Times screams and cries for its intended readership. By contrast, Halimah Abdullah's "Money for Fort Benning hospital in Iraq supplemental bill" (McClatchy Newspapers) offers:

Tucked into the hotly debated Iraq war emergency spending bill is roughly $1 billion for four of the nation's aging military health facilities -- places that some Democratic House leaders have said do not meet current standards for medical care and need immediate attention in order to prevent the types of problems that faced Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
Fort Benning, Ga., Camp LeJune, N.C., Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Fort Riley, Kan. -- bases in states with members on the powerful House Appropriations Committee -- will receive a boost in funding if the domestic spending portion of the Iraq war supplemental is adopted. Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning is slated to receive $350 million to rebuild.
The money would provide long awaited relief for places like Fort Benning as the Columbus area braces for the addition thousands of additional personnel because of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions and the return from Iraq of Benning's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

There were many things 'the paper of record' could have covered. But they don't do it that way, do they?

Brandon's already guessed the answer to the quiz in today's gina & krista round-robin. We'll discuss it more tomorrow morning; however, let's note what 'those types' won't (despite claiming to be 'independent' media) because it's never suited their political party. (Which, no, isn't the Democratic Party.) So, if they have to cover it, they'll farm it out to writers you've never heard of. From Howard Mintz and Denis C. Theriault's "California Supreme Court: State constitution gives gays the right to marry" (San Jose Mercury News):

For four years, the gay rights movement has clung to the hope that the California Supreme Court would reverse its flagging political and legal fortunes across the country and legalize same-sex marriage.
By one vote, the strategy worked. And gay couples across California can get up this morning and plan their own June weddings for the first time in state history. California then joins Massachusetts as the only states where gay couples can marry.
In a ruling that is certain to inflame the social, political and moral debate over gay marriage, a divided state Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees on Thursday struck down California laws that restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. The 4-3 ruling, written by Chief Justice Ronald George, found that it is unconstitutional to deprive gays and lesbians of the equal right to walk down the aisle with a government-issued marriage license in hand.

A monumental moment and one that will continued to be ignored by a number in Panhandle Media. They expose themselves, no one else has to. But sticking with Real Media, from Greg Moran's "Court overturns ban on same-sex marriage" (San Diego Union-Tribune):

The state Supreme Court decision striking down California laws banning same-sex marriage was an epic legal victory for gay and lesbian civil rights advocates that capped a four-year legal battle.
But that triumph might be short-lived, as opponents attacked the ruling immediately after it was released yesterday morning and readied for a potential November vote on a constitutional amendment that could make the court's historic decision moot.
In a 4-3 ruling, the state's highest court said two state laws, one of which was approved by voters, are unconstitutional discrimination because they limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

On the news, the New York Times offers three pieces and none is worthy of highlighting. The worst offender is Adam Nagourney who gets to do "NEWS ANALYSIS" which really means: "Stand back America, Ad Nags is about to lie again!" He is the co-creator of the myth of 'values' voters in the 2004 election and he misread (intentionally) polling data to create that nonsense. Around the same time, for those who have forgotten, he was announcing Slimey Simon Rosenberg's coronation of the DNC chair repeatedly. That never happened, of course, but that's the sort of 'reporting' Nagourney provides. His nonsense today is entitled "Marriage Ruling Vaults Issue Back to Stage In Presidential Bids" and, if you pay attention, you'll be able to tell who's bandwagon he's on (he's always on the most centrist in any contest, so naturally, that's Barack Obama). John McCain and Hillary Clinton (or, for that matter, Ralph Nader) aren't quoted. Barack's campaign gets the quote in the lengthy, lie-riddled 'analysis.' He opens with a lie:

Gay marriage is an issue on which the three major presidential candidates -- John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton -- are pretty much in agreement. All oppose it, while saying at the same time that same-sex couples should generally be entitled to the legal protections afforded married couples. All think the decision should be left to the states.


The only 'mixed' debate (various issues) that addressed same-sex marriage aired on CNN. It took place at The Citadel with no objections. Certainly not from James E. Clyburn who thinks his association with the insitutition is a source of pride. Most would assume an institution created to enforce slavery (The Citadel was created to prevent "runaway slaves"). It was appalling that the Democrats got away with holding a debate at an institution created to enforce and continue slavery. But that didn't get called out, now did it? But in that debate, the issue of same-sex marriage was raised. And, no Adam Nagourney, Barack did not say it should be left up to the states. If he had, Ava and I wouldn't have had to point out how insane Barack sounded in that debate (John Edwards came off only slightly better):

Loving v. Virginia was a breakthrough, a legal landmark, for the United States. In a debate, Barack Obama was asked, "Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?" Obama mouthed a lot of nonsense about 'equality' and then went on to state it's a decision for different denominations to make. There should have been a gasp heard round the country.

Barack is a lawyer, a trained legal mind. Though we find it difficult to believe he's never studied Loving v. Virginia (as difficult to believe as Clarence Thomas Senate testimony that he'd never thought about Roe v. Wade), we'll allow that maybe it fell into some gap in his education. But as a trained legal mind, he does grasp court billing. "v. Virginia" means versus state. Not versus a denomination.

In that historic case, the Supreme Court of the United States found the laws of the state of Virginia to be unconstitutional and illegal. That finding meant that all states could no longer refuse to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. Obama's weak-ass response should have been considered weak ass. (John Edwards also embarrassed himself in that debate noting he was against "gay marriage" and "I do not" support it leading us to shout back at the screen, "Gee, John, we weren't aware you were being inundated with proposals!") But it was also dishonest. A law student, forget the former president of the Harvard Law Review, grasps that Loving v. Virginia was not about whether "denominations" could make a decision, it was about what the government could do. To provide perspective, imagine the issue was illegal search and seizure on the part of the government (forbidden by the Constitution) and Obama had responded, "I think it's up to denominations." The government was discriminating and the Supreme Court stood up for the rights of all. A trained legal mind should grasp that. If Obama didn't, he's either not much of a student or he's a really bad liar.

Obama denies a lot. For instance, that debate, YouTube/CNN, took place at South Carolina's Citadel and we wonder how many are aware that the institution's history, it's very creation, resulted from the desire to enforce slavery? In a society really concerned with racism, Democrats holding a 'debate' there would have been called out in real time (and we did call it out in real time). But the media creation of Bambi doesn't exist to explore race let alone the racial tensions in so much of today's United States.

Adam Nagourney 'invents' the public record. USA Today transcript of the debate is here, and as Ava and I noted, Barack states very clearly that same-sex marriage is up to churches -- not states:

Now, with respect to marriage, it's my belief that it's up to the individual denominations to make a decision as to whether they want to recognize marriage or not. But in terms of, you know, the rights of people to transfer property, to have hospital visitation, all those critical civil rights that are conferred by our government, those should be equal.

This is Kenneth Romero's "Excitement for Hillary is Brewing Here in Puerto Rico!" (

As many Boricuas enjoyed their cafe con leche while doing last-minute Mother's Day shopping at Paseo De Diego, in the heart of San Juan, I was overwhelmed listening to people who over and over again shouted out "Hillary, esa es mi candidata".

A group of volunteers took to the busy streets of Rio Piedras, handing out bumper stickers, yard signs and, most importantly, one-on-one information on Hillary's comprehensive agenda for the jurisdiction with the largest Hispanic population under the American flag--- over 4 million.

With a voter turn-out of more than 80%, we here are very vocal about politics and, during our visit, people were certainly eager to shake hands with us and express their whole-hearted support for her candidacy. They know that Hillary is a champion for Boricuas but, most importantly, she is the one, true voice for all Latinos in the United States.

On Sunday, June 1st, all eyes will be on Puerto Rico as we celebrate the democratic primary and Hillary's victory here in the Island.

El 1ero de junio, ¡sal a votar por Hillary!


Kat, Trina, Elaine, Ava and I will be there this weekend but the regular weekend entries at this site will still go up in their regular irregular time.

The e-mail address for this site is

NYT sees no news from Iraq

Three employees of the Iranian embassy and their Iraqi driver were shot and wounded as they traveled Thursday to the Shiite Kadhemiyah Shrine in northern Baghdad.
As the Iranian men pulled into a Shiite area in Baghdad on the way to the shrine, two men on a motorbike pulled up to the vehicle and riddled their car with bullets, Iranian and Iraqi officials said.
Two of the Iranians were seriously wounded; another Iranian and an Iraqi suffered minor wounds, a spokesman for the Iranian embassy said Wednesday.
"We don't know who did this," said the spokesman, Manoucher Taslimi. "But we know there are many sides in Iraq who do not want good relations between Iran and Iraq."

The above is from Leila Fadel's "Iranian embassy employees shot in Baghdad" (McClatchy Newspapers), reporting on an assassination attempt and one of three stories McClatchy filed in the last 24 hours on Iraq. Search in vain for even one Iraq report in today's New York Times. Another report may be too close too home for the Times due to the close nature between Chalabi and Judith Miller, yes, but also between Chalabi and Dexy Filkins.

From Nancy A. Youssef, Leila Fadel and Warren P. Strobel's "U.S. again cuts off Chalabi, this time over rivalry with Maliki"

U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Baghdad have cut off contact with controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, a former Pentagon favorite, because of his increasingly strained relationship with U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington told McClatchy.
Both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and top American military leaders made the decision earlier this week. "That's it. He's out," one senior military official said.
The U.S. decision, which was first disclosed on, is the fourth time that the U.S. has ended an alliance with Chalabi, whom officials in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office once touted as a successor to Saddam Hussein. The State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies, however, have long regarded Chalabi as untrustworthy and a "charlatan."
Although the CIA stopped funding Chalabi's exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, in 1995, the INC fed intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and ties to terrorism, much of it bogus, to officials in the Pentagon and Cheney's office. Those officials used it to help build their case for invading Iraq and fulfilling Chalabi's and their ultimate goal -- Saddam's ouster.
A State Department official said that this time the U.S. cut off Chalabi, who was appointed in September to head Maliki's Services Committee, which is meant to help usher services into communities after they're secured by U.S. and Iraqi troops, in deference to Maliki.

Dexy and Chalabi, illustration from The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Go down, Dexy." The closest the Times gets to Iraq (outside of spending which will be noted next entry) is A16 where a tiny seven paragraph AP article ("V.A. Disavows Combat Stress Memo") runs. The brief quotes an e-mail sent out by the VA, entitled "Suggestion." CREW has [PDF format warning] the memo here:

Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Diorder, R/O PTSD.
Additionally, we really don't or have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD.
Also, there have been some incidence where the veteran has a C & P, is not given a diagnosis of PTSD, then the veteran comes here and we give the diagnosis, and the veteran appeals his case based on our assessment.
This is just a suggestion for the reasons listed above.

Carlton notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Leading the Popular Vote" (

Leading the Popular Vote: According to ABC News, Hillary’s West Virginia victory put her over the top in the popular vote. She now leads Sen. Obama 16,691,283 to 16,647,926 when Florida and Michigan are included in the count. Read more.
Previewing Today: Hillary Clinton travels to South Dakota and attends a "Solutions for the Rural Economy" town hall in Bath, SD.
Automatic Delegate Watch: Yesterday, Tennessee Automatic Delegate Vicky Harwell endorsed Hillary. "Hillary’s decisive victory in West Virginia is the latest evidence that she is the strongest candidate to take on John McCain and win back the White House," Harwell said.
Read more.
In Case You Missed It: Clinton National Campaign Co-Chair Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones and other Members of Congress held a press conference last night to discuss Hillary Clinton’s strong pro-choice record. The Politico’s Ben Smith reports "Amie Parnes emails that more than a dozen congresswomen who endorsed Clinton gathered in front of the DCCC to express disappointment in NARAL's Obama endorsement. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said 'we feel abandoned by this organization today.' Rep. Shelley Berkeley called the endorsement 'extremely unnecessary' and 'inappropriate.' Rep. Jane Harmon called it ‘a betrayal.'" Read more.
Kentucky Endorsement Watch: Four former Kentucky governors endorsed Hillary yesterday. "The people of Kentucky need a President who has the strength, experience, and leadership to lead on day one," said former Governor Julian Carroll. "My friendship with Hillary goes back more than 30 years and I know she'll make a fine President."
Read more and more.
OR Supporters Standing By Hillary: "Linda Mayer of Eugene knows they’re out there: the pollsters and pundits who insist that Sen. Hillary Clinton is on the ropes and should give up her quest for the presidency. But that doesn’t mean she has to listen to them…A retired Lane Community College teacher who is giving about 30 volunteer hours a week, [Mayer said:] 'As a woman, I’ve been waiting for a woman -- who is qualified -- for a long time…To me, Hillary is the best qualified and also very brave and courageous.'"
Read more.
Why I Support Hillary: Jordan Kokich, a student at Portland State University and a field organizer for Hillary in Oregon remembers meeting Hillary through the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she was only eight years old. She says, "I am 22 now, and in less than four hours I would be meeting Hillary yet again…Upon seeing her at last, I met her half way as she greeted me with open arms. This was history coming full circle."
Read more.
'Esa es mi candidata': In Puerto Rico, "A group of volunteers took to the busy streets of Río Piedras, handing out bumper stickers, yard signs and, most importantly, one-on-one information on Hillary's comprehensive agenda for the jurisdiction with the largest Hispanic population under the American flag." Read more.
On Tap: This Friday, Hillary will campaign throughout Oregon.

And let's also note "Senator Clinton Statement on Senator McCain's Speech Today" (

This morning, John McCain said that four more years of the same strategy will produce victory in Iraq, though he provided no new approach or new proposals. This is not the first time Senator McCain has predicted victory in Iraq. He promises more of the same Bush policies that have weakened our military, our national security, and our standing in the world. Our country cannot afford more empty promises on Iraq. When I am President, the United States will no longer give Iraq a blank check. I will bring this war to a swift and honorable conclusion, and bring our troops home, beginning within 60 days of taking office.

That topic is being held for Third on Sunday so that's all that will appear here.

The e-mail address for this site is

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Hate The War

As noted in today's snapshot, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, chaired by Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, held a hearing featuring testimony from Iraq Veterans Against the War. "If you missed the hearing, along with being broadcast on CSPAN, it was broadcast by KPFA (click here for KPFA's archived broadcast) and at Aaron Glantz' website The War Comes Home. Earlier (in March) Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz anchoring Pacifica's live coverage. (It was also broadcast at the IVAW site.) Allison and Glantz also hosted a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd" (from today's snapshot).

George e-mailed about Maxine Waters? She comes in later during the hearing and she'll be noted either tomorrow or Monday. The hearing's not going to be one snapshot. But Maxine Waters was present (and she asked questions about Falluja of Adam Kokesh). Rachel notes that WBAI couldn't get it together to broadcast it in full, Micah notes that they joined it "in progress" and the on airs couldn't get it straight to do a proper introduction to the broadcast they were joining. Not surprising after the embarrassment that was their refusal to broadcast the Saturday hearings of Winter Soldier back in March. They had old, musty tunes to spin because, certainly, that will end the illegal war. Torch songs and pop songs -- decades old -- will do what hasn't been done already, apparently.

Which is actually the topic for tonight. In her opening remarks, US House Rep (and co-chair of the committee) Lynn Woolsey made a number of statements and she's dedicated to ending the illegal war (as Barbara Lee noted in her own remarks) but there was one that really needed to be addressed here. She was speaking of how the people are ahead of most members of Congress and she's correct. But it's equally true that the people are ahead of what passes for 'independent' media.

That point really came home today if you caught the latest nonsense from 'anti-war' Spency Ackerman. He's the War Hawk and War Cheerleader who was at The New Republic until he repeatedly trashed the magazine at his own website. By that time he had 'turned' on the illegal war. Had he?


He's one of the people that fit the chairs description of 'Oh, the war is wrong . . . because it wasn't better planned!' The illegal war was planned. All that's happening was predicatable ahead of time. But Spency makes a few generic 'anti-war' statements and then falls into the revisionary school of "Plan the next illegal war better!" and yet that didn't prevent The Nation from publishing him. Of course "him" helps since, in 2007, Betsy Reed was a-okay with publishing 491 men to 149 women. That was before she realized she'd need to pose as a feminist in 2008. But there was Spency. Even got a cover story. And where is he today? Today, he published his "counter-insurgency" article.

He's calling it out? No. Google and you'll see what he's doing, we don't link to trash. Those who have no desire to Google should just know that Spency's bemoaning the fact that US civilian employees in Iraq aren't doing enough "counter-insurgency" work. That should appall everyone and it should appall everyone that The Nation elected to promote him as 'anti-war' when he's not. He's not even against the Iraq War, he's one of the revisionists whining it should have had more planning. As if Bully Boy didn't intend to turn Iraq into a tag-sale for corporations.

The White House treated another country as a White Elephant Sale and did that intentionally. They're still treating it as such. Which is why you have talk of theme parks in Baghdad and the Marriott hotel chain going in there. Strange, but if Iraq is in need of hotels, it certainly seems like they could build their own. They did before the illegal war. They certainly have the money to do it -- money puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki sits on and refuses to release.

The Iraq War was planned to 'redistribue' Iraq's assets to foreigners and to provide a 'new and emerging market' for corporations. 'Freedom' didn't include self-determination or even an ownership society for Iraqis. And this isn't a reality that's just emerged. Certainly Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism documents the reality of the intensive pre-war planning that took place but before that book was published (fall 2007), Klein had already began explaining what was going on in 2004's "Baghdad Year Zero" (Harper's magazine). Only a revisionist War Hawk chooses to ignore Klein's well documented and sourced work.

And while The Nation featured dopes like Spency as voices that would 'end' the illegal war, they shut out voices concerned with actually ending the Iraq War.

The Iraq War has been nothing for the magazine but something to cluck over (after Victor leaves) and use to drive election turnout. It's not ever been about ending the illegal war. That's been obvious in the lack of coverage that led to the website removing their "Iraq War" folder from the homepage some time ago. That's been obvious in what their columnists have elected to write about. Or do you really think we need book reviews at the back of the magazine and in columns? They've never had time to argue for ending the illegal war because they've spent far too long doling out bits of clucking convinced it's the best electoral weapon that Democrats have.

And they're no different from the bulk of Panhandle Media -- they just print weekly. (Or 'weekly' since they also do the 'double issues' -- which frequently are the same size as their regular issue.) In 2006, at Third, we were noting their non-stop Hurricane Katrina stories and their lack of coverage regarding the Iraq War. This didn't just happen. It's long been a pattern for the very bad magazine.

These days, Panhandle Media really only 'covers' Iraq when they can try to slam Hillary and they're so damn stupid that facts don't even matter. (Thank you to Bonnie for sending the idiot Jar-Jar repeating Stephen Zunes loony lie that even FiP pulled down. We'll address it at Third on Sunday.) Do they think their audience is that stupid or are they that stupid?

When you're about nothing except promoting a candidate, you lie and then you lie some more. And you think you'll get away with it because you've been lying for so long. (Such as putting your name on the byline of pieces you didn't write -- another form of colonialism when you're safe in the United States and the byline is Iraq.)

But they don't care. They always have something else to cover and, if the MSM is all over Iraq, they may feel a little left out and decide to give it a second or two of attention before returning to other forms of propaganda.

They've really shown their true natures in the last years and it's not surprising that so many of them are suffering. Of course the ridiculous 'institute' that was all about elections shut down last month. Expect to see Panhandle Media struggle as well. People are tired of high horse riders who have no ethics of their own.

All three co-chairs of the committee care about ending the illegal war. But if you want to know why the Iraq War drags on, five years after (as Lee noted), it's due to the fact that it's not a pressing topic for Panhandle Media. It's something to pick up when there's nothing else to cover. And when they pick it up, they rewrite themselves on the same topics. The Nation, in particular, has become Mary Worth. The whole point of so-called 'independent' media -- and of opinion journals (which is what The Nation is) -- is to introduce concepts and ideas. But all they do is run with whatever the MSM has just reported on Iraq and call that 'their' coverage. Topics like war resisters fell off the radar long ago. (2005 for The Nation, end of 2006 for Democracy Now!) In the US, local Real Media does a better job of covering war resisters than Panhandle Media if only because they actually cover them.

So when Woolsey was talking about how far ahead of a number of members of Congress the public is and when Lee was expressing disbelief that five years and counting and the illegal war continues, a huge part of the reason the illegal war continues is the appalling performance by Panhandle Media.

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 4073. Tonight? 4077. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,209,263 up from 1,206,950 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the Iraq War.

The e-mail address for this site is

aaron glantz

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, May 15, 2008.  Chaos and violence continue, IVAW appears before Congress, Hillary leads in the popular vote, and more.
Passion and empathy: Why is it that it takes a harsh reality to kick in your own front door, grab you by the scruff of your own all too relaxed neck, before you really cry again.  Maybe its cancer, a hurricane, a drunk driver, somebody gone crazy with a gun on campus, in a shopping center, on the job, on the freeway, or maybe a kid with a gun in a war, a soldier, your kid, like mine PFC James Burmeister.  
He is not a kid anymore.  When he joined the army, he was a typical poor kid, naive kid, painted himself in a corner kid.  A typical young man high on testosterone low on common sense, he brought the recruiter's line of crap and fine-print flim flaw, and was coached on how to assure his induction despite medical conditions that would have disqualified him.  
So the army trained him how to kill efficiently in urban warfare situations and shipped his naive butt over to Baghdad to carry out the orders of his commander and chief, the Warrior Prince Bush, our president, brave military veteran of Vietnam.  So my son was forced to take part in and was witness to acts of human cruelty beyond his wildest imagination.  He killed other young men just like him.  In another place in another time, they could have been friends, they could have worked side by side and shared their dreams, now their ghosts will haunt his dreams, like the dreams of this brand new generation of "winter soldiers".  For the matter of a few feet, or maybe even a few inches, my son's brains would have been spilled out on a Baghdad street.  My nightmare of a soldier's dad, of cradling my son's blown up head in my lap while I try to put it back together, it would have become reality like the nightmares of the families of those soldiers who have already died, and those who will die next week, next month, and next year.  
So now my son sits in Army custody, brain injured by a roadside bomb and struggling mightly with PTSD while he awaits court-martial for desertion, because he refused redepolyment to combat in Iraq in May 2007 in protest over the war crimes he was ordered to engage in.  He married a fifty-caliber machine gun atop a hummer providing perimeter security for one of the now infamous small kill teams.       
With the help of war resistance groups in Canada, on the eve of his re-deployment, he went AWOL and has lived in Canada until March 4th of this year when his worsening mental and physical condition, his homesickness and his family responsibilities left him little choice but to turn himself in to the Army at Fort Knox Kentucky.   
Maria Hinojosa interviewed James Burmesiter and Agustin Aguayo for NOW on PBS (here for a/v, here for text).  And while we're noting NOW on PBS and Hinojosa, their "Child Brides: Stolen Lives" report  won the 2008 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best TV Documentary and the episode can be viewed online here.  As Hinojosa's report explained, after being injured by a bombing resulting in PTSD, Burmeister was placed on medication and ordered to serve another tour of duty in Iraq. Burmeister explained his reaction: "I got back home -- talked to my wife.  You know, I said, 'I think I'm gonna leave.'   It was like a 15 minute decision that I'm -- I'm gonna leave -- I'm gonna leave the army." 
Now he awaits word on what the military is going to do?  Are they going to court-martial a wounded veteran, on medication, who they were trying to redeploy to Iraq for another tour?  No one knows.  But his Erich Burmeister is asking for people to "Drop my son a card of encouragement!" and the address is: PFC James Burmeister, HHC Bldg 298, Gold Vault Rd, Fort Knox, KY 40121. 
Those war resisters who are in Canada need support as well as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes 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).
Today the House of Representatives were talking about Iraq.  Mainly in the hearing held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, chaired by Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and featured veterans offering testimony -- Iraq Veterans Against the War.  If you missed the hearing, along with being broadcast on CSPAN, it was broadcast by KPFA (click here for KPFA's archived broadcast) and at Aaron Glantz' website The War Comes Home.  Earlier (in March)  Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz anchoring Pacifica's live coverage.  (It was also broadcast at the IVAW site.)  Allison and Glantz also hosted a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd.
US House Rep Lynn Woolsey: You know around here in recent months, we've heard from General David Petraeus, we've heard from Ambassador Ryan Crocker, we've heard from the White House over and over again.  And they're all armed with PowerPoint presentations, they're armed with colorful posters, and all the language trying to convince us after five years we are finally making progress in Iraq.  Well we know that's not so and what makes this morning so unique is that we now have an opportunity to hear from -- not the military's top brass, but directly from you, the very soldiers who put your lives on the line to carry out this president's failed policies.  Today's event actually is a continuation of the Winter Soldier hearings that were organized by the Iraq Veterans Against the War earlier this year at the National Labor Council in Silver Spring, Maryland. Over three days, dozens of veterans shared their personal stories, testified about their own experiences on the ground, in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These weren't pundits.  They weren't analysts talking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the abstract.  These were the stories -- the stories we're going to hear today and the testimonies of the men and women who have experienced the horrors of war up close and personal. 
As noted the supplemental was being voted on today as well.  Co-chair Barbara Lee explained some of the basics of that proposal.
US House Rep Barbara Lee:  It's really ironic that we will debate and vote on three amendments to the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill.  Of course I plan and I know Congress women Woolsey and Waters plan to vote against the amendment providing an additional -- can you believe this -- $183 billion?  More money to fund this occupation and war through . . . June of 2009.  We have long advocated that funding be appropriated only for the limited purpose of fully funding the safe and responsible redeployment of American troops and contractors from Iraq.  No more funds for combat operations. We offered an amendment last night that would do just that.  Regrettably, my amendment was not accepted so once again, once again.  I intend to vote against funding this war and occupation.  Now second amendment to the supplemental contains two restrictions that we have championed.  First is the prohibition against the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq.  We need to, once again, make sure the president understands that is what the American people want.   It's been passed and signed into law at least eight times and actually the president has issued a signing statement saying basically he's not going to comply with the law.   So once again, we're going to do it again.  The second condition that we have championed will prohibit the president from negotiating, entering into or implementing any agreement with the government of Iraq that includes security assurances for mutual defense unless the agreement is in the form of a treaty requiring ratification by the Senate or is specifically authorized by law.  Today's proceedings are historic because it has been 37 years since the the first Winter  Soldiers convened in Detroit in 1971 to speak out against the Vietnam war.   
US House Reps Sheila Jackson Lee, Keith Ellison, were among the Congress members present at today's hearings.  IVAW executive director Kelly Dougherty explained
Sgt. Kelly Dougherty: Two moths ago over 200 members of IVAW gathered in Silver Spring, Maryland to submit, listen to and offer their eye-witness accounts of the occuaptions of Iraq and Afghanistan and their first-hand experience in the American military. . . . We continue our duty to our country and our fellow human beings by offering our testimony to Congress members today.  The stories you are about to hear will not be easy to listen to but, believe me, they are much harder to relive.   We have witnessed first-hand the ultimate violence, chaos, fear and suffering of war and occupation and are intimately familiar with the indelible mark that it has left on our lives. These nine Iraq veterans that are here today are going to relive memories that they probably would rather forget but they won't because they know that the people need to hear their stories in order to understand the way that war impacts people, their families and their communities. 
Along with Kelly Dougherty, there were other members of IVAW appearing before Congress including Adam Kokesh (IVAW co-chair), Matthis Chiroux (who made news after the hearing), Jason Lemieux, Scott Ewing, Geoffrey Millard, Vincent Emanuele, Kristofer Goldsmith, James Gilligan.  We'll focus on some of the testimonies today and some in tomorrow's snapshot. 
Sgt. Jason Lemieux: The written testimony I submitted today illuminates how unit loyalty and camaraderie, psychological trauma, lack of strategic guidance, command complicity and our national insistance on minimizing short-term casualty rates all lead to widespread destruction of civilian life and property in Iraq and make rules of engagement, for all practical purposes unenforcable. 
Lemieux spoke of his three tours and how they were encouraged to shoot any Iraq and not worry because the leadership would "take care of us" -- meaning protect them. Protection also came in orders to falsify reports to minimize casualties.  Scott Ewing followed and he spoke mainly about his time serving in Tal Afar. He referenced civilian casulaties, detainess and house searches.
Scott Ewing: I also saw more innocent civlians injured or killed by American forces than by the enemy.  One particularly memorable incident occured after we raided two houses and found no one there. Everyone thought we were going home but a vehicle stopped again and we were told to get out and go to a nearby house.  I assumed that we were going to search it but when we went in through the front gate I noticed that there were already other American soldiers there -- a mortar platoon from our troop -- there were six Iraqi men against the wall and, as I rounded the car that was in the drive-way, we saw several middle-aged women sprawled out on the cement covered in blood. It looked like someone had opened up on them with a machine gun.  What we found out, shortly thereafter, was that one of our Apache helicopters had shot high explosive rounds into their front yard. . . .  And so we started treating them with bandages.  The first woman I got to had shrapnel had pentetrated her head.  She was still alive but she died shortly there after.  The other women were very badly wounded. . . . We got medical supplies from the Bradleys and tried to bandage their wounds. [exhales] . . .  Two of the injured women were laying next to each other over in the back of the Bradley and a little boy about 9-years-old came up to me and pointed to his chest and  there was a blood spot on it so I kind of looked and -and listened to his breathing to see if his lungs had been punctured and they hadn't so I sat him back in the back of the Bradley next to the two women and they were all taken to an aid station  which was just outside the city.  There were numerous other events, incidents, that involve civilian casualties, I don't have time to go into them all but this incident illustrates the first serious difference between what I saw in Iraq and what is seen back home. There's been virtually no explicit reporting by the mainstream media of civilian casualties caused by US troops in Iraq.  Anytime a suicide bomber kills civilians, it is highly publicized.  But from my personal experience, in Tal Afar, the number of Iraqis killed or injured by our forces far outnumbers those killed by insurgents or suicide bombers. 
These are highlights.  Geoffrey Millard stated "thank you for listening" and thanked the co-chairs as did everyone offering testimony.  Millard observed that every day in Iraq seems to repeat "over and over and over again," endlessly. 
Geoffrey Millard: One day there was a briefing that was briefed for the General that there was a traffic control point shooting.  In it, a young private saw a vehicle speeding at his traffic control point and made a split-second decision and put more than 200 rounds into this vehicle as it sped towards them putting it to a stop and killing all of its inhabitants.  He then watched as the mother, father and two children were dragged from that car.  That evening as it was briefed to the general -- and I flipped the slide for that briefing -- Col. [William] Rochelle from the 42nd Infantry Division [Support Command] . . .  and I have to apologize for a little vulgarity here but I feel it's intricate for my testimony.  He turned and stared to an entire division level staff and said, and I quote [not broadcast]. I was set back by that.  I expected more out of high ranking officers coming from a line unit.  I expected a lot more and as I looked around at the officers and high ranking NCOs in the room -- Non Commissioned Officers -- I found no dissenting facial expressions or body language, just nodding of the heads as if to say, "Yep, if these f-ing Ha**s learned to drive this wouldn't happen."
In Saturday's panels on Racism and War: the Dehumanization of the Enemy, Geoff Millard would testify that not only was the h-word used by the brass in Iraq, they also would declare that the checkpoint killings were the result of h-words not knowing how to drive.  Hurd and Kokesh's testimonies provided reasons for the deaths that have received little attention.
In a news release, Rep Woolsey notes Kristofer Goldmsith's testimony:
As we were preparing to leave Iraq, we were given a mental screening test, which was supposed to identify possible mental ailments.  But we were warned by the medical staff issuing the test that "should you come up positive for mental problems, you could be forced to stay in [Iraq] for three to four more months before you can go home."  Most lied while completing the test because they wanted to get home as soon as possible.  No one was held in Iraq any longer due to this test, but in hindsight, it is clear that verbal warning was used to prevent the inconvenience to the Army of having Soldiers that needed medical attention.
Again, we'll come back to the hearing tomorrow and on Monday.  If time runs out, Trina will most likely grab Adam Kokesh for her site this weekend and we'll note him in the snapshot on Monday.  The above doesn't even cover the first hour of the hearing.  After the hearing, a new development.  From IVAW:
Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, who served in the Army until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines, today publicly announced his intention to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq.    
Sgt. Chiroux made made his announcement in the Cannon House Office Building Rotunda after members of Iraq Veterans Against the War testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus during Winter Soldier on the Hill.        
To donate to IVAW's Legal Fund to support Matthis and other servicemembers who are refusing to support the occupation of Iraq, use our online donation form and select "Legal Fund" under special projects.         
If you would like to send a message of support to Sgt Matthis Chiroux, email         
On the House floor today, the supplemental was voted on.  Leading the Republican objection to it was Rep David Drier (who attempted to engage Rep David Obey who complained that he should not have to yield his time).  Drier repeatedly cited "small businesses" as his concern.  On the Democratic side, Rep Jan Schakowsky spoke passionately in her brief time (time limits appeared to be enforced on Schakowsky though other members of both parties were allowed to exceed them) who noted that the only funding Congress should be considering was funding that would "bring our troops home" and also raised the issue of the indiscriminate killins by the mercenaries of Blackwater Worldwide.  Richard Cowan (Reuters) notes, "The U.S. House of Represenatives, in a surprise and largely symbolic move, defeated legislation on Thursday to fund the war in Iraq for another year.  But it also sent the Senate a controversial troop-withdrawal paln that will give that chambe an opportunity to restore the money for waging the conflict, which is deeply unpopular with the public.  With a large group of anti-war Democrats voting against the Pentagon $162.5 billion to keep fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through mid-2009, the House defeated the measure by a vote of 149-141."  Christopher Stern and Laura Litvan (Bloomberg News) note: "Some anti-war Democrats cheered, shouting, 'The war is over."  They also point out that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office states there is "enough money to pay for the war through July under the current law".  Jonathan Weisman (Washington Post) credits the failure of the bill to a coalition: "An unusual coalition of antiwar Democrats and angry Republicans in the House today torpedoed" the bill but the House "voted to demand troop withdrawals from Iraq, force the Iraqi government to shoulder more war costs and greatly expand the education benefits for returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict." Deidre Walsh (CNN) also gives credit to the Republicans and describes the outcome as "a surprising defeat to Democrats who had expected to pass the measure." As do Mike Soraghan, Susan Crabtree and Jared Allen (The Hill): "House Republicans knocked the carefully choreographed Iraq war funding process into chaos Thursday when they declined to vote for" the bill.  NPR's Brian Naylor (All Things Considered) offers an audio report on the G.I. Bill aspect of it.
Funded today or not, the illegal war drags on.  In some of today's reported violence . . .
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 Baghdad roadside bombings that claimed 2 lives and left ten wounded. 

Tim Cocks (Reuters) reports 3 Iranian embassy workers were wounded by gunfire (as was their driver) in Baghdad today.
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "3 prominent doctors . . . kidnapped by gunmen on the way between Tikrit and Baiji".
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
Turning to US presidential nominations.  Rick Klein (ABC News) reports on Hillary supporters who state they will boycott if Barack Obama is the nominee and not Hillary Clinton.  A surprise to the MSM perhaps but this community decided last week that if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, Ralph Nader gets the vote in the November.  Klein notes that the nonsense group of crybabies making up NARAL (include Kate in that, I still laugh at Kate's crying in the Senate -- still and always) deciding to endorse Barack yesterday has had a reaction: "Emily's List is furious.  Anad Martha Burke" expresses "It feels like they are abandoning a known ally for a less committed candidate because they want to jump on a bandwagon.  I think the pro-choice community should stick by a woman who has stuck by them."  Taylor Marsh points out that local NARAL chapters are saying (basically), 'Don't blame us, the national leadership kept us in the dark and didn't even consult us." Jo Mannies (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) quotes the Missouri chapter's president, Pamela Sumners stating, "In our membership demographic, a lot of longtime women's rights supporters are strong supporters of Hillary Clinton.  If we had been consulted, we would have said, 'Let this play out'."  Plus don't support a man who regularly insults women.  Klein earlier noted that a woman finally got an apology from Obama for his referring to her as "sweetie" ("Hold on one second, sweetie . . .") but then, she's a reporter.  He's called women "sweetie"s over and over.  "Little Miss" is probably next. Delilah Boyd (A Scriverner's Lament) compiles a list of men who could call her "sweetie" and Obama's not on it. As Michael Regunberg (Boston Globe) noted yesterday, "When the history of the 2008 presidential campaign is written, we may find that Gloria Steinem was right.  In a column in The New York Times that appeared between the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary she wrote, 'Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House.'  Fast forward six months and Steinem looks downright prescient.  We didn't know then just how biased the media would be against Hillary Clinton, a woman running for president.  But the 'boys on the bus' (and a good number of women as well) have had a tough time with Clinton and criticized everything from her pantsuits to her laugh, things they would not excoriate a man for.  What's worse, they get away with it . . . they use her as a punchline."  Punchline?  That would includes 'cracks' made by self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders (be sure to read Marcia's "Laura Flanders the self-hating, disrespecting lesbian") who felt Gloria and Robin Morgan were missing the point.  What point was that, Laura?  That you're a semi-closeted lesbian or a Brit playing Democrat when you were raised a Communist?  That is, after all, why you do NOT vote Democratic.  Step out of your closets, self-loather. You could write about all the Communists mentioned in this article because your family was tight with all of them.  (Self-loathing lesbian Laura especially took offense at Robin's  "Goodbye To All That (#2)."  Probably the notion of saying goodbye to illusions scared the sexually and politically closeted Flanders.) 
Gene Lyons (Arkansas Democratic Gazette) is far kinder than I am, he calls them "progressives."  Yeah, they tried to hide behind that label before as well.  There's no reason for a Communist to be in the closet today (and young ones are not) unless you're trying to trick and decieve.  The way Flanders did the night/early morning of the 2004 election when she pretended she understood the anger and upset, when she pretended she'd voted Democratic.  Maybe all these 'progressives' wouldn't have so much influence if the Democrats they're trying to steer knew how many of them weren't Democrats.  It's not "red-baiting."  It goes to honesty.  Lyons:
There's no denying that her candidacy has encountered what a friend calls a "perfect storm" of progressive idealists merging with Clinton-hating celebrity courtiers in the "mainstream" media. And yet she keeps chugging along like the Little Engine That Could, defying increasingly shrill demands to quit.         
Weeks before the Indiana primary, Obama described it as the potential tiebreaker. Then he went out and lost it. Nevertheless, all but openly gloating, NBC's Tim Russert took it upon himself to announce, "We now know who the Democratic nominee's going to be, and no one's going to dispute it." Reaction among some Obama supporters was less polite.
Maybe Marie Cocco (same column as yesterday but link goes to the Washington Post) had those types in mind when she wrote: "I won't miss reading another treatise by a man or woman, of the left or right, who says that sexism has had not even a teeny-weeny bit of influence on the course of the Democratic campaign." Meanwhile snippy little Ryan Corsaro (CBS News) declares of Hillary leading in the popular vote: "Clinton only leads in the popular vote if Michigan and Florida's primary votes count, which they currently do not, because of Democratic Party rules."  As Ava and I noted in March:
One offered, "She's thousands behind! If you don't count Florida and Michigan." Thanks for the add-on but shouldn't a press be aware that a presidential election in November will take place in all fifty states? Shouldn't a press not be concerned with the talking points of the Obama campaign and report the facts which is Hillary isn't behind due to Florida and Michigan?       

If there's a re-vote, by all means, replace the votes. But there was a vote in both states and Hillary won both primaries. While it may not be in the Obama campaign's best interest to include those totals, the press is supposed to report what happened and what happened in those states' primaries was that Hillary won. "If you don't count"? Why wouldn't the press count them? They took place, millions voted. More people voted in the Florida primary, for example, than took part in all the primaries and caucuses before Florida combined. If you're the press, not the Obama campaign, and you're talking about the popular vote, there's no reason not to include Florida and Michigan. The press reports what happened. What happened is that Florida and Michigan voted. The delegates may be in dispute but there's no question that voters in both states showed up at the polls and no question about who won.
The popular vote is the popular vote. Primaries took place in Florida and Michigan. Whether the DNC seats, or doesn't, the delegates, the primaries took place and news outlets shouldn't pretend otherwise. Reporters are supposed to report what took place and, fact, primaries took place in both states and Hillary won.  
John Dickerson -- whose outlet created a Hillary Death Watch and likened it to their Saddam-Meter, so therefore really shouldn't be invited on to comment on the Hillary campaign -- was whining that "the arithmetic we were taught in school" didn't allow for including the primaries. Actually, John, it did. Math exercises had you count apples and oranges. You weren't allowed to determine whether a national grocer would carry those apples and oranges before you were expected to count them. You were told there were X number and you added them. The same way that the primaries in Michigan and Florida are part of the popular vote.
The race isn't over.  Yesterday Hillary received the endorsements of former governors of Kentucky Wendell Ford, Paul Patton, John Brown and Julian Carroll.  Guessing they matter a bit more to Kentucky then John Edwards' nonsense.  The race isn't over and, unless one of them drops out, goes to the convention floor.