Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kimberly Rivera and other Iraq issues the DNC whores forgot

Yesterday's snapshot noted Tom Brokaw's critique that the RNC hadn't mentioned Iraq or Afghanistan on Tuesday.  Brokaw's criticism was accurate and was also non-partisan (non-partisan in that he had no axe to grind and non-partisan in that he accurately portrayed Dems and Republicans marching off to war in 2003).  Yesterday the wars were noted.

The RNC e-mailed the public account to note that veterans Jeanine McDonnell and Chris Develin-Young spoke.  This is Jeanine McDonnell introducing Chris Devlin-Young:

Good evening, I am proud to be one of the 212,000 servicewomen who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.
As a 24 year old Virginian in Iraq, I worked with some of the most courageous men and women this nation has to offer, and we were united in a singular cause: to protect the nation that we love.
It has been my privilege to serve alongside heroes of every service. Defending this nation and its citizens is not without sacrifice for service members and the families who support them.
And that's why we need leaders who don't play chicken with our nation's defense. We need leaders who will invest in defense -- not abandon it.
And that's why we need Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Now, it is my honor to introduce Chris Devlin-Young, a hero in his own right, a former Coast Guardsman and a two-time Paralympic gold medalist in alpine skiing. Chris.

After that Chris Devlin-Young introduced Senator John McCain:

Thank you. It's wonderful to be with you tonight.
In 1982, while flying in heavy fog during a Coast Guard mission, our plane crashed, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. While my career as a Coast Guardsman ended, a new world of service began for me.
27 years ago, this California boy was introduced to ski racing at the first Veterans Administration Winter Sports clinic. I decided then and there to dedicate myself to racing and coaching other injured veterans.
Being a gold medal Paralympian gives me a whole new way to honor and serve my country. Being the coach of paralympic medalists gives me a way to honor and serve others.
I believe that we can all serve no matter what our challenges. Because it's not about what you've lost in life but rather what you are able to give.
And now, it is my honor to introduce a hero who has given of himself regardless of the price. He is the son and grandson of admirals, a decorated naval pilot, a war hero, and the senior senator from the great state of Arizona -- Senator John McCain.

We'll come back to the RNC in a moment (and any speech they pass on having to do with veterans will be included here -- if it's lengthy it will be included in one of these entries and excerpted in a snapshot, if it's not lengthy it will also be included in the snapshot), but now we're looking northward to Canada.  An e-mail to the public account notes Kimberly Rivera -- if the e-mail is resent, we'll include it in full, it's a press release, but it's cut off so we'll note the portion that did get sent:

On Thursday, August 30, US Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera, her husband Mario and their four young children will hear whether they will be subject to deportation back to the United States of America. Kimberly served in the Iraq war in 2006 and sought refuge in Canada in 2007 after making the decision that she could no longer participate in the war.
A media conference will be held on Friday, August 31 at 10:00 am local time at 25 Cecil Street to respond to the decision.

Kimberly Rivera is the first public female war resister to seek asylum in Canada.  She is from Texas, from the D-FW (Dallas - Fort Worth) area.  She stated in July 2009, "I want to stay in Canada, with my family, because the Iraq War is immoral, illegal and I couldn't in good conscience go back.  The amount of support I'm getting from Canadians is amazing.  The parents of my kids' friends, MPs and even strangers on the street keep telling me that they can't believe the votes in Parliament aren't being respected."

From the December 4, 2007 Iraq snapshot:

Courage to Resist profiles war resister Kimberly Rivera explaining how she ended up checking out and moving with her husband and children to Canada: "Kimberly Rivera grew up in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb east of Dallas.  She had never thought of becoming a soldier until she was seventeen and the Army recruiters visited her home to meet with Kimberly and her parents.  The recruiters offered money for college that her family did not have.  Her mother was supporting Kimberly, her father, and her two sisters after her father suffered a work related accident.  She took an aptitute test for job placement out of 'curiosity', but later signed up to be a mechanic.  She was given an elistment date following graduation for the Army Resevers."  She was released from the military due to pregnancy at the end of 200.  With the costs of raising two children, she decided to re-enlist and found herself stationed in Iraq.  "I felt like I was losing my mind.  I was so close to death so many times.  It scares me now.  My life as I knew it was falling apart and I was unable to pull it together.  I was surrouned by males who were filled with filthy comments and talking about all kinds of sexual things.  I was there for three months and was scared that some of the guys might try to get me to trust them just so later they could have their chance to abuse me."  A not uncommon nor unrealistic fear based on reported cases of sexual assault in the military.  "While in Iraq losing soldiers and civilians was part of daily life.  I was a gate guard.  This was looked down on by infantry soldiers who go out in the streets, but gate guards are the highest security of the Foward Operation Base.  We searched vehicles, civilian personnel, and military convoys that left and came back every hour.  I had a huge awakening seeing the war as it truly is: people losing their lives for greed of a nation and the effects on the soldiers who come back with new problems such as nightmares, anxieties, depression, anger alcohol abuse, missing limbs and scars from burns.  Some don't come back at all.  On December 21, 2006 I was going to my room and something in my heart told me to go call my husband.  And when I did 24 rounds of mortars hit the FOB in a matter of minutes after I got on the phone . . . the mortars were 10-15 feet from where I was.  I found a hole from the shrapnel in my room in the plywood window.  That night I found the shrapnel on my bed in the same place where my head would have been if I hadn't changed my plans and gone to the phone."  The death of an Iraqi civilian and a base visit by an Iraq father and his daughter took place before her leave.  While in Texas on leave, she and her husband made the decision to go to Canada.  In the Iraq War, there are many resisters who never go public.  Of those who go public, Stephen Funk is the first to resist.  Camilo Mejia is the first Iraq veteran to resist, Jeremy Hinzman is the first resister to go public in Canada, Ehren Watada is the first officer to resist, Eli Israel is the first to resist while stationed in Iraq and Kimberly Rivera is the first female resister to go public in Canada.

City News Toronto has a photo of Kimberly and her family.   Kimberly and her husband moved to Canada.  They're now the parents of four children.  She is an Iraq War veteran.  Her story matters.

And I don't have time for the idiots in the press.  The partisan whores.

Peter Beinart (Daily Beast) has a column I would call out from another writer.  To correct his column, we'll note that Condi Rice's speech was all about Iraq.  It wasn't just the subtext, it was the meaning of the speech.  I disagreed with it completely.  I also was and am opposed to the Iraq War.  Condi offered her entire purpose and reasoning for the Iraq War and I'm bothered that Beinart couldn't grasp that.  The speech was nothing but a defense of the Iraq War and a call for more.

You can dislike it, I certainly didn't care for the speech, but it's not honest to claim that she left the war out of her speech.  It's highly dishonest to make that claim.

So why does Peter get a pass?  I've called him out repeatedly in the past.  He was dead wrong about the Iraq War (he was a war cheerleader ahead of the illegal war and for many years after).  He's also admitted he was wrong and done a turnaround.  My point being when you're just learning barre work, I really don't expect you to be up for dancing the lead in Swan Lake  -- or to be able to pull off a grand plie, for that matter.

This morning, these went up:

  • Wally and I were running and on the phone (blue tooth) with Cedric while Cedric and Wally were writing that.  Their point is that the Washington Post has a lot of crappy writers.  Their point is that they show up to attack like attack dogs.  There's nothing wrong with the press being attack dogs -- if they're fair.

    There will be no fact checking by the partisan whores Ezra Klein and the guy with the fat pockets under his eyes that looks like someone you'd cast as a child molester on one of the Law & Orders.  They don't exist for that.  They exist to whore.

    This is scattershot but it all is the same theme.  The whores use Iraq as a political football.  When did Ezra and Greg show any real sympathy for Iraq in their Washington Post blogs?

    I'm sorry, they got off their lazy asses and went to which veterans affairs committee hearings?  I'm sorry, they're championing Kimberly's case when?

    I'm opposed to the Iraq War, have given a huge chunk of my time to opposing the Iraq War.  We cover veterans issues here and we defend veterans without worrying about their personal politics.  Can Ezra make the same claim?  (Answer: Hell to the nah!)

    Condi is a War Criminal in my opinion.  She also gave a speech that was completely in keeping with her beliefs.  It was better crafted and she certainly delivered it well but it was the same justifications I've heard from her for how many years now?

    Tom Brokaw, remember him, rightly called out the absence of Iraq on Tuesday.  Tom Brokaw is a journalist.  Tom Brokaw would have made that comment if it were the DNC and not the RNC.

    The same is not true of the Ezras.  And I'm tired of them.  I'm tired of their sudden and superficial concern for the Iraq War.  They're not writing about the refugees who can't get into this country or holding Barack accountable for refusing to honor his 2008 pledge on Iraq refugees.

    They're not writing about war resisters.

    They're completely uninterested in writing about Little Saddam and what it's like for Iraqi's today.

    But they want to trot out Iraq and use it as a political football.

    I'm not in the damn mood.  Every writer that mentioned Iraq this week to pummel the GOP better have written about Iraq (this week, don't point to an archive from five years ago) or they better be willing to admit that they're full of s**t and they're destroying the country by turning everything into a partisan match on how to advance their political hero.

    Do not mistake that for journalism.  It is not journalism.

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