|Progressive Calendar 02.23.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 19:11:03 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.23.07 1. Peace breakfast 2.24 10am 2. Steger on Iraq 2.25 11am 3. Stillwater vigil 2.25 1pm 4. Zapatista coffee 2.25 2pm 5. Democracy/socialism 2.25 3pm 6. KFAI/Indian 2.25 4pm 7. Mental health 2.26 8am 8. Clone stem cells 2.26 8:30am 9. Venezuela 2.26 7pm 10. Climate crisis 2.26 7:30pm 11. Franklin Spinney - Is this what we've become? Top gun v axis of evil 12. Stephen Pearcy - If Bush is a war criminal, so are the troops 13. Amy Goodman - Clinton draws a line in the sand over Iraq 14. N Ramakrishman - Caution, calculation and cold feet 15. Robert Fantina - Gulf of Tonkin to Persian Gulf: repeating history --------1 of 15-------- From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at] analysts.com> Subject: Peace breakfast 2.24 10am BREAKFAST FOR PEACE Saturday, Feb 24 Peace Presbyterian Church 7624 Cedar Lake Road St Louis Park 10am - noon Let's get together and share our hopes and dreams. We'll watch part of Phil Steger's DVD Iraq 2007: What's really going on and what we should do. We'll envision the St Louis Park community working for peace. We'll decide on an action to make it happen! Childcare available. RSVP: Cathy, 952.935.8653 --------2 of 15-------- From: "[iso-8859-1] katherine" <katherine [at] deltove.com> Subject: Steger on Iraq 2.25 11am Iraq - Why we Need to Leave Phil Steger, executive director of Friends for a Non-Violent World (sponsor of Peace in the Precincts), will speak on the situation in Iraq Sunday February 25 at 11 a.m. at St. John Neuman's in Eagan at 4030 Pilot Knob. Eagan, MN. This will be an educational forum on the current dynamics in Iraq. Mr. Steger will discuss why he believes that getting the U.S. military out of Iraq is the best thing to do both for our troops and for Iraqis' prospects of arresting and reversing the violence. For more information call Katherine at 612-483-6041. --------3 of 15-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 2.25 1pm Gather with others concerned for peace ,share your ideas and insights . And check out our new web site ! A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------4 of 15-------- From: marshall law <blackngrin [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Zapatista coffee 2.25 2pm Zapatista Project Update Café Para La Vida Digna Report Please join us this Sunday February 25, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. as we offer an in depth report on the incredible progress and successes of this project. We will review recent trips to Chiapas, talk about how this project is organized and what next year looks like as we grow from 5 to 20 tons of coffee being imported to support the Zapatista Autonomous Education and now medical clinics. A Rebels Dream; Autonomous Education This project began here in Minnesota as a small effort to support Zapatista communities to sell what they produce. Years later a large-scale project has emerged designed to fully fund the autonomous education system of the Zapatista Municipality Ricardo Flores Magon. This project has great potential and positive implications for thousands as workers, families and communities realize their dream of having an education system that is fully funded by their own efforts. Sunday February 25, 2007 at 2:00 PM Multicultural Indigenous Academy 133 East 7th Street Suite 400 Saint Paul, MN 55101 Located at the corner of Robert Street and 7th Street in downtown Saint Paul. Above Urban Academy. Entrance is next to Alery's Bar. Go to 4th Floor. Park in rear of building, or on street, as meters are free on Sundays in Saint Paul. For more information call 612-388-0552 or email jerrylopez1988 [at] yahoo.com --------5 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Democracy/socialism 2.25 3pm On Sunday, March 25th, 3 pm A special FOURTH Sunday, IMPACT potluck and discussion: "Democracy AND Socialism!" at Mayday Bookstore Panelists: Michael Wood, Communist Party of Minnesota Joan Malerich, Anti-imperialist Activist What is Working Class Democracy? Are Dictatorship and Democracy Compatible? Are Capitalism and Democracy Compatible? What is Socialist Democracy and How is it Being Implemented Today? Michael and Joan lay out the theory and practical implications of socialism today. Discussion follows. How can we use the information presented to strengthen our movements for justice and democracy? Events are FREE, if you are reasonably able, please bring a dish to share at the March event. Also please consider giving a donation to our host, Mayday Bookstore. FFI: http://wmom.typepad.com/impact/ IMPACT (Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny) is a grassroots group of concerned citizens whose purpose is to raise awareness about the impact of corporations on our society, promote sustainable lifestyles, and mobilize ourselves and our communities to take cooperative action. We believe another world is possible: a world where people and the earth are more valued than profits! --------6 of 15-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 2.25 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising for February 25, 2007 #202 DECOLONIZATION OF AMERICAN INDIANS an excerpt from a speech by Elizabeth by Cook-Lynn (Crow Creek Sioux), Indian Country Today February 23, 2007. www.indiancountry.com. "One of the pragmatic realities of enforced colonialism, and one of the first strategies for making colonialism work, is the challenge of the power status of women and the dogged dispossession of women's rights. Though I've been called a feminist, I don't want this discussion to be understood as a feminist issue. It is not that. It is an issue of colonization and imperial power based in religion." http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096414555 THE OVERNIGHT OBESITY CURE THAT GIANT FOOD FROMS ARE COVERING UP by Dr. David G. Williams, Editor, Alternatives newsletter, Winter 2007, 800-527-3044. Hint: Itıs not fat, itıs not carbs and itıs not refined sugar - Itıs an addictive "designer chemical" thatıs killed more people than heroin. And itıs silently being added to hundreds of best-selling foods so much, that the average American swallows 56 pounds of it a year. The ordinary sugar hat used to be in these foods has increasingly been replaced by the "anti-diet drug" high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). TRADITIONAL BELIEFS ON LAND STEWARDHIP, Message Runner Volume 2, Indian Land Tenure Foundation. As Louise Erdrich eloquently reminds us, "Every feature of the land around us spoke its name to an ancestor. Perhaps in the end, that is all that we are." These words ring true for many Indian people. There is a need to find ways to protect individual Indian rights with modern land ownership without forgetting timeless values the ancestors understood and shared (not online). www.indianlandtenure.org THE COARSE CULTURE OF HIP-HOP by Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 18, 2007. This a review of the film "Beyond Beats and Rhymes," an incisive, informative and entertaining hour-long documentary, Bryon Hurt, the filmmaker, explores both the potential negative impact of some hip-hop music and the reason the genre has matured the way it has. Though the film bears a viewer discretion warning, it is exactly the kind of program that should be watched by teens who embrace hip-hop music without thinking of the stereotypes it perpetuates and the thug lifestyle it endorses. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07049/762687-237.stm Note: Beyond Beats and Rhymes airs Sunday, as a presentation of "Independent Lens," at 10 p.m. on Twin Cities Public Television, KTCA Channel 2. RESOURCE: The Circle Newspaper, Minneapolis, an indigenous publication, has an online Community Calendar. Besides the calendar listing scheduled events for a couple of months, there are sections for: ongoing, language classes, support groups, other resources and website resources. Go to www.thecirclenews.org and click Community Calendar. Thereıs a "Powwow Calendar" too. * * * * Indian Uprising a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio, www.kfai.org, is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144. KFAI's website is currently undergoing changes to update it. The Program Archives section is temporarily shut down. This section should be available again this spring or possibly earlier. Programs can be heard live via computer audio streaming as the program is broadcast. Go to www.kfai.org and on the home page click "Listen Live!" --------7 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Mental health 2.26 8am FEB.26: Barbara Schneider Foundation is working with partners in mental health, health care, social services, courts, corrections and law enforcement to improve the response to mental health crisis. We are hosting a conference on 2/26 to advance that effort. As the piece in the Times today says, we have criminalized mental illness. The solution is to find ways to support those with mental illness so they can live successfully in the community. It can be done, it is affordable, but it will take the cooperation of those in the many systems that respond to those at risk for mental health crisis. Below is information on the conference in case it is of interest. Thanks for all you all do for universal coverage, and thanks for insisting on full parity for mental health and substance abuse treatment in the benefit set. Mark Anerson Email: markjanderson [at] hotmail.com Building the Team: Mental Health Response, Best Practices and Community Collaborations 2nd Annual Minnesota CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Conference This state-wide event with participation by police, courts, corrections, mental health, emergency medicine, social services and education will be held February 26, 2007, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Conference is sponsored by the Barbara Schneider Foundation and co-sponsored by its partners in law enforcement and other partner systems that respond to those at risk for mental health crisis. The $85.00 fee for the day long conference will include all conference materials, lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, and a complementary nylon shoulder bag. We plan a great program featuring a keynote by Joel A. Dvoskin, Ph.D., ABPP Diplomate in Forensic Psychology, University of Arizona College of Medicine and President, American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41). He is a wonderful speaker who will connect with all our partners from law enforcement to mental health. Morning breakout presentations are being planned on Minnesota best practices in mental health and criminal justice systems including: · Mental Health Court Panel · CIT in the Schools and Higher Education Panel · Mental Health in County Corrections · Homeless Outreach and Mental Health · What's Next for CIT Training for Police Officers in Urban and Rural Settings · Cultural Competence and Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Panel · Consumer Panel on the 'Recovery and Crisis Prevention Cycle' · De-escalation Training for Mental Health, Social Service and Office Staff · Soldier Reintegration and Mental Health · Mental Health Care and Recovery Afternoon breakouts will focus on strengthening collaborations by community to implement best practices. This will be a chance to bring together partners in local communities to discuss ways law enforcement, courts, corrections, mental health, emergency medicine and long term social services can work together in each community. This can translate into stronger collaborations between criminal justice and mental health systems in the communities where conference attendees work. . Barbara Schneider Foundation welcomes the following co-sponsors of the Minnesota CIT Conference: Minneapolis Police Department; NAMI; SAVE Suicide Awareness Voices of Education; Minnesota Psychiatric Society, Mental Health Justice Network; and more. 2nd Annual **Minnesota** CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Conference on Monday, February 26, 2007, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center 1301 2nd Av S, Minneapolis. --------8 of 15-------- From: lawvalue <lawvalue [at] umn.edu> Subject: Clone stem cells 2.26 8:30am Creating Stem Cells by Research Cloning: Scientific, Ethical, Legal & Policy Challenges a full-day conference sponsored by the University of Minnesota in partnership with Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences Stem Cell Institute Academic Health Center Monday, February 26, 2007 . Coffman Theater, Coffman Memorial Union . University of Minnesota To register go to www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/scnt.php The University of Minnesota, as a public university with a prominent Stem Cell Institute, will lead a national audience in exploring the implications of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), also known as research cloning. This conference will convene top researchers and experts to explore the issues raised by SCNT, the options open to universities, and how policy should progress. Featured Speakers include: * Prof. Kevin Eggan, PhD--Harvard University * Prof. R. Alta Charo, JD--University of Wisconsin Law School * Prof. LeRoy Walters, PhD--Georgetown University * Prof. Nigel Cameron, PhD--Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future, Chicago-Kent College of Law * Prof. Ronald Green, PhD--Dartmouth College * Prof. Jose Cibelli, PhD--Michigan State University * Prof. Meri Firpo, PhD--University of Minnesota * Prof. Nobuaki Kikyo, MD, PhD--University of Minnesota * Judith Kim, JD, MS--Stern Kessler Goldstein Fox * Patrick Kelly--Biotechnology Industry Organization * Bill Leinweber, MBA--Research! America * And an afternoon panel of leading academic experts. Featured Topics: The Science and Issues Surrounding Research Cloning Federal & State Policy on SCNT International Approaches to SCNT Policy The Ethics of SCNT Moving Forward After the South Korean Scandal-Lessons Learned Concurrent Break-out Sessions (4): Primer on the Science of Research Cloning and Stem Cells Issues Involved in Funding SCNT Research Intellectual Property Issues State Legislative Developments & Public Attitudes on SCNT For more information visit our conference website: http://www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/scnt.php Or contact the Consortium office at: --> Email: lawvalue [at] umn.edu --> Telephone: 612-625-0055 CME, CNE, and CLE: Application for CME and CNE credits filed with the University of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education. Determination of credit is pending. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the educational activity. Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys will be requested (7 hours). --------9 of 15-------- From: August H Nimtz Jr <animtz [at] umn.edu> Subject: Venezuela 2.26 7pm Venezuela: Has the Socialist Revolution Begun?: The Views of Afro-Venezuelans and Students and Youth. Two Venezuelan activists intimately familiar with these two sectors of the mass movement will share their experiences and opinions about the significance of the most recent developments in the Bolivarian Revolution. Jesus Chucho Garcia, one of the founders of the Afro-Venezuelan Network, and Sergio Sanchez, a former student leader and now adviser to the Ministry of Popular Economy, will speak on Monday, Feb. 26, at 7pm in the library at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E. 31st St. Minneapolis (one block south of Lake and Minnehaha). For more information call 612-623-3452. Sponsored by the Minnesota Venezuela Committee. --------10 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Climate crisis 2.26 7:30pm Regular meeting of the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC). EVERY 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:30 pm. The Freight House Dunn Brothers, 201 3rd Ave S, next door to the Milwaukee Road Depot, Downtown Minneapolis. Stop global warming, save Earth! In solidarity w/people and the planet, Eric 651-644-1173 --------11 of 15-------- Is This What We Have Become? Top Gun vs. the Axis of Evil By FRANKLIN SPINNEY CounterPunch February 22, 2007 We all know that the American Way of War is to use our technology to pour firepower on the enemy from a safe distance. Implicit in this is the central myth of precision bombardment that dates back to at least to the Norden Bombsight in World War II. The theory of precision firepower is a seemless part of the larger warfighting theories of close control and surgical strike in the chaos of combat, as well as the necessary corollary belief that unintended damage -- euphemistically called collateral damage -- is morally acceptable, because it is self-evidently an unavoidable and irreducible cost of waging a precision business. Of course this is all hogwash, as the conduct of the Iraq War has proven once again. Real war is always uncertain and messy and bloody and wasteful and accompanied by profound psychological and moral effects. But these preposterous theories are central to the American Way of War, because they justify the maintenance of a high cost hi-tech military which is so essential to the welfare of the parasitic political economy of the military - industrial - congressional complex that is now seamlessly embedded in our political culture. Yet, as is now becoming clear, this doctrinal nonsense also has profound psychological effects on American soldiers and policy makers, as well as average citizens. It has created a self-referencing myth of antiseptic war that can be likened to a bloodless video game, and its dehumanizing effects now permeate popular American culture. Doubters need only recall the gushing newspaper coverage of "Shock and Awe" which was spoon-fed to the American people prior to bombing of Iraq, together with the ridiculous predictions of the Iraq war being cakewalk where Iraqis would welcome us with flowers after we bombed them, to feel the disorienting power of its pervasive psychological effect. The following email adds substance to this disorienting abstraction by illustrating its ugly underbody at the most microscopic level -- the level of the individual aviator waging precision war at a distance. It is from a Marine F-18 pilot in Iraq. In it, he describes the joy of killing "mother fuckers", which is, in his words, "like a hobby." His sweeping categorization proves that he doesn't have a clue who he is killing and maiming -- he implies they are enemy combatants but they might be women, or old men or those prepubescent mother fuckers otherwise known as children. From: MOFAKDCATH [at] aol.com Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2007 9:07 PM To: mofak [at] mofak.com Subject: Bats Sitrep From Iraq--Expletives not deleted Dogs, Marines and friends, Here's the latest from the BATS. Looks like they are still doing some good work over there, and Cave is getting even more descriptive. I will let you know when I have a definite date for the fly-in to Miramar. OD&YBF, SecDog ----------------- Forwarded Message: Subj: sitrep Date: 2/6/2007 6:12:31 AM Eastern Standard Time From: thomas.frederick [at] acemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil To: Jbsouder [at] aol.com Sent from the Internet (Details) JB, Finally went over 3,000 in the Hornet and 400th combat mission. The fellas from 121 started showing up the other day. It's starting to sink in....... I'll have to go home, the opportunities to kill these fuckers is rapidly coming to an end. Like a hobby I'll never get to practice again. It's not a great war, but its the only one we've got. God, I do love killing these bastards. Well, the government in Baghdad has been telling the Shii that the Americans are coming big, look the fuck out.... So, the bad guys have begun moving out of the city. Business is beginning to pick back up for us. I think the Iranians are going to pick things up to help give CNN some ammunition to show the buildup is a failed idea. The other day, "Puddy" Shoop got 3 nice passes with the gun and rockets on some Muj in a little town called Karma, which is just Northwest of Fallujah. I firmly believe they are implants from the "big city." Looked as though they were in the process of trying to attack the Iraqi Police headquarters. I wonder why the insurgents would be attacking the Iraqi Police............ CNN says the IP are ineffective. Funny, the "ineffective" IP stood their ground and called in 3 strikes. Only 1 confirmed kill. Had a great 5" rocket attack last week. 5 Muj emplacing an IED.... rockets can be like a box of chocolates sometimes.... You never know what you're gonna get. Allah was with these jack asses, as the rockets hit all around them. These fuckers get up, brush themselves off and take off hobbling across a farm field. The ground commander never expects survivors, so it takes them a while to coordinate a follow on attack. In the mean time, the idiots stay together in a pack, carrying their parts through a small palm grove. Ground commander finally gets his act together and clears a follow on gun run to finish them off. Roll in and just as pilot is about to go "hammer down," a herd of sheep and family members appear at the top of the pod video and the run is aborted. Went home thinking they had gotten away.... Some pipe bustin' Fellas from the QRF (Quick Reaction Force) rolled up on the farmers and apprehended all of them, along with their bomb making materials. they said the Muj tried to say their HE burns were from a tractor rolling over of some shit. As an aside, you will never be shown the aborted attack, which saved atleast 5 unarmed family members and their livelihood...... I hope they show a before and after picture of Baghdad. I think you will be quite surprised at the effort. An order of magnitude more than anything they have ever seen before. Should be interesting to watch. I'd really like to stick around and see how the extra ass effects the ops in some of the more obscure areas. As we prepare to get out of here, I have to think back to what this place was like when I was leaving 2 years ago...... The convoys would be attacked by small arms fire every night... All night long. Today, we rarely ever see a convoy attacked by small arms fire. When the Marines take any fire, they turn and attack, so the Muj have determined its not a money play and stopped (besides, killing a KBR worker won't make it to CNN back in the states). I used to spend most of my on station time investigating Mortar and Rocket points on origin from counter battery radar hits. I think I've received about 6-8 of those missions in 6 months. Camps in Ramadi and Fallujah used to get indirect fire all day and night.......Now, its rare. Our base here in Al Asad used to get rocketed every 12 days......... We've been rocketed once in 6 months. During my first 3 tours here, I never saw a single Iraqi Army unit. This tour, they have taken over significant portions of the Area of Operations. Hell, I've nearly bombed them on atleast 3 occasions because of their aggressive patrolling (they fail to tell anyone where they are going). They still have a ways to go: The retards I was providing overwatch for this morning, were trying everyone's patience. But, they were engaged in the arena and patrolling a dangerous area on foot. How can we possibly abandon these people now? Another thing that struck me the other day is how much better the US Army has become. 7 years ago, they were a bloated lazy mess.... I believe most didn't know how to use their personal weapons very well. Poor at convoy ops and patrolled in their HMMWVs. Now, they are lighter, more expeditionary, mobile, better armored. They patrol on foot and aggressively pursue contact with the insurgency. I think they still have a ways to go to be better at coordinating fires, but they are more Marine like than ever. As long as their version of a Forward Air Controller (FAC) continues to sit in a command post and "control" air fires from a computer terminal, they will never get it right (SEAL and Marine FACs are embedded with the infantry company). Advon for the Bats left this morning. We should be wandering into the overhead around the 1st. I'll be able to give you a better "charlie time" in a couple weeks. Morale is high, the Marines can smell the barn. It's hard to keep them focused. I still have 20 days of kill these motherfuckers, so I don't wanna take even one day off. Big Mama is charged up for the homecoming. The cruise plaque (etched mirror behind the bar in the Miramar O' Club) unveiling is still scheduled for april 27th. The pukin dog logo will be proudly adorned. Hope you can get some of the fellas to join us. I've seen the fucking Dogs come out of the woodwork at the prospects of free booze (& there will be free booze). Change of command is still scheduled for May 4th. Hope you can stop by for that, as well. OD&YBF CAVE Here is a "warrior" who brags about killing for killing's sake, but the people he kills that are just spots on the ground that disappear in clouds of explosions. He describes the joy of war at a distance and sees nothing its horrors -- you won't find any descriptions of blood, broken limbs, trauma, or destruction in this email. You won't even find reference to his own feelings of menace or fear, not to mention their noble counterweights courage and esprit, just braggadocio on the subject of killing. Of course, his targets are all insurgents ... no sense of any human capacity for doubt on that point. Bear in mind, this is but one email that reveals a lot about the confused moral state of one aviator. Here is a person who probably thinks of himself "noble warrior" and a patriot, yet by his own words, he describes himself as a soulless machine with no appreciation of nobility or honor or even what it takes to face a dangerous adversary up close and personal. By his own words, he makes himself into a caricature more like Pac Man than John Rambo, let alone a honorable soldier like Alvin York, a courageous Marine like Chesty Puller, or a sensitive soldier-writer who understood horror and banality of war like Eric Marie Remarque. Hopefully, the man who who wrote this ghastly thing is an aberration and not at all representative of the men and women in our military. But note in the introductory email that at least one other person thinks he is doing "good work." ... Which begs the question: Since the Bushian Surge (BS) strategy of winning the trust of Iraqis by providing them with more security will be reinforced by a more generous dose of airpower, together with its whacky theories of precision and surgical destruction, how widespread is an outlook that reduces doctrinal BS to JKMF (just killing mother fuckers)? Franklin C. Spinney is a former Pentagon analyst and whistleblower. His writing on defense issues can be found on the invaluable Defense in the National Interest website. --------12 of 15-------- "Just Following Orders" is No Excuse If Bush is a War Criminal, Then What About the Troops By STEPHEN S. PEARCY CounterPunch February 23, 2007 In addition to holding George Bush and U.S. Congress accountable for the illegal occupation of Iraq, American troops must also be prepared to accept responsibility, because we're all presumed to know the law. If we accept that fundamental legal presumption, then those of us who claim that the war is illegal must also acknowledge that the troops are unexcused aiders and abettors. Lt. Ehren Watada's case is a good example. Watada's position is that he has a duty to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq, because those orders effectively command him to pursue an illegal war. Watada correctly understands that obeying those orders could subject him to war crimes charges under a more just administration (which should try George Bush first). Publicly available information about the Iraq invasion has become plentiful over the last several years. Reasonable people contemplating service in the U.S. military should know that people throughout the world regard participation in the occupation as tantamount to aiding and abetting in mass murder, fraud, human rights violations, and international war crimes. By now, all of the troops should recognize this, and ignorance is no excuse. The frequency of U.S.-sponsored war crimes in Iraq is such that it has become the norm rather than the exception. U.S. troops have intentionally and recklessly caused the deaths of so many Iraqi civilians, and continue to do so, that we can now properly regard acts in furtherance of the occupation effort generally to be acts substantially likely to facilitate crimes such as those which have already occurred. >From a legal standpoint, obeying Bush's orders is just like when Nazi soldiers obeyed Hitler's orders. And we know from the Nuremberg trials that the "just-following-orders" excuse is invalid. Watada's case suggests that we should question all troops' willingness to follow their illegal orders. Suggesting troop-responsibility for the illegal war is unpopular, but it would also have been unpopular during WWII for a German citizen to suggest that Nazi troops be held accountable for obeying their illegal orders. At the end of the day, it's really no different. Stephen S. Pearcy is an attorney and peace activist in Berkeley, CA. You can email him at stephen.pearcy [at] sbcglobal.net. --------13 of 15-------- Clinton Draws a Line in the Sand over Iraq by Amy Goodman February 23, 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Hillary Clinton is a once and future warrior. Campaign events in New Hampshire suggest the majority anti-war electorate has problems with her vote for the Iraq war and with her position on Iran. On Feb. 10, New Hampshire resident Roger Tilton asked Clinton at a town-hall meeting: "I want to know if right here, right now, once and for all and without nuance, you can say that war authorization was a mistake." Clinton responded: "Well, I have said, and I will repeat it, that knowing what I know now, I never would have voted for it. ... The mistakes were made by this president, who misled this country and this Congress into a war that should not have been waged." A week later, in Dover, N.H., she dug in: "If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from. But for me, the most important thing now is trying to end this war." Her tough talk to anti-war voters is reminiscent of President Bush's taunt to the Iraqi insurgents: "Bring it on." People's concerns about Clinton's Iraq war vote is of more than historical interest. History has a frightening way of repeating itself. Drop the "q," add an "n." Iran. New Hampshire Peace Action director Anne Miller asked Clinton about her recent comments to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Clinton told AIPAC: "We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat ... no option can be taken off the table." Miller, who has visited Iran, expressed "deep concern ... that we have a Democratic presidential candidate who is a militarist of this nature and that she isn't coming out and saying we need strong diplomatic action with Iran, which is really the only answer." Clinton continues to invoke the now largely discredited Bush administration claim that the government of Iran is supplying high-tech weaponry to Iraqi insurgents. Even Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says there is no evidence of Iranian government involvement. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., fought the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He said the president wants "to have the power to launch this nation into war without provocation and without clear evidence of an imminent attack on the United States, and we're going to be foolish enough to give it to him." Byrd seems to have known then what Clinton says she knows now. He called the resolution "dangerous" and a "blank check," and now, with more than 3,145 U.S. soldiers killed, and with Iraq war costs through 2008 projected at more than $1 trillion, it appears he was right. Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey also seemed to know then what Clinton says she knows now. They were lauded by the 50 activists who, on Jan. 30, 2007, occupied Clinton's Senate office, weaving a web with pink yarn "to symbolize the senator's web of deception and the innocent people -- Americans and Iraqis -- caught in it." Protesters have promised to "bird-dog" Clinton at all her public appearances. Those actions recall the student sit-in at Clinton's New York office on Oct. 10, 2002, while Clinton stood on the Senate floor and made her case for war. Fully a year before she died, columnist and arch Bush critic Molly Ivins wrote: "Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. ... Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her." And then there's Ralph Nader. He admits that there are good anti-war candidates, but that if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, he would be more likely to run. Clinton has drawn the line in the sand over Iraq. She will not admit that her vote to authorize Bush to use military force in a unilateral, unprovoked war based on lies was a mistake. She is open to a military strike on Iran. Her latest message to voters: "There are others to choose from." Anti-war voters already know that, and are lining up behind candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and, perhaps before long, Ralph Nader. Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour. 1998-2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer --------14 of 15------- Caution, Calculation and Cold Feet Mr. Jefferson's Inheritors By NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN CounterPunch February 22, 2007 "I belong to no organized party", Will Rogers once boasted famously, "I am a Democrat". Were he alive, he would be dumbstruck by the conformity that has overtaken his party. It is hard to imagine a time which cried out more for a vigorous opposition. Yet, when it was needed most, the Democratic Party failed to provide any check on a government run amok. President Bush addressed the nation last month, assuring his listeners that with 20,000 additional troops, he could hold off the Middle East from exploding. Simultaneously, he was also telling them there were no guarantees, that this was a last attempt before calling it a day in Iraq. Having destroyed a noncombatant nation and triggered the deaths of thousands (30,000 by his own admission, 655,000, according to Lancet), here he was, telling us how he proposed to save Iraq and the rest of the world. "Sau choohe kha ke billi Haj pe chali", as the Hindi saying goes (rough translation: after swallowing a hundred rats, the cat announced it was off on a pilgrimage). To be fair, Mr. Bush has been no less assiduous in devastating his own country. It was reported recently that the CIA and the Pentagon were accessing people's bank records without any official warrant. Earlier it was discovered Bush had ordered postal mail to be intercepted and read without a warrant. Habeas Corpus is no longer guaranteed in the United States, phone conversations may be listened to, email monitored, library and book purchases tracked, all without any court order. Mr. Bush has been deciding which laws he will or will not choose to obey, using an artifice called a 'signing statement'. This is what the birthplace of modern democracy, the home of 'government of laws, not men', has become in our day. At a more prosaic level, if the war has reduced Iraq's infrastructure to rubble, America's own can hardly be called shipshape. The tab for the war is already $350 billion (even higher, by some estimates), money which, experts have calculated, would've provided for hundreds of schools, built scores of hospitals, put thousands through college, or even paid for the inspection of all cargo coming into the United States, a oft-voiced concern. The budget surplus has been turned to a record deficit. "Where were you when Kennedy died?", the question goes. So might the Democrats be asked, "Where were you when a boy president, taking power in a doubtful election, careened through and broke every norm in your own country and across the world? "Missing in Action" (MIA) is mot juste. Who can forget that it was a Democratic-controlled Senate which gave President Bush the authority to go to war with Iraq! It was October 2002, a month before the midterm election. Heedless of warnings from the likes of Sen. Robert Byrd, a majority of Democratic senators pushed for the war resolution, fearful of being labeled "soft on terror" by Bush and his twin Svengalis, Cheney and Rove. But this Faustian deal availed them nothing; the election took away the very majority they had compromised so much to retain. By 2004, it was clear that the whole WMD thing was a crock. Yet, not one prominent Democrat receded from his or her vote. John Kerry even kept saying that, knowing what he knew now, he would still have voted for the war resolution. Neither Kerry, nor Hillary Clinton, nor any other big-name Democrat, deigned to visit Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she was on a Gandhian satyagraha to seek an answer from President Bush to a simple question: for what noble cause did her son die fighting in Iraq? Bush, of course, used every means to avoid her even sending out his flunkeys to smear her. So too, to its lasting shame, would the Democratic leadership. In the end, the Democratic Party never took a bold stand on the two issues of our time, the Iraq War, and the shredding of the American Constitution. By 2006, the country had itself moved far ahead of the Democrats. Bush's dropping poll numbers lent them enough calcium to start speaking out on Iraq, though careful seldom to raise the issue of the Original Sin, content merely to critique Bush's 'conduct' of the war. Nevertheless, so reviled had Bush's Republican Party become, all across the nation, in states red and blue, that the elections gave the Democrats a nice majority in the House, and unexpected control of the Senate. Early indications are that caution is still their watchword, not impeachment. They will criticize the 'surge' but not say a word about the 'occupation'. If there is still a trace of euphoria, it is because, to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, you have to go to bat with the opposition you have, not the one you might wish you had. If in these testing hours the Democrats were craven, the Republicans were in enthusiastic lock-step with the administration's lawlessness. Together, they call to mind these lines from a famous novel, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness and let other people clean up the mess they had made." Tom and Daisy? Surely Fitzgerald meant George and Hillary...? Niranjan Ramakrishnan is a writer living on the West Coast. He can be reached at njn_2003 [at] yahoo.com. A shorter version of this article appeared in the Indian Express. --------15 of 15-------- From the Gulf of Tonkin to the Persian Gulf Repeating History By ROBERT FANTINA CounterPunch February 22, 2007 No exit strategy; violent resistance by the occupied nation's citizens; opposition to the war in the United States; international anger at the U.S. because of the war; the American economy being decimated by the war; escalating casualties; presidential refusal to recognize mistakes: all of these statements apply to the Iraq war today as much as they did to the Vietnam War forty years ago. While it is difficult to pinpoint the start of the Vietnam War, since America was involved marginally in that country as early as the 1950's, major escalation began in 1964. The circumstances bringing about this escalation parallel the start of the Iraq war to an amazing degree. Brief descriptions of this first, major escalation in Vietnam, and the start of the Iraq war, follow. During the Vietnam War, the staging area for the U.S. Seventh Fleet was the Gulf of Tonkin, on the east coast of North Vietnam. On August 2 1964, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was on an espionage mission when it was fired on by North Vietnamese torpedo patrol boats. The Maddox, with supporting air power, fired back, sinking one North Vietnamese boat. Two evenings later the Maddox and another destroyer, the C. Turner Joy were again in the gulf. The instruments on the Maddox indicated that the ship was under attack or had been attacked and the captain began an immediate retaliatory strike. Both ships began firing into the night with assistance from American air power. Hours later the captain concluded that there might not have been an actual attack. James B. Stockdale, who was a pilot of a Crusader jet, undertook a reconnaissance flight over the waters that evening and when asked if he witnessed any North Vietnamese attack vessels, Stockdale replied: 'Not a one. No boats, no wakes, no ricochets off boats, no boat impacts, no torpedo wakes--nothing but black sea and American firepower.' Regardless of any inconsistencies, this incident, which may not have happened at all, was presented to the world as an act of aggression against the United States. The fact that the U.S. had no legitimate business in the Gulf of Tonkin was not addressed. Congress quickly met and with the same lack of fact-finding rigor demonstrated by that body nearly forty years later, passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president to take all necessary measures to repel aggression. Those measures resulted in a significant escalation of the war. The ultimate result was years of death and carnage for American soldiers and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. On September 12, 2002, President Bush addressed the United Nations and told the skeptical delegates and the doubting world about his belief in Iraq's progression towards creating nuclear weapons and his purported knowledge of its scientists, weapons designs and attempts to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. None of it was true, but Congress bought the story, with both Republicans and Democrats proclaiming the need to give Mr. Bush the authorization to invade Iraq. The result, to date, has been death and carnage for American soldiers and Iraqi soldiers and civilians. During the Vietnam War, President Nixon ordered the secret invasion of Cambodia, with the apparent goal of containing communism to North Vietnam. Congress approved the bombing of that nation when it passed the Cooper-Church amendment in 1971. While this amendment restricted the ability of the president to deploy troops, it allowed him to do whatever he deemed necessary ' to protect the lives of American armed forces wherever deployed,' and did little to limit the president's use of air power. While Mr. Nixon denounced the bill, it did not prevent him from bombing Cambodia under the guise of protecting the lives of American soldiers. Today Mr. Bush is stating categorically that he knows Iran is supplying weapons to Iraqi freedom fighters. He has further stated that he is going to do 'something' about it. Congress appears to be in a somewhat less receptive mood than it was four years ago, but it is likely that, in the name of 'supporting the troops' Mr. Bush will once again be given a free reign, with nothing more than a slap on the wrist in the form of a non-binding resolution from Congress to express its displeasure. When Mr. Nixon opposed the Cooper-Church Amendment (it was an amendment to another bill), he said that it harmed the war effort. Mr. Bush and Co. vehemently opposed the non-binding resolution expressing disagreement with his decision to send an additional 20,000 troops, echoing Mr. Nixon's sentiments and claiming that it would show the 'enemy' that America is divided, and would be a slap in the face to the soldiers serving in Iraq. In 1967, six Vietnam Veterans founded the organization 'Vietnam Veterans Against the War.' These men had served in Vietnam, and knew first hand that the war was, at best, a calamitous mistake. Thirty-seven years later, a group of veterans of the Iraq war formed 'Iraq Veterans Against the War.' Like their predecessors, these men and women are exposing the cruelty, carnage and obscenity of the war. The outcome of the Iraqi war will not be known until some future date; Mr. Bush has said that it will be another president, not he, who decides when American soldiers will leave that country. But history does tend to repeat itself, as has been indicated by even this cursory look at some of the major milestones of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. If that is indeed the case, the world can expect several more years of blood and death in Iraq, more American soldiers returning home in coffins, and a growing resentment of the U.S. There does not appear to exist any more optimistic precedent in America's history. Robert Fantina is author of 'Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776--2006.' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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