Progressive Calendar 02.23.07
From: David Shove (
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]>
Subject: Peace breakfast 2.24 10am

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

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From: "[iso-8859-1] katherine" <katherine [at]>
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.

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From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
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
For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

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From: marshall law <blackngrin [at]>
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]

--------5 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
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

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.


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]>
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.  "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."

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).

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).

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. 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 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,, 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 and on the home page click "Listen Live!"

--------7 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
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]

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
· Cultural Competence and Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities
· Consumer Panel on the 'Recovery and Crisis Prevention Cycle'
· De-escalation Training for Mental Health, Social Service and Office
· 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]>
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

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:
Or contact the Consortium office at:
-->          Email: lawvalue [at]
-->          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]>
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]>
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
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

Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2007 9:07 PM
To: mofak [at]
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.

Forwarded Message:
2/6/2007 6:12:31 AM Eastern Standard Time
thomas.frederick [at]
To: Jbsouder [at]
Sent from the Internet (Details)

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.


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
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

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

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]

--------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

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
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

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

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

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]

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
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

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:


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