Progressive Calendar 06.25.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 20:35:00 -0700 (PDT)
\             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    06.25.07

1. Vs Israel?/CTV    6.26 8am
2. ACLU/habeas demos 6.26 12noon
3. Vs torture        6.26 5pm
4. Vs Israel?/CTV    6.26 5pm
5. Fast track scam   6.26 6:30pm
6. Guatemala dinner  6.26 6pm
7. Impeach           6.26 7pm
8. Iraq war fraud    6.26 7pm

9. PoF retreat       6.27 9am
10. Facing race      6.27 12noon
11. Organic/farm     6.27 6pm
12. GLBT pride read  6.27 7pm
13. Palestine        6.27 7pm

14. Wal-Mart workers 6.28 4pm
15. NWN4P New Hope   6.28 4:30pm
16. Eagan peacevigil 6.28 4:30pm
17. Northtown vigil  6.28 5pm
18. Wireless Mpls    6.28 5:30pm
19. FNVW v war       6.28 7pm

20. Gary Leupp      - Re Ward Churchill: in defense of academic freedom
21. Joel Hirschhorn - Political Attention Deficit Disorder (PADD)
22. George Aleman   - The stab in the back

--------1 of 22--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Vs Israel?/CTV 6.26 8am

Revered Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly on MTN Channel 17.  Households with
basic cable can watch.  "Our World In Depth" is on Saturday at 9 pm and
the following Tuesday at 8 am (as well as other times).

6/23 and 6/26 "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic: An Evening
with Norman Finkelstein".  Part 1 of Nov. talk given in Mpls.

--------2 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: ACLU/habeas demos 6.26 12noon

Tuesday, 6/26, noon, ACLU sponsors rally to restore law, justice and
habeas corpus, in front of Norm Coleman's office, 2250 University Ave,
(highway 280 and University Ave), St Paul.

Tuesday, 6/26, noon to 1, ACLU hosts a rally at John Kline's office to
restore habeas corpus, 101 W Burnsville Pkway #201, Burnsville.

--------3 of 22--------

From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at]>
Subject: Vs torture 6.26 5pm

June 26, 2007 - United Nations International Day in Support of Victims
of Torture.

The Center for Victims of Torture will mark United Nations International
Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
5:00 p.m.
717 East River Road Minneapolis

About June 26
The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect on June 26, 1987.
Events are held around the world to mark this important anniversary.

--------4 of 22--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Vs Israel?/CTV 6.26 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10
am each Wednesday in St. Paul.  All households with basic cable can watch.

6/26 and 6/27 "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic: An Evening with Norman
Finkelstein".  Part 1 of Nov. talk given in Mpls.

--------5 of 22--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Fast track scam 6.26 6:30pm

At next Tuesday's salon, June 26, we will have as our guest, Kristen
Melby, from Witness for Peace who will give us an overhaul of Bush's Fast
Track under the cover of Trade Promotion Authority, which transfers the
Constitutionally Mandated authority to make trade policy from the
Legislative branch to the Executive branch.  Go to
for information.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------6 of 22--------

From: rebelde [at]
Subject: Guatemala dinner 6.26 6pm


Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
6:00 - 8:30 PM
Powderhorn Phillips Cultural Wellness Center
1527 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Across from Mercado Central
in the Wells Fargo building; parking in back)
For more information, call Adam: 612-432-3409

COST: $10

--------7 of 22--------

From: Impeach <lists [at]>
Subject: Impeach 6.26 7pm

Our weekly meeting location has changed.  We still meet Tuesdays at 7:00
p.m.  But now we meet at:
Joe's Garage (Restaurant along Loring Park)
1610 Harmon Pl
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 904-1163

--------8 of 22--------

From: e-holdridge [at]
Subject: Iraq war fraud 6.26 7pm

Tuesday, June 26th at 7:00 p.m.  six readers will present, "THE CASE FOR
THE IRAQ WAR - WAS IT FRAUDULENT?" The reading is a proposed indictment
of top government officials for tricking the nation into war, or, in
legals terms, conspiring to defraud the United States. The facts and
circumstances are real. They are the result of two years of research by
Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecuting attorney with 20 years
of experience and passion for justice. The script is adapted from her
book, United States v. George W. Bush et al. 

Admission is free. The location is at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist
Church in the Art Gallery. 501 Groveland, Mpls. where Hennepin Ave crosses
Lyndale Ave. 

-Sook Holdridge

--------9 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: PoF retreat 6.27 9am

Wednesday, 6/27, 9 to 3, People of Faith Peacemakers retreat at Hospitality
Place in Circle Pines.  763-784-5177.

--------10 of 22--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Facing race 6.27 12noon

June 27: City of Cottage Grove Human Services/Human Rights Commission.
Facing Race: New Conversations About Race & Racism. Interactive workshop,
facilitated by The St. Paul Foundation, engages professionals in
constructive dialogue about race in our communities. Participants watch
scenarios and complete activities designed to help them explore and
understand their perspectives and behaviors on the issue of race and

Register now as space is limited. $10 (scholarships are available).
Students are free. Noon-3:30 PM. River Oaks Golf Course. Certificate of
Attendance and a box lunch will be provided.

--------11 of 22--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Organic/farm 6.27 6pm

More on June 27: Women's Environmental Institute Organic Farm School with
Atina Diffley (Gardens of Eagan) Soil Health and Biodiversity in Practice
- Harnessing Biology, Ecology, and Resiliency on the Farm. 6PM- 8:00PM
p.m. at Amazon Bookstore, 4755 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis MN.

--------12 of 22--------

From: Julie Bates <julie [at]>
Subject: GLBT pride reading 6.27 7pm

GLBT Reading Series: OUT at the Library!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
7:00 PM at the Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Hosted by John Medeiros and Andrea Jenkins
Free and open to the public
Come hear some of the finest GLBT writers in the Twin Cities at this
special PRIDE event reading. Featured readers include:
 And many more!

This Carol Connolly reading is co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Public
Library and Best Buy Company. For more information, call 612-874-2815 or

Intermedia Arts is a catalyst that builds understanding among people
through art.

Julie Bates
Phone: 612-874-2815
E-mail: julie [at]

--------13 of 22---------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 6.27 7pm

Ruth Hansen: "Occupation: Then and Now"

Wednesday, June 27, 7:00 p.m. St. John's Lutheran Church, 500 Third Street
West, Northfield. Ruth Hansen, having recently returned from the Holy
Land, will speak on "Occupation: Then and Now." Learn how Israelis,
Palestinians and Americans are involved in the conflict in the Middle
East. FFI: Call Bill, 507-645-7660.

--------14 of 22--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: Wal-Mart workers 6.28 4pm

Press Conference on Wal-Mart Civil Rights Violations
Thursday, June 28, 2007
4:00 PM
Midway Wal-Mart (1450 Univ. Ave. W)

Please join UFCW Local 789 and labor, faith and community partners for a
press conference highlighting Wal-Mart's record of discriminating and
mistreating its African American and minority workers. Our goal is to urge
Wal-Mart, America's largest employer with 1.39 million employees and over
$12 billion in profits, and the nation's largest employer of minorities,
to end its policies and practices that needlessly hurt African Americans
and other minority Wal-Mart workers.

At the press conference we will also issue a Justice Now civil rights
challenge that will ask Wal-Mart to commit to improve the number of its
minority workers in management, as well as improve wages, health care, and
end certain anti-family policies.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Bernie
Hesse, Jenny Shegos or Doug Mork at 651-451-6240.

--------15 of 22--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P New Hope 6.28 4:30pm

NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:30 to 6 PM at the corner of
Winnetka and 42nd.  You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near
McDonalds; we will be on all four corners.  Bring your own or use our

--------16 of 22--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.28 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------17 of 22--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.28 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------18 of 22--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: Wireless Mpls 6.28 5:30pm

City Wireless meetings.  The City of Minneapolis signed a 10-year contract
with US Internet, a local company that will build a wireless network
across the city and offer service to Minneapolis residents and businesses,
and City government. US Internet is currently in the process of
constructing the wireless network, which is expected to launch citywide
before the end of 2007.

While the citywide wireless network gradually gets up and running, the
City is hosting a series of community meetings to keep you and other
residents updated on the progress. Folks will also learn more about the
process for developing community and neighborhood portal pages that will
be hosted on the wireless network.

Through portal pages, the City can offer neighborhood and community
organizations a powerful communication and community-building tool.
Initially, six portal pages will be created (Central, Downtown, North,
Northeast, South, and Southwest), and the public is invited to the
community meetings to give their ideas and feedback about the content of
those pages.

The meetings will take place from 5:30-7:30pm at the following locations:
Thursday, June 14, Downtown Central Library Nicollet Mall, Doty Board
Room; and Thursday, June 28, Midtown Global Market, Lake Street & Chicago

Cam Gordon Council Member, Second Ward June 2007

--------19 of 22--------

From: Sharon Sudman <sharon [at]>
Subject: FNVW v war 6.28 7pm


Plan now for:
"End It in September" Statewide Rally
State Capitol
Saturday, September 15th, Noon

What if we told you there were a button you could push to end the war? You
would press it, right?  Well, there IS such a button and the chance to
push it comes up in September.

That button is the Appropriations Bill that comes up for a vote, when
Congress will choose to give, or refuse to give President Bush the money
he wants to continue the bloody war in Iraq.

If Congress refuses, then the button gets pushed and the war ends. That's
how the Vietnam War actually ended. It's how we can end today's illegal,
immoral and unpopular war in Iraq. If, however, Congress caves to Bush's
anti- democratic demands, then the death, debt and fatal distractions from
legitimate issues will continue.

This is why peace, labor and justice groups met recently to discuss a massive
rally to put pressure on Congress to "End It in September."

To make sure this happens, FNVW/Peace in the Precincts is taking action to
set a date and convene a multi-organization planning group.  The date for
this rally is September 15th and WE NEED ORGANIZERS. WE NEED YOU.  If you
want to make sure Minnesotans rally to "End the War in September,"  then
please join us:

Thursday, June 28th, 7pm
The FNVW office.
1050 Selby Ave, St. Paul.
2 blks South of I-94 and 1blk East of Lexington Avenue.

Let's push the button that "Ends the War in September" - together!

The Peace in the Precincts Steering Committee
Sharon, Phil, Matt, Cathy, Brian, Santwana and Tim

--------20 of 22--------

An Open Letter to the Regents of the University of Colorado on Ward
In Defense of Academic Freedom
June 23 / 24, 2007

Dear Steve Ludwig, Cindy Carlisle, Patricia Hayes, Michael Carrigan, Tom
Lucero, Steve Bosley, Kyle Hybl, Paul Schauer, and Tillie Bishop:

I don't envy your position as regents of the University of Colorado at

On the one hand I envy the attainments that result in your serving on a
Board of Regents. I myself am a mere professor of history. On the other
hand, I do not envy your sitting on a board asked to produce a landmark
decision in the history of academic freedom in this country.

That burden I believe is what is on your desk right now. A very weighty
decision that places the deciders in the limelight.

As I understand the history of my vocation, scholars once got together,
formed academic institutions, doubled as classroom teachers and
administrators and built institutions of learning. At some point a
professional managerial stratum emerged to facilitate the scholar's
classroom work, freeing up the scholar's time by providing needed
auxiliary services. As the college or university became more like a
corporation, boards like yours emerged and wound up making or least
approving the main decisions affecting academic life. Since then there's
always been an uneasy balance between "faculty governance" and the
administrators' role.

Professors, once masters of their institutions, became more like employees
in a firm. Some people think that's how it should be, or that it should be
more and more like that. A favorite target for them, as you know, is the
institution of tenure which operates to strengthen the faculty role. Some
think professors ought to be judged on the product they produce, and how
much of it they produce - for their employers (who, again, weren't even
there initially). They should be graded on how many tuition-paying
students they attract to the institution, how big their enrollments are,
how well they contribute to corporate America by influencing young minds
to better contribute to that America and its global ambitions.

Some would like to apply an ideological litmus test to us academic
employees: they might for example suppose that all professors, just to
assume their positions in society, ought to agree and actively propagate
that the U.S. is the best country in the world, its capitalist system
generally admirable (maybe even "the end of history"), its history (while
containing some unfortunate aspects) generally inspirational, its wars if
sometimes mistaken always undertaken with honorable motives. There are
some commentators hostile to us for being disproportionately irreligious,
disinclined to believe with the majority of Americans in the literal truth
of Bible stories, much more likely to understand science within the matrix
of the theory of evolution, far less likely than the population at large
to believe the government when it offers its explanation for its wars. But
maybe we do that precisely because of our educational backgrounds.

As professors of languages, we tend not to believe that Hebrew was the
original language and that others exist because God inflicted them on us
when humans tried to reach Heaven by constructing the Tower of Babel. As
professors of astronomy, we tend to reject the idea that the sun and moon
ever "stood still" as the Book of Joshua records, or that the earth
preceded the existence of the sun moon and stars. As professors of
history, we tend to question whether human beings have only been around
just 6000 years. We're also less likely than the general population to
believe in astrology, the geocentric theory, creationism theory, the flat
earth theory, the theory that God gave America to His white people as a
promised land. Yes, we are more critical of government and less inclined
to identify ourselves as "conservatives" than the general population,
although we have some fine critically thinking conservatives among us.

We don't assume a need to obey past or consensus views. That as you know
makes some people in Colorado and elsewhere uncomfortable. Some see
professors generically as a big far-left problem and threat to "family
values" and seek to shelter their children from all we represent. As
guardians of an educational institution, I would hope such attitudes
trouble you.

You are surely familiar with the American Council of Trustees and Alumni
(ACTA), founded in 1995 by Vice President Dick Cheney's wife Lynne Cheney
and Joseph Lieberman, which thinks that America's colleges and university
faculty have been the "weak link in America's response" to Sept. 11. And
you may know that the vice president was a key figure in promoting the war
on Iraq based on lies and the upcoming attack on Iran based on lies.
That's their notion of an appropriate response to 9-11, and they want you
and me on board that program.

If you're paying attention you realize that the neoconservative faction in
the administration (of which Cheney seems the de facto head) has nothing
but contempt for logic and reason as these pertain to U.S. policy. It
promotes and perhaps lives in a world of myth and delusion.

New York Times columnist Ron Suskind reported in 2002 that one top
administration official had responded to something he'd written with a
contemptuous dismissal of "what we [the Bush administration
neoconservatives] call the reality-based community." He alluded to people
who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of
discernible reality." But of course it's precisely that judicious study
that traditional academe has been all about. I'd like to think that you as
a university regent are personally committed to that ideal. What is
better, after all, in the life of the mind, than the judicious study of
discernible reality? Can we advance on it through wanton abandonment of
logic in the service of apocalyptically violent fantasies? Some people
think so, and want academe to embrace their view.

"We're an empire now," the above-mentioned anonymous source (in this era
when anonymous sources say so many influential things) told Suskind, "and
when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that
reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new
realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out.
We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just
study what we do."

There in a nutshell - in this senior administration official's statement -
is the neoconservative argument against academia, and more broadly against
the human mind, the thought process that you as a volunteer servant of a
university ought to cherish, facilitate and protect. We create our own
reality, he says. On the other side of this mad creativity is the will to
destroy: to wipe out the Bill of Rights, the possibility for meaningful
public discourse, the existence of universities like yours as credible
forums for such debate.

The president of University of Colorado is currently Hank Brown, a Lynne
Cheney crony and ACTA member. Do you suppose he wants the university to be
such a forum for discourse? If not, might you be able - in a rare
departure from regents' traditional role as rubber-stampers - countermand

Professor Churchill became a public figure for a brief essay he wrote
after 9-11 that compared some of the victims of the attack on the Twin
Towers to Adolf Eichmann. Historians draw historical analogies all the
time, some very appropriate, some not. (As an example of inappropriate
analogies, I'd suggest comparisons between Adolf Hitler and Saddam
Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are made
routinely by politicians, journalists and others framing public opinion
who somehow escape any consequences from their irresponsible speech.)

Churchill's statement produced a little controversy during that immediate
post-9-11 period, when ACTA issued a report which, according to Roberto
Gonzalez of the San Jose Mercury News, "in a chilling use of doublespeak"
affirms "he right of professors to speak out, yet condemns those who have
attempted to give context to Sept. 11, encourage critical thinking, or
share knowledge about other cultures." In that report "Faculty are accused
of being 'short on patriotism' for attempting to give students the
analytical tools they need to become informed citizens. Many of those
blacklisted are top scholars in their fields, and it appears that the
report represents a kind of academic terrorism designed to strike fear
into other academics by making examples of respected professors."

Soon after 9-11 political satirist Bill Maher on his ABC show "Politically
Incorrect" happened to agree with a (conservative) political commentator
guest on his program that the 9-11 attackers were not, whatever else they
were, "cowardly" as the Bush administration had suggested, and that U.S.
officials had indeed "been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000
miles away." Recall how in our free speech, free enterprise system FedEx,
Sears Roebuck and other sponsors withdrew support for Maher's show,
ultimately resulting in its cancellation, while President Bush's press
secretary Ari Fleischer declared - in specific response to a reporter's
question about Maher - that people "need to watch what they say." Recall
how this administration proceeded to say so many false things to justify a
war of aggression against Iraq. Recall how central Cheney was to these
efforts, insisting on an al-Qaeda-Iraq link that academics - people using
reasoned analysis, people you are supposed to be there to support - have
thoroughly discredited.

The really ferocious rightwing response to Churchill's essay, "Some People
Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" began in January 2005.
Fueled by anti-academics such as Fox News' David Horowitz, it brought
Churchill into the spotlight. Your president at the time, Elizabeth
Hoffman (a Republican), told the faculty she feared of a "new McCarthyism"
a week before resigning her post. Her successor Brown has campaigned
tirelessly for Churchill's dismissal and has brought this decision to your

Boulder has rejected the student body vote for Churchill as "favorite
professor;" your alumni association in an action unprecedented in the
award's 44 years withheld it from the recipient. Your Standing Committee
on Research Misconduct under the strong influence of ACTA - which most of
us in academia see as a dangerous, fringe operation - has determined that
Churchill has engaged in "serious research misconduct" after a witchhunt.
That investigative travesty would never have occurred had he not expressed
a critical view of U.S. imperialism during a time when this administration
was striving, with much success, to stifle dissent while cynically
exploiting the emotions unleashed by the 9-11 attacks to seize
unprecedented power while preparing for generations of war on multiple
ill-defined enemies.

Churchill's words of dissent, as you know, were constitutionally protected
freedom of speech. So he could not be dismissed merely for the
thought-crime of writing "The Justice of Roosting Chickens." But some
people thought that despite his tenured status based on his prolific
writings, student evaluations and record of service he had to be sacked on
some basis, for some reason. As a practical matter they needed to get
something on this professor. So they arranged to re-examine his entire
career seeking some cause to sack him on grounds other than the nakedly

What do they come up with? A handful of accusations of plagiarism far less
serious than those brought against presidential historian Doris Kerns
Goodwin - those not raised by the presumed victims of such plagiarism but
a zealous ideologically driven team led by a former assistant attorney
general of Texas. Six controversial counts of fabricating or falsifying
information pertaining to the history of Native Americans.

I'd suggest that is boards of regents in this country were to investigate
and punish the falsification of Native American history by scholars, or if
society in general were to investigate such falsification in the media,
popular culture and political discourse, we'd all be in for a very
time-consuming process resulting in a whole lot of people out of jobs.

The American Association of University Professors at Boulder has issued a
statement of protest at this attack on Churchill. "We believe," they
declare, "that the investigation now is widely perceived to be a pretext
for firing Churchill when the real reason for dismissal is his politics."
Your own Promotion and Tenure Committee report acknowledges that "but for
his exercise of his First Amendment rights, Professor Churchill would not
have been subjected to the Research Misconduct and Enforcement Process."

Isn't that obvious to you? Isn't it also clear that a vote to endorse the
foregone decision of ACTA's Brown to fire this professor will be viewed in
the long run not as a vote for high academic standards, but a vote to
baldly align your institution with the Bush-Cheney administration and its
standard of "new realities" based on militarism, unquestioning
nationalism, intimidation, and contempt for judicious study? A vote to, as
Gonzalez put it, "strike fear into other academics"? Is that what a
university trustee should want to do?

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton
University, has said it well: "All of us who value academic freedom should
now stand in full solidarity with Ward Churchill. The outcome of his case
at the University of Colorado is the best litmus test we have to tell
whether the right-wing's assaults on learning and liberty will stifle
campus life in this country. Never in my lifetime have we in America more
needed the sort of vigorous debate and creative controversy that Ward
Churchill's distinguished career epitomizes. We all stand to lose if his
principled defense fails."

I urge you to end this travesty and avoid what will surely be a deep stain
on the history of the university and academic freedom in general. This is
a deeply troubled country in desperate need of more articulate dissent as
its Cheneys in the halls of political and academic power arrogantly abuse
that power, driving us towards more disastrous war. You can abet them by
striving to silence one voice (although I doubt Churchill will be silenced
and may if the country doesn't descend into fascism perhaps get a good job
elsewhere). Or you can just say no to McCarthyism. It's your own shame or
honor at stake. Think about how your kids, who might be like the students
who voted Churchill best professor, will think about you in the future.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct
Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands
and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The
Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy
in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a
contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq,
Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp [at]

--------21 of 22--------

Political Attention Deficit Disorder: New Psychiatric Condition
by Joel S. Hirschhorn / June 25th, 2007

According to a report not yet released, the Council on Science and Public
Health of the American Medical Association has recommended that a chronic
and widespread affliction of Americans be officially declared a
psychiatric disorder. It has been named the Political Attention Deficit
Disorder (PADD). It is recommended that the disorder be included in a
widely used mental illness manual created and published by the American
Psychiatric Association. The current manual was published in 1994; the
next edition is to be completed in 2012. The benefit to people of an
official classification is coverage by health insurance.

"The symptoms of PADD are all around us and treating it professionally can
do more for our country than any election," said Dr. Mable Wank in the
report's introduction; she is chairwoman of the Council and a professor at

Here are the Council's main findings on PADD:

Nearly 80 percent of adult American citizens are unable to pay sustained
attention to issues and problems associated with their government. They
are unable to accept their responsibility as citizens, including their
obligation to vote, read in-depth articles and books on political issues,
become active members of politically oriented groups, and initiate
discussions on current events with friends and family. "The decades-old
decline in voter turnout is a direct result of a national epidemic of
PADD," said the report.

The chief cause of PADD is the desire to avoid the very real pain of
cognitive dissonance, the difference between what Americans want to
believe about the greatness of their country and the disturbing reality
that their government and country are in terrible shape, which is a
constant reminder when there is normal, healthy political attention. Such
pain suppression, however, is counterproductive and was found through
careful studies at several universities, including the Harvard Medical
College, to correlate with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as a
heightened level of cynicism and despair. According to the report, many
suicides and possibly many criminal acts result from PADD.

Another consequence of PADD is that people devote more of their time,
energy and money to pleasure-seeking distractions. PADD is correlated with
profound statistical significance to clinical symptoms such as obesity,
alcoholism, drug addiction, video game addiction, Internet addiction,
sexual promiscuity, excessive shopping, gambling addiction, and other
harmful behaviors.

The report profiles a person severely afflicted by PADD. The psychiatrists
unanimously concluded that George W. Bush is a PADD victim. Symptoms
include no desire to pursue major and contentious policy issues through
in-depth reading, discussion and analysis; a clear dependence on others
for policy decisions, particularly Vice President Cheney; an inability to
maintain sustained focus on diverse policy issues simultaneously; and an
inability to articulate policy. The widespread public perception that Bush
is unintelligent, uninformed and dogmatic stems from his PADD, concluded
the Council. "He needs immediate, emergency therapy for his PADD; that
might help get us out of Iraq," said Dr. Wank.

Reached by phone, Dr. Aaron Gestaltstein, a Council member and
psychiatrist with the Michigan Institute for the Study of Individual and
Societal Health, said the AMA proposal will help raise awareness and
called it "the right thing to do if the United States is ever to regain
effective government and equitable public policies". "Sick Americans
deserve compassionate treatment if our country is to survive; PADD is no
joke," he added.

"I saw a college-educated man last month who was so depressed about the
Bush Administration - yet he could no longer read newspapers, watch cable
news shows or visit news and commentary websites. He was spending
virtually all of his non-work time visiting pornography websites and
eating at Chinese buffets," Gestaltstein said. "He is a terrible mess and
swears he will never vote again".

The challenge for psychiatrists treating PADD patients, as noted in the
Council's report, is to help Americans fully integrate political attention
into their lives. Their discomfort and hopelessness must be changed into
positive behaviors. Friends and relatives of PADD victims are urged to get
them to join public interest groups working for the betterment of American
government and society, such as Friends of the Article V Convention.

Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the
Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports
constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American
democracy. To join the pro-convention effort or discuss issues write the
author: articlev [at] Read other articles by Joel, or visit Joel's

This article was posted on Monday, June 25th, 2007 at 4:59 am and is filed
under Activism and Humor. Send to a friend.

--------22 of 22--------

The Quagmire That Was Supposed To Be
by George Aleman III / June 25th, 2007
The Stab In The Back

The stinging Democratic vote to continue the funding of the War on Iraq
without withdrawal is still pulsating throughout the Republic. Americans
are dismayed. Some leading figures have given into the despair and feeling
of helplessness manifested by the current situation and folded up their
tents of opposition. The most notable, obviously, being the anti-war
mother Cindy Sheehan. In all this, one has to ask, why? Why did the
Democrats, in the end, decide to restructure the war-funding bill so as to
refit it without a timetable for withdrawal and cast a majority vote for
its approval? Why did the Democrats run counter to what the people wanted?
Why did the Democrats not do what they were elected to do? Why did the
Democrats decide to do what the Republicans were ejected out of their
Congressional seats for continuing to do?

The Democrats were elected, and expected, to end the destructive machinery
that is destroying the lives of Iraqis and Americans. They were elected
and expected to erect a blockade to the current administration's
imperialist ambitions in the Middle East. They did not. Why? Why, in light
of the American public's opposition to the War on Iraq and tens of
thousands of Iraqi protesters calling for the U.S. to leave their
country?1 The reasons are many, but few are vital. One of the chief vital
interests for why is clear: in war there is money to be made and in a
state where money is the essence of its existence, war is the lucrative
force that drives its existence.2 In short, the Democrats are committed to
imperialist expansion just as much as the Republicans - their 20th century
track record on waging war overseas says as much - and their job, just as
would be the Republicans were the tables turned, is to maintain the
status-quo, not end it.

The Government Of The Government

It must be understood that a good slice of U.S. economic policy is driven
by, and devoted to, the need to prepare for, and engage in, war.3 Many
areas of agreement between the government and corporations include
"disciplining workers, lucrative armaments contracts, and job creation
stimuli".4 Hence, the War on Iraq is as much about feeding the
Military-Industrial-Complex as it is about the acquisition of resources
and opening of new markets. In essence, the War on Iraq has been
rightfully deemed a quagmire, because it was supposed to be such. The
track record of mistakes and "coincidental" activities says as much.

Not adequately planning to safeguard Iraqi cultural or economic
institutions upon invasion postulated mayhem. Iraqi museums were
subsequently looted and destroyed. U.S. officials "were warned repeatedly
about possible damage to irreplaceable artifacts, either from bombs and
missiles or from post-war instability after the removal of the Iraqi
government, but they did nothing to prevent it".5 The absence of the rule
of law, or neglect to adequately prepare for the enforcement thereof,
created a situation of chaos and disorder where the conditions ripe for
cultural liquidation needed to be inoculated by paternal Western

The disbanding of the Iraqi Army, "the Republican Guard and the
Revolutionary Command Council, among others", unleashed a Hydra. This
action, which put "an estimated 350,000 to 400,000 soldiers out of work,
as well as an estimated 2,000 Information Ministry employees," was
supposed to be part "of a robust campaign to show the Iraqi people that
the Saddam regime [was] gone and [would] never return".6 Instead, it ended
up feeding a nationalist "insurgency and crime wave [that] built through
2003".7 As Colonel Paul F. Hughes, the strategic policy director for the
U.S. occupation authority in 2003, expressed in 2004, "[a]nyone who ever
worked in any country after a losing war knows you have to do something
with the old soldiers. Otherwise, they're out of work, and they will do
what people do who know how to use guns".7

Not providing adequate forces permitted the burgeoning of a vibrant Iraqi
nationalist-reactionary-insurgency. Iraqis soon rose up after the fall of
Baghdad to resist the invading coalition of foreigners. "Before the war,
several experts - including then Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki -
warned the Bush Administration that [approximately] several hundred
thousand troops would be needed to secure post-Saddam Iraq".8 Yet, the
administration "dismissed this warning out of hand" - Monday, October 4,
2004. "Bush Administration Fails to Address Deteriorating Situation in
Iraq". Democratic Policy Committee. Not providing adequate ground forces
created a situation which allowed for a relentless nationalist uprising
with tremendous resilience. The administration then gave more
justification for sending in more troops for security. This was done four
times before the current "surge", each of which resulted primarily in
escalating levels of violence instead of security. In the beginning:

Army planners said they needed an initial occupation force of 250,000,
which would still be half the number that the historically proven formula
called for. Had they been listened to, and a robust force moved in at the
start to establish firm control of the country and disarm the militias of
political factions, it is possible that a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces
could have followed.Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. .9

Slow progress in training Iraqi security forces further exacerbated
security issues. "Nearly a year and a half after Iraqi reconstruction
efforts began" it was reported that "one of the administration's highest
priorities - training Iraqis to provide their own security - remain[ed]
far behind schedule". The administration "failed to put adequate military
personnel in place to oversee training ...  mismanaged funding
appropriated for security forces development... [and] chose to contract
out security training, rather than allow experienced U.S. military
trainers do the work".8 Recently, "U.S. intelligence officials disclosed
that the deployment of Iraqi forces into Baghdad under [the
administration's] new plan to stabilize Iraq is running behind schedule
and that all of the units sent so far have arrived under strength, some by
more than half".10

Amidst the flurry of mistakes, the formerly Republican dominated Congress
appropriated funds to build an embassy in Baghdad that is "ten times the
size of the typical U.S. embassy, the size of 80 football fields, six
times larger than the UN, the size of Vatican City" and "more secure than
the Pentagon".11 This behemoth structure that overlooks the Tigris River
comes fully equipped with its own set of "apartment buildings, a gym, a
pool, a fast-food court, and its own power generation and water-treatment
plants".12 Construction has been continuous.

The Congress also appropriated funds to build permanent super-bases that
will have recreation halls, cybercafs, premium coffee shops,
miniature-golf courses, movie theaters, bus systems, supermarkets, and
restaurants. It is no wonder that these structures have been called the
"warrior's country club".13 All this while Baghdad burned.

In late 2003, Lieutenant Colonel David Holt expressed that there "was
already... several billion dollars being sunk into base construction,
which has been continuing ever since".14 These elaborate and enormous
structures clearly and directly state a determination to stay in Iraq -
their omission from debates suggests consensus among the parties as well.
They are enduring imperialist footprints that have significant
implications.  The United States will continue to have a presence in Iraq
for some time to come; the heavily fortified embassy and super-bases imply
as much.  These bases were built during the quagmire that stemmed from the
preemptive assault launched on Iraq, which served the
Military-Industrial-Complex that governs the government.

An Unlikely Prospect

The more instability that is garnered in Iraq, the more justification will
be given to stay. When the Democrats came to power, there was much hope
that things would change. Their congressional activities thus far have
dimmed hopes. It seems, unfortunately, that if the Democrats do maintain
power into the next congressional cycle, even obtain the presidency in
'08, there will not be much of a drift in terms of leaving Iraq. For those
well intentioned people inside the party itself, there is no hope of
penetrating the impermeable power structure within. Does one really expect
the second most powerful corporate sponsored party in the country to
abstain its newly given power, and potential to acquire more, by pulling
out from a part of the world that holds key resources and valuable
potential for new markets? Does one really expect it to deconstruct, even
leave, the super-bases and embassy that costs billions to build, and which
are near completion? Does one really expect the profit-making, runaway
defense establishment to give up its entrenched governing power over the
government? The prospect is unlikely. Such an action would require a
political and social revolution that is unlikely to take place.

The powers that be will continue to keep "American soldiers on Iraqi soil
well into the century - [and use the state as] a platform - to launch new
acts of aggression".15 The goal is to control local resources and create a
launching pad to further imperialist ambitions in the Middle East. Direct
or indirect casualties are of no consequence as long as imperialist goals
are met and sustained. We are not going anywhere, anytime soon, regardless
of which party holds the reins of power.

1. Wong, Edward. Monday, April 9, 2007. .Thousands of Iraqis march on 4th
anniversary of Baghdad.s fall.. International Herald Tribune. .

2. Fitzgerald, Michael. 2004. .Militarism: A Way of Life.. The Humanist. .

3. Paxton, Robert O. The Anatomy of Fascism (New York: Vintage Books,
2004):  p. 145. .

4. Ibid., p. 146. .

5. Martin, Patrick. Wednesday, April 16, 2003. .The sacking of Iraq.s
museums: US wages war against culture and history.. World Socialist Web
Site. .

6. Arraf, Jane. Friday, May 23, 2003. .U.S. dissolves Iraqi army, Defense
and Information ministries.. .

7. Monday, July 12, 2004. .U.S. colonel says disbanding Iraqi army was key
mistake.. The Daily Oakland Press. .

8. Monday, October 4, 2004. .Bush Administration Fails to Address
Deteriorating Situation in Iraq.. Democratic Policy Committee. .

9. Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. .Pelosi Leads Democratic Opposition to Iraq
Troop Surge.. Wires. .

10. Strobel, Warren P., and Jonathan S. Landay and Renee Schoof. Tuesday,
February 27, 2007. .Bush administration to join Iraqi-led talks attended
by Iran, Syria.. McClatchy Newspapers. .

11. Zeese, Kevin. Friday, April 21, 2006. Staying!.; Hughes, Chris. Tuesday, January 3, 2006. .U.S. plans
$1.8 billion Baghdad embassy.. The Mirror (UK). .

12. Slavin, Barbara. Monday, April 10, 2006. .Giant U.S. embassy rising in
Baghdad.. USA Today. .

13. Hirsh, Michael. Monday, May 1, 2006. .Don.t dream about full exits.
The military is in Iraq for the long haul.. Newsweek; White, Deborah.
2006.  .An American Palace in Iraq and Four Permanent US Bases.. .

14. Thursday, March 9, 2006 (March 27, 2006 issue). Engelhardt, Tom. .Can
You Say .Permanent Bases.?. The Nation. .

15. LaFranchi, Howard. Tuesday, June 12, 2007. .US signals permanent stay
in Iraq.. Christian Science Monitor. .

George Aleman III is an MA student in history and also a writer, activist,
and musician. Read other articles by George.

This article was posted on Monday, June 25th, 2007 at 5:00 am and is filed
under Anti-War, Iraq, Imperialism and Democrats. Send to a friend.


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