Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Since when did the government start relying on fear as a way to govern?"

Hopefully, this evening will have less computer hassles than last night. By the way, let me clear something up. Rebecca is a not just a friend or a good friend. She is a lifelong friend. So to the person who wrote her awhile back and asked a favor (which she was nice enough to grant) and then burned her -- you've got a lot of nerve asking me for a favor. Don't write me again.

Having done the favor for you and then not having heard from you, Rebecca wrongly assumed that you were busy. You weren't too busy to e-mail me and ask a favor of me. I'll let Rebecca know later this evening that you're alive, well and still asking favors.

That's as much as a response you'll receive of the favor you now want to ask me for. It's far more than you deserve.

Mike will probably beat me to posting again tonight. But if you haven't already read his post, please visit Mikey Likes It!

"Father of Slain Contractor Among 50 Arrested at Anti-War Protest" (Democracy Now!):
Back in the United States, anti-war protests continued to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. In Washington, hundreds of people marched on the Pentagon, carrying a mock coffin they intended to give to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The demonstrators were met with a steel barrier erected by police to bar their entry. About 50 people were arrested when they managed to cross the fence. Among them was Michael Berg, whose son Nicolas Berg was beheaded by Iraqi kidnappers in 2004. Before his arrest, Michael Berg said: "My son was killed out of revenge for the atrocities that Americans committed at the Abu Ghraib prison; murdering, raping, and torturing prisoners there. So for me to say look how horrible what they did to my son certainly I'm entitled to revenge well there are people who can say the same thing because there are people over there in Iraq who lost their sons and daughters in that prison and there are a 100,000 people in Iraq dead and think of all the families there that think they're entitled to revenge. I don't think revenge is justified under any circumstances. revenge is an endless cycle and it has to stop somewhere and it stops with me."

To lose a child and still be able to see beyond the loss is an amazing gift.
Cindy Sheehan possesses the same gift. We need more people like Sheehan and Mark Berg if we're going to remove ourselves from the tragedy that is the illegal occupation. If you missed it today, Bully Boy says we're staying in the quagmire. We're going to continue to inflame tensions and unrest. When might we leave? Not while he's president. (Yet another reason to impeach.)

"27 Killed in Attack on Iraq Jail" (Democracy Now!):
In the latest violence from Iraq, 17 police officers were killed today when gunmen stormed a prison north of Baghdad. Almost three dozen prisoners were freed in the attack, which also left 10 of the gunmen dead. The prison was left in flames. The assaults came one day after at least 39 people were killed in violence around the country.

With that sort of violence continuing, you might assume that as the fourth year of the illegal war is underweigh, your corporate press might tell you some of this. You would be wrong if you read the New York Times.

"'2 Years After Soldier's Death, Family's Battle Is With Army' (Monica Davey & Eric Schmitt)" (The Common Ills):
And that's it for Afghanistan in the paper. Iraq? The day after the third year anniversary?

Well if you want to read fluff about "terror insurance," the paper of record is the paper for you.
[. . .]
As the fourth year of the illegal war begins, the New York Timid wants to fluff about terror insurance --
a "isn't that cute" human interest story. 200 people have purchased it -- 200 out of millions -- so obviously, in the Timid's mind, it's a "trend" story. Too bad they have time for "trends" but not reality.

As Bully Boy declares that we're staying for the rest of his term, we need to really get active. The occupation must end. The occupation is the source of tension. Just as we cannot impose democracy, we cannot impose peace. It's past time to bring the troops home from a mission they never should have been sent on.

But we have to demand this and call for this repeatedly. One protest won't change things. Two protests won't change things. We have to be willing to speak out and do so repeatedly.

If we don't, the violence continues, the occupation continues and the deaths continue.

"Three Years After U.S. Invasion Two Wounded Iraqi Children and Their Fathers Tell Their Stories" (Democracy Now!):
AMY GOODMAN: Hesham, can you describe what happened? And then, if you would translate for Jabbar and Ahmad.
HESHAM EL-MELIGY: Sure. As you said, two-and-a-half years ago Ahmad was coming back from his school, accompanied by another student, his friend, walking to home. They live in Sadr City in Baghdad. In front of their house, there was an exchange of weapons for amnesty: If you give up your weapon, we are not going to charge you with anything. American troops were there. Iraqi troops were there, the new government. And Iyad Allawi was visiting this location to oversee the exchange. So a group of people -- I don't know what, insurgents, terrorists, whatever you want to call them -- came and started firing, wanting to assassinate Iyad Allawi. So American troops responded to the fire indiscriminately, just shooting everywhere.
So, Ahmad started running to hide somewhere with his friend, and when the firefight stopped, he started running home, which was close. Unfortunately, all of a sudden, a big boom happened. It turned out to be a tank shell fired from an American tank, hit Ahmad directly in his right arm and blew it off to the extent that some of the bones of this arm were glued to the body of the other child. But Ahmad kind of screened him, so he was fine from that accident. Also, what happened is a grave wound to Ahmad's face, as you can see, this is much better now, and also led to his being blind, severe detachment to the retinas beyond repair.

The victims aren't seen. Not just the hidden coffins coming back to the United States, but the Iraqi victims as well. If we were forced to see the destruction the illegal war has resulted in, we would have even more people demanding an end to the occupation.

"Letters from Fort Lewis" (Kevin Benderman, March 19, Kevin Benderman Defense Committee):
What has happened to the American spirit? It seems as though that has been relegated to a part in our history, and all we want now is to sit back, let the government dictate everything we do and provide the meager rations to us as they see fit.
Is this really the climate the American people want to live in? Wallowing in self-pity and self-imposed victimization is the antithesis of the American spirit. The future of freedom is indeed bleak if the people who epitomize the very sense of freedom and self rule roll over and bow down to overly strong central government. The very foundation of our country is in danger if we expect government to do everything for us.
Our country's founding fathers laid out specific limitations on the authority given to the federal government and we have been on a slippery slope allowing our government to usurp our rights as laid out by the United States Constitution. Since when did the government start relying on fear as the way to govern? Since September 11, 2001 this seems to be the only thing you see on the news and from elements of our government.