Friday, February 29, 2008


Read Marcia's "Community note and Hillary." She called today while I was in the middle of a session. When I got done, I called and explained I had only a few minutes before my next appointment. She said it wasn't a big deal and could wait. I, sadly and badly, forgot all about it until late this evening.

I called her and she was worried about her post. Specifically, she was worried that it would upset C.I. I asked, "Have you heard from C.I. about this?" I knew the answer which was "no." I told her C.I. doesn't care and it's her site so write what she wants.

C.I. got ripped-off. I believe it was a rip-off and not an accident. Marcia called it out. C.I.'s not going to be mad. C.I.'s not going to mention it. That's just C.I.

I will note that I think it was a sign of lack of manners. Some people are born with manners, some develop them and some never do. It's rather sad when a grown man reveals he has never learned any manners.

Face pressed against the glass
You showed your ass
And now we all know.

That pretty much sums up the rip-off artist, if you ask me.

But that's why I've never been a huge fan of most in the media. They're worse than the stereotype of starlets when it comes to attempting their climb to 'fame.' There's a media "hero" who, in fact, is not a hero and who, in fact, when caught by his network falsely blamed another reporter. But the story told today is that he was fired for standing up for truth. The reality is when he was confronted, he didn't stand up, he pointed at Leslie Stahl and said, "She did it." When he later confessed (and everyone already knew), he was fired. That's not a hero but damned if the story's not rewritten today to make him one of the bravest journalists of all time.

He's not a bad person. He's just not a brave person. His 'stand,' such as it was, was about his own fame. When it was time to pay for his 'stand,' he falsely fingered someone else. He tried to smear Stahl with who she was dating (Aaron Latham). That was years ago, but I remember it well. (The 1970s.) Every now and then, C.I. will allude to that at The Common Ills and there will always be visitors e-mailing to say, "How dare you to speak of a legend like that!" It's the truth. It's why the man was fired, not for being a 'hero' taking a stand.

So if that's how it goes in the big pond, imagaine how it is in the run-off?

I'm rarely surprised these days. By anything the 'media' does or, as is more often the case, doesn't do.

One of the benefits of age and having seen it all before.

J-J-J-jaded, as Aerosmith sings.

So I told Marcia not to worry about it, it's not a problem with C.I. It's not something C.I.'s going to write about and it won't even be talked about at lenghth. For now. It's the sort of thing that may get mentioned years from now if the rip-off artist does something similar.

Changing topics, as C.I. notes in the snapshot (reposted in full at the end), there will probably be a roundtable at The Third Estate Sunday Review. There is a lot to talk about regarding Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party. Dona was on the phone earlier and pointed out, "You realize if we do that, C.I. will be forced to defend Nader because no one else will want to?" She's probably correct. She's correct that no one's going to be volunteering for that and she's correct that C.I. will do "in fairness." If it really does come to that, I may make a few statements in Nader's defense. I don't hate the man. I'm glad he's running and my only problem is how this played out in terms of Cynthia's campaign.

Who would I vote for? At this point, to be honest, if Hillary got the nomination, I would vote for her. I am disgusted by the trashing that has gone on. I'm outraged by the lying. She's withstood all of that and I do respect it. I also remember the biggest criticism of the Bill Clinton White House in real time: They just listen to polls!

After seven years of a White House that doesn't listen to the people, I think it would be nice to have someone who might listen. I think she can be forced to end the illegal war. Bambi Obama can't be forced. He's not being criticized, he's not had his feet held to the fire, and everytime he's disowned the left, the left's shown up to make excuses for him.

I think Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney would end the illegal war without pressure. If Bambi gets the Dem nomination, I'll vote for one of those two. If Hillary gets it, I would vote for her. With Nader or McKinney, both major parties would demonize them and they, especially Nader, have other projects they're working on (people's projects, I'm not insulting them). Neither would control a house in Congress (their party) so there might be a need to do trade-offs. (There might not be.)

In terms of Bambi, if you missed it, Hillary's new commercial (which is a good commercial) has already led Bambi to scream about the unfair tactics. Did he trot out racism? I didn't follow closely enough to know. But he stomps his feet on everything. I've noted here how his foot stomping has led to Muslim being a bad thing. I've pointed out that it doesn't require being offended to correct that you're not a Muslim.

But toss them under the bus along with everyone else Bambi's tossed under the bus, right?

I think it took strength I didn't know she had for Hillary to stand up under this onslaught. Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) has made this point before. I read Naomi Wolf's endorsement of Bambi and, while she's free to endorse anyone she wants, she needs to stop focusing on the sheen and look at the record. Bambi's not a friend to women. He's not a friend to the LGBT community either and, sorry to break it to anyone billing as a feminist, but feminism does not allow for the use of homophobia as a campaign strategy to go unchallenged.

Equally true, and I wonder how Joan Baez decided to ignore that, is that Bambi's got a whole slew of War Hawks advising him, some of which support (and wrote) the counter-insurgency manual. Baez knows about counter-insurgency from Vietnam and I seriously doubt she'd be recommending anyone who had Henry Kissinger as an advisor. I expected her to grasp that Henry Kissinger wasn't unique and that we have him cloned today several times over. I expected her to examine who's serving as Bambi's advisors. I was really shocked that wasn't an issue to her.

But then I realized how few know reality about Bambi because The Nation, The Progressive and a host of others worked overtime to lie about Bambi.

Sunny said there were three e-mails (none from community members) asking if I was going to follow C.I. and Rebecca in un-endorsing Cindy Sheehan. That should go without saying. They explained why and there reasons are legitimate ones. We've discussed this for weeks now. C.I.'s concern was that it be clear that it wasn't "I'm not saying don't vote for her." I think it was clear. C.I.'s just not able to endorse her. She's not telling the truth about Obama (yes, I saw the thing she posted today which had a sentence on Bambi). For those who have forgotten, she endorsed Cynthia McKinney. I was surprised C.I. didn't include that last night as one of the reasons because it's been a topic in our phone calls.

She's endorsed Cynthia so why is it that she can't call out Bambi?

As Rebecca's pointed out, it seems like only women are getting called out by Cynthia. I read her comments at the post at Common Dreams and thought they were a little much. They would have been fine if she'd noted reality about Obama. She didn't.

People were leaving comments demonizing Hillary and propping up Bambi. If she's still supporting Cynthia, it was pretty much necessary for her to note that and since Bambi's a War Hawk, she should have been calling him out. Neither thing happened and I understood why C.I. and Rebecca felt, "Okay, we need to withdraw our endorsement."

I would assume it will happen, the de-endorsement, for all. Due to the reasons C.I. and Rebecca list.

When a politican is not calling for the end of the war (Bambi), it is incumbent upon Peace Mom to call him out. Loudly. That hasn't happened. She's found time to repeatedly call out Hillary and some of the same people saying the same stuff about Hillary (some of it true, some of it false) were smearing Cindy last spring. Due to that and due to the fact that the truth is not getting out and some people really believe Bambi is "Out of Iraq Now!," it really is necessary for Peace Mom to call him out. Instead, she's devoted columns to ripping apart Hillary and, of course, her online groupie Swanson TV Dinners has endorsed Bambi and smeared Hillary. He hates Hillary so much, and this should have clued Peace Mom in that there was a problem if nothing else, that he posted a video of Hillary supporters who were musicians and just mocked them as untalented -- not able to make music, not able to dance. Did Peace Mom miss the fact that a small child was part of the act onstage? Did Cindy not see that and wonder, "Is this Hillary Hatred going too far when we're even grabbing the knives for small children who haven't done a thing wrong?"

There's also the fact that Swanson TV Dinners wrote my friend Rebecca praising her blog and oh, by the way, one question!

She answered the question and thought it was a sincere e-mail. Then she finds out he's forwarding her e-mail. When she confronts him on that, he acts like she's crazy. He won't get honest. Even though at least one of his fowards bounced back to her due to the fact that the man was out of the country and had his e-mail set up on automated response. So she saw what he wrote about her in his foward. But he wanted to play like she was crazy. He didn't realize when she confronted him and told him "I know you did this" that she had a copy of it.

Between that and Jess' e-mail being forwarded, two things have happened. 1) At all sites other than The Common Ills, we are operating under the assumption that fowards are part of online etiquette now. We don't want to be rude. 2) We're not replying to personal e-mails from outside the community or outside of our usual readers.

Look at Red Ederly. Another Communist for Bambi. She bores the hell out of Rebecca but Rebecca tries to be nice and respond to her e-mail. Red Geriatric can't even say "thank you." Rebecca wrote a very sweet e-mail and answered the woman's questions. The woman never wrote back. Turned out, she'd done the same thing to Ava.

So we don't write back anymore. If there's something that needs to be noted or answered, we'll do so at our sites.

By the way, I'm not endorsing any presidential candidate. I voted for Mike Gravel (and am proud of that vote). But I am sharing what I'm thinking. I will not vote for Bambi. I know from his own mouth that he's not for ending the illegal war. He made that clear when running for the US Senate. It's a shame so many have lied for him.

So that leaves me with Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney if Bambi gets the nomination. If the election were held today (general election) and Hillary was the nominee, she'd get my vote. That's due to her stand on reproductive rights (Nader doesn't have a strong stand there, sorry to break it to anyone). That's due to her work with children. The Eldmans like to play outraged now but when welfare 'reform' was going down, they weren't oppossing it loudly and proudly. They were focused on gang violence. (Or the myth of gang violence and drive-bys.) That's due to the fact that she does care about veterans. Bambi doesn't. When you're subcommittee should be hearing about Afghanistan and you can't even hold a meeting for 14 months, don't pretend you care about them. (14 months and counting.)

If you're a woman and you've never experienced to some degree what's been done to Hillary or had a friend who suffered that sort of demonization, then you've lived a sheltered life. As Rebecca's pointed out, Hillary's handled it and handled it well. That does count for a lot.

Bambi's had a free ride from the media. So much so that a campaign commercial suggesting Hillary is the one you want in the White House is "offensive." Hillary running a commercial arguing she's the better candidate is "off sides" to hear the Bambi camp. I'd be surprised if they are their front people weren't already claiming racism since that has been the Bambi catch all. Send out Jesse Jackson Jr. to falsely rip apart Hillary (she wasn't crying period -- she teared up not about her appearance, a really sexist charge, but when discussing the erosion of women's rights in this country). Call her a racist, call Bill Clinton a racist.

I don't think a lot of people get that. I'm not a fan of Bill Clinton. I would have been all for impeaching him for any number of things. Sex wasn't a reason for impeachment. But I do know that a lot of people loved him. I do know the country was better when he was president. I do know that it was SHAMEFUL for a political campaign, any campaign, to suggest that he was a racist.

But that's what Bambi always does in a campaign, he rips apart his oppenent with any lie and any whisper and any innuendo. America didn't need to live through a Democratic campaign falsely smearing Bill Clinton as a racist.

But Bambi needed it. He needed to turn people against Bill Clinton because Bill's a better speaker and more popular than Bambi. So it was trot out false charges. It was listening to the kook Michael Eric Dyson LIE that "fairy tale" was a racist remark. I don't know what stories Michael Eric Dyson read as a child but all the fairy tales when we were growing up -- the picture books -- featured White people. It was only during the advances of the 60s -- that period Bambi loathes and wants us to move from -- that strides were made in making children's stories inclusive. Not enough strides, but they were made.

The Roberts -- Parry and Scheer -- repeated similar lies and disgraced themselves as well.

Hate Bill Clinton all you want. Call him out for what he actually did and I won't bat an eye. But to falsely label someone as racist just to try to knock down his support because he's a powerful speaker is disgaraceful.

Or the trumped up charge that Hillary Clinton was being disrespectful to MLK by noting the Civil Rights Act came about because of LBJ. Sorry but that is reality. People were in the streets marching. But people were in the streets marching before the outbreak of the Iraq War and the White House occupant ignored them. LBJ knew how to work Congress, how to strong arm them. She wasn't insulting MLK. But it was another chance to play the 'racism' card and the Bambi campaign has played it repeatedly.

I really don't want to have to endure four years of every media report, every criticism being "racism" just because they happen to disagree with Bambi or hold him accountable. There is very real racism in our society and false charges of it (for political gain) don't help us address it.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, February 29, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, a priest is kidnapped in Mosul, the Turkish invasion of nothern Iraq apparently ends, and more.

Starting with war resistance. Courage to Resist interviews war resister Robin Long who is seeking safe harbor status in Canada. Long was stationed at Fort Knox and hearing stories from returning service members that didn't have a thing to do with democracy. "In the army you just want to fit in," Long explained noting how the US military uses collective punishment to discipline their own -- which is to create a shunning among the enlisted. Those returning from Iraq, "a lot of them were bragging about I guess you could say what was going on there," Long explained, and he was hearing and seeing things that weren't being covered in the media such as pictures of the first kill ("holding a head up" for the photo "and smiling with a peace sign," photos of an Iraqi run over by a jeep, etc.). After self-checking out of the military, he stayed in a friend's basement for two months and then went to Canada with two friends. At the border, Long was asked if he was AWOL ("which I found out later that they weren't allowed to do") and replied that he was on leave. About his decision, Long says he has no second thoughts. If he is deported would he be stopped at the US border and taken to jail? Long shared that war resister Brad McCall had a friend take his car back to the United States and when the car crossed the border into the US "they were holding him at gun point, the guy that was bringing his car back, thinking that he was the war resister. So that's a pretty good idea of what's going to happen to me if I try to cross the border. If I'm deported they're going to be waiting there."

War resisters who have moved to Canada were dealt a serious set-back when the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Today, Canada's Parliament remaining the best hope for safe harbor war resisters have, you can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. That is the sort of thing that should receive attention but instead it's ignored.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC action:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation. Dee Knight (Workers World) notes, "IVAW wants as many people as possible to attend the event. It is planning to provide live broadcasting of the sessions for those who cannot hear the testimony firsthand. 'We have been inspired by the tremendous support the movement has shown us,' IVAW says. 'We believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members'." As part of their fundraising efforts for the event, they are holding houseparties and a recent one in Boston featured both IVAW's Liam Madden and the incomprable Howard Zinn as speakers. IVAW's co-chair Adam Kokesh will, of course, be participating and he explains why at his site, "But out of a strong sense of duty, some of us are trying to put our experiences to use for a good cause. Some of us couldn't live with ourselves if weren't doing everything we could to bring our brothers and sisters home as soon as possible. The environment may be unking, but that is why I will be testifying to shooting at civilians as a result of changing Rules of Engagement, abuse of detainees, and desecration of Iraqi bodies. It won't be easy but it must be done. Some of the stories are things that are difficult to admit that I was a part of, but if one more veteran realizes that they are not alone because of my testimony it will be worth it."

Aaron Glantz (at IPS) writes about the March action:

Iraq Veterans Against the War is calling the gathering "Winter Soldier," after a quote from the U.S. revolutionary Thomas Paine, who wrote in 1776: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Organisers say video and photographic evidence will also be presented, and the testimony and panels will be broadcast live on Satellite TV and streaming video on Winter Soldier is modeled on a similar event held by Vietnam Veterans 37 years ago. In 1971, over 100 members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with fellow citizens. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. "Initially even the My Lai massacre was denied," notes Gerald Nicosia, whose book "Home to War" provides the most exhaustive history of the Vietnam veterans' movement. "The U.S. military has traditionally denied these accusations based on the fact that 'this is a crazy soldier' or 'this is a malcontent' -- that you can't trust this person. And that is the reason that Vietnam Veterans Against the War did this unified presentation in Detriot in 1971." "They brought together their bona fides and wore their medals and showed it was more than one or two or three malcontents. It was medal-winning, honored soldiers -- veterans in a group verifying what each other said to try to convince people that these charges cannot be denied. That people are doing these things as a matter of policy." Early this morning, Gareth Jones and Paul de Bendern (Reuters) were reporting that Turkey's invasion has "wound down" at least in terms of "ground offensive". Tim Butcher (Telegraph of London) states, "Turkey has pulled out of northern Iraq after a week-long offensive against Kurdish rebels. The Turkish army claimed to have killed 240 Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) members with the loss of 27 of its own troops." Mark Bentley and Camilla Hall (Bloomberg News) note that this was Turkey's "biggest military incursion into the country in 11 years." Suna Erdem (Times of London) observes, "The announcement came a day after President Bush urged Turkey, its Nato ally, to end the incursion, but the military statement said the start and end dates had been set by general staff without any outside influence."

On the Turkish Embassy (in the US) website, bulletin points include, "This operation" -- the invasion of nothern Iraq -- "will be limited in size, scope and duration. Turkey has been among the staunchest advocates of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and national unity of Iraq. Turkish civilian and military authorities have been in contact with the relevant Iraqi and US authorities at highest levels prior to the operations." AFP reports that the Turkish military began returning to Turkey this morning while AGI states, "All the soldiers that had taken part in the attack on the Iraqi part of Kurdistan are back in Turkey." AFP also notes that the PKK states they killed 100 Turkish soldiers during the invasion, "downed a Turkish attack helicopter" and their death toll was 5. So was the "limited . . . duration" always supposed to translate as the invasion ending today? One caught by surprise is the Turkish Daily News which, in a Friday article, notes, "NATO allies Turkey and the United States failed to reach a consensus yesterday over a timetable for the withdrawal of Turkish troops" and quotes Yasar Buyukanit, Turkey's Chief of General Staff General, stating, "Short term is a relative notion. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes it is a year." Al Jazeera quotes their corespondent Mike Hanna, "The Turkish military insists that the decision was taken by the military alone but reports we're receiving from across the border in Turkey is that questions are being raised about the Turkish withdrawal coming so soon after what appeared to be mounting US pressure on the troops to pull out" and notes that a PKK spokesperson (Ahmed Davis) confirms that the Turkish military has withdrawn. [Sidebar, Naomi Klein's husband, journalist Avi Lewis, is hosting a weekly program on Al Jazeera entitled Frontline USA. Click here for a YouTube clip and here for another YouTube clip.] However, Mark Tran (Guardian of London) quotes unnamed US officials in Baghdad who caution that all Turkish troops may not be out of Iraq. Tran notes US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and others note the comments of the Bully Boy of the United States but is anyone noting yesterday's approximately $6.2 billion four-year loan to Turkey from the World Bank?

Azad Aslan writes the Kurdish Globe's editorial which opens with, "Similar to previous incursions, the recent Turkish invasion into south Kurdistan has only one major goal: to diminish and belittle the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region." Hiba Dawood (whom many know from Free Speech Radio News but Dawood is also a UPI correspondent) notes another editorial from a Kurdish paper (Al Ahali) that was written "by Faisal Abdul Hassan, an Iraqi exile in Morocco, said the Iraqi central government had no efficient response to the assault except sending a 'bashful' demand to the Turkish government to withdraw from Kurdistan." At the White House today, Gordon Johndroe worded carefully regarding the end of the invasion when he told reporters, "We've seen those reports that are just coming out. I think there's one thing that remains clear, and that is the United States, Turkey and Iraq all will continue to view the PKK as a terrorist organization that needs to be dealt with. So we will continue to have cooperation with them on dealing with that organization." NPR offers an audio report via Ivan Watson on today's Morning Edition.

Yesterday's snapshot noted Turksih entertainer Bulent Ersoy who spoke out against the invasion and she was then the subject of criticism. Pelin Turgut (Time magazine) explains, "So pervasive is the nationalist climate that Ersoy has been vilified for declaring -- on a national TV equivalent of American Ido, where she is a judge -- that if she had a son, she would not have sent him to fight this war. She is now under investigation for being 'anti-military.' Ersoy is widely popular but the response to her declaration has been bellicose." Nicholas Birch (The Scotsman) offers the quote and news. The quote differs from Reuters' version yesterday only slightly, "I am not a mother, nor ever will be, but I would not bury my child for somebody else's war." At which point, Turkey's version of Dennis Miller (Erbu Gundes) exploded, "May God give me a son so that I can send him off to our glorious army" followed by a phrase trotted out for military funerals leading Ersoy to add, "Always the same cliched phrases. Children go, bitter tears, funerals . . . And afterwards, these cliched phrases." Birch reports, "An Istanbul prosecutor promptly opened an investigation into her for alienating the people from military service, a crime punishable by up to three years in jail." The Turkish Daily News explains the criminal sentence (if found guilty) is two years but it "could be increased by one-third because the crime was committed via public medium." They also add this to her quote, "These wars are not like ones in the past. It is all decided by people sitting at tables and deciding that some boys should die. I am not a mother so I cannot relate to a mother's pain when she hears her son has died. But I am a human being." Today's Zaman reports that she has the support of European Parliament member Cem Ozdemir who states, "Bulent Ersoy is voicing the pain felt by mothers, and she is also questioning the ongoing Iraqi occupation. . . . We hope that a period of suppression is not started in Turkey that will deal a heavy blow to freedom of thought."

Meanwhile, Amit R. Paley and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) report that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki was talking big in Baghdad and they observe: Maliki's confidence seems untethered to political reality. Predicting when his government will fall has become a parlor game in certain circles in Baghdad. And some of his pronouncements -- like one on Thursday that "sectarianism has been eliminated" -- have struck Iraqi and American officials as bordering on the delusional. Sectarian killings are still common and political reconciliation remains elusive, a fact underscored by the veto this week of a law calling for nationwide elections, one of the few major pieces of legislation approved by parliament." They go on to quote "a senior U.S. official in Baghdad" who states basically, to replace the puppet at this time would mean even more "stagnation." The puppet as metaphor for the illegal war.

Noting al-Maliki's "unity" speech, Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) observes that violence continues in Iraq and that, "One of our Shiite Iraqi staffers asked if Maliki would go to Adil, a restive Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad where Sunni insurgents still operate and Shiites know they are not welcome. Maybe he can check out Hurriyah where Sunni residents have not returned. They were run out of the neighborhood in 2006 and some men were burned alive. Maybe he can ask the more than 88,000 mostly Sunni contractors that work with the U.S. to fight Al Qaida how they feel about the reconciliation effort. Many of them are former insurgents, very few have been absorbed into the government. People complain now that many act as warlords, in each neighborhood the law is in their hands."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that left two people wounded, a Diyala Province home bombing that went off during the midst of an Iraq military raid claiming the life of 1 corpse and a Mosul roadside bombing claimed 2 lives.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Judge Abid Jassim and attorney Ahmed Al-Luizi were shot dead in Mosul.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the archbishop of the Cahtholic Church in Mosul was kidnapped and 3 "of his companisons" were killed. The BBC explains, "Archbisop Paulos Faraj Rahho was seized as he left a church in the eastern al-Nour district, it added. . . . Most of Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians are Chaldeans -- Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but recognise the Pope's authority." Catholic World News states, "Bishop Paulos Faraj Raho was seized by terrorists who attacked his car as he left the Holy Spirit cathedral in Mosul after leading the Stations of the Cross on Friday, February 29. Three companions who had been in the car with him were killed." AP reports that Pope Benedict XVI has issued an appeal for "reason and humanity".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad, Sameea Sofi's corpse was discovered outside of Kirkuk, General Mudhir Hadi Salih and General Amir Muhammad Al-Jibouri's corpses were discovered in Diyala province (blindfolded, shot to death) and the corpse of Ahmed Khalaf was discovered in Kirkuk (he was a local council member in Hawija).

Turning to US politics. "What I learned being in and out as you correctly point out is that there are a lot of people who have a lot of questions about the government and they don't exactly know where to turn to for answers because the corporate media don't tell the people the truth," so explains Cynthia McKinney to Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) in a video produced by Terry Morrone (a typo yesterday, it is "Terry Morrone"). Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party presidential nomination. In a wide ranging interview, former US Congress women McKinney explains why she became a member of the Green Party:

The Democrats are the ones who failed to repeal the Patriot Act, the Democrats are the ones who continue to fund the war. The Democrats are the ones who say that the Bush tax cuts are alright even though they railed against them when they were in the minority. Now that they are in the majority and they could do something about it they fail to do it. And so I decided on my birthday that I would declare my independence from the Democratic Party. And I would declare my independence from any national leadership that was complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and all of the rest of it. I reject and I'm happy to have joined with other people in the Green Party who reject that as well.

And in terms of rejection, some Greens are less than pleased with Ralph Nader who announced his campaign for president on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday. The Green Party notes: "Green Party leaders expressed their disappointment in Ralph Nader's decision, announced on Thursday, not to seek the 2008 Green presidential nomination." They quote the party's co-chair Phil Huckelberry declaring, "A lot of Greens have supported Mr. Nader and wanted him to win the party's nomination. There has been an active effort by many Green leaders to 'draft' Mr. Nader as a Green candidate, and his success in recent Green primaries demonstrates that he remains a very popular figure within the Green Party. There is widespread disappointment among Greens that he chose to go a different route." Here's a tip, one that Jess (rightly) pointed out two Sundays ago -- no party holds primaries with a place-holders. That is ridiculous. If you can't declare you are running by a party's primary, you get no votes. You get no one holding your place. As Jess noted two Sundays ago, that needs to change immediately so that it never happens again. There's a chance of a roundtable at Third this Sunday to address this topic.

Ralph Nader's presidential website is up and running (and allowing comments). Among the topics written of thus far are impeachment and Palestinians. He has selected a running mate, Matt Gonzalez. Gonzalez is already doing what vice presidential candidates are supposed to do: hitting hard. Writing at CounterPunch, he takes on the myth of "anti-war" Barack Obama noting that, "I'm afraid to say I'm not just uninspired: I'm downright fearful. . . . First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature. Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago Tribune as saying, 'There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute.' The Tribune went on to say that Obama "now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration.' Obama's campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn't he have taken the opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy occupation? Well, as it turns out, he's done just that." The myth of "anti-war" Barack Obama was addressed here last night so we'll instead focus on Hillary Clinton.

Hillary is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The following statement is from Senator Clinton's office, not her campaign:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that she has cosponsored legislation to ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq.
"From this war's very beginning, this administration has permitted thousands of heavily-armed military contractors to march through Iraq without any law or court to rein them in or hold them accountable. These private security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our mission in Iraq. The time to show these contractors the door is long past due. We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq, and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the U.S. government and follow the chain of command," said Senator Clinton.The legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel. It also includes a whistleblower clause to protect contract personnel who uncover contract violations, criminal actions, or human rights abuses.

As KeShawn pointed out in an e-mail today, Hillary Clinton's endorsements do not get noted on Democracy Now! -- though Goodman can repeat in headlines (two days in a row this week) the same endorsement of Barack -- among her recent endorsers is Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. He joins a lengthy list of retired military and defense officials who have endorsed her (active military cannot make endorsements) and you can read about that at her campaign site. Hillary was in Waco, Texas today and among the issues she addressed was reducing the strain on US service members so that they will be deployed for 12 months and not the 15 month tours that have become the norm. Bully Boy could stop that now. He could have stopped it before it began. As noted yesterday, US House Rep Patrick Murphy asked General George Casey if Congress needed to pass legislation to get the tour of duty down to 12 months and keep it there but Casey felt it would 'tie up' the military's hands. Today in Waco, Hillary pledged that any US service member serving a 12 month tour of overseas "will have at least 12 months at home." She also addressed the issue of veterans' care and the need for a new GI Bill of Rights. Meanwhile, her opponet Barack Obama's homophobia is the subject of Susan UnPC's recent post (No Quarter) which notes Bambi's heebie-jeebies when he came to the Bay Area. Don't worry, Laura Flanders grants him absolution or at least provides silence from her perch as "out lesbian" for Bambi. Meanwhile Taylor Marsh ( notes that the Canadian government was warned by Bambi's campaign prior to Tuesday's debate not to pay attention to Bambi's NAFTA remarks, they were just words. She covers it here as well and offers a video.

From video to radio. WBAI's pledge drive is ending and Sunday The Nex Hour offers "Post-Warholian radio artists Andrew Andrew host." That's at 11:00 am to noon EST Sunday on NYC airwaves and streaming on WBAI while Monday they offer Cat Radio Cafe from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST: "Poet Marie Howe reads from her new collection, "The Kingdom of Ordinary Time"; actor/playwright Brian Dykstra on his new one-man show on religion, "The Jesus Factor"; and actor Paul Hecht and musician Lisa Terry on "Parthenia, a Consort of Viols, Presents Hot Off the Press Concert of New Music and Poetry." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer."

aaron glantz