Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Who's standing up for Iraqi women?

In Tuesday's "Iraq snapshot," C.I. broke news but we all know the media (big or small) doesn't give a damn about women so the idea that they'd suddenly develop an interest in Iraqi women was absurd. Even so I waited to see if anyone would pick up on it. They did not.

The Iraq War is an illegal war. There is no justification for it -- not for it beginning nor for it continuing. However, the lie for the continuation of the illegal war is that it's needed because it is helping Iraqis.

As C.I. pointed out, the "Awakening" Council members are paid $10 a day by the US government (paid not to attack the US). Those are males. The US government is now recruiting women and wants credit for that and offers up how these are 'widow women' and they have children to support.

How much are they paying these women?

$8 a day. That's two dollars a day less than the US government. They are being paid 20% less on the dollar (the same pay discrimination in the US) and they are doing the exact same job.

Actually, they are more needed than the males since women are becoming bombers in Iraq more and more often and since Iraqi males cannot 'pat down' Iraqi women. They are being trained in shooting guns. If you missed it, no one likes a turncoat and that's why the male "Awakening" Council members have been targeted with assassination. As more women 'graduate' from the program just implemented, you better believe they'll be targeted the same way.

But though the US admits they need these women, the US government refuses to pay them the same daily rate they pay the men for doing the same job.

How does saying sexism in wages is okay, how does sending that message in a society where women are more oppressed now than before the start of the illegal war, constitute as helping?

It doesn't.

The US government is again re-inforcing sexism in Iraq.

In a world that mattered it would be news.

We don't live in that world. We live in a world where Feminist Wire Daily pretends Hillary wasn't running for president, for instance.

So let's not hold our breath waiting for anyone to stand up for Iraqi women.

C.I. did and I will gladly join C.I. in doing so and note C.I. is always standing up for the things that matter.

Whatever Hillary does now or doesn't do, C.I. didn't let Iraq fall off the radar. Monday through Friday, you had the snapshot. C.I. covered war resisters when no one else would. Covered them Monday through Friday minimum.

You need to be looking at your 'brave' media outlets and asking who was covering Iraq in the last months?

I'm not talking about blogs.

I'm also not going to buy the crap that Jeremy Scahill's dense and plodding book on Blackwater coming out in paperback qualifies as covering Iraq. Though isn't that all Amy Goodman can offer?

The primary season is over. Hillary may or may not go on to the convention.

She'll make her decision. While she does, you need to look at all the 'names' on the 'left' who've torn her apart non-stop for the last few months while ignoring Iraq and ignoring war resisters. Do your own report cards.

I think you'll be surprised by how many failing grades you'll be handing out.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, June 4, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, a Baghdad bombing results in mass deaths, the war resisters in Canada score a historic victory but work remains, and more.

Starting with war resistance. As noted in
yesterday's snapshot, Canada's House of Commons voted on the motion to grant safe harbor to war resisters and it passed (137 in favor, 110 against). The motion was first proposed in December of 2007. It took Corey Glass and other war resisters to make it happen as much as it took any political party. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Maggie Farley (Los Angeles Times) notes of Glass, "he became the first deserter to receive orders to leave the country -- and ended up a symbol of Canada's conflicted sentiments about the war. On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion urging the government to allow deserters to stay. The measure, though nonbinding, could lead to a last-minute reprieve for Glass and nearly 40 others who have asked for refugee statues." UPI files a brief and quotes NDP's Olivia Chow stating, "Ordinary people want the Iraq war resisters to stay. The Harper Conservatives must respect this and immediately implement this motion." Joanna Smith (Toronto Star) explains how US war resisters Megan and Chris Bean (husband and wife) went to Ottawa to observe the House of Commons Vote. Megan Bean explains of their decision to come to Canada, "We were over there to maintain the peace and we were trying to hand it over to the Iraqis. This is what we always heard. You don't sign up for (the U.S. Navy) to see a bunch of people kill for no reason." Paige Aarhus (London Free Press) quotes war resister Rich Droste on the vote, "I almost wanted to cry when I heard, it was amazing. This just shows that support is growing and Canada can still be a refuge against militarism." He wasn't the only one excited by the verdict. "We are very happy that we won. We're hopeful that the government wll respect the democratic process," Phil McDowell tells John Ward (Canadian Press via Nova Scotia News) who also quotes Joshua Key: "We've had one hand tied behind our back because we can't argue the illegality of the Iraq war, which we all know is illegal. But, with that we just take it one step at a time. I just hope it continues going forward." Janice Tibbetts (CanWest News Service) offers an overview of the resistance today explaining how Canada's Federal Court of Appeals refused to grant the first two public war resisters in Canada, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, who went on to appeal that decision to Canada's Supreme Court and were denied on November 15, 2007. Vietnam era war resister Gerry Condon (writing at Courage to Resist) notes the "historic vote" and how "all the opposition parties -- the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party" came together to vote in favor the motion. Condon outlines a number of steps to take here. In addition, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a truck bombing that claimed 5 lives (add in another for the driver of the truck) and left ten wounded, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed the lives of 3 police officers and left three police officers and "three civilians" wounded and an Al Anbar Province roadside bombing claimed the lives of 3 police officers with four more wounded. Deborah Haynes (Times of London) reports "Up to 18 people were killed and many more wounded today when a truck exploded near the house of a police commander in Baghdad" while CBS and AP note over 50 individuals are injured from the blast "near the northeast Baghdad home of a top Inetrior Ministry official".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "Col. Dhafir Al-Ani of the general inspector office in the interior ministry" was shot dead in Baghdad (his brother was wounded in the assassination) and a jewelry shop owner and his son were shot dead in Zubair.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad. CBS and AP report 13 corpses discovered in Latifiyah (and that 10 were discovered Tuesday in Baghdad).

Kadhim also notes the continued attacks on journalists which includes a TV crew filming a special entitled "The Death Road" in Al Anbar Province and were targeted in a roadside bombing that may have been aimed at the Iraqi military (the military was with the TV crew) while a camer operator for an Iraqi TV station was wounding in a Basra roadside bombing.

Today the
US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers were killed as a result of a small-arms fire attack in Al Hawijah near Kirkuk June 4." As Haynes (Times of London) notes, this brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4090.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, 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, Jose Vasquez, 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, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, 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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Turning to US political news. Two primaries were held last night, the last two in the contest: South Dakota and Montana. The press told the country Barack Obama was a winner. While he did win Montana, he lost South Dakota. The Christ-child lost South Dakota to Hillary by over 10% --
55.35% for Hillary, 44.65% for Barack. The same media that told you all day yesterday that Hillary would conceed (see Bob Somerby's piece today) spends today asking when she will drop out of the race? Hillary Is 44 observes, "Obama is unelectable and not qualified to be president. On the night Obama lost South Dakota (Obama's own projections had him winning South Dakota by 15 percent) he spoke in the same hall in which Mondale conceded to the Reagan landslide. Obama will either concede now or in November. Obama won't win Democrats he needs to win (like the Democrats on this very website). In state after state many Democrats clearly state they will either NOT vote, vote for the unacceptable John McCain, or write in Hillary's name. That Democrats, many who have never voted for a Republican or nightmared about voting for a Republican, to say they will vote for a Republican is shocking and foreshadows doom for the Democratic? Party in November - if Superdelegates actually vote for Rezko/Ayres/Pfleger/Wright/Farrakhan's friend - Obama." Actually, some will vote for Ralph Nader if Barack's the nominee. Yesterday, CBS Evening News offered a roundtable (link has transcript and video) featuring some Hillary supporters in Penn.

Sandra Miller, former county commissioner: I think from the very beginning she's been mistreated. I know -- I watched a lot of interviews and so forth where Sen. Clinton was referred to as "Mrs. Clinton" whereas Sen. Obama was "Sen. Obama." Meredith Ciambrello, teacher: It bothers me to think with the kind of coverage that we've had, that we're speaking of, that it's influencing the voters. And when I talk to young men or other young women and they say, "I hate Hillary" and just the venom that comes out of them. And I wonder where is that coming from. Kathleen O'Dell, sales manager: I think we have a little different standard with sexism than we do with, say, racism. I mean there have been people who go to their rallies and stand up - the guy who stood up and said, "hey, iron my shirt." Now consider that if somebody had showed up at an Obama campaign and had a banner saying something about his race or about somebody's religion, we'd be up in arms. Everybody would be like, "how disgusting."

An idiot ("fuzkida") posting at CBS states, "Any so-called Hillary supporter who votes for McCain is not a true progressive. NO progressive wuould [sic] be that spiteful as to screw up the country for another 4 years just bc. they are sore losers." No true "progressive" (unless that's The Idiot Lakoff's 'framing' for "closted Communist") could support a candidate who used homophobia in South Carolina to scare up votes, who demonized gays and lesbians because it could help him recover momentum after losing New Hampshire. So spare us the lectures "fuzkida."

No feminist could support Barack in the primaries. Any who said she was a feminist and did was either uninformed (and didn't know about the use of homophobia) or she's not a feminist because she elected to ignore it. There's no middle ground on this. Some may come around to Barack. But the reality is a number of 'feminists' exposed themselves as not by refusing to call out the use of homophobia as a campaign strategy. "fuzkida" is not a feminist, obviously. And women don't need to hear you lecture. I believe the idiot Mark Karlin of BuzzFlash tried that after Hillary won New Hampshire. It certainly was cute to see those pieces throughout the campaign, where men lectured women telling them over and over that they shouldn't vote based on gender (naturally, they assumed that only by voting based on gender could a woman support Hillary -- working from the sexist premise that no woman could be worthy of the nomination). But, thing is, did they ever lecture any group supporting Barack? Nope. It was only women they thought they felt comfortable trying to boss around. Why was that?

Ellen Willis ("Up from Radicalism: A Feminist Journal") explaining it in 1969:

A genuine alliance with male radicals will not be possible until sexism sickens them as much as racism. This will not be accomplished through persuasion, conciliation, or love, but through independence and solidarity; radical men will stop oppressing us and make our fight their own when they can't get us to join them on any other terms.

True then, true today. But no one was supposed to notice and it was easy not to as
Panhandle Media worked overtime not just to smear Hillary Clinton with lies but also to ignore the sexism in the MSM (while contributing their own sexism). Take CounterSpin, the weekly radio program by 'media watchdog' FAIR, which ignored the sexism non-stop and finally, when called out loudly and, repeating, I never asked for that, those were unsolicited e-mails from FAIR) and repeatedly, managed to include Hillary being called a bitch in their May 24th broadcast. Here is CounterSpin's criticism of sexism in the 2008 race in full: "CNN viewers were treated to one pundit explanation that people might call Hillary Clinton a bitch because well isn't that just what some women are." You'll note they don't identify the program or the gas bag speaking. That's a funny sort of 'media criticism,' isn't it? And sadly, that's all the weekly radio program CounterSpin can point to. How very proud they must be. Then there's Free Speech TV's laughable Grit TV ("with Laura Flanders!") which not only brought on sexists who had slammed Hillary to say there was no problem but also got off a joke that Latinos and Latinas in California can't speak English. I guess that was supposed to pass for 'progressive' as well? It was especially hilarious to see Laura Flanders and Betsy Reed move away from Hillary to actually fret over sexism and homophobia (!) as 'applied' to John Edwards who is neither a woman nor gay.

"Now there were days when I had the strength enough to fight for all of us,"
declared Hillary last night, "and on the days that I didn't, I leaned on you, the soldier on his third tour of duty in Iraq who told his wife, an Iraqi veteran herself, to take his spending money and donate it to our campaign instead. The 11-year-old boy in Kentucky who sold his bike and video games to raise money for our campaign. The woman who came to a rally hours early, waited and waited to give me a rosary. And all those who whispered to me, simply to say I am praying for you."

Peggy Simpson (Womens Media Center) reports:

Hillary Clinton preempted the morning-after critics. She asked the question herslef in a Tuesday night speech after the delegate count from South Dakota and Montana pushed Barack Obama over the top as the Democrats' probably nominee for president.
"I understand that a lot of people are asking: 'What does Hillarywant? What does she WANT?"
Ignoring mounting speculation that she had told the New York congressional delegation that she'd be open to the vice presidential position, which some cynics said was the start of overt lobbying for that post, she said instead:
"Well, what I want is what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential."
And then she added significantly: "And I want the nearly eighteen million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and no longer to be invisible."
The Hillary skeptics who bemoaned her ambition should read that and absorb the message. It means far more than being on a national ticket.

Hillary's a fighter and as long as she wants to be in the race, she will be. She won the popular vote. (My own personal feelings -- and those of the community -- are that she should carry this to the convention.) It's cute how the goons and loons want to lecture. They pull that nonsense every four years and whine between about how a message should be sent. The difference for all Hillary supporters is that we saw the pass Barack was given over and over and we found him vapid and lacking. The difference for women especially is that we're not Spastic Keith Olbermann spewing his 'thoughts' instantly. As with Anita Hill earlier, the treatment of Hillary was about all women and it's not about 'sore losers.' The 'unity' talk ignores that (a) there's nothing in the Obama campaign for voters and (b) why would women want to 'unify' with their attackers. Now when the vile Ike Turner died, many of the male gas bags online didn't get it. They thought Tina Turner should forgive her torturer of many, many decades. But that's not how it works.

And I'm down to
Your last cigarette and
this "We are one" crap
as you're invading . . .
-- "Taxi Ride," written and recorded by
Tori Amos

'Unity' says the press today just as they said it when Bully Boy stole Florida from Al Gore. The bit players are all the same, they just had facial reconstruction. And I think you'll see a number of women who refuse to play cheerleaders for
Princess Tiny Meat Barack. Not all, as Susan (Random Notes) point out, someone will gladly sell out. For the record, whomever the Democratic nominee is, Gloria Steinem will campaign for them. She does that every four years. I am not talking about Gloria. I have not and will not ever insult Gloria. But Gloria's always been the sweetest. Which isn't denying that's she's also very strong. It is pointing out that if Barack's given the nomination, don't expect to see a crowd of feminists skipping happily along -- several paces behind him. Women have witnessed non-stop sexism and grasped that feminism is needed now more than ever. This is the rebirth, not a time to be afraid. (True regardless of whom the Democratic nominee is in August.) And some can be cast aside like Christine and her beau Bernie who launched an attack on our own Kat -- demanding that she change a written opinion and demanding that she do so in his words and act like it was her opinion and her words -- that should have clued us into just how sick and vapid so many passing for 'contemporary' and 'popcult' 'feminists' actually were. So it's a good time for feminism and one in which faux feminists can hit the road and take their (at best) half-assed 'principles' with them.

John Bentley (CBS News) reports John McCain, presumed GOP presidential nominee, stated, "There are many of Sen. Clinton's supporters who believe that I am by far the best qualified to secure this nation's future, who don't want us to sit down with Ahmadinejad and other tyrants. I think there's a lot of Sen. Clinton's supporters who will support me because of their belief that Sen. Obama does not have the experience or the knowledge or the judgement to address this nation's national security challenges when we're in two wars."

Ralph Nader has selected Matt Gonzalez as his running mate and Team Nader's "
The Uprising" notes yesterday's Democracy Now where the hosts and guest David Sirota talked a good game about an "uprising against Wall Street and Washington" but somehow avoided ever mentioning the Nader-Gonzalez ticket:

On Democracy Now, Sirota said that there is great anger and disaffection in America directed at not just the government, but also at corporate America, at big business, at banks and the financial system.
And for twenty minutes, he talked and talked and talked about the uprising in this momentous Presidential election year.
But not once did Sirota mention Ralph Nader's candidacy -- which polls indicate millions of people support.
And not once did Amy Goodman or Juan Gonzalez ask him about the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy.
Anger at corporations, big business and banks.
Presidential election year.
And no mention of Ralph Nader?
What we are to make of this?
That David Sirota doesn't really give a damn about the uprising.
If he did, he would happily welcome Nader/Gonzalez into the political arena as the most meaningful political expression of the uprising in 2008.
Sirota has spent hundreds of hours surveying the uprising, but refuses to even acknowledge the work of hundreds of young people working non-stop around the country to put Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot for what is shaping up to be a four way Presidential race -- McCain, Obama, Nader, Barr.
And Nader/Gonzalez will be the Presidential campaign for the uprising against corporate power in this Presidential election year.
And Sirota doesn't say a peep about it.
Why not?
Because he's concerned but not serious about change.

Meanwhile presumed Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney has bigger problems now than defining 'victory' as getting 5% of the votes (revealing her campaign as not a real run for the office), she now has to deal with her online supporters running voters off. (Yeah, I heard about the e-mails. We'll probably address "Miss Prissy for Cynthia" at Third this weekend.)

So what do we know?
Hillary's still in the race. Supporters want her to go to Denver (but that will be her decision -- and after the way she and her family have been smeared and slimed, even her strongest supporters would understand her deciding the victory was in staying in the race when everyone said drop out, staying in the race and winning the popular vote, staying in the race and showing the world just how strong women are). Nader's running a real campaign.