Friday, May 25, 2007

End of the week

I'd finished my last session today when Sunny was freaking out. That's not like her, she's very calm and methodical. I asked what the problem was and Mike had called to ask if she could help with the snapshot by going through the public e-mail account for The Common Ills. The snapshot was repeatedly 'lost' (it's not C.I.'s problem or anyone helping). I told her I'd grab it (Mike had stressed how pressed they were for time -- he was driving C.I. to the airport). So I called Mike to get the password and began going through it. Some members continue to e-mail there so a plea, as one community member to another, please use the private accounts C.I.'s created for members. There were 18,000 plus e-mails (Mike had guessed a couple of thousands, enough to freak Sunny out when time was limited). I went through reading ones from people I know are friends of C.I. and, after that, the thing that stood out the most is how many mainstream outlets request links.

Now Jess has commented on this and it's been agreed that in the fall of 2008, some sort of piece on this will go up at The Third Estate Sunday Review. (A general piece, no naming of names.) On the one hand, it's great that outlets know to self-market but the thing that irritates Jess (and did me as well when I saw it today -- today was the first time I was ever in any of C.I.'s e-mail accounts -- Jess, Ava, Martha, Shirley and Eli regularly help out with the e-mails) is this constant "Do for me!" attitude. C.I. doesn't do trades and is only going to note something if it's pertinent (or if, honestly, C.I. feels sorry for the outlet). But, my opinion (which I share with Jess), all these people asking for this to be noted and that to be noted, what are you doing for The Common Ills?

Now the community built up with very little help. That's great because it allows C.I. the independence to make the hard calls that others will sugar coat. It's equally true that C.I.'s not doing it for money or glory and doesn't self-promote (I've been present three times when a friend's stated they should link to The Common Ills and C.I.'s begged off -- my opinion, regardless of whether C.I. said "No," they should have linked to The Common Ills). But C.I.'s built up a very huge community. C.I. did that with no help. I will state it, "No help." C.I.'s a little more generous but I won't be. Now everyone, big and small, wants to ride the coattails of the community that C.I.'s built up and it doesn't bother them in the least to repeatedly make these one-way requests?

I find that appalling. C.I. doesn't care and never would. It has to do with growing up with money (as did I) and never needing anyone to pay the bills. That's why C.I. could and did take on deans, administrators and in one instance go head to head with our college president without worry. At one point, during those long ago days, C.I. was being spied on by campus police. That was rather obvious to everyone and C.I. elected to ignore it until the head of campus police chose to confront C.I. with a file on all of C.I.'s activities. C.I. laughed at the man and walked off. Later, at our apartment, in the middle of C.I. retelling what had happened on campus (including the man shouting "Don't you walk away from me!"), there's a knock at our door. It's the man and he's bright red, angry and so sure he's about to lay down whatever his misunderstanding of the law was. C.I. tried hard not to laugh in the man's face, offered him iced tea and then explained how it was going to work. "I'm going to make one phone call and then you're going to start minding your own business." C.I. made the one phone call which resulted in several other phone calls and within twenty minutes our phone was ringing. It was the college president needing to explain to the man that he needed to get back to campus and that it would probably be a good idea to give C.I. a wide berth.

Such is the power of C.I. and always has been. Now I am now the should I person and have appointed myself to that role. When C.I.'s being asked for or considering donating money, I used our long standing friendship to beg that I be called. That's because I remember in the final days of Vietnam when C.I. was overly free with the funds. C.I. gave away everything. Unlike many who profitted from the cause, C.I. went broke on it. It didn't bother C.I. and, within a few years, it would be built back up and then some. But there are people I will bump into or see on TV today and I will remember all the money that they fleeced (my opinion) from C.I. and others. People talk a real good game about how they're going to change something, they get the money and then they don't. That, more often than not, is the reality. Which is why C.I. never says, "Give to ___." C.I. always says if someone speaks to you, give if you have it. That comes from having given to death to people who promised the world (in terms of change, there was nothing personally in it for C.I. in bankrolling so many lost causes) and either flopped (without trying to change anything) or turned themselves into new versions of the pre-existing problems.

So while I have asked to and assigned myself the final call on any donations. (I'm speaking of organizations and outlets, as Jess will tell you, he, Jim, Dona, Ty and Ava do not pay rent, do not pick up any bills, they're friends and they're guests and there's nothing wrong with helping out personal friends -- although Ava, who also has money, picked up the tab for a recent re-painting that she scheduled as a surprise and a thank you for C.I. It's also true, as Mike will tell you, that C.I.'s taking care of Mike's college. I have offered to take over that, Mike and I are a couple, but both prefer for C.I. to continue doing that. Money spent with or on friends is never wasted.) In that position, this week alone, I've said, "Why is it always you? Others can step up and, if they won't, maybe something needs to go under." I will give, gladly, to feminist organizations. But I saw, for instance, this whole We-Will-Change-The-Media hype once before.
Along with C.I., I have one other friend who gave much more than she should. (This isn't Rebecca. Rebecca made her money in public relations and did so many, many years after Vietnam ended.) If there's something -- a program, a magazine, a website, a station -- that speaks to you and you have some money to spare, by all means consider donating. But do it because you enjoy what's being done. Don't fall into the hype that anything's going to change because, more than likekly, it won't.

C.I. and I have very different approaches to money. If I'm asked, I will ask for exact details, plans, etc. A pitch or a presentation doesn't sway me. I will also ask, after I've been given details, specific questions. I don't worship money but I certainly have never and would never give away everything I had. You can call me selfish (C.I. never has) or you can call me shrewd. I really don't care. C.I. hates to talk money. In terms of those asking for it, that's always benefitted them because just to end the discussion, C.I. is prone to grab the checkbook and ask, "How much?" In terms of family deaths, that means C.I., unlike someone who shall be nameless, has never squabbled over inheritances and has instead said, "Oh, let them take whatever they want, ___ is dead." I include that to make it clear that I am not insulting C.I. There are far worse things than being overly generous with money, you could be a money grubber who drags your entire family into court over taxes on an inheritance, for instance.

So as I went through the e-mails (I didn't go through more than fifty), I did think you have to have a lot of nerve to self-promote yourself while never doing a thing for The Common Ills. In one instance, a very close friend of C.I.'s is considering buying the outlet so I'm sure if they have something that fits what C.I.'s covering, it is noted to ensure the outlet doesn't nose dive in public opinion. It's also true that personal friends of C.I. in the mainstream media (who know C.I.'s behind The Common Ills) e-mail if C.I.'s on the road speaking (as opposed to at home when C.I. can call them or they can call C.I.) and that's fine. But I do understand what Jess has been objecting to and, for the record, people (strangers) who repeatedly attempt to self-promote might want to ask themselves what they've done that they expect their favors to be granted?

I lost my parents at a very early age and had to face the fact that it was my brother and me, that was it. So my survival (and self-preservation) instinct is very strong. But I do understand Jess' feelings on this. (Ava's approach is to delete any e-mail asking for a favor that's not from a friend of C.I.'s unless she thinks it's worthy. Outside of feeling sorry for someone, C.I. doesn't note anything unless it's worthy.) (Funniest e-mail Ava saw was from a 'journalist' who works for Ava's father and was claiming that he was trying so hard to get something out. The reality is that he wasn't and Ava wanted very much to share with her father the laughable claims someone was making. She didn't -- to preserve the confidientiality of the public account; however, we all had a good laugh at a 'journalist' who wants to play 'brave.')

Lastly on the public account, C.I. phoned me Sunday night about an e-mail. I got the same e-mail. It's allegedly from a Vietnam Vet who has created a paypal account and needs donations for, reportedly, his wife's health. I'm not noting it here and, when I read it, I knew I wouldn't. C.I. did go back and forth over it. Throughout last week, C.I. attempted to check with friends to see if they knew about the man? No one did. The man may not be scamming anyone but if I don't know you and you're asking for money, not only will I not give to you, I won't put up a request for others to give you money. With all the e-mail scams out there, forget it. C.I. knows about the e-mail scams (and regularly laughs about them) but this e-mail was worded in such a way that C.I. did wonder and go back and forth on it.

Last Friday, I wrote about C.I. and begged everyone on Sunday not to link to it in "Highlights." They were kind enough not to. I meant to explain that. I have no problem with what I've written here but I was so tired and honestly told C.I. I would delete it. C.I. hadn't read it and said not to bother. As I noted last Friday, I don't generally tell C.I. tales here. C.I.'s very private (as am I) and I respect that. I've dealt here with the issues of favors and money which I have no problem discussing. (I will add that these are my opinions and C.I. might disagree.) In terms of the one shared college story, I know C.I. won't care and has been known to get on the phone when community members in college are suffering similar abuses from campus police.

I also strongly urge you to read "And the war drags on . . ." from last night if you haven't already. Trina and I rate it as our favorite entry by C.I. this week. I would also strongly urge you to read Mike's "The faux who are our foes" which is my own pick for his best post of the week. By the way, to be clear on something, Sunny is happy to help and was happy to help today. She's a member of the community and will help in any way she can. The only reason she got freaked today was due to the fact that Mike was talking about the thousands of e-mails and the need to go through them quickly. I would have freaked as well if I didn't know that C.I. doesn't read them all. You do what you can and in the 15 minutes Sunny would have had, Mike meant only what she could manage but, on her end, it sounded like, "Read everything!" Mike's known for his enthusiasm and he and Sunny have already laughed about this.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, May 25, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, 63% of Americans favor withdrawal from Iraq in the latest poll (even if the New York Times buries that fact), in Shreveport a self-check out is arrested (the fourth for the year), the US military announces more deaths of US service members with May already being the second highest month for American troops deaths, and more.Yesterday, both houses of the US Congress demonstrated how quickly they can act . . . when anything stands in the way of their own vacation.
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes today, "Congress has approved nearly $100 billion dollars in war spending through September without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq." Goodman notes the final House vote was 280 for and 142 against and the final Senate vote was 80 in favor and 14 against. In addition, Democracy Now! provided clips of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi -- who demonstrated that sneering at science and academics isn't solely a GOP thing as she used the ridiculously low figure of "over 100,000 Iraqis" dead when the study conducted by the British medical journal The Lancet placed the figure, last year, at over 655,000 -- and House Minority Leader John Boehner -- who demonstrated he could stay "on message" ("terrorists!") even while sobbing like a guest on the daytime TV circuit speaking of their 'personal' battle with an addiction -- Boehner apparently being addicted to illegal war, mass killing, and fantasy. Evelyn Pringle (CounterPunch) observes, "Congress has demonstrated its unconditional love for the Bush administration by handing the war profiteers another $100 billion worth of good reasons to keep the war in Iraq rolling along at full-throttle. [. . . ] And the statements in speeches made by members of Congress while debating the bills don't mean anything because 95% of Americans never hear those speeches. Honest politicians should be out screaming to any reporter who will listen to educate Americans about where the hundreds of billions of tax dollars have ended up. This war is 100 times worse than Viet Nam. At least with Viet Nam, the war profits were not being funneled over the backs of our dead soldiers in plain sight directly into the bank accounts of current and former members of the administrations in power at the time. Nor were they being funneled to the family bank accounts of the Presidents who were in office during the Viet Nam war." The BBC notes that, following the grandstanding of Congress and the Bully Boy, "Hours later, the US military reported the deaths of five soldiers in Iraq." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid laughably announced of the bill that fully funds the illegal war and makes the Democrats equal partners in Bully Boy's illegal war, "The days of blank cheques and green lights for his failed policy are over." By which Reid appears to mean that the US Congress has instead handed Bully Boy a debit card and asked kindly that he please not visit the ATMs too often.The Democrats full bodied, naked embrace of the illegal war comes at a time when the American people turn ever more against the illegal war. The public began turning against the war in 2005 and, since then, the opinion has only hardened. A CBS poll this week found that 76% of Americans polled felt "the war is going badly" -- an increase of ten percent -- and 61% maintain that the US "should have stayed out" of Iraq. A CBS poll? Well the New York Times has finally agreed to allow their names back on the joint polling and somehow managed to avoid all the media critics who must have been sleeping while CBS issued one poll after another on Iraq the last few months while the paper of little record appeared to suddenly be poll shy. Though they weren't called out on that, they should have been. The poll is, indeed, a joint-poll by CBS and the New York Times -- as were the recent polls billed just as CBS polls because the paper really didn't want to cover the American public's ever growing opposition to the illegal war. But they've put their names back on the poll. And gladly run it . . . under the headline "Poll Shows View of Iraq War Is Most Negative Since Start" . . . on page A16 of today's paper. To no one's surprise at the paper, Janet Elder avoids it like a plague so it's left for Dalia Sussman to write it up. The paper hasn't been in the news business for over a century, it's in the management business and Sussman's happy to do her part. Which is how her ridiculous write up can avoid the issue of withdrawal which the poll found [PDF format warning for the link] 63% of Americans favor (32% wanted no timetable for withdrawal -- Bully Boy's approval rating was 30%). 63% of Americans favorite withdrawal from Iraq? Sounds like a front page headline. (Sussman doesn't even note it in her laughable write up until paragraph nine where it's noted for two sentences and then never built upon or mentioned again.)Not only isn't it a headline, the Times (again) buries the poll deep inside the paper. When they refused to run with the joint-polling over the previous months, questions should have been asked but possibly people don't actually read the Times anymore, they just visit links? Though this poll doesn't make the front page, another does, on immigration. (The Times is working overtime to sell the Congressional efforts to strip immigrants of their rights -- including immigrants that are American citizens because they were born in the United States.) 63% of Americans say a timetable needs to be set for Iraq withdrawal and the Times publishes that on the same day that the Congress votes to continue funding the illegal war and drops any mention of withdrawal. The poll's not news? 76% saying the illegal war is "going badly" and 61% say the US never should have invaded Iraq and Congress elects to do nothing but it's not news?Well why not? 3 American soldiers went missing two Saturdays ago -- in an attack that killed 4 others and 1 Iraqi translator, and the paper didn't front page that until seven days after it happened. One of the 3 has now been declared dead and the paper's not interested in front paging that either. (The search continues for the 2 still missing.) However, Michael Gordon's unsourced speculation that Moqtada al-Sadr was in Iran is front page news -- despite the fact that it has no named "American official" source to it, despite the fact that it doesn't include the news that al-Sadr spoke in Kufa today (calling for US troops to leave Iraq). Our Rona Barrett of the Grey Lady leaps to the front page with a story proclaiming al-Sadr has been in Iran despite the fact that, as the BBC noted today, "This was never confirmed."Exactly whom is Gordo working for because, for a reporter, he appears to miss a great deal? Last week, one of the world's oldest think tanks, Chatham House, issued another report. As expected, the same mainstream media that ignored the previous report (taking Tony Blair to task for getting in bed with the United States and becoming nothing but a lackey to the Bully Boy) foamed over the mouth on this one (including Gordo's own paper -- maybe he can't read?)
The PDF format report "
Accepting Realities in Iraq" included a heading entitled "Muqtada al-Sadr cannot be ignored" -- a position Gordo appears to share. However, Chatham House argued that due to his base, popularity and influence, al-Sadr cannot be ignored and strong efforts should be made to bring him into the political process. (Yesterday's news that puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki was replacing the six ministers from al-Sadr's camp who had resigned would indicate that al-Maliki also hasn't read the report.) This at a time when Gareth Porter (IPS) reports that al-Sadr (a Shi'ite cleric) appears to have strong support from the Sunni resistance with the binding factor being their joint demand for US forces out of Iraq. Porter is offering an analysis and building on (and crediting) work done by Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) at the start of this week. Also at the start of the week, Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London via CounterPunch) broke the news that in 2004, the US military attempted to assassinate al-Sadr in Najaf which, surprisingly?, never made it into the New York Times.But then, so much of the violence doesn't -- the real 'hidden violence' despite the Times' laughable claims last Saturday.Bombings?While the US military attempts to divide Baghdad by 'walls' (over the objections of the puppet of the occupation), some Iraqis attempt to divide the capital by bombing bridges. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) notes the latest bombing -- "the bridge linking Al Adil and Al Khadraa neighborhoods in west Baghad" -- as well Baghdad mortar attacks that killed 4 people (15 wounded), and a Baghdad explosion that killed 1 person, a car bombing in Muqdadiyah that killed 4 police officers (6 civilians wounded).

Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that three farmers were shot dead in "the orchards of Um Al Romman village". Reuters notes that a tribal sheik was shot dead in Falluja.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 20 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes two corpses were discovered in Latifiya.
Reuters also notes the following announced deaths of US service members in Iraq (all announced today): 2 US soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad (Thursday), 1 US soldier killed in Nineveh Province by a roadside bomb (Thursday), 1 US soldier killed by a Baghdad roadside bomb (Tuesday), 1 US soldier killed by in Salahaddin Province by a roadside bomb (Thursday), and 1 US Soldier killed by gunfire (Thursday) in Diyala Province. The six deaths add to a mounting count for the month which ICCC calculates to currently be 93 for the month thus far. Only April has had more US military fatalities with 104 and, of course, May still has six days left in it. ICCC's count for the total number of US service members who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war stands at 3444.
Among the victims of violence are women though they remain the true hidden victims.
Kasia Anderson (TruthDig) interviews Yanar Mohammed (Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq) and asks early on the obvious (though usually unasked) question, "How did the onset of the Iraq war change things for Iraqi women, specifically?" Mohammed replies, "Well, although people on this part of the world think that Iraqi women are liberated, actually, we have lost all of the achievements or all the status that we used to have. It is no longer safe to leave your house and get groceries. We're not speaking here about a young woman trying to reach the university, because that is beginning to get too difficult. We're not speaking here about women who are trying to go back and forth to work and even those of my friends who do that already because they have to--many of the police at work are being killed for sectarian reasons. So, you have to witness all sorts of atrocities just going back and forth to work, and if there is this new [policy] of Sunni and Shiite, checking all the IDs of people, you leave the house and you do not guarantee that you come back safe. [. . .] Well, the myth of democracy has killed already half a million Iraqis, and if it were giving us real democracy, where people are represented according to their political affiliations or their economic understanding or their social justice affiliations, that would have been understood. But the way Iraqis are represented is according to their religion and their ethnicities. It is as if the U.S. administration is trying to tell the whole world that Iraqis are not entitled to political understanding or political activity. The political formula that was forwarded to us is a total insult for a part of the world where the politics are very much thriving and all kinds of politics--with the dawn of the war, thousands of political parties have registered. And they all wanted to be competing, or let's say running into democracy, but who was empowered, who was supported? It's mostly the religious and mostly the ethnic groups, and the women's groups? The U.S. administration wasn't really interested to speak to, let's say, free women's groups. They preferred to bring decorative factors to the parliament, where they look like women, but they all voted for a constitution that is against women. And the constitution at this moment has imposed Shariah law upon us, when in the times before the war we had more of a secular constitution that respected women’s rights. So, it's one more thing lost for this war."
Yanar Mohammed mentioned university students.
On Tuesday, the Ibn Al Haitham college faced a mortar attack in Baghdad that left at least 4 students dead and at least 25 wounded while, same day, an attack, in Baghdad, on a mini-bus claimed the lives of 9 students (including two female students). On Wednesday, Baghdad's National Theater was attacked with mortarts leaving at least one person wounded. The theater is where college students and recent college graduates have mounted a new play, The Intensive Care Unit, which castmember Rita Casber described to Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) as "Our play is a miniature of our reality. It conveys the reality the people in Iraq are subjected to." Londono noted that Casber is the sole woman in the cast and late to the cast -- she joined only after death threats (over the 'crime' of wearing a tank top on stage) forced the original actress to leave the production.On the subject of schools, Alive in Baghdad intervews students at the girls' school in Baghdad, Safina Middle School. The link is not currently working, we'll quote the students next week. Last month, Alive in Baghdad interviewed Hameeda al-Bassam who works a private library in Baghdad and spoke of the difficulties she encounters traveling, in her wheelchair, through checkpoints and scenes of violence to arrive at work. She spoke of inside the library as one of the few places where the chaos and violence has yet to emerge and noted, with regret, that due to the violence she has had to curtail her work week. Please note that the videos have audio and an English translation at the bottom which can serve as closed captioning.Also on the subject of women in Iraq, the AP reported yesterday that Clenard M. Simmons was given a 30 year sentence after pleading guilty (April 5th) "to four counts of abusive sexual contact and one count of aggravated sexual abuse for five attacks from February 2004 to May 2005" which took place at Fort Hood as well as while he was stationed in Iraq and the victims were five female US service members. The AP noted that "Simmons attacked the soldiers in their barracks, groping and threatening them."Though frequently ignored and swept under the rug, women serving in Iraq are under very real attack from those serving with them. For more on this, see Jane Hoppen's "Women in the Military: Who's Got Your Back?," Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff's "The Rape of the 'Hadji Girl'," andAllison Tobey's "Serving in the Rape Zone" (Off Our Backs); Traci Hukill's "A Peculiar Version of Friendly Fire: Female Troops Face Double Danger" (The Progressive); and "Women and the military" (The Third Estate Sunday Review). And always look to what happened to Suzanne Swift. Swift went to Iraq wanting to serve her country (US) and quickly discovered that those above her expected her to serve them. Repeated attempts to stop the abuse and harassment resulted in no action (unless a course in how Swift could learn not to 'invite' harassment is considered 'action' -- anyone thinking it is should have their head examined). Swift self-checked out. As Sara Rich, Swift's mother, has noted, Swift wasn't against the illegal war. Swift wasn't saying, "I will not go back because I'm against the war." She checked out because when the military refuses to discipline their own, you have to take the situation into your own hands. To not do so would be 'inviting' harassment. There's not a (rational) woman alive who should be able to question Swift's decision to self-check out. She was abused, she was harassed, she was the victim of command rape, and the military did nothing. She went through channels and rather than disciplining the ones breaking the code of conduct (and exhibiting criminal behaviors) the military's 'answer' was to 'teach' Swift how not to 'invite' criminal acts upon her person. (Which is similar to the US military's refusal to punish those enlisted males who regularly attack women serving when the women go to take a shower. Instead of coming down hard and sending a strong message that the crime of rape is not tolerated in the US military, the military elects to caution women to 'buddy up' and never visit the latrines alone.) So Swift self-checked out, the smartest thing she could have done and no (rational) woman would say otherwise.Swift is now against the war and the treatment she experienced (laughably known as military 'justice') went a long way towards opening her eyes. In a climate that regularly rails against the military banning YouTube and blog postings, you might think the gag order imposed upon Swift would raise some righteous indignation but websites have largely been silent. Swift's mother, Sara Rich, is not gagged and Melissa Sanders (Socialst Alternative) interviews her -- Rich explains that her daughter's been extended in the military through January 2009 and, in response to a question about the "sexualized violence against female soldiers," rightly notes,"We're teaching guys about 18 to kill, and that killing's ok, before they are even allowed to legally drink. If you do that, I mean, who's going to tell them that raping isn't ok?"Along with Sanders' article, more information can be found at Suzanne Swift's website. (Which her mother runs and the military has no control over Sara Rich.)

Turning to the issue of war resisters,
The Shreveport Times reports that Jackie Leroy Moore was arrested in Shreveport today for self-checking out and that he is the fourth self-check out to be arrested in Shreveport this year. Though the military continues to undercount the number of enlisted choosing to self-check out (undercounts for the press, they know the privately held number), this is part of the growing resistance within the military to the illegal war. "It now appears that if this war in Iraq is to end, it will be our soldiers who will have to bring it about," observes Albert Petraca (JuneauEmpire). "Nowadays, our soldiers also know this war is lost. Thankfully, soldiers have begun to take matters into their own hands. From U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's refusing deployment to Iraq, to the appeal for redress now circulating among active-duty personnel, to Iraq Veterans Against the War's recent decision to support resisters, we are seeing the initial stirrings of what will likely grow into a movement of soldiers in revolt. The Defense Department recently admitted that at least 3,196 troops deserted in 2006, with an 8 percent increase already in the first quarter of 2007. Plummeting enlistment standards are unlikely to fill this void. The life-altering decisions made by these brave men and women are, in many ways, even more difficult than those made by former resisters. Today's volunteer soldier, unlike Vietnam-era draftees, is too often callously scolded by the mostly comfortable for having freely signed a recruitment contract and, therefore, must suffer the consequences. This judgmental attitude reveals a profound disrespect for service men and women who answered their country's call based on a belief that their government spoke truthfully about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to 9/11. We now know that the pretense used to play on their genuine feelings of duty was little more than a pack of lies."
Watada is part of growing movement of resistance within the US military that also includes Joshua Key, Terri Johnson, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson,
Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Heads up, the latest
Bill Moyers Journal begins airing in some markets tonight (PBS -- each station can determine when they air an episode) and features Maxine Hong-Kingston. (Transcripts and video will go up at Bill Moyers Journal.)

Finally, independent journalist John Pilger is on a speaking tour with his new book Freedom Next Time and his documentary Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (which looks at DC, Afghanistan and Iraq). June 7th, he will discuss his book with Amy Goodman at The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, beginning at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:15). Admission is $5 per person and students (with ID) can attend for free. Pilger will sign copies of his book afterwards and Amy Goodman will sign copies of her latest book (written with her brother David Goodman) Static. "For ticket information, contact (212) 229-5488 or For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, click here or e-mail"
June 11th, Pilger will be in Los Angeles at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (244 S. San Pedro St.) and will discuss his book and show his documentary beginning at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm). The price of admission to the even is five dollars. "Directions, maps, and parking info at: by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, and The Nation Institute, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. For ticket information, call or visit the JACCC. Box office: 213-680-3700 (Box Office Hours: Monday - Saturday: Noon - 5 pm)For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email"

June 13th finds him in San Francisco showing his film and discussing his book at
Yerba Beuna Center for Arts (beginning at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm) and the price of admission is $15 general and $5 for students. "Presented by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, The Nation Institute, and KPFA, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. For ticket information, call 415-978-2787 or order online at In person tickets at YBCA Box office located inside the Galleries and Forum Building, 701 Mission Street at Third. (Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: noon - 5 pm; Thu: noon - 8 pm.) For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email"

From San Francisco, he moves on to Chicago for the 2007 Socialism conference. At 11:30 am Saturday June 16th, he and
Anthony Arnove will participate in a conversation, audience dialogue and book signing (Arnove is the author most recently of IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal) and that evening (still June 16th) at 7:30 Pilger will be at Chicago Crowne Plaza O'Hare (5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018) as part of a panel of international activists. To attend the conference, the fee is $85. For Saturday and Sunday only, the price is $70. To attend only one session, the cost is ten dollars. "Presented by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, The Nation Institute, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. Co-sponsors: Obrera Socialista, Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review, and Haymarket Books. For ticket information, call 773-583-8665 or e-mail For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email"

The Socialism 2007 conference will take place in Chicago from June 14-17. Along with Pilger and Arnove, others participating will include Dahr Jamail, Laura Flanders, Kelly Dougherty, Joshua Frank, Amy Goodman, Sharon Smith, Dave Zirin, Camilo Mejia, Jeremy Scahill, Jeffrey St. Clair and many others.