Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The need to call out and Nadia Berenstein's "Happily Never Married"

Okay, I'm addressing two things tonight. (I'm also late. Mike explains why we're all late tonight in the post he's doing so I'll steer you there.) First off, C.I. said, "I thought I had an easy snapshot for a change." We both laughed. I called during lunch to ask what campus they were headed to? (Dona, Ava and C.I. are on the road speaking out against the illegal war.) I asked if the group had an office on campus? Yes. Good, I'm faxing something.

It's the thing by the pig. C.I. read it (I knew C.I. would want hard copy and could picture the pacing that went along with the reading of it) and calls me back while dictating an addition to the snapshot asking me what I'm going to grab and what's up for grabs?

I grabbed my things and noted we could overlap and not to worry. No link because I draw the line at linking to PEDOPHILES. You can find the PEDOPHILE's "A Call To Service" at Common Dreams or Truthdig.

I often fall back on sports analogies to explain political situations to American audiences.

"to American audiences"? International speaker that he is? Sports analogies? Oh, tell us again, Pedophile, what it's like to be in the boys' locker room. Please, tell us again about that.

But maybe the sports analogy doesn’t resonate with certain members of this movement.

"this movement" refers to those favoring impeachment whom he also refers to as "the fringes" so since he's dismissed most women my age (and many younger) with his sports analogies, that crack must be aimed solely at the men whom Pedophile doesn't feel are as 'manly' as he is. Because it takes a lot of 'manly' to try to set up sexual encounters with underage girls. What a 'man' pedophile is.

You know what? That's really all I can quote from him without getting sick to my stomach.

I have no idea why he made it through 2006 (when he was trashing Cindy Sheehan) still being allowed to publish at Truthdig, Truthout, Common Dreams, Buzzflash, The Nation and was still allowed to be invited on radio programs like Democracy Now! (which is also a TV show), Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett, RadioNation with Laura Flanders, CounterSpin and countless others. What is the point of that?

A radio host, at one point this year, did something we almost wrote about one Sunday. The host noted that Barack Obama was using a song by a convicted pedophile as his theme song and called that out. Apparently, the show's blog objected and had a tizzy.

We would have supported that host and went back and forth over it. What it came down to is that same host features Scott Ritter on the program regularly.

I don't think a song by a convicted pedophile should be used by a campaign to begin with. But if you're going to call out a song, my questions (and I asked it when we were discussing the potential feature), why are you allowing a pedophile to come on your program.

C.I. hates the Pedophile. C.I.'s thought the man was creepy and suspect from day one. Then Buzzflash was promoting one of the Pedophile's books and a member wrote in to share how disgusted they were with the book (which went up at The Common Ills) and how offended they were because the man was a Pedophile.

C.I. calls me up and asks, "The man's a pedophile?" I didn't know about it. C.I. was on the road when that was news (briefly) and I don't follow everyone's scandals. Plus, it was hard to follow that. (I've since learned the right-wing had a field day with the pedophile's arrests.) So C.I.'s calling around and finding out details and asking, "Gee, why didn't anyone tell me?"

From the day the Pedophile was off limits. (He was highlighted by members prior to that.)
The left has avoided the issue. That's probably why so few know about it. They've booked him and penned the blame for him being shut out by Big Media on Judith Miller. Judith Miller was never the queen of all media. When C.I. started calling around and hearing what made it into print and on air as well as other details that didn't, I was shocked to hear the summary.

Now Pedophile claims the "anti-war movement" and I'm a member of the peace movement. So I've never agreed with him from the start. But knowing he's a pedophile, I have to ask why women put up with him? Why do Amy Goodman, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Lila Garrett and countless others put up with it?

I would think men would be offended by it but I'm also aware that many men are never put into an area where they could become a sexual victim. Women, whether they are raped or molested, are usually very aware of some moment where it could have happened or they were afraid it might. (Such as when you're in a parking garage and a man is following you.)

Now C.I.'s called Pedophile out since discovering the public record. What's the deal with independent media?

Is he such an "important voice" that the safety of young girls doesn't matter?

What does that say about feminism today when we can't loudly all publicly call out the nonsense that a Pedophile is being brought on as a hero in various media outlets?

What does it say about the peace movement that they haven't publicly distanced themselves from him?

If Michael Jackson decided tomorrow he was against the illegal war and ready to speak out would we all ignore his 'complicated' and public history with young boys?

I remember BuzzFlash nearly having an online heart attack during the Mark Folely scandal. Was that about the same-sex factor? As the Folely story is known he, at best, flirted with young boys. He didn't try to have sex with underage boys. He may have had sex with young males 18 and over. (I believe he did.) What was the ick factor there about?

He liked them young but knew the difference between legal and illegal by all accounts. He broke no laws. He made a few uncomfortable and that goes to the position he held. He probably abused that power with that position.

But he wasn't a criminal.

But BuzzFlash (and a lot of the Democratic left) treated the scandal as if it were the end of the world . . . while still comfortable providing a platform for the Pedophile . . . while still refusing to call him out.

The Pedophile voted Republican in every presidential election with the possible exception of 2004. So he's a Republican and he's a pedophile. Add in his public slimings of Cindy Sheehan.
Exactly why has the left media propped this guy up all this time?

I'm sick of it. The man's a pedophile. The mainstream media washed their hands of him when that news came out. But you get Phil Donahue, Jeff Cohen and countless others who should know better propping him up. Where are the women? Where is their outrage over this? The women in positions of authority are just as guilty as the men.

Nothing can change the fact that he's gotten a pass, that the message has been sent that it's okay to prey on young girls, but we can all call it out now and demand it stop.

I doubt we will. When C.I.'s noted the pedophile at The Common Ills, there are always a number of women e-mailing to show support but these women never back it up. Whether they have a website or a larger platform, they play dumb publicly.

That's not feminism.

"Other Items" (The Common Ills):
Turning to periodical news, the Summer 2007 edition of Ms. magazine is out. The letters from readers are always worth reading and this issue includes a response to "What Are You Doing With Your Women's Studies Degree?" (replies include nonprofit work, working for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and starting the Women's Business Initiative, law clerk for Judge Gregory Jackson in DC) (nice photo, in another letter section of Amy Schmeets and her daughter Sophia). "Keeping Score" is notable quotes and, among them is this by Gloria Steinem: "Women's bodies are valued as ornaments. Men's bodies are valued as instruments." The quote went on a Starbucks cups last month. "How We're Doing" looks at women and the media.
One thing to add on the radio aspect (excellent pie charts, by the way) is that one outlet created to address the declining listenership of women to radio and the declining women on air is GreenStone Media. Along with The Radio Ritas, Women Aloud, Rolonda and Lisa Birnbach, GreenStone Media is now producing The World According to Giles & Moriarty hosted by Nancy Giles and Erin Moriarty both of whom have much experience in broadcast (including CBS). Their program airs on Saturday mornings and has been added since we last noted GreenStone Media. All programs can be streamed online live or you can listen to archives of recent broadcasts (for free, no sign up, no premium fee).
Back to Ms., the cover theme is "1-2 Punch" and includes Allison Stevens' "A Major Blow to Roe" and Justine Andronici's "Court Gives OK to Unequal Pay" and you can also pair it with two other articles in the issue. Allison Stevens' "Sticker Shock" addresses the issue of the huge increase in prices for birth control (which both increases the profit for Big Business and limits access for many women). Stevens notes, "Millions of women who purchase contraceptives at student and community health clinics across the country have seen prices go from about $10 a month to anywhere between $30 and $50. Such out-of-reach prices are putting intense financial stress on women who can't afford to pay retail for birth control. And the pressure goes beyond the individual level: Some family planning clinics serving low-income women may be forced to shut down if prices aren't soon reduced, leaving poor women with even fewer resources to determine the number and spacing of their children." That article runs on pages 12 and 13. Jessica Sites' "Police Story" (page 15) addresses the overturning of a 2002 jury verdict agreeing that discrimination based on race was taking place in Los Angeles County's decision to pay county sherrif's deputies more than county police officers. This was a breakthrough case and Sites reports, "Now a three-judge California appellate court has overturned the verdict. . . . Because the appellate court relied on job descriptions to make its decision -- discounting interviews with personnel that showed substantial similarities in the two forces' duties -- there is concern that the ruling opens the door for employers to use different titles and descriptions to cloak discrimination." What happens when visibility increases in the media doesn't come with an increased awareness in the coverage? Nikki Ayanna Stewart explores that in "Black Girls' Dreams" (pages 66 and 67). The arts section includes playwright Susan Miller's essay "Conversations With My Son." This is from Eve Ensler's A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer which features essays by Miller, Alice Walker, Suheir Hammad, Howard Zinn, Jane Fonda, Tariq Ali, Edward Albee, Robin Morgan, Kathy Najimy, Kate Clinton, Patricia Bosworth and others (including Ensler herself). Among the book reviews, Jennifer Pozner's look at Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women (author Caryl Rivers) is a must read -- one sentence from Pozner's review: "With wit, ire and in-depth social-science research, she exposes how corporate media conspire to convince us that despite -- or precisely because of -- women's professional, political, academic and cultural strides, most of us are thoroughly miserable, the cost of all that uppity ambition." Helen Zia reviews Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying, Julie Phillips reviews Doris Lessing's The Cleft, Nasrin Rahimieh reviews Gina B. Nahai's Caspian Rain, and Frances Winndance Twine reviews Susan K. Cahn's Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age.That's just a small sampling of the contents of the summer issue of Ms. Dona says we can note Rebeca Clarren's "The Invisible Ones" (pages 40-45) at The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend, Elaine will note Nadia Bernenstein's column tonight at her site Like Maria Said Paz . This was dictated in two parts. Thanks to ___ for typing it up and for the patience.

Two parts? C.I. mentioned the Pozner review to me last weekend, saying I had to read it. I don't think C.I. realized the issue went on sale yesterday. (C.I.'s been helping a friend who's working a book on a poetry and another friend who's got a script a studio was losing interest in. That's taken a huge chunk of reading time for the last two weeks. Ava said she was shocked when C.I. produced 25 pages of notes on the screenplay -- suggestions of what to cut, what to beef up and what was still missing. That's why friends of C.I.'s who are writers always ask for help when they hit a wall: C.I. doesn't just say, "I liked it." If you ask for advice, C.I. will go in depth and note you're free to disregard anything and should if it doesn't feel right.) Pozner's review really made an impression and, having read it, let me also recommend it.

So C.I. was scrambling to offer something on Ms. this morning from an issue that largely hadn't been read yet. Hence the two parts and the delay in posting. (The non-Ms. part was dictated as C.I., Ava and Dona were on their way to the first speaking event. Then it was hop in the car and speed read through the issue while dictating. While that was going on, Ava called me and asked if I could cover the article noted above and I quickly agreed.) I stopped and picked up the issue on the way home.

"Happily Never Married" runs on pages 63-64 and is written by Nadia Berenstein. It comes with an illustration of a family in "America, 2007 . . ." A child sits between her mother and her grandfather. She holds a book entitled A Child's History of Equality. She asks her grandfather, "Grandpa, Mommy said you used to be a senator -- did you help fight for gay people to get equal rights?" The grandfather is depicted sweating and nervous as he answer, "Uh . . . well, I uh . . . sort of supported civil unions?" I almost missed the credit for the illustration: "2007 Mikhaela B. Reid."

Bernstein is addressing the damages caused by the administration and the move to ban same-sex marriages (which the administration pushed in their 2004 election, gay-baiting). The fallout is considerable. Some states rush to prove how unequal they are (i.e. passing laws against same-sex marriage) ended up harming heterosexual couples. In Ohio, such a law has allowed domestic abuse to get a 'lift.' Non-married couples (same sex or opposite sex) are a non-entity by the law and when a non-married partner beats another the abuser can file an appeal: "about 80 appeals have been filed by people charged with domestic violence, on the grounds that equating the assault of an unmarried partner with that of spouse would be in violation of the [state] Constitution." In addition, the passes of such anti-measures has put civil unions at risk (same sex and opposite sex): "State universities in Michigan and Virginia, for instance, are prohibited from providing domestic-partnership benefits."

Three couples speak about their problems with the concept of marriage. Phil Andrews and Rebecca Heinegg note that they "are uncomfortable with the oppressive history of marriage, with assumptions about gender roles within a marriage and with the very idea of entering into a contractual agreement with the government." Lara Miller and Mike Finn note the political reason for refusing to marry, they could but their friends in same sex-relationships can't and there is a heiarchy where "the government, for the most part, will only recognize a man and a woman as being acceptable partners, and then only recognize married men and women as being acceptable parents." The third couple, Carol Kohfeld and John Sprague ("together 19 years") don't want to ruin the "great relationship, a loving relationship" and note that they stay together out of love not "because we're forced to legally."

In addition, Berenstein informs you of various inequalities (for marrieds and for civil unions but marrieds do have less inequalities), that the Bully Boy has "allocated $100 million a year for the next five years for initiatives to encourage people -- especially the poor -- to marry and stay married." That's a half-million dollars of our money being wasted. New Jersey's domestic partnerships are noted and let me add something to that. John Corzine, the state's governor, wrote a letter to UPS "to clarify its responsibilities under the state law and appealing to its executives' sense of decency and fair play," reported Kareem Fahim on page A21 of today's New York Times ("In New Jersey's Civil Unions, a Challenge on Benefits," August 1, 2007).

Okay, it's late and I'm tired (so much so, that sentence originally read "Okay, it's tired and I'm late") so I'm lost on the point I wanted to make regarding California (Berenstein and Fahim both mention it).

So I'll make my point and then I'll wind down with the snapshot. Barack Obama thinks women should register with Seletive Service (he noted that in the YouTube debate and Trina's "" covered this Saturday). It's a duty. A duty one owes to the government? What about the duties a government has to a citizen?

The threat that some feel over same-sex marriage honestly raises issues of (1) what are they hiding and (2) do they grasp that allowing the option doesn't men it becomes a compulsive arrangement? No, one's going to be forced into a same-sex marriage just because it becomes legal. Every one needs to take a breath.

Obama didn't need to. He avoids the issue. He's not for same-sex marriage. Anderson Cooper raised the issue of how interracial marriage was illegal in many states until the 1960s. Barack Obama, who would talk about the progress brought on by all serving in the military, wasn't too concerned with progressing so that all citizens are treated fairly and respected.

Marriage? Every one should have the option. I endorse gay marriage as an option. But I do sometime worry, as some in Berenstein's article did, if we're not sending the message that only marriage is a "real" relationship?

If something's available to one, it should be available to all. But I do worry that this point gets lost from time to time and it appears instead as if we're endorsing: "Marriage is the final and real act in any loving relationship."

I hope I managed to get my point across, I'm very tired.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, August 1, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, over 100 Iraqis are dead or reported dead today, the press tries to sell the illegal war some more despite reality, the July death toll for US service members rises again, and a pig attempts to book his own title match: Pedophile vs. the Peace Mom (with everyone rooting for Cindy).
Starting with war resistance. In June of 2006,
Ehren Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq (after months of working privately with his military superiors, offering to resign, offering to serve in Afghanistan, etc.). In violation of the Constitution's double-jeopardy clause, he faces a second court-martial October 9th following last February's court-martial which ended just as he was about to take the stand in his own defense only to find Judge Toilet (aka John Head) rule a mistrial over defense objection. The October 9th date is considered iffy at this point by his civilian attorneys due to the appeals process that will address issues such as double-jeopardy and whether or not Judge Toilet should recuse himself. Thus far those (and other issues) have not been addressed. (Judge Toilet ruling that his own actions do not violate the Constitution or ruling that he's fit to serve on another court-martial does not make for objective rulings.) Watada's bravery has inspired many and that's not limited to the military. Melissa Regennitter (Muscatine Journal) reports on Ashley Casale and Michael Israel's March for Peace which began May 1st in San Francisco and is headed for DC and added a third person, Antonio Kies, on Sunday and a fourth, Isabelle Salmon, on Monday. Asked why she was joining the march, Isabelle Salmon explained she'd just completed college, wanted to take part in an action to end the illegal war and "I'd have to say inspiration comes from Lt. Watada and my belief in world peace." And exploring the connections between art and activism, Jen Angel (Boise Weekly) recounts, "This past January I spent a week in a chilly warehouse in Tacoma, Wash., making puppets with 20 other activists to support Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to public refuse deployment to Iraq. We were creating a play to perform on Feb. 5 at the vigil outside the gates of Fort Lewis, Wash., where his court-martial -- which would end in a mistrial -- was being held. We spent hours painting, taping, cutting, gluing, eating and talking. For the characters in our play, we created a 15-foot-tall judge with a sculpted cardboard head and papier-mache hands, jurors and witnesses, and, for our finale, doves and suns to end with a vision of a beautiful future."
Watada and others inspire action with the stories of the courage as does
Iraq Veterans Against the War. On June 19th, when Eli Israel decided he couldn't serve in the illegal war, while stationed in Iraq, the response was swift from the military and equally swift was the response of support he received. Last week, Courage to Resist filed an update noting, "Last month Army Spc Eleonai 'Eli' Israel, while stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad with JVB Bravo Company, 1-149 Infantry of the Kentucky Army National Guard announced that he would refuse any combat role in Iraq. Afterwards, Eli noted 'It would have been a lot "easier" for me to simply keep doing combat missions for a couple more weeks, and be done with things. Moral convictions are not based on timing or convenience.' He is scheduled to be released today [July 26th] from the Theater Field Confinement Facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait where he served a 30 day sentence. Eli pleaded guilty to five counts of disobeying orders at a summary court martial. He expects to receive an Other Than Honorable discharge and to be flown to Mississippi within a couple of weeks. After he's out, he plans on fighting for a discharge upgrade as the officer who sentenced him ignored his application for discharge as a conscientious objector or take into account his prior service."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin 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, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one 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, 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 Iraq today everything was falling apart.
Lebanon's Daily Star reports that today saw the Sunni Accordance Front resigned today which "pushed the government into a new crisis undermining its efforts to reconcile Iraqis and end sectarian strife." Mairam Karouny and Peter Graff (Reuters) identify the withdrawal as being the heads of "the ministers of culture, women, planning, and higher education, and the junior foreign affairs minister" as well as Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie. And, as The Daily Star also reports, there's the issue of the Baghdad bombings.
Now those who live and breathe by their Operation Happy Talk talking points should take a deep breath because that 'turned corner' just got drop kicked out of the narrative.
Several bombs in Baghdad led to mass deaths.
Al Jazeera notes the "fuel tanker rigged with explosives" and BBC describes the bombing near "a popular ice-cream parlour" using a parked car. AFP says there were 3 "large bombs" in all and notes: "Iraqi forces sealed off the area, as residents and ambulances ferried the dead and dying to city hospitals. Tens of bodies were taken to Ibn Nafees hospital following the explosion". CBS and AP note, "An Associated Press reporter at the scene said the explosion ripped a hole one yard deep and one and a half yards wide in the asphalt. Three minibuses and six cars were damaged by flames and flying debris. Blood pooled in the street."
Al Jazeera and Reuters figures for the dead are at least 70. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) offers more detailed figures noting 20 dead from the parked car bombing near the ice cream shop, 50 dead from the fuel tank bombing and 3 dead from a parked car bombing in Doura (that's the third of the three being reported on by most outlets) and notes 105 were reported wounded from the three bombings.
The numbers will likely rise as the rubble is cleared and bodies are discovered, as some on the wounded list do not pull through. But it may be a big shock for some Americas buying into the latest waves of Operation Happy Talk. It's, as
Robert Parry (Consortium News) has dubbed it, New Pro-War Propaganda": "No need to wait until September. It's already obvious how George W. Bush and his still-influential supporters in Washington will sell an open-ended U.S. military occupation of Iraq -- just the way they always have: the war finally has turned the corner and withdrawal now would betray the troops by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. At one time, the Iraq story line was how many schoolrooms had been painted or how well the government security forces were doing. Now there are new silver linings being detected that will justify a positive progress report in September -- and the U.S. news media is again ready to play its credulous part."
.And hasn't it been glorious? Sell-sell-sell. Ignore realities about the US death counts (see below after corpses), ignore reality period.
Turned corner?
Alexandra Zavis and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) report, "The number of Iraqi civilians killed in violenc rose to 1,753 in July. The toll in June was 1,227. The number of bodies found in and around Baghdad also climbed in July, to 619, compared with 540 in June." Lebanon's The Daily Star crunches the figures to note, "New goverment figures also showed civilian deaths in the country rose by a third last month, dealing a further blow to a five-month-old security plan designed to stabilize Baghdad and allow for reconciliation." A blow? Yes. The Daily Star, not a US outlet. Who knows how the New York Times and others will rush to spin it tomorrow (only their military handlers know for sure?) But it's a huge blow. And the escalation which was supposed to bring security for Iraqis? Deaths rose a third. Repeating, deaths rose a third.
73 dead from 3 Baghdad bombings and those weren't the only bombings in Baghdad, nor the only violence.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "Iraqi police said that 4 people were wounded when US army helicopters bombed Zafaraniyah neighborhood southest Baghdad at 4:00 am" in Baghdad, two US Humvees and one US tank were destroyed or damaged in Baghdad by explosions, a downtown Baghdad car bombing claimed 3 lives (six more wounded), a Baghdad IED exploding claimed the life of 1 police officer (seven more wounded), a Baghdad mortar attack claimed 2 lives, and a Falluja bombing claimed the lives of 2 police officers. Reuters notes the bombing of a building in Madaen that claimed 4 lives (six more injured) and an Iskandariya roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi solider (three more injured). That's 20 reported dead. Add the 73 from the other bombings and that's 93 reported dead.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Major Gen. Mahir Nori was shot dead in Baghdad and 2 "men working for the anti terror directorate were killed by gunmen in Saidiyah neighborhood south Baghdad". 96 is now the total reported dead today.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 25 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Counting corpses discovered it's 121 reported dead today.Today the US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers were killed and six others wounded when an explosively formed penetrator detonated near their patrol during combat operations in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital July 31." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed by small arms fire during combat operations in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital July 31."
This brings the
ICCC totals for number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it started in March 2003 to 3657 and the number of announced deaths for the months of July thus far to 78 making July 2007 the deadliest July for US troops since the start of the illegal war. The first July (2003) saw the deaths of 43 US troops, July 2004 saw 54, July 2005 also saw 54 and July 2006 saw 43. With 77 announced deaths thus far, this was the deadliest July of the illegal war for US troops.
Which we repeat because
Big Media largely missed that point. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) shared reality this morning, "U.S. commanders meanwhile are touting last month's US death toll as a sign of progress on the ground. Seventy-seven servicemembers were killed in July, the lowest monthly total since November. But the July total is also the highest over the five Julys since the U.S. invasion. The July death toll one year ago was forty-three."
Are there more July deaths to be announced?
Last week we saw deaths announced as late as four days later. It happened this week and, in fact, for the month, the standout feature about deaths was how slowly MNF announced them. The July announced deaths is now at 78. And the press wants to run with the nonsense that this is an improvement? Are they serving Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno? Last Thursday, he gave the Operation Happy Talk point that the deaths were "falling" and cited the July totals as good news. It's not. Nor is it a sign that the escalation is working. But notice how many outlets grabbed that talking point and repeated it today.
Today the
UK Ministry of Defence announced: "It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a British soldier from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Basra City, southern Iraq last night, Tuesday 31 July 2007. The soldier died as a result of injuries sustained by an Improvised Explosive Device attack which targeted a British Forces Warrior vehicle patrol that was carrying out routine duties in the Mustashfa district of Basra City." This death brings to 8 the number of British soldiers who died in Iraq last month and brings to 164 the total number killed in the illegal war since it started.
Thank goodness we have an independent press. Thank goodness we have a press that doesn't just run with whatever talking point they are fed.
In other news,
the pig who should probably be behind bars is squealing again. Not booked on The Nation cruise -- indicating that perhaps Katrina vanden Heuvel's fine with promoting his work but doesn't wasn't associate with known pedophiles -- he kicks up his own feces at Truth Dig today. (Link goes to Truth Dig's main page. We do not link to that pig.)
Looking at the comments, you will see people are shocked and outraged by the Pedophile's latest nonsense (sliming
Cindy Sheehan, suggesting a National Nazi Program -- that's all his suggestion of 'national service' is, etc.). Where the shock really should be is with those who have felt the need to promote the Pedophile. It's a long list of people (and include Sy Hersh who went on a truck and bus tour with him repeatedly). Whatever analysis the Pig had to offer were of no use after the illegal war started. (Yes, he's repeatedly stated that the US will go to war with Iran -- in fact, he's offered predictions of specific time frames . . . which have all have passed. There's your first clue about his 'analytical' abilities.) As I stated last week, not having promoted a known pedophile, I have no blood of my hands.
Maybe those leaving outraged comments now wouldn't be shocked by the latest nonsense if they grasped that we are talking about someone who the MSM reported was twice arrested for attempting sexual set ups with underage females? Maybe if they made sure everyone grasped that
when he was asked directly about it on CNN, he refused to discuss it and lied claiming he couldn't because the records were sealed (as the defendant, he could speak in this matter, sealed or unsealed records). So the MSM washed their hands of him (rightly) and that had nothing to do with Judith Miller, it had to do with the fact that someone twice arrested for attempting sexual relations with underage females -- a CRIME -- isn't someone to shore up or go rushing to. But small media picked him up, propped him up and acted as though existing reports of the two arrests didn't exist. Which makes you question their committment to their own audiences?
So the Pedophile wants to explain that Cindy Sheehan's a distraction,
David Swanson's a distraction, Hurricane Katrina is a distraction . . . everything's a distraction. Except himself. And John Conyers! Conyers is "one of the strongest antiwar advocates in the U.S. Congress". Well no wonder the country's in trouble! John Conyers isn't an advocate for anything these days. He is hemmed in and allows himself to be hemmed in. (I don't expect the pedophile to know Congress. Most members refuse to meet him.) He gets in the sexist slame that Sheehan lacks "grace". What does he know about grace? Or is he confusing grace with the leniancy he was shown in his pedophile busts?
When the pig first took his attacks on Sheehan public, we called it out (over a year ago) and noted that he wants to turn to the peace movement into the military with himself as commander. In fact, he earned his own special spot in "
2006: The Year of Living Dumbly" (he really earned it):
Another low happened when The Nation, Democracy Now! and about every left and 'left' outlet decided to continue to give a platform to the man they portray as a Cassandra but whom the mainstream media has noted was twice arrested in stings to capture sexual predators. As Chrissie Hynde once sang in "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul," "How much did you, How much did you, How much did you get?" He went around the country with Seymour Hersh slamming the peace movement (and wanting to turn it into the military -- presumably with himself as commander), he ridiculed and mocked Cindy Sheehan in an independent weekly, and despite that, despite the mainstream media's reports of two busts for seeking out sex with underage girls online, he was given a platform repeatedly.
He's a moron and disgusting trash. And he's selling "mandatory national service" like a good little Nazi today much to the shock of many commenting. They should be more shocked that a KNOWN PEDOPHILE can get away with penning statements about what "legally, morally and structurally binds our nation together" becuase, if the MSM coverage is to be believed, were it not for backdoor deals (that led to some firings), the Pedophile would be behind bars where his CRIMINAL ASS belongs. The Pedophile calls Cindy Sheehan's actions "self-destructive". That's rich -- a pedophile wants to speak of destruction. Reality is that the trash should have been carried to the curb. Reality is that the MSM did. It's independent media that's decided a PEDOPHILE is just, apparently, what the world needs now.
And it's time to start demanding accountability from small media. I don't tolerate pedophiles, I have no idea why The Nation, Truthdig and others are welcome to give them a 'pass.' I doubt they'd give the same pass to Mark Folely but the objects of his affection were male. (And it should be noted, Folely does not appear to have attempted anything with anyone under 18 which means he is not a pedophile.) With the Pig, apparently Small Media is saying that it's perfectly understandable for those things to happen. Two busts being reported and the perv refusing to respond to the reports is okay. It's not okay.
But it allows him to trash Cindy Sheehan yet again. And laugh as the twice busted pedophile wants to warn Sheehan's about to destroy "whatever vestige of credibility is left to her as a mainstream activist." This from the Pedophile who has no mainstream outlet because -- unlike Small Media -- MSM was firm in refusing to air the opinions of a Pedophile.
He's never liked Sheehan -- though he pretends today he liked the summer 2005 actions when the reality is he was trashing her at the start of 2006 and trashing the same actions he now pretends to like. Pedophile could never like the Peace Mom. She is a "mom." She's a mother. A wounded mother grieving over her child. Pedophiles need to divorce their victims from any sort of relations other than objects for the pedophile's perversion. Mothers are very scary to pedophiles.
He's a pedophile, he's a right-winger and he can't shut up about "anti-war." He's trashed Cindy Sheehan repeatedly. Why the left wants to embrace him is anyone's guess. But we don't embrace pedophiles. A good question to ask now is why others on the left continue to give him an outlet? Non Credo's remarks stand out among the ones read to me over the phone. From the opening of Non Credo's comments: "How dare ____ smear Sheehan as a 'narcissist.' ____ wants to pose in contrast as the 'manly man'. It's sexist and crass. It's ____ who's preening here, in his pretty uniform. And ___, this idea is nuts. If Bush had us all in his army, we'd all have to shut up, the way he shuts up anybody now serving, on the excuse of military necessity."
Avoid the Pedophile. But call him out if you see him around children -- especially girls.
Finally, as
Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today, the Oil Ministry in Iraq has put in a place a ban on anyone dealing with the oil unions in Iraq who went on strike in opposition to the theft of Iraqi oil.