Saturday, September 29, 2007

Army of Dude: The Real Deal

Army of Dude: The Real Deal

A response to Rush Limbaugh and his "Army of None" calling anti war vets "phony Soldiers". The post includes an exhaustive analysis of Rush's reasons for not serving in Vietnam.


"I'm not above self-criticism. This is me on the last patrol we did in Old Baqubah on August 20. Like a coward I stayed in Iraq only fifteen months. We heard rumors that the 1920s might ambush us on our last patrol. Too bad they didn't, or they would've sent a lot of phonies home in body bags!"

Below is a comment from a vet of another war about how all those soldiers were phonies too.

oldfart namvet said...

Thank you phony soldier. I remember sitting around with the phony soldiers that could have been their fathers. We spoke of our fathers and the battles of the big one. We called ours "the long one". I hope when this mess is over you will not do as we did and shut up about what a stupid thing it is. We were the winter soldiers, from a Thomas Paine pamphlet. Look it up.
Talk about it. Believe in the promise of America. It is no crime or shame. The crime is betraying the trust we have in that promise.
Always remember: Democracy is a participatory team sport. As with any sport, the better you know the rules the better your team performs. Stay in touch and help each other through low spots. Hold your head up and make sure your children learn from you. Teach them better than we taught you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another View of Counter Protesters at Washington March

UF Journalism student Iñigo Amescua sent this account of his encounter with the pro war forces that gathered to greet anti war protesters in Washington on September 15th.

“What are you looking at? You jerk. Hey what are you doing with your camera freak?”
says the big-clean-cut-hair-Rayban-sun-glasses-fat-guy.

I don’t know if I understand the situation; I don’t say a word. “Hey YOU” – he looks like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski movie without the tender heart: “What are you recording freak?”

I, this time, know what is going on, remember the Marvin Gaye’s song?

I doubt whether to respond him or not… “You shouldn’t”. I think to myself. “You are a journalist, shut up”. I say to myself. And the big-fat guy continues shouting at me while he turns his ridiculously small- chilli-red head towards me like a turtle.

“Damn”, I give up and say, “Why are you insulting me?”
“Oh,” big guy-big belly responds trying to mimic me “poor little guy ‘Why are you insulting me?’” and smiles sardonically.

I, old Spaniard proud pumping in my veins like red hot coal, repeat my question:
“I am working here, I am a journalist, I’m just taking pictures and sound… why you are insulting me?”
And then big-fat-empty-head-guy says: “I am using my freedom of speech”. ZAS! HIS FREEDOM OF SPEECH? WHAT? FREEDOM OF WHAT?

I just stare at him. I really don’t know what to do or say. Should I kick his balls in a wonderful exercise of my freedom of kick-the-asshole-balls? Umm… attractive idea but I should not, I have a student visa, a scholarship, I cannot… I just smile and turn.

I do understand now. You cannot really have a conversation with this kind of person: they don’t understand anything about freedom, liberties or even speech. There is a beautiful middle aged woman with clear blue eyes who comes to me and says in an incredible sweet voice: “I am so embarrassed. You are not even from this country and you are already suffering this behavior.” Gosh, I don’t know what to say either and not just because she looks very fine… she almost embraces me, and tells me she is from New York, and introduces me to a friend of hers who is shooting a documentary about the march.

Later I see all these people lying in the ground just as if they were dead. I see the V-for-Vendetta masked veteran, the girl with the fake blood in her face, the photos of the dead boys in the chest of their mothers: I see the ardour in the eyes, the excitement, the hope, and the old delusion floating everywhere although nobody wants to recognise it.

I talk with Don the veteran in his wheelchair; he talks about his pain, his wounds (the ones that I can tell from the outside and the ones that are inside), his dead friend Ray, and his pretty Vietnamese wife dead in a terrorist attack in Saigon. I have just met him but I cannot help but embrace him while he cries. I hate it, I don’t like the possibility of being too emotional, but I do CAN’T HELP IT, this man is suffering, he has been suffering for 40 years now. He says “thank you” in quiet manner.

The big white dome of the Capitol floats above our heads like a birthday cake made of cream.

See Iñigo's photos from Washington and his blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crooks and Liars » “Blackwater” Author describes the US civilian Militia Group’s relationship with BushCo. “Shadow War”

Crooks and Liars » “Blackwater” Author describes the US civilian Militia Group’s relationship with BushCo. “Shadow War”:

"Right now in Iraq, private personnel on the US government payroll outnumber official US troops. There are about 186,000 so-called private contractors operating alongside 165,000 troops. The US military is the junior partner in this coalition.—-This is a shadow war. We’re in the midst right now of a discussion about a surge, and about troop withdrawals, and we hear conflicting messages. But there’s been a surge on for four years of the private sector, in Iraq, this mercenary army that the Bush administration has built up all over that country. The arrogance of the West, toward Iraq is incredible. This is a civilization that’s been around for thousands and thousands of years. We think that we’re going to somehow bring the solution to Iraq? No, these are people that can very much dictate their own destiny and they should be allowed to do so, and mercenaries need to get out of Iraq immediately."

Gold Star Father Beaten by Gathering of Eagles

Monday, September 17th, 2007
Gold Star Father Kicked Defending Dead Son's Memorial Mélida Arredondo

Mélida Arredondo is the stepmother of Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, killed in Iraq, Aug. 25, 2004.

Carlos Arredondo, 47 year old father of two sons, arrived in the nation's capitol on Monday, 09/10/07 to share a memorial he has made to honor for his eldest son, Alex. Carlos has visited thirty of the United States with the traveling memorial to his son Alexander. Lcpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, USMC was killed on 08/25/04. He was 20 years and 20 days old. The memorial consists of a casket, poster- size photographs of Alex when he graduated from boot camp, before his second tour in Iraq, lying in state at his wake, and a photo of Alex with his younger brother Brian.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 consisted of first a rally, a march towards the capitol and then a die-in. Carlos pulled the memorial along the march route approaching the rotunda near the capitol building. Several of the marchers requested for him to speak about the memorial where a crowd gathered around him. After finishing, several people walked with Carlos as he pulled the memorial. Several pictures of Alex dressed in his blues were attached to the display.

As Carlos passed counter protesters, one man ripped a picture of Alex from the memorial. Carlos leaped on the man to retrieve the picture. It was at that point that approximately five others all began to attack Carlos by kicking him in the head, legs, stomach and back.

The Capitol police bicycle patrol then appeared to break up the fight. Several officers including a female officer were engaged in breaking up the fight and were able to stop any further injuries from occurring. Hannah Jones who was walking with Carlos was also assaulted.

A bystander named Ramesh witnessed the whole encounter and also retrieved the picture of Alex for Carlos. He was quite distressed at how he watched the men yelling epithets follow Carlos as he pulled the memorial, and eventually take Alex's photograph. Soon, an ambulance showed up as well as many concerned activists. The paramedics provided first aid to Carlos but he did not seek further medical attention. Carlos sustained bloody cuts on his shins. He also reported bruises all over his torso and head where he was kicked.

I will send updates on Carlos and his work in DC as I am able.

Mélida Arredondo,
Remembering Alex Arredondo and all those
who died too young at war to aid the Iraqi people
and his own nation, the USA,
and while protecting his buddies...
08/05/84 - 08/25/04

Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 15th March on Washington: 100,000 March Against Iraq War in Washington

September 15th March on Washington: 100,000 March Against Iraq War in Washington

Here is ANSWER's report on the March followed by a report on the counter protest which claims a thousand pro war protesters. As you will see by my photos below I could not find that many! click on the picture to get my comments.

Area residents join D.C. protest - News -

Area residents join D.C. protest - News -

Local media coverage is among the best and most accurate found on the web today where major News outlets severely underestimated antiwar protester numbers and overestimated pro war numbers or ignored the march all together. Below are my own photos in a slide show. You can click on the pictures below to go to the album and read my comments including some estimates about numbers. More pictures of the pro war crowd to follow.

Mary Bahr

Crooks and Liars » Rachel Maddow’s Campaign Asylum: Still Stupid On Iraq

Crooks and Liars » Rachel Maddow’s Campaign Asylum: Still Stupid On Iraq

Here is my favorite political analyst on the topic of how the "antiwar dems" are handling the framing of ending the war. She's brilliant and funny!

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Washington Monthly

The Washington Monthly
....How brain dead do the Bushies think we are, peddling this horse manure that US troop deaths have fallen? (There are always seasonal variations because in the summer it is 120 F. in the shade and guerrillas are too heat-exhausted to fight; but the summer 2007 numbers are much greater than those for summer 2006; that isn't progress.) And why does our corporate media keep repeating this Goebbels-like propaganda? Do we really live in an Orwellian state?