Monday, January 28, 2008

Unique perspective on the Media and War

Hamish McKenzie | Dad's Was Vietnam, Son's Is Iraq:

"America in the 1960s was keenly focused on the media and the war that gripped its sons.

Not so in 2007, where the draft is a distant memory and the Iraq war fights for headlines in the multi-choice universe of the information age with Britney Spears and whatever company Google just bought. As American soldiers, Iraqi fighters, insurgents and innocent civilians are killed and even as the costs of war run into the trillions of dollars, many Americans still look the other way. 'My perception is that the American public pays less attention to coverage from the Iraq war, at least on a day-to-day basis, than they did to the Vietnam War,' says Christian. 'I think the US has gotten very insulated, very comfortable, very affluent.'"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Successful antiwar campaign in the deep south

Daily Kos: Shall I Compare Thee to an Iraq Summer’s Day?

This is an inspirational (and hilarious!) account full of great ideas on how to organize a community against war. Lots of folks worked together across the antiwar spectrum. We can all learn from this one!

"The Kentucky Iraq Summer Campaign had the task of targeting the white whale of all GOP law-makers, Senate B-team Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Malebolge). Mitch is the self-proclaimed "biggest supporter of pResident Bush’s war on Iraq". He is unapologetic about his tactics of obstructionism and deception which continue the destruction of our military from the ground up. And he refuses, absolutely refuses, to meet with any constituents who disagree with him on the war. This made for an exciting summer of bird-dogging, stakeouts, canvassing and rallies which pursued and harassed the Senator from the hot tent of Fancy Farm to the hotbed of Kentucky conservatism in NKY. "

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King's words on Peace

Informed Comment:

We must not wait - we must begin now!

"And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace.

What is the problem?

They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal.

We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.'"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fighting them over there so we dont have to fight them here?

Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles - New York Times:
"these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.

Three-quarters of these veterans were still in the military at the time of the killing. More than half the killings involved guns, and the rest were stabbings, beatings, strangulations and bathtub drownings. Twenty-five offenders faced murder, manslaughter or homicide charges for fatal car crashes resulting from drunken, reckless or suicidal driving.

About a third of the victims were spouses, girlfriends, children or other relatives, among them 2-year-old Krisiauna Calaira Lewis, whose 20-year-old father slammed her against a wall when he was recuperating in Texas from a bombing near Falluja that blew off his foot and shook up his bra"

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Need a break? This is hilarious!

POLITICS-US: Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel

POLITICS-US: Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel: "Credit:Press-TV

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (IPS) - Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats.

Informed Comment

Informed Comment

Juan Cole shows the "Other Video" and audio from the Gulf of Tonkin ... oops ... I mean Persian Gulf Incident.
Juan Cole points out that "The video released by the Pentagon (at whose orders?) showed these little tiny vessels only a little bigger than what children play with in bathtubs, with no visible armaments. The video does not show anyone dumping white cartons into the water, as was initially alleged (an action which would probably have drawn fire from the US ships if it had happened, lest they be mines). While even a small vessel could be dangerous if it carried high explosives, there is no evidence that they got close enough to the US vessels to form any sort of threat nor that the Iranian government is so foolish as to openly attack the US Navy.

The Iranians analyzed the Pentagon video released to the US media and found that the audio track was not synchronized properly with the video, pointing to serious tinkering.

And sure enough, we now know that the tape is a fabrication in the sense that the Pentagon says the video and the audio were recorded separately and then combined. And they can't even be sure where the audio came from! The NYT reports,"

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Informed Comment on nonintervention as a foreign policy

Informed Comment:
"Guest Op-Ed: US Foreign Policy; the Principle of Non-Intervention" (scroll down to find this article in the link above)

Juan Cole does not name his guest "seasoned observer" but the topic on a non-intervention foreign policy drew my eye.

One point made was that the requests to the UN Security council to extend the Iraq war mandate another year by both Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and Secretary Rice were done without approval by their respective government and were therefore illegal.

"Additional Iran sanctions, originally scheduled for not later than November 30, have been delayed, and it is probable that there will be no additional sanctions. The Security Council extended the Iraq mandate on December 18.

Prime Minister Maliki’s submission to the Security Council, presumably with the assistance of General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker and the White House, requested an extension of the Iraq mandate. He did not present the submission to the Iraqi Council of Representatives for approval, as required by an Iraqi statute. The Sadr Movement and others did not have the opportunity to block it.

The letter of Secretary of State Rice was correspondingly deficient in relation to the subsequent enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 and the votes by the Senate December 18 and the House one day later with respect to the Emergency Supplemental Request of President Bush. " (the congress only funded the war until June and bush vetoed that bill anyway so there is actually no authorization.)

The Security Council extended the Iraq mandate for “only one more year.”

Another interesting comment is about the Democrats choices on the "seven foreign policy interventions" the Bush administration has engaged in. I can list three: Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea but don't know the other 4 for sure: Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan and how about Taiwan make 8. Anyway the "seasoned observer" make this prediction: "
The Democrats will find it difficult to reverse the New World Order because it would require the PRC (China) to change its principle of non-intervention, which is beyond the control or determining influence of the US Government. The best they can hope to do is wind up the Iraq War by withdrawing substantially all US troops. With respect to Afghanistan, they will be stuck with a war in perpetuity, which cannot be stopped until Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri are “captured or killed,” which will not happen."

And finally he says this: "
The foregoing indicates that it would be appropriate and sound policy for the next Administration and Congress to adopt the principle of non-intervention, joining with arguably leading Russia and the PRC (China). In all events, it would appear that substantially all US troops will have to be out of Iraq by the end of 2008, with or without a “victory.” "

I do believe that a "non-intervention foreign policy" is part of the VFP mission statement. Sounds like a step away from Imperialism to me. Happy New Year!