Archive for February, 2008

WINTER SOLDIER

February 15, 2008

Ward sent this link to a moving film by our young veterans who are planning actions in Washington in March.

Here is a link to the Iraq Veterans Against the War website with indications of how to support them or join them in Washington.

http://ivaw.org/index.php

Why the Democrats Have Not Ended the War

February 9, 2008

An article in Rolling Stone about the political expediency that we have seen since the 2006 elections is quite revealing.


Reid.jpg Pelosi.jpg Conyers.jpg

Among the disappointing Democrats are Reid, Pelosi, and especially Conyers whom I had counted on. I still have on my desk a letter he sent to me in September of 2006, before the elections. It breaks my heart that he has failed to act courageously. My own congressional representative, Yvette Clarke, is the only Democrat who will get my vote.
I see the voting records of both of the “major” Democratic candidates and I do not believe they will suddenly be different if elected president.

There is the precedent of Thomas Becket who changed once he was archbishop, but such conversions are not likely and I don’t think I can vote on the hopes of one.

Bonnie Encourages Action on FISA

February 6, 2008

Dear Friends,

This is kind of preachy I guess… but I am going to risk sending it out to my network I respect and cherish. I already sent it out to Edwards people on the blogsite who were struggling to get Edwards some delegates for the convention on super tuesday.

And I need to follow my own advice in this blog, keep calling and writing Congress about the FISA bill and other injustices the Republicans and Bush administration are perpetrating in the name of patriotism….

As Senator Sessions defends the corporations on CSpan as I write this, in asserting their innocence simply because they were doing what Bush wanted them to do, even though it was illegal, I think of that old defense of the Nazis about following orders from above and not being ethically and legally responsible for their behavior. The Republicans are calling attention to this matter FRIVOLOUS. Ethical and legal challenges such as this are considered frivolous and unpatriotic according to the Republicans.  And the Democratic senators are nervous they will be stridently branded as unpatriotic by the Republican spin and fog machines!

Time for me to continue to hound Congress by calling and emailing as often as I can and pay attention to what is happening.  I hope you will, too.  I can’t count on mainstream corporate-owned media to bring up these issues since they have conflicts of interest. Boy, working for Edwards really made it clear how manipulative the mainstream media is. All the slights and indifference and inattention to John Edwards was happening so consistently I saw how deliberate it was and how negatively and subliminally influential to viewers. I felt like I was living in that old movie Fahrenheit 451 with the big controlling TV on the wall, spinning out a pseudo reality.

Thanks for listening.  I guess the Senate is now voting on a vote that will give the corporations and Bush what they want in terms of immunity.  I don’t think our presidential candidates are even there for this today.  Oy vey.  So now I email and call (using the toll free switchboard number) members of the House where activists HOPE the fight for justice will continue.

Best, Bonnie

Practical and Spiritual Reflections from an Edwards Supporter

February 6, 2008

and after today….?
2/05/2008 at 9:04 AM EST

Will all this organization and heartfelt commitment fall away…

What happens after the adrenaline high of rallying to assert or at least test out our own and John’s significance to this primary campaign? To communicate our loyalty and our enlightenment to the country about John Edwards’ purpose and vision.

Is the Edwards community willing to go for the marathon run after this intense sprint?  Also to make a pledge for sustained activism, as individuals or as a community, to help America in her present free fall into spiritual, social, economic destruction? 

Will the Congress people ever feel anything close to the weight of the Edwards’ followers’ will as it blazes on right now in this primary? 

Can it translate to other needful targets, or will this collective will soon dilute from cynicism and despair? 

This admittedly noble and stunning rallying.

Can we rally not just for John, but to help save America from the present assault on her … on so many fronts…

Okay, here I go… one more time … about what is happening in the Senate right now.  The issue of previously illegally committed wire-tapping and Bush’s awesomely shameless demand that his actions and the telecom corporations’ be sanctioned.  Be removed from… well… from reality? Why not?  All the rest of it is pretty surreal, Iraq, Katrina, … at least he’s consistent. 

And not only that crazymaking demand for immunity, which may very well be obliged, but a demand for even more unmonitored power to wiretap whomever, whenever, wherever he wants all in the name of super-patriotism to protect this country.

And the senators are convinced the citizens still buy that?  Or are they just too compromised and indebted to those amoral corporations?  Or do the senators even know how NOT to play the political deadlock game? 

Meanwhile, the erosion of the checks and balance system of our government seems pretty well complete by this so deserving of impeachment Bush regime.

When do we say stop?  When do we MAKE them stop?

Louise Hay has an affirmation, “The point of power is always in the PRESENT moment.”

Time to say, “NO!”

Yes, this is one more “fresh hell” from the Bush regime. It numbs the consciousness. That’s the problem. It NUMBS the national consciousness.

You know the story about boiling a frog?  You keep increasing the heat gradually until it doesn’t notice it is being boiled to death.

This is not an irrelevant communication I am trying to assert. IT IS TIMELY.  PAST TIME. AND IT IS SERIOUS AS HELL.

John asked us to stand up to corporations behaving above the law. And above morality. 
He specifically sent an email to us, his supporters, was it a week ago, asking that we fight against the amnesty provision in the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) now being addressed in the Senate. 

And the fight is there awaiting us.  NOW.  And soon after, this bill will travel to the House, with Bush and corporations having won the Senate round.  The clock is ticking.  And the FISA bill needs all the help it can get.  And the smug Republican and compromised Democratic senators are counting on the American citizens not forcing the issue.  To be ethically lazy one more time. Talk the talk of indignation, but nowhere near willing or organized to walk the walk. 

Yeah, the primaries are so much in the nation’s imagination right now. But I think I am seeing this incredible focus and power.  And then I look over at the Senate … and it is surreal that this travesty is going on, has been going on so easily. So long.

Three of the presidential candidates didn’t even bother to show up for the discussion and possible vote in the Senate on Monday about this profound and horrifying issue.

Senators campaigning for these candidates also were no shows.

IMHO, that is just not right.

And the heartache and frustration of JRE’s withdrawal and the anger at the callousness of the mainstream media’s treatment of him and us, and the sluggishness of our fellow countrymen to  appreciate the worth and promise of our leader throbs in the hundreds and hundreds of hearts of those of us lucky enough to have been inspired and enjoy John’s vision of an America renewed.

But what happens when all this communal will for the JRE voting is spent?  Can it continue to flow toward the betterment of the country itself?

I wish more than I trust it will.

The 12-step programs speak of addicts joining up having hit a bottom.  Sometimes the individual has to hit what they call a “low” bottom before the desperation drives him or her to seek help. Sometimes it is a “higher” bottom.  The person managed to get off the slippery slope to destruction at an earlier stage.

I fear that our country is hurtling down that slope and our citizens had better work on a sense of URGENCY fast. 

Wonder what will happen by the end of this day.

Wonder what will happen beyond it

Biggest Corporate Right Wing Lie

February 6, 2008

“It’s Better to Fight Them Over There”
“The Biggest Corporate, Right-Wing Lie Ever Told-And-Sold In America”
“And It’s The Exact Opposite Of The Truth”

By Ward Reilly
January 31, 2008
VVAW & Veterans For Peace
(40th anniversary, Tet)
Published in the GI Special # 6B3

“It’s Better To Fight Them Over There”. That is the biggest corporate, right-wing lie ever told-and-sold in America.  And it’s the exact opposite of the truth.

IF a war MUST be fought, it is “won” much, much, easier if it is in defense of our own ground, and fought at home.  You know, as in “bring ‘em on”.  Or “come and get me”.
And if there is to be “honor” and “justice” for any nation at war, (said) war can ONLY be in self defense.

It IS NOT “better to fight them over there”….again I say it… that is the biggest right-wing lie ever told to this nation.

I spent 3 years learning infantry tactics as a soldier, and that’s a fact.   I learned at least that much. It would be MUCH BETTER to fight ANY enemy here at home. How long would any Islamic extremists really last, driving around in pick-up trucks, in our neighborhoods here in the USA?  Seriously, how long?  They’d never get out of Harlem.

Almost every U.S. citizen is armed, or can be within a few hours.  The only shots we’d miss would be from laughing-our-asses-off at those fools, as we squeezed the trigger. You can’t hit anything when your laughing when you shoot. I learned that, too.

The truth, and a many-time-proven fact is, that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to “defeat them over there” in guerrilla warfare, right or wrong.

It might be easy for the neocons to mobilize a war, and to launch a war, but guerrilla warfare is virtually impossible to win against a foreign nation on their own ground, no matter how good your soldiers may be. 

And Dick & George aren’t soldiers. 5-deferment Dick, remember?  What’s “war”, right?

You want to “support your troops”?  Let them fight on their home ground.  There is NOTHING like “home field advantage”, especially if you have been attacked.  Even Deadeye Dick, and ALL the SUV-football freaks in the country, should be able to understand that theory. No offense to the game of football.

“War is not a game”.  I heard 50+ Iraq and Afghanistan veterans scream that out loud together in St Louis last year.  That’s something they learned the hard way.  War is made especially difficult for your troops if your country has made an aggressive, unprovoked attack on innocent indigenous people.  Ideologically and historically speaking, the aggressive invader is ALWAYS wrong.  Always.  Moral victory is impossible for any aggressive invader. 

Invasive war becomes occupation, instead of warfare.  Soldiers become cops, instead of warriors. Hated on the streets of the occupied.  No honor, just horror.  Lot’s of horror for all. And if the reason you went to war, aka the mission, isn’t honorable, neither can the outcome be.

Why would fighting here be better, you may ask?  If we were to fight over here, we wouldn’t have to arrest all the adult men, and scare the shit out of every woman and child, for starters.  All that does is make a continuous supply of insurgents (angry citizens). And, if we fought here, we would know who the enemy is.  That’s why, and reason enough.

But it’s much deeper than that.  What you CAN do better by “fighting them over there” is to make a LOT of (unregulated) money, and hide the devastation that warfare brings.  (Unregulated) money flows like water in overseas warfare.

Of course in this case, the Iraqi’s don’t even get water.  But billions of dollars flow downstream forever.

Is there anyone out there that truly believes that ANY religious cult could invade our entire nation, defeat the TRUE U.S. Army, that being ALL of our citizens, AND our military? (not to mention our 25,000 nuclear weapons) 

Nationally, there are 217.8 million people age 18 and over, according to estimates  by the U.S. Census Bureau(2003). Soldiers, one and all, if we are invaded. Does anyone really think that al Qaeda can really defeat 218 million armed and angry U.S. adults?  Impossible.

Seriously, does anyone think that some crazy, religious fanatic-cult could force OUR women to cover their entire bodies, ON DEMAND?  Or to stay out of sight or to not speak in public, by order of “Allah”?  Haha. You must be kidding.  

I’m positive that our women ALONE could defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and probably not miss a day at work.  This isn’t Saudi Arabia, thank god…. thank something, anyway.

Sure, a group of maniacs hijacked 4 jets, and used them as weapons. A murderous CRIME. Aside from the 19 hijackers, 2973 citizens died as an immediate result of those attacks. That was a criminal act of personal hatred. Like those crazy kids that go and kill a bunch of innocent teachers and students.  Or, like Dick & George invading Iraq. (And they have killed 1,000,000+, confirmed by 2 separate scholastic studies).

9-11 was not a “declaration of war”, a declaration which can ONLY be made by a nation. Bin Laden is no nation.  Nor is the Taliban or Al Qaeda.  And they represent no nation.  What Bin Laden is, is a former (Carter, Reagan, & Bush I) U.S. ally and warlord, who was banned in his own country of Saudi Arabi … a man that hates the Bush-Cheney crowd, (NOT our common citizens) mostly because of  the U.S. military bases in his “holy land” in Saudi, some CIA back-stabbing, ego, and his own fanatical beliefs.

Don’t over think it folks.  That guy couldn’t beat us here, ever.  And Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.  I did hear that they had some oil, though.

And the funny thing is, EVERY SINGLE VETERAN that I know that is in the “anti war” movement, which is many thousands, would fight to protect THIS nation if we were invaded by any extremist.  EVERY SINGLE ONE. There would be no opposition to a defensive war on our soil.  None.

If that is “democracy” over there in Iraq after 5 years of Bush War, then I am God. You must be stupid, blind, or both, if you think that Iraq resembles (our vision of) democracy, in any way, shape or form. 

We lost the people of Iraq the day we invaded them illegally and decided to stay, even after Saddam (another former U.S. ally) was long dead and buried. 

We lost our own country, and our collective soul, the day we let 750 crooked politicians launch an aggressive, unprovoked war, on the other side of the world, in our names, against an innocent nation.

Ask George Washington who wins guerrilla warfare, EVERY TIME!   Or ask our current ally, England.  Or ask the Viet Namese.   OK, George Washington is dead (and spinning in his grave). Ask George H W Bush. Even he could tell you who wins guerrilla wars. That’s why he didn’t invade Iraq.

IF any war must be fought, let our troops die on our own soil!  There is no down side, IF that war must indeed be fought.

“Defensively” is the only way war should be fought. In.  Defense.  Only.

“It’s Better To Fight Them Over There”. That is the biggest right-wing lie ever told-and-sold to this nation.

“They” CAN’T fight us over here, that’s the truth.  No way, no how.  Especially now, post 9-11. 

It’s better to not fight, but if we must, it’s better to fight over here.  No lie.

Peaceful Revolution Needed

February 6, 2008

Below is a link to an article that says:

“This year, 2008, brings us all to a crossroads where decisions need to be made and responsibilities borne by the people who care about a peaceful world built with justice. However, this crossroads is not about the electoral choices of this election year.  We are about to pass from five years of war and occupation into our sixth year of the illegal Iraq War.

We have worked long and hard to end this crime against peace. We have written, faxed, e-mailed and lobbied, we have marched and demonstrated, signed petitions and held vigils, and yet this illegal military occupation of Iraq continues.”

Read the full text here for some practical things to do:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/30636

This Affects Us All

February 6, 2008

1.jpg  Ward and Brian Willson, VVAW and VFP

Homeland Security or Hopeless Insecurity?

This affects us all. The Department of Homeland Security now plans to block access to public federal buildings to any American citizens who do not have RealID. This is a blatant attempt to force states to implement RealID or have their citizens blocked from access to their own government.

http://www.news.com/Federal-buildings-become-Real-ID-zones/2009-1028_3-6229133.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-5&subj=news

DHS is really starting to throw it’s weight around, and they’re doing so in blatant defiance of federal law. As of January 31st they are mandating additional documentation for people on both sides of the Canadian border to be able to cross. This is causing a huge slowdown at the border crossings and has both Schumer and Leahy beside themselves with rage – not that you’d know it from what’s getting done about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/21/AR2008012101961.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Like a cornered rat, the Bush administration is becoming vicious and blindly moving ahead with it’s fascist agenda against the clear will of the American people. We need to push even harder for impeachment. The impeachment movement is picking up steam as more and more people become aware of the implications of retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretapping that the GOP are trying to legislate into the Protect America Act. That’s one of the reasons they’re doing this.

Anyone who fails to see the historical parallels between Blackwater and the Nazi SS, or the Department of Homeland Security and the Gestapo, needs a serious reality check.

Peace from Ward

What People Are Doing Today

February 5, 2008

Jack sends these reflections as we go to the polls:

“Rita O’Hare with Sinn Fein of Ireland once told me that the important thing to recognize if you want to work political activities is that everyone is entitled to their own political opinion. There is no fault in having a political opinion, the fault, if any can be found, is in not having a political opinion.”

And Paula says this:

“The main thing I’m doing right now given that I haven’t had occasion to go sing with Betsy, other than voting in the primary, is praying to know the right thing to do.  Considering that I don’t really believe that anyone but me hears my prayers, that may sound odd, but it is what I’m doing.  I really am less sure than ever about what would be helpful politically.  On so many things, I think I know a desirable end state but little about what would really move us in that direction.”

The Betsy she mentions is Betsy Rose, a singer and activist with whom Paula demonstrated in Washington in the fall.  You can find the accounts of those events and see photos of Betsy by going to these parts of this blog:

http://danceforpeace.org/nancy/?p=274

http://danceforpeace.org/nancy/?p=263

http://danceforpeace.org/nancy/?p=246

http://danceforpeace.org/nancy/?p=245

As I promised, I voted today.  I report what may have been just a clerical error, but something I have never witnessed in my precinct before.  A young woman voter who is and always has been registered a Democrat was listed as Republican.  In order to vote today, she must dash off to Adams Street here in Brooklyn and get a court order to change the party affiliation record.  She must get the order and be back here in Carroll Gardens before the poll closes at 9pm.  I hope she makes it.  Had she arrived at the polling place later this evening, there would have been no chance.

REAL PATRIOTS TAKE ACTION

February 5, 2008

Though I will vote tomorrow, not for any of the “major candidates,” however, I want to take time to honor some real patriots who are addressing the real issues in this country. 

Berkeley_protest.jpg  Protesters in Berkeley

In a post last week, I reported on the Berkeley, California city council’s decision to let Code Pink have the parking space in front of a recruiting center for the Marines and the statement of the mayor that resistence to the war is encouraged in that city.

The photograph above is of a group of valiant patriots who blocked the door and were at first not molested by the Berkeley police.  No doubt because of the interference of the Bush regime and its violent police, these peaceful demonstrators were later brutally removed.  Here is part of the story:

Recruiting by the Marines in Berkeley

Friday, three days after the Berkeley CA City Council voted to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Square recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” protesters from World Can’t Wait were arrested after chaining themselves to the door of the recruiting station and refusing to leave in an act of non-violent civil resistance. Forty Berkeley police officers in riot formation blocked and violently cleared the street before arresting the orange jumpsuited protesters.

Here is a link to reports about these real patriots:

http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4532&Itemid=55

Reva Supports Brattleboro Resolution

February 1, 2008

Brattleboro.jpg  Brattleboro Municiple Center 

 Reva checked in saying that she had sent an email to Brattleboro encouraging them with the plan to arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever set foot in Vermont. 

The URL for a site where you can send an email as well is very long.  You may need to copy it and paste it into your browser, but it will get you to a site where you can send a message to the city.

http://brattleboro.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=DYNAFORM&SEC={7405581E-E349-44F3-881A-DA1B030DDD1F}

Thanks to Reva for all the actions she takes on behalf of our country and the world.