From multiple stories about Israel's illegal actions, we're now going to a report on Amnesty about . . . Israel.
Israel, Israel, Israel. It's as though Jan Brady's taken over KPFA.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when Dennis Bernstein mentioned that Iraq had been pushed out of the coverage on Flashpoints. He mentioned it in the midst of an hour long discussion on Israel's actions and, good news, when KPFA Evening News is over, I'll get more coverage of Israel's actions. I don't know if it's an hour or two hours but he mentioned it at the end of Flashpoints.
Now I'm getting a report on Palestine.
There's still no Iraq.
It's three hours of special coverage on Israel tonight. Sumner said he heard about it earlier and it's three hours.
So it's really good that at 16 minutes after, KPFA Evening News is still covering Israel. A letter to Hamas. Now we're on a poll -- no, not about the war in Iraq. We're still on Israel.
Oh, now we get Iraq. We get that Nouri al-Maliki criticized an attack by US and Iraqi forces. This is covered in C.I.'s snapshot, the attack, and there's nothing here. "More than 30 people were killed or found dead in Iraq today." No, that's not correct. Over 36 died. Finally, Cindy Sheehan gets mentioned. "We're going to be here until September 3rd." After that it's being moved to DC. "We met with different leaders of different palimentary parties and they all agreed the occupation is causing the problem and they want a fixed tiemline and they want troops withdrawn."
They didn't open with this. Who's at war with whom?
I'm sick of this nonsense. When I left for Ireland, Iraq was already on the backburner. Now it's shoved to over fifteen minutes after the hour and instead of a special tonight on her, we've got three hours on Israel. You know what, I'm fucking sick of it.
I'm sick of the Israel report. Thank God, Against the Grain had something else to cover today. I could listen to that. With other programs, I was walking out of the room. I don't need that constant, repeated coverage. I made the mistake of starting the day listening to Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman should be embarrassed. The woman who wanted kudos for broadcasting live from Camp Casey last year reduced Camp Casey to a headline. She turned the program over to the only topic that anyone wants to cover and then added a new topic. Not Camp Casey, not Iraq, but the Congo.
I'm tired of this nonsense. Did the heat in this country get to everyone while I was gone? Did everyone in the media, big and small, go stupid from the heat?
That's what I think. I don't plan to listen to The Morning Show tomorrow. I don't need day after day after day after day after day after day of, "And now we're going to talk about Lebanon." They also talked about Cuba today. Had an author on. Didn't have Iraq. Wasn't interested in Iraq. Didn't give a damn about Iraq.
This is crap. It's fucking crap. America went to war with Iraq, the war's not over. People need to get off their "look how wonderful I am" kick as they all rush to cover what Israel's doing and rush to ignore Iraq.
And C.I.'s made a good point for some time. Where the hell is the program on Iraq? KPFA, where the fuck is that show? It's over three years old, this war, and why can't one damn program on the radio station focus on Iraq?
This is supposed to be the peace network.
I'm not getting that these days.
I'm not getting that people even care to be informed about Iraq. When _____ is talking to Dahr Jamail about Falluja and is speaking of it highly (the slaughter), I'm not getting that ____ understands what went on in Falluja (in April or in November of 2004).
When I left, everyone was ignoring the Nancy A. Youssef story about how the US government was keeping a bodycount on dead Iraqis. I doubt that ever got covered.
I'm a longtime KPFA listener but this is ridiculous.
You cover an American war first. Especially when it's dragged on for over three years. Especially when, as Elaine pointed out, 14 US troops are dead this month and we're only on the seventh day of the month. And who knows what count they're sitting on that they'll announce a few days later.
I am fucking sick of this bullshit. That's all this is.
Every non-music program doesn't need to be rushing in to cover Israel. They do need to be rushing in to cover Iraq. The United States did go to war with Iraq. Iraq has fallen apart. I'll call it a civil war. And this nonsense of round the clock coverage of Israel while Iraq's pushed off the map is fucking bullshit.
I wonder how the pledge drive pitch will go? You know, it's almost time for it again. I guess we'll be told, "We're the only place you can go to get nonstop coverage of Israel's illegal actions"? Is that how the pitch will go? They can't claim they've offered serious reporting on Iraq because they haven't.
It's really interesting that we can get Saturday special coverage and we can get prime time special coverage of Israel but we don't get that on Iraq. I listen to the station, I've always listened to it. In good times and bad, I've been there for KPFA. But if this keeps up, I've got CDs I can listen to. I don't need this fucking shit of one topic and only one topic over and over and fucking over.
If C.I. reads this and freaks out (C.I. loathes criticizing KPFA), I'll note, I love the station but I can't listen to this. I've had it with the coverage. I've had it with going on program after program.
For those wondering, if C.I. does freak out, it will only come up if I bring it up. C.I. has never said, "How could you write that, Kat?" But if I've written something here that C.I. strongly disagrees with and I ask about it, I'll hear something along the lines of there are better targets. I respect that. But I'm writing this as KPFA listener, a lifetime listener. And their Iraq coverage isn't cutting it. This nonsense that they've added new programming but still haven't added even a once a week program devoted solely to the illegal war that the United States started over three years ago and this isn't important enough for regular coverage let alone a program devoted to it?
That's bullshit. There's no other word for it. Jim just walked in and asked me what I was writing about? (I'm at C.I.'s which is probably insulting since I'm at C.I.'s and writing about something that I'm sure isn't a topic C.I. would want covered.) He says C.I.'s not going to care. I hope that's true. I'm not trying to piss off a friend here. But KPFA has pissed me off.
Jim advised me to pull a name and put in "____" and otherwise says no problem. Jim says in the living room, someone's cornered C.I. and is saying pretty much what I'm writing here. I'm not surprised. Even Maggie's been complaining. When Maggie has reached the saturation point, Maggie who never seems to pay attention to anything, then there's a problem. Jim just said when he and Dona came out here for the summer, they were listening to KPFA non-stop but now don't see the point "because it's the same story over and over."
They've got a program director. Someone should be an adult and step in and say "Look, we've covered this topic. You need to find a new topic. Dennis will cover this later today. You need to focus on Iraq and other issues." You know where they could put an Iraq program, on the schedule in place of the second daily broadcast of Democracy Now! or, as I think of the show now, Look What Israel's Done Now!
That Cindy Sheehan wasn't the big topic on KPFA today, the peace network, is embarrassing. And if Amy Goodman thinks her non-stop coverage of Israel is "going where the silence is," she's kidding herself. The silence is on Iraq. Now maybe in New York they need this but KPFA listener's suffer no delusions about the government of Israel. We're talking about a government that condonese torture. Not "post-9-11." They've long tortured.
And Dahr Jamail, I though your site was called Iraq Dispatches, not Live from Lebanon. (A neighbor actually came up with that.)
I'm not in the mood for it. Iraq's falling apart and there's no coverage. Makes me wonder if during the Six-Day War, they would have dropped all coverage of Vietnam?
KPFA does realize that trials are going on into allegations of US forces murdering, raping, burning, you name it, Iraqis, right? And we probably don't hear the half of it. Back when Dahr Jamail was interested in Iraq, he was making that point. I hope he doesn't make a statement in a few months about how the coverage on Iraq has fallen away (he's said similar things before on KPFA) because he hasn't done a damn thing this month to increase the coverage of Iraq.
Dennis covers this on Flashpoints. KPFA has a program whose main focus is Gaza, Israel and Lebanon. We're losing Africa Today to get this three hour program on what Israel did today. No offense to Nora Barrows Friedman, but I had to turn it off. I've heard about nothing else all day. I don't need three hours of this. Let me hunt around for some CDs. C.I.'s got a stack by the computer.
Okay. I almost went with Jackson Browne (there were several) and was tempted by Stevie Wonder (a live album and Hotter Than July) but ended up going with Judy Collins' Wildflowers.
I came in here to do a quick post (with permission before anyone thinks I just go over to someone's home, bail on everyone, sneak off to a bedroom and boot up a computer). (I'm not Donna Mills' character on Knots Landing! I can't remember the character's name but I remember an episode where she was copying something from someone's computer.) I knew I was upset but listening to the radio in here just made me more upset.
I wasn't upset by Dennis. This is his topic. If you listen to Flashpoints at all, you know Dennis will be covering this and Nora as well. You know they'll do a great job of it. But I already listen to Flashpoints. I don't need to wake up to Amy Goodman giving me 40 minutes on this topic, then hearing it on The Morning Show, then on the repeat of Goodman's show . . .
KPFA's program director must not care about Iraq if nothing's been said about this.
KPFA doesn't give this kind of attention to Iraq and that is a US war. Lew Hill must be rolling in his grave. Must be thinking, "This is the moment!" because it is. People are against the war now, even Joe Lieberman has to make some noises about how it's okay to disagree with him on the war (after saying that those who criticize it are, what was it, not accepting that the Bully Boy is in charge for two more years? or was it undermining the troops? it was nonsense regardless), KPFA should be leading the charge aginst the Iraq war with nonstop coverage. Instead it gets hardly any coverage at all. That was true of the evening news which lead with Israel and gave report after report while Iraq got three. (Four if you count Lieberman.)
Let's move on to another topic (and away from how KPFA is breaking my heart). Sumner showed me an article and I wanted to note it today. This is from Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson's "Civilian Killings Went Unpunished: Declassified papers show U.S. atrocities went far beyond My Lai." (Los Angeles Times):
The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought unwelcome orders to resume their sweep of the countryside, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam's central coast.
They met no resistance as they entered a nondescript settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry, a 20-year-old medic, set his rifle down in a hut, unfastened his bandoliers and lighted a cigarette.
Just then, the voice of a lieutenant crackled across the radio. He reported that he had rounded up 19 civilians, and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry later recalled the company commander's response:
Kill anything that moves.
Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began.
Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.
Back home in California, Henry published an account of the slaughter and held a news conference to air his allegations. Yet he and other Vietnam veterans who spoke out about war crimes were branded traitors and fabricators. No one was ever prosecuted for the massacre.
Now, nearly 40 years later, declassified Army files show that Henry was telling the truth -- about the Feb. 8 killings and a series of other atrocities by the men of B Company.
The files are part of a once-secret archive, assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known.
The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators not including the most notorious U.S. atrocity, the 1968 My Lai massacre.
Though not a complete accounting of Vietnam war crimes, the archive is the largest such collection to surface to date. About 9,000 pages, it includes investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass.
The records describe recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese -- families in their homes, farmers in rice paddies, teenagers out fishing. Hundreds of soldiers, in interviews with investigators and letters to commanders, described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity.
Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units, a Times review of the files found. They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam.
Maybe forty or so years from now we'll find out about what really went on Iraq? We'll probably have to go to the LA Times for that. This should be big news. It won't be. It won't be because we live in a time where the revisionists got their way. I bring that up because there's a lesson here. The general pose after the fall of Saigon was that everyone had to be nice to the War Hawks. People let them put out their lies and either didn't take it seriously or didn't care. I remember people saying "Oh The Deer Hunter's crap but look as how great it looks!" And little by little, revisionism took hold.
So the point here is, don't let it happen. Don't be nice. Don't stay silent because "Golly gee everyone has a right to their opinion." They don't have a right to rewrite history.
But maybe none of us will know about it? Maybe we'll be able to talk at length about what Israel did in the summer of 2006 but have no idea what happened in Iraq?
On that note, here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Chaos and violence continue in Iraq today, Monday, August 7, 2006 -- even if the "world's eyes" (media) elect to focus elsewhere.
While the failed "crackdown" attempts to beef up Baghdad and George Casey ("Top U.S. commander in Iraq") holds a press conference to proclaim the military equivalent of "Check's in the mail!" (Casey claims things will be okey-dokey by the end of September) reality suggests otherwise with the AFP reports at least 26 Iraqis dead on Monday and BBC correspondent Paul Wood noting "of John Abizaid ("head of US Central Command") "that this is the first time the generals are talking openly about the possibility of a civil war." And more details emerge into the death of Abeer Qasim Hamza and her family as a US military investigator testifies before the Article 32 hearing.
Before turning to today's violence, we'll note the latest peace news.
On Sunday, Cindy Sheehan returned to Crawford, Texas for Camp Casey III. Last summer, the first Camp Casey's were set up to honor her son Casey Sheehan who died April 4, 2004 as well as the other lost lives of this illegal war. W. Leon Smith (Lonestar Iconoclast) reports on (and from) the new location for Camp Casey (several acres owned by Sheehan) and notes Sheehan's belief that the new location "will be safer than where we were before, and we won't be in the way as much as we were before. We are good neighbors. . . . If they can't put up with our presence for a few weeks, when our soldiers and the people of Iraq are suffering constantly because of what our other neighbor George Bush did, then I think they need to learn to relax a little bit and learn to live with us because, I promise you, I love Crawford and we will be good neighbors."
As The Lonestar Iconclast notes "Bush Is Back . . . But So Is Sheehan" which reports this is Bully Buy's "59th" trip to the ranch and that "[a]s of Saturday, he had spent all or part of 384 days (more than a year of his presidency) in the area, which has drawn considerable criticism among those who believe that presidential vacations should be limited, especially when catastrophes abound throught the world."
This August, Bully Boy cuts his vacation short because he's a "Bully on the Run" ("Bully on the Run") with Sheehan back in Crawford. Angela K. Brown (AP) reports that, on Sunday, "Sheehan and more than 50 demonstrators again marched a mile and a half toward Bush's ranch, stopping at a roadblock" and that the activists began a chant of "This is what democracy looks like! This is what democracy sounds like!"
As the AFP notes, Cindy Sheehan's return to Camp Crawford follows her trip to Jordan with other activists (including Medea Benjamin, Tom Hayden, Ann Wright, Diane Wilson and others) where ""We met with Iraqi parliamentarians, elected officials, who have peace plans and goals that they want to accomplish in Iraq, and all of them said the occupation is the cause of the problem and the occupation has to end."
For the Bully Boy, the only thing ending is his retreat to Crawford since he will now spend precious few days at his ranchette but will weekend in Maine this month and hang out at Camp David. Clayton Hallmark (North Texas Indymedia) reports on the Bully Boy's ranchette, which used to be a hog farm (and still house a pig -- at least during vacations), noting that "[t]he new main house is built like a motel but with porch on the back instead of the front"; that the "style is that of an office factory" and that it "was built by a religious commune from nearby Elm Mott, TX (the FBI-decimated Branch Davidians were from Elk, also nearby), out of yellow-beige native limestone".
While Bully Boy is planning on pulling a disappearance stunt (shades of his releationship with the National Guard), Richard Benedetto (USA Today) reports that Sheehan intends to stay in Crawford until September 3rd.
When Sheehan returned to Camp Casey, others on the CODEPINK and Global Exchange sponsored trip to Amman, Jordan are hoping to arrive in Lebanon today -- those include Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright. Australia's Sunday Times reports:
"Medea said the group wanted to press congress, ahead of November elections, to support calls for 'a fixed timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and a commitment not to have permanent US bases in Iraq'." (Marjorie Cohn noted on WBAI's Law and Disorder this morning that "we are now building six to fourteen permanent military bases" in Iraq.)
Jodie Evans reports on the first meeting in Jordan and notes some of the statements made by Iraqis including: "We witnessed with our own experience how American tanks used to break Universities and asked people to loot them. These people who started looting in the beginning were not from Iraq but other countries, Kuwait was involved." CODEPINK's Evans also notes the large number of Iraqis fleeing their country as the illegal war wages on and estimates that the city of Amman contains "about 500,000 Iraqis seeking safe harbor." Along with Evans, Hayden, Wright, Wilson and Benjamin, others on the trip to Jordan were: Dal LaMagna, Franciscan priest Louie Vitale, Gael Murphy, Jeeni Criscenzo, Raed Jarrar, Geoffrey Millard and Barbara Briggs-Letson.
The meeting in Amman is thought to have come about from the Troops Home Fast actions. The fast continues and it is on day 35 with 4,549 people from around the world participating. The action started July 4th and continues through September 21st. If you're interested in participating, it is an ongoing fast and you can join at any time for a one-day strike, a one-day-a-week strike, or whatever works best for you. More information can be found at Troops Home Fast.
Rawya Rageh (AP) reports on a "suicide truck bomber" in Samarra whose actions have resulted in the death of nine Iraqi troops as well as ten civilians wounded. CBS and AP report two bombs in Baghdad, on Palestine Street ("major shopping area of Baghdad"), resulted in ten people being injured. Reuters reports a roadside bomb near Khalis killed four civilians and wounded at least seven; a bomb in Khan Bani Saad killed two (police officer and a civilians) and left seven more wounded; and, in Faulluja, a roadside bomb claimed the lives of six civilians leaving two more wounded.
Reuters reports that an attack by armed assailants in Baquba resulted in the death of six Iraqi soldiers and fifteen more wounded. The Associated Press notes fighting going on in Iraq, cites Col. Hassan Chaloub (police chief of Sadr City -- a district in Baghdad) noting that three people have died "including a woman and a 3-year-old girl" while "three cars and three houses also were destroyed."
AP also notes that two cars did a drive-by aimed at a barbershop in Baghdad and resulting in the death of "the owner and four customers"; while in Mosul, two police officers in a taxi were shot to death.
I believe the above incidents add up to 35 reported dead in Iraq (and that's not touching on US military claims of "insurgents" killed). Corpses? AP notes that two corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("hancuffed . . . shot in the head").
From corpses to courts . . . New reports are coming out of the military inquiry into the death and alleged rape of Abeer Qasim Hamza, the fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl who was killed along with three family members reported by US troops. Reuters reports that the "U.S. military court heard graphic testimony on Monday on how U.S. soldiers took turns holding down and raping" Abeer Sasim Hamza. Elsa McLaren "and agencies" (Times of London) reports that Benjamin Bierce testified on what James Barker told him when he (Bierce) began investigating the incident: " Barker said that he held the girl's hands while Sergeant Paul Cortez raped her or tried to rape her. Barker then switched positions with Cortez and attempted to rape the girl, but said he was not sure if he had done so, Special Agent Bierce told the hearing." After this, Bierce testifies, Steven Green came into the room "put down an AK-47 assault rifle and raped the girl while Cortez held her down". CBS and AP report that: "U.S. soldiers accused of raping and murdering a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in the town of Mahmoudiya last March drank alcohol and hit golf balls before the attack, and one of them grilled chicken wings afterward, an investigator told a U.S. military hearing Monday, citing a soldier's sworn statement."
In peace news, Caroline Aoygi-Stom (New America Media) notes that the national JACL (Japanese American Citizens League) has taken a non-stand on Ehren Watada (sitting out another issue they could be impacting) despite the fact that "the Honolulu JACL has come out in full support of Watada, backing his decision to refuse deployment to Iraq." Watada is the first commissioned US officer known to have refused deployment in Iraq. Aoygi-Stom notes the latter's statement: "'The JACL Hawai'i, Honolulu chapter supports Lt. Ehren Watada's thoughtful and deliberate act of conscience. We believe Lt. Watada's refusal to participate in a war that violates the U.S. Constitution and international law is a principled act of patriotism,' the chapter said in their statement. 'We believe a staunch defense of the Constitution is in keeping with JACL Hawai'i's primary mission of protecting the civil and human rights of all'."
To read the national JACL's statement you can click here (PDF format).
Remember that Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org are calling for a "National Day of Education" on August 16th, the day before Ehren Watada would be due to "face a pre-trial hearing for refusing to deploy to Iraq." ThankYouLt.Org notes: "On August 16, the day prior to the hearing, The Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada are calling for a 'National Day of Education' to pose the question, 'Is the war illegal?' This day can also serve to anchor a 'week of outreach' leading up to the pre-trial hearing."
Finally, Meredith May (San Francisco Chronicle) reports on the war resistance movement and notes that attorneys in "Toronto and Vancouver . . . compared numbers" and estimate they've advised 200 Americans soldiers who've gone AWOL. War resister Brandon Hughey is quoted saying: "I've always believed if you need to defend yourself or your family from killing, then killing could be justified, but I can't kill someone without a good reason." May also speaks to Patrick Hart, Ryan Johnson, Darryl Anderson and others and May's report is also available as a podcast.
I'm closing with John Nichols' "Joe Lieberman's Desperate Measures" (Common Dreams) (and Larry Bensky did a great job covering this yesterday -- and was able to cover both Iraq and Lebanon -- hard to believe, isn't it?):
Joe Lieberman, down in the polls and desperate as Tuesday's Connecticut Senate primary approaches, tried on Sunday to remake himself as something he has not been for a very long time: A true-blue Democrat who respects dissent in his own party and the country as a whole.
Accusing his anti-war primary challenger, Ned Lamont, of waging "a distortion campaign against me," the Bush administration's favorite Democratic senator grumbled, "Now I understand that many Democrats in Connecticut disagree with me and are very angry about the war. I don't think there is anything I can say to change your mind about whether we should have gone to war or when we should bring the troops home, and at this point I'm not going to insult you by trying. What I will say is this: I not only respect your right to disagree or question the President, I value it. I was part of the anti-war movement in the late 1960s, so I don't need to be lectured by Ned Lamont about the place of dissent in our democracy."
With the primary just two days away, the senator professed to be shocked, shocked by suggestions that he might be something less than a diehard Democrat.
"The more I have talked to voters in these closing days, the more I am concerned they have been shortchanged in this campaign," said Lieberman. "Instead of hearing an honest debate about the issues that really matter to people, they have been overwhelmed with bogus charges about my Democratic credentials. Instead of having an honest discussion about your future, we're getting negative politics at its worst."
The new Democratic Joe Lieberman is a far cry from the Joe Lieberman who has spent the past four years as the pet Democrat of the conservative Fox News combine -- grinning, nodding and chirping his approval as conservative commentator Sean Hannity has trashed war critics and accused Democrats who challenge the Bush White House of something akin to treason.
Consider this sample from the transcipt of a February 10, 2006, appearance by Lieberman on Hannity's radio program:
HANNITY: I agree with you, and Senator, this is why I am very appreciative of the positions you've taken in the war on terror in the last number of years. And I know you've taken a lot of political heat from it from within your party. You've heard of Howard Dean's comments about you, for crying out loud.
HANNITY: I mean he could barely come out and support you. And, you know, Karl Rove said that Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview, and he said, it doesn't make them unpatriotic, but it makes them wrong.
HANNITY: He believes, profoundly consistently wrong. And I think the latest example of this is, we can kill members of Al Qaeda, but we've got Democrats up in arms over the idea that if Al Qaeda calls into the United States from an outside country, that, boy, we'd better get a court order to listen to them. It's absurd to me.
In the course of the same program last winter, Hannity offered to campaign for Lieberman, telling the neoconservative senator: "If you ever want me to do anything, for you and your re-election, I think we ought to have Conservatives for Lieberman, a big fundraiser in Connecticut, and if I could ever do that, I'd make it the biggest blowout celebration ever."
Lieberman responded by thanking Hannity and telling the Fox personality: "You're a great guy. It would just be fun to be with you."
I want to add to my comments about Larry Bensky. I wrote a post on him one time and thought, "Oh, don't post it." But I will. He's had health problems. He's been in journalism for a long time. He knows how to cover things -- last week he even did a translation (I recognized his voice, I don't believe he got credit on air). I wonder what happens when Bensky's gon? I'm not seeing right now that many people (C.S. Soong excepted) grasp that one-note coverage will cause listeners to tune out. I could say more. I did in the post I trashed. I didn't post that because he's never seemed the type to enjoy compliments. I'm sure he has an ego, we all do. But he's not someone who seems to enjoy being the focus. He hosts Sunday Salon and if you've never listened to it, check it out one Sunday (or anytime via the archived broadcasts).
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