Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bad now, bad before


17-year-old Jimarcus wrote a lengthy e-mail about his disgust with Congress, his anger that the illegal war still drags on, how he can't understand why impeachment hasn't yet happened, the lack of attention to the verdict on the cases of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey ("or war resisters in general") and "just when it can't get worse comes the Hot 100 this week with some of the sorriest ass songs ever in the top five."

He's referring to:

1) Chris Brown (feat. T-Pain) -- "Kiss Kiss"

2) Alicia Keys -- "No One"

3) Timbland (feat. OneRepublic) -- "Apologize"

4) Soulja Boy Tell'em -- "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"

5) Colbie Caillat -- "Bubbly"

And he dubs the bulk of the five "bubble gum sex from bubble gum heads."

We'd agree they're pretty bad. Certainly boasting of having a Lamborghini and asking a woman to McDonalds qualifies as questionable at best and crunk done cracked about two years ago.

But, to keep hope alive, just remember that it's been bad before. In November 1970, the US military rexecuted over 1000 bombings on North Vietnam hailed as "limited protective reaction air strikes." In Canada (on November 13th) there were protests against the War Measures Act (an early attempt to label citizens "terrorists" and the mayors of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver were trying to use it to attack war resisters). Detroit turned out that month to show majority opposition to the illegal war via a referendrum. Vietnam Veteran Against the War Jan Barry invited Dr. Robert Jay Lifton to speak at the upcoming Winter Soldier Investigation. Lt. William Calley was on trial for the My Lai massacre. And in Cleveland on November 9th, United States of America v. Jane Fonda took place. Fonda was busted, November 3rd, for bringing vitamins into the US that an idiot by the name of Larence Troiano just knew were drugs, maybe LSD! (They were vitamins.) Despite Tricky Dick bag man Clifford E. Bruce presiding, on November 9th, Mark Lane would establish that an after-midnight, wrongful stop in customs resulted in a phone call to DC to notify someone (Bruce refused to let Edward Matuszak answer as to whether it as the US Attorney General) know they'd detained Fonda who was on a (then denied) government watch list. (For speaking out against the illegal war. Bully Boy was far from the first to ignore the Constitution. And we're sure his own enemies list has many, many names.)

And while all of that was going on the top five on the pop charts?

1) The Patridge Family -- "I Think I Love You"

2) The Carpenters -- "We've Only Just Begun"

3) The Jackson 5 -- "I'll Be There"

4) Smokey Robinson & the Miracles -- "Tears of a Clown"

5) James Taylor's "Fire and Rain"

None of that is to say, "Don't be angry/worried/upset." It's just to note that this movie has played out before. Of course November 1970 saw many more events to celebrate -- such as George H.W. Bush losing his Senate election and his little Bully Boy being rejected by UT Law School.

And since we noted the Winter Soldier Investigation during Vietnam, let's note that IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:

In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
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