Sunday, March 30, 2008


You want purity, have at it. Seal yourself in an envelope and mail yourself to nowhere. But in the real world, the illegal war is not going to end because every member of Congress starts calling it "illegal." They are going to shape their messages. The bulk of the American people do not grasp that the Iraq War was illegal. (You can thank Panhandle Media for that because they soft-pedal that point.) The bulk of the people against the Iraq War today do not grasp that is illegal. Politicians are NEVER going to make points that are that far ahead of the public's recognition. The people have turned against the war, no question. But the words they use are "wrong." So when an idiot (and that's the only word for her) attempts to rip apart Hillary's call for the troops to come home, she's playing purity police and ignoring reality. But that's another feature. Scahill, if you want people to take your suggestion seriously, you need to take it seriously and thus far you've provided no indication that you do.

The idiot's Cindy Sheehan. That would be the alleged Peace Mom who has never called out Barack Obama but showed up last week for another Bash Hillary article. How dare, Cindy hissed, Hillary say that US troops had done everything asked of them! Well, idiot, the reality is that US troops did do everything asked of them. The reality is that the American public is agreed on that point. 'Peace' Mom wants to tear apart what was a call to end the war.

She showed up with "Political Expediency" (we'd recommend Dissident Voice to read the column; however, we won't link to the column because we don't link to trash). Cindy's attacking/whining about Rob Reiner and Steve Bing in the column and, disclosure, C.I. knows both and Ava knows Bing. Cindy wants the 'politically correct' thing done, not the expedient one.

How's that working out for you, Cindy?

Last time we checked, your campaign had turned into a joke. Last time we checked, you were only discussed in terms of what many saw as your hurt feelings that Iraq Veterans Against the War didn't want you to stage a demonstration the weekend before the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War when Winter Soldier had long ago been announced.

Last time we checked, you were haunting Common Dreams leaving mash notes to Bambi and hisses for Hillary on all those "Saint Barack" pieces Common Dreams reposts (while begging for money, they actually originate no original content). Last time we checked, despite publicly endorsing Cynthia McKinney, you'd written nothing about her in the last months but had rushed to prop up Bambi. Want to talk about "political expediency"? Look in the mirror.

As e-mail after e-mail to all sites noted last week when Cindy Sheehan's latest ditherings went up all over the place online, Barack Obama voted to fund the illegal war repeatedly and did so after Casey Sheehan died and Cindy's column appears either eager to ignore that fact or operating under the principal that only one death mattered. That may seem harsh but it's a common perception in the e-mails we have all received.

So if she just wanted to rage, she should be raging against both. If she wanted to be helpful, the thing to do is not pick apart Hillary's statements but buy a clue and grasp that they are representative of the bulk of Americans wanting to end the illegal war.

Here is the statement by Hillary that so enraged Cindy Sheehan (C.I. noted Clinton's statement in last Monday's "Iraq snapshot" which was reposted at all comunity sites posting that day) that she excerpts it at the top of her attack:

I want to take a moment to note yesterday's heartbreaking news that, five years after the start of this war, there have been 4,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. Tens of thousands of our brave men and women have also suffered serious wounds, both visible and invisible, to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. As president, I intend to honor their extraordinary service and the sacrifices of them and their families by ending this war and bringing them home as quickly and responsibly as possible.

We all believe that every death and every wound was in vain. We're not running for political office and (obviously by this article alone) not trying to win friends. Our job is to be independent. Our job is to hit hard. Our job is to pressure. Our job is to tell our truths. We're not really sure how Cindy defines her job these days but Hillary's statement isn't "objectionable."

We think Sheehan's useless at this point and has made herself so.

She could have been Peace Mom by holding both candidates accountable. But she doesn't do that. She never decries Barack Obama's non-action. In her column, she attacks Hillary for Bill Clinton's use of sanctions and we're no fans of sanctions but are aware that Bambi's 'anti-war' speech in 2002 called for 'containment' which is the continuation of sanctions. Maybe big words confuse Cindy? We're equally aware that Bambi accepted the myth of WMDs and, in that 2002 speech, presents them as factual and existing.

We supported Cindy's right to run for Congress from the eighth district and, unlike Hillary Haters, haven't taken to calling her out for the fact that it's not been her home district. Nor have we made like the Hillary Haters and told Cindy to drop out of the race. But if she wants to run a real campaign, she's going to have to start buying a few clues. We withdrew our endosement of Cindy sometime ago. We did so exactly for the kind of nonsense she offered last week.

Barack Obama was not 'right' about the illegal war. He was wrong about WMDs and we don't support sanctions. But, like Cindy, Barack plays the I-was-right card over and over (see Ava and C.I.'s commentary last week for how that card actually plays out in Congress). We don't care who's right or wrong at this point, we care about ending the illegal war.

The peace movement in the US has largely been a joke, a non-stop joke. Students and veterans have formed new organizations because they existing ones were nothing but vanity clubs and that's the ugly reality no one in the peace movement wants to admit. Ending the illegal war requires bringing in as many Americans as possible and those who once supported the illegal war and now see it as a disaster for whatever reason, aren't hopping on board with a crowd that can't shut up about "I was right all along!" They turn off more people than they ever realize as they assume that bragging is more important than ending the illegal war.

This community has repeatedly defended Cindy Sheehan over the years. When Pig took to an alternative weekly to make fun of her, we called it out. When others trashed her, we called it out. When she angered The Daily Toilet Scrubbers, we called it out. When she decided to run, we not only endorsed her, we made a point to call out the ones offering "Cindy, Don't Run!" columns.

We do not believe, even now, that Cindy is an attention seeker of any kind. We believe she honestly wants to end the illegal war. But we do not support her non-stop slamming of Hillary Clinton at every chance she gets while she (a) ignores Bambi's own War Hawk nature (Cindy met with Hugo Chavez and praised him, why isn't she calling Bambi out on his comments about Hugo Chavez and his desire to send US forces into Venezuela?) and (b) refuses to use any of her column time to promote the candidate she supposedly supports (Cynthia McKinney).

Cindy's had several awakenings along the way and they've all been painful. Last May, her awakening was realizing that many 'peace organizations' only existed to elect Democrats. She left the Democratic Party and was villified for it. She also announced she was leaving the peace movement but then backtracked on that.

The realities are that Camp Casey is not now, as she stated publicly it would be, a haven for those who resist. The reality is that Gold Star Families For Peace, her organization, hasn't posted anything new to their website in over a year. The reality is that Cindy's doing nothing to end the war.

Her columns do promote Hillary Hatred and if she's now supporting Barack Obama, she needs to get honest about it. However, should she do so, she better be prepared for questions because the Democrats largely kicked her to the curb and the left not affiliated with the Democratic Party is fully aware that Bambi has stated that Venezuela and, specifically, Hugo Chavez are two things a Barack Obama presidency will 'address.'

As we've long noted, Barack also promotes war in Africa and, as others seem to forget, the whole point of abandoning Europe and setting up bases in Africa was that the US wants to stage new wars in that region. Bully Boy, attempting to secure land for bases, was rebuffed by African leaders. Do you really think "Son of Kenya" is going to be rebuffed? Do you really think some of the hype about Barack on the part of the same media that sold you the illegal war isn't over the fact that US imperialism can expand?

Hillary trying to get US bases is just another White impearilist to rebuff. (She's made no statements indicating she wants the US to take part in wars in Africa. By contrast, Samantha Power got on board Bambi's Senate work to sell him war on Darfur and he still echoes Power's opinion.) "Son of Kenya" could get those bases. And it's amazing that so many allegedly 'anti-war' types are silent on that fact.

The Iraq War has taken place. It is ongoing. It's laughable to see 'peace' 'leaders' refuse to call out what's set to come in Africa. It's laughable to watch them avoid using the term "AFRICOM."

AFRICOM was supposed to be up and running by now. It is up and running . . . in Germany but the failure to secure land deals for bases has stymied it somewhat.

May 23, 2002, Mike Crawley's article in The Christian Science Monitor opened with the following:

In the search for alternative sources of oil outside the politically volatile Middle East, the US is increasingly turning toward a place not normally seen as a major energy producer: sub-Saharan Africa.
The region's crude oil production surpassed 4 million barrels a day in 2000 – more than Iran, Venezuela, or Mexico. The US currently gets 16 percent of its oil imports from sub-Saharan Africa -- almost as much as from Saudi Arabia. And, according to projections by the National Intelligence Council, that proportion will reach 25 percent by 2015, surpassing the entire Persian Gulf. The vast majority of it will come from a stretch of coastline between Nigeria and Angola called the Gulf of Guinea.

Today, the African Oil Policy Initiative Group, a lobby group with members from the oil industry and various arms of government, will present a white paper in Washington. The document urges Congress and the Bush administration to encourage greater extraction of oil across Africa, and to declare the Gulf of Guinea "an area of vital interest" to the US.
There is some indication that the Bush administration already feels that way. Walter Kansteiner, the assistant secretary of State for Africa said earlier this year: "African oil is of national strategic interest to us, and it will increase and become more important as we go forward."

"African Oil Policy Initiative Group, a lobby group with members from the oil industry and various arms of government" wants Africa declared "'an area of vital interest' to the US" and you're not bothered? "African oil is of national strategic interest to us," declares Assistant Secretery of US State for Africa Walter Kansteiner, and you can't connect the dots?

While US imperialism plays chess, the 'peace' movement plays checkers. You saw the usual idiots like BuzzFlash mourn Samantha Power's downfall. (Davy D did as well on KPFA in an idiotic report that Aileen Alfandary thought was special it was worthy of re-broadcast in the next day's headlines segments -- despite the fact that even the basics, such as Samantha Power's name, were bungled by Davy D. You're really bagging your credibility when you're mourning, on air, the kicked to the curb nature of Power and you can't even get her name correct. "Power," "Samantha Power," not "Powers.")

Samantha Power isn't just a War Hawk, she's one published by The Nation. The Nation's yet to seriously address the planned coming wars in Africa and maybe they're not overly concerned about 'those people.' Samantha Power isn't just a War Hawk, she was one of the key leaders in Our Modern Day Carrie Nations calling for 'action' on Darfur. Their slogan was, for those missed it, "Bring the troops home and send them to Darfur!" And no one in the peace movement can support that unless they've bought into the non-stop lies about Darfur where fighting did occur (and continues at much lower levels) but was not genocide (and, in fact, the 'numbers' cited included deaths that had nothing to do with the 'battle').

Those late to the party can refer to Julie Hollar's "The Humanitarian Tempatation" (Extra!). [You can also see Elaine's "My pacificism isn't a cloak I wear some days and others put on war drag" from 2006.] Illegal wars, unneccessary wars, are sold to a country's people via lies and Our Modern Day Carrie Nations spent $15 million in 2006 alone trying to sell war on Darfur. We pointed it out, we highlighted Stephanie Strom and Lydia Polgreen's "Advocacy Group's Publicity Campaign on Darfur Angers Relief Organizations" (New York Times), where was the peace movement? Then or now?

Largely silent as they remain today. We can get article after article about "the coming war on Iran!" (and have gotten those articles for four years now) but there is a huge silence on Africa. There is a huge silence on the US imperalistic designs for Africa and there is a huge silence on the realities of the "Save Darfur" crazies. Last week saw the American Idiot who moved to Canada because Bully Boy made it into the White House (too useless to fight for her country and Constitution, but happy to pack up her bags and head for the border) demand a viewing boycott of the Olympics over China. Over their attacks on Tibet? No, over Darfur.

She's one more Useless Idiot making up Panhandle Media and one that Americans in this country, battling the abuses of the Bully Boy, really don't need to hear from. You took your cowardly ass to Canada, no Americans needs to your letters-in-exile advice. [War resisters are not cowards. They make decisions not to participate in the illegal war. We applaud them. There is a world of difference between someone ordered to fight an illegal war seeking refugee status in Canada and someone who is miffed that the Bully Boy made it into the White House deciding to 'protest' by moving to Canada.] From the safety of Canada, the Useless Idiot now wants to advise Americans. Why the hell any American should listen to an Exile in Cowardville is beyond us but what we do know is that, as usual, the idiot misses the point.

There's a reason that while Cindy Sheehan and other protesters in 2005 couldn't meet with the Bully Boy that he gladly invited Our Modern Day Carrie Nations into the White House to meet with them. The reason is that their actions, knowingly or unknowingly, serve the goals fo US imperialism.

That's something Cindy Sheehan once decried and often cited Smedley Butler's War Is A Racket but these days refuses to call out the candidate with the best chance of securing military bases in Africa and continuing the goals of US imperialism.

It gives us no pleasure to call out Cindy Sheehan but her actions make it necessary. In fairness to her, outside of Bonnie Faulkner and Keith Harmon Snow, it's not as if most have bothered to even warn you about what's coming, let alone call out Our Modern Day Carrie Nations.

For the record, Davy D, Samantha Power blurbed the US military's counter-insurgency manual. Instead of whining about poor Samantha Power, we should all be grateful that, for now, a War Hawk was brought down. For the record, Davy D, "monster" was the least of Power's remarks. For the record, she told the BBC that Obama would not stick to any pledge about withdrawing US combat troops in 16 months of landing in the White House. For the record, Davy D, she publicly insulted England's prime minister Gordon Brown. All of those things led to her stepping down. But waste everyone's time with another bad report about 'evil' Hillary, one in which you don't even get right the name of the War Hawk you're trying to defend: Samantha Power.

Hillary Clinton's statement in full about the 2004 mark was:

Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, there have now been 4,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. On this solemn day, we remember the sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. We honor the tens of thousands more who have suffered wounds both visible and invisible, wounds that scare bodies and minds, and hearts as well. We honor the sacrifices of their families, a price paid in empty places at the dinner table, in the struggle to raise children alone, in the wrenching reversal of parents burying children.

In the last five years, our soldiers have done everything we asked of them and more. They were asked to remove Saddam Hussein from power and bring him to justice and they did. They were asked to give the Iraqi people the opportunity for free and fair elections and they did. They were asked to give the Iraqi government the space and time for political reconciliation, and they did.

So for every American soldier who has made the ultimate sacrifice for this mission, we should imagine carved in stone: 'They gave their life for the greatest gift one can give to a fellow human being, the gift of freedom.'

I recall the great honor of meeting many of our brave men and women who have served our country. In meeting them, I am always struck by how, no matter how great their suffering, no matter how grave their own injuries, they always say the same thing to me: 'Promise that you'll take care of my buddies. They're still over there. Promise you'll keep them safe.' I have looked those men and women in the eye. I have made that promise. And I intend to honor it by bringing a responsible end to this war, and bringing our troops home safely.

We don't agree that the US was in Iraq for freedom. We are aware that many Americans buy that in one way or another. Some buy that was the aim (it was never the aim) and that the aim went wrong and argue that, therefore, the Iraq War should end.

Hillary was quoted in the snapshot and here's how that came about, pay attention, Cindy, C.I. called around Monday afternoon to find out who was making a statement or had made a statement about the 4,000 mark that was reached on Sunday. The first person called was a friend in Russ Feingold's office who said, "He's not made a statement." Russ Feingold is firmly against the illegal war. But Senator Feingold made no statement on Monday. The 4,000 mark was a milestone and needed to be noted. Many, in press and in politics, chose to sit it out. If Cindy felt Hillary was offering crumbs, she might need to take a look at others who didn't even offer that. That's not a slam at Feingold but, note, he was far from the only politician (for the war or against it) who elected to be silent when the 4,000 mark was reached. (For the record, Ava called a friend at the Hillary campaign to find out if she had issued a statement and then passed the phone to C.I.) The bulk of our members of Congress had said nothing about the milestone.
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