Sunday, May 25, 2008

Editorial: Paying for the silence

Pathetic Panhandle Media is at it again, proving just how useless they can be.

Someone should tell them their reputations are sufficiently damaged, they don't need to work so hard to demonstrate that they have nothing of value to offer.

But they're trying to prove that all last week.

On Wednesday, US war resister and Iraq War veteran Corey Glass learned he had to leave Canada by June 12th or be deported. Glass made Canada his home in August of 2006 after self-checking out from the military and believing Canada still stood for what it once did.


Maybe we should stop there for a second.

See, a lot of jerks like Amy Goodman damage the cause of war resisters in Canada with their silence. Then there are the idiots who try to help and don't know reality.

Why would Corey Glass think he might be welcomed in Canada?

The popular narrative put out by 'helpers' in the US and Canada is that during Vietnam, Canada took in "draft dodgers." By repeating that and only that, the "helpers" have allowed critics of today's war resisters to dismiss their attempts for asylum by shooting back, "There was a draft then! There's not now! You get what you sign up for!"

But see, that spin, it was never true. That hasn't prevented 'helpers' from 'helpfully' repeating it, over and over.

In 1969, Canada became an official safe haven for war resisters. That's confusing to 'helpers' as well who like to say "in the sixties." A few months later and it actually would have been 1970 but, hey, what's facts when you can get a little attention gas bagging, right?

Who did they accept?

They accepted "draft dodgers," yes. That category was war resisters who had received the notice that they were being drafted and told to report for induction. So, yes, the 'helpers' are correct in that regard. But that wasn't the only category of war resisters Canada gave safe harbor to.

"Deserters." Deserters were people in the military who self-checkedout and Canada officially welcomed them as well. They didn't greet them at the border asking, "Were you drafted? You weren't, get the hell out!" In fact, it should be noted that prior to the official declaration and Pierre Trudeau's famous speech (which you will not find online in full, interesting), 4 US sailors were deported forcibly from Canada. That was the final straw that forced Canada to take action.

That wasn't the first time someone had been deported (and some were turned away at the border). But when 4 US sailors were deported, it was the final straw.

Now not everyone has access to the computer (C.I.'s brain) and history (C.I.'s real time journals) that we do. But at some point, maybe a Tom Hayden or other 'helper' might have thought to point that out?

The final incident that forced Canada to take official action was the uproar over the deportation of four males who were not "draft dodgers," they were "deserters."

On both sides of the border, that's forgotten today. On both sides of the border, the LIE that the draft was the reason for Canada's providing safe harbor is endlessly repeated.

It's a LIE and we're going to start compiling a list of all who repeat the LIE in the future. Now in 1969, Tom Hayden was busy plotting the riots in Chicago (via secret meetings with William Ayers among others) and maybe he was just so busy that it prevented him from following the news. No exceptions, repeat the LIE that is HURTING war resisters today and we will note you loudly and clearly, we ridicule you and we will ask why you're being treated as an 'expert' on anything?

That historical fact -- vanished from public memory -- is actually more pertinent today than ever because it goes straight to Corey Glass' case for asylum.

But don't hold your breath waiting for Amy Goodman to break away from her hour long programming of promoting books (Thursday) and movies (Friday) to inform her dwindling audience of that.

Instead of offering news of Corey Glass, that's what Goody offered.

The deportation of various of her friends from various countries is always news. Norman was news to her last week due to be deported from Israel. Boo-hoo. Norman can't go to Israel. How sad. Will he end up in imprisoned back in the US? No.

If Corey Glass is deported, he will most likely face prison (and could face death).

But Goody was playing movie and book club last week and couldn't even note Corey Glass in a headline.

He doesn't matter.

Goody's silence made that very clear -- her silence apparently bought for the sum of $100,000 since, after she banks that check, she loses all interest in war resisters.

Norman's an internationally known professor and critic of Israel. What 'silence' did Goody go to and noting that? None. Corey Glass has no book contract, no lecture circuit fees, no book credits.

But toss $100,000 at Amy Goodman and she'll dummy up. It really is shocking to look at the coverage before the check and after. Before the check she was doing segments on war resisters. Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado, Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Ehren Watada, Darrell Anderson, go down the list. Not wrap ups after there issues were 'resolved,' but providing coverage of them as they went public, as they stood up to the US military machine.

She gets her check and plays dumb non-stop ever since.

Among the war resisters she's refused to cover are: Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull . . .

Getting the idea yet?

$100,000 is the price on her ass and, if you pay it, she'll gladly ignore a topic. Someone should tell the White House.

She ignored Matthis Chiroux this month as well. Two weeks, Chiroux stated he would not be reporting for duty in June. He is an Iraq War veteran, he was discharged and placed in IRR. He recently learned that the military thinks they can call him back up and send him back to Iraq. Goody wasn't interested.

He announced that two weeks ago following Iraq Veterans Against the War testimony to Congress (another topic Goody ignored). [For coverage of that hearing you can C.I.'s snapshots here, here and here and Trina's "Contentment in the Kitchen," Rebecca's "sergio korchergin speaks to congress," Betty's "A red day," Ruth's "Sgt. Adam Kokesh speaks to Congress," Kat's "Luis Montalvan," Marcia's "Vincent Emanuele testifies to Congress," Elaine's "IVAW's Vincent Emanuele testifies to Congress," Mike's "IVAW's James Gilligan speaks to Congress" and The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Editorial: The teachable moment." For audio click here for KPFA's archived broadcast anchored by Aimee Allison and Aaron Glantz.]

Here is Iraq Veterans Against the War's Matthis Chiroux's statement (here fortext, here for video):

Good afternoon. My name is Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, and I served in the Army as a Photojournalist until being honorable discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines. As an Army journalist whose job it was to collect and filter servicemember's stories, I heard many stomach-churning testimonies of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq. For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes, but never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand. In February, I received a letter from the Army ordering my return to active duty, for the purpose of mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength, clarity and resolve to declare to the military and the world that this Soldier will not be deploying to Iraq. This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes. Furthermore, deployment in support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being, but in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army if they so wish to pursue them. I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq.

Goody had other things to do.

James Burmeister?

Goody never mentioned him. Not in the summer of 2007 when he went to Canada and spoke publicly of the kill teams in Iraq. Not when he returned to the US this year. Not as he awaits word on whether he will be court-martialed. At Courage to Resist, Erich Burmeister wrote about his son's bravery and encouraged people to "Drop my son a card of encouragement!" and the address is: PFC James Burmeister, HHC Bldg 298, Gold Vault Rd, Fort Knox, KY 40121." Erich Brumeister also gave a radio interview on the subject. He's obviously not 'press shy' but somehow Goody couldn't find him.

Panhandle Media is failing across the board -- print and broadcast.

They've turned themselves over to non-stop Barack fan clubs and that's allowed them little time to explore other things (although someone no longer with Democracy Now! states that the program doesn't feel they can promote Barack and war resisters -- shades of the 2004 silence on the Iraq War for the 'good' of John Kerry's campaign). Thing is though, they're paying for it.

Circulation is down for all print magazines. (The rumors are not true that C.I.'s used connections with a bookstore chain to prevent The Nation from being stocked. C.I. has, however, inquired how many issues they actually sell at each outlet and that did lead to many stores -- realizing they sold none -- reducing how many they carried or not carrying it all. Having lost Tower Records -- due to bankruptcy, print Panhandle Media really can't afford to lose many more outlets.) KPFA finished their fundraising cycle a bit short. WBAI is several hundred thousands dollars short.

To quote Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, "Ha!"

You get what you deserve. You lie to people, you slant coverage of political campaigns to favor the candidate you're supporting and you ignore the stories that actually matter while still expecting people to pay you money, to dig into their pockets so you can continue to practice propaganda and pass it off as 'news' and 'information'? Well, you get what you deserve. You reap what you sew.

And it's only going to get worse. Your hypocritical attacks on Real Media played once. But the audience listened to your criticism, agreed it was wrong. The thing you didn't expect was that the same set of standards you hold Real Media to could be applied to Panhandle Media.

Panhandle Media's been held to no set of standards. It's not 'independent.' It's a big circle-jerk where all the group stroke one another and no one ever says, "Just one damn minute."

That's why some of the worst sexism in this campaign season has come out of Panhandle Media -- the allegedly 'enlightened' media.

Your own actions told on you. Now you're suffering. You brought it on yourself.

No one will shed any tears for your 'suffering.' It's self-inflicted, for one thing. For another, the real people suffering are the ones like Corey Glass who need media attention and receive none from Panhandle Media.

For more on Corey Glass see:

"Iraq snapshot" (Wednesday)

"Iraq snapshot" (Thursday)

"Corey Glass"

"Hillary, Corey Glass, etc."

"hillary, corey glass"

"I Hate The War"

"Iraq snapshot" (Friday)

"Steamed Potatoes and Onions in the Kitchen"

"War resistance then and now"
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