Sunday, March 25, 2012
-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Barack Obama, Democratic Expectations and the Magic Wand" (Black Agenda Report).
-- US House Rep Gerry Connolly at Thursday's joint-hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Financial Management Committee, reported in Friday's "Iraq snapshot."
First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
This wasn't our planned edition. We'd actually planned to do a humor edition for this week. But then the week progressed and it was ignore Iraq at the majority of outlets. Obviously, we don't have that luxury nor would our readers forgive us if we tried to ignore the illegal war.
So we tried to think of what we could do about Iraq and one reader had a suggestion (thank you, Joe Barnes) and we also wanted to include a few non-Iraq pieces to have a mix.
Here's what we came up with:
PBS, we don't want to see it in 2012" and Ann reposted it at her site. This edition, she suggested we note this again. Betty immediately agreed and they (and Dona) think we should note this a few more times just to get the point across.
And that's what we came up with. See you next week.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
As Ava and C.I. cover in their TV commentary this week, the networks were AWOL on Iraq last Monday which was the 9th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. And not just on the day of the 9th anniversary of the war that TV news worked so damn hard to sell, but the whole week.
And it wasn't just them. As C.I. and Betty observed last week, so-called 'independent' media was silent as well. Matthew Rothschild and his so-called Progressive magazine didn't have time for a blog post on Iraq, nor did The Nation magazine, nor did In These Times, nor did Democracy Now!, nor did . . . They made a lot of money and built an audience off the Iraq War. But that was when a Republican occupied the White House.
That's even more amazing when you consider that Iraq has not 'recovered' nor has the US occupation ended. For example, in anticipation of the scheduled Arab League Summit, Nouri al-Maliki has rendered Baghdad a heavily guarded ghost town. Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has charged that Nouri's forces tortured his bodyguard, Amir Sarbut Zaidan al-Batawi, to death, Iraqi security forces told the press that, after the summit, Emo girls and young women will be targeted for death, violence continued to cause Iraqi Christians to flee Iraq,
attacks on Tuesday left over 56 dead and over 200 injured, and KRG President Massoud Barzani gave a major speech where he denounced the current state of the Baghdad-based government and Nouri al-Maliki:
Power-sharing and partnership between Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and others is now completely non-existent and has become meaningless. The Iraqi Constitution is constantly violated and the Erbil agreement, which was the basis upon which the current government was formed, has been completely ignored. As soon as they came to power, they disregarded the Constitution, the previous agreements that we had, and the principle of power-sharing.
[. . .]
There is an attempt to establish a one-million strong army whose loyalty is only to a single person. Where in the world can the same person be the prime minister, the chief of staff of the armed forces, the minister of defense, the minister of interior, the chief of intelligence and the head of the national security council.
Those are just some of the week's highlights.
Not everyone was silent.
PRI did cover the attacks on The World where anchor Lisa Mullins spoke with McClatchy News Service's Iraqi correspondent Sahar Issa:
And Cindy Sheehan appeared on the Joyce Riley program The Power Hour to discuss her war tax resistance.
Cindy Sheehan: You know the United States president said today -- he didn't say it today, but the one that we have in office today -- said back in 2002 that the Iraq War was a stupid war but yesterday he made March 19th a Day of Honor because the US did such great things in Iraq. I want to put their wars on trial, Joyce. If I have to go on trial to do that then that's what I've been wanting to do. You know, to me, it just blows my mind that George Bush and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of those War Criminals and international War Criminals -- and not just crimes abroad, but crimes in our own country -- they can run around free making all kinds of money with their books and their appearances and their consulting jobs for the war machine when they're prosecuting me somebody whose son was killed for their crimes. So, you know what, Joyce, I hate to use the term of George Bush but I think, "Bring it on."
And most importantly, Wednesday at the Left Forum, World Can't Wait's Debra Sweet moderated a discussion on the Iraq War with Larry Everest (author of many books but we'll note Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the US Global Agenda), Michal Otterman (author most recently of Erasing Iraq: The Human Costs of Carnage) and activist and author David Swanson who runs the War Is A Crime website (videos at World Can't Wait).
Imagine if Pacifica Radio had broadcast that on all their stations. The march towards war on Iran, Syria and others might face a few obstacles. But silence has never been a hurdle to war.
Also Wednesday, Jules Whitcover (Chicago Tribune) observed, "Guided by American military counsel of what it would take, Obama has finally removed all of what have been defined as U.S. combat forces from Iraq, and is inching toward doing the same in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Nevertheless, many American military and ancillary civilian employees will remain for who knows how long, ostensibly to train and advise the indigenous regimes in both places. If this not nation building, what is it? Whatever the name, the American people have emphatically declared in various opinion polls that they're fed up with it and want it to end."
And where on Pacifica Radio or network TV was that reality covered last week? It wasn't. The State Dept. will spend $6 billion occupying Iraq this fiscal year and want another $6 billion for next year, but we're not discussing it, we're not acknowledging it. Again, silence has never been a hurdle to war.
When the Iraq War started, a number of pundits across the political spectrum loved to note that many Americans couldn't find Iraq on a map. These days, it would appear to be the US commerical broadcast industry and the beggars of 'independent' media who need to study a map.
But, hey, an anniversary? What's that? Stock footage, a chance for anchors to act knowing and pompous? Cheap and feeds into the anchors vanity. How could it miss?
Well it missed the viewers. You could have watched NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Monday evening or ABC World News with Diane Sawyer or CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley or all three and you never would have seen Iraq. You might hear "Iraq" because a service member in Afghanistan had allegedly shot dead civilians and, before he was in Afghanistan, he served in Iraq. But to actually get a story on Iraq?
Well there must have been major stories, right? Major breaking news that prevented any coverage of Iraq.
Brian Williams yammered on about Brian Lamb. (Half of America just asked, "Who?") Williams told audiences Lame would be leaving CSPAN and "as the founder of CSPAN, Brian Lamb changed television." Yeah, he was kind of the Lucille Ball of public affairs programming. (That was sarcasm.) And Lamb was "stepping down as CEO after running the place for 33 years."
And of course there was Kate Middleton . . . and what she wore. Who? She's married to a British prince and -- get this -- she gave a speech -- a three minute speech.
"It has been extremely rare that we've heard Kate's voice at all!" gushed a beaming NBC correspondent enthusing from London. NBC, ABC and CBS, they were all concerned with Kate and what she wore. For this 'big' speech, she wore a dress that was her mother's. CBS explained she was speaking at the hospice she was named patron of and played her 'speaking' in front of people, "You have all made me feel so welcome."
Damn, that is news. How will we be able to make the rent now? And think about what that means -- what "You have all made me feel so welcome" -- means for global warming.
It was news, we were told, because it's so "extremely rare" that we hear Middleton. Though not "extremely rare," Diane Sawyer assured us that it was rare, the news she was bringing us, from England. It was "a rare sighting" of "the living legend" Margaret Thatcher. A lot of time was wasted on the elderly woman visiting a public park where she spoke to no one but did pet a dog.
Besides, if Iraq had been included in the day's line up, Diane Sawyer might not be able to provide a historial 'report.'
"And something big happened fifty years ago today," Diane declared all hushed and breathless with photos of Bob Dylan flashing behind her, "a 20-year-old released his first album. Do you remember the album? If you don't remember it, you're forgiven."
You know who's not forgiven? The broadcast network news. They are an embarrassment. No where was that more obvious than with the news program Nightline. March 19, 2003, the full show was devoted to the start of the Iraq War -- and the program expanded beyond 30 minutes, giving 56 minutes on Iraq. And Monday night? The bulk of the 17 minute broadcast was devote to a story on orgasms which left five minutes for a Las Vegas gun shooting range and 5 minutes for Ashley Judd discussing her new ABC TV series Missing.
Nine years ago, they couldn't stop pimping the war. Last Monday, they acted as if it never happened -- not just their cheer leading the war but even the war itself.
The back of the package proclaims:
LOAD IT UP!
Hey, you. Yes, you. Lover of anything piled high with bacon, melted cheese, and sour cream. Seeker of the most outrageous loaded potato skin, your dream of legendary flavor is now a reality. Mouth -- meet RUFFLES Loaded Bacon and Cheddar Potato Skins flavored chips. Now that your mouth is full, it's time to find a way to hide these awesome chips from your freeloading roommate. Hide them under the bills -- he'll never look there.
Maybe he -- or she -- will, maybe not.
But will you eat the things?
We bought a lunch bag size, 2 and 7/8 ounces. And one of us found it so disgusting she (Dona) tossed it half-way in. The rest of us continued eating in a "Is it really this bad? It can't be this bad. Maybe the next bite will be better?" kind of way.
It never got better
Cheddar and bacon would probably be a good flavor. But this isn't working. The chives have a more pronounced taste than the bacon and the cheddar's beat out by the sour cream. But topping everything is the taste and small of uncooked potatoes.
These chips seem a little thicker than the rest and maybe that's resulted in them being less well cooked? Or maybe this was a marketing or cooking decision? Regardless, it's not a pleasant taste.
We were asked by a few readers if we could start noting the calories on things we ran through the test kitchen. The 2 and 7/8 ounces bag, if every chip is eaten by one person, will result in an addition of 480 calories. Another reason to consider buying something else to snack on.
A number of readers and Common Ills community members in the Dallas area have e-mailed regarding KXT. It probably didn't help that the station did a fundraiser recently. That appears to have driven home how sexist the station is.
KXT is one of Dallas' two public radio stations. (There may be other community radio stations that are public radio and play a few hours each day. KXT and KERA both are 24 hour stations.) KXT plays music. That's all they do.
Except ask you for money.
And strangely, they appear to think they deserve your money. A few of their programs are syndicated ones. (No surprise, they carry the very sexist Undercurrents which we wrote about last January.) Their local ones are what we focused on after the seventh Dallas-ite e-mailed us the first week of February (many more e-mails followed in later weeks).
We sampled the programs. That means, for example, Gini Mascorro's Monday through Saturday four hour daily program is something we caught in full twice a week*. The same with Mark Abuzzahab's five hour daily Monday through Saturday program, Joe Kozera's four hour daily Monday through Sunday program, Allen Roberts' two hour daily Monday through Saturday program and his four hour Sunday program and the dreadful two hour program by Paul Slavens.
You might already notice that women in Dallas are only represented on air by Gini Mascorro. They're not represented any better when it comes to songs played.
Sadly, Gini Mascorro isn't carrying the banner of equality when she's on air. She basically plays two women an hour -- and remember, this is commercial free radio. And if that strikes you as bad, it does us, meet Allen Roberts who often enjoys playing a woman every hour or sometimes one woman every two hours. Women fair best when Joe Kozera's anchoring the hours -- they can often be played as many as three times an hour. It's a shame they don't fair better under Mark Abuzzahab -- twice an hour is his average -- because he is KXT's program director.
At their website, they have a little faux Platonic dialogue going on, asking why anyone should donate money to KXT and then answering, "KXT 91.7 is listener-supported public radio. 100% of the station’s financial support comes from listeners and businesses who pledge their support and make a tax-free donation to keep the station on the air. Make your contribution today to support the musical diversity and discovery that KXT 91.7 provides every day."
Musical diversity? There's no diversity in the solo artists or front men they play -- mainly men. And we question the notion of diversity as much as we do their claim (see illustration at the top) that donating to KXT is a way to "SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MUSIC." Bruce Springsteen's new album and his back catalogue are heavily featured on KXT and he's not an independent artist. He's a big money maker for the Sony corporation. Other staples of the station's programming -- Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, U2, Coldplay and Adele -- aren't exactly selling CDs out of a trailer they pull from show to show behind their Chevy Aveo.
We mentioned creepy Paul Slavens earlier. He deserves special notice for claiming on air to be playing requested songs. No, he's playing the requested songs he likes. He ignores the rest. Especially true if you're suggesting a woman be played. Slavens doesn't like the ladies. And seems to take it as a point of pride that he's never played Carly Simon on KXT (he's been heard on KXT since November 2009). He'll play the Monkees, he'll play Porter Wagoner, he just won't play Carly. He doesn't play many women. It's not uncommon to hear one each hour or just one for both hours. Again, this is commercial free radio. They should have plenty of airtime.
As 1999 was winding down, Elysa Gardner (Billboard, December 18, 1999) would speak with radio consultant Dennis Constantine who explained "that as recently as the mid-90s, radio programmers would generally aim not to play two songs by female artists consecutively" and how, "Of course, they never had the same rule for men. Only in the past few years has that barried broken down, so that now you hear women back to back on radio stations. I think a lot of that has to do with Lilith [Fair]." That was commercial radio. And the problem there wasn't one woman an hour, but dee jays afraid of playing two women in a row. And Constantine and Billboard were thrilled that fear had been put to rest.
Except, over a decade later, KXT wants to bring it back and then some. Their playlist isn't just pre-Lillith Fair, it's pre-1960s. That should cause them embarrassment and shame but instead they think they've earned the right to your money. It's 2012 and there's no excuse for the programming KXT has been offering.
In honor of Women's History Month (and to wipe the stench of KXT off your bodies), you can check out WOS Radio (Women of Substance Radio) which broadcasts online and explains, "We broadcast 24/7 on the Live365 Network and iTunes Radio garnering fans from all over the world. WOSRadio plays the BEST female artists, both label and Indie, in all genres. We hand-pick all of our music starting with icons of the past like Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Tracy Chapman, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Michelle Branch, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Adele, Carrie Underwood, Amy Winehouse, Feist, Christina Perri and so many more." And you can check out Girls Rock Radio (you can also stream it here if you have plug-in problems).
* We frequently listened to recordings that a friend made for us and that allowed us to speed through a four or five hour show.
One e-mail insisted, "If only Phil Donahue had been on MSNBC but they gave him the axe because they didn't want any anti-war voices or any questioning of the war, so before they started selling their longed for war, they had to purify the airwaves and leave only pro-war voices. We are so lucky to have MSNBC. " The other maintained, "While people in this country and around the world demonstrated against the planned war, not one network would give them even 10 seconds of airtime. We were never allowed to hear from the American people."
In reply to the second e-mail, Janeane Garofalo and others were on Fox News where they were generally ridiculed and shouted out but where they did make the case against war. In addition, in the weeks before the start of the Iraq War, Katie Couric hosted a town hall on NBC's Today Show which was a variety of US citizens (no officials, no celebrities) sharing their opinions on the impending war. Should there have been more? There damn sure should have been. And there probably are a few more TX examples that can be tossed out (including one we'll be sharing at length in a moment) but let's not rewrite history.
In reply to the first e-mail, MSNBC? You mean the prime time gas bags? They've opposed what wars since Barack Obama was sworn in as US president? Phil Donahue was not the only voice of caution. Let's drop back to a program taped September 6, 2002:
MS. CLIFT: No. You know, containment -- containment worked for half a century.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear from Tony quickly. Tony's going to be shut out here. (Laughter.)
MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.) I don't think so.
MR. BLANKLEY: Look, it doesn't matter how much else he's got on the plate. You can have a full plate, but if you got a guy with a machine gun at the dinner table, you got to deal with that first.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but there are different ways to deal than military ways.
That's Eleanor Clift arguing against a planned Iraq War with Tony Blankley with moderator John McLaughlin on The McLaughlin Group which airs across the country on many PBS stations (and some CBS stations). It's a weekly show where the panelists (journalists) and McLaughlin run through a series of topics quickly and at loud volume.
The Iraq War started March 19, 2003. The roll out started sooner. In fact, the Bush administration was trying to tie Iraq to 9-11 and September 11, 2001. But the roll out proper began in September 2002. As William Schneider (CNN) observed on September 12, 2002, "Why did the Administration wait until September to make its case against Iraq? White House chief of staff Andrew Card told The New York Times last week, 'From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August'."
Let's go to the September 13, 2002 taping of the McLaughlin Group where they are discussing George the Bully Boy Bush's presentation to the United Nations and whether he made the case for war.
MS. CLIFT: Well, curiously, the president never made any mention of arms inspectors, which is what this whole argument is about, getting arms inspectors into Iraq. I think a lot of this flowery language about human rights, he set criteria in his ultimatum that we don't even expect of our allies in the region. So I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can the U.S. live without that --
MS. CLIFT: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN -- stopping internal repression provision?
MS. CLIFT: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What else can the U.S. live without, among the five?
MS. CLIFT: Well, I think he would put -- you could put in ceasing terrorism. But, you know, these are words. This is not the core of the argument. The core of the argument is getting the arms inspectors in there. And while the president put out a powerful indictment against Saddam Hussein and the U.N. for not following through on the resolutions, there was nothing new in his bill of particulars about what Saddam Hussein has done. He has not made the case for the urgency of military intervention.
And unlike some of the revisionary history that's followed from the mouths of politicians, Clift wasn't afraid to say there was no case for war or, for that matter, that Democrats knew that but feared the political fallout (mid-terms would take place in November 2002) if they stood against the proposed war. From the September 20, 2002 taping:
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: "The newly bellicose mood on Capitol Hill materialized almost overnight. Last week Democrats wanted the Security Council to act first and were calling for measured consideration of the political and military issues involved in going to war. The haste is unfortunate, all the more so because it is clearly motivated by campaign politics. Republicans are already running attack ads against Democrats on Iraq. Democrats favor fast approval of a resolution so they can change the subject to domestic economic problems. "Congress has a solemn obligation in our constitutional system to weigh issues of war and peace, and to do so as free from partisanship as possible." Do you want to comment on that?
Mr. : John, I --
MS. CLIFT: The Republicans are using the war like a giant wedge issue, and the Democrats are sacred to death, and they're going to get more cowardly the closer --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We have infomericals, if you want to see them.
MS. CLIFT: If this was a secret vote on passing a war resolution, it would fail. You'd have -- the public position of members of Congress --
MR. BLANKLEY: You don't know that! You don't know that!
MS. CLIFT: The private comments --
MR. BLANKLEY: You don't know that!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Eleanor finish! Let Eleanor finish! (Cross talk.)
MS. CLIFT: I have not. The private comments of leading Democrats and thoughtful Republicans on the Hill are not for a preemptive strike. They're scared of the politics. (Cross talk.)
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me respond to that for one second. Because if these politicians that you're talking to are telling you that in the national interest they ought to vote no, but are going to vote yes, then you ought to reveal their names so we can find out what kind of scoundrels they are.
MS. CLIFT: They have serious questions about the war, but politically --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, hold on. We got to get back -- we got to get back to Mort here.
MS. CLIFT: He doesn't just get to yell at me, and he gets to yell at me too.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I understand. No, no. I would never do that. But let me just say this --
MS. CLIFT: I think that's what you're doing, sir. It's called hectoring. (Laughs.)
As you may have noticed in the above, Clift didn't say her peace and the panel applaud. She's described the show publicly as "a political food fight." And that's really all most of the public affairs shows are in one form or another. But if you're going to speak out against a war a White House wants, you better be strong and willing to push back.
And Clift was. She'd demand her right to speak and sometimes win.
To finish out the month, this is from the program taped September 27, 2002:
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: "Liaison Dangereux"?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.) (In progress) -- distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror. I can't distinguish between the two, because they're both equally as bad and equally as evil and equally as destructive.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The war on terrorism got a whole lot bigger this week. All of a sudden, Iraq and al Qaeda, if you believe the president and his Defense secretary, are joined at the hip. They are one and the same. On Wednesday, in Warsaw for a NATO meeting, Donald Rumsfeld was asked whether there was a link between Iraq and al Qaeda, and what exactly that link was.
DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD RUMSFELD: (From videotape.) I have no desire to go beyond saying the answer is yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where's the evidence? Unstated. On Thursday at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld said he had intelligence of senior al Qaeda members operating in Baghdad, and that Iraq and al Qaeda have ties that stretch back for 10 years. Could the Secretary identify who the al Qaeda members in Baghdad are?
DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD RUMSFELD: (From videotape.) I could, but I won't.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Leading Democrats who have been briefed with classified information said they were surprised to hear this.
SENATOR TOM DASCHLE (D-SD): (From videotape.) Well, it is a reversal of information the administration shared with us earlier this year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: British intelligence this week also stated that it had no evidence of an al Qaeda Saddam or Iraq connection. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld allowed that the reliability of the data was far from satisfying.
DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD RUMSFELD: (From videotape.) It's based on a lot of different types of sources of varying degrees of reliability.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Pentagon press corps has grown extremely skeptical -- reinforced, doubtless, by history. In September of 1990, when George H.W. Bush was still drumming up support for his incursion into Iraq, his Pentagon officials cited top-secret satellite images of what they said were 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks massed on the Saudi-Iraqi border about to roll into our key U.S. oil supplier's territory, Saudi Arabia. But commercial satellite photos of the same area taken at the same time show no Iraqi troops at all, just an empty desert. Question: Why are we only hearing now about the Iraq/Al Qaeda link? Eleanor Clift?
MS. CLIFT: Well, they trotted out some of these arguments early on, claiming that there was an Iraqi representative that met with an al Qaeda representative in Prague, but they were never able to substantiate that. This is weak evidence. It weakens their case. It looks like a desperation move. It's opportunistic. I can't come up with enough negative adjectives.
MR. BLANKLEY: Try! (Chuckles.)
MS. CLIFT: And the point is, the point is, if you're worried about Saddam using connections with terrorist groups, you're more likely to provoke him to do that than to prevent it with all this talk about --
MR. BARONE: Oh, he wouldn't do anything bad, except if we get into it. Please!
MS. CLIFT: If he's cornered, he might use it. But he has no cultural (affinity ?) with al Qaeda. They're a --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think --
MS. CLIFT: They're a bunch of --
MR. BARONE: So it would only be the result of the "evil United States." Please!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: James?
MS. CLIFT: They're a bunch of religious fanatics, and he's a hedonist, if anything.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: James?
MR. BARONE: Eleanor, if you read Michael Ledeen's book, "The Terror Masters," you will find that the secular and the religious terrorists and the terror masters work together all the time.
MS. CLIFT: No evidence.
MR. BARONE: You ought to take a look at the book. There is a great deal of evidence.
MS. CLIFT: No evidence!
No evidence she insisted. And she was correct. Then and now.
And what strikes us as important to notice beyond that is that Eleanor Clift doesn't get any credit for that. In fact, we've named three women in this piece that rarely get credit. Katie Couric hosted a townhall on live TV (NBC) where citizens got to weigh in -- include object -- to the impending war. Janeane Garofalo, more than anyone else in 2002 and 2003, went on Fox and any other program -- radio or TV -- that would let her discuss the planned war. And PBS viewers saw Eleanor Clift calling it out repeatedly.
Strange, isn't it, when you read lists --usually by men at The Nation magazine -- of 'people' who were right about the Iraq War, the lists are nothing but a list of men. Strange, isn't it?
1) The Geneva Conventions and international law hold that pre-emptive war
is . . .
a) peachy keen when the United States wants to launch it.
b) a last resort.
c) something to do when your poll numbers are dropping.
d) the sort of war crime that leads to Nuremberg.
2) The United States prevented direct elections in Iraq for over a year . . .
a) to preserve democracy there.
b) because people of Iraq were not ready to have elections.
c) because a CIA report to the White House indicated that it would be a Shi'ite sweep.
d) to see how mad the people would get.
3) The best statement of the "We will fight them there" theory is . . .
a) We have to invade Iraq to protect Israel.
b) We have to invade Iraq to protect the United States.
c) We have to invade Iraq to protect Afghanistan.
d) We have to invade Iraq to protect Big Oil.
e) All of the above.
4) The opposing sides in Iraq are . . .
a) the forces of good and the forces of evil.
b) Dick Cheney and Janeane Garofalo.
c) the military industrial complex and the people of Iraq.
d) American Idol and apple pie versus crazed terrorists.
5) Saddam Hussein let UN inspectors into Iraq before the illegal war began because . . .
a) he thought it would demonstrate that Iraq had no WMDs.
b) he thought it would boost the tourism economy.
c) he wanted to mislead Iraqis into thinking he was pro-UN.
d) he was lonely.
6) White phosphorus is used in Iraq for . . .
a) the fun of it!
b) burning people and houses.
c) as a flashlight substitute.
d) for the cool fireworks!
7) Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, said that one of his favorite authors
was . . .
a) Millie, the former White House pooch.
b) Lynn Cheney for her lesbian bodice ripper Sisters.
c) Ann Coulter for her comic zingers.
d) Noam Chomsky.
8) The 'insurgents' are . . .
a) Iranians who fight against the US.
b) Syrians who fight against the US.
c) al Qaeda who fight against the US.
d) Iraqis who are sick of foreign military occupying their country.
9) The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq have called for . . .
a) Jack Bauer pillow cases.
b) a kegger at the White House.
c) bikini shots of Barbara Bush the elder.
d) US forces to leave Iraq.
10) The Iraq war . . .
a) is helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
b) is good for big business.
c) is an expensive project.
d) still sounds like a good idea!
11) The Iraq war has lasted longer than . . .
a) The first Gulf War.
b) US involvement in WWII.
c) a Grey's Anatomy marathon.
d) expected but, hold on to your seats, it's really just beginning!
12) The Iraq war was declared by Congress . . .
a) in March of 2003.
b) in March of 2004.
c) in March of 2005.
13) Bully Boy announced his planned escalation after the November 2006 elections because:
a) He wanted to protect the American people from premature protest.
b) He wanted to surprise the American people.
c) He forgot until the last minute.
d) Dick Cheney hadn't told him about it yet.
14) Three US soldiers viewed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl as . . .
a) a hot piece.
b) someone to be tortured.
c) a girl wanting to go wild.
15) The United States is . . .
a) winning quickly in Iraq.
b) winning slowly but surely in Iraq.
c) not trying in Iraq.
d) learning again the cost of an illegal war of choice.
TRUE OR FALSE
16) Operation Iraq Liberation, the original title for the Iraq war, by the merest coincidence, happened to spell out OIL.
17) Many major oil companies from the US helped Dick Cheney plan the division of Iraq oil before the illegal war began.
18) Laura Bush stated on the Today Show that she and her husband, Bully Boy, suffer for the Iraq war because . . .
a) no one in polite society likes a war criminal.
b) extradition treaties mean that their future travel will be severely limited.
c) the various chemical weapons being used in Iraq were first tested on the First Family.
d) she thought it would make them appear concerned.
19) Brave voices from the "sixties" who remain silent on the current illegal war know that their silence kills. Argue the pros or cons of their disgusting position.
20) In the briefest possible essay, compare and contrast the US invasion of Iraq with the following:
a) The US invasion of Vietnam (1956 or 1961).
b) The US invasion of Cambodia (1970).
c) The US invasion of Cuba (1961).
d) The US invasion of the Dominican Republic (1965).
e) The US invasion of Afghanistan (2001).
f) The US invasion of Nicaragua (1927).
g) The US invasion of Guatemala (1954).
h) The US invasion of the US (2001).
[Note: A strong nod to Nola Express. This is based on their "Vietnam Quiz" -- and then some.]
Like Gwen, we'll also probably focus more on Olympia Snowe (we have no huge quarrels with Bingham and believe he will be missed in the Senate). Which means that, among other things, unlike Gwen, we won't be cutting Bingham off mid-sentence. We should talk about terms before we go further -- not that Gwen bothered to. Joe Lieberman was frequently called a DINO. Since losing the Democratic Party primary in 2006 and winning election to the Senate later that year as an independent, that's not really a term used for him these days. But a DINO was a Democrat In Name Only. These were people that the party's base felt were not representing the Democratic Party's core beliefs. On the other side of the aisle, you have RINOs. As you can probably surmise, Republicans In Name Only. While Jeff Bingham was never described as a DINO during his time in office, Snowe has been repeatedly described that way. There is a feeling among many Republicans that she does not vote and put forward the Republican Party's core beliefs. This isn't something that just surfaced -- though the latest wave of it is said to be part of the reason she's decided not to seek re-election -- but has been a criticism of her throughout her time in office.
You may get now why we're focusing on Olympia Snowe. And you may wonder why -- other than that both have decided not to run -- Gwen would interview them together? There are Democrats who are considered DINOs, there are Democrats who are considered "moderates," and it certainly would have made more sense to have paired Snowe up with her mirror image from across the aisle.
The premise of the piece was that there used to be moderation and now it's gone and it's so awful and how will we ever get along now and civility and other nonsense.
It was really cute to watch Olympia, of all people, offer an ahistorical view. At one point, discussing this 'new' mood, she would allow, "And I think the frustration that exists across this country is a legitimate one, from the standpoint whether it's Occupy Wall Street or Tea Party, is that we have failed to address the key questions at this consequential moment in the life of America."
There's something a little sad and desperate about seeing Olympia Snowe, of all people, go on and on about the greater good of compromise and this 'new' environment where it's disappearing.
It was as stomach churning as hearing her talk about what's good for the country. Snowe's fabled independence has a lot to do with the fact that she represents Maine, a state whose citizens truly are independent and expect the same from their politicians.
Since 2011, they've had a Republican governor, before that they had a Democrat. Before that?
Angus S. King -- an independent who served from 1995 to 2003. And King? According to Public Policy Polling earlier this month, if he got into the race for Snowe's Senate seat and the elections were to take place this month, he would defeat everyone including current front-runner US House Rep. Chellie Pingree (Democrat). And then there's the state's Green Party which notes, "We take pride as the Maine Green Independent Party is the oldest state Green party in the United States. It was founded in January 1984 in Augusta, Maine, six months before the establishment of the National Green Party. The Maine Green Independent Party achieved ballot status on December 21, 1998, after having received 6.6% of the vote in the 1998 gubernatorial election. Today Maine has the highest percentage of registered Greens in the US." And, as Michael Barone (Washington Examiner) pointed out this month, "Maine voted 30% for Ross Perot in 1992, his highest percentage in any state, and he actually beat Maine summer resident George Bush by 316 votes. In 1996 Maine again gave Perot his highest percentage, 14%."
Let's stay with presidential elections for a minute. Olympia Snowe has represented in the US Senate since being elected in 1994 and Republican Susan Collins, Maine's other US Senator, was first elected in 1996. That same 1996 election in which they sent Collins to the Senate? The state voted for Bill Clinton. In 2000, their presidential choice was Al Gore, in 2004 it was John Kerry and in 2008 it was Barack Obama.
What we're pointing out is something Bob Somerby (Daily Howler) has long noted when looking at moderates or presumed moderates or Democrats that aren't voting the way the national party might want: Look at the home state.
Mainly though, as we watched, we were left thinking, "Look at the sorry state of journalism."
If your premise is that compromise is so wonderful -- that's when Gwen sold and Snowe said she practiced -- then surely there are examples to be shared.
But, strange, no one thought to ask for them (Gwen) and no one thought to supply them (Olympia).
One of Olympia Snowe's most important votes was in October of 2002, the Authorization For Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. 77 US Senators voted for it, 23 voted against. Where was Snowe? The Great Compromiser voted for war on Iraq. (The House vote was 297 for; 133 against; 3 abstaining.) That was one of the most important votes of the last ten years and Snowe didn't stand. (As the war progressed, she'd quickly become one of the war's biggest critics from the Republican side of the Senate.)
She was wrong on the PATRIOT Act as well. On what issues has The Great Compromiser been right?
That was left unexplored as well.
As was where it has taken us. Olympia Snowe has been a rare thing: A compromiser from the right. Which is not to say she went to the left but that she went center. And, since the early 1970s, the center in Congress has repeatedly shifted to the right, to the right, to the right. To the point that it's no longer a compromise between the left and the right but between the center and the right.
Snowe's correct that everyone has to give a little for deals to be made; however, she's incorrect to imply, infer or state that everyone does. The Republicans have consistently dug their heels in on issues. And we're not slamming them for that. Good for them for sticking up for what they believe in. But the Democrats have repeatedly caved. Whether it's the spineless Harry Reid 'leading' in the Senate or the embarrassing Nancy Pelosi, representing California's eighth district (much of San Francisco) and unwilling to push for marriage equality.
Snowe feels out of step with her own party. No wonder. In practice, what she apes and imitates is the worst behavior of the Democrats. And she may think it made her look reasoned and thoughtful, but a reasoned and thoughtful person wouldn't have vote to go to war with Iraq in 2002 or for the PATRIOT Act or for half the nonsense she supported.
Jane Arraf: The Al Rahman Institute, named after her son, has since grown into six centers around the country -- all without Iraqi government funding. The latest just opened in Baghdad. Iraq's education ministry doesn't have any programs for autistic children. It considers them slow learners. Here in the middle of Baghdad, this is a safe place for children, a refuge. But there are only a few dozen children who have been lucky enough to come here and hundreds on the waiting list. Autism is so widely misunderstood here that a lot of children like this spend their entire lives locked up at home. Mariam has been here for a year. She's five-and-a-half but, before she came, she couldn't say "Mama" or ask for water. Her father says her progress is basic. But having somewhere to bring her during the day is a lifesaver.
Nizer Mustapha Hussein:She's a very active child and she plays with everything. Thank God, we found this place. Her mother can't cope with her at home because she can't control her.
Jane Arraf: The children have varying degrees of autism, a lot have other neurolgical or developmental problems as well. Autistic children have trouble communicating or interacting with others. At school, they teach them basic skills. Their biggest problem is lack of qualified staff. Dealing with autistic children takes training and dedication and the determination to find a place for children who don't easily fit in the world around them.
In real time, Ava and C.I. critiqued the coverage "TV: The endless non-news" and "TV: More sexism, more self-promotion." Will 2012 again find the 'experts' PBS offers the country to all be male? Will Ava and C.I. remain the only ones who called out that 2008 coverage?
We're not letting this issue go and when the convention coverage rolls around, we'll be paying attention to not only PBS's coverage but also who bothers to hold them accountable if they're again refusing to allow women to speak while allowing the boys to yammer away about them. From Ava and C.I.'s critique of the RNC coverage:
That point was driven home best on Thursday when the boys decided to again explore women. It was interesting to see so many speaking about women and notice that not one person speaking was, in fact, a woman. You had the three male 'historians' (will get back to them), you had Jim Lehrer, David Brooks and Mark Shields as 'analysts' and you had a man from PEW research plus Ray Suarez. Eight voices discussing women -- eight voices and all of the male. Don't count on the increasingly inept watchdogs to call it out. They didn't do a damn thing when women were sidelined by PBS in Denver and they're not going to do a damn thing now.
Women warriors in labor history
Following is an edited selection from a talk by Martha Grevatt, a long-time autoworker and union militant, given March 17 in Detroit at a Workers World Party commemoration of International Working Women’s Day.
The struggle for the eight-hour workday culminated in a day of action on May 1, 1886, called by the American Federation of Labor. About a quarter of a million took part in many cities, but Chicago, with its militant left-wing labor movement, had the largest demonstration. There, tens of thousands laid down their tools, and women and men poured into the streets. The demonstrations continued past May 1, and on May 3 police attacked and six workers were killed.
The next day a protest over the killings was held in Haymarket Square. A bomb was thrown, a policeman was killed, and a struggle broke out that left seven police and four workers dead. Eight workers’ leaders were convicted of murder, five of them sentenced to death. Four were hanged and one reportedly committed suicide. The other three were eventually pardoned.
Women in Chicago were active in all the labor federations that supported the call for the May Day demonstration. Lucy Parsons, Lizzie Holmes and Sarah Ames were leaders of women dressmakers who joined the walkout. Their organization, the International Working Peoples Association, had “equality of rights without distinction to sex or race” in its platform.
Lucy Parsons, a woman of African-American, Mexican and Native descent, became a widow when her spouse, Albert Parsons, was executed for the trumped-up murder charges that arose from the Haymarket struggle. The Parsons had moved to Chicago in 1873 where they were both steeped in the labor movement. They had two children. They were both tireless activists.
In the months leading up to Albert’s martyrdom on Nov. 11, 1887, and continuing until the pardon of the other three defendants, Lucy campaigned around their innocence. She was arrested on numerous occasions, including when she tried to break through the police line to see Albert in his final hours.
In 1905, Parsons was one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World. By then she was well established as a powerful orator. The Chicago police had labeled her “more dangerous than 1,000 rioters.”
Parsons roused the crowds at the first IWW convention. There she expounded on a new, unconventional strike tactic — a stay-in strike that later became known as the sit-down. “My conception of the strike of the future is not to strike and go out and starve, but to strike and remain in and take possession of the necessary property of production,” Parsons argued. Six years later the IWW waged the first stay-in, “folded-arms” strike at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, N.Y. – and won.
Parsons spoke out against lynchings and fought frameups — including those of Sacco and Vanzetti, Tom Mooney and the Scottsboro Nine — her whole long life. She died in a house fire in 1942 at 89.
Fighting to end child labor
Another woman engaged in the historic Haymarket struggle was the Dublin-born Mary Harris Jones — the famous Mother Jones. She was born in the 1830s and moved with her family to Canada as a teenager, later moving to Monroe, Mich., and Chicago.
After her marriage in 1861 to the leader of the National Union of Molders, George Jones, she was introduced to what would be a lifelong career — labor activist. After George and their four children died during a yellow fever epidemic 10 years later, Jones moved back to Chicago where she too worked as a dressmaker. She was very involved with the more conservative Knights of Labor, which nevertheless took part in the May 1 coalition in Chicago.
The Knights were already declining as workers looked to more militant groups at that time like the AFL and the International Working People’s Association, a precursor of the IWW. As the Knights declined, Jones became entrenched in the fight of the mineworkers, from West Virginia to Colorado, for a decent wage and better working conditions.
Around this time, as she approached the age of 60, she took on the persona of “Mother Jones.” John D. Rockefeller tagged her “the most dangerous woman in America.” One of her passions was the struggle to end child labor. In 1903, she organized a march of children from Philadelphia to the Long Island, N.Y., home of President Theodore Roosevelt to dramatize the plight of children working in the mines and textile mills.
In 1905, Jones, like Parsons, was one of 12 women delegates to the founding convention of the IWW. Also a fiery orator, she had earlier roused the miners to do battle with the owners. She died in 1930 reportedly at 93, although she claimed to be 100. Still a legend, her legacy inspired women miners and family members during the 1989 Pittston coal strike to form “Daughters of Mother Jones.”
Lucy Parsons and Mother Jones were not the only women leaders in the IWW. Although we most often associate the group with men like Joe Hill, there were many women leaders. They didn’t always get the support they wanted from the male leadership, but they managed to organize many women and girls.
For example, Jane Street organized a union hiring hall in Denver for super-exploited domestic workers. The women acted collectively to keep wages from falling below a set rate by, one after another, answering want ads but refusing to work for less than that rate.
These leaders were all women who embraced the words of the preamble to the IWW’s constitution: “It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism.”
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
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Key excerpt of Sen. Murray's remarks:
"Secretary McHugh, as you and I have discussed, Joint Base Lewis McChord in my home state is facing some very real questions on the way they have diagnosed PTSD and the invisible wounds of war. And today, unfortunately, we are seeing more information on the extent of those problems.
"Mr. Secretary, this is a copy of today's Seattle Times. In it is an article based on the most recent review of the Forensice Psychiatry Department at JBLM which -- as you know -- is under investigation for taking the cost of mental health care into account in their decisions.
"And what it shows is that since that unit was stood up in 2007 over 40% of those service members who walked int he door with a PTSD diagnosis had their diagnosis changed to something else or overturned entirely.
"What is says is that over 4 in 10 of our service members -- many who were already being treated for PTSD -- and were due the benefits and care that comes with that diagnoses -- had it taken away by this unit. And that they were then sent back into the force or the local community.
"Now, in light of all the tragedies we have seen that stem from the untreated, invisible wounds of war -- I'm sure that you would agree that this is very concerning.
"Not only is it damaging for these soldiers, but it also furthers the stigma for others that are deciding whether to seek help for behavioral problems."
Deputy Press Secretary | Social Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Individual makes numerous false claims and they are landing everywhere; this article offers clarity about our reports.
Not an actual image of Roger Helbig
Special thanks: midnightwriters.blogspot.com
(SALEM) - It has come to our attention that an individual by the name of Roger Helbig, has been going to great effort to damage our reputation over Salem-News.com reports referencing the possible use of illegal weapons-grade nuclear arms in both Fallujah, Iraq and Gaza, Palestine.
First, the two reports are reviews of investigations conducted by a respected, if somewhat controversial British scientist named Christopher Busby. Those of us in the world of journalism who report the findings of groundbreaking professionals like Dr. Busby, can be equally controversial, but that does not mean we are inaccurate, nor does it open us up to being fodder for vicious attacks, with ridiculous and damaging claims that are patently untrue. The sad truth and the bottom line, is that reports of this nature are harmful only to political and business interests that are involved in military activity that is illegal under international law.
These are the two reports:
There are good reasons for being curious over the well established possibility that some type of illegal, undisclosed nuclear device was used in Fallujah, Iraq. The rate of birth defects has literally skyrocketed since the U.S. operation there in 2003, and that in itself is a tragic, long story that I am personally connected to. There are established international laws and specific treaties that regulate the use of nuclear devices. If these laws and regulations were violated, it is up to the media to bring it forward. Nobody else is going to do it.
My Documentation of Congenital Heart Defects Near Fallujah
For me, the story about this problem begins when I was embedded as a reporter at the al Asad Marine air base in Iraq in the summer of 2008. I had the rare chance to shoot and produce a report about a U.S. Navy doctor who was working with Israeli, U.S. and Jordanian officials, to transport Iraqi kids out of the country, for badly-needed surgeries to repair congenital heart defects, in order to survive, literally.
I don't know for sure that these beautiful little kids lucky enough to have the attention of this incredible Navy Corpsman Doctor attached to the U.S. Marines, were victims of this bizarre radiation contamination that has been documented by Dr. Busby in Fallujah, but it seems distinctly possible as Fallujah and al Asad are less than an hour's drive apart, both in al Anbar province, and all three of the families I worked with had to travel to get to al Asad, they did not live in the local area.
Regardless of whether these kids are from Fallujah, which again I suspect they are, I have included this video because it documents the congenital heart defects that are affecting the children born in Iraq since 2003. This report, Marine Corps, Jordan and Israel Offer Hope for Iraqi Child Heart Patients, was filed on 21 September 2008, five years after the birth defects began surfacing, the age of the kids in this report corresponds with that timeframe.
First Fallujah Report
Though I covered this story in 2008, I would not understand for more than two years, how it all potentially tied together. We first explored the actual issue of birth defects and heart problems in Fallujah kids, in January 2011, after Salem-News.com was contacted by a group of doctors from both Fallujah, and Genoa, Italy, who evaluated the birth defect increase and several other criteria. The article, Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq, truly opened our eyes to the notion that something was specifically different in Fallujah.
The article begins by stating...
- Since 2003, congenital malformations have increased to account for 15% of all births in Fallujah, Iraq. Congenital heart defects have the highest incidence, followed by neural tube defects. Similar birth defects were reported in other populations exposed to war contaminants.
I try to imagine what it would be like to learn that 15% of all newborns at my local hospital were being born with defects and deformations, and I really can't. People would be up in arms. In Iraq of course, many do not survive, all are certainly not even documented. The extensive review of this problem, authored by several doctors who are listed with the article, ends by stating:
- We conclude that the high prevalence of birth defects in Fallujah is impairing the population’s health and its capacity to care for the surviving children. These defects could be due to environmental contaminants which are known components of modern weaponry. Investigations of metal contaminants, and elucidation of the types and body burden of metals, combined with simultaneous registry of the population’s reproductive history, will allow the identification of families at high risk and will facilitate therapeutic measures to remediate the damages.
Before dismissing the possibility that an undisclosed nuclear device was used in Iraq, consider that a serious problem already exists with the controversial use of rounds with depleted uranium (DU), which is only one step down from a nuclear bomb as the rounds are radioactive.
There is little doubt; whether it is intentional or not, that both Iraq and Kuwait, were used as a live human testing ground for 'dirty weapons'. The image to the right is the 'Highway of Death' that many Americans likely remember columns of Iraqi troops traveling back to their country on, as planes annihilated, or perhaps exterminated them. with the DU rounds. Today soldiers and Marines passing this place in military buses have lead curtains blocking them from radiation.
On 21 March 2011, we published the article Recalling the Battle: History Repeats Itself on the 8th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq by Jeff Archer, that relays a damning first-hand account, underscoring the use of DU
weapons by the U.S. government; it has been a nightmare for Iraqi people since the 1991 U.S. war, remembered for the ensuing slaughter of defenseless, retreating Iraqi soldiers.
The sacrifice in this war came in reverse. More Americans were killed in accidents than combat in this Desert Storm, however inexplicable diseases have haunted these veterans in the years following.
- In the buildup to Desert Storm, no one seemed concerned about U.S. nuclear weapons. Many were shocked to learn that the U.S. used radioactive projectiles, made from spent uranium, against the Iraqis. When Desert Storm ended, several hundred tons of spent uranium were sitting in the desert in Kuwait and southern Iraq. Late in 1991, the British Atomic Energy Authority issued a secret report on the use of spent uranium in Desert Storm.
- According to the document, uranium was used in tens of thousands of armor-piercing rounds fired at Iraqi vehicles by U.S. aircraft and U.S. and British tanks. According to Lt. Colonel Vincent Macchi, a combat commander in Desert Storm, “Every attack aircraft in the air and on the ground carried them.”
- The Atomic Energy Authority went on to say that there was enough uranium in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq to potentially cause 500,000 deaths. It added that the sheer volume of uranium did indicate a significant problem.
With regard to the 1991 war; there was never any need for western forces to spend billions of dollars sending a massive coalition to the Middle east, only to defeat Iraqi forces, which had long been loyal to the U.S. as an ally. The forces of Osama bin Laden were in Saudi Arabia; a key ally of Kuwait, known for religious Wahhabi fundamental Islam. They had freshly returned from defeating the Soviets as part of the Mujaheddin in the Afghan Civil War between 1979 and 1989, bin Laden was incensed with his own government for not allowing his veteran fighters to take care of business. This is the beginning of the man's hatred for the U.S. Remember also, that the same Iraqi forces had just a few years earlier, attacked Iran in a bloody war covertly funded (hardly) by the U.S. government. It was revenge for the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
Baghdad Airport - 2003
Later in the article, Archer discusses a very controversial hot point in what may have been far more of a dirty war than we have been told. An army officer involved in the battle for the Baghdad Airport in 2003, says the U.S. government used a neutron bomb to kill Iraqi forces in underground tunnels. A neutron bomb kills people but its signature is small in comparison to the atom bomb or other devices. Finally, the neutron bomb does not destroy property. It contaminates the area where it is deployed, but buildings remain standing.
- In July 2006, an article written by Captain Eric May, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Army, published by the Lone Star Iconoclast, alleged that the Battle of Baghdad, which began at Saddam International Airport, was far more devastating to the U.S. forces. This was no conspiracy theorist looking for publicity. Additionally, he held knowledge that few writers about Iraq have: keen expertise in the areas of military tactics and U.S. military intelligence.
- Captain May made another allegation that was not mentioned in the mainstream press. He thought that the outnumbered U.S. military used a neutron bomb at the airport to stop the Iraqi troops.
- Captain May entered the U.S. Army in 1977 and served for 14 years. He eventually received advance intelligence education and he spent years in deciphering messages, mainly from the former Soviet Union.
I know some Americans are repulsed by the idea that their country may have committed this act, or more accurately, series of alleged acts, but if the information is true, then it is probably also true that Israel is now following suit and using the weapons on the civilian population of Gaza. If this is not cause for alarm, nothing in this world is.
Jeff Archer interviewed Captain Eric May in the same article, who said:
- The most extreme thing I picked up is that the Battle of Baghdad was started at the airport with the U.S. forces being overwhelmed. It wound up being a six-hour firefight at close quarters and my surmise is that our side was running out of ammo and somebody decided to go nuclear. That seems to be universally acknowledged by everybody on all sides, except the American.
- Evidently, what happened was the U.S. G.I.s buttoned up inside their armor, which cuts down the transmission of radiation, and some sort of nuclear devices were used at Baghdad Airport. Since then, American battle doctrine has been revised to allow commanders to do exactly the kind of things that I’m inferring from my sources that were done at Baghdad Airport. In other words, they retroactively retrofitted the doctrine.
- The nuclear threshold is a very fuzzy thing in this war anyway. We already went over using D.U. (depleted uranium). That already, arguably, makes it a nuclear war. Of course, you see why Battle of Baghdad One had to be covered up. How the hell do you go into a war where you say you’re going to remove an evil madman because he has weapons of mass destruction and you bring them with you?
If this happened in Baghdad, there is no reason to suspect it did not also happen at Fallujah. If it happened there, then it likely is being used in Israeli attacks on Palestine, as Dr. Busby's published research indicates. We are critical of Israel in many reports and frequently illustrate for our readers, the latest war crimes Israel commits against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. Of course you know what happens when media dares to criticize Israel's politics.
It isn't enough that this man Roger Helbig, on his slander and libel mission, suggests we are peddling bogus information about the illegal use of undisclosed nuclear weapons; he also goes off in a different direction with another paragraph of an email sent to God only knows how many people, suggesting we are Nazi's because we carry news from groups that stand for the battered population of Palestine.
This is part of what Helbig has sent to one of our associates: it fairly mirrors what I am hearing from others about similar contact from the same source:
Why do you have a link to this site? Are you a group of Neo Nazis? This article is completely bogus. Christopher Busby has long had connections with certain Iraqis and probably Hamas or Hezbollah as well. He has been lying about depleted uranium for years. Tim King does not care. If he is not a Neo Nazi, he certainly likes to associate with them.
First of all, I don't know who Dr. Busby or other people named in this attack, may or may not have association with. However I can tell you that Salem-News.com regularly carries reports from Ezzedeen AL-Qassam Brigades - Palestine, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, of course; that is the only possible way to learn what is taking place in Gaza as Israel continually illegally attacks that population with weapons manufactured and paid for by the U.S. government like drones and F-16's. Hamas news is far more honest than the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) press releases, which we also receive regularly and sometimes use, at least in part. It's hard sometimes because we also have reporters in Gaza, and we often can't use IDF news because we know they are not credible. We have covered a lot of news about this part of the world; thousands of stories over the years.
We never mince any words about this and we consistently work with Israeli peace groups and carry Israeli writers and articles from Ha'aretz and other Israeli media. Do we support Israeli war crimes and apartheid, 'Jewish only' roads and separate laws for Jews and non-Jews? No, we vehemently oppose these things because they are purely racist policies that Israel has maintained and increased for more than sixty years. We regularly carry reports about similar Genocidal apartheid governments like Sri Lanka, constantly in fact, and we expose ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights violations everywhere in the world. We do not apologize for our criticism of utterly immoral warlike behavior nor do we care at all what religion the various players are, or are not.
We also share material with Al Manar, which is the Hezbollah news agency out of Beirut, Lebanon, you bet; Dr. Franklin Lamb, international attorney originally from Salem, Oregon, and I both also write for Al Manar. My articles examine things from the U.S. perspective, while Franklin moves between Beirut and other key areas in the Middle east constantly filing new articles that rarely resemble the filtered western media reports on CNN and Fox, etc.
We devote a lot of time and attention to this part of the world and our material is fresh, honest and specifically does not benefit the military/industrial/complex which has pushed the earth to the edges of existence in many ways. Al Manar considers the plight of the Palestinian refugees living in miserable camps, always subject to violence from both Israel and Lebanon's Christian political arms.
And to accuse our group of being Nazi? I have to wonder if any individual who would suggest that, when we are down in the dirt racism fighters, is even stable, or of course, perhaps, working for the nuclear industry. Just today I published an article about how our writer Dr. Phil Leveque, captured 26 Nazi officers almost single-handed during WWII. One of our biggest ongoing local stories involves Civil Rights violations of African-American guards and prison inmates in the Oregon prison system.
I have news for Roger Helbig: you're going to pay for your damages, and so will anyone else who undertakes this type of attack on our honest, legitimate efforts to educate the public. You can not attack a brave news group that has every right to publish anything we want to publish, as long as it is true, by trying to undermine our business foundation, contacting our advertisers and claiming we are Nazi's. We on the other hand, see that you don't even hesitate to state outright and clearly, that you are trying to affect our livelihood; that is a serious thing to have written friend.
One agency we know of that this individual wrote to, provided Salem-News.com a distinguished journalism award last year. After this group set him straight, he sent this message to them:
- I am glad that the clubs are not Neo Nazi and am sorry I even implied that they might. Thank you, for writing. King is not possible to deal with so I am looking to hit him where it hurts in his pocketbook. I really doubt that his advertisers, etc. want to support someone who agrees with these people. Douglas Lind Rokke spoke here and the master of ceremonies David von Kleist produced Rokke's first video "Beyond Treason", King has posted articles from Bob Nichols, Rokke's mouthpiece Neo Nazi American...
This defaming individual uses and then retracts his insult, 'Nazi' - to describe people who are associated with anti-nuclear, anti-war, pro-government accountability journalists, activists, writers and film producers. 'Beyond Treason' is a film that exposes the morally bankrupt businesses like 'Monsanto' that brought Americans and Vietnamese this lasting gift called 'Agent Orange'. The same company behind genetically modified food (GMO) which is a public hazard in the opinion of a growing number of experts.
Here is the description for 'Beyond Treason':
- It reveals a history of profiteering by chemical companies such as Monsanto Company who used war as an occasion to sell their latest products, such as Agent Orange. The film gives details of US government testing of chemicals on its own citizens such as Operation Whitecoat and MKUltra. The film makes a compelling case that this policy is responsible for Gulf War syndrome, still referred to by the US military as a 'mystery illness'. The film suggests that the symptoms have a range of causes including cost cutting on safety equipment by military contractors, exposure to depleted uranium (DU) munitions or other unlicensed chemicals as well as intentional experimentation on American soldiers by the US military.
- Beyond Treason - Wikipedia
Roger Helbig needs to get it through his head that being critical of dangerous U.S. military and business practices and Israeli war crimes and the possible undocumented use of nuclear arms, does not make one a 'Nazi' and he should read the 14 April 2010 article, Israel's Declining Sperm Quality Tied to Depleted Uranium Exposure, which will make him very unhappy, as the information comes 100% from Israeli doctors and the research initially was published in Israel, not that he won't likely find a way to call them Nazi's too.
False Claims Regarding Fukushima
Helbig implies that the dignified scientist Dr Chris Busby, has been "scamming the frightened mothers of Fukushima" which is a spurious lie.
I can easily back this up.
In fact not a single thing could be less true; there are absolutely no reported 'scams' and anyone who pays a slight amount of attention can see that Dr. Busby has been a scientist for a long time.
Nothing could be worse, or more dire, about the situation Fukushima parents are facing, than this video that shows parents meeting with officials from Tokyo who refuse to provide answers, or take urine samples of young children from the parents, and are then literally chased to the elevator and out of the building by very angry people.
This video incidentally, was sent to our newsroom by families in Japan who specifically created it with English subtitles so a U.S. audience could perhaps begin to comprehend the tragedy they are living with.
It is a fact that the government of Japan has abandoned the families of the Fukushima prefecture and there are fewer stories in existence that are sadder about the Japanese government, the same that turned its back in years past on Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors.
The Tokyo government has refused to conduct testing of children and the parents are infuriated by this. Dr. Busby was involved in trying to find answers; anything to help the families abandoned by their government to certain radiation contamination. Isotopes affect children differently, Japan is guilty of severely undeserving its populace, and that is putting it very lightly.
The only mothers in Fukushima who aren't frightened, are those who are already dead. This is the fault of an extremely hazardous nuclear energy plant and a tsunami that caused it to melt down, not Dr. Busby's.
Now, in case there are any questions left, and I suspect there are not, except maybe how much I intend to sue Mr. Helbig for... I thought it was proper to include not all, but some of Dr. Busby's background:
Dr. Christopher Busby
- In 1999 Busby stood as an Election Candidate for the European Parliamentary elections.
- Busby was a member of the British government sponsored Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE), which operated from 2001 to 2004.
- In 2001 he was appointed to the UK Ministry of Defence Oversight Committee on Depleted Uranium (DUOB).
- In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool, in the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology.
- In 2004 he was named Leader of Science Policy for (EU) Policy Information Network for Child Health and Environment PINCHE based in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
- Busby is a visiting professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster researching the toxicity of heavy metals to the human body. In 2008 he was a visiting researcher at the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Julius Kuhn Institute.
According to his CERRIE biography:
- As member of the International Society for Environment Epidemiology, he was invited to Iraq and Kosovo to investigate the health effects of depleted uranium in weapons used by allied forces on populations. He has also given presentations on depleted uranium to the Royal Society and to the European Parliament. He was a member of the UK Ministry of Defence Oversight Board on Depleted Uranium.
- Busby was the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, an informal committee based in Brussels, which produced a report for CERRIE.
Anyone who would like to let Roger Helbig know how you feel about him, is welcome to drop him a line, at email@example.com
And then I Googled this guy and lo and behold, he is no stranger to this behavior, check this simple search, the results refer to his being a retired Air Force Lt. Col. who likes to bully people: Google search results for 'Roger Helbig'
Other articles referencing Dr. Chris Busby on Salem-News.com:
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Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.
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