Military Voices Against Endless War

The full name of the seminar in L.A. yesterday was Military Voices Against Endless War And Occupation.

This was an absolute spiritual, ideological and informational feast. The videos and speeches and presentations were powerful. If you are anywhere near Berkely, go to the event tonight at 6:00 P.M.. You won't regret it.

I'll be proofing a couple of the speeches and highlights and adding an update later today. A CD of this event will be available in 2-3 weeks. They are taking this event on a nation wide tour. If it comes to a location near you, do not miss it!

The program guide that was put together for this event was intended to be an activist guide for the Anti-War movement. This is a simple type and paste of the program guide. Page 1:

A celebration of conscience, courage, resistance, and truth in a time of war.

"By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert my self as a human being."

                          - Camilo Mejia, follwing his court-martial for refusing to return to                              duty in Iraq.

"I think the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."

        - Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant, presiding at Pablo Paredes' court-martial,                          May 11, 2005.    

Page 2:

Part I:     Past, Present and Future Resistance to War

Ray McGovern - Emcee, 27 year CIA veteran, founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Jeff Patterson, Not In Our Name, Gulf War Resister

Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Ian Thompson, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles

CAMS, Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools, L.A.

Part II:    Objectors to the War in Iraq

The Ground Truth Video - The Consciousness of Killing

Stephen Funk - The first war resister to be imprisoned

Camilo Mejia, veteran imprisoned for refusing to return to Iraq

Pablo Paredes, sailor disciplined for refusing to transport marines.

Lynn Gonzalez, /San Diego Military Counseling Project

Part III       The Harsh Realities of War

Arlington West  (Sally Marr, Peter Dudar) U.S. deaths in Iraq

Dr. Gene Bolles, neurosurgeon who treated Iraq war casualties.

Fernando Suarez delSolar, Proyecto Guerrero Azteca/, whose son Jesus was killed in Iraq.

Bill Mitchell, Gold Star Families for Peace, whose son Mike was killed in Iraq.

Aidan Delgado, honorably discharged conscientious objector who served at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison but refused to carry a weapon.

Rev. Louis Chase, Hamilton United Methodist Church/, L.A.

Not in Our Name,  Los Angeles

An awesome anti-war coalition has been building. One theme was that these Iraq Vets are the third generation of war resisters. This is a broad based coalition that builds on resistance to the Vietnam War, Gulf War I and now Bush's Iraq War. One Vietnam war resister said they made a mistake when they forced Nixon out of Vietnam. They didn't do what it took to make sure it never happened again.

The overall goal of this movement is not just to end the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq, but to put in place political checks so the U.S. never undertakes another illegal war.

Take a quick tour of the following links and decide how you are going to spend one hour a day putting an end to the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.

Page 3


Not in Our Name, Los Angeles, 800-95-NOWAR, ext. 703

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Gold Star Families for Peace

Coalition Against Militarism in Our Schools, L.A., 626-799-9118

KPFK Radio (90.7 F.M.) Los Angeles, 818-985-2711


ANSWER L.A. 323-650-8166

Arlington West 323-650-8166

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Oakland, 510-465-1617

Code Pink

Frank Dorrel 310-838-8131

FreeWill Productions, North Hollywood

Frente Unido de Los Pueblos Americanos, 626-806-4686,

Global Exchange, San Francisco, 415-255-7296

Global Resistance network

Middle East Children's Alliance, Berkely, 510-548-0542

National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles, 323-852-9808

Office of the Americas, Los Angeles, 323-852-9808

Palisadians for Peace, Pacific Palisades, 310-454-8985

Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles 310-459-8321

St. Luke's Episcopal Peace and Justice Ministry, Long Beach, 562-436-4047

U.S. Tour of Duty, 310-842-8794

Vanguard Foundation

Veterans for Peace, 323-934-3451

Page 4


Speak up! Talk to your neighbors! Get involved! Be a responsible citizen! Cross the line into action!

"My time in prison is a small price compared to the price Iraqis and Americans have paid with their lives. Mine is a small price compared to the price Humanity has paid for war."

                                               - Camilio Mejia

Young people, facing choices about military service: What are your options?

ContactAmerican Friends Service committe (AFSC)

orCentral Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)

Military recruuitment in our shcools: How to Counter It

contactCoalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS)

Service members needing legal counsel: How to get it, confidentially

contactMilitary Law Task Force, 323-653-4510

orGI Rights Hotline, 800-394-9584

orSan Diego Military Counseling Project


Service members seeking spiritual support

contactPastor Tom Ziegert, Venice United Methodist Church, 310-391-2314

Concerned citizens: contact your Representatives and Senators

Consult [Congressional Directory

Aspiring Activists: get involved in your communty

contactAction L.A.

orInterfaith Communites for Justice and peace

orUnited for Peace and Justice

Upcoming Events: How to stay informed

checkKPFK Community Calendar

orChange Links

orLA indymedia

orMiddle East Peace Calendar

I was an apolitical college stoner during the Vietnam War. Don't make the same mistake I made. Get involved. Get active. Be a part of history, not an observer.

[Update]:Here are a couple of selections from two of the participants.

Aiden Delgado– honorably discharged conscientious objector who served at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison but refused to carry a weapon.

We didn’t have facilities to provide adequate medical treatment to prisoners. It’s a vile way to die from losing a limb. The guards put a lot of Iraqis in the hospital. On once occasion one of the prisoners shot a guard in the chest. The guard survived because he was wearing a Kevlar vest.

The guard shot the prisoner in the leg and the prisoner was dragged from the back of a jeep. Then he was forced to kneel in the back of a vehicle on two broken legs.

We had a Nov 24th riot that resulted in Operation Golden Spike. Prison tensions were rising, there was cold weather, poor food, and prisoners were not allowed to smoke. There were demonstrations and one become unruly. The prisoners threw stones and one guard got hit in nose with stone.

The guards asked for permission to use lethal force. Three prisoners died immediately. I asked one of them about it. “You shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones.” His response, “I saw one of my men get a bloody face so I shot them.” One prisoner had three bullets in the face, for throwing stones to protest detestable living conditions. In all probability he had committed no real offense to get thrown in Abu Ghraib. One prisoner was a taxi driver who was picked up for driving through a neighborhood where we were conducting a sweep.

The medals I got don’t mean anthing to me at all. Abu Ghraib was not the result of a few bad apples. Abu Ghraib is what war is like.

A lot of the stuff will be with me the rest of my life. The guards who were the most brutal had the hardest time re-adjusting. War by its very nature is very ugly and very immoral. Somehow there is a deafening silence about the things that are really happening in Iraq. Alongside what good comes out of the war there is ugliness and immorality that can’t be supported by people of good conscience. The ugliness we see in Iraq is a reflection of our own ugliness. All that ugliness we don’t want to look at in Iraq. We must correct the ugliness in ourself.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, Proyecto Guerrero Azteca - whose son Jesus was killed in Iraq.

[Editor’s note: Fernando delivered his speech in Spanish and was interpreted by an on stage translator.
My son, Jesus Suarez del Solar, died from a weapon of mass destruction. Bush was correct. In Iraq there were weapons of mass destruction. But Bush forgot to tell us one thing. These weapons of mass destruction are North American. And these damned weapons are killing thousands and thousands of Iraqi children. And still Bush, uses the name of God as he continues the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. What kind of President is this. What kind of politicians are we putting up with here. When these corrupt and criminal politicians use our tax money to construct four military bases in Iraq, but close down schools and public libraries? To give liberation to Iraq? I’d rather continue in slavery.

There is nothing more immoral than to use the name of God, the name of Democracy, to erase the map of an entire nation. There will come the day that Bush, today or during the next four years, he’s going to have to deal with blood as I have. He will have to ask for forgiveness from his grandchildren for having killed thousands of innocent children. There are two types of justice. Man’s justice and God’s justice. Bush will be found guilty of both types of justice.

Together with the teachers and people of good heart like yourselves who are going to go to the schools and take those corrupt bastards out of the school. It’s time to lose our fear. It is time to say stop. Enough. No more corruption in our schools. No more weapons instead of books. No more bombs instead of libraries.

More than 1,600 beautiful American lives are asking for peace, not for violence.

We need more schools and more books in the library. Today we had a beautiful example. Kevin and Bill and Pablo and more than 6,000 other deserters. And they are the live example of what is a miltary person. And he respects life and the constitution. And these young men are respected. And they have given a fine example to our young people. They have demonstrated that we don’t have to go to the place we did in Vietnam. They were able to stop the war in Vietnam. But my generation made an error. We didn’t change the corrupt system. Please don’t commit the same mistake. You do have the power. You and the poor and owners of this country. Use this power. The power of truth. Change the system. And God bless you all.

I'll try to go over some of the rest of the personal stories and clean up my typos later today. A DVD of this event is going to be available in two or three weeks for a $3 donation to Justice Vision

If Military Voices Against Endless War and Occupation comes to a location near you, you don't want to miss it.

[Update II:This will be the last update. I wanted to give advance notice of the United Mass Action on Sept. 24th.

Ian Thomson, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles.

Our goal is to help military personnel who are not willing to kill people for oil. We have set up a project to support Iraq war resisters. We saw that resistance to the military was growing. More than 5,000 resisters have deserted. The military is increasing their recruiting efforts. The Lawyers Guild has set up two clinics in L.A. and one in Orange County. Our services are free and available to the public. We are also working with groups like CAMS.

We are on the steering committee of Answer. We are lawyers with a social conscience and legal workers who are showing that there is an alternative to military service. We also integrate our work into the war resistance movement any way we can. It’s our position that the U.S. must leave Iraq right now and the troops must be brought home immediately. We do not want a kinder, gentler occupation.

We want to bring the Pentagon to its knees and change its policies for good. Our short term goal is a United Mass Action on Sept. 24th.

We already planned coordinated demonstrations in L.A. and S.F. and D.C. Join us tonight and start building this important demonstration. We will be speaking out against the war, racism, sexism, and attacks on immigration. The war is also being waged on working people. As the crisis deepens in Iraq, it becomes more important to redouble our efforts and stop this immoral, illegal war.

There is also a premier scheduled of an internet movie, Brave New Freedom on May 31st.

[Update III: OK. One last and final update. I can't possibly get the entire anti-war message into a single diary, but I neglected to link to veteran intelligence professionals for sanity and to Ray McGovern's recent post Proof Bush Fixed the Facts.

I missed a lot of Ray's emcee comments but here are a couple of out takes:

Let’s have a moment of silence, for the God of our understanding. It depends on who you think God is and how he feels when little people are pushed around. There are100,000 Iraqi civilians who would be alive today if it wasn’t for Bush’s war. Be with us and help us do the right thing to stop this war.

. . . .

Thank-you. The smoking Gun has come to light. It is the proof positive, every bit as powerful as the Nixon tapes. The WMD rationale that drove our government to war is built on a stack of lies.
br> I remember when Joe Wilson spoke out. He also said, “This begs the question, “What else are they lying about?”

The Downing Street Memo clearly reveals that once the President decided on war for regime change. It was inevitable. A direct quote from the memo:

“The intelligence and the facts will be fixed around the policy.”

Old intelligence officers who are used to speaking truth to power are outraged. It’s happened before. I was born before Hitler marched to war. People did not act. The institutional churches did not act.

I only caught part of it, but McGovern told the story of a German professor with tenure. The professor kept his silence when Hitler came to power. When Hitler invaded Poland it was finally too much. He spoke out. They arrested him and did everything they could to get him to confess his guilt, because German law required a confession for a death sentence. But he would not confess, so they hung him anyway. When they took him down from the scaffold they found a poem in his pocket titled “Guilt.”

Yes, I’m guilty, but it’s not what you think. I should have spoken out earlier. I should have called evil, evil. And today I know what I was guilty of. I was guilty of the crime of silence. [Editor’s note: the only other part of the German Professor's death bed confession I caught was the phrase “Clar, clar” which means “clearly, clearly..

We are here this evening because we do not want to be guilty of that. We know what happens when a highly educated populace sits back. The Iraq war is an unnecessary, unprovoked war.

Ray McGovern: There were also resisters in WWI and WWII. They went to lunatic asylums. Because of their presence there, the lunatic asylums were cleaned up because articulate citizens of conscience were place somewhere their voices could make a difference.

And as a demonstration that this is a spiritual movement as well as an anti-war movement, this short excerpt from the Rev. Louis Chase:

These men women and children are human beings, crafted in the image of the divine and also loved. MLK told us about a true revolution of values in this nation. War is not a just way of settling differences. A nation that continues to spend more on military defense than on spiritual uplifting is approaching spiritual death. Property rights are considered more important than people. Racism, extremism, materialism and militarism. This is what we are witnessing.

Amnesty international described US government as a primary violator of human rights. We have lost our moral compass. Christian fundamentalism, which some call Christian fascism is ascendant. In the days when some of us were younger, Malcom X said that the pernicious evil of racism in this nation warranted radical action. This nation should be taken to the United Nations. We the people and we are not being taken seriously. Our protestations are not being heard. It is time that a statement be made at the UN about the US.

How far are we prepared to go to end this shameful illegal war and remove the tentacles of this global octopus. At United for Justice and Peace we believe that the religious community must stop blessing war.

We are of a radical prophetic resistance tradition. Ghandi, MLK, James Dawson. We must revitalize the power of Christian love and the building of the beloved community. Our goal is not just to see miniscule changes, but the creation of a new America which must be carved out by people who love justice and embrace compassion and whose arms are broad enough to embrace the whole world.

As a closing note, I would like to emphasize that several speakers talked about the third generation of war resisters from Vietnam to Gulf War I to Bush's Iraq War. The anti-Iraq War movement is building quickly and it has a very solid foundation. It's not going to take fifteen years for the American people to force their government to withdraw from Iraq.

Tags: (all tags)



it's not just anti-war types
"If you expose the army to a prolonged campiagn, the state's resources will be inadequate.

"When the weapons have grown dull and spirits depressed, when our strength has been expended and resources consumed, then the feudal lords will take advantage of our exhaustion to arise. Evan though you have wise generals, they will not be able to achieve a good result.

"Thus in military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare."--Sun-tzu translated by Ralph D. Sawyer

But what can the great intellects of the Neo Con movement learn from some long-dead Chinese guy?

by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 09:48AM | 0 recs
Who needs Sun-tzu
when you've got Redneck Warmonger Jesus on your side?">

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-29 10:07AM | 0 recs
Jesus on Southpark
Did you see Jesus kick ass in Iraq on Southpark when they rescued Santa? Arnold's got nothing on JC.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 10:48AM | 0 recs
protracted warfare
I guess then you wouldn't be impressed by Mao's book, On Protracted War.

Invoking Sun Tzu in the context of modern tactics is a bit . . .  unbecoming.

All modern wars are inherently protracted wars.  Indeed, if you take the economic or geographic view of history, all human existence is simply one protracted war where evryone is constantly attacking and undermining one another to gain scarce resources, spaces, and a sense of security.

Plus, to be fair, even by Sun Tzu's standards, this would not yet be seen as a protracted war.

Most counter-insurgency experts will tell you the cake is not baked for about five years.

It takes about two years for an insurgency to even evolve to the point it is a worthwhile target.

The Iraq insurgency got a little boost from both the experience of Al-Qaeda fights importing tactics from Chechnya, Bosnia, Afghanistan, etc. and from Ba'athists who had been planning a guerilla war since as early as 1996.

Then it usually takes a couple years for the counter-insurgency to adapt once the insurgents have settled on tactics.

And there is sort of a slow move on a collision course.  The insurgents begin to operate on a larger and larger scale, aiming for a full-bore showdown.  The counter-insurgents begin to target cells and counter tactics.

Eventually, as both sides press harder, something has to give.  It's at that point, usually between five and eight years in, that one side collapses.

Either the insurgents become operationally capable of fighting in the open, with massed infantry and some sort of artillery support (often mortars or light cannons), or the counter-insurgents ferret out the insurgency's leaders, supplies, and social base.

You don't see a ton of counter-insurgencies that go beyond that.

The two cases that would be most obvious exceptions would be the Chinese Civil War between Mao and Chiang (although Mao came close to be wiped out) and the current civil war in Colombia, where the gov't and the FARC are like two heavyweights in a twelfth round that never ends.

Iraq does no appear to be heading in this direction.

Both sides are in a rapidly escalating race to get things done before they fall.

Al-Qaeda seems deeply interested in ramping up harder and harder attacks, and the US is seeing fit to match, as the American probably need a true win before recuiting decimates our army.

The only downer is that the Ba'athists are becoming quiet.

This may simply be because they are weathering the storm, and letting the US and al-Qaeda trade punches.  Or, they may be preparing to find their way into a political solution.

The two groups that really control the outcome in Iraq are the Ba'athists and the Kurds.

Ba'athists could probably bring the war to an end tomorrow by brokering a deal allowing them into the government and military.

The Kurds could blow the lid off the whole thing by deciding to unilaterally wage their own war.

At the moment, everyone seems to be trying to wait the foreigners out.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-29 07:04PM | 0 recs
Do you see light at end of tunnel?
Plus, to be fair, even by Sun Tzu's standards, this would not yet be seen as a protracted war.

But you're wrong.

Sun-tzu warned against conscripting a man twice.

Reservists being sent to Iraq for second tours violate this principle. So the Iraq War does meet a specific criteria for protracted war.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 09:16PM | 0 recs
SUn Tzu is not relevant
I can't even begin to emphasize how unimportant Sun Tzu is.  Sun Tzu is proof that poetry exceeds substantial prose every time in terms of popularity.

Sun's book was written for princely states waging ancient wars.  We're talking about the era of the battle chariot!

Also, some of the comments by Sun Tzu rival Nostradamus in their obfuseness and ease of reinterpretation.  An army should be like water?  Wow.  That's useful.  

It's just not that relevant.

Aside from that, how the National Guard system compares with conscription is worthy of note.

Guardsmen are not conscripts.  They signed a contract, and frankly tough shit if they didn't read it thoroughly.

Guardsmen are clearly aware of this.  Otherwise, explain why defection rates among Guardsmen are miniscule, especially in comparison to those of conscripts from previous American wars.

Guardsmen don't see themselves as conscripts.

Let's not perpetuate Kerry's failed "backdoor draft" rhetoric.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-30 06:50PM | 0 recs
the insurgents always win
I disagree with your reading of Iraq.

I quibble with your characterization of al Qaeda as being a major player. An element of the insurgency is using the al Qaeda label for political puproses. This does not reflect tapping into the al Qaeda resources and training network in a meaningful way.

But leave aside quibbles about little details.

Since WWII what insurgencies that achieved the size of the Iraq resistance were defeated in battle?

The Huks in the Philippines? Not really. Their grievances were addressed through the political process.

The communists in Malaysia? Yeah, the Brits beat 'em in part by granting Malaysia independence.

And every other example ends in the insurgents winning. The U.S. military might beat the odds, but it seems like putting $500 billion on green on a roullette wheel.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 09:23PM | 0 recs
Chechnya, Biafra
"Since WWII what insurgencies that achieved the size of the Iraq resistance were defeated in battle?"

The Chechans were crushed in outright fighting during the early days of the second war.

They are a remnant of their former selves.

The Biafra War also comes to mind.  Obviously, Biafra is still a part of Nigeria.  The Nigerian federal government put a pretty harsh ass-kicking on the separatists.

All of Guevara's attempts to export revolution to South America have to be seen as failed insurgencies.

I also want to look at some other questions about how nations stomach counter-insurgency.

How about the Mau Mau in Kenya?  The Mau Mau insurgency was a failure that turned into a success due to the disgust of the British opposition at home.  But, in terms of battlefield victory, the Mau Mau were obliterated.

How about the Viet Cong?  There's no question the Viet Cong were destroyed in open battle at the end of the Tet Offensive.  Only the intervention of the North Vietnamese regulars kept the war going.  At that point, the war went from being a proxy war to an open war of unification.  But, the communist insurgency in South Vietnam, for its part, was wiped out.

I think America today has better stomach for this sort of thing, judging by the relatively split support for the war.

It might also be worth noting that very few large insurgencies have existed in a vacuum.  Almost every insurgency that grew to any size had a sugar daddy to bail them out.  

by jcjcjc 2005-05-30 06:31PM | 0 recs
Al-Qaeda is running a parallel insurgency, and where possible is aiding potential insurgents in the other movements.

A number of tactics from the Chechan wars were obvious during the battles for Fallujah and the Battle of Najaf.  

And, yes, I think al-Qaeda has snuck a few people into movements like the Sadrites who don't even want them.

Also, al-Qaeda's operational capabilities were exemplified at the Battle of Qaim.  Marines don't fall in those numbers chasing ghosts.

While I doubt al-Qaeda could ever do anything like take over Iraq, I think it is capable of being relevant enough to make the other insurgents do business with them.

If nothing else, al-Qaeda has the kind of extensive smuggling operations that any good insuirgency requires these days.

The Ba'athists, on the other hand, have a tenuous supply line being fed through sympathizers in Syria (whose larger goal is reunifying the Ba'athist movement under Syrian supervision).  Since the Syrians won't venture pissing off the US, the Ba'athists are stuck with connections that allow Syria plausible deniability.

Al-Qaeda is a major player in Iraq.  Is it capable of victory? No.  

Al-Qaeda's position in Iraq is bit like a dog chasing a car.  What exactly does the dog intend to do once he get his jaws on the bumper?

by jcjcjc 2005-05-30 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Al-Qaeda
Well, if AQ has folks in the Sadr militias, it had better be surreptitious. For what its worth, I think that the various insurgencies going on have infiltrated the main Iraqi armed forces.

As to your larger points about insurgencies, from a purely military standpoint, you are right. But that is basically irrelevant in this situation. The question is: will the Sunnis and Shi'ites eventually hold hands, or not? Right now, this seems to be going in the wrong direction.

Ultimately - in ten years or so - the Ba'ath insurgencies will probably give up, but so what? Will they peacefully integrate into a functioning state? Or will they be "irredenta"? Will the state of Iraq exists? Will the Kurds have seceded?

Even using your examples of Chechnya, have the Chechens now decided to be loyal Russian citizens? In the case of Russia, this doesn't really matter much, at least in the short term. But in the case of Iraq, if the Sunnis aren't reconciled to the new state, that matters short term and long term. You can't use Chechnya tactics when you're trying to win hearts and minds.

by Ben P 2005-05-31 10:44PM | 0 recs
the Nationalists committed serious atrocities...
That's the aspect of the Chinese revolution that Americans never read in the history books.. the corruption and (often extreme) brutality of the (fascist) Nationalists.. You know, the regime we supported on a massive scale.. (of course, a lot of that money ended up getting stolen.)

There are lots of people in the US government who are still in denial about how fucked up supporting fascists is..and what ends up happening to our reputation in those countries after the fascists we support are finally defeated..(China is a good example, they might have a democracy now if the US had cared about right and wrong in that situation, instead of just making sure 'our pals' won.)

When the US supports evil leaders, the people end up hating us..

The list of countries this has happened in is pretty long.. Could we learn our lesson now? Please?

by ultraworld 2005-06-11 04:44PM | 0 recs
Frank Dorrel
(who appears above under "Endorsers") is an awesome dude . . . his main project is Addicted to War, a "graphic novel" by Joel Andreas subtitled Why the US Can't Kick Militarism. The book was long out of print, but Frank found it a new publisher and got it updated to include Iraq. Check it out.

Disclaimer: Frank Dorrel is a friend of mine, but has not asked me or compensated me for this shameless plug.

by catastrophile 2005-05-29 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Frank Dorrel
What a coincidence. Frank had his book and some CD's. I bought a sample of everything he had including Addicted to War. He sells his CD's for $5. I'm watching one of them now.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-29 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Frank Dorrel

Addicted to War website.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-29 01:39PM | 0 recs
WWII fetish
Virtually all segments of U.S. society perceived they gained something from WWII. So diverse interest groups see "a good war" as being to their advantage.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: WWII fetish
Yep. The CD I'm watching is an overview of the CIA war against the third world. Former CIA agent John Stockwell is talking about the Church Committee, which found that over the 14 years they investigated there were 900 major CIA operations and 3,000 minor ones.

In addition to overthrowing democratically elected governments the CIA organized death squads that were bloody and gory. We "created" the Golden Triangle in which Air America flew in arms and flew out heroin. The largest single operation in the history of the CIA was done by the Carter administration and Admiral Turner brags about. We created the Golden Crescent in Afghanistan which is still the largest source of heroin in the world today.

The Congo, Vietnam, Agnola, Kampuchea, Indonesia, Nicaragua are some examples he used. Stockwell ran an intelligence gathering post in Vietnam and was the task-force commander of the CIA's secret war in Angola in 1975-76.

America really is the enemy of the third world. They hate us because the CIA helps dictators execute, torture and imprison them.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-29 03:27PM | 0 recs
Militarism and the Media
A couple of good articles from Fair:

News Media and "the Madness of Militarism"

War has become a constant of U.S. foreign policy, and media flackery for the war-makers in Washington is routine -- boosting militarism that tilts the country in more authoritarian directions. The dominant news outlets provide an ongoing debate over how to fine-tune the machinery of war. What we need is a debate over how to dismantle the war machine.

When there are appreciable splits within or between the two major political parties, the mainstream news coverage is apt to include some divergent outlooks. But when elites in Washington close ranks for war, the major media are more inclined to shut down real discourse.

Here's an example: In late February 2003, three weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq began, management at MSNBC cancelled the nightly Donahue program. A leaked in-house report said Phil Donahue's show would present a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war." The problem: "He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives." The danger -- quickly averted by NBC -- was that the show could become "a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."

When the two parties close ranks, so do the big U.S. media. The silence of politicians and media must not be our silence.


The Silent Media Curse of Memorial Day.

In the truncated media universe of Memorial Day, the act of remembering bypasses any history that indicates an American war was not inevitable and unavoidable. The populace is made to understand that God and nature must be death dealers. We are encouraged to extol those who bravely gave their lives and took the lives of others -- but not confront those, high in the U.S. government's executive and legislative branches, who cravenly gave their fervent blessings to gratuitous carnage.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-29 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Militarism and the Media
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges is excellent for understanding war and the media.

To understand what the military is doing read On Strategy by Col. Harry Summers. The military now considers it a duty to "sell" the war to the public.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-29 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Militarism and the Media
I checked On Strategy and it's turned into a series.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-30 04:22AM | 0 recs
Merci beaucoup
Thanks for the 411, brother.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-30 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Merci beaucoup
I'm not interested in the Gulf War analysis myself, but since the Vietnam analogy is going to be a hot topic, I'm ordering both of the Vietnam books.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-30 06:44AM | 0 recs
Memorial Day Holiday
It irritates me that on this patriotic holiday, people are looked down on if they don't "support the troops"--which in some places means support the war of the day.  

I have a son in the military and believe in a Department of DEFENSE but cannot support the waste of resources and human life that have occurred in Iraq, under false pretenses.

by flatblade 2005-05-30 09:12AM | 0 recs
A Mother Jones Interview
An Interview With Erik Saar: A former military linguist at Guantanamo describes a dysfunctional facility where prisoner abuse was all but inevitable.

Saar quickly became alarmed and disgusted at the incompetent running of Guantanamo and the inhumane treatment of the detainees there, an evolution he traces in his recent book, Inside the Wire, co-written with Viveca Novak.

Despite the Pentagon's initial insistence that Guantanamo holds the "worst of the worst," it's become common knowledge that most of the detainees held there are innocent of terrorist activities and of limited intelligence value--not least because those suspects deemed to possess critical intelligence have by and large been sent to other countries or bases for interrogation. Even so, thanks to an ineffective vetting system, in many cases it's not entirely clear, even to those working at Guantanamo, who the prisoners in the camp are and how they came to land there.

Before he was sent to Guantanamo, Saar believed that "Guantanamo was necessary to protect our country. I genuinely felt like this was something that those above my pay grade had determined as necessary to protect us and win the war on terrorism." He's got a different take now:

MJ: What is your view of the camp now?

ES: It's not humane and not effective. We have people there and we don't know what their affiliations with terrorism are. We ourselves cannot verify that they were enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield, as General Miller has repeatedly said to the media. A number of them were turned over to us by foreign governments, and the Northern Alliance, who were paid a bounty for them. There wasn't this extensive vetting process, as the Pentagon would lead you to believe. What extensive vetting process allows an 88-year-old to end up at Guantanamo Bay? And we are operating outside of the scope of the Geneva Conventions. Some of the things I saw were not only what I would consider unethical, but ineffective. We're not getting enough of a benefit for the price we're paying in terms of our reputation in the world. I don't know how, as country, we can say we're going to promote democracy and human dignity and justice throughout the Arab and Muslim world and at the same time defy some of those very same principles at Guantanamo Bay.

MJ: Do you think there were people who had this information regarding where the detainees were coming from?

ES: On the intelligence side, everybody knew the situation. I feel like I was used at Guantanamo. My government had said one thing about what Guantanamo Bay was, but now, because I'm saying it's something different, I'm somehow unpatriotic. Those of us in the intelligence group knew that that the camp didn't have the worst of the worst. I don't know that the guards, the MP leadership, knew that per se. I would tend to think they didn't know because they were just focused on their job of running a prison. But certainly, General Miller knew. Certainly those officers within the intelligence group knew, and certainly the people who read the reports at the Pentagon knew.

MJ: Why didn't anyone speak to General Miller, the commander of the camp, about their concerns?

ES: I would say that junior ranking soldiers don't ever think they can talk to a general that way. Nobody really thought to express their concerns to him because that's just not done in the Army. I've been asked a number of times why I didn't say things about what I didn't like. I think it shows a lot of people don't understand the way things work in the military. Take Lynndie England. She was an E-3--a very, very junior ranking soldier. Yes, technically you're taught you only follow lawful orders. That's what we're all taught. But you're not taught extensively--and especially for someone who is not very sophisticated--you don't know what the hell a lawful order is. Am I saying, for her situation, that she should not have known as a soldier that what she was doing was wrong? No, I'm not saying that. She should have known what she was doing was wrong. But at the same time, it's drilled into her head the she follows orders. Your reaction as a soldier when you doubt something is not initially to say, "Wow, I need to say something to someone." In your training, it's never encouraged that the minute you see something you don't like to go and tell your superior officer. No way. If anything, you're encouraged to keep your head down, not ask questions, and go do your job.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-30 05:11PM | 0 recs


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