Sunday, September 7, 2008

To the Haters...

To the Haters (and if you don't think the label applies, look over some of the posts you've left us recently):

You like to say that we're “ugly” and we're “scum.” You like to disparage our intelligence and patriotism. Sometimes you make threats: “If I see you agian I'll stop you,” and “If I see you bitches I will do something horrible to you.” More than one of you suggested we should be “hanged.”

Nice.

(Just who are supposed to be the “ugly” ones here?)

Take a good sober look over some of your recent posts... Most of them are about wounding, involving crude sexual references, misogyny, bigotry, and hate... there's hardly an American sentiment in the bunch.

Do you really want to sound like some hick counterpart to the Taliban, with your hatred of women, intolerance of views with which you disagree, and your threats of violence?

Do ANY of you consider yourselves Christians, I wonder? How so... by what definition? (Ku Klux Kristians? That variety?)

Review your posts, people. Take a step back and a deep, calming breath. Put your judgment and self-righteous wrath aside and really consider your message.

With your “love my country or leave it” reductio ad absurdum patriotism, how would you have treated Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine? (Do you think they never disrupted anyone? Do you think they never raised a ruckus? Do you think they would have been worried about looking silly or outrageous?)

Let me clue you in as to what Code Pink does...

We're not violent, so we peacefully protest. We think that our political leadership and the Americans with whom we disagree are misguided, not “evil,” so we present a visible sign of dissent from the policies that have made America less safe and less free. We do so as our country's enemies, the terrorists abroad and profiteers, demagogues, and crusaders at home, grow ever more powerful and continue to weaken our civil liberties and divide us against one another.

We use guerrilla theater to give our informed, rational, and moral platform a public hearing... because we LOVE this country and we're trying to fight for it in the best way we know how.

Because we're flamboyant and because we refuse to be silenced, we sometimes get results. We get to air our concerns to a larger audience. We get to sit down with representatives of our government and present them with facts: well-researched, non-partisan facts drawn from the U.S. military's reports, America's intelligence agencies, congressional hearings we attend, and what's left of the FREEST press in the WORLD.

Because we are civil, thoughtful, and well prepared, we are often thanked by our senators and representatives for introducing new facts and perspectives to them.

From time to time, we even achieve small policy victories (while inspiring others who need to know that they're not alone).

Along the way, like many patriots before us (Frederick Douglass, Alice Paul, Muhammad Ali, Cat Stevens) we inspire a lot of hatred, bile, and viciousness from the corrupt establishment-inspired mob: the people who love the word “freedom,” but not Freedom itself, and the flag, but not the values for which it stands...

Some of you haters probably represent a portion of the hard-working, resentful, “values”-smug 30% that actually approve of the job the president is doing (Bush's popular base, so bamboozled that you actually think that America has been well-served by his policies, rather than just the top 1% of earners -- the REAL “Elites” who are his actual base: the corporate “Haves and Have-Mores,” President Bush called them, before referring to them as “MY BASE!”).

Code Pink haters love the word “patriotism” but seem to think that it stops at one's lapel, yellow ribbon, or Hummer. They appear content to let the jingoist, ignorance-peddling shills on cable TV and talk radio tell them WHAT TO THINK.

And what has the corporate media been telling us to think (besides “Hate protesters”) in recent years?

For years, they told us that environmentalists are “wackos,” and global warming is a myth. They told us that the economy is doing great and that deficits don't matter (for decades now, income growth for most Americans has been stagnant or declined... and deficits DO matter -- take a look at your 50-cent dollar). For years, they've been telling us that NAFTA and other RIGGED (not “free”) trade pacts are a great thing, and that our economy benefits from them (THEIR economy, maybe, but not OURS). They told us that Saddam Hussein had WMD when virtually NO experts believed that he did (stop listening to the revisionist pols and their compliant media and EXAMINE THE RECORD -- the administration virtually went to war with the CIA over their refusal to support the case for war in Iraq and ignored the Energy Department experts altogether on the nuclear question).

Now the media is telling us in lock-step that "Iran is the enemy," and we can “drill our way to energy independence.” (How many bridges -- to nowhere -- are you willing to buy from these flimflams?)

These are the people who encourage you daily to hate your fellow Americans, including New Yorkers, San Franciscans, and Code Pink (anyone who doesn't share their agenda).

They are the Culture War (and War war) salesmen, who sneer their daily message and don't give a fiddler's fart about the facts, the troops, the nation, or how bitterly Americans are divided at this critical time in our history.

If the media really cared about the troops, you would have heard from them what our nation's top military men have been trying to tell us for years: This neoconservative policy is breaking the U.S. Army (meanwhile the Army is breaking its record for suicides for the third consecutive year -- not that Bill OReilly gives a pickled shit about that statistic).

This policy has virtually broken the Guard and Reserves (ASK GENERAL CASEY, whose advice about the troop Surge in Iraq -- DON'T do it -- was ignored by his bosses, even though he was the Commanding Officer in Iraq at the time. The Bushies just fished downstream until they found an officer who supported what they wanted to do -- and promoted him. That's how THEY roll... over the military men and women who contradict them).

BUT HERE'S A REALITY CHECK: It is not Code Pink or MoveOn.org or Ron Paul or anyone else on the so-called “Left,” but the U.S. MILITARY who are providing the strongest resistance today to the politicians and corporations currently pushing for war in Iran!

It is the U.S. MILITARY who are fighting their hearts out against the same neocon vultures who sold the American people the last bogus case for war!

(Fool YOU twice? That's easy! You still believe this corporate, war-peddling media when it tells you that “the Media is Liberal!” You believe that Iran's leaders have said that they want to “wipe Israel of the map” and that “Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon,” regardless of what America's 16 intelligence agencies report! You believe whatever the corporate media tells you, as long as it's repeated often enough by enough talking heads... Why if Anderson Cooper says it, it must be so...)

You poor schmucks actually believe that the troop Surge is behind the drop in violence in 2008 Iraq!

But here's the straight dope, regarding the Surge: There's no question that the ethno-sectarian cleansing and walling up of Baghdad helped somewhat (the very bloody first phase of the Surge), but the real key to the drop in violence, per most American military officers on the ground, was putting 100,000 members of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (AQM) on the U.S. payroll -- giving them each $300/month, arms, and U.S. training to chill out for a while...

Sure it helped decrease the violence, paying off the entire insurgency (save for a few foreign jihadis -- who were never more than 2-3% of the people we were fighting there), but it doesn't exactly amount to a “victory” over the people we were fighting (we PAY them now, mostly to not shoot at us).

In fact, many of our troops in Anbar complain that they now have to hand out thousands of dollars to the same people who were shooting at us a year ago!

It's no reflection on our brave troops, but rather a poor reflection on our dismal politicians, to point out that we've achieved ONLY a temporary accommodation in Iraq -- something that General Petraeus has been asserting for months... especially when he recently asked for ALL fifteen brigades to remain in country for the foreseeable future... and was DENIED by his bosses!

True to form (following in the footsteps of General Franks, General Garner, General Casey, Admiral Fallon...) General Petraeus' request was ignored by the cynical politicians who feel that they need to show the American public -- in a presidential election year -- a “Return on Success” ...even more, apparently, than they need to follow the advice of the top commander on the ground in Iraq (make the slogan live, General, do it for the Republic-ans!).

But Petraeus knows how precarious the situation in Iraq is (which is why he keeps repeating that fact).

He knows that the drop-off in violence is not related to any long-term political solution in Iraq (none has been offered) or to any particular military victory. And he sure as hell knows it isn't because the Iraqi Security Forces have suddenly turned into a credible, professional force whom we can now trust to take over (HA HA HA -- The Iraqi forces, per our military's assessment, are as corrupt, brutal, sectarian, and unreliable as ever).

The truth is we owe our success in Iraq to a very simple formula: $300/month/man X 100,000 AQM.

Rather than admit defeat or try a new strategy, the politicians have purchased the appearance of “success” ...which should continue to work as long as we keep paying off the insurgents ...which we don't intend to do for much longer.

In fact, we've been pushing the Shi'ite Iraqi central government to take over paying the “ex-” insurgents and integrate them into the national police and Iraqi Army... And they keep telling us, “Are you nuts? Those are our Sunni foes! We will see them in hell first!” (Oh yeah, REAL political progress there, I'm telling you...)

And here's the larger underlying problem: Five-and-a-half years into this mess, George Bush is still demanding that the Iraqis sign over the rights to their OIL for the next 30 years... and five-and-a-half years into this mess, the Iraqis are still telling him to go screw himself and get out of their country.

Why do you think Prime Minister Maliki is insisting on a deadline for U.S. withdrawal? (They've got Iran and China for technological assistance. They don't need us!)

And now you know the real reason Dick Cheney and the neocons are so hot for war with Iran... IRAN won the Iraq war without ever firing a shot, and they don't want to face up to that.

But the corporate media isn't about to tell you that side of the story...

They're not about to tell you that to the best of our knowledge KBR has killed more troops in Iraq than Iran has -- electrocuting them with their corner-cutting, shoddy standards of construction, giving them sewer water to wash their faces and brush their teeth...

They're not about to tell you that more of our troops have been shot at in Iraq by Blackwater than by the Republican Guard.

Because the corporate media is NO FRIEND to the TROOPS... or to you or me.

In fact, they're the ones who told you to hate your fellow Americans, like Code Pink, who practice peaceful dissent -- just like they told you that those protesters in Seattle ten years ago were "crazy anarchists" who didn't understand Free Trade... (They like us divided, full of anger and hate, and arguing amongst ourselves -- all the better for their masters to continue picking our pockets while making us LESS safe and LESS free...)

This is the America that our Founding Fathers feared could happen one day, the America that Eisenhower warned us about: Industry's foreign policy, unconstitutional rulers (men not beholden to laws), foreign adventurism, mob mentality, fear, xenophobia, aggression, brutality, and an utter lack of compassion and empathy.

NO civility (again, please review your posts).

But just to show you that I don't really think I'm better than you, here's me, taking a swipe at you all, letting MY emotions hold sway... Here's what you bilious, Tory know-nothings would have said in 1773, right after the Boston Tea Party... (This is YOU):

“What do you crazy, stupid faggots think you're doig, wastin the tea? King George has been a GRAET King, and protects us from the Injuns and the French! If you don't love Britain then get out of the Colony!!! If I see you on the street, George Warshington, you ugly, wooden-toothed fary, I will show you what a musket is FER!”

Now, if you really have any guts, any belief whatsoever in the righteousness of your wrath, I challenge you to check out the FACTS I've revealed in the following blog from a couple months back (an oldie but a goodie). Read this sucker, fact check it if you dare... then read your Code Pink hate messages again and tell me who's “ugly,” who's a patriot, and who really loves this country... ya' miserable, frikkin'...

(Sorry... The truth is I don't hate you. I just think you're confused. Check that: I KNOW you are...).

Jeepers, Creepers, What to Make of “Freepers!”
by James O'Donnell


The enemy of my friend is my... friend? (Well, potentially anyway...)

I spent maybe an hour and a half last Wednesday sharing some sidewalk outside of the Cannon Building with the pro-troops/pro-U.S. foreign policy group occasionally referred to as the “Freepers” (even, I'm told, by “Freepers” themselves).

In my travels across the U.S. -- growing up in suburban Mesa, AZ, attending university and working in southern California, and chocking up nearly eight years in the Midwest between graduate school and employment as a graphic designer/apartment manager/security guard -- I've had worse times and received worse receptions... from less reasonable and decent folks than most of the “Freepers” I met last week.

In fact, from the moment I took up a “Support the Troops” sign and stood proudly (in Peace Pink) beside my fellow patriotic Americans, every individual “Freeper” who really took the time to engage me in conversation afforded me the same measure of civility and respect that I extended to him or her, which is to say, a good deal. While there were differences of opinion, there was also courtesy and a genuine willingness to hear one another's views.

And why not? We share so many of the same concerns:

We ALL share a concern for the well-being of America's troops.

We ALL have a common desire to see America emerge victorious in the Global War on Terror (although we may differ on how best to achieve that victory).

We ALL recognize that the U.S. Congress, like so many other institutions in our country, is not functioning as it should.

We are ALL passionate in the belief that our activism is in the best tradition of American patriotism and vital to a healthy democracy... something toward which we ALL strive.

Nonetheless, there is real acrimony -- and some genuine substantive differences -- between our two groups... as well as a history of unfortunate incidents, it seems...

One of the “Freepers,” an earnest, obviously bright and idealistic young man (bound for Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps) showed me a red paint stain on his otherwise pristine white sneaker... courtesy of peace protesters, he told me. By his account, a protest action at the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley, CA had involved the hurling of paint-filled balloons... apparently in his general direction.

(Whoops!)

While I made no excuses for the actions of my fellow peaceniks -- it was neither my place to do so, nor my inclination -- I did try to explain to him the principled position underlying that particular act.

The citizens that form the community of Berkeley have clearly articulated a moral objection to America's current foreign policy, especially the war in Iraq (which has placed such a burden on military recruitment in recent years). For the Marines to seek fresh recruits in Berkeley in support of a policy most Berkeley residents are on the record as opposing -- as immoral, illegal, and inimical to America's interests in the world -- well, it seemed like a slap in the face of the entire community... and an undemocratic slap at that.

Berkeley had spoken.

The Marines had turned a deaf ear to the community's objections.

Matters had escalated.

Leaving aside the question of the moral high ground for a moment, one could at least point to the predictability of such a development (which does nothing, of course, to help restore the luster of my young acquaintance's otherwise spiffy shoe).

But these things tend toward escalation.

Malignant, grievances spread. Ugliness begets ugliness. (Thus, centuries ago, Hammurabi warned his people: “NO MORE THAN an eye for an eye,” cautioning them against disproportionate and wanton revenge leading to an endless cycle of bloodletting... Jesus, of course, may have done Hammurabi one better with his admonition that we should all learn to “turn the other cheek” and actually LOVE our enemies. So far ahead of his time, we still seem incapable of embracing such sagacity some 2000 years after his death.)

(Gandhi got it. Why can't we?)

Upon hearing my young friend's complaint, I had to sigh. In the back of my mind I recalled hearing about how my sister Pinkies and our friends at Veterans for Peace had been pelted by objects hurled at them by (you guessed it) the “Freepers” while visiting our wounded troops at Walter Reed.

The “Freepers” may have felt justified at the time, possibly carrying within them that commonly held bastardization of Hammurabi's wisdom: that the old “eye for an eye” axiom is really carte blanche to GO NUTS on your enemies... that “an eye for an eye” is supposedly what passes for justice... that revenge (NOT justice -- which doesn't involve “two wrongs”) is what the aggrieved are somehow entitled to...

(Somewhere, I'm sure, Hammurabi is spinning in his urn.)

But let's move on from the mutual wounding between human beings (what Dostoevsky referred to as “lacerations”) to THE COMMON GROUND WE SHARE... because, brother and sister, I promise you, IT DOES EXIST (I know it does, because I have been there)! And it is on this common ground that we can one day stand firm against America's foes, internal and external!

...But only if we're smart. Only if we have faith. Only if we are willing to put aside our pain and comfortable willingness to judge -- and even hate -- one another (because when Americans are divided, the terrorists really do win.).

So let's do this thang! (Are we READY?) Hell, yes, let's do it!

LET'S TALK ABOUT AMERICA'S TROOPS! (Do we care enough about our patriotic young men and women in service to shelve our petty battles for a moment and seriously discuss their plight? Let's hope so, because their wounds go much deeper than ours.)

The reason I choose to devote my time, energy, and resources to Code Pink, rather than, say, the “Freepers,” is that I am convinced that Code Pink's stance, opposing the current Policy -- which, writ large, predates George W. Bush, by the way -- puts the Pinkies on the right side of America's interests, America's values, AND America's troops... all of which are gravely threatened by the aforementioned Policy.

As I explained to my new acquaintances on the sidewalk last week, I have spent most of the last decade reading several hours a day, listening to C-Span hearings, and following news broadcasts, radio and television (left and right of center) -- and reading some excellent books along the way -- in order to gain as comprehensive an understanding as possible of American history and of our current foreign and domestic policies.

I have endeavored most sincerely to identify and apprehend recent trends and assess our present situation... which in many ways is not an enviable one: Infrastructure crumbling, debt soaring, dollar plummeting... with a populace deeply divided, unhealthy, and barely educated.

America can do better. In the past, we have done better. We can do so again.

But keeping the focus on AMERICA'S MILITARY, paraphrasing General William Casey: The U.S. Army is badly stretched and under-resourced. Our National Guard and Reserves are very nearly broken thanks to long and multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (one war a catastrophic failure, despite the recent calm -- in news coverage -- the other an ever-expanding failure that has seen huge upticks in violence, corruption, poppy production, and civilian casualties... and the comeback of the Taliban -- THROUGH NO FAULT OF THE TROOPS... but rather due to the rose-tinted, self-serving obscurantism of our blinkered political class, Republican and Democrat alike).

According to the military's own studies, military families are paying a high price for the mistakes of America's political leadership: high rates of divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues (not just PTSD), and a soaring suicide rate (in recent years the Army has set one record after another in this dismal category).

There's a reason the Army and Marines face enormous recruiting challenges and a mass exodus in the officer corps: These policies are putting our military under enormous -- and unnecessary -- strain!

And when our soldiers and Marines try to get Uncle Sam to make good on his promises, they are routinely met with a sea of red tape -- after their initial medical treatment, which by most accounts is quite good, to give credit where credit is due.
Nonetheless, our servicemen/women have recounted one experience after another about being stonewalled, lied to, and cheated of promised benefits. Only those who get a little news coverage, it seems, manage to get what they have coming to them.

Many simply give up trying.

How did we arrive at this regrettable state of affairs?

One way we got here was by allowing the politicians, profiteers, chicken-hawks, ideologues, and demagogues to run roughshod over America's career foreign policy and intelligence professionals... and experienced military voices.

Let's review the history:

Prior to 9/11, America's top counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet (running around with his “hair on fire,” it was later said) virtually begged top administration officials to make a greater priority of preparing against a foreseeable (and foreseen) attack by al Qaeda.

The 9/11 Commission revealed that their concerns were not shared by the Bush administration:

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice failed to hold a single Cabinet-level meeting on the subject.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was far more concerned with streamlining (privatizing and shrinking) America's military, closing bases and funneling money to (still) unproven boondoggles like national missile defense.

President Bush admitted that he “didn't feel that sense of urgency” regarding al Qaeda, despite the August 2001 Presidential Daily Brief entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.”

And Attorney General John Ashcroft? He slid anti-terrorism efforts to the bottom of the FBI's top-10 priorities and admonished Paul Pillar to NOT raise the subject with him again!

And after 9/11? When our politicians owed it to the nation to consult with -- even defer a little to -- America's military experts and career intelligence and foreign policy establishment... ideology and hubris triumphed again.

Regarding the “enhanced” interrogation techniques: Senior legal counsel at ALL FOUR branches of THE MILITARY (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) -- as well as the FBI and the Pentagon's Criminal Investigation Task Force -- ALL balked.

Like his peers, the Navy's General Counsel Alberto Mora resisted the suggestions coming from the White House and from Rumsfeld flack William Haynes II, calling the proposed techniques immoral, impractical, and illegal, possibly “rising to the level of torture.”

When the senior legal staff for the Marines warned that the proposed policy might "expose Marines” to legal and physical jeopardy, his concerns, too, were brushed aside.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff and other experienced military minds were also left out of the ensuing discussion, and those who had objected were disdained and ignored by partisans and hacks who had never served a day in their life.

The result? Prisoner abuse and torture at Guantanamo Bay, where -- ACCORDING TO THE U.S. MILITARY -- nearly 50% of America's initial detainees were innocent of any crime and unaffiliated with any terrorist group (according to the CIA, upwards of 33%).

Many of those detainees were simply scooped up by the CIA's allies-of-convenience in the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom: the drug lords, warlords, and extremists who comprised the Northern Alliance, including many former allies of the Soviet Union, like General Rashid Dostum, and former acid-throwing jihadi, Gulbiddin Hekmatyar, who scarred many a Middle-Eastern girl for life (for not wearing the burka). These are the same characters Rumsfeld allowed to call U.S. airstrikes on their rivals (also our allies!) as they jockeyed for position in the new Afghanistan... and we trusted THEM to stock the cells at GITMO!

Why? Because callow cretins like Cofer Black and Rummy thought that paying mercenaries and thugs $1,000 bounties for “terrorists” would somehow yield meaningful results.

Has the Policy fared any better in Iraq?

No, it has not.

Not only has the Democratic and Republican politicians' torture policy not yielded much in the way of actionable intelligence, but it has played a key role in turning the population of Iraq against us.

Since Abu Ghraib, most Iraqis polled now say it is “OK to kill Americans.” Earlier military polls revealed an Iraqi populace more inclined to give us the benefit of the doubt... but that was before the prisoner abuse and neighborhood sweeps that overfilled America's prisons in Iraq (netting tens of thousands -- of Sunnis, primarily -- more than 80% of whom were innocent of any crime, PER THE ANALYSIS OF THE U.S. MILITARY... which was almost entirely ignored by the politicians and sycophantic press).

And who has paid the price for this inept, immoral, and ineffective policy?
THE TROOPS, THAT'S WHO...

Aside from the fact that such heavy-handed and unfocused attacks on Iraqi society have made our honorable and well-meaning troops reviled and viewed as “occupiers” in a land they had truly hoped to liberate, IT IS THE TROOPS WHO HAVE PAID THE PRICE.

Among other nightmares recounted by the U.S. troops serving in Iraq (moving among the obliterated and tortured bodies, encountering the foul smells of death and raw sewage, and dealing daily with the distrust of a hostile populace -- THESE are the stories our troops tell, the further one gets from the press conference), American GI's and Marines have described the bobbing, weaving walk they've had to adopt in order to avoid being shot by snipers when patrolling the Iraqi streets...

Frankly, these young people deserved better leadership than that which has led them to this dark, dangerous place.

After the scandal of Abu Ghraib, General Janice Karpinski was demoted and the enlisted men and women involved in the abuses were tried and convicted as criminals -- despite the fact that they were following orders that emanated from Washington, D.C. and were carried out by politicized generals (Sanchez and Miller) and enforced by unregulated, unaccountable private contractors, Titan and CACI -- as detailed in the report of General Anthony Taguba... who saw his military career cut short as a result of his honest report.

The higher-ups told our enlisted men and women to “soften up” the prisoners, to use dogs, strip the prisoners and take their photographs in sexually humiliating positions... exploiting “Arab vulnerabilities.”

These were their ORDERS.

The contractors and non-military personnel reportedly gave Sgt. Graner several “atta-boys” for his treatment of America's prisoners. All the while, according to his fellow soldiers, his conscience plagued him; he didn't think what he was doing was right (how could he? American troops, untrained in interrogation, encouraged by their superiors, were torturing detainees, sodomizing them, and forcing them to masturbate one another, among other things...).

But WHO got hung out to dry by the politicians and the complacent, “few bad apples” peddling press?

Graner (convicted and sentenced). Englund (convicted and sentenced). Frederick (convicted and sentenced). Davis (convicted and sentenced)... and so on.

And the politicians, Democratic and Republican, played right along. When the scandal broke, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here,” as if the President hadn't signed a memo saying the Geneva Conventions didn't apply to these prisoners... as if these methods of interrogation (forced stripping and sexual humiliation) weren't specifically authorized by Rumsfeld...

(But, my friends, they WERE authorized.)

And it was THE TROOPS who paid the price, not the POLITICIANS (not with this press).

And the troops in Iraq weren't the only ones getting run over by the policymakers...
The Navy JAGs and Chief Prosecutors at GITMO complained from the start about un-American rules, no due process for detainees, and CONSTANT political interference from Washington. Over the years they have described a thoroughly politicized, micromanaged process and DC meddlers imposing absurd conditions to govern the tribunals -- conditions our military never sought (conditions they RESISTED, actually).

We're on our FOURTH Chief Prosecutor now, as the politicians keep forcing them out (for insisting on a lawful process for conducting these tribunals... Check out Col. Morris Davis' account of the politicians who forced him to resign).

These people -- the JAGs and Chief Prosecutors -- aren't “soft on terrorism;” they're champions for America's values -- the values that actually provide us with our security. And they have been fighting a brave but losing battle with the politicians from Day 1... without our help, for the most part.

Where are the American people as the military keeps getting slapped around by the chicken-hawk politicians?

Most of us are in the dark, right where the pols and their jingoist media lackeys want us.

This media is so in the tank for the Policy that most Americans -- including most “Freepers,” I suspect -- simply aren't aware of the extent to which our troops have been hung out to dry by our corporate political class and press.

Because of this Policy-complicit media, most Americans never heard about the U.S. Army captain who tried to report the prisoner abuse he'd seen in Iraq -- prior to Abu Ghraib (back when it could have meant something) -- only to be labeled “crazy” (over the objections of a military psychiatrist), strapped to a gurney, and flown out of the country.

Because of this media, most Americans don't know that General Jay Garner, after spending years on the ground in Kurdistan leading Operation Provide Comfort, was unceremoniously dumped as America's top man in post-war Iraq... in order to make room for Kissinger-protege Jerry Bremer.

Just a few weeks on the job, just after Baghdad fell, Gen. Garner was handed his nuts (figuratively speaking) the moment he suggested conducting elections (which was NOT the policy). Bremer continued to resist calls for elections until well into the insurgency, relenting only when Iraqi Shi'ites put over 100,000 protesters on the streets and DEMANDED elections.

You see, Bremer followed the dictates of the “cabal” (Col. Lawrence Wilkerson's term for Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.): the NeoCon clowns without a day of military experience among them, the anti-democrats who zealously advocated putting convicted criminal Ahmed Chalabi in charge of Iraq with his 700 thugs and his history of graft and fraud.

Self-serving, carpetbagging crumb that he is, upon arriving in Iraq, Chalabi immediately occupied Saddam's elite Hunting Club in the wealthy Mansour neighborhood and began promoting himself as the leader of new Iraq... only to find that most Iraqis disliked and distrusted him. They'd never heard of him!  (And why should they have? He hadn't lived there since the 1950s and left when he was only 13 years old!)

But unlike General Garner, Jerry Bremer was down with the Policy: Economic and Political Control imposed from the top-down... Contracts for cronies, NOT Iraqis (cronies like the 5-star hotel-dwelling Halliburton employees who DEFIED our military's request that they stay in tents with the regular folks and slapped Uncle Sam with a bill for MILLIONS of dollars instead!).

Bremer's Iraq -- the NeoCon's Iraq -- was intended to be a playground for privateers and contractors (Naomi Klein's “Disaster Capitalists” -- READ IT).

And what about those CONTRACTORS? HOW HAVE THEY AFFECTED OUR TROOPS?

In addition to giving Americans a bad name with their reckless and criminally aggressive tactics, murdering (without cause) dozens of Iraqi civilians (PER OUR TROOPS' REPORTS), they've shot at and CS-gassed our troops (without an actual enemy in sight), poached from our officer class, and demoralized our enlisted men and women with their mercenary wages.

They've failed to complete the vast majority of the work they've contracted for, and what work they have done has been routinely late and outrageously short of ANY standard (walls that leak sewage and shoddy wiring, endangering our troops...) while collecting 90% or more of their contracts' value.

What's worse, in addition to the role that contractors played at Abu Ghraib (a disastrous chapter of the war that set the U.S. back immeasurably), it was a private contractor that in April of 2004 provided arguably the single worst turning point in the Iraq war:

Blackwater USA knowingly sent Americans into a Falluja “Red Zone” (off-limits to our military at the time) without proper maps, without a rear gunner (without much that was stipulated in their contracts), only to see them brutally killed, their bodies burned, dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge over the Tigris, leading to a MAJOR escalation of the war... just because some senior company man, an ogre nicknamed “Shrek,” apparently held a grudge against the decorated American veterans in his charge... and sent them to their deaths.

Do I care about our troops?  My Freepy friends, I have made it my business to get the goods on the people that are dirty-dealing our troops every day... and now I'm trying to expose the bums.

For instance, I KNOW that Halliburton provided our troops with extremely (fecal+) contaminated water with which to wash their faces and brush their teeth.  Halliburton DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO BUILD THE REVERSE-OSMOSIS UNIT THEY WERE PAID TO CONSTRUCT... or conduct regular tests of the water they were giving our troops! (Not only that, but Halliburton gagged the company scientist who discovered their many failures, preventing him from sharing his findings with the U.S. MILITARY.)

Here's another horror:

Did you know that at least a dozen GIs and Marines have been ELECTROCUTED on American bases in Iraq because of shoddy electrical wiring by Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR)? Or that KBR knew of the threat and IGNORED IT because their contract didn't require them to fix their mistakes?

Make no mistake: Americans who support these policies do so at the expense of the troops -- not knowingly, I realize, but nonetheless our ignorance puts the troops at risk (as does our blithe willingness to trust the media reports that tell us what we want to hear: “We've turned the corner...”).

BUT IT IS THE TROOPS WHO PAY THE PRICE.

Just as the CIA, DIA, and other U.S. intelligence agencies were ignored, derided, and used in the buildup to war in Iraq, so have America's best and brightest military men and women been ignored, exploited, and shafted by the inexperienced, the self-serving, and the ideological -- in the Bush administration and in the U.S. Congress. 

(You may recall how General Tommy Franks was reduced to haggling with Donald Rumsfeld over the number of troops he initially wanted to bring into Iraq: over 300,000 -- before he was forced to settle for 120,000...)

But please don't mistake me for a partisan. 

As much as any Republican Congressman, Nancy Pelosi has sold out our troops... just as Harry Reid has, and Jane Harmon, Silvestre Reyes, and the rest of those spineless donkeys in the Gang of Eight. 

Their protests to the contrary, they support The Policy.

And this Policy has been terrible for America's military. Step away from the canned press conference, skip the “Congressman's Tour” of GTMO/Iraq/Afghanistan, and JUST ASK THE FOLKS WHO HAVE SERVED...

ASK the Generals: Shinseki, Zinni, Garner, Eaton, Sanchez, Newbold, Batiste, Riggs, Swannack... Ask Mr. “Pottery Barn” himself, “Doctrine”-less Colin Powell (slapped down time and again by that old Saddam courtier Donald Rumsfeld)...

Ask Colonel Morris Davis (GITMO's latest Chief Prosecutor to resign in disgust) or Lt. Commander Charles Swift of the JAG corp...

Ask Staff Sgt. Yance Gray or Sgt. Omar Mora, Scott Helvenston, or Jerry Zovko... Oh wait, we can't ask THEM. They -- like thousands of other genuine American heroes -- are DEAD.

IN CONCLUSION... My “Freepy” friends (if you're still listening), some of you were surprised to learn last week that I am NOT a fan of Bill Clinton (these days, who is?)... or of Barack Obama, especially... or of the Democrats, in general.

(What can I say? I'm not.)

In the presidency of Bill Clinton, I see the SAME morally and intellectually bankrupt and utterly UN-AMERICAN agenda advanced by the current occupant of the White House... only Bill was less reckless about it (a more competent manager of America's downward spiral).

BOTH Clinton and Bush favor trade policies that threaten American jobs and sovereignty -- with little or no protections for the environment or workers' rights (unless sweatshop labor for 11-year olds is somehow a “right”). They have BOTH helped accelerate a global race to the most desperate and impoverished corners of the world... while decimating America's factories and mills.

(HERSHEY is moving to Mexico, people!).

BOTH Clinton and Bush believe in privatizing the American government: with over $200 billion dollars outsourced under Bill Clinton to unaccountable, venal, and inept businesses -- and over $240 billion outsourced under George Bush to unaccountable, venal, and inept businesses (roughly the same figure, largely the SAME businesses).

BOTH Clinton and Bush condone the “crony communist”-style subsidies for American agro-giants that have driven tens of thousands of American small farmers out of business and kept the Third World farmer poor, starving, and dependent. (Thanks to America's dumping of mega-subsidized crops on their doorsteps, many foreign farmers can't come close to making a living growing the food they desperately need.)

BOTH Clinton and Bush allow barely regulated financial institutions to prey on Americans and foreigners alike: flimflamming the poor at home and using the IMF and World Bank to pressure impoverished foreigners abroad into selling their nations into perpetual servitude to usurious lenders who collect their original loans MANY times over.

BOTH Clinton and Bush believe in American Empire, making Americans less safe by maintaining standing armies throughout the world (instead of here, at home, ready to respond to disasters like Hurricane Katrina) and forcing economic and political policies (THE Policy) on other nations, chiefly to benefit the private interests and elites that increasingly OWN our country, too.

This is a side of 2008 America that the Founding Fathers would ABHOR, were they alive to see it.

Finally, NEITHER Clinton nor Bush have much regard for the Constitution, for sovereignty, or the rule of law.

Before George W. Bush took ANY of the following actions, Bill Clinton was:

...Taking America to war without a Congressional declaration;
...Illegally rendering prisoners across the world; and
...Trying to define Guantanamo Bay as a legal black hole, safe from America's courts (not to mention killing children in Iraq).

Also, in the name of the (failed) “War on Drugs,” Bill Clinton's NSA was already working to develop a program along the lines of the infamous program that George Bush expanded in February of 2001:  Peering -- WITHOUT A WARRANT -- into the e-mails and phone calls of THOUSANDS of AMERICANS... communicating with other AMERICANS... in AMERICA (seven months BEFORE 9/11)!

Really, the ONLY difference with George W. Bush is that it has been during his tenure that the Policy -- The Policy that embodies the trend in our government that President EISENHOWER tried to warn us about -- has reached its culmination: 
The Military Industrial (Pharmaceutical-Financial-Telecommunications-Private Security...) Congressional Complex now WRITES the laws! 

The Congressmen and women merely pontificate, posture, and preen over the fine print (...or maybe just the font).

The lobbyists run the show.

There's a “fox” guarding every “hen house” (EPA, FDA, SEC, CPSC, Fannie Mae... DoD).

And nearly every child is being left behind.

(For those of us with eyes to see) neither the Emperor -- nor his “Democratic” court -- are wearing a single stitch of clothing... and we here at home -- JUST like America's troops abroad -- are getting royally SCREWED by these buck-naked, irresponsible lunatics and their corporate courtesans in the press and elsewhere.

This is what we get for taking Democracy -- and the blood of previous generations -- for granted.

P.S. I forgot to mention the contractor that knowingly provided more than 2 MILLION defective helmets to our troops (and was rewarded with a brand new contract); or the sole-bearer of the contract to “up-armor” Humvees (falling further and further behind as our troops were getting killed by I.E.D.s -- with no penalty from Uncle Sam); or the contractor that supplies our troops with flawed body armor, even after it has FAILED one independent test after another (they're STILL selling that crappy design to Uncle Sucker -- that's us -- and the TROOPS PAY with their lives)...
...I also neglected to mention the Pentagon's top procurement officer, Bunnatine Greenhouse. She reported on brazen “no-bid,” “cost-plus” corruption in the Pentagon's contracting process... and LOST HER JOB.

Rah.

Rah.

Rah.

--

Please, my “Freeper” friends:

It's easy to pick up a flag and wave it (or pin it to one's lapel)...

It's easy to let blustering media blowhards tell us what to think (shaming us into supporting the Policy by appealing to our anger, cynicism, and patriotism)...

It's also easy -- very easy -- to get riled by equally passionate people on the other side of an issue -- people who out of their own sense of grievance and moral outrage may occasionally cross the line, disrespecting or offending the sensibilities of others (taking out the occasional spiffy shoe)...

But we've got BIGGER FISH TO FRY, and there's too much at stake.

It's HIGH TIME we demand more oversight over the privateers, profiteers, and the governmental and special interests that are raping this country and exploiting our troops (sending them from one hellish war zone to the next in the service of an agenda that serves NONE of US).

For the sake of our troops...

For the sake of our children...

Let's lobby! Let's move! Let's get Biz-ZAY, and take our democracy back!

(Common ground, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

19 comments:

LT Nixon said...

I have no idea where you are getting that the U.S. is giving Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia money. The Awakening groups were stood up to fight Al-Qaeda in insurgent strongholds. But even if the U.S. was funding terrorist activity in Iraq, one of your founders was so adamant 3 years ago in her support of the brave "Iraqi resistance" that was brutalizing civilians and our troops. Seems like you ladies would be onboard with the idea!

CODEPINK said...

It nixon -- this is not some controversial fact or mystery: The U.S. military, the Iraqi Unity Government, and the Awakening Council leaders have all as much as said that today's Awakening is composed of yesterday's insurgency. They began in late 2006 taking out the foreign jihadis -- because they saw the handwriting on the wall after the 2006 U.S. elections, so far as the U.S. occupation, and they didn't need the foreign element anymore. MONTHS later, the U.S. started paying them to quit attacking us, and today over 100,000 Awakening members are now on the U.S. payroll ($300/month/man). This has been reported by every cable news channel and major newspaper that I can think of... it is merely DOWNPLAYED (the MSM's chosen narrative is "Surge Success" -- not paid off insurgency...).

CODEPINK said...

...and so far as Code Pink's visit to Iraq, please examine the record and you'll see it was about humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Anbari civilians, including women and children (not arms to terrorists, as has been portrayed by some). Also, your comment confuses resistance to occupation with terrorist activity... understandably (the pols and media have been telling us for years that everyone that attacks our troops is a "terrorist," which is how the Sunni insurgency, scores of thousands of Iraqis who we had knocked out of power, were initially lumped into the umbrella term of "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." I don't like the fact that they're attacking our troops any more than you do, but they're not, technically, "terrorists" -- they're the people we declared war on five-and-a-half years ago, and the target of the majority of their attacks has been a MILITARY target: Us!) It has been very confusing to a lot of Americans the way the pols and media have spun this. Actual al Qaeda representatives -- foreign al Qaeda -- have been limited to a few thousand, at best... and most of them have come from Saudi Arabia and Africa. They've never been behind most of the attacks on our troops (they've been behind most of the attacks on civilians, especially Shi'ite civilians and foreigners)... and the Awakening groups weren't "stood up" -- they stood up themselves, MONTHS before the Surge was even discussed. Iraqi Sunnis were sick of the foreign jihadis, their bloody tactics and intimidation of the local populace, so they decided to clean house... because after the '06 midterm elections in the U.S., they figured (correctly, I would say) that it is only a matter of time before the U.S. leaves.

avitoots said...

This is the first time I've read somewhere that anyone is calling these so-called "good Christians" on their hypocrisy. The Bush Administration is full of people who call themselves "good Christians" and yet break the Commandments on a daily basis, particularly the "thou shalt not bear false witness." Now, it doesn't matter to me if you break the Commandments. Want to commit adultery (McCain and Giuliani, among others)? Fine, by me. Want to lie and cheat (the entire Bush administration, McCain, Palin and Giuliani and probably most politicians across the world)? Fine by me. Just don't turn around and tell me how righteous and morally superior you are and how your viewpoint is the only acceptable viewpoint.

Whether your facts are correct, or not, is immaterial. Often times we are fed only the facts that those in power think "we can handle," "won't make them look bad," and/or "will support their viewpoint." It has been proven time and again that these so-called "good Christians" lie and cheat and are more concerned with their ego-centric, self-obsessed wants and needs than the U.S. citizenry. It is hard for me to believe that God is o.k. with going to church on Sunday and then being the same lying, cheating, hate-filled schmucks on Monday. Ponder that.

JimPreston said...

Nice work, as usual, James, although I do not recommend including older posts. The 'hate' issue is quite disturbing, as is the over-personalization of politics and policy. Our political system is clearly over-focussed on personalities, and virtually all of the media is more than willing to discuss things in that framework. It is, after all, much easier to talk about who you want to have a beer with than too try and have a rational discussion about policy. Pretty sad, but we work with it the way we can. For me, I'll do it in PINK!!
peace,
jim

LT Nixon said...

I don't like the fact that they're attacking our troops any more than you do, but they're not, technically, "terrorists"

So does Code Pink support people killing American troops or not? I can believe that you don't support terrorism directed at civilians in Iraq, but are you supportive of IEDs, indirect fire, and other irregular warfare tactics that have killed our troops in Iraq? There isn't much room for gray area on this subject.

You've described the payment to the Sahwa councils, and, yes, some of them were members of the Sunni insurgency. But you've highlighted the difference between the Sunni insurgency that is being paid and Al-Qaeda (foreign-led). So why the hell did you write that the US is giving money to Al Qaeda Mesopotamia?

CODEPINK said...

“So does Code Pink support people killing American troops or not?”

Of course not. I said “I DON'T like” that they're attacking our troops... How you can construe that as “support” for such attacks, I don't know.

I was trying to make a technical distinction: If the target is civilian, then the action is “terrorism;” if the target is military, the action is warfare (even if using unconventional tactics). It's ludicrous to suggest that the Sunnis we overthrew should come out and fight us “like men” on the battlefield. With our technological advantages, we would slaughter them in a matter of minutes! Our enemy is simply applying tactics that increase his advantage. (When George Washington made analogous adjustments in our war with the British, they called him... a “terrorist.” They too were wrong. It's warfare, plain and simple.)

But for clarity's sake... I don't think the insurgents are George Washington, I hate what they're doing, I hate that it has succeeded, and I hate that so many U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians have died, and that we're still in this stupid war.

As to your second point, the reason I wrote that the U.S. is giving money to AQM is that the majority of the Sahwa councils are composed primarily from ex-AQM forces (per the Baghdad government, per members of the Awakening Movement itself, and per several U.S. military sources quoted in dozens of reports over the last year+). According to all of the above, “at least 50%” of the Sons of Iraq are formerly members of a broad Sunni insurgency that American politicians and media have sloppily referred to as “al Qaeda in Mesopotamia” (mostly for political reasons... because -- think about it -- if our enemy in Iraq isn't al Qaeda, then that would mean we diverted resources from Afghanistan in order to launch a war that created scores of thousands of enemies that we DIDN'T have on September 12, 2001... scores of thousands of potential allies to bin Laden... so they just HAD to be al Qaeda -- in Mesopotamia! -- even though they weren't...).

More accurately, the majority of the people we've been fighting in Iraq are IRAQIS.

They are Sunni insurgents, irregular military forces, some of whom eventually partnered with newly minted al Qaedists, like Zarqawi; others of whom were imprecisely lumped into AQM by the IUG, the U.S. military, the media and politicians... because that's how we referred to ALL our Sunni enemies... even though most of them never embraced al Qaeda's tactics or their cause.

The reason why this conversation is so confusing is that AQM itself is almost entirely a fiction! The foreign element in Iraq, however violent, has NEVER been more than 2-3% of the insurgency.

In fact, to make a broader (but relevant) point, practically NONE of the people we've been calling “al Qaeda” in recent years have had ANY real affiliation with the group led by Zawahiri and bin Laden, in or out of Iraq (which explains why John McCain got so confused a couple months back, referring to “IRAN's” support for “al Qaeda!” He simply meant “insurgents”).

The problem is we've simply taken to calling everyone we don't like a “terrorist” or “al Qaeda” or an “Islamofascist” (in some cases just because they oppose our presence in their country, or our support for terrorists or dictators in their region).

The fact that we do so confuses Americans -- including our leaders -- about WHO our enemies actually are. This kind of conflation is dangerous and can have real, detrimental effects on our war against al Qaeda (the REAL al Qaeda, not every Tahm, Dique, and Hahhri with a gripe and a gun -- the fact is, most of the people we are fighting in the world today, especially in Iraq, Somalia, Iran, and Algeria, had NO interest in pointing their guns toward us... until we targeted THEM... because 9/11 enabled the “empire”-minded, “force-projection” fans to put U.S. interests and resources and troops in all kinds of places in the world where we weren't welcome before (neither local governments or the American public would have tolerated it... prior to 9/11).

(I'm talking about the Cheneys, McCains, Albrights, Rumsfelds, and Bidens, now... the neocons and morons at PNAC and a dozen other think tanks).

Consider Algeria, which previous to 9/11 had an insurgency (against a brutally oppressive, dictatorial government), an insurgency comprised of Islamists with NO affiliation to al Qaeda and NO hatred of the U.S. -- until we drove them into the arms of al Qaeda and gave international terrorism -- and al Qaeda -- a HUGE boost! Check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01
/world/africa/01algeria.html?
fta=y&pagewanted=print

Since 9/11, George Bush has magnified this counterproductive behavior beyond all measure... which is why we're LOSING the Global War on Terror! (bin Laden's strategy is to bankrupt us and discredit us morally before the eyes of the world -- not kill us on the battlefield! We should be cognizant of our enemy's strategy, no?)

(That's why I think our corrupt government and the military industrial complex must be part of this discussion: they are unwittingly aiding our most serious adversary with their greed and graft!)

But back to IRAQ...

The Bush crowd needs to make it seem that we're primarily fighting “terrorists” in Iraq, rather than IRAQIS. They NEED the insurgency to be made up of “terrorists,” because the phrase “Iraq is the Central Front in the War on Terror” became a political necessity for an INCREDIBLY political administration with a VERY unpopular war on its hands... which they have totally mismanaged.

Nearly six years in, they are STILL linking Iraq to 9/11 with the “T” word, when all along we have primarily been fighting IRAQI SUNNI INSURGENTS who don't give a crap about al Qaeda or their cause!

These are the SAME PEOPLE we started off fighting nearly six years ago! Baathists, ex-Saddamists, and plain old Sunnis who got screwed when we invaded their country and gave it to Iran!

That's who “AQM” really are!

General Petraeus and others have said all along that AQM is indigenously comprised and foreign led (...but even that overstates the role that foreign jihadis have played in this insurgency: SMALL).

Most Iraqi Sunnis HATE the foreign element, and they are all too happy to finally be eliminating those bloody bastards from their country. (And if we weren't paying them to chill, they'd still be targeting US... because they don't want us there, and they hate us for what we've done to their country.)

THAT is who we're paying today, and THAT is who we've been fighting all along! The “Sons of Iraq,” the “Awakening,” the “Concerned Local Citizens” (whatever you want to call them) are the same folks we've (sloppily) been calling “al Qaeda in Mesopotamia” for the past several years.

Triston said...

learn2protest, you ugly bitches are epic failures. Get some hot ass members and do a car wash, kbye.

CODEPINK said...

lt nixon, is it safe to say you do support attacks on civilians as long as the U.S. is swinging the club and Iraqis are on the receiving end? That's what it sounds like. The U.S. is the only country that INVADES another country (DO NOT call this war as that implies the need to defend oneself and Iraq did NOTHING to the U.S. for which it needs to defend) and when civilians attempt to defend themselves from our invading forces, the U.S. calls them terrorists. Did you expect them to just lay down and die? I would imagine many, including the the current administration, did considering Iraq was the weakest country in the region, a threat to no one, but I guess the spirit of Iraqis was grossly underestimated.

Supporting the troops and supporting peace and supporting the rights of Iraqis to defend themselves are not mutually exclusive. Did we not support the rights of the people of Kuwait against Saddam? Then why wouldn't the Iraqis be entitled to the same rights? Stop pretending to misunderstand the message. Its perfectly clear. If you invade a nation, people will do whatever they have to do to fight back and they have every right. Would you think Americans would do anything less if we were invaded. Would we be concerned with the why? We don't need a foreign military to over-throw our criminals, we can take care of them ourselves and so can they. If there were jellybeans under the Iraq sand, we wouldn't have given a damn what Saddam was doing to his people so let's keep this in perspective. Our military was sent there under total lies and by now is basically told to shoot at whatever moves or feels threatening (which is probably every time the wind blows) and civilian Iraqis are fighting back. The folks that made this decision to invade Iraq are guilty of murder on all counts. It falls under what is commonly referred to in legal-ese as depraved indifference.
Every Iraqi that fights against invading forces is labeled as an insurgent or a terrorist which translates to anyone who won't let us run rampant over their country. They want us out and that's exactly what we need to be. If anyone is truly concerned about the safety of our soldiers, well there's a really easy way to insure it: Get them home, now.
Is that clear enough?
~d

LT Nixon said...

All I can say about your comment is that it is incredibly sad and a tragic sign of the times that people in America think this way.

joshpurple said...

Just a post in support of you outstanding people at Code Pink!

Great job, and Thank You!

More power to you all, keep up the great work!

Peace!

CODEPINK said...

Lt nixon: It's unfortunate that you've reverted to invective. Initially, you did raise a substantive point about AQM. I tried to give it a fair and thoughtful response. I hope our next conversation can be equally productive and does not degenerate... you degenerate (j/k).

CODEPINK said...

...and by the way, Lt Nixon, it might be a bit confusing that you are having a conversation with more than one person. I am James O'Donnell, the author of the blog "To the Haters," and the person with whom you've been having the conversation about AQM.

"~d" is "~d" and I understand that your last comment was addressed to his/her comment ...but just for clarity's sake, the tag name of "codepink" is used by several people in this space.

(...and, speaking for myself, I really would like to have a substantive, courteous, respectful discussion...

...you scumwad -- kidding again)

(I promise you I really AM kidding. I don't have anything personal against you. I don't KNOW you. I'm just trying to lighten the tone, so I hope you have a sense of humor... ya' big -- okay, the joke's played.)

--JO'D

Jenn of the Jungle said...

You pinkos can pretend all you want that you are about peace and love, but your actions speak louder than words.

In April 2004 your cult leader Medusa Benjamin pretended she doesn't like violent protest then says this:

"The main thing is to continue to look for creative ways to take action, to NOT discourage other methods that you personally might not be moved to do....."

That's right anarchists of the 2008 RNC Medusa has some great door prizes for you, thanks for coming.

You've got your lies:
http://www.intelligencesummit.org/images/news/CODEPUNK.jpg

Then you have your hate:
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/code-pink_traitors.jpg

Support the Iraqi resistance? You mean support the killing of our own troops???

And EVERYONE else are the hater. sure, OK.

And stop claiming to speak for women. THIS WOMAN is not for you or anything you stand for. Id like peace, pretty much everyone but the Islamic terrorists want peace, but sometimes that's not possible.

CODEPINK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CODEPINK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CODEPINK said...

Jenn of the Jungle:

I've been associated with Code Pink for some time, and NO ONE here supports the killing of the troops... even in Iraq, where our nation has committed several small war crimes in the midst of one enormous one -- not the fault OR intent of the troops, but a result of the gross miscalculation and indifference of the policymakers, Republican and Democratic alike.

(And please stop painting all Muslims with the same hateful brush -- Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11; they never attacked us; they were never planning to attack us; according to UNICEF, under Bill Clinton our sanctions had killed 500,000 to 750,000 of their children under the age of five at the time we declared war on them, killing scores if not hundreds of thousands more... with no cause whatsoever; and yet there were virtually NO Islamic radicals in Iraq prior to our invasion).

(I'm not sure why I'm trying to reach you -- I think it's pretty clear that you didn't read my blog, and that you just want to insult us... I hope I'm wrong, but that's what you're conveying in your tone and comments.)

As for your first link: The "lies" supposedly evident in a photograph that's clearly been altered -- OBVIOUSLY for design purposes and NOT to deceive anyone -- are not lies at all, are they? It's just a collage. It's obviously just a collage.

As for your second link: One sign outside of a tent, one stray message (an understandable one, considering our illegal occupation and the holocaust we've unleashed), can hardly be construed to represent an entire organization... unless you're looking to distort and hate fellow Americans with whom you disagree (which is what you've done with that fairly innocuous quote of Medea's)...

Calling us "Pinkos" is not exactly civil discourse, so maybe the term "Hater" applies to you in this instance, Jenn...

Nonetheless, I'm sure we can have a more civil conversation, if you're interested (please start by reading the full blog -- and the entire thread of comments on this page).

You're entitled to your opinion. You're entitled to hate us, if that's your pleasure.

But you do your country no service when you attack people of conscience by twisting their words and looking for ways to distort their message.

We are all Americans. If we practice hate and division, we cannot come together to solve the serious problems we face and defeat our enemies (hint: They're not Iraqi Sunnis or Iranians... both of which would prefer simply to be LEFT ALONE -- OUR enemy is AL QAEDA, no friend to HALF the people we're fighting today... and a good friend of many of the people we're FINANCING today, including THE TALIBAN, to whom the United States has given BILLIONS of dollars since 9/11 through our "ally," Mr. Musharraf, the dictatorial sponsor of the Taliban who funneled U.S. funds to them and freed thousands of them from his jails while jailing thousands more peaceful, political opponents!)

Check out the facts: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/
07/magazine/07pakistan-t.html?
ref=magazine&pagewanted=print

and:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/19
/world/asia/19legacy.html?_r=1
&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

and:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/
2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh?
printable=true

and:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/18
/world/asia/18doctor.html?
pagewanted=print

- JO'D

sektor0621 said...

I think you guys are GREAT! The only thing is that you guys don’t get much TV exposure. I have a suggestion that will put code pink on the map! I would love to see this on the news: picture this plane full of code pink members fly to Iraq, promoting your message of peace in Iraq. Think about it since the American people don’t want to listen to you. Code pink should take it to the Iraqi people so they can spread the message and go PINK!!!That way they don’t come to America and cause another 9/11. Now that would be GREAT!!!! That will put you guys on the map! Think about it Code pink brings peace to the Middle East! Now that will put you in the history books!

CODEPINK said...

Yo, Sektor! Actually, Code Pink has made more than one visit to Iraq, bringing our message of Peace to the people our nation has so grievously wronged: Hundreds of thousands killed, over 5 million refugees, 70% of Iraqis without access to clean water, and their nation plunged into bloody sectarianism and criminality (currently ranked the most corrupt nation in the Middle East -- #3 in the world).

Funny how some trumpet the troop "Surge" which gave Iraqis and America's troops alike the most deadly chapter of the entire war and resulted in nearly 2.5 million internally displaced Iraqi civilians... and a blast-wall balkanized Baghdad, cleansed of its majority population, the Sunnis. History will not judge us -- or our Shi'ite death squad allies -- very kindly for that chapter of the war!

Of course, the violence only really began dropping after we put the insurgency on the U.S. payroll -- $300/month/man to get over 100,000 ex-insurgents to stop shooting at us for a while! (We could have done THAT years ago, instead of letting that knucklehead Bremer fire the lot of them, which created the insurgency in the first place -- what a FIASCO!)

But YES, Code Pink has been to Iraq! Though it's not really about self-promotion or the "history books," we have raised funds for Iraq's refugees (over 83% of whom are women and children under 12), and delivered those funds personally, trying to generate some good will toward Americans.

And Sektor, I share your concerns about the BLOWBACK America is courting with this immoral, profit-driven policy (starting a war that never had anything to do with al Qaeda or WMD -- wow, the information that's come out since 2003!), so I'm sure you support our goal: Ending the war in Iraq A.S.A.P.!

Of course the odds are that you stand with Code Pink and the 70% of our fellow Americans who recognize that this policy has only damaged our interests and helped al Qaeda... so please consider supporting us with more than just your words! Go to our homepage and find out how to contribute!

- JO'D