Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oh the Irony! Disabled Iraqis to Dominate Paralympics

“God willing, I will win a medal for Iraq,” said Rasul Kadhim,
a weight lifter with a paralyzed leg, as he trained for the Paralympics.

I saw this in the New York Times daily email:
"Athletes Disabled by Wars Lead Iraqi Team in World Games By ANDREW E. KRAMER War and hardship have not destroyed all of Iraq’s dreams for international competition. The country, which has been in three wars in two decades, has a robust Paralympic team."

From the article:“Iraqis love sports. Anyone who doubts it should consider the rat-a-tat of automatic weapons fired after every Iraqi soccer victory. Yet after five years of war, Iraq’s chances of fielding a competitive Olympic team are vanishingly small. . . . The country, which has been in three wars in two decades, has a robust Paralympic team. 'As a country that participated in many wars since 1980, we have many disabled people,' said Ahmed Abid Hassan, a wheelchair fencing coach. 'Our Paralympic team is better than our Olympic team.'”

Only one Iraqi qualified for the Olympics, but 20 for the Paralympics. They have faced many challenges in preparing for competition this year. The coach of the wheelchair basketball team who stood 6'6” (not in a chair himself) was shot in the head, because when nearby firefight started, the wall he was standing behind wasn't high enough. “A blind athlete, Qasim Muttar, who was a promising player of goalball — soccer played with a ball that contains bells — died after being run over by an American convoy while crossing a street.” These are two small, but poignant examples of the challenges that Iraqis face in their daily lives . . . while training for the Paralympics.

This all speaks to the great humanity of the Iraqi people. When I came back from Iraq, and people asked me what the Iraqi people were like, this was my best explanation: “They are people like any other in the world, with hopes and dreams and fear and love. Like all people, they are to a large extent products of their circumstance and experience. They are affected by a distinctly challenging history and it shows. When in Iraq, we would accuse them of lack of foresight, but why would you start saving money for your kids college tuition when you can't afford to eat, and you don't know if the college will still be standing when your kid grows up anyway?”

I hope that the Iraqi Paralympic team can be a powerful testament to the humanity of the people of Iraq, all the people of the world, and especially those disadvantaged by circumstance whose character we would be tempted to disparage. And I hope they kick some fucking ass!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Camp Fallujah Marines Need Help!

A friend of mine at Camp Fallujah forwarded this to me today:

Subject: Marines Need Help:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Hey Everyone. Today we had an incident here in Fallujah, and our sister units berthing area caught fire and burned to the ground. It spread so fast and with 120 temps here today, there was no way they could contain the fire in time. These Marines lost everything that they had, all of their military issued gear as well as personal gear. The area was a complete loss, and now these Marines have little means to come up with items to live a somewhat comfortable life out here.

As most of you know, or have heard, getting clothing items and hygiene items out here is very hard, and once it does get here it's a battle between everyone to buy as much as you can at one time. Everyone has been so good supporting us with the comforts of home, and now we are asking for people to help out our fellow Marines. Anything that you could send, hygiene items or clothing items (PT style clothing shorts/t-shirts/black socks/white socks/Boxers/shower shoes (sandals) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all very much for your continued guys keep us going. Here is my address, you can address it to me, or to Sgt Marilyn Gomez, and we will take it to the unit so it can be distributed out to them. Somewhere on the package, list "C/O RCT-1" that way we know what it is.

Cpl Espinoza, B.C.
Sgt Gomez, M.J.

MDDOC/MCC-I Unit 42540
FPO-AP 96426-2540
Al-Fallujah, IRAQ

Brandon C. Espinoza
Multi National Force-West
MAGTF Deployment Dist. OPS Center
Movement Coordination Center, Fallujah Iraq

There were about 20 Marines living in this particular building, so there is a significant immediate need here. According to my friend there, things have kind of gone to shit on base. When I first got to Camp Fallujah, the Army was in charge of the chow hall and the chow was about as good as in my college cafeteria. (Some of us still had to eat a lot of MREs.) But when the Marines took over the operation the food went to shit. At least the PX was still run by AAFES and was pretty reliable. But now, according to my friend, "Yeah it is very hard to get stuff here, the shipments have really slowed down. We pretty much resort to people back in the states sending us shaving cream and shit like that, or wait until someone goes to BIAP and they bring it back in bulk. You cant even buy skivee shirts and what not. It blows. Yeah, the Marines are in charge of the one here and it sucks. I feel bad for these guys, they literally lost every fucking thing they had..."

I will be taking up a collection at the IVAW house in DC if anyone in the area would like to donate something. Please call me at (202)505-6435 if you can come by before noon on Friday when I will be sending it out, otherwise, put together your own package!

To find out more about our DC operation, check out this video that Erica Anderson just did for the MTV Street Team.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Clifton Hicks Exposes Christian Ignorance and Arrogance

From Clif:

I used to be friends with this kid when I was in high school, we used to go camping and shit like that. In hindsight I guess he always was a fucking dipshit - clif

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Chris
Date: Jun 16, 2008 2:59 AM

Man so it has been a long time since i heard anyhitng from you kid. Hope all is well with you. Isaw your vid on you tube made a joke on it if you see it. It seems as if you never have chnaged. Glad your safe from the war. But sad to see your saying alot of G-- D----- in your speach. I dont have an opinion of the war. All i know is the american pressence in the middle east is causing many muslims to convert to christianty because they feel like they well be in safty. Which means i support the war in that sense. BEcause I know God is at work in this world.

Im moving soon to Kenya to work with some over seas missions organizations. Im pretty stoked about it. I get to live with the poorest of the poor people and see Gods hand at work. As you know I am studiyng to be a pastor still. which is really really cool. I will have my masters in a few. So you got to tell me whats be new in your world.

=========================== My Reply ===========================

I believe it goes, "As you have done even unto the least of my brothers, so have you done unto me."

Chris, I shot a man over there, I don't know if he died but he certainly fell down. I was also directly involved in the deaths of numerous other people, among them a 7 or 8 year old girl who's only crime was being born in Iraq. No one knows who's bullet punched a hole in her tiny body. War is murder, supporting war of any kind for any reason in any sense is supporting blind, wholesale mass murder.

I have been a murderer and I have repented. You on the other hand have not murdered, but you seem to think murder is acceptable as long as it's for the sake of converting Christians. Which of us is more likely to burn for eternity in a lake of fire?

You are not a Christian, you are merely another misled sheep who wishes merely to conform with some strange qausi-Christian American ideal, thus taking the easy wrong over the hard right. No true Christian would or could support this or any war. What do you think Christ would think of war? Which village would Christ select for "precision" bombing? How would Christ punish a terrorist? What would Christ say to a coward, like you, who falsely worships him?

You have studied Christianity for much of your life and you have only succeeded in distancing yourself from Christ. You grow further and further away with every turn of a bible page.
- Clif

Adam's note: Chris said in his email: "the american pressence in the middle east is causing many muslims to convert to christianty because they feel like they well be in safty." (sic) This is most absurd. Clearly our presence is driving people away from Christianity. You can decide for yourself if that's a good thing. I have not heard any evidence of a single Muslim converting to Christianity because of the war. I wonder if anyone is deliberately spreading this insidious rumor within the Christian community.

Monday, June 23, 2008

4th Amendment Trampled in DC - Illegal Police Checkpoint

***UPDATE - This incident occurred in DC Ward One, represented by Jim Graham. If you live here, please email him to ensure that he sees this video at: jim at grahamwone dot com. My email to Jim is at the bottom of the description. For more info about your Police District, city council representative, and other places to lodge complaints, go to ***

This video was shot on the afternoon of June 20, 2008 at the corner of Warder St NW and Princeton Pl NW very close to my house.


We have only the rights we are willing to fight for.

Police checkpoints like this are illegal and in direct violation of the 4th amendment, which is meant to protect us from "unreasonable searches and seizures" without "probably cause."

Mayor Fenty, DC Attorney General Peter Nickles (living in an estate in Virginia) and MPD are using the recent murders as an excuse to shut down our neighborhoods.

This is what the start of a police state looks like.

This is part of the fascist shift this country is experiencing.

Here are three ways to fight back:


You do not have to talk to the police. Police often act as if citizens are required to speak to them. You don't! If they question you, and you don't want to speak to them, simply tell them you have nothing to say. If they persist say, "I want to speak to a lawyer."

If stopped, ask them if you are being detained. If "yes," just say you don't want to say anything, except to a lawyer. If "no," tell them you're going about your business. Then do so.

DO NOT AGREE TO A SEARCH! On the street, they do not have the right to search you without a good reason. Police might anyway, but a lawyer may be able to have the results thrown out if you don't agree to the search. Same thing goes for in your car. DO NOT AGREE TO A SEARCH!

Record as much info as you safely can with any run in with police: date, time, location, names of witnesses, contact info, names of cops, badge numbers, everything.


We still have enough of a democracy here that your voice has value. I hope.

Call the Mayor's Office of Community Relations & Services at 202.442.8150. To reach your district department, call 311.

If you were stopped at a checkpoint, your car was searched, or you experienced an inconvenience due to the police, call the ANSWER Coalition, which is organizing a community and citywide response to the checkpoints and police misconduct. 202.544.3389 ext 14


This is one time that holding a sign can be very effective if carefully placed:



Music credits:
Both tracks used in this video are from Head Roc's album Negrophobia.
The first track, "Police Origin," features the voice of Jared Ball. The second track, "Tarzan," includes a conversation about "Cop Watch," which was the inspiration for this video.


Councilmember Graham,

I was appalled to hear that checkpoints were being put up randomly in DC neighborhoods and couldn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes on my own street. When I did, I made the following video about it which expresses my concerns, and the concerns of others affected by this checkpoint.

I look forward to hearing what you plan on doing about this and if you will join us in resisting this trampling of our Constitution.


Adam Kokesh

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Demanding Impeachment

Last week I had the honor of joining VFP to present petitions for impeachment to Congressman Conyers. While a lot of the vets took the nice approach, Bill Perry and I were distinct in confronting him directly, and expressing our anger and disappointment in his failure to start impeachment hearings. While a lot of people in the room were shocked with how I spoke to him, I have been receiving a lot of support for directly confronting him.


Kokesh: I'm not here to blow hot air up your ass like some of these other people have. But I hope that the petitions in front of you have made it clear that there is significant public pressure and support for impeachment at this point. And I know you don't get to twenty-one terms in Congress without being concerned about reelection, and I hope that these petitions make it clear that not impeaching is a greater liability for you than impeaching at this point. And I hope that having known that impeachable offenses have been committed for some time now, that you will finally take it upon yourself to do what you can to support that impeachment and support your own oath to support the Constitution instead of abdicating that responsibility as you have thus far.

Conyers: Well, just a minute. I think you should know that the twenty-one terms that I have been voted into office didn't come from me currying favor with my constituents as much as it is for doing the kind of job that they wanted me to do. So I don't think I got here by backing off of the strong issues. As a matter of fact, my record might indicate to even you that it's because I took on the difficult issues that I am now the second most senior person in the House of Representatives.

Kokesh: And that's why it's all the more surprising that you haven't yet brought impeachment hearings.

Conyers: Well, let us decide how we're going to discuss this subject since it's surprising to you. I didn't agree to this meeting because I was going to try not to let you know what has been happening and what it is I intend to do about it. Maybe you will be surprised again.

Kokesh: I hope so.


He didn't tell us anything about what he intended to do about the issue of impeachment at that meeting, but instead scheduled another meeting with us for July 8th. I am hoping, (but not counting on it) to be surprised. I will be there and I will be reporting on it here.

The documentation and some of the supportive emails I have received since then are below.


In an article from Philly IMC:
Vets meet w/ John Conyers, Kucinich, & Wexler Wed, 6/11 re:IMPEACH

While most of the 20 some Veterans were conciliatory and pleased to hand our 23,000 pro-IMPEACH petition signatures to Chairman Conyers, both Iraq Veterans Against the War Board of Directors Co-Chair, Adam Kokesh, and Delaware Valley Veterans Executive Director, Bill Perry, made it clear to Judiciary Chair Conyers that we felt betrayed by Conyers failure to advocate for Impeachment, as he had done earlier, ever since the Downing Street Memos, in April, 2005.


Veterans for Peace Meeting With John Conyers to Demand Impeachment


Veterans for Peace Demand Impeachment of President Bush


From Tarak Kauff:

Thanks Adam for speaking up the other day at Conyers. The rest of us were way too polite. I'm still kicking myself. What a song and dance he gave us. Next time, guaranteed, I won't be so mild.


From Susan:

Hi! I just watched some of the VforP meeting with John Conyers(on youtube) about impeachment, wow- I could really sense your anger. Of course I don't blame you, in fact I admire your ability to be clear and not hold back, I would not have been able to be so icy.(Also liked the guy- i missed his name- who said 'impeach the bastards').

I tend to go from being very, very, very angry that this bullshit has been allowed to go on- (which I'm glad you made that point to Conyers, that something judicial should have been done by now) to trying to be more diplomatic than angry.
But, sometimes enough is enough- and your 'confrontation?' with him struck a cord with me. At first I thought, well Adam, way to alienate the one person who might be able to do something further about impeachment, then I thought about it and realized that you were reflecting your true anger at the situation and displaying what more people should do- which is hold our Senators and Reps. personally accountable- they work for us and should be confronted by the will of the people, esp. when they are not acting to protect our rights and the principles they swore to uphold.

So, I don't know, I was just inspired to write to you about it. I hope you know I support you(posting on your blog for awhile now), and even though I don't know you, your actions(as well as others who are standing up) have a reaching affect to many people. Even though we are strangers, we are all in this together.

Anyway, I have a renewed sense of hope that with Kucinich's resolution having been introduced, what is truly right and just will prevail. I admit I got a little teary eyed watching him read the articles- is that stupid?:)- I can't help it, hopefully you understand. It's just so important to me that someone is speaking these truths on the House floor, it's been a long time coming.

take care-




My name is Miranda and I have been talking to Ron Fisher about the impeachment articles against Bush. While speaking with Mr. Fisher he told me about you guys and asked me to come up when they go back to see Mr. Conyers. I went online and saw the video of when all of you spoke in his office. Then I looked you up, since yours was the first name I saw on the video and I saw your blog.

I just wanted to say that I am so proud of you and the others for your bravery and what you have done, not just on the impeachment, but all you have done for our country, no matter where you went or why. I am saddened and outraged by what has happened to my country in just a few short years and if it weren't for people like you, I don't know where we would be and what we would do. I hope that we can live up to your expectations of us. I live in Norfolk, VA and I believe that civilians have a duty to you to make sure that you are never sent anywhere that isn't absolutely necessary. Like I said to Mr. Fisher, we are taking chances with your lives that we shouldn't be taking, no matter how much money goes in your pockets or Haliburton's. I knew Bush was lying before we went into Iraq and I feel as though I failed in my responsibilities as an American. I did all that I could. It just wasn't enough. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help now. I have been very busy already.

Take care and keep up the good work,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Do you really think fat guys on segways should have AR-15s? DC Metro Police Department does.

I attented a rally & press conference held at the Wilson Building last week to protest the killing of DeOnte Rawlings, demand the police officers responsible be held accountable, demand compensation for the Rawlings family, and keep DC from putting AR-15s in the hands of cops on DC streets. The oppressive heat and humidity of this early summer heat wave DC was enduring were nothing compared to the oppressive policies at hand and were not enough to deter a healthy turnout, both from the press and supporters. While we were there, a couple of cops showed up. One of them was the fatass on the segway seen above.

From the announcement:


Last year 14 year old DeOnte Rawlings was shot in the back of the head by off duty police officers. The officers claimed to have been fired on first but, no gun was recovered and the off duty cops fled the scene after shooting DeOnte down.

Last month all charges were dropped against the officers. The U.S. Attorney's Office announced "that investigators have found no wrongdoing by D.C. police officers."

It was also recently announced that D.C. cops will be issued AR-15 assault riffles. The police department says that officers need to be heavily armed to take on the powerful weaponry they claim is increasingly possessed by criminals.

We say that DeOnte's killers must be fully prosecuted and that plans to arm cops with machine guns must be halted immediately. We also demand compensation for DeOnte's family and a memorial for victims of police murder. Join us for a rally and press conference to shed light on these issues and build momentum against police violence and impunity.

Sponsored by the Black August Planning Organization & the International Socialist Organization


Naji Muhamid was there representing the Black August Planning Organization and spoke at length about the history of police brutality towards blacks in America and the lack of accountability. Obi Egbuna was there and lay down the fire for Cease Fire. My favorite speaker that day was Matthew Fogg. I first met Matthew at the Whistleblower's Conference hosted by the No Fear Institute where he introduced himself as a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Right away I felt an afinity for him as a member of LEAP because of the parallel with Iraq Veterans Against the War. We are both people who carried out policies that we are speaking out against now. He was speaking on behalf of the Congress Against Racism & Corruption in Law Enforcement, and as always, did a wonderful job as a police officer speaking critically about law enforcement policies in DC. Here is a video of a speech he gave for the ACLU recently:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Matthis Chiroux Openly Resists in DC

Matthis Chiroux delivered this speech today, Father's Day, the day he was ordered to report from the IRR for deployment to Iraq. Instead, he is openly resisting from the IVAW house in DC. We are giving him sanctuary here and will assist him in physically resisting if necessary. Should any military or law enforcement personnel come here, to MY house, they will not be welcome, nor will they find removing him from the premises to be physically tenable.

Matthis Chiroux:

We gather here this Father’s Day on a very somber note.

The American occupation of Iraq, an illegal, immoral war which is ripping this nation apart, as well causing immeasurable harm to the Iraqi people and the people of the world alike.

We gather in remembrance of the sacrifice of many whose Fathers’ weep on this joyous day, for they know their own flesh and blood has been torn and siphoned from them for what we collectively hope will be this last blunder of American military might.

We gather here in hope that our fathers will forgive us for the wrongs we’ve perpetrated on our bodies, hearts and minds alike in this cruel decade of disaster, which stems from the very city in which we stand.

This Father’s Day, we gather here to calm the Vicious and the Vengeful alike.

The first time I came to Washington D.C. was less than one month before I shipped out to basic training. I was so moved by this country and it’s history, that it reinvigorated my belief in the righteousness of what I was doing…joining the Army in search of not only personal progress, but to participate in efforts to bring justice to the individuals responsible for 9-11.

I remember standing at the base of the Washington Monument…and watching the fireworks explode in the sky that 4th of July… and wondering how was it that we could have come under attack on American soil, and believing firmly that I would be participating in dealing justice for Sept. 11th.

I remember standing before the Lincoln Memorial and feeling the presence of not just the former president and emancipator, but of Martin Luther King and his dream for a brighter and more united future for the children of this nation.

That young me could not have known where he’d be standing almost six years later and what he would have to be saying…this Father’s Day.

I am Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, and tonight at midnight, I may face further action from the Army for refusing to reactivate to participate in the Iraq Occupation.

This fact hangs heavy on my heart as I look back at my five years of service in uniform, but I understand that what I am doing is in keeping with the values I shared with my friends-in-arms while we wondered if things could really get any worse.

Today I stand in resistance to the occupation of Iraq because I believe in our nation, its military and her people. I resist because I swore an oath to this nation that I would not allow it to fall into decay when I may be serving on the side of right.

And my country is in Decay, and in these times of crisis, as Thomas Paine once said, the summer Soldier and Sunshine Patriot will flee from service to our nation.

I stand here today, as a Winter Soldier, to serve our nation, its military and its people in this dark time of confusion and corruption. I stand here to make it known that my duty, as a Soldier, is first to the higher ideals and guiding principles of this country, which our leaders have failed to uphold.

I stand here today in defense of the U.S. Constitution, which has known no greater enemy, foreign or domestic, than those highest in this land who are sworn to be governed by its word.

I stand here today in defense of those who have been stripped their voices in this occupation, for the warriors of this nation have been silenced to the people who need to start listening.

We are here to honor the memory of our fathers, who more than two centuries ago brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, as Abraham Lincoln once noted.

We are here to honor the struggle of our fathers and their fathers, and their fathers before them to build this nation and bring it together, through slavery and poverty to sexism and racism to materialism and imperialism. They built this nation and struggled to keep it alive as we’ve blundered and learned and blundered again.

We owe it to our fathers to stand for this nation now, when a dark cloud has descended upon it in the form of an administration who is stealing the lives of us all to wage an illegal war, conceived in lies, and birthed of manipulation.

As a Soldier, I was told it was not my place to question the orders of those appointed above me. I had that lie trained into me from my first day of basic training to my last day of active duty.

But I have learned the truth. The truth that the occupation of Iraq is inherently illegal, and that it is my duty as a Soldier to refuse illegal orders to reactivate and deploy in support of it.

I have learned that in times of crisis, one must look deep into their own values to know the path they must walk.

I have learned that feeling, and thinking, and speaking and acting in keeping with courage and honesty and preservation of a righteous cause is blessed and may give a person strength to utter truths…that may calm…the vicious and the vengeful alike.

I believe that this nation and its military may come to know the same truth, that the rule of law has been forsaken, and we must return to it or be doomed to continued disaster.

I believe in the goodness of the American people, and I believe that justice is not dead.

Because we as a people believe that as a people living in the United States it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government in our names.

We know this truth to be self-evident, that our nation can unite to oppose an illegal occupation which is killing and scarring and shattering the lives of our youth and the Iraqi people.

On this Father’s Day, know America that your children need you. We need you to care for us and to care for our country, which we will inherit when you are finished with her.

We need you to end this occupation of Iraq, which has destroyed a country and scattered its people to the winds like ashes in a tempest, a tempest that has engulfed the nation of Iraq and scrubbed any sign of peace and prosperity from the surface of a civilization older than history itself.

Fathers, we need you to care for your children and the children of Iraq, for they know not why you fight and carry no fault in the conflict.

Fathers, your sons and daughters need you now to embrace peace, for though we were attacked, we have dealt in retaliation that same suffering one thousand times over to a people who never wronged us.

This nation will know little healing until we first stem off the flow of blood and human life, for justice and healing will never be done by a blade, or a bullet, or a bomb or a torture cell.

By continuing to participate in the unjust occupation of Iraq, we as servicemembers are contributing to that flow of human life, and we can not now nor could we ever call the Iraqi people an enemy in the fight against the use of terror.

But terror is all we know now. We are terrified by the prospect that we have been lied to. We are terrified by the idea that we have killed for nothing. We are terrified to break the silence. We are terrified to do what we know is right.

But never again will I allow terror to silence me, nor will I allow it to govern my actions.

I refuse terror as a tactic for uniting a people around an unjust cause. I refuse to allow terror to motivate me to do violence on my fellow man, especially those who never wronged me in the first place.

I refuse to be terrified to stand in defense of my constitution, and I refuse to be terrified of doing so in the face of great adversity.

As a resister to the Iraq occupation, I refuse to be terrified by what may come, for I know those who stand against me are in terror of the truth.

But I will speak my truth……and I will stand firmly by it……and forever will my soul know peace.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Major General Kelly Blatanly Lied to Marines in Fallujah on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, a group of IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) members including myself were at Alien Art Tattoo in Jacksonville, NC right outside of Camp Lejeune getting tattoos to memorialize our fallen comrades in one of the best ways to remember someone. Meanwhile, at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, Marine Corps Major General Kelly was taking advantage of the opportunity to lie to the troops and spew more of the kind of propaganda that is leading them to die for a worthless cause. I found the text of his remarks at The Sandgram where an anonymous blogger has lied about me before.

Below are excerpts of Kelly's bullshit, and some of my responses:

“With all this service and loss, we as Americans can be proud of the kind of people we are as we have never retained a square foot of any country we have defeated, we possess no empire, nor have we enslaved a single human being. Memorial Day was established three years after our terrible Civil War that finally established what kind of nation we would be.”

Ok, where are the bases in Germany? Japan? Iraq? Afghanistan? I guess they're just magically floating in midair, not occupying a single square foot of any of these countries. What a relief. We never enslaved a single human being? That's good to know, because I thought that this country's economy was founded on slavery. I guess all the African Americans here today are just descendants of migrant workers on some kind of guest worker program. And the Civil War had NOTHING to do with aforementioned mythological slavery of course.

“Like it or not America is engaged in a war today against an enemy that is savage, offers no quarter, whose only objectives are to either kill every one of our families in our homeland, or enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no God or purpose that rational men and women can understand. Given the opportunity to do another 9/11, our vicious enemy would do it today, tomorrow and everyday thereafter.”

Actually, most of “the enemy” in Iraq just want us to get the fuck out of their country. And if they want another 9/11 so bad, why are we giving them exactly what they want, having made it relatively easy for them to kill thousands of American soldiers in the Middle East? And if 9/11 was the work of some 19 guys with some money behind them, why invest in a resistance in Iraq?

“I don’t know why they hate us, and I frankly don’t care and they can all go to hell, but they do hate us and are driven irrationally to our destruction. The best way to fight them is somewhere else and that is why we are here.”

Nevermind that in his mind, “they” is probably “all Muslims.” Now we have to put up with “fight them there so we don't fight them here” bullshit from the general himself. Nevermind that we are making enemies faster than we can kill them. Hey, if it made sense, it wouldn't be part of the government, and definitely not part of the military.

“For whatever reason they want to destroy our way of life our countrymen at home should be on their knees everyday thanking God we still have enough young people in America today willing to take up the fight as our Veterans did from the earliest days of our nation.”

Does this guy even have the sense to listen to “the enemy?” I don't mean listen to as in cup of coffee and small talk, but in the Sun Tzu sense, “know your enemy.” But again, if it made sense . . .

The real fight is here at home, where we have an administration that wants to destroy our way of life (as in the free way of life with rights enumerated in the US Constitution) with things like the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, and a tax system that amounts to slavery. “Our countrymen at home” should not be on their knees, but on their feet and up in arms! But then this is how the military/fascist leadership would like Americans to behave: servile, subservient, and submissive.

“They should know that they are protected today by men and women as good as have ever served; as good today as their fathers were in Vietnam, and their grandfathers were in Korea and World War II. In this my third tour in Iraq I have never seen an American hesitate, or do anything other than lean into the danger and, with no apparent fear of death or injury, take the fight to the enemies of our way of life.”

Kelly is clearly in denial about the lowered standards for enlistment and “search and avoid missions.” Clearly, this kind of ignorance of the people under his command would suggest he is unfit for duty. And at least in my time in Iraq, I didn't see any enemies of my way of life, except for the “invade and occupy a foreign country” way of life.

“Any one of us could have all stayed in school or gone another way, but yet we chose to serve knowing full well Iraq and Afghanistan was in our future.”

I signed up in 1999. The only people that knew Iraq was in my future were the NeoCons. A lot of the folks that have joined since then have been straight up lied to by recruiters. And as crazy as our military is today, I'm pretty sure this Major General didn't make his rank in less than the five plus years we've been in Iraq or six and half years in Afghanistan, so in his own words here, he is not, “one of us.”

“And the sacrifice continues as three Americans have gone to God since we all went to bed last night and slept free and protected.”

AMERICANS ARE NOT FREE! We have more laws in this country than on any other on earth telling us what we can and can't do. We have a tax system that our founding fathers would call slavery. We have more people in jail per capita that any other country. We still have selective service registration. Our government tells us what we can or can't say on TV and radio, what drugs we can put in our bodies, what kinds of guns we can, or more often can't, own, how much mileage our cars have to get, and some arrogant deluded assholes are still out there perpetuating the myth that this is a free country! And we give them guns! Lots of them. And lots of Marines with guns to do their bidding. These “leaders” aren't just created by the military system, they are selected. They are selected by militaristic politicians that want nothing more than to stay in power and want loyal soldiers who will use their myths to manipulate society.

These people aren't stupid, they are deluded, and that's what is really the greatest tragedy of American militarism. They have the courage to face the horrors of combat, and lead men into battle, (though I don't know if Kelly himself was able to make rank without facing combat – it has happened) and yet they don't have the courage or freedom of mind to question authority and to question their own beliefs.

Perhaps our society has been conditioning mental freedom out of students for so long that people in the military today don't have the basic critical thinking skills necessary to exercise the full freedom of mind that their creator has bestowed upon them. With the intstituionalization of government-run schools, it should be no surprise. The No Child Left Behind Act gets teachers doing nothing but test prep with students, and now they don't even have time for basic PhysEd let alone the kind of rigorous education that develops critical thinking skills. Ask any Drill Instructor or Drill Sergeant if his new recruits are getting fatter with every cycle and you'll know that they don't have the skills I'm talking about.

There was so much more in Kelly's remarks for me to rip into, but there are only so many hours in a day. These were just the ones that could be deconstructed in a reasonable number of words. I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the mind of a fascist General who has no qualms about lying to the troops, and the kind of propaganda we have been subjected to as members of the military.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why Facebook is Better Than MySpace

A friend of mine recently asked me why I preferred Facebook to MySpace. This was my answer:

If Facebook and MySpace got in a fight, Facebook would start off by looking MySpace right in the eye, causing MySpace to get a queasy feeling before soiling itself. Facebook would then give MySpace a punch in the stomach, causing it to vomit retarded profile layouts, excessive ads, and error messages all over itself. Then Facebook would kick MySpace in the gunch, creating a new asshole from which it could shit people that can't get with the times. Facebook would roundhouse kick MySpace's head off, but then Facebook would use it's laser beam eyes to cause it to explode while still in mid air. Then, Facebook would grab MySpace's body, grind it into dust with one hand, and snort it. And that's why you should try Facebook.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Iraqi weddings not as joyous as Jenna Bush's

Dahlia Wasfi sent me this editorial from PSL. If this doesn't get your blood boiling, I don't know what will. General Mattis' comment defending the attack it ridiculous if you look at the numbers. Two dozen "military-age males" is what you would expect at a wedding party, and with 12 women and fourteen children killed, you might expect more. We have literally made being a military-age male at the wrong place and the wrong time a crime punishable by death. You want me to think we're there liberating still? General Mattis, let's not be naive.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PSL Editorial

On May 10, President Bush gave his daughter Jenna's hand away in holy matrimony. The ceremony was held at sunset, in a tranquil section of his 1,600-acre Texas ranch. Before the night concluded, a 10-piece party band played a whole host of soul and funk classics for the Bush family and their closest friends to boogie down to. George W. called the evening "spectacular" and after a moment of reflection told reporters, "We're mighty blessed."

Almost four years earlier to the day, another wedding took place 7,500 miles away from Texas in Makr al-Deeb, close to the Iraq-Syria border. It ended quite differently.

After the nuptials, the wedding party was in full swing, with dinner just finished and the band playing traditional Arabic music. Suddenly, U.S. fighter jets roared overhead and U.S. vehicles started shining their high beams into the party. The worried hosts abruptly shut down the gathering. The men stayed inside the wedding tent, while women and children scattered to a nearby house.

Five hours later, shortly after 2 a.m., while most were sleeping, the tent came under air attack. The air assault was followed by volleys from ground troops who arrived in helicopters and armored personnel carriers. Panicked women and children fled outside, where they, too, were hit.

Iraqi eyewitnesses claimed that U.S. soldiers went through the wreckage at dawn and killed several of the wounded. At the end of the assault, 45 Iraqis lay dead, including 12 women and 14 children. Some reports claim that both the bride and groom were among the dead. The wedding singer was killed while sleeping. There were no reported U.S. casualties.

Mr. Mahdi Nawaf, a shepherd who attended the wedding, said his daughter and his grandchildren were killed. "Mothers died with their children in their arms. One of them was my daughter. I found her a few steps from the house, her two-year-old son Raad in her arm. Her one-year-old son Ra'ed was lying nearby, his head missing," Nawaf said.

U.S. military officials defended the strike entirely. Implying that the gathering was not a wedding but a clandestine meeting of smugglers and foreign fighters, Maj. Gen. James Mattis asked, "How many people go to the middle of the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization?" Mattis continued, "There were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive."

Videotape was released a few days later that showed the wedding guests singing and dancing, and showed the bride, wearing a Western-style white dress and veil stepping out of the bridal car decorated with colorful ribbons.

How many more weddings have been disrupted, ruined, or attacked in Bush's war of aggression? Five months after the Makr al-Deeb massacre, a U.S. air strike killed 11 people and wounded 17 at a wedding party in Fallujah.

In April 2006, 27-year-old Media Majeed was struck in the head by a stray bullet as she sat in the passenger seat of a car headed to her brother's wedding. At the March Winter Soldier event held in Washington, D.C., Private Clifton Hicks testified that his unit "had fired automatic weapons into the middle of a wedding party, wounding and killing several guests, and [they] were told to drive away and forget about it."

The wedding celebration has long been one of Iraq's most important community events, involving hundreds of guests in parties that lasted through the early morning. Despite the war, Iraqi couples "still want everything to be perfect," according to Nadia Habib, a wedding planner in Baghdad.

But now, the wedding crowds are smaller and the parties are hurried, since the occupation forces keep the country under strict curfew and the threat of brutal violence always looms. Habib organizes only half the weddings she did before the war. The wedding tradition, like so many others that made up the fabric of Iraqi life, has been violently ripped apart.

The U.S. corporate media insisted that Jenna Bush wanted her ceremony to remain "private." Yet somehow, by the time of the big day, we had learned every detail of the bride's dress, the ring, the wedding attire and pre-wedding events. Bush and the capitalist ruling class that stands behind him continue to flaunt their decadent lifestyles after having ruined countless weddings and having left so many Iraqis grieving for their lost partners.

The Iraqi occupation cannot go on a day more. Any politician who prolongs the tragedy—even one more day—is a de facto war criminal and should be held responsible. Every time the corporate media distracts us with the details of another lavish wedding, let us remember the massacre at Makr al-Deeb. Let us remember Media Majeed who arrived at the hospital with bloodied wedding flowers still in her hands. Let us remember Sean Bell, gunned down in 2006 in a hail of police bullets the night before his wedding was to take place.

Let us remember them, and let us bring justice to them all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Contributed by fellow IVAW member Clifton Hicks

When you leave for Iraq they put you in a great long file stretching all the way from the terminal to the door of the airplane which will ferry you to the battlefield. The uniforms are new, the colors bright and un-faded, un-blemished by the howling dust, un-spattered by the midnight oil, yet to be torn by the razor wire, yet un-christened by the ignorant sweat and the innocent blood.

As you trudge on, ever forward toward the stair case and the cockpit, you chance to look around at your surroundings. Not much to see really, the back of a helmet before you, a blank stare behind, tarmac beneath your boots and flood lights to blind your eyes. But do look around, and remember what you see, for everything you witness will surely be for the last time. Once you step onto that plane you leave in your footprints forever your entire life and the world as you once knew it, for the person who goes to Iraq can never be the person who returns.

By now the uniforms are threadbare. Tattered pockets flicker in the breeze, back and shoulders bleached white from the glaring rays, caked and coated in a year of rusty dust, scarred fingers peering through chewed up splitting gloves, cigarette holes smoldering on the collar, smears of black and drops of red on the boots. The skin of the face, neck, and hands appear dry, dark, leathery; the eyes dwell in shadows, the feet drag forward.

As one appears on the outside, so too has one become on the inside; faded and worn, shredded and stretched, nearly to the limit, forever torn apart. Never again will you gaze upon what once was, never again will you smell the same rain or feel the same breeze. Still the boots tramp on, forever forward, on to the next slaughter.