Running in order to stay… 2 September 2006Posted by marisacat in Beirut, Border Issues, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.
All of my family’s belongings rest on a coffee table. - Clayton Cubitt
I mentioned in the last thread the site, Operation Eden, about Pearlington MS and the Cubitt family. A picture from Clayton Cubitt’s series on Katrina, his mother, the people of the Gulf Coast and Pearlington.
I don’t even know what to excerpt from this, Black Commentator article by Bill Quigley on New Orleans.
It is chock full of one year on assessments, but this snippet is a start:
Tens of thousands of migrant workers, roughly half undocumented, have come to the Gulf Coast to work in the recovery. Many were recruited. Most workers tell of being promised good wages and working conditions and plenty of work. Some paid money up front for the chance to come to the area to work. Most of these promises were broken. A tour of the area reveals many Latino workers live in houses without electricity, other live out of cars. At various places in the city whole families are living in tents. Two recently released human rights reports document the problems of these workers.
Immigrant workers are doing the dirtiest, most dangerous work, in the worst working conditions. Toxic mold, lead paint, fiberglass, and who knows what other chemicals are part of daily work. Safety equipment is not always provided. Day laborers, a new category of workers in New Orleans, are harassed by the police and periodic immigration raids. Wage theft is widespread as employers often do not pay living wages, and sometimes do not pay at all. Some of the powers try to pit local workers against new arrivals – despite the fact that our broken Gulf Coast clearly needs all the workers we can get.
Full Text of the speech given by Ross “Rocky” Anderson, the mayor of SLC. A peace rally was held as the American Legion met and Bush dropped in for one of his many Get with the Program, Stay the Course, As long as I am President… speeches.
Let’s hear it: “Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!”
Let no one deny we are patriots. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President, his Administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our great nation.
Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating President.
That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience – a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid – afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous President, his Administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great President and a Republican, who said: The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. [snip]
And last (for now) an Australian site that I landed on searching for snips and bits on Rupert Murdoch. As he has been so carcinogenic.
In the editorial pages of Murdoch’s antipodean flagship, The Australian, the bombing of Beirut is presented as “Israel doing Lebanon a favour” and restive Arabs are described as “Nazis”. None of this should be surprising, as Murdoch revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that his media ventures are “not as important to me as spreading my personal political beliefs” (November 23, 2005).
And these beliefs are dangerous. Murdoch’s influential Weekly Standard advocates the pursuit of “regime change in Syria …. and a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?”
It does not seem to figure in Murdoch’s personal accounting that over half a million civilians are now dead or disfigured as a result of the wars he has already promoted. Instead of reconsidering his politics, like other lapsed neocons, Murdoch is still blazing away with his tools of the trade: hate, lies, fear and censorship.
In fairness, I have not noticed any great rush to confess, change, find the damned “course” and throw it in the trash, etc., from the US Neo-Cons. A rather weak by design mea maxima-tiny culpa from Eliot Cohen a few months ago in the Wapo… little in the face of horror and rivers of blood.
The site takes after Murdoch – and Howard – in grand fashion and lays into Blair as part of it all. I liked the art as well.
And this surely resonated from the art at The Future This Week:
UPDATE, 1:20 pm on the Pacific Ocean
And speaking of AKs, another lesson of this war is that the era of the automatic rifle as basic small arm may be ending. We may be heading back to some kind of shoulder-fired cannon (just like Champlain’s!). Most of the IDF casualties in this war were inflicted by RPGs, just like most of our casualties in Iraq. The Chechen guerrillas have gone to a new formation, with three-man teams consisting of two RPG gunners with one AK man whose only job is to protect the RPGers. That may be the wave of the future.
Of course all these moves would’ve been wasted if the Israelis had caught on to what Hezbollah was up to, which leads to another lesson, one I’m always preaching: in asymmetrical warfare, Intelligence is everything. Or in this case, counterintelligence. Israeli intel, Shin Bet and Mossad, has been the real strength of the IDF for a long time. They’re the best and most ruthless intelligence agencies since the USSR went bankrupt. But they had no idea what was waiting for them over the border. That’s incredible, the most shocking news of all.
Remember, the IDF has instant access to all US military satellite intel, so this means that our tech intel was just as ineffective as Mossad’s more traditional infiltration methods. That means Hezbollah, a huge organization with branches in every street in South Beirut and South Lebanon, has a scary effective counterintelligence branch. We all know the CIA is useless, but when Mossad and Shin Beth can’t even penetrate the lower levels of a mass movement like Hezbollah, then the world has turned upside down.
And it has, folks. That’s why this is such a huge, huge war. No matter what the waterheads on CNN try to tell you, the IDF lost totally, and every force configured like it — such as, oh, the US Army or Air Force — lost too. The Gophers are beating the shit out of the gardeners on this course. The gophers just kicked the shit out of Tiger Woods.
It’s hard to say who gains in the long run. Short term, sure, Hezbollah wins big. But in the long run, maybe what’s happened is that the day when genocide replaces the farce called “CI Warfare” just got a lot closer.
All I can say is that as the top generals in the widening battlespace, Abizaid and Casey, lie and lie again to all of us – it is utterly reprehensible what is being said, from the CinC down - as they lie and lie and lie again, may their bowels growl and turn to water.
hmmm I don’t agree with everything Joe Bageant comes up with for this essay, but some of it: yes.
These are his closing stanzas:
[D]oes American liberalism/progressivism have a moral core? A heart? A kingdom within? Time will tell.
But the time is past for sympathy toward those who sleep with the Democratic party in that two-bed brothel called American party politics, then claim there were no other options but the party of least betrayal.
Personally, I feel betrayed by the only party we ever had that reached out (even when it had to be dragged kicking and screaming by blacks and unions) to the kind of folks in the Shenandoah, the kind who raised me the best way they knew how-those poor beaten down, ill-educated, preyed upon Americans who find little community but that of churches and beer joints, and have resigned themselves to little or no justice on this earth, save that promised by God.
Stepping from the Shenandoah’s dimness onto the pavement, the August sunlight plows you in the face like a Buick. Denney is coming down the street, face swollen and splotched in reaction to his treatments. Cars float along as if suspended by the heat. An angelic featured young man in, mixed race with budding red dreads, sits on the same nearby porch he sits on every day, unemployed and unemployable because he cannot read. The holy rollers at the Pentecostal mission are hollering and thrashing and singing about “The Old Ship of Zion.” The private ghost of a skinny kid yells “Paaaaaapers! Paaaaapers!” And the doddering old boys at Johnny’s are fixing [to] have waffles.
America – It’s like Roy’s songs, so cheap and so goddamned beautiful it makes you want to cry. Or sing. You never know which.
Billy Gray, 57, told my mom “Get the hell out, keep going, don’t look back, there’s no help coming for us.”
I wrote this at the close of Demagoguery, Despair and, finally, Diaspora
Stop with God Bless America. Let God go!, Let go of him! Really… he will not notice. Look away from the Statue of Liberty, forget Ellis Island, don’t anyone trouble about “take back the flag”: stop invoking the empty symbols.
Care for people.
We are here together. Either as many of us as possible make it… or no one shall… If the Battle for New Orleans teaches us nothing, then we will go in our turn… in the same way.
A crescent moon rises over the Crescent City – Clayton James Cubitt
Update, 10:15 pm Saturday…
Not news, but timely nonetheless… what with Rumsfeld sharpening the always hovering “traitor” rhetoric, we are a ways past his famous “known unknowns” of 2003… and the dicey disclosure that masses of cluster bombs were dropped on Lebanon by the israelis in the closing hours, 72 of those hours, of the war waged to revenge the “kidnapped” soldiers. What a fucking joke. And the soldiers? Who’s got ‘em? Right.
Bush, Blair, Olmert. Murderous bunch. Having fun they are, the time of their lives… One would think at least Olmert would fall… not yet it seems.
Anyway. Looking back:
SITES: When did you begin to suspect that the official truth in Vietnam was different from the ground truth?
SEARCY: I can give you one example. In the fall of 1967 there were the beginnings of large anti-war demonstrations in U.S. In our unit in Saigon, we were doing high fives watching this on television and thought, “The U.S. can’t continue the war against this kind of opposition in the streets.” Then — I think it was November 1967 — Gen. William Westmoreland was called home to address Congress and he said that these anti-war demonstrations were damaging the morale of the troops and they had to stop. When we read this we thought, “Where did that come from?” People who wanted to end the war are standing behind the troops because we want to go home. The truth was not conveyed to the people or the media. [...]
SITES: Let’s fast forward to your current work in Vietnam. Through the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund you’ve started a program called Project Renew, which is helping to remove UXOs [unexploded ordnance] and landmines from a region of Vietnam heavily affected by the war.
SEARCY: Quang Tri Province is the site of the former 17th Parallel, where North and South Vietnam were divided. It was the DMZ but that was a complete misnomer because it was the most heavily bombed place in world. We had 24-hour bombing raids by B-52s and now much of the region is still contaminated with bombs and mines.
A group of about twenty vets from the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund visited Quang Tri some years back and we decided we had to do something. We secured the funding, in great part because of a former Vietnam veteran who fought and was wounded in Quang Tri, Christos Cotsakos, the founder of eTrade. [...]
Yes yes… well, why would the US Government be expected to do anything… better the conscience inside the pocketbook of the eTrade fortune… Never paid reparations either, much less unexploded ordnance removal.
And, still not news…
…We learned that was wrong in Vietnam. The Vietnamese fought in the south without any aircraft and the U.S. had the most powerful air power in the word and we still couldn’t defeat a determined force who just wanted us out, who wanted us to leave Vietnam.
I think the situation in Iraq just might be the same. If we left Iraq there would probably be continued chaos but I can’t see how it could be any worse than it is today when we see the terrible bombings and killings every day.
“Guerra No” – Mexico City Anti-Iraq War protest – March 2003