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Cali 31 August 2009

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast.
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Acton residents Arnold Torrez,73, left, Joseph Rini, 11, and Scott and Rosanne Wright watch the Station fire creep up the mountains not far from their hilltop home on Olson Road in Acton. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / August 30, 2009)

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Station fire Flames from the Station fire sweep across Angeles Crest Highway. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / August 29, 2009)

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Just drifts of quotes I pulled from the LAT LA Now blog:

Road signs had melted, guardrails were burned free of their wood moorings, and the switchbacks were choked with fire-loosened boulders and scorched tree limbs. – Mt Wilson Fire, early AM Monday, August 31

Couple of hours earlier at the Station fire, below Mt Wilson:

The fire is moving to the Mt. Wilson area. We expected that. The fire is moving east. We know there’s nothing we can do to stop the fire from reaching Mt. Wilson,” said Capt. Mark Savage of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Firefighters cleared brush around Mt. Wilson to create a buffer zone in hopes that flames would not be able to damage the communications towers and observatory.

About 10:30 Sunday night, Mike Dietrich, incident commander for the U.S. Forest Service, said he expected the fire to reach the top of Mt. Wilson soon.

“Mt. Wilson is not hit yet. It’s about a mile and a half from there. It could happen tonight, it could happen tomorrow. It’s not a matter of if, but when,” Dietrich said.


Earlier, late afternoon on Sunday, August 30:

The fire burning in Angeles National Forest is approaching the historic solar observatory and television transmission towers atop Mt. Wilson, according to Los Angeles County fire officials.

The communications towers house transmitters for every major television station in Los Angeles.

“We expect it to get there in the next two to four hours,” said county fire Capt. Mark Savage.

Crews were clearing brush around the structures, but fire officials were not sure if they could leave personnel on the mountain to fight the flames because of the danger and limited escape routes. The fire is less than two miles away.

“It’s a serious situation,” said Bob Shindelar, operations branch director of California Incident Management Team 5. “Is the observatory going to make it? We’re doing everything in our power. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it is impacted by fire today or tomorrow.”

We’re not mesmerised by fire, we are hypnotised by it. One of the few amusing things this go round, with some 17,000 acres burning from the top to nearly the bottom of the state, has been our weakling governator telling people to obey the mandatory evacuation orders. HA!

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1. marisacat - 31 August 2009

Gee McClatchy… why so down…

By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — At the dawn of the Barack Obama era, the promise of hope has faded. America’s public square is an angry and bitter place.

Finger pointing and yelling at town hall meetings this summer are signs of a country that’s been building toward a boiling point for several years, stressed by a fast changing economy, a flood of immigration and threats at home by terrorists.

It’s a land at turns frustrated and irate at a government that led them into an unpopular war, proved itself inept at helping its citizens in a disastrous hurricane, presided over an historic economic collapse, then went on a spending spree that could commit their country to decades of crushing debt.

Untold numbers of Americans seethe with anger at Obama and his fellow Democrats, resentment coupled with fear even more intense than the rage other Americans expressed just a year ago at George W. Bush and the Republicans. One telling sign: The comparisons of the president to Hitler remain the same — only the face has changed from Bush to Obama. . . .

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

not to defend Ob, but no one showed the rage at Bush on TV, protestors shuffled down side roads away from cameras, the Tacoma protests utterly ignored and etc.

The rage and resentment has been there for year … only it’s older white folks doing it now, with PR to promote them, so the media pays attention. People who “matter” are visibly angry, that’s the only difference.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

Poor Ob. Showed up at a bad time.

catnip - 31 August 2009

protesting against the MIC=unpatriotic

protesting against socialism=patriotic

catnip - 31 August 2009

I’ve long believed that life should be a musical (just because I think it’d be hilarious to watch people randomly burst into song on the streets every now and then. Other than that, I pretty much abhor musicals. Anyway…)

WASHINGTON — At the dawn of the Barack
Obama era, the promise of hope has faded.

Queue music…

This is the dawning of the age of ObamaLuv, age of ObamaLuv…ObamaLuv, ObamaLuv…

That would make everybody feel better, wouldn’t it?

CSTAR - 31 August 2009

Would your musical be accompanied by dancing in the streets? If so I’m for it.

catnip - 31 August 2009

Absolutely! You can’t have a musical without people making asses out of themselves in public.

2. marisacat - 31 August 2009

hmmm. It’s more than Charlie Cook. The Dems beloved Nate Silver too. (I have no idea what will happen and as long as I hve decent sight lines from the cheap seats, could give a hoot)

Politico

At the mid-August Netroots Nation convention, Nate Silver, a Democratic analyst whose uncannily accurate, stat-driven predictions have made his website 538.com a must read among political junkies, predicted that Republicans will win between 20 and 50 seats next year. He further alarmed an audience of progressive activists by arguing that the GOP has between a 25 and 33 percent chance of winning back control of the House. . . . .

catnip - 31 August 2009

Why does Nate Silver hate America?

(You knew that was coming…)

marisacat - 31 August 2009

apparently really really hates America….

Silver also pointed to the role of health care legislation, which he said is increasingly looking like a no-win situation for House Democrats.

In his view, if a compromise bill is passed without a public option, the liberal base will become upset and may not be enthusiastic heading into the 2010 midterm elections, where their support will be critical. But if Democrats pass legislation without any assistance from Republicans, the party risks incurring the wrath of independent voters looking for a bipartisan solution. And if no health care reform at all gets passed, the administration and vulnerable members will have spent political capital without getting any results on the administration’s signature issue.

“If you pass a health care bill it doesn’t make you popular, but if you don’t sign any legislation it makes things even worse,” Silver said. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. I don’t see what the exit strategy is for the White House. Once they went down this path, they’re going all in here, and you can’t take that bet back.” . . . .

catnip - 31 August 2009

But the question is: just how big is that “liberal” base? Because you know that so-called progressives will just cave right along with Obama – making excuses until the cows come home for why he couldn’t get what he supposedly (and it’s that “supposedly” that they so believe is in his ‘heart’ while his actions prove otherwise) get anything close to universal/single payer/real public option reform.

I agree with Bill Moyers: if you’re can’t go down fighting tooth and nail for the absolute best reform, don’t even bother.

3. marisacat - 31 August 2009

HA! ABC News says “California burning out of control”.

It’s bad but I don’t know that we are… LAST summer yes, with 300 and at one point 400 fires going across the state.. SF engulfed in smoke and acrid odor… not this year.

Tho the first, esp at Auburn up north and outside of LA, are very bad…

4. catnip - 31 August 2009

McChrystal:

The general says the aim should be for Afghan forces to take the lead – but their army will not be ready to do that for three years and it will take much longer for the police.

Holy dead guy on a stick. Just how long does it take to train an army??

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

as long as it takes to finish a network of pipelines?

catnip - 31 August 2009

Good answer. Good answer. [applause sign]

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

do I get cheesecake?

catnip - 31 August 2009

To whom much cheesecake is given, much is required. ;)

BooHooHooMan - 31 August 2009

Yes, the principle of Knob-Blessed Ob-Cheese….
it motivates our Leader’s every move…

marisacat - 31 August 2009

another 40 years, if one manages to “hear” NATO… a couple of months ago they said they are planning for that long in Afpak.

5. catnip - 31 August 2009

Markos on Robert Novak:

Sad to see Bob Novak die. I was a huge fan. Perhaps the last conservative writer who tried to be an honest reporter.

catnip - 31 August 2009

Can I get a “twit”?

marisacat - 31 August 2009

LOL I would admit that Novak was an astute political operative. But then of course he had excellent help, like Eagleton (amnesty abortion and acid). I remember JJB was much more sanguine about that when it broke last year, I was viciously angry for days.

Stupid of me… but…

6. catnip - 31 August 2009

trust me, I am not being paid as much as I (5+ / 0-)

used to be when I worked in Congress for a Blue Dog Democrat, Henry Cuellar, who happens to support the public option in health care reform.

I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

by slinkerwink on Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 02:29:32 PM MDT

What Teddy would do

by Jed Lewison

Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:10:40 PM MDT

Earlier in my career, I was a staffer for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, one of Washington state’s two Democratic senators. I served as her communications director, and in that capacity, on a handful of occasions I had the good fortune of observing Ted Kennedy in action.

So many operatives…

catnip - 31 August 2009

I think the point being made is simple (4+ / 0-)

kid oakland registered a new alias at DKos to ensure others know when he is representing a personal opinion vs. a potentially job-related one…

What does he do professionally?

BooHooHooMan - 31 August 2009

seems to ring a bell. Hmm. .. hmmm.

Thinking now…….thinking….thinking….Yes, hum-diddly!

wasn’t there some Catwoman polymath from San Francisco accompanied by various sorts who brought that up oeww 4 years ago?
What ever happened to those insightful souls? LOL.

Burn Them! Run them off! Naderites!LOL.
Uh boy. Just shows ta go ya.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

hmm to be blunt I thought ol’ Ted had the hots for Maria.

7. catnip - 31 August 2009
8. catnip - 31 August 2009

Steroids, drink and paranoia: the murky world of the private security contractor

Paranoid, competitive and fuelled by guns, alcohol and steroids. That is how one senior contractor in Baghdad describes the private security industry operating in the city’s Green Zone.

It was the world to which Danny Fitzsimons, a 29-year-old former soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoia, and with an extensive criminal past, returned three weeks ago.

Despite rules against alcohol, his ArmorGroup colleagues welcomed him with a drinking session. A fight broke out and he shot and killed two of them – a Briton, Paul McGuigan, and an Australian, Darren Hoare – then wounded an Iraqi, Arkhan Mahdi. He faces a premeditated murder charge and execution if found guilty.

Mr Fitzsimons’s family is determined to save him and say he was suffering from severe psychiatric problems after a brutal career in the Army and in the security industry. But those on the ground hold little hope. Figures in the industry told The Independent that the shooting could not have come at a worse time. They are already resigned to Mr Fitzsimons’s execution and say that he is a tiny pawn in a huge, expensive and vicious game of chess.

They say the private security business in Iraq is in a vice-like crush. The gold rush that began with the conflict in 2003 is drying up. Contracts are not as lucrative, the trend is towards employing Iraqis instead of Westerners and, crucially, the Iraqi authorities – for so long impotent when it came to controlling the armed men swaggering around their cities – are clamping down.

“We are loathed out here. We are the single most hated entity in Iraq,” said Ethan Madison, a security contractor who has worked in Baghdad for five years. “They are going to hang him if he is found guilty. The Iraqis are desperate to put their foot down and make an example, say this is our country and we make the rules.”

The big companies – including ArmorGroup – are fighting it out for a lucrative Foreign Office contract worth more than £20m and are determined to survive the fallow period in the expectation that within a few years the big oil companies will bring with them another cash cow.

But just months after the private military contractors lost immunity, the Iraqi police are flexing their muscles. For the first time, foreigners are coming under intense scrutiny, compounds are being searched, licences checked and practices – such as blocking roads or banning locals from driving too close – banned.

In this cut-throat industry, there is open astonishment that a man like Mr Fitzsimons, who had been sacked from two companies, Aegis and Olive, was hired again. “It’s a small world. It is easy enough to check on someone with a few emails to former colleagues. I get them all the time,” said a former Parachute Regiment officer.

Mr Madison agreed: “Everyone you speak to says there is no way he should have been given a job. Anyone who knew Danny knew he was aggressive and always looking for drama. People were wary. There is a lot of resentment. No one cares that this guy was mentally ill. Paul was such a nice guy. He was larger than life, upbeat, a really friendly big man.”

more…

Money money money money…

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

Glenn Greenwald – It’s time to embrace American royalty

They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.

About this latest hiring by NBC, Atrios observed: “if only the Villager values of nepotism and torture could be combined somehow.” The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer quicky noted that they already have been: “Liz Cheney.” Liz Cheney is really the perfect face of Washington’s political culture, a perfect manifestation of all the rotting diseases that define it and a pure expression of what our country has become and the reasons for its virtual ruin. She should really be on every political TV show all day every day. It’s almost as though things can’t really be expressed thoroughly without including her. Jenna Bush as a new NBC “reporter” on The Today Show — at a time when every media outlet is firing and laying off real reporters — is a very nice addition though.

Don’t forget about the on-going discussion of which next-gen Kennedy should be elevated to Sainted Teddy’s slot in that meritocracy, the US Senate.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

Willie Brown said the slack jawed drug addict son, Patrick – currently serving in the House for RI, will be spending this year travelling and picking up various honors for his father. And campaigning, as Willie pointed out, on a low key national level.

For whatever reason, he expects a Kennedy on the national Dem ticket in 2016…

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

just call it a oligarchy and be done with it.

10. marisacat - 31 August 2009

Apparently there is a huge wave of people in Cali about to run out of unemployment benefits. They will exhaust the full 79 weeks (first award plus three extensions) in a week or so.. but ooops! congress is on vaca.

11. Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

Sundance Channel is airing “Join Us” tonight. The footage of the families in cult recovery (if that’s the right term) is riveting, while at the same time, tough to watch.

http://www.sundancechannel.com/films/500524883
http://www.joinusthemovie.com/

Award winning filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, follows four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. The film documents them as they enter Wellspring, the only accredited, live-in cult treatment facility in the world, where they learn the true extent of the brainwashing they have all experienced. Eventually they return home to bring the Pastor and his wife to justice, and to try to begin to rebuild their damaged lives.

JOIN US presents an intimate look at the inner workings of a cult from both the members and the cult leaders points of view. It is an emotional human portrait that explores the reasons why America is the number one breeding ground for cults in the world, and a chilling reminder that it can happen to anyone.

CSTAR - 31 August 2009

How about “The Church of Rome”. Now that’s a cult with influence.

Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

For sure. I’m waiting to see if my newborn nephew is going to be threaded through the hallowed halls of that one.

Rome hasn’t gotten an explicit mention in the film, so far, but I suspect the parallels will feel familiar to most Catholics. Children beaten for laziness and sin. . . .

“It ain’t the creed, but the deed,” says one of the counselors.

catnip - 31 August 2009

Congrats on the new nephew!

Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

Thanks, catnip! He is wonderfully relaxed and serene, but also very alert, responsible, and flexible. Longfellow, too! I’m putting my money on eleven, as the age he outgrows me.

Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

Ha! Responsive, that is!

(Not trying to write his resume quite yet!)

Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

Oops! Rome gets a mention, after all!

marisacat - 31 August 2009

whacked over the head by a gilded cherubim! Fall on the floor of St Peter’s … blinded by the sunlight thru the alabaster window of the Holy Ghost. Struggle to get up, trip on the dragging lace undergarments of the Holy Priest Sect…. etc.
:lol:

Intermittent Bystander - 31 August 2009

Mercy, Marisa, please!

I’m still trying to control my tongue, along with the hallucinations.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

LOL
:lol:

12. marisacat - 31 August 2009

Such a classic play… Will for withdrawal of ground troops… while Ob sends 21K more. Maybe as high as 48K more, from some readings… just under 50 died there in August, with 2 today.

Ob. Ob? Check your flanks.

George F. Will, the elite conservative commentator, will call in his next column for U.S. ground troops to leave Afghanistan, according to publishing sources.

“[F]orces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent special forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters,” Will writes in the column, scheduled for publication later this week.

President Obama ordered a total of 21,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan in February and March, and casualties have mounted as the forces began confronting the Taliban more aggressively. August saw the highest monthly death toll for the U.S. since the invasion in 2001, the second record month in a row. . . . .

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26628.html#ixzz0Poe4eZPa

(letting the automatic Politico linking do it today… I am prone)

catnip - 31 August 2009

Feingold wrote a piece for the WSJ the other day calling for a withdrawal timetable. Yeah. Good luck with that.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

Playing the Inside Game — A Cautionary Tale

Two facts motivated my decision: a friend in Chicago told me that David Axelrod was a fan of my radio show, and a friend in New Orleans was going to the White House to participate in the Stevie Wonder tribute. So I told the latter pal that, should he meet Axelrod, he might suggest we talk about New Orleans. Message delivered. Axelrod reportedly took my phone and email information. What followed was crickets and tumbleweeds.

I then told this story to a second friend in Los Angeles, a former Clinton administration ambassador. He said he was going to the White House later that week, and he’d deliver the message to Axelrod. More crickets, more tumbleweeds.

At this point, I was about to write an angry narrative of these non-events for HuffPo, but first, I had my assistant call Axelrod’s office.

Bingo. Some days later, an aide with the real-sounding name of “David Washington” called me on the best-quality telephone connection I’ve ever heard. He asked me to explain my position, which was, in a nutshell, that the stimulus package had included zero money for coastal restoration or stronger hurricane protection, even while the Corps of Engineers announced it was adopting a “technically not superior” approach to part of the new system because of lack of money. I suggested that this situation was irksome to people for whom “technically not superior” did not live up to promises of rebuilding better. Mr. Washington listened, and said he’d have somebody who knew more about all this get back to me. Progress.

Except… that somebody turned out to be a legislative liaison person for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I had called to complain about a robbery in progress, and they had connected me with the P.R. woman for the robbers.

We had some desultory conversations, she peddling the Corps’ line — this, remember, is the agency that built the system wrong the last time, and excoriated the critics who were first to point out that nettlesome fact — and I asking pointed questions. Apparently tiring of the game, she turned me over to my next point of contact, Janet Woodka.

Name doesn’t ring a bell? She’s President Obama’s appointee as the Gulf Coast Recovery Czar. Gulf Coast What? you ask. That’s a post created during the Bush administration, filled then by a Fort Worth banker. Janet Woodka is a recognizable step up, a New Orleanian who formerly worked for Senator Mary Landrieu. Only two problems: her job, which entails coordinating the recovery efforts of federal agencies which have real budgets, has minimal resources, and minimal ability to knock heads together; and, the position is scheduled to expire at the end of September. Still, she seems smart, she seems to care, and she seems to believe. I express my concerns, I connect her to David Waggonner who is almost single-handedly spearheading an effort to infuse the hurricane protection rebuilding with the insights of Dutch experts, and we engage in an intermittently interesting telephone and email dialogue.

We finally meet in person at an Aspen Institute conference on New Orleans in early August. In speaking to the public, she manages to utter the sounds that casual listeners might mistake for reports of progress, but are really just bland reassurances: we’re all very focused, robust inter-agency process, that sort of thing. She’s good at it, and I feel slightly sorry for her.
But none of that is helping New Orleans.

Near the end of the conference, I relate this tale to an acquaintance wise — or at least schooled — in the ways of media and politics. I say I might try one more time to reach out to Axelrod himself. “Don’t bother with Rahm Emanuel or Axelrod,” he advised. Why? “Their only interest in all of this is destroying Bobby” — a reference to the state’s fast-talking Republican governor and possible 2012 Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal.

“You mean, the same way that the Bush crowd only cared about destroying Kathleen Blanco?” I asked. His smile was part-rueful, part-“It’s never too late to get wise, bud”.

On Sunday, six days before the fourth anniversary of the catastrophe that almost drowned New Orleans, President Obama gave an “exclusive” interview to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. If you want to hear it for yourself, go here. Along the way, he dropped a little message: Janet Woodka’s office would be allowed to expire at the end of next month.

Experiment officially over. To be clear, I’m not upset I wasn’t treated like a celebrity or given ego-satisfying access. Frankly, the inside game creeps me out, the flattery that you’re “connected” can bring out the late Bob Novak in anyone. I’m just angry that New Orleans, which did not bring about its own disaster, is watching a second consecutive president trash his glib promises to “rebuild it better”.

Obama supporters chided me, back in January and February, to “give him some time, he’s only been in office for a month/two months/three months.” I guess they knew what I didn’t, that the presidency gets easier as you go along, that progressively fewer surprises get dumped on your desk as time passes. Obama’s remarks about New Orleans during the campaign were anodyne boilerplate, and what he’s giving us now is more of the same. He won’t even do the obligatory photo-op in the city on 8/29; he told the Times-Picayune he’ll come down “before the end of the year”. He didn’t say which year.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

oh thanks for posting that… Shearer, unlike many who PRETEND to care for NO, really does. And is eloquent on the subject.

Ob is like a pez dispenser. need a breath mint, pop one out. It does nothing. Feeling bored? Get a cute pez dispenser. It does nothing.

Etc.

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

He’s been consistently outspoken trying to get help, too, for four years now.

All to no avail, apparently.

marisacat - 31 August 2009

I hope he (metaphorically) dies by czar.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 August 2009

My Lai and Lockerbie Reconsidered

Calley was charged in the deaths of more than 100 civilians and convicted in the murder of 22 in one village, while al-Megrahi was convicted of the murder of 270 civilians aboard one airplane. Almost everyone, it seems, found it perverse, outrageous, or “gross and callous” that the Scottish government allowed a convicted mass murderer to return to a homeland where he was greeted with open arms. No one seemingly thought it odd that another mass murderer had lived freely in his home country for so long. The families of the Lockerbie victims were widely interviewed. As the Calley story broke, no American reporter apparently thought it worth the bother to look for the families of the My Lai victims, let alone ask them what they thought of the apology of the long-free officer who had presided over, and personally taken part in the killing of, their loved ones.

Whatever the official response to al-Megrahi, the lack of comment on Calley underscores a longstanding American aversion to facing what the U.S. did to Vietnam and its people during a war that ended more than 30 years ago. Since then, one cover-up of mass murder after another has unraveled and bubbled into view. These have included the mass killing of civilians in the Mekong Delta village of Thanh Phong by future senator Bob Kerrey and the SEAL team he led (exposed by the New York Times Magazine and CBS News in 2001); a long series of atrocities (including murders, torture, and mutilations) involving the deaths of hundreds of noncombatants largely committed in Quang Ngai Province (where My Lai is also located) by an elite U.S. unit, the Tiger Force (exposed by the Toledo Blade in 2003); seven massacres, 78 other attacks on noncombatants, and 141 instances of torture, among other atrocities (exposed by the Los Angeles Times in 2006); a massacre of civilians by U.S. Marines in Quang Nam Province’s Le Bac hamlet (exposed in In These Times magazine in 2008); and the slaughter of thousands of Vietnamese in the Mekong Delta during Operation Speedy Express (exposed in The Nation magazine, also in 2008). Over the last decade, long suppressed horrors from Vietnam have been piling up, indicating not only that My Lai, horrific and iconic as it may have been, was no isolated incident, but that many American veterans have long lived with memories not unlike those of William Calley.

If you recall what actually happened at My Lai, Calley’s more-than-40-years-late apology cannot help but ring hollow. Not only were more than 500 defenseless civilians slaughtered by Calley and some of the 100 troops who stormed the village on March 16, 1968, but women and girls were brutally raped, bodies were horrifically mutilated, homes set aflame, animals tortured and killed, the local water supply fouled, and the village razed to the ground. Some of the civilians were killed in their bomb shelters, others when they tried to leave them. Women holding infants were gunned down. Others, gathered together, threw themselves on top of their children as they were sprayed with automatic rifle fire. Children, even babies, were executed at close range. Many were slaughtered in an irrigation ditch.

For his part in the bloodbath, Calley was convicted and sentenced to life in prison at hard labor. As it happened, he spent only three days in a military stockade before President Richard Nixon intervened and had him returned to his “bachelor apartment,” where he enjoyed regular visits from a girlfriend, built gas-powered model airplanes, and kept a small menagerie of pets. By late 1974, Calley was a free man. He subsequently went on the college lecture circuit (making $2,000 an appearance), married the daughter of a jeweler in Columbus, Georgia, and worked at the jewelry store for many years without hue or cry from fellow Americans among whom he lived. All that time he stayed silent and, despite ample opportunity, offered no apologies.

15. marisacat - 31 August 2009

gnu

LINK

…………… 8O ……………….


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