Tue Aug 12, 2003
Veterans for Peace, MFSO, William Rivers Pitt speech..
The following is an speech that I think I'm sending out to lots of people, I think. The author spoke at a Vetrans for Peace convention this last week in Livermore, CA. Vetrans for peace is made up of 160 different local chapters.
I heard one of the veterans said this at the convention (as told to me by someone who was at the conference):
'The Right thinks that people in the military are a bunch of killer robots. And they think that's really cool. The Left thinks that people the military are a bunch of killer robots. And they think that's really bad. But the reality is that the military is made up of regular human beings..'
They also talked about during vietnam there were networks set up in the soldier-ghettos outside of the military base in San Diego, where soldiers with leave could check up on the state of the anti war movement.
Vetrans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out have started a campaign called Bring Them Home Now.
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OK, this is the speech. It's good, read it.
Editor's Note | I delivered the following comments as the keynote speaker at the Veterans for Peace National Convention in San Francisco. - wrp
We Stand Our Ground
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Sunday 10 August 2003
I must begin by saying that standing here before you is, simply, one of the greatest honors of my life. I have never served in the armed forces in any capacity. My father, however, did. He volunteered for service in Vietnam in 1969. The changes that war wrought upon him have affected, for both good and ill, every single day of my life. Vietnam did not only affect the generation that served there. It affected the children of those who served there, and the families of those who served there. That war is an American heirloom, great and terrible simultaneously, handed down from father to son and from mother to daughter, from father to daughter and from mother to son. The lessons learned there speak to us today, almost thirty years hence.
Let me tell you a quick story about my father. His call to the freedom bird came while he was still out in the field. He arrived at Dulles Airport to meet my mother still dressed in his bush greens, still wearing the moustache, with the mud of Vietnam still under his fingernails and stuck inside the waffle of his boot sole.
A few days earlier, he had come across a beautiful old French rifle. It was given to him by a Vietnamese friend, a former teacher with three children who had been conscripted permanently into the military. My father managed to bring this rifle home with him, and sent it on the flight in the baggage hold along with his duffel.
My father and my mother stood waiting at the baggage claim for his things to come down. The people there - and this was 1970, remember - backed away from him as if he was radioactive. They knew where he had just come from. If the greens were not a giveaway, the standard issue muddy tan he and all the vets wore upon return from Vietnam was. When the rifle came down the belt, not in a package or a box, just laying there in all its reality, the crowd was appalled and horrified. My mother and father looked at each other and wondered what these people were thinking. What did they think was happening over there? What did they think it is that soldiers do? Did they even begin to understand this war, and what it meant, what it was doing to American soldiers, to the Vietnamese soldiers like my father's friend, and to the civilians caught in the crossfire?
The looks on those people's faces there said enough. The answer was no. They didn't know, and apparently didn't want to know. Now, thirty three years later, we are back in that same place again, fighting a war few understand that is affecting soldiers and civilians in ways only those soldiers and civilians can truly know. Ignorance, it seems, is also an American heirloom to be passed down again and again and again. Read more...
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Jack Van Impe presents...
OK Citizens, Mortimer hasn't yet set up a FascistFantazy™ catagory like I've been asking, so this is going in under Ruptured Spleen. Close enough.
"...I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline. And I’ve spent hours preparing it. I will release this information to the public in September, but it’s in his hands."
That's walking bible Jack Van Impe of 'Jack Van Impe Ministries International'. Jack and Rexella are staples of American Christendom...I really do love watching if I actually stumble upon thier 'news updates' at 3:45am. They are awesome, and I so massively wish I can find either video or stills on this alleged 'meeting'. Oh, heavens-to-betsy I hope this is true. And, yes, the creepy Dungeons&Dragons-style art is from Van Impe's site.
hat tip to Claybourn's blog
UPDATE Fellow citizen Scott K. remarks "Can I get that painting airbrushed on my '78 Econonline?" You sure can, Scott. You sure can.
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Liberia, Reagan, Doe, Charles Taylor
the following text is from foreignpolicy-infocus.org. The photo I got from searching for 'reagan doe' on google, and is a photo of Samuel Doe at the white house with Ronald Reagan. Doe branded himself as an anti-communist, and got $500 million.
Historical Underpinnings of Crisis
Liberians have become the world's refugees, fleeing their country en masse. They have been running for the past 13 years, but some would say that they started running in 1980, when Samuel Doe took over the country. He did so in a violent coup d'etat during which Liberia's 19th President and then Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) William R. Tolbert was killed. The 1980 coup undermined and ultimately derailed the growing political reform and democracy movement that had emerged in the late 1970s to challenge the True Whig Party dictatorship of Tolbert. It also launched the country's descent into political violence and criminality, a descent which has continued unabated.
When Master Sergeant Doe took over the reins of power in Liberia, the Reagan administration embraced him. It viewed him as a line of defense against the Soviets during the cold war. The Liberian government between 1980-1985 was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Sub-Saharan Africa, receiving $500 million during that period. But Doe did not spend that money on schools or hospitals, nor did he maintain the country's infrastructure. He did, however, with U.S. encouragement, modernize the Liberian military. Salaries and benefits for soldiers were increased. The army used its enhanced position to launch terror and mayhem on ordinary Liberian civilians. In this way, the militarization of politics in Liberia was born. Doe became the most repressive Liberian leader in its history, while President Ronald Reagan called Doe his good friend and entertained him at the White House.
text from foreignpolicy-infocus.org
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There was also a NY Times opinion editorial piece which deserves it's own posting, but I will put it right here: What the U.S. Owes Liberia
Pat Robertson is other name to search on regarding Liberia. Charles Taylor and Robertson, united in their supposedly Christian faith, and a business arrangement: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/000042.html
and some more Liberia articles:
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really really really good electronic music
listen to some of his tracks....
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No One Cares
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I love John Ashcroft
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Molly Ivins Column
She's always so partisan and wrong. Why doesn't she just move to Canada?
Posted on Sun, Aug. 10, 2003
Mileposts on the road to societal ruin
By Molly Ivins
CAMDEN, Maine - Let us stop to observe a few mileposts on the downward path to the utter degradation of political discourse in this country.
A recent newspaper advertising campaign by "independent" groups supporting President Bush shows a closed courtroom door with the sign "Catholics Need Not Apply" hanging on it. The ad argues that William Pryor Jr., attorney general of Alabama and a right-wing, anti-abortion nominee to the federal appeals court, is under attack for his "deeply held" Catholic beliefs.
Actually, Pryor is under attack because he's a hopeless dipstick. That he also happens to be Catholic and anti-abortion has nothing to do with his unfitness for the federal bench.
The only person I know who believes that one's closely held religious and moral convictions should make one ineligible for the federal bench is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia argued last year that any judge who is opposed to the death penalty should resign, on account of it is the law.
By that reasoning, any judge who is opposed to abortion out of deep moral conviction should also resign. Even though that would include Scalia's resignation (an eventuation devoutly to be wished, in my opinion), I think he's wrong.
Pryor has said that Roe vs. Wade "ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children." Hey, there's objectivity for you.
His record on civil rights, states' rights and gay rights is equally ideological. He has a record of incendiary comments that certainly bring into question his "judicial temperament."
When the Supreme Court delayed an execution in Alabama, Pryor called its members "nine octogenarian lawyers." He once prayed for "no more Souters," a reference to Justice David Souter.
The New York Times observed, "He has turned the Alabama attorney general's office into a taxpayer-financed right-wing law firm." He has argued against a key part of the Voting Rights Act and was the only state attorney general to argue against the Violence Against Women Act.
Who cares if he's Catholic? He'd be a disgrace on the bench if he were a Buddhist. Read more...
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