anti-war


Time magazine had a story this week that asks a great question, but they’ll never find the right answer if they continue to see our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as “wars” and not “occupations”.

Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?

I’m glad they’re asking the question about military recruiters, and glad people are reading about it, but here’s the part that shows they’ll never find the answer:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now the longest waged by an all-volunteer force in U.S. history. Even as soldiers rotate back into the field for multiple and extended tours, the Army requires a constant supply of new recruits. But the patriotic fervor that led so many to sign up after 9/11 is now eight years past. That leaves recruiters with perhaps the toughest, if not the most dangerous, job in the Army.

The problem is not that we are less patriotic or that no one wants to serve. The problem is that these are occupations and no one wants to continue fighting wars that we won years and years ago.

Last year alone, the number of recruiters who killed themselves was triple the overall Army rate. Like posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, recruiter suicides are a hidden cost of the nation’s wars.

Yes there is a problem here, and yes the recruiters need help, but mostly we need to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even with this economy, poor kids don’t want to go into the military any more. Would you?

Well I can’t go, but maybe you can.

CALLING STUDENTS AND YOUTH NATIONWIDE

 

Spring Break in Washington D.C. to End the Iraq Occupation

We invite you to invite yourself, your friends, and your peers to come to Washington D.C. to join youth and students from around the nation to

Break the War with Spring Break!
http://www.ourspringbreak.org

Come any time from March 7th to March 23rd to protest the Iraq War as it is forced into its sixth year. This spring our Generation steps up.

Events will include but are not limited to: Sit-Ins, Demonstrations, Marches, Rallies, Civil Disobedience, Music Performed by Head-Roc and Son of NUN and more

Spring break: one usually imagines these words screamed from bourbon filled mouths at a tacky beach resort. Let’s use this vacation as an opportunity to take concrete creative action to end this unjust war and show that we care.

Be There

Click facebook.com/group.php?gid=7034243829 to join the Facebook group!

Click groups.myspace.com/ourspringbreak to join the MySpace group!

Click www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7FheS2RFMs to see the YouTube video!

To organize for Our Spring Break, e-mail: contact@ourspringbreak.org

http://www.ourspringbreak.org

Our Spring Break is endorsed by: Artists Against the War, Backbone Campaign, Camp Casey Peace Institute, Campus Anti-War Network, CODEPINK Women for Peace, A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, United for Peace and Justice, AfterDowningStreet.org, The Critical Voice, Democrats.com, Grassroots America, Gold Star Families for Peace, Kennebunk Peace Department, Not In Our Name, Progressive Democrats of America, World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime

These suggestions are from Code Pink. (Thanks Franya.) What else might work? Please leave a comment.

1. Tell Senator Lieberman: No War in Iran!

Joe Lieberman is waving his sword again. On Sunday, he told CBS “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.”

Upon hearing these words, our own Leslie Angeline, a CODEPINK member from Santa Rosa, CA, decided to go on a hunger strike until Senator Lieberman agreed to meet with her. Leslie, who recently returned from a peace delegation to Iran, has made it her mission to prevent America from attacking the country.

You can join us in solidarity by calling and emailing Lieberman’s office to demand that he retract his irresponsible call for military action in Iran. Call (202)224-4041 and ask to speak to Vance Serchuck, Lieberman’s Legislative Aide on foreign relations and Iran, or click here to send an email along with the picture on the above right of our action outside his office. We are holding photos taken from Leslie’s recent trip to Iran. Ask Lieberman if he really wants to attack these beautiful people, this beautiful place. See more action photos here.

As Leslie says, “70% of the Iranian population is under the age of 30-the age of my son. Iran is a country of warm, kind, and generous children and their families. We cannot start bombing these kids.”

Download and distribute our latest DON”T IRAQ IRAN flyer!

 

2. Learn What Presidential Candidates Are Saying About Iran

It is critical during this election season, to listen to what the presidential candidates – both Republican and Democrat – are saying about Iran. When a candidate says “No options are off the table,” they are sanctioning not only a possible military attack, but also a nuclear attack on Iran. This is totally unacceptable. We must insist that they put a nuclear attack off the table, and that they call for negotiations, not war.

Click here to download our list of presidential candidates and their positions on Iran.

3. Sign Our Petition to the UN Security Council!

Click here to add your name today!

4. Tell Congress! Don’t Iraq Iran!

Help us prevent another war in the Middle East. This time Congress must stop a pre-emptive attack! Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has introduced legislation (S.759) that would prohibit any funds from the recent supplemental bill to be used in attacking Iran. Urge your Senator to support S.759 TODAY!

5. Ask Your Press to be Critical and Vigilant!

The mainstream media is already jumping on the bandwagon about the Iranian threat. We hoped they would have learned their lesson after spreading falsehoods about WMDs in Iraq. But once again journalists such as New York Times’ Michael R. Gordon, Judith Miller’s sidekick in the WMD and phony aluminum tubes reporting, are quoting anonymous sources as proof that Iran is providing Iraqi militias with powerful explosives to attack US troops. For more analysis of the press and Iran, click here.

In fact, the evidence against Iran is insubstantial and full of exaggeration. Even General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he hasn’t seen any intelligence that supports the claim. We need to tell the press that now is the time to ask serious questions instead of blindly supporting the administration’s headlong rush into another tragic and unnecessary war. Please contact media outlets and tell them we demand a critical, vigilant press. Click here to send your letter now!

 

6. Learn More!

PowerPoint Show of influential and famous Iranians in our midst:

In recent years, the media has damaged Iran?s image so badly that when people hear the name of Iran, they only picture black chadors, terrorism, and ayatollahs. These stereotypes are being constructed to make it easier for governments to attack Iran with public approval. This is why NoWar SA has produced a prsentation to help break down these negative stereotypes.

How stupid does Bush think that we are?

Note: spew alert for the second cartoon.  Don’t have anything in your mouth that you don’t mind having all over the screen and the keyboard.  —Freckles

The surge

The surge is working

    My brother was 6 when he decided to join the military and 18 when he did. He was not drafted. It was his choice. I do not want to get drafted when I turn 18 in 2 yrs (and a few months). Do you? If Bush doesn’t ever let this war end, and if Congress never pushes for it to end, then we all might end up fighting. Even with enlistment bonuses and 5th tours of duty, the military is going to run out of soldiers and marines.

This is an ad that is being run in Maine where Susan Collins is up for re-election, but it could run anywhere. Watch it. Share it with people. Keep me and my friends and our classmates and our generation from having to get drafted to fight Bush’s war.

Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to go on 3 or 4 or 5 deployments? Are you ready for PTSD? Are you ready to die?

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So …. If half the republican people want us to withdraw troops from Iraq, we can assume that even more of the democratic people want to withdraw troops. So when will the politicians in Washington know what the people know? When will they listen? When will they start a withdrawal?

This is from ThinkProgress:

51 percent:

Number of Republicans in Iowa who “favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months.” Just 39 percent are against a withdrawal. (via Atrios)

Why does Fox News want us to have a war with Iran? Why do Americans let Fox News decide what is happening in our foreign policy? Why don’t they have to report real facts?

Democratic presidential hopeful New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson responds to a question about NAFTA during a presidential forum hosted by the AFL-CIO at Soldier Field in Chicago, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

 

AP Photo: Democratic presidential hopeful New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson responds to a question about NAFTA during…

The mainstream media makes it seem like Clinton and Obama are the only Democratic candidates, but there are a lot of them, and some say some pretty good stuff. Here’s some of what Governor Bill Richardson from New Mexico has been saying:

“I believe that school reform should improve schools,” he said. “But our nation’s school reform has made our schools look more like reform schools, with all the mindless testing and bureaucratic rules and regulations.”

Richardson ticked through his accomplishments as governor, including his Making Schools Work plan. That effort addresses not only classroom instruction but health and nutrition, parental involvement and clean schools.

“Our children can’t learn if they aren’t healthy,” he said. “In New Mexico, we now provide access to free health insurance to every child under the age of 5. We have expanded our state immunization program. … We’ve implemented statewide breakfast programs for our neediest kids. And we’ve gotten junk food out and put physical education back in.”

He also wants to get spend more on education and less on war. He wants to get rid of No Child Left Behind and give better salaries to teachers:

Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson says schools should be a higher budget priority than the war in Iraq.

“We need to get out of Iraq, where precious lives and needed dollars have been wasted,” New Mexico‘s governor said in remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday to New Hampshire educators. “We could use these resources to improve our schools and make the economy, once again, work for the middle class.”

Richardson proposed an extended school year, a longer school day and a complete repeal of President Bush‘s No Child Left Behind plan. He also pledged to seek a federal minimum wage of $40,000 for teachers. The average first-year teacher earned $31,753 in 2004-2005, according to the American Federation of Teachers’ most recent survey.

“Too often, you’ve been ignored, taken for granted, underpaid and blamed,” Richardson said in remarks obtained by The Associated Press. “It was Aristotle, 2,300 years ago, who wrote that the fate of nations depends more on educating youth than any other factor. Not the military. Not the political leadership. Not the economy.”

Which other candidates are saying important things that the media is not reporting?

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at

Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

end the occupation of iraqWhen the Iraq war started in 2003, Donald Rumsfeld told us that it would probably last, “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months,”
He was right. Six weeks later, the president strutted around a ship near San Diego and told the troops on the ship this: “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” Bush said then. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on. … We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.”

So, the war ended and then the occupation started. And disaster. And looting. And violence. And the worst decision-making in history. And five years later, people are still dying.

The time to end the occupation is NOW! And here are some things you can do to help:

1) Start calling it an occupation and not a war.

2) Learn more about it. Here are some good websites:

3) Call your member of congress and your senator and tell them to fund the withdrawal of the troops.

Please do what you can and leave suggestions here of other places where people can learn how to end the occupation.

I am not surprised that the Bush administration doesn’t care about the troops working in the heat. They don’t care about them at all. They’re sending some soldiers and marines for their fifth deployment. Here are a few examples from today’s news about how they are hurting the troops.

Iraqi Politicians Take August Off As US Soldiers Fight On

from the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday appeared resigned to the fact that the Iraqi parliament is going to take August off, even though it has just eight weeks to show progress on military, political and economic benchmarks prescribed by the United States.

“My understanding is at this juncture they’re going to take August off, but, you know, they may change their minds,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

“You know, it’s 130 degrees in Baghdad in August,” he said, sympathetically.

Snow was reminded that U.S. troops will be continuing to fight throughout August in the heat.

“You know, that’s a good point,” Snow said. “And it’s 130 degrees for the Iraqi military.”

Last month, the Iraqi parliament decided to cancel at least the first month of a two-month summer vacation supposed to start on July 1, in order to take up legislation, including a new law governing the oil industry, on which the United States has been pressing for approval.

The White House and other top officials previously had worked to persuade the parliament to remain at work, saying it would send a bad signal if the Iraqi lawmakers went on vacation while U.S. troops were fighting and dying.

Snow said that a scheduled Sept. 15 progress report on by Gen. David Petraeus was important, yet said he also said that was not a deadline. He said progress can be made even if the parliament is not in session.

“You’re assuming that nothing is going on,” Snow said.

“Let’s also see what happens because quite often when parliaments do not meet, they are also continuing meetings on the side. And there will be progress, I’m sure on a number of fronts,” the spokesman said.

The Iraqi parliament’s vacation plans have been repeatedly criticized by U.S. lawmakers. But the U.S. Congress will be on vacation from Aug. 3 to Sept. 4, if it sticks to current plans.

The Congress itself has been criticized for how little it works.

On Thursday, the White House gave Congress a progress report that showed the Iraqi government was making unsatisfactory progress on many political and military milestones. At a news conference, President Bush defended the buildup of U.S. troops as well as his decisions on troop numbers earlier in the conflict.

Bush said that when he asked Gen. Tommy Franks, the Central Command chief during the initial invasion in March 2003, whether he had enough troops, Franks told him he did. Bush said he recalled sitting in a meeting downstairs at the White House asking each commander responsible for different aspects of the operations that led to toppling Saddam Hussein.

“I said to each one of them `Do you have what it takes? Are you satisfied with the strategy?’ And the answer was `Yes,'” Bush said.

Asked whether Bush was trying to blame Franks for the bad course of the war, Snow rose to defend Franks and said historians would have to judge the correctness of U.S. strategic military decisions.

“I think General Franks did a superb job,” Snow said.

I hope something comes of this story:

Reservist Tries to Stop 5th Deployment

BRIAN SKOLOFF

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Army Reserve Sgt. Erik Botta has been sent to Iraq three times and to Afghanistan once. He thinks that’s enough.

Botta wants a court to block the military’s plan to deploy him for a fifth time Sunday, most likely to Iraq. He isn’t against the war _ but he thinks he can serve his country better now by working for a defense contractor and pursuing his education.

“This has nothing to do with protest of the war … I have nothing but respect for the people on the ground,” Botta said Friday, one day after he filed his petition in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach. “But I feel I do need a fair decision and a fair review.”

Botta, 26, of Port St. Lucie, contends in his petition that the Army’s refusal to exempt him from deployment “constitutes unlawful custody.” Botta argues the Army did not consider the length and nature of his previous tours “to assure a sharing of exposure to the hazards of combat.”

He was granted an initial exemption last year, allowing him to pursue an electrical engineering degree at Palm Beach Community College and work as a senior technician on Blackhawk and Seahawk helicopters at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. But now his exemption has been denied.

Botta said he was shocked when he received notice of his latest deployment orders.

“My heart sank through the floor,” he said. “I’ve sacrificed all my time into this new life I have now.”

Botta enlisted in the Army Reserves in October 2000. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he requested transfer to active duty, which was granted the next month, according to the petition.

Botta was deployed to Afghanistan for about seven months in 2002. He then had three deployments to Iraq _ about a month in 2003, three months in 2004 and 15 days later that year.

Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment. She also noted that Botta was under an eight-year service contract.

“The Army leadership acknowledges the hardships and sacrifices of our soldiers and their families and is aggressively pursuing means to lessen their strain,” Phillips wrote in an e-mail Friday. “We evaluate each request for deferment or exemption from mobilization independently to determine if a deployment will cause undue hardship for the soldier or the family.”

She said that out of 649 deployment delays requested by soldiers since the start of the Afghan war in 2001, the Army has granted 561 or 87 percent. Of the 5,708 exemptions that have been requested, 2,983 or 54 percent have been granted.

Botta’s previous deployments in Iraq were as a communications specialist with the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and were shorter than most tours because they were “emergency deployments,” said his attorney, Mark Waple.

After his release from active duty on Oct. 30, 2004, Botta has not been required to participate in any training, he said.

Botta now wants a federal judge to stop his deployment. If a resolution is not reached, he said he will follow orders and deploy Sunday to Fort Jackson near Columbia, S.C.

Waple said the Army’s decision to redeploy Botta and to deny his request for exemption is arbitrary and goes against actions in similar cases where academic exemptions were granted.

“We’re just concerned that they’re granting these exemptions in some cases and denying them in others without any real meaningful methodology in making that decision,” Waple said.

Waple also noted that Congress requires the Defense Department to “take into consideration the reservist’s prior military service to be certain that there is uniform exposure among reservists to the hazards of combat and the Department of the Army has failed to do that in Sgt. Botta’s case.”

There was no immediate word as to when the court would take up the case.

But there is some good news:

New GOP bill challenges Bush Iraq policy

WASHINGTON – Two top Republicans cast aside President Bush’s pleas for patience on Iraq Friday and proposed legislation demanding a new strategy by mid-October to restrict the mission of U.S. troops.

flag shame

Image from 9thwave

End the war so we can start to end our shame in the world.

Some of these are funny! Some are old, but so what?

1. Bush: End of an Error

2. That’s OK, I Wasn’t Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

3. Let’s Fix Democracy in this Country First

4. If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran

5. Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

6. If You Can Read This, You’re Not Our President.

7. Of Course It Hurts: You’re Getting Screwed by an Elephant

8. Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

9. George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

10. Impeachment: It’s Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

11. America: One Nation, Under Surveillance

12. They Call Him “W”, So He Can Spell It

13 Whose God Do You Kill For?

14. Jail to the Chief!

15. No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?

16. Bush: God’s Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap.

17. Bad President! No Banana.

18. We Need a President Who’s Fluent In At Least One Language.

19. We’re Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them.

20 Is It Vietnam or Korea Yet?

21. Bush Doesn’t Care About White People, Either.

22. Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

23. You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

24. Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too.

25. When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46.

26. Pray For Impeachment.

27. The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

28. What Part of “Bush Lied” Don’t You Understand?

29. One Nation Under Clod

30. 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified 2007

31. Bush Never Exhaled

32. At Least Nixon Resigned


comic by Bill Day

When I get lazy, or busy with exams, I don’t think, write and then post. Instead I just pick the best of the day’s political cartoons and post those. Here ya go!

stamp mail email price

moderate republican

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Tinkie Winkie Jerry Falwell

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no more bushies

wolfie world bank

elephants

    The Republicans who are into “family values” are also against single parent households. I was raised by my mom alone for 6 years and then raised by my brother alone after that, so I know that there can be problems. Single parents need a lot of support if they are going to have healthy families.

    Military families become single parent families during deployments, and there is a huge additional stress of fearing that someone will die in battle or by friendly fire, or that they will be wounded. So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that a recent study published in USA Today found that “Sending soldiers to war puts their children left at home at higher risk of abuse and neglect.

    According to the article, the kids being abused the most (or reported the most) were under 4 years old, and the “Abuser was usually the parent who remained at home while a spouse was deployed.”

What the article didn’t mention is what the military is doing about it for the kids who are already being abused, but they mention at least one program for the war-created single parents married to soldiers and marines.

At Texas’ Fort Hood, home to about 70,000 military family members, the post is now working with the Military Child Education Coalition to improve community involvement with military families, Boyce said. “The U.S. Army, like many American communities, takes a solid teamwork approach to assisting families who have a soldier deployed,” he said.

Let’s end the war, get the troops home, and get them and their families all the counseling they need to have a healthy family life. If so many have PTSD, they AND their families will need a lot of help.

 

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