Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Can't Support a War Criminal like Wesley Clark

Granted he did answer the questions, after leaving the interview and being followed, but I refuse to support someone for president who supports the use of depleted uranium.

I would vote for Clark if he was nominated, because he's the lesser of two evils, but until he states what he already knows - depleted uranium is a war crime and should be banned - I refuse to give him one ounce of support.

From NPq:

We thus know very well what the correlation of radiation content to risk of depleted uranium is. It is measurable, and it is very low-40 percent less radioactive than natural uranium. There has never been any correlation between this level of radiation and a specific effect. Simply put, depleted uranium falls within the scale of what is safely admissible.

Ok, so he claims there's no "specific effects" from DU exposure, but then...

In the case of depleted uranium, as in all radiation, you don't want the radioactive substance inside you where it does more damage.

There's no specific effects, but it does less "damage" when it only touches everything outside of you (Read: try not to breathe).

NPQ | So, this is a tempest in a teapot?

CLARK | I would never put it that way because an issue like this must be taken very seriously. But I am certain no new, unexamined correlation between DU weapons and health will be found.

All we have here are two sets of facts: First, 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons were fired over a period of two months throughout an area 60 miles by 60 miles-almost 4,000 square miles. Second, some number of European soldiers are ill.

Somebody correlated these two. But there is no basis for this correlation scientifically, medically, statistically or experientially.

1. Radiation causes human sickness
2. Depleted Uranium radiates
3. Use of DU in an area caused human sickness
4. Correlations made
5. Clark discredits undefined basis, and supports the use of DU(!!!)

The basis is fact 1: DU RADIATES YOU. It makes you sick.

From The Progressive:

One part dealt with the use of depleted uranium. He said there have been a lot of studies on depleted uranium, and "there is no indication it causes any trouble," except perhaps if you put something in your mouth that is covered with it.

Or breathe air in the region where DU munitions were used. Or pump ground water from these regions. Tell that to the ground troops and the civilians from your A/C'd office on high I suppose?

Screw that. Wake up Clark, you are tiptoe-ing around your disdain for using a known weapon of mass destruction.

Just ask your fellow troops:

What can you tell me about cluster bombs, or depleted uranium?

Depleted uranium. I know what it does. It's basically like leaving plutonium rods around. I'm 32 years old. I have 80 percent of my lung capacity. I ache all the time. I don't feel like a healthy 32-year-old.

Were you in the vicinity of depleted uranium?

Oh, yeah. It's everywhere. DU is everywhere on the battlefield. If you hit a tank, there's dust.

Did you breathe any dust?


And if DU is affecting you or our troops, it's also impacting Iraqi civilians.

Oh, yeah. They got a big wasteland problem.

Do Marines have any precautions about dealing with DU?

Not that I know of. Well, if a tank gets hit, crews are detained for a little while to make sure there are no signs or symptoms. American tanks have depleted uranium on the sides, and the projectiles have DU in them. If an enemy vehicle gets hit, the area gets contaminated. Dead rounds are in the ground. The civilian populace is just now starting to learn about it. Hell, I didn't even know about DU until two years ago. You know how I found out about it? I read an article in Rolling Stone magazine. I just started inquiring about it, and I said, "Holy shit!"

If Clark has so much integrity, where is his statement against using WMDs against his own troops and civilians? His inaction is not the trait of a good leader, it is the trait of a warrior who uses any tactic to win - including torture, rendition, and other tactics that Bush uses to win whatever mission he has decided to embark upon with wanton respect to human rights and international law.

He already discussed it at length and considered all the angles - Bush does that quite often, so he says - but that doesn't mean Clark won't throw depleted uranium at any given country doomed to suffer the terror it leaves in its wake. I don't give a fuck what Clark considers in his mind if he continues to support evil in his actions. It's about taking action - the ball is in Clark's hands. And right now those hands work in support of using weapons of mass destruction against our troops and our enemies.

Therefore, I can't support Wesley Clark in any way, shape or form.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A letter to the ugly american

A letter to Mr. Northern, from Operation Truth

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.

While I was in Iraq,a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall,was killed in an unarmoredHMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID.Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers was Henry Bacon. He was one of the finest men I ever met. He was in perfect shape for a man over forty, working hard at night. He told me that he did that because he didn't have much money to buy nice things for his wife, who he loved so much, so he had to be in good shape for her. He was like a father to many young men in his section of maintenance mechanics. They fixed our vehicles with almost no support and fabricated parts and made repairs that kept our squadron rolling on the longest, fastest armor advance ever made under fire. He was so very proud of his son-in-law that married the beautiful daughter so well raised by Henry. His son-in-law was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division, who died last year. Henry stopped to rescue a vehicle belonging to another unit on what was to be his last day in Iraq. He could have kept rolling - he was headed to Kuwait after a year's tour. But he stopped. He could have sent others to do the work, but he was on the ground, leading by example, when he was killed. On Monday night, August 16, you took it upon yourself to go out in the country, where a peaceful group was exercising their constitutional rights, and harming no one, and you ran down the memorial cross erected for Henry and for his son-in-law by Arlington West.

Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one. I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called. I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Riots in Iraq?: Sweeping The Outrage Under The Carpet

1:49 pm: Government: release of Abu Ghraib prison photos could cause riots
August 12, 2005

NEW YORK - Releasing pictures and videotapes of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken Afghanistan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against U.S. troops, the top military adviser to the president says.

Those must be some pretty evil events that were captured.

Myers said the release of the pictures "pose a clear and grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American troops and coalition forces."

He said it was "probable that al-Qaida and other groups will seize upon these images and videos as grist for their propaganda mill," leading to violent attacks, increased terrorist recruitment, continued financial support and a worsening of tensions between the Iraqi and Afghani populaces and U.S. and coalition forces.

He said the photographs and videos would be used in a propaganda campaign by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq who "use any means necessary to incite violence" against innocent civilians to undercut the U.S. mission.

The mission of what, exactly? Torture and videotapes? Snuff films? Hushed up murder of detainees?

In a response to the arguments by Myers, the ACLU submitted a declaration by retired U.S. Army Col. Michael E. Pheneger, who said Myers "mistakes propaganda for motivation."

He said he does "not underestimate the propaganda impact of the release of additional photos of the degradation of Iraqi prisoners in U.S. custody, but the photos will not be the real cause of subsequent attacks."

He noted that insurgents average 70 attacks a day and that they "will continue regardless of whether the photos and tapes are released."

Pheneger, a military intelligence officer from 1963 to 1993, said he found it difficult as a patriot and a career soldier to criticize the government.

But he said he believed that the release of the photos _ though damaging to the Army's reputation _ would lead to a thorough public examination of the effects of the administration's decision to change long-standing policies and approve interrogation techniques that the Army had long prohibited.

"The first step to abandoning practices that are repugnant to our laws and national ideals is to bring them into the sunshine and assign accountability," he wrote.

Full story at The New Mexican

Hybrid, Subaru, and the Near Future

Ok, so, I sent a goofy little email to Subaru asking about the development of a hybrid vehicle. Here's the reply:

Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site and for your inquiry regarding our hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid vehicle development involves many new technologies and designs. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.(FHI), our manufacturer, is currently developing alternative fuel engines for future environmental measures, focusing on a compact-sized vehicle and aiming to commercialize it within the next few years.

A joint venture with NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. will advance the development of a manganese lithium-ion type rechargeable battery for automobiles. By integrating NEC's laminate-type manganese lithium-ion cell technology with FHI's battery pack technology, the new company will be prepared to develop the global de facto standard rechargeable battery. NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. plans to supply the test battery to all domestic and international automobile manufacturers for industry evaluation.

There is a more environmentally significant development over the battery/internal combustion engine hybrid in the long term. GM is making progress toward having fuel cell powered vehicles available in the future. In continuation of its history of adopting practical innovations, Subaru and its linkage with GM will be an eager partner in fuel cell vehicle developments.

While there are no specific dates or schedules available to us now, please be assured that you will be hearing more about Subaru's advanced technology vehicles in the future. If you would like further general information on FHI's efforts to preserve the environment, please go to http://www.fhi.co.jp/english/envi/env_report/main.html.

We appreciate that you took the time to inquire about our vehicles and give us your comments. We hope to continually improve our products. If you need any future assistance, you can always contact us through our Web site at www.subaru.com.

Best Wishes,

Natalie Cox
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department

Can't wait! Hope they make a [bio]diesel version...

Gather TOMORROW to show Solidarity with Cindy Sheehan

An email from Boston Mobilization


Dear Friends –

One of the most frustrating things about trying to stop this war is that few of us feel it in a personal way. I think this is part of a plan, a plan to insulate us from the cost of this war. Few of us have to pay the price directly, as Cindy Sheehan does, and the Iraqi people do. Can you imagine losing a child to this war?

I have heard from many people that they will be at the vigil tomorrow. But many others have said words to the effect of: “I wish I could be there, I have other plans, I support you”

I totally understand but -

I don’t think this war is going to end until we are willing to change our plans, and disrupt our daily lives. What will it take? How many more dead? Will we each have to lose someone in order to do what Cindy did?

Or will it just grind on and on?

I beg you, take that one next step, BE THERE TOMMOROW!

Out of respect for Cindy and the Gold Star families we will be dressed in black. After sunset we will surround the Frog Pond holding candles. The reflection of their flames will honor all those who have lost their lives or been wounded in this illegal war.


Please Spread the Word!

Yours In Action, Eve

Seeing Cindy

Published on Friday, August 12, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Seeing Cindy
by David Potorti

As a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, I¹ve been witnessing Cindy Sheehan¹s Crawford odyssey with a bittersweet mixture of pride, support and sadness. I felt the same way when Megan Bartlett, one of the first EMT workers to arrive at the World Trade Center site, founded Ground Zero For Peace/First Responders Against War; as military parents Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson founded Military Families Speak Out; as the 9/11 widows known as the "Jersey Girls" dragged their government, kicking and screaming, into conducting an independent commission into the 9/11 attacks; and as Michael Hoffman, Kelly Dougherty, Jimmy Massey and others came together to create Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Ordinary Americans with first-hand knowledge of the results of terrorism, violence and war were bearing witness and asking to be heard.

I felt pride at their personal courage, support for their desire to spare others the horrors they had experienced, and sadness at the inevitable response they would draw from the government and its corporate media: Ignore them. They¹re small in number. They¹re not authentic. It¹s all about politics. They¹re funded by the Democrats. They¹re traitors. They¹re an invention of the media. They have a personal axe to grind. They don¹t know what they¹re talking about.

Every argument raised about Cindy Sheehan has been raised about us, and about the rest, each argument reflecting the same goal: to dehumanize us. Faced with the dissonant reality that 9/11 families might not support the bombing of Afghanistan, or military families might not support the war in Iraq, or that there¹s people with a few more questions for the 9/11 Commission, our reality‹our actual existence‹has to be denied. One radio pundit has claimed that we "aren¹t even 9/11 family members."

Denial and dehumanization are required elements of terrorism, violence and war. The humanity of our families was invisible to the people who murdered them on September 11th. The humanity of Afghan civilians, already suffering, was invisible to the Americans who supported the bombing of their country. The humanity of Iraqi civilians, already suffering, was invisible to the Americans whipped into war on a series of calculated lies. The humanity of the troops and reservists doing hard time in Iraq is invisible to the people sending them there. And the humanity of those troops killed or maimed for the rest of their lives remains largely invisible to the American people.

To stand up in the midst of this denial and demand that our humanity, and the humanity of others, be recognized, is not just a patriotic act of a high order. It¹s a way of reclaiming the life that was taken away from us. To respond that our demands are inauthentic, insincere, an "invention" --in short, not real‹dehumanizes us in the same way that terrorism, violence and war dehumanizes us all.

Even after he has shared his "sympathy," many continue to ask the President to see Cindy. The fact is, he doesn¹t have to see Cindy in Crawford. He can see Cindy in the brave numbers of Americans with first hand knowledge of the war on terror as they stand up to bear witness to what they, and we, have lost. He can see Cindy in the growing majority of Americans who see war for what it really is, and want the troops home. And he can see Cindy in the mutual humanity, sense of common purpose and worldwide desire for peace that revealed itself to the United States immediately after 9/11‹and remains, today, our best hope of survival.

Long after his Crawford vacation is over, we¹ll still be there---demanding to be seen.

Seeing Cindy


Saturday August 13th
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Park Street Station
Wear black, bring candles!
Call 617-782-2313 for more details!
For more info, email us at:
Updates from Crawford

from Boston Mobilization