Viewing entries tagged
Iraq War

CNN Post-Show, Ari Fleischer In The Green Room and More

cross-posted to jack & jill politics So it's always kind of a big deal to get on primetime TV, and thanks to the entire JJP fam for providing your suggested topics, talking points and coverage throughout the day. Yall are like a community-powered media prep team. Sadly, Governor Ventura's segment went way over, and the blogger segment on CNN's Election Center got cut short. Here's the video for those who missed it.

That's right. I got one sentence in! Dang! I accomplished my first goal: don't look like an idiot. If you watch my eyes in the closing minutes (after she says the segment's over), you can see them saying "Wha'choo talkin bout Campbell??" Such is national television, but Jack & Jill Politics is likely to return in the near future to try to represent real thought on the airwaves. Had I known I would only get one sentence, I might have kept my message to Iraq as economic failure, but I think it's worth putting pressure on those who keep saying "No we can't" leave Iraq to ask them just when they think it will be possible. So that's the on-air part, but what yall missed was the green room where I spent mad time talking with none other than Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. We arrived at about the same time, and I wasn't sure whether to shake his hand or choke him! The man is disturbingly personable. He's like a genuinely nice and funny person. Here's the killer photo I got of him reading JJP!

Ari Fleischer Reads Jack & Jill Politics

We actually didn't talk about politics much and focused on the irony of the CNN green room TV having no sound. I pointed out to him that he was wearing one of those American flag pins. Without missing a beat, he said Barack Obama gave it to him. I said, "yeah, he didn't need to wear his patriotism on his sleeve." Ah, laughing with the enemy. Anyway, thanks to everyone for your contributions, not just today but in general. It's good to be home.

Attn: Pentagon, I'm Going To Blog About Your Support Of Mass Rape

cross-posted to jack & jill politics Wired.com recently revealed that the Pentagon considered recruiting and hiring bloggers to promote their message and attack and hack the sites of those those antithetical to their interests. Given that, I'd just like to take an opportunity to discuss the Pentagon's policy of mass rape of American servicewomen. Go ahead, Pentagon. Hack me. For an excellent and lengthy treatment of this topic, Salon.com's "The Private War Of Women Soldiers" is a must-read. The LA Times ran an excellent opinion piece on the story this Sunday. It was written by Jane Harman (D-Venice) who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence:
The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn. These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
More than the incidents of rape is the fact that the military does not take this problem seriously, as evidenced by the low rate of serious discipline:
At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through "nonjudicial punishment," which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of "insufficient evidence." This is in stark contrast to the civilian trend of prosecuting sexual assault. In California, for example, 44% of reported rapes result in arrests, and 64% of those who are arrested are prosecuted, according to the California Department of Justice.
So someone tell me where the real war is. No, don't tell me. I understand: We're raping them over there so we don't have to rape them over here. Oh, I'm sorry, that's actually not true since there's a problem with military recruiters assaulting and raping potential enlistees, as reported by CNN and the AP. See the YouTube clip

Extra troubling: No Child Left Behind was designed, in part, to increase the ranks of the military. As stated by the CNN reporter above, "No Child Left Behind guarantees schools federal funding as long as they grant recruiters access to students on campus." The act also forces schools to provide students' home phone numbers and addresses. No child left behind or no rapist left behind? There is an epidemic of sexual assault in our military, and being stuck in this war only exacerbates the problem. Opposition to the war in Iraq is not simply about being "preoccupied" with the mistakes that got us into the war. It's about putting an end to all the costs associated with war, which go much farther and deeper than we generally acknowledge. What can you do?

Iraq 5 Years Later: How The Media Helped Get Us Into This War

cross posted to jack & jill politics Thank God for Democracy Now. Amy Goodman had on Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher. His has a new book out called, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits—and the President—Failed on Iraq. In all the retrospective coverage going on covering the five years of this unnecessary war, few in the media have bothered to look in the mirror and take the due blame for driving this country to war. We had the largest demonstrations in the history of the planet trying to stop this madness, yet few listened. The newspapers and broadcast and cable news outlets almost universally banned any voice that challenged the idea that Iraq was something we needed to do. Media outlets and personalities that fancy themselves critical of the war or the administration now, were the worst kind of journalists when we really needed them. It's easy to criticize Bush now. It's the hackiest thing you can do. It's easy to criticize the war, but when it really counted -- before we sent people in -- most of these idiots had nothing to say. They created a very hostile environment for our politicians to do the right thing, and for this complicity in war propaganda, they need to be held forever accountable. We should remember that these same media outlets are the ones driving the coverage and narrative of our current election. In general, they cannot be trusted. Their agenda is not our agenda. If they could help pull off the overthrow of a government, leading to the collapse of a society, the death of hundreds of thousands and the draining of the treasuries of two nations, what interest do you think they have in a substantive mediation of this presidential election? That's right. None. I'm as guilty as anyone of continuing to prop up these grossly negligent entities, but they've not learned their lesson, and I will try as much as possible to avoid validating them. This means more linking to alternative and perhaps local media, for example. Charlie Rangle made news years ago for proposing a military draft, as a way to spread the burden of this war more widely across society and, in so doing, end the war. I offer a more modest proposal: a military draft for elected officials and the media. If it were their kids and family members going off to commit crimes against another people, going off to get disfigured by an unjust and wasteful effort, you can bet we would not be where we are today. Check out Goodman's interview with Mitchell below. Tell us what you think.