Subject: ON DEMAGOGUES, CHARLATANS, AND ATTACK DOGS.
20 June 2007
by Cindy Sheehan
I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called Face of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such liberal blogs as the Democratic Underground. Being called an attention whore and being told good riddance are some of the more milder rebukes.
I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.
The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a tool of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our two-party system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the left started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of right or left, but right and wrong.
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we dont find alternatives to this corrupt two party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I dont see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that persons heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an attention whore then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a grateful country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Caseys brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group wont work with that group; he wont attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our childrens children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Camp Casey has served its purpose. Its for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, toowhich makes the property even more valuable.
This is my resignation letter as the face of the American anti-war movement. This is not my Checkers moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye Americayou are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I cant make you be that country unless you want it.
Its up to you now.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mothers Child and Dear President Bush.
from Truthout :
Suicide Risk Double Among Male US Veterans
A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reports that male US vets are twice as likely as non-vets to die by suicide. Researchers followed more than 300,000 men for 12 years. Those at biggest risk were white, college-educated and experiencing activity limitations.
From: Jeff Blankfort :
Subject: More on the Liberty: The Wisconsin Library Wars
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2007
As the late Prof. Israel Shahak used to remind us, history is important, and the consignment of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty to its shadows by the Jewish Zionist lobby, Congress, and "the Left," has caused the Palestinians, the Lebanese, as well as Iraqis and Americans to pay dearly for ignoring it. This article was written in 1988 by James Ennes, who survived the attack and wrote the first and definitive book about the attack, The Assault on the Liberty, which itself came under attack by the same lobby that controls Washington, that orchestrated the current war in Iraq and seeks to follow that up with an attack on Iran.-JB
The village of Grafton, Wisconsin, chose to honor the USS Liberty by naming its new library after the ship. The complaints that followed filled the local newspapers and airwaves for months. This is the story of the USS Liberty Memorial Public Library and the controversy that followed.
THE WISCONSIN LIBRARY WARS by James M. Ennes, Jr.(Ennes was a lieutenant on the bridge of the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked.) After a long pause to stop the flow of blood, 1988 marked the tenth year of the great Wisconsin library wars. The first blows were struck in 1979 when supporters of Israel in Milwaukee decided to flex their political muscle. In a test of power (some would say to flaunt it), spokesmen for Israel renamed the library at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee after an Israeli political leader. "Let this place be known forever as the Golda Meir Library," they proclaimed. To no surprise, a great hew and cry developed almost overnight as students, faculty, and local citizens recorded their outrage. Golda Meir Golda Meir, born Goldie Mabovitch in Poland in 1898, had lived in Milwaukee between her 8th and 21st year. She studied at the Milwaukee Teachers Seminary of Milwaukee, later taught school briefly in Milwaukee, and then moved to Palestine in 1919 to join the growing Jewish community there. Golda Meir was respected by her fans, not for charm, tact, or diplomatic skill, but for her stubborn Israeli intransigence. When she became prime minister in 1969, Time magazine said of her: "The essence of the woman is conviction, without compromise, and expressed with all the subtlety of a Centurion tank. She seldom loses an argument...." Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, himself a Jew, described her as "a tough, obstinate, unintelligent woman, without discernment, wisdom or poise." Yet, among Arabs and many Americans, Golda Meir is best remembered and often despised for her hard line against the Palestinian population, and for her insistence that Israel had no "Palestinian problem" because, she said, "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist." The First Great Library War Opponents of the Golda Meir name argued that this was a public institution created with public money and should not be named by special interests or for a foreign leader. The existing name, "The University of Wisconsin Library," was more suitable, they said, and should be kept. Otherwise it should be named for an American. "The Golda Meir name should not be used because it is controversial and offensive to a large segment of the population," they argued to deaf ears. "Golda Meir is a symbol of hate in the Arab-American community and to many Americans," they said. Others said privately that they were opposed to the name but were afraid to speak out because the Israeli partisans were "powerful in the community." Arab students complained that the partisans lack sensitivity, ignore Arab feelings, and regard Arabs as less than human. Students picketed in protest. A meeting of Regents held to formalize the name was disrupted by student protesters, and at one point a Jewish professor attacked the pickets, beating them with a cane. The pro-Israel faction, however, withered their opponents with their ultimate weapon. "All opposition to the name comes from anti-Semites," they said. "Arabs and anti-Semites object to the name," they said, "because of their hatred for Jews and Israel. We can never yield to anti-Semites." The argument was picked up and echoed everywhere. Soon everyone opposed to the name became increasingly seen as zealots, racists, nazis, and unthinking radical extremists. The argument, though apparently without substance, was effective. It won the war. The name sticks. Arab students report that they wince whenever they enter the building. The Second War Just 18 miles due north of the Milwaukee campus on the shore of Lake Michigan the town of Grafton, population 8,500, decided recently to replace the aging and overcrowded town library. Jim Grant was elected president of the town council on his pledge to work toward creating the new library. Unlike the Golda Meir library, the Grafton library was to be built almost entirely with private donations. Soon the new library committee had pledges for well over half the $1-million cost, including an $83,000 federal contribution and a $250,000 pledge from the brothers Ted and Ben Grob, who own a Grafton machine tool business. Since the Grob's contribution was the largest single gift, the library board offered the Grob brothers the opportunity to name the new library--expecting them to name it "Grob." But that didn't happen. The Grobs, who had recently read a book about the Liberty and a transcript of a speech by a survivor, surprised everyone. "Name it The USS Liberty Memorial Library," they said, "in honor of the 34 Americans who died when Israel attacked the USS Liberty in 1967." Surprised, the town council and the town library board considered the name. Members who hesitated were asked to read the book that the Grobs had read. And soon both the council and the board gave their unanimous approval to the new name. Enter Israel A few days later an angry letter arrived from one Gideon Goldenholz, rabbi of the Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue in nearby Mequon. Sharpening a weapon that had served well in the Golda Meir library skirmishes, Goldenholz called the proposal "a cynical act" which carries "a hint of anti-Semitism" and is therefore "insulting to Jews." "The USS Liberty incident has become a rallying point for anti-Israel and anti-Semetic (sic) people and groups," wrote James Fromstein for the Milwaukee Jewish Council, an umbrella group that represents Goldenholz's synagogue and 21 other Milwaukee Jewish organizations. "As such, it is...considered offensive...to Jewish people everywhere," he said, raising a trusted bludgeon from previous wars. A few days later Fromstein appeared at Grant's door with two television trucks, three newsmen from Milwaukee, and an aide. Grant, however, would not be intimidated. "We are very comfortable with the name," he said. "The name caters to Arabs and anti-Semites," Fromstein insisted. After all, his aide added, Arabs are "only nomads," while anti-Semites must be opposed on principal. After an hour of fruitless argument, Fromstein departed amid promises of "further action" and some lightly veiled threats of economic and other sanctions. "We can never yield to anti-Semites," he insisted. "The name sticks," Grant said. A Combined Media Blitz Soon Jim Grant discovered that someone was checking into his background, erifying his military record, and otherwise searching for some fodder for a scandal. Librarian Kathy Kafka learned that persons unknown were attempting to verify her academic record. Almost immediately Grant learned that the $83,000 federal commitment had been "postponed" because of complaints about the "anti-Semitic"name. Phone calls and letters from Israeli spokesmen in Milwaukee urged local donors to withdraw their contributions because of the "anti-Semitic" influence. Next, a solid barrage of stories about the library appeared in five area newspapers and the Chicago Tribune, along with frequent and highly caustic mention on area television news and talk shows. The Milwaukee Jewish Chronicle set the tone early with a headline that proclaimed, "Jews battle extremists on library name." "Rename the library," demanded a Chronicle editorial. "New Library divides Wisconsin town," wrote the Tribune. Milwaukee Magazine complained editorially about "The Gift of Grob." "Library name rightly condemned," editorialized the Milwaukee Journal. "Where is the outrage in Grafton? Why is there no outcry?" complained the Journal when the first editorial failed to spark an outcry. "The Grafton library has aligned itself with the bigots and hate-mongers," the Journal complained, recycling another battered tool from the Golda Meir trenches. "Why," survivors asked, "is it OK to have memorials for USS Stark, Maine, Arizona, and a hundred other ships without protest from the countries that attacked them, while any mention of the USS Liberty brings an avalanche of organized protest from Israel?" No one could answer the question, but the protests continued without pause. Journal reporter Michael Krenn, asked by town officials to interview a survivor of the attack, declined. "That is not my story," Krenn insisted. Krenn was interested only in bashing devils. Rarely did anything favoring the library become part of "Krenn's story." Supporting statements came in from Rabbi Elmer Berger, Reverend Humphrey Walz and Admiral Thomas Moorer, among others, but none of this ever made it into "Krenn's story." Articles about the Liberty by experts on the subject including Admiral Moorer were submitted for publication, but none were printed or acknowledged. When survivors Joe Meadors and John Hrankowski visited Grafton with former congressman Pete McCloskey to answer townspeople's questions, the Journal did not find the event worthy of coverage until forced to do so days later when readers complained. The well-attended event displayed nearly total support for the new library name, and it was covered by reporter Krenn, but this was "not his story" so he chose not to write about it. And the reports that did appear typically failed to mention the most noteworthy details, such as public support for the library name by Grafton's State Assemblywoman Susan Vergeront and McCloskey's spirited denunciation of the "anti-Semite" charge. "How can a memorial for American sailors who died in the service of their country possibly be anti-Semitic?" McCloskey demanded to know as the crowd roared its approval. Even an account by the Journal's ombudsman, while acknowledging that their coverage was badly done, continued to ignore Grafton's viewpoint and reasserted the "anti-Semite" influence. At last count the Journal was on record with nineteen heavily slanted "news" stories, five angry editorials and one incomplete ombudsman's report, all suggesting that the library, the ship, the town council, and everyone involved is somehow allied with or unwitting stooges of anti-Semites and other loonies. "This is the most outrageous, egregious, biased, and unprofessional reporting I have seen in 20 years in the business," remarked a California editor of a major newspaper who was sufficiently moved to call Krenn and tell him so. But still the smears and innuendo continue. When two spokesmen from Grafton responded to a request for a television interview in Milwaukee, they were unexpectedly confronted on camera by two spokesmen for Israel, prepared to debate. Although Grafton emerged victorious, it was a tense hour. "You were set up," whispered a sympathetic station employee, clearly pleased with the unexpected outcome. "This was to have been an ambush." When library board chairman Carol Schneider agreed to a television interview, she found herself confronted by a hostile interviewer who did his professional best to humiliate her on camera. Complaints Come From Outside Most of the blitz, however, comes from outside the town. For instance, one of the first shots fired was a paid advertisement in the Ozaukee County Guide signed by 17 clergymen, all from outside of Grafton, which appealed to the fair minded citizens to rise up against their leaders and demand a new name. The clergymen were concerned, they wrote, about "harassment of minorities, hate letters and phone calls to rabbis and desecration of synagogues" which, they said, "have once again raised their ugly heads." "Neo Nazis and other hate groups use the symbol of the USS Liberty to promote their cause," the clergymen wrote. No matter that no harassment, hate letters, phone calls or desecration had occurred. No matter that no sign of anti-Semitism or "extremist" influence had been uncovered. No matter that none of the clergymen knew anything about the case except what they had been told by spokesmen for Israel who persuaded them to lend their names. In another attack from the hinterlands, two churches in nearby Mequon circulated petitions in Grafton seeking opposition to the library name. After several days work, they collected 79 signatures, including only seven from Grafton. Library supporters easily collected 616 signatures in an afternoon, all from Grafton. In a rare protest from within the town, the pastor of the Grafton Catholic Church issued a statement. A new name must be found, he said, because "the incident is used by extremists to further anti-Semitism. The USS Liberty has become a symbol of hate." Asked later for his source of information, the good father confessed that he knew only what he had read in the Journal and been told in a phone call from an out-of-town Rabbi. Without checking further, he urged his parish to oppose the library because he felt he should respond to the influence of "anti-Semites." "I may have been hasty," he confessed later. To the dismay of most Grafton schoolteachers, two teachers living outside Grafton attempted on their own to cancel a teachers' commitment to raise money for the library. Two teachers then circulated questionnaires to their classes asking, "Should nazis be allowed to name our new library?" No matter that no nazis could be found. "No, no, no," chirped the cherubs. Soon, prompted by guidance unknown, the Grafton High School Valedictorian publicly articulated the reasons nazis and other weirdos should not be allowed to name the town's temple of knowledge. Phony Radicals, Phony Issues These things are reported in all the area newspapers, usually in a way that suggests that a small band of extremists controls city hall in defiance of a majority who would, if they could, unseat the radicals. Despite their spirited search, however, no radical has ever been identified. That does not deter the opponents, however. Anti-Semitism is the most effective weapon in their arsenal, and it must be continually dragged out and fired whether any proper targets can be seen or not. In a frantic search for anti-Semites, one reporter learned that a magazine that the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith considers anti-Semitic sometimes writes about the USS Liberty. Worse, he learned that one of the Grob brothers has seen the magazine. Proof at last! To the Milwaukee Jewish Council, the magazine's interest in the Liberty is enough to justify their entire campaign. No matter that dozens of esteemed journalists, at least five Pulitzer prizewinners, scores of leading newspapers, and at least 30 book authors have also written sympathetically about the Liberty. No matter that Liberty survivors have no connection with the suspect magazine and actively shun its attentions. To spokesmen for Israel, the USS Liberty has become a "symbol of hate" and "must be opposed" because people they consider "anti-Semites" have written about it. Suddenly what looked like a "genuine" anti-Semite appeared. A man driving a car with Illinois license plates spent a day marching at Grafton's main intersection with a large sign reading, "Support the USS Liberty - Israel is America's enemy." That evening the man went from door to door spouting offensive anti-Jewish rhetoric and appealing to Grafton residents to support the name because they shouldn't take any more guff "from the Jews." When Grafton citizens investigated, they found that the man was actually opposed to the library. The entire performance was a carefully orchestrated charade designed to make library supporters appear to be anti-Semitic radicals. "They will never give up!" The library now looks certain to go ahead on schedule. "But they will never give up," warns a war-weary veteran of the Golda Meir conflict. "A year or five years or ten years from now they will be back to try to change the name. Sooner or later they will win. And if Grafton is not careful they will probably change it to something like 'Menachem Begin' or 'Ariel Sharon.'" "They persist in throwing stones from their glass house," he said, "so the best defense is a counter-attack. Start a drive to change the Golda Meir Library back to its original name." BIOGRAPHY: Ennes was a lieutenant on the bridge of the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked. His book about the attack, Assault on the Liberty (Random House, 1980; Ballantine, 1987) has been called the most important book of the year by two leading reviewers, and was named "editor's choice" when reviewed in the Washington Post. It is routinely removed from bookshelves, however, when area spokesmen for Israel complain to booksellers that they have stocked a book that is "anti-Israel" and "offensive to Jewish people everywhere."
from Bertell Ollman :
Sent: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:36 pm
Subject: Help Distribute Press Release on Churchill
I think the press release below on the Ward Churchill case is also very worth putting up on your site.
What follows ... is a press release on the CUs Presidents recommendation to fire Ward Churchill. We are sending this to media outlets Tuesday morning. We would like your help in distributing it further to newsmedia, blogs, etc., that you know about.
Please let us know where you send it, where the press release is published, and what responses you receive.
And let us know if you would like to add your name to the press release as a signatory and/or a press contact.
For the National Project
in Defense of Dissent and Critical Thinking in Academia,
Reggie Dylan: (626) 319-1730
Matthew Abraham: (773) 682-9322
National Project in Defense of Dissent and Critical Thinking in Academia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In a letter to the Board of Regents, University of Colorado President Hank Brown has called for the dismissal of tenured Ethnic Studies Professor Ward Churchill. His recommendation goes beyond that of the faculty investigative committee that examined charges of research misconduct; and of the faculty Privilege and Tenure (P&T) committee that recently heard Churchills appeal. Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado joined Brown in calling for the firing of Churchill, as his predecessor Bill Owens did two years earlier. The Board of Regents is expected to make a
final decision in this case at a public hearing some time in July.
A growing number of scholars see CUs investigation of Churchills scholarship as completely illegitimate and a dangerous precedent threatening dissent and critical thinking in the universities. The CU - Boulder chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has written that "we believe that the investigation now is widely perceived to be a pretext for firing Churchill when the real reason for dismissal is his politics." The investigation was launched in the wake of controversy provoked by an essay Churchill wrote after 9/11.
Churchill noted in response to Browns letter that "the University had received no formal or written complaints about my scholarship when it initiated this investigation. All of the allegations investigated were either solicited or brought directly by University administrators." He also noted that "The Investigative Committee charged with conducting a fact-finding, nonadversarial'd5 investigation was chaired by law professor Mimi Wesson, who - in February 2005 - had compared me to 'charismatic male celebrity wrongdoers' like O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson
and Bill Clinton, and had already come up with the faulty 'traffic stop' analogy the Committee used to justify its conclusions." The committee included no American Indians or experts in American Indian Studies, and scholars that had used Churchills research in their own work were removed from the committee.
The report of the committee hearing Churchills appeal found that Churchill proved by a preponderance of the Evidence that but for his exercise of his protected first amendment rights, the subsequent investigation of his scholarship would never have been initiated.
In a recent open letter to colleagues around the country Dr. Margaret LeCompte, President of the Boulder AAUP Chapter, wrote: "What has happened at the University of Colorado makes a mockery of both due process and academic freedom protections, AND what faculty believe. It is a cruel violation ofthe delicate balancebetween facultyrights and administrative responsibilities'c9 The entire process was a sham---imitating the form, but not the intent, of due process and fair, objective, scholarly investigation."
Two faculty groups that have examined the report of the investigative committee claim that the report is seriously flawed. In an unprecedented action, both have now filed formal charges of academic misconduct against the members of the faculty committee. The most recent group to do so, made up of principally Indigenous scholars from around the country and Canada, documented "many instances of fraud, fabrication, plagiarism and/or serious deviation from accepted scholarly practices" which "demonstrate a consistent pattern of deliberate misrepresentation intended to discredit Professor Churchills larger body of scholarship." Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University, has found the Report turns what is a debate about controversial issues of identity and genocide in Indian studies into an indictment of one position in that debate.
The implications of this case go beyond the threat to Churchills reputation and career, as serious as those are. The attack on Churchill is seen by many in academia as part of a much broader attack on academic freedom and critical thinking and dissent. Dr. LeCompte notes, "It is not limited to Colorado. In fact, it is a test case by the US right wing to emasculate faculty rights in US universities."
This is illustrated by the recent denial of tenure for DePaul University political scientist Norman Finkelstein. Though he was supported by his department, Finkelstein was denied tenure after an intense campaign spearheaded by Harvard Law Schools Alan M. Dershowitz, who called Finkelstein "worse than Churchill." Many DePaul faculty and others were alarmed at Dershowitzs heavy-handed tactics and saw them as an attempt to punish one side of a controversial debate. Finkelstein said that DePauls decision was based on transparently political grounds and was an egregious violation of academic freedom.
Churchill noted in his response to Browns letter that President Brown, his new VP Michael Poliakoff, and Regent Tom Lucero, like Bill Owens, are key players in Lynne Cheneys American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). ACTA and similar neoconservative groups have received generous funding [from] Castle Rock (Coors), Scaife, Bradley and Olin foundations to eliminate Ethnic, Gender and Peace Studies Programs and to purge higher education of those who think critically, challenge historical orthodoxy, or otherwise threaten the status quo."
Opposition to this impending firing has been increasing nationally, as more and more academics recognize the stakes involved in the Churchill case. An open letter signed by numerous prominent scholars, including Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Derrick Bell and Immanuel Wallerstein was published in the New York Review of Books in April. Scores of others have written letters of support, and there was a recent Emergency National Forum in Boulder of academics and supporters. The Society of American Law Teachers has written a letter arguing against a firing.
Richard Falk, visiting Distinguished Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara recently wrote: "All of us who value academic freedom should now stand in full solidarity with Ward Churchill. The outcome of his case at the University of Colorado is the best litmus test we have to tell whether the right-wings assaults on learning and liberty will stifle campus life in this country. Never in my lifetime have we in America more needed the sort of vigorous debate and creative controversy that Ward Churchills distinguished career epitomizes. We all stand to lose if his principled defense fails."
Matthew Abraham - Department of English, De Paul University.
William Ayers - Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Derrick A Bell - Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law.
Timothy Brennan - Departments of English and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota.
Renate Bridenthal - Emerita Professor of History, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York.
Bob Buzzanco - Department of History, University of Houston.
Dana Cloud - Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Texas (Austin).
Drucilla Cornell - Professor in the Departments of Law and Political Science at Rutgers University.
Sandi E Cooper - Professor of History, College of Staten Island and the Graduate School, The City University of New York.
Richard Delgado - University Distinguished Professor of Law and Derrick Bell Fellow, University of Pittsburgh.
Richard A Falk - Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice at Princeton University; Visiting Distinguished Professor (since 2002), Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ruth Hsu - Associate Professor of Engiish, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Seth Kahn - Assistant Professor of English, West Chester University of PA.
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University.
Vinay Lal - Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles.
Gary Leupp - Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion.
Henry Silverman - Professor and Chairperson Emeritus, Department of History, Michigan State University.
Immanuel Wallerstein - Senior Research Scholar, Yale University.
Tim Wise - Author of "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son," and "Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White."
For more information, contact us at:
Or contact any of the faculty listed below to arrange an interview:
Matthew Abraham: firstname.lastname@example.org ; (773) 682-9322.
Timothy Brennan - email@example.com; (651) 228-0965.
Dana Cloud - " mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"; (512) 471-1947.
Drucilla Cornell - email@example.com; (212) 260-9730.
Seth Kahn - firstname.lastname@example.org; (610) 436-2915.
from Edward Herman :
Subject: VFP, VVAW Lobby Congress w/ Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange Dioxin Poisoning
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007
Courageous VietNamese victims of Agent Orange Dioxin poisoning gather on steps
of the Rayburn House Office Building
Ms Nguyen Thi Hong slung a Kalishnikov AK 47 when she was a Viet Cong operative,
in the same area of III Corps, War Zone C & D, between Bien Hoa and Nui Ba Den, that
yours truly had operated in, when I was a Paratrooper-Rifleman during the Tet Offensive,
in 1968, with the 101st Airborne Division.
Agent Orange has caused her to have multiple miscarriages and stillbirths, and numerous
life threatening diseases.
Ms Hong shows U.S. Representative Jim McDermott (D-7th/Wash) the area of operations
where she and I fought each other. Congressman McDermott is a M.D., and he ran a
Depleted Uranium ( DU ) workshop @ our Seattle Convention last summer.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, and Delaware Valley Veterans
Executive Director Bill Perry pay rapt attention to more of the compelling narratives of
our Agent Orange Survivors.
The next day, during a press conference at our Viet Nam Wall, VFP Prez Emeritus,
Dave Cline introduces the dude I have my arm around, Vo Thanh Hai. He is from Hue,
and he suffers from Hodgkins Disease.
The Brother next to Hai is Nguyen Van Quy, who served his country on the heavily
defoliated Ho Chi Minh Trail. Quy HAS liver cancer, stomach cancer, and 3 other AO related
Cancers. He is weeks away from an appointment with the Grim Reaper.
The youngster on the far right is Nguyen Muoi. His daddy was an ARVN ( Army of the
Republic of Viet Nam ) soldier, who fought along side of our U.S. Troops. His daddy had
AO poisoning so bad, Muoi was born with Spina Bifida.
This brilliant young lady is perfectly healthy, and an expert on Dioxin related diseases,
ALL OF WHICH ARE PROVEN & COMPENSATED for U.S.,
Austrailian, and New Zealand Troops with Viet Nam exposure.
One of the more moving moments over the last couple days was when Quy, ( with
the tie ) who weighs about 75 pounds, and can't walk without help, was arm and arm
with me as I was explaining the time frames of 23 of my peeps who died, from my Platoon,
between "WALL" panel 32 East, and 45 East ( Dec 19th, 1967 to March 18th, 1968 )
A large crowd of "WALL" tourists had gathered around us, including two 'Nam Vets,
who are now GrandPops, and about 8 of their grandchildren.
One of the precocious grandkids pipes up with " Mister, you mean that you and him
were enemies, and now, you're friends?"
I answered, "No, son, now we're Brothers"... And, simultaneously, BOTH GRANDPOPS
BURST INTO TEARS.
There were 15 different Herbicides used for defoliation in Viet Nam. Agent Blue,
Agent Pink, Agent Purple, etc., including Agent Orange 1, and, in 1968 & 1969,
"Super Orange". The different colors were simply the colors of the labels, reflecting
different additives to the basic dioxin poison.
The VA and the IOM grant AO comp after it's shown empirically that these diseases
occur in American Vets at 600% to 800% greater than the American statistical average
The folks in Viet Nam exceed 15,000% of U.S. G.I.'s numbers.
Ms Nguyen Thi Hong, the woman in photo #2, rode next to me in our 12 person van
for about 300 miles. Her feet need to be elevated, so her ankles and calves don't get too big.
She rested both her legs on my thighs. Normal body temperature is in the 98 degree range.
I'd guess her inflamed areas to be in the 110 degree range. SHE's ON FIRE! It's a hell of a way to go through life. All of us who've been to 'Nam have observed and learned the definition of stoic.
Iraq is costing us $2 Billion per week. Could you imagine how far that could go in
treatment, and pain management in a country where $50 a month is enough to get by?
Please visit this website to learn about Saturday, June 16th, at SEIU, NYC
US Court of Appeals Hearing June 18 2007, in Manhatten, @ NOON
Come out in support of the Vietnamese Agent Orange victims lawsuit against the U.S. chemical manufacturers
Be Well, RAISE HELL !
Bill Perry 215-945-3350
Delaware Valley Veterans For America
Disabled American Veteran, VVAW, VFP, VFW, VVA
from Bertell Ollman :
Subject: The Pentagon v. Peak Oil
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007
Here's an unusual take on our war(s) and the dreadful system behind it. A natural for the web site.
by Michael T. Klare
Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of
Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and
30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily
petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.
Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That's greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million -- and yet it's a gross underestimate of the Pentagon's wartime consumption.
Such numbers cannot do full justice to the extraordinary gas-guzzling expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, for every soldier stationed "in theater," there are two more in transit, in training, or otherwise in line for eventual deployment to the war zone -- soldiers who also consume enormous amounts of oil, even if less than their compatriots overseas. Moreover, to sustain an "expeditionary" army located halfway around the world, the Department of Defense must move millions of tons of arms, ammunition, food, fuel, and equipment every year by plane or ship, consuming additional tanker-loads of petroleum. Add this to the tally and the Pentagon's war-related oil budget jumps appreciably, though exactly how much we have no real way of knowing.
And foreign wars, sad to say, account for but a small fraction of the Pentagon's total petroleum consumption. Possessing the world's largest fleet of modern aircraft, helicopters, ships, tanks, armored vehicles, and support systems -- virtually all powered by oil -- the Department of Defense (DoD) is, in fact, the world's leading consumer of petroleum. It can be difficult to obtain precise details on the DoD's daily oil hit, but an April 2007 report by a defense contractor, LMI Government Consulting, suggests that the Pentagon might consume as much as 340,000 barrels (14 million gallons) every day. This is greater than the total national consumption of Sweden or Switzerland.
Not "Guns v. Butter," but "Guns v. Oil"
For anyone who drives a motor vehicle these days, this has ominous implications. With the price of gasoline now 75 cents to a dollar more than it was just six months ago, it's obvious that the Pentagon is facing a potentially serious budgetary crunch. Just like any ordinary American family, the DoD has to make some hard choices: It can use its normal amount of petroleum and pay more at the Pentagon's equivalent of the pump, while cutting back on other basic expenses; or it can cut back
on its gas use in order to protect favored weapons systems under development. Of course, the DoD has a third option: It can go before Congress and plead for yet another supplemental budget hike, but this is sure to provoke renewed calls for a timetable for an American troop withdrawal from Iraq, and so is an unlikely prospect at this time.
Nor is this destined to prove a temporary issue. As recently as two years ago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) was confidently predicting that the price of crude oil would hover in the $30 per barrel range for another quarter century or so, leading to gasoline prices of about $2 per gallon. But then came Hurricane Katrina, the crisis in Iran, the insurgency in southern Nigeria, and a host of other problems that tightened the oil market, prompting the DoE to raise its long-range price
projection into the $50 per barrel range. This is the amount that figures in many current governmental budgetary forecasts -- including, presumably, those of the Department of Defense. But just how realistic is this? The price of a barrel of crude oil today is hovering in the $66 range. Many energy analysts now say that a price range of $70-$80 per barrel (or possibly even significantly more) is far more likely to be our fate for the foreseeable future.
A price rise of this magnitude, when translated into the cost of gasoline, aviation fuel, diesel fuel, home- heating oil, and petrochemicals will play havoc with the budgets of families, farms, businesses, and local governments. Sooner or later, it will force people to make profound changes in their daily lives -- as benign as purchasing a hybrid vehicle in place of an SUV or as painful as cutting back on home heating or health care simply to make an unavoidable drive to work. It will
have an equally severe affect on the Pentagon budget. As the world's number one consumer of petroleum products, the DoD will obviously be disproportionately affected by a doubling in the price of crude oil. If it can't turn to Congress for redress, it will have to reduce its profligate consumption of oil and/or cut back on other expenses, including weapons purchases.
The rising price of oil is producing what Pentagon contractor LMI calls a "fiscal disconnect" between the military's long-range objectives and the realities of the energy marketplace. "The need to recapitalize obsolete and damaged equipment [from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan] and to develop high-technology systems to implement future operational concepts is growing," it explained in an April 2007 report. However, an inability "to control increased energy costs from fuel and supporting infrastructure diverts resources that would otherwise be available to procure new capabilities."
And this is likely to be the least of the Pentagon's worries. The Department of Defense is, after all, the world's richest military organization, and so can be expected to tap into hidden accounts of one sort or another in order to pay its oil bills and finance its many pet weapons projects. However, this assumes that sufficient petroleum will be available on world markets to meet the Pentagon's ever-growing needs -- by no means a foregone conclusion. Like every other large consumer, the DoD must now confront the looming -- but hard to assess -- reality of "Peak Oil"; the very real possibility that global oil production is at or near its maximum sustainable ("peak") output and will soon commence an irreversible decline.
That global oil output will eventually reach a peak and then decline is no longer a matter of debate; all major energy organizations have now embraced this view. What remains open for argument is precisely when this moment will arrive. Some experts place it comfortably in the future -- meaning two or three decades down the pike -- while others put it in this very decade. If there is a consensus emerging, it is that peak-oil output will occur somewhere around 2015. Whatever the timing of this momentous event, it is apparent that the world faces a profound shift in the global availability of energy, as we move from a situation of relative abundance to one of relative scarcity. It should be noted, moreover, that this shift will apply, above all, to the form of energy most in demand by the Pentagon: the petroleum liquids used to power planes, ships, and armored vehicles.
The Bush Doctrine Faces Peak Oil
Peak oil is not one of the global threats the Department of Defense has ever had to face before; and, like other U.S. government agencies, it tended to avoid the issue, viewing it until recently as a peripheral matter. As intimations of peak oil's imminent arrival increased, however, it has been forced to sit up and take notice. Spurred perhaps by rising fuel prices, or by the growing attention being devoted to "energy security" by academic strategists, the DoD has suddenly taken an interest in
the problem. To guide its exploration of the issue, the Office of Force Transformation within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy commissioned LMI to conduct a study on the implications of future energy scarcity for Pentagon strategic planning.
The resulting study, "Transforming the Way the DoD Looks at Energy," was a bombshell. Determining that the Pentagon's favored strategy of global military engagement is incompatible with a world of declining oil output, LMI concluded that "current planning presents a situation in which the aggregate operational capability of the force may be unsustainable in the long term."
LMI arrived at this conclusion from a careful analysis of current U.S. military doctrine. At the heart of the national military strategy imposed by the Bush administration -- the Bush Doctrine -- are two core principles: transformation, or the conversion of America's stodgy, tank-heavy Cold War military apparatus into an agile, continent-hopping high-tech, futuristic war machine; and pre-emption, or the initiation of hostilities against "rogue states" like Iraq and Iran, thought to be pursuing weapons of mass destruction. What both principles entail is a substantial increase in the Pentagon's consumption of petroleum products -- either because such plans rely, to an increased extent, on air and sea-power or because they imply an accelerated tempo of military operations.
As summarized by LMI, implementation of the Bush Doctrine requires that "our forces must expand geographically and be more mobile and expeditionary so that they can be engaged in more theaters and prepared for expedient deployment anywhere in the world"; at the same time, they "must transition from a reactive to a proactive force posture to deter enemy forces from organizing for and conducting potentially catastrophic attacks." It follows that, "to carry out these activities, the U.S. military will have to be even more energy intense.... Considering the trend in operational fuel consumption and future capability needs, this â*new' force employment construct will likely demand more energy/fuel in the deployed setting."
The resulting increase in petroleum consumption is likely to prove dramatic. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the average American soldier consumed only four gallons of oil per day; as a result of George W. Bush's initiatives, a U.S. soldier in Iraq is now using four times as much. If this rate of increase continues unabated, the next major war could entail an expenditure of 64 gallons per soldier per day.
It was the unassailable logic of this situation that led LMI to conclude that there is a severe "operational disconnect" between the Bush administration's principles for future war-fighting and the global energy situation. The administration has, the company notes, "tethered operational capability to high-technology solutions that require continued growth in energy sources" -- and done so at the worst possible moment historically. After all, the likelihood is that the global energy supply is about to begin diminishing rather than expanding. Clearly, writes LMI in its April 2007 report, "it may not be possible to execute operational concepts and capabilities to achieve our security strategy if the energy implications are not considered." And when those energy implications are considered, the strategy appears "unsustainable."
The Pentagon as a Global Oil-Protection Service
How will the military respond to this unexpected challenge? One approach, favored by some within the DoD, is to go "green" -- that is, to emphasize the accelerated development and acquisition of fuel- efficient weapons systems so that the Pentagon can retain its commitment to the Bush Doctrine, but consume less oil while doing so. This approach, if feasible, would have the obvious attraction of allowing the Pentagon to assume an environmentally-friendly facade while maintaining and developing its existing, interventionist force structure.
But there is also a more sinister approach that may be far more highly favored by senior officials: To ensure itself a "reliable" source of oil in perpetuity, the Pentagon will increase its efforts to maintain control over foreign sources of supply, notably oil fields and refineries in the Persian Gulf region, especially in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This would help explain the recent talk of U.S. plans to retain "enduring" bases in Iraq, along with its already impressive and elaborate basing infrastructure in these other countries.
The U.S. military first began procuring petroleum products from Persian Gulf suppliers to sustain combat operations in the Middle East and Asia during World War II, and has been doing so ever since. It was, in part, to protect this vital source of petroleum for military purposes that, in 1945, President Roosevelt first proposed the deployment of an American military presence in the Persian Gulf region. Later, the protection of Persian Gulf oil became more important for the economic well-being of the United States, as articulated in President Jimmy Carter's "Carter Doctrine" speech of January 23, 1980 as well as in President George H. W. Bush's August 1990 decision to stop Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, which led to the first Gulf War -- and, many would argue, the decision of the younger Bush to invade Iraq over a decade later.
Along the way, the American military has been transformed into a "global oil-protection service" for the benefit of U.S. corporations and consumers, fighting overseas battles and establishing its bases to ensure that we get our daily fuel fix. It would be both sad and ironic, if the military now began fighting wars mainly so that it could be guaranteed the fuel to run its own planes, ships, and tanks -- consuming hundreds of billions of dollars a year that could instead be spent on the development of petroleum alternatives.
Michael T. Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, is the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Owl Books).
Copyright 2007 Michael T. Klare
from Edward Herman :
Subject: Guardian: UN was pummelled into submission, says outgoing Middle East special envoy
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007
An important analysis.
UN was pummelled into submission, says outgoing Middle East special envoy
Negotiators 'lost impartiality' says report
Palestinians also criticized over violence
American support for Israel has hindered international efforts to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, according to a hard-hitting confidential report from the outgoing UN Middle East envoy.
Alvaro de Soto, who stepped down last month after 25 years at the UN, has exposed the American pressure that he argues has damaged the impartiality of the UN's peace making efforts.
In Mr de Soto's "End of Mission Report", which the Guardian has obtained, he delivers a devastating criticism of both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the international community.
The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the UN, the US, the EU and Russia - has often failed to hold Israel to its obligations under the Road Map, the current framework for peace talks, he argues.
Over the past two years, the Quartet has gradually lost its impartiality. "The fact is that even-handedness has been pummelled into submission in an unprecedented way since the beginning of 2007," he writes.
He blames overwhelming influence exerted by the US and an "ensuing tendency toward self-censorship" within the UN when it comes to criticism of Israel.
"At almost every juncture a premium is put on good relations with the US and improving the UN's relationship with Israel. I have no problem with either goal but I do have a problem with self-delusion," he writes. "Forgetting our ability to influence the Palestinian scene in the hope that it keeps open doors to Israel is to trade our Ace for a Joker."
Mr de Soto reveals that after Hamas won elections last year it wanted to form a broad coalition government with its more moderate rivals, including Fatah, run by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But the US discouraged other Palestinian politicians from joining. "We were told that the US was against any 'blurring' of the line dividing Hamas from those Palestinian political forces committed to the two-state solution," Mr de Soto writes. It was a year before a coalition government was finally formed.
The US also supported the Israeli decision to freeze Palestinian tax revenues. "The Quartet has been prevented from pronouncing on this because the US, as its representatives have intimated to us, does not wish Israel to transfer these funds to the PA [Palestinian Authority]," he writes. "There is a seeming reflex, in any given situation where the UN is to take a position, to ask first how Israel or Washington will react rather than what is the right position to take."
Mr de Soto opposed the international boycott placed on the Palestinian government after Hamas won elections last year. He argued that it was wrong to use pressure and isolation alone, and proposed retaining dialogue with Hamas. He wanted tougher criticism of Israel as well, but came up against a "heavy barrage" from US officials.
The effect of the boycott was to seriously damage the Palestinian economy and promote radicalism. It also lifted pressure from Israel. "With all focus on the failings of Hamas, the Israeli settlement enterprise and barrier construction has continued unabated," he writes.
The US, he argues, was clearly pushing for a confrontation between Fatah and Hamas but Washington misjudged Mr Abbas, who he argues had wanted to co-opt rather than defeat Hamas. Fighting between Fatah and Hamas has intensified in recent months. He quotes an unnamed US official as saying earlier this year: "I like this violence ... It means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas." Since December at least 600 Palestinians have been killed in factional battles.
The report criticises the Palestinians for their violence, and Israel for extending its settlements and barrier in the West Bank. But he also argues that Israeli policies have encouraged continued Palestinian militancy. "I wonder if the Israeli authorities realise that, season after season, they are reaping what they sow, and are systematically pushing along the violence/repression cycle to the point where it is self-propelling," he writes.
Mr de Soto speaks of his frustration in the job, not least that he was refused permission to meet the Hamas and Syrian governments in Damascus. "At best I have been the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in name only, and since the election of Hamas, I have been the secretary-general's personal representative to the Palestinian Authority for about 10 minutes in two phone calls and one handshake," he writes.
He stepped down in May at the end of his two-year contract and left the UN. The "tipping-point" for his departure came after the new UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said future meetings with a Palestinian prime minister would depend on the actions of his government.
Michele Montas, spokesperson for Mr Ban, said: "It is deeply regrettable that this report has been leaked. The whole point of an end-of-mission report is for our envoys and special representatives to be as candid as possible ... the views in the report should not be considered official UN policy."