Puppet Government

Recently I was watching some footage of the IRaqi parliament. An institution that I have to wonder about from the beginning as, to me, it wasn’t a truly elected (odd list system) and is basically a symbolic body to go along with a puppet government.
As I watched, the speaker of the parliament as well as all these guys sitting around him were laughing as a female member was passionately speaking about an issue that concerned her. The more she spoke the more they laughed…. at her. And others joined in.. and she kept trying to be heard over the growing laughter. Many people stood up and walked out in protest. It was an extremely sad sight.

I do remember when not so long ago a fist-fight broke out in that same parliament, one member apparently slapped another and it went on from there.

The only reason I bring it up is that I find it to be a testament to how ridiculous the entire adventure in Iraq has been, especially the thinking that you can force democracy on people and it will flourish.

Also interesting, as Juan Cole recently pointed out, the parliament passed a resolution that the seperation wall the US military is building in Baghdad must be dismantled. Of course, they won’t do it. Just a friendly reminder of who really makes the rules in Iraq.

Note: Podcasts and vlogs are delayed as Im struggling to complete a little freelance job and yet exhausted after a big ultimate competition in the south of the netherlands today.

Art, Violence, and Other Recommendations

Art, violence, politics, sometimes they all just hit me in the face in one sitting. And so allow me to share some links with you today to illustrate:

First, I was watching a lovely vlog entry on insanefilms.com, featuring my good friend and wonderful artist Hollye Davidson. Her explanation of how colors can be seen and how she sees colors what particularly fun for me to watch. Plus if you’re a dog person, or like me.. just enjoy watching dogs and not having one, there’s some great video of two very unique creatures.

From there I read Pauline’s latest entry from Equatorial Guinea. Not that she encountered physical violence, but her account of what I see as mental and emotional violence got me very upset. You’ve probably heard Pauline on my podcast in the past, and her blog continues to rise in terms of richness of content.

Then it all comes apart, as it so often does when I watch Euronews’ Nocomment section. I’ll spare you the video of Turkish police beating the crap out of horrified pro-democracy protesters, but what I do recommend is that you watch the Iraq entry. (follow this link, and scroll down, click on 30/04
If you watch, you’ll see amazing beauty in one of the worst parts of Baghdad. The terrible wall they have sadly laid down to divide communities, being painted in such amazing ways by local people. Instantly a disgusting wall that symbolizes so much violence and hate, becomes something beautiful to look at. (though still representing a pretty sad policy)

Don’t just scroll and take my word for it, see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears… if you’re so lucky to be able to.

When Most of America are Veterans

I have this memory of my mother, when I was a kid, and its not the clearest of memories, but this is how it sits in my mind:

My mom was finishing her masters degree in social work, I must have been in the 5th grade. I remember because I would tell my 5th grade teacher sometimes, “My mom is getting her masters degree.” No idea why I needed to tell her that. Hopefully she had asked otherwise, what a little showoff I was.

Regardless in my memory she had a job or some kind of internship as part of her degree, at some counseling center in a city like Elizabeth, NJ. I can almost remember dad dropping her off at that place. I think alot of veterans went there.. vietnam vets. Mom would never, and has never been one to discuss people’s private details, I’m sure it wasn’t something she’d want to relive at home anyway. But I remember, and its still true, if you bring up life for Veterans trying to pick up the pieces back in the US, she has quite alot to say, and experience counseling them as her qualification to speak on this topic.

I thought about those days, which I’m sure my mom does as well as we watch hundreds of thousands of people being shipped off to a war zone… to a disaster.. and asked to do inhumane things such as kill or torture. I thought about it because I was cleaning the boat and listening to Radio Open Source’s program entitled “Coming Home: Iraq Veterans”. Now I wouldn’t say anything about it if it hadn’t reached into my heart and squeezed when I listened to these veterans speak.

Speak about the violence. What it was like to live that horror and follow orders to shoot people, and then come home and try to just be a friendly well adjusted neighbor again. At one point, one soldier is asked how people would act if they knew the types of things he had to do and what soldiers were required to do in Iraq.

The soldier replies…

“If they knew… they wouldn’t do it…. If people knew what war was about, war would stop. If my family knew, if people on the street knew, war would stop… if people knew, they would be alot more cautious about when war needs to happen.”

I listened to this show and I hit repeat to hear it again. I looked down at my dirty hands and the canal water.. I worried about what kind of future the US could possibly have with so many people damaged in such severe and not visibly detectable ways. I finally gave the engine a few pulls and listened to the engine reawaken after winter slumber, as Iraq veterans talked about their experiences in my ears.

Please listen to the show. Because besides the struggle to bring troops home and end this illegal and politically orchestrated war, the next biggest struggle that will effect the country for generations.. is how to help veterans deal with what they’ve been through, and handle the future as healthy civilians.

bmtv37 Congressional War Criminals

Click To Play

John Edwards voted for the war in Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed because of the war in Iraq.

John Edwards helped make that possible.

And now he tells the public he is a good candidate to lead the country.

This is my response.

Iraqi Swedes

I’ve been up to my neck in research for the next Eclectic Newsbrief, (which is now hosted by Madge Weinstein!), and the topic that I most enjoyed was that of the huge influx of Iraqis in Sweden! Yes… Sweden!

Some fascinating developments. First of all, almost 9,000 Iraqi’s applied for asylum there last year…a huge increase over the 3,000+ in 2005. Also… Sweden accounts for half of all the Iraqi’s who have sought asylum from their imploding country in the European Union.

Also, browsing through the PEW website which is the greatest source for info about people everywhere, they pointed to a NY times article that stated compared to the US, Sweden – home to 9 million people- has opened its doors to BY FAR more Iraqi’s over the past few years.

Now hooray for Sweden, no doubt about it. I read all about the services, on the Swedish migration board website, they’re working on providing to the huge number of Iraqi’s coming to the country. A wonderful thing for both Sweden and the Iraqi’s.

On the other hand.. whats with the US government? They send troops to supposedly die for Iraq. They spend mountains of money on Iraq. They talk a mighty talk about how hopeful they are for the country. How about opening the doors to more Iraqi refugees than say… Sweden?

Lastly.. its also not a proud spot for crazy governments like the Netherlands and Denmark who have now made it famously difficult to be welcome as a refugee from anywhere.

Don’t Use Their Words

Just because the white house uses a word to describe something does not mean it is true.

Just because the white house says something is so, does not mean we should all run around repeating it as if it makes sense.

That said, repeat after me… “I… state your name… will not use the term SURGE, to describe the tactics of the Bush administration in Iraq which involve vastly increasing the amount of soldiers being sent into an illegal war, which has morally and financially bankrupted the country, even though it was already declared over and successful like 2 years ago. ”

Surge is their media-spin word. Like when they used to call rebels against the occupation – insurgents, and it seemed like every media outlet and citizen adopted the word as gospel. They invent these words to make everyone feel better about themselves and the immeasurable losses they have suffered because of an irresponsible and incompetant collection of so-called leaders. They invent these words to make you believe in them and talk like them and forget who it is you SHOULD be angry at and refusing to pay one more tax dollar for war, while demanding their resignation.

I went looking in the non-US press to see if everyone else has been duped into falling for the bullshit as well.

– Lets see, the German FAZ:

zusätzliche Truppen in den Irak zu entsenden

They seem to call it what it is… SENDING ADDITIONAL TROOPS…. they don’t adopt some catchy name for it, so it seems they’re not zombies.

– The French LeMonde:

acheminement de nouveaux renforts et recherche d’un consensus …

The putting into action of new reenforcements… again.. no S-word, no catch phrase.. they call it what it is.

and lastly, my favorite Argentenian Newspaper Clarin:

pedido presupuestario de la Casa Blanca para enviar hasta 20 mil tropas de combate adicionales a Irak,

..the sending of 20 thousand more combat troops to Irak. Pretty simple, no secret words there.

So it seems in my quick glance at some foreign non english press, there’s no translation for bullshit; in this case, that annoying word that the whitehouse is hoping you’ll use while forgetting what they’ve done to you and this world. Maybe step one in the path to liberation, let us all stop learning how to talk about the world from the white house, history tells us they are the LAST reliable source when it comes to truth and reality.