A new “stop loss” order is preventing military and reservists from leaving the U.S.’s two current wars. Those looking forward to the end of their term of duty must now feel like conscripts. Our “free” country… No one knows better from experience how tragic and impossible the Iraq occupation is than those on the ground. I urge all to support the national day of protest on Saturday, June 5, in San Francisco, Washington and elsewhere. I know I think about this every day, same as I did in the sixties, as the deaths pile up by twos, threes, tens. All unnecessary. Will my grandchildren be visiting a tourist memorial with a hundred thousand names from the 21st century oil wars?
Recommended: David Rovics’ new CD Songs for Mahmud. To me, he is the quintessential protest songwriter/performer of our era, taking on the most unpopular of subjects (like the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the huge apartheid wall there, School of the Americas, police abuse at the FTAA demonstrations and many other topics, some known and unknown to me. He educates with poignancy. And keeps his sense of humor (consider the cut “Moron” about you-know-who).Check him out at www.davidrovics.com. Available are plenty of free MP3 downloads.
Tomorrow I’ll share some of the great term papers from SSU students commenting about my guest poet appearance in their class. That, along with showing “Faces of Ecstasy” to a multi-aged group of a dozen women last week helped me feel like at least part of my life is exactly on purpose and in alignment with my mission of making love not making war.
Two more items on the political front. A young man in Boston was arrested for this act of street theatre: He covered his head with a hood, his body with a robe, put stereo wires on his fingers in imitation of the now-famous picture of the torture of Iraqi prisoners, and stood on a milk crate in front of a recruiting station in silent protest. He was arrested on charges that could get him 20 years in prison. Let’s hope the district attorney in Boston remembers our bill of rights.
How interesting that the following people were hired by the Pentagon, etc. to run the prisons in Iraq. This excerpt from the website of Democracy Now with Amy Goodman (radio and free speech TV as well as democracynow.org):
It Happened Here First: Exporting America’s Most Notorious Prison Officials to Abu Ghraib
One man ran a prison system in Utah where a 29-year-old schizophrenic died after he was stripped naked and strapped to a restraining chair for 16 hours.
Another man ran the system in Arizona where 14 women were raped, sodomized or assaulted by prison guards.
Another ran Connecticut’s prison system where at least two people died after being severely beaten.
All of the men who ran these prison systems were forced out by lawsuits or political controversy. But rather than being sent to prison themselves, these men were sent to Iraq by the US government to set up the prisons there. Actually, one prison – Abu Ghraib.
We speak with Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, who was the lead counsel in a 1997 lawsuit brought by Angie Armstrong, who sued the State of Utah after her son died in custody. We also speak with attorneys Mark Donatelli and Antonio Ponvert, who both deal with criminal justice issues, as well as Donna Brorby, who was lead counsel in a class action suit brought by prisoners in Texas.