CIVIL WAR, OCCUPATION & RESISTANCE:
THE CASE FOR IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL
With Anthony Arnove and Michael Schwartz
January 17th @ 7PM
16 Beaver Group (directions below)
72% of soldiers deployed in Iraq wanted troops out by the end of 2006. Instead, the new year saw the US occupation of Iraq reach even further depths of barbarism. 3,000 US soldiers are now dead while Iraq continues to descend into civil war as a result of the US occupation. The public hanging of Saddam Hussein was just the latest attempt to justify a continued US presence in the name of "democracy." Yet 90% of Iraqis polled believe things were better under Hussein than they are today. Real justice for Iraqis can only come from an immediate withdrawal of US military from the entire Middle East.
Despite growing discontent, the one thing that Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the US cannot leave. In fact, Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq. The politicians and media claim that the US must stay in Iraq in order to "stabilize" the country and stop civil war. But it is the US occupation that is the source of the violence in Iraq today and there can be no peace until the occupation is ended.
Come to a meeting about the real roots of the violence in Iraq, why the US seeks to continue the occupation and what it will take to build a movement to bring the troops home NOW.
Anthony Arnove is the author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal (now out in paperback from Metropolitan Books: http://www.americanempireproject.com/bookpage.asp?ISBN=0805082727), editor of Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War and member of the International Socialist Organization.
Michael Schwartz is a professor of sociology at Stonybrook University and longtime critic of U.S. foreign policy. His writings have appeared on TomDispatch, ZNet and other Web sites.
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Hello People. Here is the soap news. We have soap. Two excellent soaps are now curing in the Lisablog offices. The first, Bela Eucalyptus Cucumber, looks like this:
This soap smells super-good. It's going to be ready for use on January 18th.
The second soap was made yesterday. It's called Valentine Blackberry-Rose soap. It looks like this:
I meant for it to be pink, but it's a pale yellow. This batch is very organic (main ingredients of olive and coconut oils are both organic). It also contains rose water and blackberries. It looks to be a very healthy subtle-scented soap.
If you want soap, we will sell or trade. The soap is $1 per ounce. That means $2 for a small round dude and $4 for one of the big ones. And, or, trades are welcome. We already have a honey trade set up, but could use other home-grown staples.
Other News: Rob and Brigid went back to England today, alas. We had a great visit with them.
Rob and Brigid on the subway after another late night in Queens. Come back soon you crazy cats!
A Yellow Belt Update: There are five katas (forms) we are working on: Taikyoku Sono Ichi, Ni, and San, Pinan Sono Ichi, and Sanchin Kata.
As you know, the Taikyoku katas are Northern katas, and they are also known as overview katas, or the grand ultimate. The Taikyoku katas are the beginner's mind katas.
As for Pinan Sono Ichi, it's part of the Pinan series, also a Northern kata. Pinan is pronounced Heian in Japanese, so these are sometimes called Heian katas. The Pinan katas are peace and relaxation katas. Pinan katas develop harmony between mind and body.
Sanchin kata is a very cool one. It's the "three (san) battles" kata, and is the oldest kata around. It possibly comes originally from India to China, and was used by buddhist monks as part of their training in contemplating the conflicts of mind, body, and speech. Sanchin kata uses deep breathing or Ibuki. The body stays tense as the breath is pushed out of the lungs and all the muscles in the torso tighten. You can check out the Sanchin Kata Kitae on You Tube. These are some Brazilian karatekas performing Sanchin Kata and taking punches and kicks at the same time.
Peace people. And eat the rich, not the factory farmed chickens.
Good Morning Spook Rockets, and Welcome to Lisablog. And now, the news.
Saddam Hussein wrote a poem. Here it is:
Unbind your soul. It is my soul mate and you are my soul’s beloved.
No house could have sheltered my heart as you have
If I were that house, you would be its dew
You are the soothing breeze
My soul is made fresh by you
And our Baath Party blossoms like a branch turns green.
The medicine does not cure the ailing but the white rose does.
The enemies set their plans and traps
And proceeded despite the fact they are all faulty.
It is a plan of arrogance and emptiness
It will prove to be nothing but defeated
We break it as rust devours steel
Like a sinner consumed by his sins
We never felt weak
We were made strong by our morals.
Our honorable stand, the companion of our soul,
The enemies forced strangers into our sea
And he who serves them will be made to weep.
Here we unveil our chests to the wolves
And will not tremble before the beast.
We fight the most difficult challenges
And beat them back, God willing.
How would they fare under such strains?
All people, we never let you down
And in catastrophes, our party is the leader.
I sacrifice my soul for you and for our nation
Blood is cheap in hard times
We never kneel or bend when attacking
But we even treat our enemy with honor. ...
We are looking forward to GWB's pre-hanging poem.
Now, as for the War and Verizon, there is an alternative to Verizon: dump the land line and go entirely cellular. As of this morning, the Lisablog Offices have issued an official divorce statement to Verizon.
How did we get out of our cell phone contract?
We said "we're moving to a remote part of the Catskills, and we wonder if you can continue to provide us with your most excellent cell phone service."
Then the Verizon representative said "We're very sorry, but we do not provide service to the remotest parts of the Catskills."
Then we said, "Oh, man, that sucks, I guess we can't use Verizon anymore."
Then the Verizon representative said "We'll release you from the slavery of your crap two year Verizon contract."
Then we said "Goodbye forever."
We've signed on to Working Assets, a company that will gladly deduct the Federal Excise Tax from your phone bill. In fact, the good people at Working Assets think the war is bullshit. Thank you Working Assets.
As they say in Kyokushin, the fight is not in the Dojo, the fight is what you live every day of your life. Fight the power people! You can do it. And if you need to get out of a Verizon cell phone contract, you're welcome to move to a remote part of the Catskills with us. We will say that you are renting our Mount Tremper office.
Ah yes, the war began with Verizon today. Our bill arrived with the Federal Excise Tax (unpaid from last month in protest of the war) carried forward onto the new bill.
Verizon did not acknowledge our letter explaining that we would not pay the Federal Excise War Tax and that we wished the non-payment information to be forwarded to the IRS.
So, a shouting match today with Verizon. We, the good people of Lisablog, are very reasonable, and we must say that it's hard to get us to shout. But after talking to a customer service agent and a supervisor who both told us that there was no such thing as a Federal Excise Tax Protest and that there was NO ONE further at Verizon who we could write to our talk to, we, the good people of Lisablog, were very very angry.
Next step, a letter to Verizon's tax office in Florida. Next step after that, we're pulling the plug on Verizon, killing our land line, and going with a Working Assets Cell Phone Plan.
Peace People, and fight the power. You don't have to comply with this war.
Greetings Earth Bipeds. We're sorry for the delay in programming. We, the good cats of Lisablog, have staged a coup in the Lisablog Offices. You will send us mice. We demand mice from each and every one of you.
Lisablog correspondent Arcturus sent along some excellent links. Thanks Arcturus. This photo is from Dr. James Benjamin's Blog.
Also, from The Independent: a piece called "He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him: How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal by Robert Fisk. This is a must read!
And, for the New Year,
Ten Things You Can (and Must) Do About Global Warming. As we say down at the Dojo, No Excuses!
1. Change your lightbulbs! This is an easy one. If you're not using CFL (Compact Florescent Lights) you are a fool! They last longer and save you money on your electricity bill. Look for the bulb with the EnergyStar logo. You can get these at a hardware store, department store, Home Depot, etc. In some states you can get rebates/discounts on these bulbs. Log into your state government website and see what kind of energy perk programs they have for you. We want to see all of the Lisablog Reader households go CFL this year!
2. Recycle. If your household is anything like the Lisablog household, you have some flaws in your recycling policy. Plastic bags are one issue. Why are there so many plastic bags in the world? Why not make January 2007 Plastic Bag Prevention Month? Shop with your own bag.
3. The Car. Look. the car thing has got to go. The big fat car especially has to be traded in. A hybrid wouldn't hurt. There are bikes and there is public transportation. If the public transport in your area sucks, make some noise. We, the good people of Lisablog, would also like to see more pet-friendly transport in the USA. If Greyhound/Pine Hill Trailways would let us take the cats upstate, we'd be very happy campers. You can take your big ass dog on the subway in Toronto. You can take your dog on the regional trains in England. Why not here?
4. Be a freak and plant a tree! Trees like to eat up carbon dioxide, you dig? If you don't have a tree on your city block, ask the city to plant one. They will do it. I have seen it done. We have some nice baby locust trees on our block, and some pear trees around the corner. If you own a place in NYC, or if you have a cool landlord like we do, you can go to this website NYC Plant-a-Tree and request a tree for the front of your building.
5. Use less "stuff". There are lots of ways that you can use less stuff. For example, we the good people of Lisablog, recently purchased a cheese dome as an alternative to wrapping cheese and butter and such things in various disposable wraps. We simply pop the cheese under the dome and put it in the fridge. It looks cool. Other stuff you can use less of: water, of course. Please people, do not let the water run wild in the new year.
6. A tip from Lisablog correspondent Gina M: Freecycle. So you need a new bike, a new desk, a new computer monitor. Look for it on Freecycle before you go out and buy it. Have stuff you're going to throw out? Put it on Freecycle first. Freecycle is a network that allows you to give and take free stuff from your community. It's an excellent idea. Just do it!
7. Turn Shit Off! You leave lights on, turn them off. Have a standby system on your stereo or DVD player? Unplug the damned thing. What about your cell phone charger? If you take your cell phone off the charger you need to unplug the cord from the wall. Whenever the cord is in the wall it's pulling energy.
8. Bottled water. It seems to us that 1st World bottled water is a corporate crime. If you live in New York, you get your water from the Ashokan Reservoir. It's an excellent source of water. Very crispy clean. (It's cleaner than the well-water we get upstate at our Mt. Tremper office.) Bottled water produces plastic bottles. Period. If you're attached to the bottle, use one over and over again. Fill it with tap water or whatever floats your boat. A lot of bottled water is simply drinking water that's been run through a filter. Dasani, for example. If you're buying Dasani, you're buying tap water from the Coca Cola Company.
9. You've got to write a letter to your local congress-dude or dudette. You can do your part locally, but also push for the bigger legislation.
10. Feeling like this is all too hard? Think about all the people in other parts of the world who don't even have a chance to conserve energy and water because there's no energy and water to conserve. If you think about it hard enough, you're going to feel like a real privileged schmuck.
Peace People of the Blog. And thanks for stopping by.
I was planning to keep the blog dark today to mark the execution of Saddam Hussein, but anger has gotten the better of me, especially as I find that The New York Times today has failed to mention the collaborative efforts of the United States and Iraq throughout the 1980s to make Iraq a weapons-friendly Kurd-gassing place. If you don't know this history, there is an excellent timeline provided by The Iraq Analysis Group based in the UK. It includes pages of detailed history. For example, what was happening in 1983 in Iraq?
Analysts recognized that "civilian" helicopters can be weaponized in a matter of hours and selling a civilian kit can be a way of giving military aid under the guise of civilian assistance. Shortly after removing Iraq from the terrorism sponsorship list, the Reagan administration approved the sale of 60 Hughes helicopters. Later, and despite some objections from the National Security Council (NSC), the Secretaries of Commerce and State (George Baldridge and George Shultz) lobbied the NSC advisor into agreeing to the sale to Iraq of 10 Bell helicopters, officially for crop spraying. See "1988" for note on Iraq using U.S. Helicopters to spray Kurds with chemical weapons.