Thursday, August 31, 2006
Our Announcement read in part: "Washington Post editorials have supported U.S. attacks on Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as U.S.-backed attacks on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Its news reporting emphasizes government excuses for war and only belatedly and reluctantly exposes the lies and propaganda leading to those wars. It supports the Bush administration’s war on terrorism and does little to expose the anti-Arab and Muslim agenda of government and private organizations that is inflaming bigotry in this country.... As we approach the August 31 U.S.-coerced deadline for the cessation of Iranian nuclear enrichment, Post editorials and Op Eds tend to support the possibility of a U.S. military attack on Iran, despite the unknown and potentially catastrophic results of such an attack. Why does the Post support pro-war policies? Could it be that its top management has forgone objectivity and acquiesced to the economic and political agendas of corporate advertiser? Do the full page ads placed by military contractors and other private businesses supporting an aggressive foreign policy influence the Post’s editorial outlook?"
Our protest signs included a recent example of a large Lockheed Martin advertisement in the Post. Plus my sign to the left.
One Post employee confirmed our accusations, joking as he walked off: "We're making too much money to refuse their advertising."
We made some ambitious demands: " * The Washington Post stop running display advertisement from military contractors. * The Washington Post run more articles about the anti-Iraq war sentiment shared by the great majority of Americans. * The Washington Post discover and emphasize the administration’s false charges and lies excusing their drive for a military attack on Iran. * The Washington Post widen the range of debate with more Op Eds by the broad spectrum of anti-war Americans. * The Washington Post Board of Directors set aside one seat for a spokesperson for peace and non-interventionism."
A number of Post employees took our leaflets and smiled sympathetically. What's really needed is a full blown Gandhian campaign against the Post -- and all the Media and Think Tank WarLobbies. I've been talking one up for a while, but keep getting distracted by more immediate, easier to organize opportunities to make trouble. But maybe DAWN will continue to take on the Post.
I got my licks in at Dana Milbank -- see previous blog entry. I wore my FIGHT THE ISRAEL LOBBY t-shirt available at cafepress.com/israellobby and offered free FIGHT THE ISRAEL LOBBY buttons to Post employees exiting. I will have to mail in a few to some of the more sensible Post reporters who might enjoy them.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I attended the event and have put up a YouTube 10 minute highlights video. Do a YouTube search to find whole C-SPAN presentation someone put.
For balanced reporting see the Washington Times and the widely distributed Chicago Tribune article. Click here for the Dana Milbank Washington Post smear piece. And see Justin Raimondo's response to it.
Milbank's smear is of particular interest to me because Milbank twice mentions the button I produced "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby." I gave one to both professors Walt and Mearsheimer after the event, not noticing until later that the snide Milbank was lurking around the periphery. Milbank infers the button is "evidence" the professors are anti-Semites. (I should have worn the t-shirt with the same slogan which I make available with other relevant ones at http://cafepress.com/israellobby)
Below is the letter to the editor I sent. Coincidentally, today the DC Antiwar Network, with which I organize, is protesting the Washington Post for its pro-war editorial content.
Below is my letter to the Washington Post editor. I'll report if they publish it.
In his August 29 article "Pronouncing Blame on the Israel Lobby" Dana Milbank reports that "Blurring the line between academics and activism, they [Professors Walt and Mearsheimer] accepted a button proclaiming 'Fight the Israel Lobby'." At the very end of the article Milbank mentions the full text of the button: "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby." and that Mearsheimer said, "beaming": "I like it."
First, don't the professors have the right to know, and even get a laugh out of, how political activists and/or entrepreneurs are using their work? Second, if Mr. Milbank wants to take on an academic who engages in "activism," he might start with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, author of "The Case for Israel," whose advocacy for Israel is legendary, including frequent appearances on CNN and Fox News and OpEds in the Washington Post. Perhaps Mr. Milbank should enlighten us and the thousands of activist professors out there as to the proper role of academics in politics? Finally, as the designer and producer of the button who shared it with the professors, I believe all Americans have the right to politically "fight" or "battle" any lobby or interest group they disagree with, as long as they remain nonviolent. Evidently, Dana Milbank does not agree.
(Note to blog readers: Order button at bottom of this RadicalButtons.Com page. $2.00, two button minimum)
Friday, August 25, 2006
Like too many of us these days I wake up every morning and turn on the news, look in the paper and/or run to ANTIWAR.COM to find out how much closer we are to another attack on Lebanon, an attack on Iran and Syria, and to nuclear armed missiles and airplanes approaching Iran -- and the Russian border -- and freaking the Russians out so much they launch and attack that lands at least 20 - 30 two to ten megaton hydrogen bombs in my immediate neighborhood.
So many days I go off to a protest, like the July one above at the Israeli Embassy.
I guess reporting on the latest theories inevitably becomes part of this blog's duties. Geeze, why should I break down and get a regular job and pay off my credit cards, if they are going to nuke me any week now? (Hint - check out my RadicalButtons.Com and CafePress.Com sites) Of course, I'd rather get a Secession Network going anyway and let it pay me a barely liveable wage.
Many of us have been expecting an "October surprise" attack that would give Bush an excuse to declare martial law, lock up the activists, suspend the congressional elections and forestall any chance of impeachment by a newly elected majority Democratic House. Yesterday I read a couple of stories putting the date of the war further off.
Bill Kristol on Fox News August 20th predicted war against Iran in 2007: I think we could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect. I don’t think this is an issue that’s going to wait two and a half years until "the Decider" George Bush leaves the presidency. I think he will decide at some point next year — in 2007 — he’ll have to make some very tough decisions about what the U.S. and the world can tolerate in terms of this regime – this apocalyptic, messianic regime — which has made clear that it would use — would feel free to use weapons if it had them, that has very deep ties with terrorist groups, what we could accept in terms of their nuclear program.
And then there was the delightful Jerusalem Post article warning "Israel may 'go it alone' against Iran." One senior Israeli source told a reporter "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself. Having said this, he did not rule out the possibility of US military action, but said that if this were to take place, it would probably not occur until the spring or summer of 2008, a few months before President George W. Bush leaves the international stage....Government officials said Israel's role at this time is to warn the world of the dangers of an Iranian nuclear potential.
A similar article appeared in today's Jerusalem Post, " Israel feels US will not attack Iran." (How can a state feel, I wonder?) It reads in part: Another official warned of the consequences of a nuclear Iran even if Israel was not bombed. "We would have our hands tied," the official said. "They would constantly be threatening us with their nuclear weapons and we would not be able to initiate military operations against Hamas in Gaza or Hizbullah in Lebanon." They might even have to give the Palestinians a fair deal and have to return some of the land they've stolen since 1948, not to mention in 1967.
Of course what Israel is really doing is making it clear to the world that it WILL attack Iran whenever it pleases, using whatever weapons it pleases (like maybe 100 of its 400 plus nuclear weapns?) and that of course the United States will be dragged in since Bush has committed America to supporting Israel's "defense." So if the world wants to stop such an Israeli nuclear attack it better cave in to Israel's demands pronto.
Please see my article on Israel's "Samson Option," also the title of a book by Seymour Hersh on Israel's repeated threats to nuke not only the Arab world but even Europe and Russia if it is every seriously damaged in war. And if Israel nukes Russia, Russia nukes us.
Oh, well, at least I get a good laugh now and then. Like from this quote at the end of a Harper's interview with Michael Scheuer who worked for the CIA for 22 years, including as the chief of the bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999. He is the author of the book "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror." The other area is Israel and Palestine. We're not going to abandon the Israelis but we need to reestablish the relationship so it looks like we're the great power and they're our ally, and not the other way around. We need to create a situation where moderate Muslims can express support for the United States without being laughed off the block.
Next week I'm going to see Harvard and University of Chicago Profs. Walt and Mearsheimer of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy fame speak at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) press conference. Unless of course the State Department declares CAIR a terrorist group and cancells the press conference. But what's to worry? The media probably will ignore it anyway. Walt and Mearsheimer only have managed to get on NPR and C-SPAN so far. Everyone else is terrified to touch them. I will report.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The forum was held Wednesday, August 9, 2006 (the 61st anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki) at the Rayburn House Office Building, courtesy of the House Foreign Relations Committee. It was entitled "Consequences of US Nuclear Policy: from Hiroshima to Iran" and included graphic testimoney from Hiroshima and Nagsakai survivors as well as a scary 5 minute clip from the 1983 ABC made-for-tv movie THE DAY AFTER.
I was moderator and got my 2 cents in on a number of topics. Speakers included:
* Mr. Shotaro Kodama who survived the Hiroshima bombing and Mr. Kazuhiro Yoshimura who survived the Nagasaki bombing.
* Nickolas Roth, incoming Director of Research and Advocacy for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation who spoke on U.S. nuclear strategies that could lead to disastrous consequences of a nuclear attack.
* Michele Boyd, Legislative Director for Critical Mass' Energy Program who spoke about connections between nuclear weapons and power and relevant upcoming legislation.
* Simin Royanian, of Women for Peace and Justice in Iran who spoke about the Iranian people's fear of a nuclear attack and the many deaths that would result.