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Sunday, March 25, 2012


Three more victims of the war on Iraq

Two weeks ago, Abel Gutierrez, suffering from (and showing obvious signs of) PTSD as a result of multiple tours of duty in Iraq, killed his mother, his sister, and then himself. Today's San Jose Mercury News notes the following interesting observations:
Carlos Anaya, who had known Gutierrez since elementary school..."he was not a sociopath. He was a good person."
"He didn't join the Army because he wanted to kill people," Ramon Bustamante said. "He wanted to do something with his life and help take care of his mom and sister."
And finallly
"To me," Bustamante said, "they're all victims of Iraq."
Indeed. And, we might add, of the capitalist economy which essentially forces people like Gutierrez into the military as the only viable employment option.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


One more victim of the war on Iraq

An Iraqi woman was beaten to death [death occurred after publication of this news article] in Southern California after receiving hate-based threats. A double victim of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. First, because she was only in the U.S. in the first place because of having fled her country after the invasion. And second, because she moved to a country where there is casual acceptance of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis (and they were all innocent, even the soldiers and resistance fighters who fought back against the invasion), on the bogus justification that "we have to fight them over there to keep them from fighting us here" or the equally bogus "they might get a weapon which might be used against us so we'd better kill them first," a country where the President declared a "Day of Honor" to mark the anniversary of that invasion. Is it little wonder that official disregard of human life infects individuals and ends up with hate crimes like this?


Now Tweeting

After resisting for the longest time, I've started tweeting, since I don't seem to be able to find the time to write long posts. Check it out: @leftiblog

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The Khamenei speech the media ignored

Feb. 22, 2012:
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

“There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”

“If nations are allowed to independently make progress in the fields of nuclear energy, aerospace, science, technology and industry, there will be no room left for the tyrannical dominance of world powers,” said the Leader.
He's only the "Supreme [religious] Leader" in a country where religion plays an integral part. Why would we pay any attention to what he says? A better question, to which we know the answer, is "why not?" Because if we did, there would go the U.S./Israeli push to (re)install a subservient government in Tehran.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Massacres by the U.S.? Ho-hum.

Two reactions to the recent massacre of 16 Afghans by an American soldier remind us of the nature of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan (and elsewhere). In the New York Times, we are told regarding the relatively mild reaction to the slaughter in Afghanistan itself:
Americans have had a lot of practice at apologizing for carnage, accidental and otherwise, and have gotten better at doing it quickly and convincingly.
As Glenn Greenwald puts it so perfectly:
I don’t mind admitting that I beamed with nationalistic pride when I learned of our country’s impressive evolution: our nation’s government is so practiced in “apologizing for carnage” that it’s becoming a perfected art.
And two days ago, Secretary of Defense [sic] Leon Panetta let slip this comforting thought (emphasis added):
War is hell. These kinds of events and incidents are going to take place. They've taken place in any war. They’re terrible events. And this is not the first of those events, and it probably won't be the last.
And despite the almost certain knowledge that "it probably won't be the last," Panetta assures us that he has no intention of avoiding that inevitability:
"I do not believe that there is any reason at this point to make any changes with regards to our strategy and for the process of drawing down."
Of course he doesn't. It won't be his wife and children who are slaughtered, and it won't be his son who comes home and murders his family and then kills himself.


Iraq - the killing continues

Two (or quite likely three) more victims of the illegal invasion of Iraq, this time in in Gilroy, CA. American soldiers may no longer be dying in Iraq, but they (and others) are still dying right here at home. Utterly tragic, and utterly avoidable. And the tragedy continues in Afghanistan, with every new victim - Afghan, soldier, or yet another family member or innocent bystander right here at home. OUT NOW! Not "soon." NOW!

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