Crowd builds in Al Tahrir Square, Cairo, two million defy Mubarak intimidation

Al Jazeera has reasserted live footage in Cairo today, for the Friday demonstration billed as “Day of Departure” meant to depose dictator Mubarak. Already gone are the US major network talking heads, fleeing in advance the predicted mayhem as if to dot the exclamation point of their Chaos in Egypt meme. Alas, they won’t be here to offer color commentary on the hundreds of dozens of demonstrators of indeterminate religious-political orientation massing for Egyptian on Egyptian rioting. For the rest of us, this is a veritable revolution before our eyes. Perhaps the monumental event of our lifetime. Regardless the outcome, most of us are probably so estranged from reality to recognize it. This is what Democracy looks like.

We only know representative democracy, warped beyond recognition by an electoral college system only a statistician’s mother could love. Switzerland is the only direct democracy we’re taught in school. But democratic participation in Switzerland is not much more complicated than a homeowners association in an affluent neighborhood. People power taking to the street, denouncing the illegitimacy of its authoritarian masters, leaderless, allied, that’s real democracy.

What a shame the American celebrities are missing the party. Williams and Couric fled with the expat community, Amanpour is already giving her veneer of respectability to the next interviewee, Zuckerberg not Assange, because the corporate media wants to call this a Facebook revolution sooner than Wikileaks’. Anderson Cooper is cowering on the hotel floor of an undisclosed location, unafraid to confess that he’s fearing for his life, working that [brown] people-are-revolting angle.

On the heroic independent media side, Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous spent the night in Tahrir Square, sleeping among the activists, half of them with bandaged heads, waking at intervals by the alarm sounding for anticipated stone-throwers.

None of the network journos showed any hesitation to criticize the harassment they encountered on the streets, though blaming Mubarak’s thugs was never explicit, and none of them veered from celebrating the riots as “Egypts killing each other.” Even Al Jazeera pretended to confuse the Pro and Anti sides, failing to discriminate between the side which was armed from the side taking cover, the knife wielders from desperate stone throwers trying to keep their attackers at bay.

Finally this morning an AJ text crawl mentioned 300 fatalities since the protests began January 25th, otherwise there has been scant mention of innocent civilians killed, some of them shot in the head by nighttime snipers.

All of the networks, even Al Jazeera express their incredulity that the demonstrators project no central leadership, failing to speculate why that may be.

Al Jazeera takes care to mention, every time they consult one of their three correspondents on the ground, that they omit speaker identities “for their own safety.” Even when they interview activists, the AJ anchors thank them for being brave enough to reveal their real names. Not discussed is the certain probability that calling out a demonstration leader will direct the security apparatus to deploy their snipers, summary arrest, or detention of family members. As the media wax horrific the barbarity of Cairo’s street culture chaos, they maintain a rudely unrealistic civil pretense to mask Egypt’s cruel police state.

My nightmare scenario, now that I’m looking over millions of peaceful undaunted Egyptians chanting for deliverance from their uncaring dictator? I worry about the US advisors reported to have flown into Cairo this morning, reassuring their cabby, it was reported, that everything was going to be fine.

I worry that Washington has spot on advice to offer Mubarak about how to respond to a “million man march.” After all, that’s old hat for DC. Let ’em eat waffle cake.

American protesters get the same response from Obama as they did from Bush 43. Praise for the glorious display of citizens exercising their constitutional rights. Talk away, shout it to the rooftops. Feel better? I hear you America. Thank you for your faith in the system. You are the change you’ve been waiting for. Please collect your refuse on the way out. Be sure to leave something in the hat to cover the expense of the Port-a-Johns. Thank you America, I’m honored, really. Yes we can, see you at the polls in 2012. Thank you for flying Air of Democracy. Bu’bye.

Civilians everywhere receive special care

From the AP comes news of nearly 6,500 civilians killed in ______: “Foreign Secretary [X] said the government took special care to avoid civilian casualties, and that many of those killed were combatants dressed in civilian clothing.”

“At least 6,432 civilians have been killed in the intense fighting over the past three months and 13,946 wounded, according to a private U.N. document circulated among diplomatic missions in ________ in recent days. A foreign diplomat gave a copy to The Associated Press on Friday.

“The U.N. has declined to publicly release its casualty figures and had no immediate comment on the document.

“Civilian deaths have increased dramatically, according to the U.N. An average of 33 civilians were killed each day at the end of January, and that jumped to 116 by April, the document said. More than 5,500 of those killed were inside a government-declared “no-fire” zone.

Obama in Afghanistan- $40,000 for the lost lives of 15 people?

‘U.S. commanders on Tuesday traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in a U.S. raid, including a known militant commander. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation.’ See the Associate Press report US pays $40,000 after 15 Afghans die in raid for their entire report on the ‘collateral damage’.

Question is, is this how Obama thinks he can wins hearts and minds in Afghanistan? If not, then why is he moving more US troops to occupy that country? Why does he continue to use the US military to bomb civilian areas? This is nothing more than a continuation of Bush’s military policy.

Palin is the lipstick, McCain is the pig.

“No one knows what war is like other than my family, period.” Said John McCain’s daughter Meghan. I guess the families of the million+ innocent civilians killed in Iraq just can’t compare to the filthy-rich, pampered McCain family, huh?

Sarah Palin is just a fundamentalist Muslim with lipstick.

Sarah Palin’s terrorist pastor called for God to strike America. One can only imagine her joy at hearing those words!

I’m betting Charles Gibson treats Sarah Palin with kid gloves, and doesn’t ask a single question worth watching.

Palin’s 27 Lies to Nowhere.

Will Sarah Palin be the first VP to be impeached as soon as she takes office?

Palin defrauded taxpayers on “per diem” allowance expenses. Can you imagine what she’d do if she had the entire US Treasury at her disposal?

Sarah Palin, clueless twit. McCain’s even worse.

McCain’s deal with the Devil. He’s hired Tucker Askew, the guy who destroyed McCain’s 2000 campaign on behalf of G.W. Bush, (remember “black, illegitimate baby”?) to do the same slimy tactics on Obama. “Maverick,” my ass! He’s as Republican as you can get.

N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il (who’s five years younger than John McCain) has suffered a stroke.

Israel pushing for US/Russian nuclear showdown over Iran.

Nothing says “democracy” like accountability. Conference on the planning for prosecution of high level American war criminals, in Andover, MA, this weekend.

Just imagine how much better off the world would be, if only Dick Cheney’s parents had used birth control.

Demonic politics. The McCain campaign is now running an ad locally accusing Obama of being “more of the same, not change.” Unfuckingbelievable. Now I know Republicans are possessed!

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s notes Sept 10,

Sisters speak out about all US war zones

Loretto CommunityThey come together from different states, Benedictines, Dominicans, the Loretto Community, the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St Francis, Pox Christi, the Christian Peacemakers, even a nun visiting from Guatemala, to pray a silent vigil at the gates of Peterson AFB in remembrance of the two greatest war crimes ever perpetrated, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Not only against the use of nuclear weapons, but all weapons, and not just to sit idly by in prayer. The sisters asked for inspiration and guidance to address the violence our country is directing in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Latin American and Colombia.

The heaviest words were for Iraq. Here is the latter part of the prayer ceremony:

We ask forgiveness for our complicity
in the violence now unleashed in the world
and we repent of the violence in our hearts.

Forgive us, we pray

For initiating war         Forgive us, we pray
For believin in untruths         Forgive us, we pray
For resorting to torture         Forgive us, we pray
For wasting resources         Forgive us, we pray
For shattering innocence         Forgive us, we pray

For trampling diplomacy         Forgive us, we pray
For the death of US military in Iraq         Forgive us, we pray
For the Iraqi civilians killed         Forgive us, we pray
For trusting in weapons         Forgive us, we pray
For exporting arms         Forgive us, we pray

For needing to dominate         Forgive us, we pray
For failing to trust         Forgive us, we pray
For failing to act         Forgive us, we pray
For valuing oil over life         Forgive us, we pray

For failing to love         Forgive us, we pray
For our arrogance         Forgive us, we pray
For our pride         Forgive us, we pray
For our silence         Forgive us, we pray

Change our hearts

That we learn compassion         Change our hearts
That we practice mercy         Change our hearts
That we embrace nonviolence         Change our hearts

That we may act in justice         Change our hearts
That we love tenderly         Change our hearts
That we do your will         Change our hearts
That we will be peace         Change our hearts

iraqi body count

this is an listing of the IDENTIFIED bodies. Of Civilians killed in Iraq since the invasion. Up to February 2006 meaning the list is a year old.

3,670 individuals, including a minority for whom only a PARTIAL name or Familial relationship could be established.


“In any use of these names please give due honour to the unidentified
dead not in this list whose numbers far exceed these named victims. For
every identified individual on the list there are another 9 confirmed
Iraqi civilians killed for whom we do not have identifying information.
In contrast, virtually every coalition soldier killed can be identified
by name and other biographical information.

There is no
organised effort to name all victims of the war. Only when all have
been identified and duly recorded can there be any talk of respecting
their memory.

To those who knew and loved them, and are in no need of reminding, we offer our condolences.” end quote.

By mentioning that those who are unidentified number at least 9 times as many as are identified, that once again leaves open the Question:

 How can the United States Government and The British Crown both insist that every Iraqi killed has been an Insurgent, When they can’t even identify more than 10% of them?

How would you know for sure that somebody is a radical or enemy if you don’t know who the hell he was?

If your smart bombs are so smart that they can’t possibly kill anybody but the Bad Guys, then you would know exactly who the targets were before bombing them, wouldn’t you?

If your agencies had the intelligence as to who they were bombing while they were still alive why are only 10% of them identified, post mortem?

It would make a sick kind of perverted sense to withhold the Identities of people who you have captive, and are torturing for information, but what harm can it do to disclose the names of the Dead?

Who do you think you’re fooling? Ok so I got that last one from a song by Rhymin’ Paul Simon.

The lists are organized into 2 formats, A4 size and US letter size, .pdf files and about 3 megabytes each.

3 and a half thousand out of one estimate of half a million. That’s more like a half a percentage point. Even at the admittedly low estimate of 150 thousand that only ramps it up to just over 2%.

I am reminded of the fellow from Yahoo answers who said that the American Left were more concerned about the Iraqi civilians than “Our Troops”, and too many cameras recording the killings and somehow portraying the Evil Notion that the Iraqi people are… well… People.

and there were a couple of others who posted in the same Answers question that made the Administration talking point that we are over there to help the Iraqis.

If they are there to help the Iraqi people, shouldn’t they actually BE CONCERNED about the people they are “helping”?

That post was deleted by Yahoo!Answers. They never sent me any answer about why it was deleted.

Afghanistan, where cowardly US military is deliberately murdering children

Every week now, it seems that the US puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is ‘investigating’ another tragic ‘accidental bombing of civilians. He demands that these ‘accidents’ stop. But these are not accidents, and Karzai knows this well, as every other Afghan must now know it well, too. An accident occurs once or twice, but an intentional strategy of targeting civilians becomes constant, as have become the US bombings of Afghan civilians in the more remote regions of that country.
The strategy is ‘to destroy the sea that the guerrilla fighter must swim in’, as it was once explained in the Vietnam War era, years ago. In short, the quickest, easiest way to combat the enemy, is simply to target his wife and family, including the kids. So the cowardly US-led NATO army of occupation in Afghanistan, is systematically doing that instead of engaging the enemy on the ground, where politically dangerous casualties might occur. Bomb the Afghan women and children in their homes from up high, if there is even the remotest military resistance to US forces in their general neighborhood.

This is the same strategy that the US government formerly used in SE Asia, some 35 to 45 years previously. It is the same strategy that the NAZIs used when they pushed into East Europe against the Russians during the Second World War. In their pathway, they razed to the ground villages, towns, and even entire cities. It is even the same strategy that Mafia gangsters use against their opponents. It is the same strategy that the US fed Colombian death squads use, too. They go into villages with chain saws, and cut people up before their own family members. Basically, this is government sponsored terrorism against civilians, and the US is committing internationally recognized war crimes by targeting civilians instead of the armed combatants they face. The strategy, is to target the families of combatants, and not those who might actually be able to inflict return casualties upon the invading and occupying, barbarian armed forces.

see Hamid Karzai orders investigation

We expect this cowardice from the cowardly US military commanders and chiefs, like Dubya and Dick Cheney, Donald and Alberto, who all get great glee out of torturing US-held POWs. And we expect it from the US grunts, too. They mainly just want to get out alive, and don’t much care who gets hurt, as long as it is not themselves. Innocent children bombed as they play, or as they sleep? Well who cares? Not the uniformed soldier cowards, nor their leaders. They are much like the Israeli troops, another cowardly group of soldiers, that distributed hundreds of thousands of cluster bombes in the last 3 days of their Lebanon vacation. Early Christmas for the children? Well the uniformed forces of occupying armies don’t care. They are simply cowards who want to get back home whole, and they will follow cowardly orders, from cowardly leaders.

But what of the press? The press barely even reports Afghanistan these days to US readers. And when they do, they cowardly hide away the nature of what they are reporting on. To the US press, the Afghanistan fighting is a NATO conflict, and they will report whole articles without even once using the letters, ‘US’ or ‘USA’! Let’s keep our jobs, and let’s keep the whole Afghanistan issue away from the American public, who are too cowardly to actually think about what they are doing to that poor country.

And what about the US peaceniks’? They are cowardly, too. 99% of them vote for the Democratic Party, and talking about Afghanistan is too embarrasing to the top party hacks. So, shhhhhh….. Keep quiet. The recent AFSC tour of their ‘Eyes Wide Open’ exhibit was basically a ‘Mouths Tightly Closed’ exhibit of their AFSC political cowardice when it comes to Afghanistan. They should remember and be ashamed of this, when the Quaker leaders are inside the voter booths pushing the levers for the Democratic Party candidates. They could have put boots out for the US soldiers killed in Afghanistan. But they didn’t. They could have placed out shoes of Afghani civilians killed by US and allied troops, but they didn’t.

But the other liberal peaceniks from the other liberal churches are equally as cowardly. When was the last time one saw a sign saying, Get Out of Afghanistan Now? All the talk is of Iraq instead. The liberal megawebsite, commondreams, carries bumperstickers calling for Get out of Iraq, No war with Iran, and even No War with Syria. But Get Out of Afghanistan? Not a chance! More political cowardness. It would push the Democratic Party hacks too hard. Yet our country is now deliberately bombing civilian children in that country, and doing it routinely, too.

It is political cowardice to bomb huts full of empoverished women and children noncombatants, rather than fight on the ground below against the men. But that’s what an imperialist army is full of. They are full of cowards who want to kill people like they are playing some video game back in the suburbs at home. But it, too, is cowardly for the US Peace Movement not to demand that our government get its troops out of Afghanistan with the same force we demand it get out of Iraq. We are betraying the children of that country, who are being slaughtered down like cattle. Yes, we have a cowardly antiwar movement in the US that wants only to concentrate on ‘Iraq’, and getting their cowardly Democratic Party leaders elected to office once again. Let’s hope that liberals can grow some backbone, and start opposing this war, too. Otherwise, the peace crowd is just as bad as ‘our troops’, who mainly want to kill from afar and from up high, with no possilbe repercussions to their cowardly, uniformed selves. Those that don’t mind killing innocent children, just so that they can claim a high ‘enemy’ body count.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

have we become the evil we deploreWe held a protest today at the front gate of Peterson Air Force Base. It was to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 61 years ago. It’s an annual remembrance.
The event also offers us a chance to reflect on the lunacy of nuclear weapons.
The protest was lost on the airmen who drove through the gate leaving the base. None of them seem to know what date it is. Let alone that it represents a tragic milestone for mankind.

Vigils are not kept for the equal number of Japanese civilians killed by conventional weapons, fire-bombed before we had nukes. American bombers annihalated entire Japanese cities, including 60% of Tokyo, in a deliberate effort to kill Japanese civilians.