Air Strikes Only Effective in Killing Civilians

October 31, 2007

Imagine you are a parent living in a war zone.  A happy life is hardly a reality but you are surviving by keeping your head low and cooperating with no one and everyone.  One day you venture out of your house for an hour to pick up flour for the next month.  When you return your house, and the family you left there, you find it has been completely destroyed.  Your children, your spouse, your life scattered around your land like rubble.  You, and your family, have become victims of air strikes.

Whether in Kosova in the 90’s, or Afghanistan & Iraq today – air strikes are deadly to civilians and they have devastating effects on infrastructure for years to come.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve walked, ten years after the war, through the streets in Prishtina, Kosova where bombed hospitals sit empty and unused in an area where a mammography machine would save lives from breast cancer.  I’ve lived in a house held up by makeshift beams and gutted on one side because a missal exploded 5 feet from the front door in 1999. 

This month we’ve had new insight into the multinational forces (MNF) responsibility for civilian causalities in Iraq and Afghanistan.  October was the deadliest month for civilians in Afghanistan and air strikes played a significant part.  Last Sunday 60 minutes did a report on this very issue.   They found a family who was suspected of harboring terrorists and bombed to death by multinational forces.  The family was never confronted or warned to get out.  The villagers claim those died never had anything to do with insurgents.  MNF bombed without proof – they just bombed.  President Karzai came out publicly in that program condemning air strikes.  Bush touts Afghanistan as a victory and an explanation of what we are doing in Iraq.  And yet, “while the enemy has killed hundreds of civilians this year, a similar number of civilians have been killed by American forces. With relatively few troops there, the U.S. and NATO rely on air power. The number of civilians killed in air strikes has doubled.”  Where is the victory in that?

In Iraq we have less information because the MNF refuse to be open about the civilian causalities.  The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq recently released a report which deals with civilian causalities.  I’ll simply quote the highlights of page 9.  “UNAMI recorded a number of incidents in which 88 civilians were reportedly killed during air strikes conducted by MNF forces.12 They included the following: nine civilians killed in five villages in the al-Anbakiya area near Ba’quba on 11 March; two civilians killed in Dulu’iya in Salahuddin Governorate on 15 March; 16 civilians killed in Sadr City in Baghdad on 30 March; 27 civilians killed in Khaldiya, Ramadi, on 3 April…..:”  the list goes on for another 30 or so lines.

If we cannot stop this war let us at least stand up for the people who suffer from it on a daily basis.  I urge you to contact your representatives and tell them to work with the UN to report these atrocities.  We must bring the crimes of this war to light.  The only weapon we have now is shame and the best way to shame our own government is to align ourselves with an international power.

Iraq Toll

October 31, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Oct 21 to 27:

Sea Genesia Gresham  19  Lithonia GA

Sea Anamarie Camacho  20  Panama City FL

Pvt Adam Chitjian  39  Philadelphia PA

Sgt Robin Towns Sr  52  Upper Marlboro MD

Name not released

Spc David Lambert  39  Cedar Bluff VA

13 were seriously wounded and maimed.

38 were returned to occupation.

343 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.


Sex, god, nukes and babies

October 26, 2007

As a self identified progressive and spiritual person I find myself constantly perplexed by the contradictions I see in the Christian neoconservative movement.  I understand that because our views are different I will never fully understand their position on any issue but what has really gotten to me this week is the disconnect between their righteous indignation of sex and their tolerance of the current administration’s nuclear policy.

Let’s look at the argument for abstinence.  They say there is no such thing as safe sex but they have no trouble proclaiming the safety of new nuclear weapons.  Sex is never safe because condoms are only 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy and the spread of HIV.  RRW is safe despite the 100% likelihood that testing these nuclear weapons will put more cancer causing uranium into our water shed system depleting our earth and spreading disease. 

What’s the likelihood these weapons will have to be tested?  I say the chances are as good as they are that at least 10 teenagers will engage in sex before they graduate high school; in other words, very high changes indeed.  New nuclear weapons will inevitably have to be tested because otherwise those who plan using them will have no idea how they work.  If neoconservatives believe the risk of sex with condoms is so great, how can they not see the risk in new nuclear weapons?

Of course, we know that the abstinence only program is not about disease it’s about god’s will.  God, apparently, does not think people should engage in sex unless it’s for procreation, the creation of life.  They believe the lives of people are the most important thing to protect.  They, neoconservatives, go so far as to say that a fetus is a life and must be protected by law.  This fetus, which must be protected at all cost, is most at risk from nuclear fallout and uranium seeping into the water system.  Look no further than birth defect rates in Ukraine for evidence.  Infant mortality, debilitating birth defects, and increased infertility have left this country with a declining population after the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.  Even with all the horrible things nuclear material does to babies in the womb, I never saw Jerri Fallwell at an anti-nukes rally.

Only talking about sex and babies is really missing the main point.  Nuclear weapons, whether new or old, are designed to kill people; people who, according to the faithful, were put here by a god that loves them.  Neoconservatives seem to believe that god has favorites:  fetuses, Americans, and Christians.  They will tout the importance of saving lives from abortion and then proclaim we should use our nuclear weapons to kill the brown people for having nuclear weapons (which they are not sure they have).  

Do you see the disconnect here, or am I crazy?  I work with all sorts of religious types whom I respect for their beliefs, even if I don’t hold them myself.  My mother, the priest, believes that god put us on this earth to be in community with one another and in doing so we are in community with god.  All religious fundamentalists seem to believe the opposite – their sole purpose is to break up communities by drawing arbitrary lines to suit their taste.  Life is sacred – as long as it’s a life we agree with.  God created the earth – but, it is not our responsibility to be stewards of that earth.  Science goes against gods will – unless that science enables us to kill people who do not believe the same things as us.  It’s infuriating and I challenge any fundamentalist out there to hit me back with some of your hate speech – tell me why you think war is so good and nuclear weapons are so necessary.  Then tell me why god supports you.  I’d love to demonstrate your ignorance live and in blog.

How Can We Stop this Madness

October 24, 2007

If this video tears at your insides as much as it does mine please consider taking action to stop this war.  Take part in regional demonstrations happening in areas near you on Sat., OCTOBER 27th.  Check out this website for more information.


October 24, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Oct 14 to 20:

Spc Jason Koutroubas 21 Dunnellon FL

Sgt Justin Monschke 28 Krum TX

Pvt Kenneth Iwasinski 22 W Springfield MA

Ltn Thomas Martin 27 Ward AR

Cpl Sarah Holmes 26 Wantage UK

Spc Michael Brown 20 Williamsburg KS

Spc Vincent Madero 22 Port Hueneme CA

Sgt Jared Fontenot 35 Fontenot LA

Spc Wayne Geiger 23 Lone Pine CA

Cpl Erik Garoutte 22 Santee CA

50 were seriously wounded and maimed.

55 were returned to kill fields.

249 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.


Iraq Toll

October 17, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Oct 7 to 13:

Cpl Gilberto Meza  21  Oxnard CA

Cpl Zurab Choghosvili  26  (Soviet) Georgia

Cpl Benjamin Dillon  22  Rootstown OH

Cpl Jeremy Burris  22   Tacoma WA

Frank Cady III  20  Sacramento CA

Sgt Jason Lantieri  25  Killingworth CT

Sgt Lillian Clemens  35  Lawton OK

Spc Samuel Pearson  28  Westerville OH

Sgt Eric Duckworth  26  Plano TX

Sgt Donaid Munn II  22  St Clairs Shores MI

Pvt Nathan Thacker  18  Greenbrier AR

22 were seriously wounded and maimed.

56 wounded were returned to occupation.

328 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.


Cheney – so far ahead of his time

October 16, 2007


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