Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tomorrow: We're Not Your Soldier

I just got a notice in my email about tomorrow's "Not Your Soldier" action at Brooklyn College. Unfortunately for me, the protest is going on at the same time that I'm supposed to be guiding my students through CIA memos, so I can't go, but it sounds like a good action. Here's a description:
Join the Brooklyn College Anti-War Coalition in a rally and march against military recruitment. Meet at 1:30 pm in front of Boylan Hall at Brooklyn College for a rally with music and march to the recruiting station on Nostrand Avenue, distributing information on alternatives to the military. Stand with our Brooklyn young people to tell Bush WE ARE NOT YOUR SOLDIER (National Not Your Soldier Day).
There's also an anti-recruitment demonstration today in Brooklyn:
Protest at Downtown Brooklyn Military Recruitment Center

Wednesday, November 16th
12 noon
Armed Services Recruitment Center
41 Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn
B,D,M,N,Q,R to Atlantic Avenue or Pacific Street or 2,3, 4,5 to Nevins

Map is at

I have special warm, fuzzy feelings towards Brooklyn Parents for Peace because when I went to the anti-war march in October of 2001, I met Judith Levine, and marched with her and other WAC people who were among the original founders of the group.
If you can't make the Brooklyn action, there's a War-Resisters' League protest in Manhattan.
* * *
In case you need an extra reason to protest. Here's one.
just after that terrifying and riveting documentary on Falluja was aired on RAI television (and Democracy Now) the Pentagon admits to using white phospherous, not simply as an "illumination" or "cloaking" device, but as an incendiary weapon. According to every source I know, the US signed onto an agreement banning the use of white phosphorous and other incendiary weapons. Most Americans are probably not reading this piece of news, which is widely covered in European papers today, and even made it into CNN. However, the CNN story does not mention the banning of white phosphorous, but SURPRISE, SURPRISE, acts as a stenographer for the Pentagon. In the NYT, there is no story about the admission yet, but there is a story about the Italian documentary and the theories of "intelligence analysts" about such information as a way to find out about potential terrorists. that's right, that's what the article covers. Here's a snippet:
Osint, or open-source intelligence, is a low-cost way to try to understand the Islamic militancy that fuels Al Qaeda or to track subtle shifts in the public statements of Kim Jong Il, the eccentric North Korean dictator. It gleans insights not just from foreign newspapers and television, as its less ambitious predecessor did, but from the ballooning riches of the Web and such diverse sources as Palestinian rap and Indonesian T-shirts.
Since the US papers aren't covering the most newsworthy aspect of this admission, let's review. Here's what white phosphorous DOES, (From Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation):
The medical staff at the Barbir hospital were shocked by these wounds. When the family was brought into the emergency room at the end of July, Dr. Shamaa found that two five-day-old twins had already died. But they were still on fire.
Shamaa's story was dreadful one and her voice broke as she told it. "I had to take the babies and put them in buckets of water to put out the flames," she said. "when I took them out half and hour later they were still burning. Even in the mortuary they smoldered for hours." Next morning. Almal Shamaa took the tiny corpses out of the mortuary for burial. To her horror, they again burst into flames.
and then let's be reminded of the agreement governing the use of incendiary weapons. and here's an additional comment on these types of weapons and weapons agreements.

IS there an international agreement that we haven't violated? An international law that we haven't broken? I'm beginning to wonder. and do people really wonder, "why do they hate us?"

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