The Lady Speaks

“Promise You’ll Protect Me From the Americans”

Omar Khadr.

Fifteen years old when he was captured by US forces in Afghanistan. Six years spent at Guantanamo without trial. Facing five war crimes charges, including the murder of a US soldier during a battle, and life in prison.

Softened up” by American interrogators prior to a visit by Canadian intelligence personnel.

This happened to Mr. Khadr just ahead of a March 30, 2004, visit by Jim Gould, an intelligence officer with the Canadian Foreign Affairs department.

“In an effort to make him more amenable and willing to talk, [blacked out] has placed Umar in the ‘frequent flyer program,’ ” says an April, 2004, report by R. Scott Heatherington, then-director of the Foreign Intelligence Division of the Canadian department. “For the three weeks before Mr. Gould’s visit, Umar has not been more than three hours in any one location.

“At three-hour intervals, he is moved to another cell block, thus denying him uninterrupted sleep and a continued change of neighbours.”

Mr. Heatherington goes on to say that Mr. Khadr would, following the visit, be “placed in isolation for up to three weeks,” then be subjected to re-interview. [National Post]

He was a child. He begged the Canadian intelligence officers interviewing him. “Promise you’ll protect me from the Americans.”

Instead, they left him for another 5 years in a hellhole being (most likely) abused with torture techniques inspired by SERE training — a program instituted as a result of torture of American prisoners of war. Techniques approved by President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

And he’s facing war crimes charges?

I don’t know whether to cry or vomit.

July 15, 2008 Posted by | Protest, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Let Freedom Ring

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Continue reading

July 4, 2008 Posted by | America, Congress, Constitution, Government, Independence Day, Protest | 2 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Limited free time means I haven’t been able to work on the blog as often as I’d like, plus the “primary fatigue” that set in made me want to start posting recipes rather than digging in to write anything substantive. Unfortunately, this also meant I stopped posting the FAWS and updating “Counting the Cost.” I may not get to posting much else on a regular basis, but I’ll try to remember to keep these going. –Jenn

War Pigs — Black Sabbath
1970

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has sturck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Bush, Congress, Government, Iraq, Music, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Friday Anti-War Song

Free the Dove
— Written by Karie Hillery & Charles Lamont
— Performed by Karie Hillery

See the stars
As they light a path around the moon
They shine above
The light of love
Free the dove

See the sun
Blazin’ a bright trail across the sky
It warms the earth
A new day’s birth
Darkness past
Peace will last
A world of love
Free the dove

We must save what nature made
A peaceful place where living things run free
Dreams, realities… it’s up to you and me

So reach inside
And then reach for another’s hand
You’ll have enough
So share the love
Free the dove

Can you see the hope
Shining in the eyes of every child?
Build for them a world at peace
A place to dream
Air to breathe
Enough to eat
A world of love
Free the dove

We can dream
If we believe then they’ll come true
It’s up to us
So share the love
Free the dove

It’s up to us
So share your love
Free the dove

From New Songs for Peace

January 18, 2008 Posted by | America, Government, Human Rights, Music, Politics, Protest, War | Leave a comment

Friday Anti-War Song

In a World Gone Mad
— Beastie Boys

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq
We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back
Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that they’re built upon
Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches til I start to snore
‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don’t get us wrong ’cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what’s the deal?

It’s time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what’s the White House doin’?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well I’m not pro Bush and I’m not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you’re looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We’ve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma’s pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it’s democracy they’re fighting for?

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

December 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Children, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Republicans, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Remember and “Imagine”

John Lennon
October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980

My mother cried the day John Lennon died.

When I asked her why she was crying – after all, this wasn’t a relative, a friend, a coworker – she repeated the lyrics of “Imagine” from memory. The idea that this beautiful, gifted, gentle, poetic soul — who protested against a war and spoke up for harmony and peace and love for all people, no matter who they are, or where they were, or what their political beliefs — should die in a sudden act of violence was stunning. And heartbreaking.

When I speak out against the war and against the abuses of government, when I speak out to raise awareness of the suffering of the Iraqi people or to rage at those who have failed – over and over again – to provide our military with the proper training and equipment, and then fail them and their families again by failing to ensure they have proper medical care if they’re wounded, who leave the poor even poorer and the rich even richer, I do so because I believe. I dream.

When I do any or all of those things, it is because I imagine a far better world, and I believe we can attain a world without violence, without hatred of those who are different, without poverty.

And I have my mother to thank for teaching me to believe in that dream.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

December 8, 2007 Posted by | America, Music, Politics, Protest, War, World Peace | 2 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song — Chris Chandler Edition

This is the Chris Chander/David Roe song I mentioned in a comment on the previous post. Imagine my joy when I found it on YouTube, and although the video is one created by the uploader, not the one Chris uses, it’s still fantastic.

I’ve seen Chris and DR live twice now, and each time was fabulous. They played both times at this little hole-in-the-wall coffeehouse that seats maybe 30…40 if a few people double up. The crowds were huge both times, with people standing 4 deep outside just to see and hear the show.

Although Dave isn’t touring with Chris anymore, definitely take the time to catch the show if Chris comes to your area! It’s a fantastic combo of music, spoken word, and visual images.

Somethings in the Air/But It’s Not on the Airwaves, from American Storyteller Volumes 1 & 2:

Visit Chris’ website.

December 7, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Walter Cronkite: Our Troops Must Leave Iraq

Nearly forty years ago, my mother was a senior in high school, our country was mired in an unwinnable war, and Walter Cronkite had returned returned from a trip to Vietnam. At the end of his February 27, 1968 broadcast, he made editorial statement calling for the return of American troops.

Part of what he had to say then:

“… For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation;

[snip]

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. Continue reading

December 5, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Civil War, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Television, US Military, Vietnam, War, White House | 2 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Blowin’ in the Wind
— Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Music, Pentagon, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

Friday Anti-War Song

It’s very simple to understand now. Children of lower-income families whose parents can’t afford insurance for them are not important to Republicans or to the White House. It’s okay to ask for $190 billion to continue a lost cause, but it is not okay to ask for $35 billion over 5 years in order to provide healthcare to children.

It’s okay for a Republican to stand up and deride “socialized medicine” and “government healthcare” while they and their families receive free, taxpayer-funded, government healthcare, but it is not okay to ensure millions of children have access to preventive care and early intervention services.

We learned something about the Republican Party, thanks to the furor over SCHIP:

War = good. Providing lower-income kids with access to healthcare = bad.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Ca) expressed it well:

Woot. Go Pete!!

Now, maybe you’re wondering what SCHIP has to do with the Friday Anti-War Song. Or maybe you’re a smart, involved, Democratic voter, and you already know. But I’ll lay it out anyway:

40 Days’ Worth of Funding for the Iraq War Would Pay
for Health Insurance for 10 Million American Children.

And, with that, here’s today’s song, from New Songs for Peace:

How Long?

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

We drop our bombs we let them go
They fall on people we don’t know
So will we reap just what we sow and too will grieve

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

We cause our terror in the night
To make it easier to fight
I hope our research is all right
How will we know if it ever is

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

Written by Martin Thomas & Art Goodtimes
Performed by Joey Lindly

October 19, 2007 Posted by | America, Children, Congress, Family, Government, Human Rights, Music, Politics, Protest, SCHIP, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 5 Comments