Thursday, December 22, 2005

 

The Night Before Christmas in Iraq 2005

The Night Before Christmas in Iraq 2005

By John Hall
12/16/2005 8:44:08 PM Molokai Island Times

http://www.molokaitimes.com/articles/5121620448.asp

'Twas the night before Christmas and here in Iraq,
Little sister had shrapnel removed from her back.

The napalm had given young Jamal such a scare,
That he climbed up the chimney with soiled underwear.

While mom in her birka and I with prosthesis,
Dragged our war-torn old bodies through Jamal's scattered feces.

The children were nestled in a corner of the basement,
While the baby played with severed limbs and shell casements.

When out in the dirt there arose such a ruckus,
Mama cried with despair: "Allah, don't let them **** us!"

The scattered deposits of depleted uranium,
Burned my retinas and scorched the remains of my cranium.

When what to my wondering eyes came to view?,
But Airforce One, filled with death and a crew.

With a little old pilot who strutted his tush,
I knew that it could be nobody but Bush.

Then up to the housetop his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

On Rumsfeld, on Rove, on Delay and Libby,
Now Wolfowitz, Cheney, Gonzalez and Rice!

To the top of the mosque, past the broken down wall;
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!

As empty words that before the Mideast Holocaust fly;
In a well-armed Stealth Bomber mount to the sky.

And then on the roof came the stomping of heels;
And exploding grenades of eight Navy Seals.

As I drew in my head and was hobbling away;
Down the chimney came George, with Jamal in his way.

He was dressed in Armani from his smirk to his swagger;
On a mission from God, with a sharp bloody dagger.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his mayhem;
And, with white phosphorus bombs, gave us illumination.

He arrested our grandma and winked at Karl Rove,; As he
smart-bombed our house, up the chimney he rose.

He hopped in the cockpit and said, "Let's get movin';
Mission's Accomplished!...Gawd, I'm so groovin' ".

But I heard him exclaim 'ere he flew out of sight:
"This sure beats snortin' coke, or the buzz from Bud Light!"

Molokai Island Times
PO Box 482123
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
808.553.4443


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

 

Responding to the President’s Address on Sunday

Sunday night, President Bush completed a campaign to persuade public opinion to support his war policy with a brief address on national television. In it he asked the American people, including his critics, for understanding and patience as the Iraq war continues.

In the course of his persuasion campaign, Bush has repeated many of the discredited assertions that the public has already grown weary of hearing. He has continued to insist on “staying the course” in Iraq, a course that offers neither “victory” nor departure, but only additional US military fatalities, which he has virtually promised and begged us to tolerate. More, it is a course in which US government conduct will continue to antagonize the people of Iraq and the Middle East with destructive consequences there and here.

There, US presence has meant as many as one hundred thousand dead, (overwhelmingly non-combatants), destruction of a modern industrial society, summary detention and torture. Here, the commitment of national resources to war has robbed our society of so many possibilities, retarding our capacity to advance health policy, education policy and all manner of social well-being and wrecking our capacity to respond usefully to a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

Moreover, by crafting an endless “war on terror” replete with an ever-changing “enemy,” invasion, torture and spying on our own society’s dissenters, the Bush administration has gone far in fulfilling George Orwell’s 1984 Big Brother prophecy, making a mockery of the ideals of freedom and democracy in the process. Not only is this conduct a mirror-image of the extreme authoritarianism it criticizes in Saddam Hussein, for example, but it returns us to police-state tactics and their inevitable abuses that we thought we’d left behind after the Nixon administration collapsed in disgrace 30 years ago.

We should not be surprised. After all, some of the chief figures responsible for cultivating the current national security mentality and policy, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, learned their craft in the same Nixon administration, (as did Bush’s father) and have now brought the same into the 21st century to discredit our country – again.

Despite his tough posturing and his appeal to the American people to bear with him, Bush’s administration has shown itself a far greater threat to our country than any foreign government or terrorist organization, destroying from within what outsiders can’t possibly attack - our society’s ideals and even its soul. Like the Nixon regime before it, the disastrous Bush regime needs to exit – stage right – and now!

Paul Magno, Co-ordinator

Sunday, December 04, 2005

 

Peace and Justice Awards Night a Big Success


The Washington Peace Center held its first annual Peace and Justice Awards Night on Saturday December 3rd, to honor the myriad of activists in the region who have worked tirelessly all year for the causes of peace and justice. The event drew over two hundred people from many corners of our community. Approximately 65 awards were given to activist leaders, student leaders, and a few institutions. The event took place at the Foundry Methodist Church at 16th and P Streets, N.W. in Washington, D.C.

One award went to Catalina Talero who has been teaching violence avoidance to some "hard core" youth in the Latino Community of Northwest Washington, D.C. Catalina's success in reducing violence in DC earned her a Washington Peace Center Award for her nonviolence teaching. She now teaches at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, which also received an award for being the most supportive school faculty to the Washington Peace Center.

Also receiving an award was Jennifer Harbury, a Harvard-educated attorney who has worked tirelessly to expose torture and its use by our government. What an honor it was for the Washington Peace Center to have Jennifer Harbury at the first annual peace and justice awards.

Another awardee tonight was Nikolas Schiller, who got the Everywhere Man award. Nik is literally all over the city in his quest and zeal to be doing something for peace and justice. He was especially instrumental this year in his assistance to Operation Ceasefire, which was also recognized as an important event of the year. Adam Eidinger, the founder of OpCeasefire received an award for his work to make an amazing concert happen on the mall in September.

The two keynote speakers this year were Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" and Damu Smith, founder of Black Voices for Peace. Damu got the "Lifetime Commitment to Peace and Justice" Award. It was stated tonight that Damu started his activist career when he was seventeen years old. His lifetime work has included fighting environmental racism in the 80s, fighting for the freedom of the Wilmington 10 in the 70s, working for Greenpeace in the 90s, and being a strong voice for peace and against the war in Iraq since the war started.

Amy Goodman was her usual captivating self, but never more captivating than when she sat on the floor with her own video camera capturing the speech of Damu on tape.








The Washington Peace Center was very lucky to have both Amy and Damu, thanks to the hard work of Mkwasi Mcharo, the new WPC co-coordinator.


The house was rocked with entertainment from the DC Guerilla Poetry Insurgency, known as "the guerillas".

Also top billing was the Rhythm Workers Union.

The RWU included a guest appearance from Daniela and the Willets (above), a youthful trio who did percussion and dancing, and showed everyone in the room the reason why they are fighting for peace and justice.

After a great time of speeches and entertainment, the time to give the awards came. This was definitely the low point of the evening, due to lack of coordination and preparation. Many of the awardees expected their name to be called, and then to go up and receive an award. Alas, it was not to be. It was done in groups, designated by colors -- a reminder of the Homeland Security Administration's attempts to color-code national security. Order broke down into chaos when one awardee took the mike to sing something out of tune. All the awardees were given certificates off on the side with as little fanfare as possible.

Infoshop was given the award for best activist bookstore.

With the first annual Washington Peace Center Awards Night having such great keynote speakers, and with so many of the awardees truly deserving recognition of their work for peace and justice, this bodes well for the future of this as an annual event. It is sure to be one that the entire activist community looks forward to every year to see who among us will be recognized for their contributions to peace and justice.

Article and photos by (c)2005 shia, all rights reserved. For more information call the Washington Peace Center at 202-234-2000.

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