Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Vietnam

First published as a radio commentary in 2005. The number of dead American soldiers is now above 3,600. Some say there are over 700,000 Iraqis dead from the Iraq war and occupation.

Hi, this is Jody Paulson from Moscow, ID with what they don't tell you.

If you woke up to the Washington Post on Aug 5, 1964, you would have read in big bold letters, "American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression." We now know there was no second attack, just as we now know there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

At the end of 1964, three years after the war had officially begun on Dec 11, 1961, 216 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam. At the end of 1965, that number rose to 1,926. Today in Washington DC there's a wall with over fifty eight thousand names on it. Perhaps there's a few names you know. A generation later, as of Feb 7th '05, almost 2 years into the current war, 1,448 American soldiers have been shipped out Bagdad in a box.

In the March of 1968, after weeks of their ranks being culled by maiming and death, Charlie Company entered the village of My Lai and massacred over 300 unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Recently a doctor told Dahr Jamail, one of the only unembedded American reporters in Iraq, that he had videotaped the testimony of a 16 year old girl who was trapped in her home in Fallujah for three days with the decaying bodies of her family members. "When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything." The girl and her brother hid behind a refrigerator as "they beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head," causing her brother to fly at them in a rage. He was shot dead.

The doctor's first hand assessment of the besieged city is "All I can say is that Fallujah is like it was struck by a tsunami. There weren't many families in there after the siege, but they had absolutely nothing. The suffering was beyond what you can imagine. When the Americans finally let us in people were fighting just for a blanket."

We are engaged in a war we cannot win. George Santayana once wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." With a looming economic disaster and the whole world against us, can this nation really survive another Vietnam?

I'm Jody Paulson, and I just thought you should know.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sgt. Kevin Benderman

First published as a radio commentary http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=11437 on 2-28-05.

Hi, this is Jody Paulson from Moscow, ID with what they don't tell you.

There are two kinds of bravery: The bravery of the wise and the bravery of the fool.

The bravery of the fool comes fairly cheap. All you really have to do is be thoughtless -- thoughtless of the risks you are taking, thoughtless of the consequences that might ensue from your action. A high-school game of chicken on a stretch of road does indeed require some form of bravery, but it's nothing that can't be bought with a few sixpacks of beer.

Then there's the bravery of the wise. This kind of bravery requires you to be thoughtful, not thoughtless. You know what the consequences are, you've weighed them, and you've decided to take action anyway. This is the bravery of those willing to fight for what they believe in. Or in the case of Sgt Kevin Benderman, refuse to fight for what they don't believe in. If the rest of America had half this man's integrity, maybe this really would be the "land of the free and home of the brave," instead of what it really is, "land of the wage slave and home of the lemming."

Sgt. Benderman spent 10 years in the Army and recently, 8 months in Iraq. While he was there he witnessed dogs feeding off mass graves. When his convoy passed a girl no older than 10 clutching a burn-blackened arm, her mother pleading for help, their executive officer refused due to limited medical supplies. Benderman sent a letter to his wife referencing many scholars' belief that Iraq was home to the biblical Garden of Eden. He wrote, "Here I am in the Garden of Eden, and what am I doing here with a gun?" Benderman became troubled with the contradictions he saw in his own culture. "Why do we tell our children to not solve their differences with violence, then turn around and commit the ultimate in violence against people in another country who have nothing to do with the political attitudes of their leaders?"

When Benderman's unit returned to the United States, he sought discharge as a conscientious objector. His unit was to redeploy under stop-loss policy a month later, and commanders ordered Benderman to go with them. Here's what was going through his mind: "As I went through the process which led to my decision to refuse deployment to Iraq for the second time, I was torn between thoughts of abandoning the soldiers that I serve with, or following my conscience, which tells me: war is the ultimate in destruction and waste of humanity."

Of course, Benderman did not show up for his flight to Baghdad, knowing full well what the consequences might be. Last Friday it was announced that Benderman will be tried by a general court-martial, the most serious form of court-martial, on charges of desertion and missing movement. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison, reduction in rank to private and a dishonorable discharge. An officer called him a coward. His battalion chaplain shamed him in an e-mail from Kuwait. But I think it's a very brave, rare man who can stand by his convictions, as evidenced by these words from Sgt. Benderman: "I cannot tell anyone else how to live his or her life, but I have determined how I want to live mine -- by not participating in war any longer, as I feel that it is stupid and against everything that is good about our world."

I'm Jody Paulson, and I just thought you should know.

Don't Unconsciously React: Consciously Respond

Something I learned the other day.

I've always been an impulsive person. I'm the type to just pick up and move to a new town I've never been before when things aren't going my way. Some people might think this takes a lot of daring, but really it's just another form of avoidance. Most people avoid issues by refusing to look at them. I tend to avoid issues by impulsively reacting to them, thus forcing a new but most likely worse situation to deal with.

I've always been struck by the contradiction of two time-worn proverbs: "Look before you leap," and "He who hesitates is lost." We need to find a balance there, and it finally crystalized for me when I read this essay from Paul Levy, which basicaclly says we have to consciously respond, instead of unconsciously react.

Homeland Insecurity

I guess I already knew this, because I said as much in the first few lines of my "Sergeant Benderman" http://jpaulson.blogspot.com/2007/05/sgt-kevin-benderman.html ].

After 9-11 happened, I was one of the first people to take an intellectually honest assessment of the situation and conclude, "My God! The official story can't possibly be true! But ... the press seems to be willfulling ignoring the questions that cry out to be answered (like ... why did a 50-storey building fall down in its own footprint in 6.5 seconds without being hit by a plane? [ http://wtc7.net ])."

So I did what I imagine most people would think to be a brave response -- I did almost everything I could think of to get those questions out there. And I strongly believe I got slapped down for it [ http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/09/296845.shtml ].

But a lot of my problems were caused by myself, because I consequently became so paranoid and distrustful that I sabatoged myself by being constantly on edge: "Another 9-11 is coming right around the corner!" I'd think, and unwittingly contributed to a lot of the fearmongering on the Internet by repeating every story that hinted at such a disaster.

Meanwhile, most of the general population remains in total ignorance as to what really happened that day. The fact of the matter is, most of our troops still think Iraq had something to do with 9-11.

So anyway, I'd just like to encourage everyone to read Paul Levy's essay, and remember the fact that the so-called "Powers that Be" operate like vampires: They feed off of fear and can't stand the light. We need to balance shedding light on their misdeeds, being realistic about their intentions; but we can't allow fear of the future to drive us to ill-considered options. Again, we have to consciously respond, instead of unconsciously react.

That having been said, it's pretty clear after the Democrats cravenly approved the war spending bill that something really nefarious has a hold over our entire government. The threat of Martial Law is very real. We have to do something. But whatever we do, we have to do it intelligently, and not go off half-######. Suggestions, anyone?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Return of the Reich

When we see history repeating itself, we can start making different choices.

Isn't it obvious that the Bush administration is set to attack Iran on some sort of bogus, false-flag operation on the order of the burning of the Reichstag, 9-11, and the burning of ancient Rome?

Nine US Warships Enter Gulf in Show of Force http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/052307K.shtml

Bush Anoints Himself as the Ensurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/052107T.shtml

BTW, am I nuts or has anyone else noticed the uncanny similarity between:
Giulliani and Mussolini
Chertoff and Lenin
Putin and Goebbels
Rush Limbaugh and Goering
Jeb Bush and Rudolf Hess
John Bolton and Gen. George Custer
Dick Cheney and Aarron Burr
George W. Bush and Nero

At any rate, why do we let the same types of guys keep ruining the world again and again and again? It's time for the people to do something about this. It all starts with us.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Impeach Dick Cheney

I've been going around San Francisco carrying a small sign that says: "Impeach Dick Cheney"

I must say I'm pleasantly surprised at the positive response I get from it -- more than I get for an anti-war sign at a peace vigil, for example, or even my "Denfend Your Rights" sign. I guess it makes sense. Cheney only has a 9% approval rating, while almost 30% of Americans still support this disaster of a war.

Cheney would be easy to impeach -- there are so many crimes he's connected to, it'd be hard to know where to start investigating. I think it's a great idea Rep. Kucinich had introducing legislation to impeach him first. Bush may try to install a vice-president viable to run for president in '08, but if we can trust Congress at all with being strategic, they can gum up the works because Section 2 of the 25th amendment says: "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress." http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/a_amendment25.htm That means both the House and Senate have to confirm his pick. All they have to do is stonewall while they take their time pursuing investigations and impeachment charges against Bush and the rest of his war-criminal appointees.

Don't forget, when someone has been impeached, they can't be pardoned. At least that's how I understand it. By the time all of Cheney's crimes have been thoroughly looked into, I'm sure the public won't be content to stop there! Here's Norman Mineta testifying about Cheney's behavior on 9-11-01: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-649993991751648213 (about 15 minutes into it)

The problem we run into, of course, is that certain things are *so* horrible and implicate *so* many high-level people, nobody wants to touch them with a 10-foot pole. But what's the alternative at this point? Really, where do we want to see this end? With a decimated country? WWIII? Millions, perhaps billions dead?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Checking in ...

This looks like a pretty good post, haven't had the chance to read through the whole thing ...
"A Nation in Silent Anger"

Some alarming news ...
"Bush changes plan for emergency shadow government"
"President Bush yesterday issued a national security directive that would, in the event of a catastrophic attack on the federal government, assign the responsibility of running a shadow government to the White House, not the Department of Homeland Security, according to a Washington post report."

I remember they did a lot of weird things like this right before Sept. 11 '01 (like what Jeb Bush did with Florida on Sept. 7th http://www.rense.com/general14/jebdeclared.htm ). Europe is really heating up right now -- the Germans are getting ready for a big G8 protest http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/05/359202.shtml and the French are still rioting over what I consider to be a disasterous Sarko victory. There were major riots in Turkey and Switzerland on May Day, as well. And with 3 aircraft carrier groups in the Persian Gulf, an increase of the "surge" by 35,000 troops ... it's hard *not* to see a disaster in the works ... yet I've been living on pins and needles for the past 5 1/2 years waiting for the other shoe to drop. It doesn't do any good to worry. You just have to keep on moving, remaining vigilant but not letting it trip you up ...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

More old essays

Entertainment Industry Complicity?
Why mass entertainment requires critical scrutiny

What you should know about America's economy
We're in for a wild ride.

Does anyone else feel overwhelmed?
Things are coming down so fast these days it's hard to keep up. Now's the time to start paying close attention to everything that's going on and not get distracted. What's really going on here?

More to come ...

Some recent thoughts ...

Election fraud has been on my mind lately as I take in the results from France's Sarkozy/Royal election. Traditionally, when you have a very high turnout it means the "common people" are very motivated to get out and vote. That usually foretells a strong leftist shift in the government. Yet 85% of the French voted this last election, and "apparently" they decided by a comfortable margin to do away with their 35 hour work week and elect "Thatcher with trousers" who will do his best to privatize all the French people's great social programs. Sorry if I don't buy this. Apparently Wayne Madsen of http://waynemadsenreport.com doesn't either.

Most of Gonzales-gate ties directly with the issue of election fraud, and intimidating the hell out of the common people who vote by demanding out-of-proportion prosecution and sentencing of "voter fraud." Sure, throw grandma in prison for voting at the wrong precinct or signing her daughter's absentee ballot, but turn a blind eye towards *massive* purging of legal (demographically Democratic) voters from the rolls, caging, allegations of vote-switching, etc. I'd like to do a story about this, but again, I run up against the barrier that I have little time on the computer. I guess Mark Crispin Miller at http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/ has done a lot of writing on this type of thing.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Links to some of my essays

I was going to put all my old essays up on this blog, but now I realize it would take up too much precious Internet time to do this (I mostly rely on the library to get access these days). Besides, most are already being hosted on Portland Indymedia. So here are some links for you:

We're at a turning point in history
I posit that the Western World has evolved from a right-brained, holistic/directly-connected worldview to a left-brained, linear/abstract worldview over the last few millennia, and now we're spiraling back again.

Directed energy harassment -- a personal account
My story as an activist being targeted by an ongoing campaign of harassment

The Secret
An essay about love, truth and world events

The FBI’s other deputy director … who talked
Mark Felt vs. John O'Neill

Oops, I'm about to run out of time. More links soon ...