Sunday, December 31, 2006
Ties to Peace
A temporary war memorial consisting of approximately 3,000 ties was draped over the French sycamores in San Francisco's Civic Center on Saturday the 30th, and it will remain for the duration of the New Year's weekend.
There were a number of veterans' groups involved in the small event...
...but the main impetus seemed to be from American Legion Post 448...
...which is a local gay group named after Alexander Hamilton (click here for their website).
At 4PM somebody started reading the names of the 3,000 soldiers who have been killed in Iraq, accompanied by a small gong after a certain number of names were read.
It was heartening to see that the organizers acknowledged not only the American soldiers lost, but the beleaguered civilian populations of Afghanistan and Iraq, which the United States have been murdering for the last five years.
In a San Luis Obispo newspaper article a couple of days ago entitled "The Toll In Iraq," they listed 2,992 American soldiers dead, 397 coalition soldiers dead, and an ureliable number of thousands of United States soldiers wounded. Nowhere was the loss of at least half a million Iraqi lives even mentioned.
The best and bravest Western reporter in Iraq from day one has been Patrick Cockburn, writing mostly for The Independent in England, and often reprinted on his brother Alexander's Counterpunch website. He just wrote a clear-eyed obituary of Saddam Hussein and the future of Iraq which is highly recommended even though it's an honestly bleak picture (click here).
If the world were fair, George Bush (both of them), Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would all be swinging at the end of the same noose as Saddam Hussein, since they've all been fellow gangsters responsible for the premature deaths of millions, but we don't live in a world that is fair.
Instead, in this country we are currently subjected to a televised state funeral fit for a Caesar, except that it is for the mendacious mediocrity that was Gerald Ford. Not only did he empower Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush Senior in the first place, but the man started his career as a cover-up artist on the Warren Commission. On my friend Willie's blog, he calls Ford "a good soldier in the army of evil" (click here for the post).
Also reporting on this event and a later demonstration is Jan over at the happening-here blog (click here), and Chris Floyd at Empire Burlesque (click here) has an interesting discussion of Ford's role in the slaughter of 200,000 people in East Timor along with a couple of heady rants about Saddam Hussein's gangland execution and its coverage in New York's version of Pravda.