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Civil War, Occupation, and Resistance: The Case for Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq
Anti-war activists and students crammed into a small fifth floor abandoned office to confront and discuss the recent escalation of troops and funding of Iraq War. Mostly standing, they listened to author Anthony Arnove speak. He is the author of Iraq:The Logic of Withdrawal recently published in paperback why continuing the occupation is a wildly unrealistic and reckless strategy that makes the world a more dangerous place.
His talk was followed by Michael Schwartz, professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In his talk Schwartz says the United States is fomenting the sectarian violence in Iraq. Both authors emphasize the need for citizens and soldiers to organize against the Iraq war, a strategy to deplete the human resources needed to sustain war.
“The underlying trend is clear: each day the occupation continues, life gets worse for most Iraqis. Rather than stemming civil war or sectarian conflict, the occupation is spurring it. Rather than being a source of stability, the occupation is the major source of instability and chaos.” – Anthony Arnove.
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On January 16th, a Fort Lewis military court ruled that Lieutenant Ehren Watada cannot present defense arguments relating to the legality of the Iraq War. The effect of this ruling is that the court martial proceedings scheduled for February 5th will be a mere formality, and Lt. Watada still faces up to six years in prison for his courageous stand against the Iraq War. Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to what many believe a historic illegal war in Iraq. He is a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, a member of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who in June 2006 publicly refused to deploy to Iraq, saying that he believed the war to be illegal and that it would make him party to war crimes. Watada is charged with one count of missing troop movement and two counts of speaking contemptuously of the president. The contempt charges were dropped in November. Meanwhile, a US military prosecutor is seeking testimony from Truthout reporters to prove that Watada engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer, directly related to disparaging statements the Army claims Watada made about the legality of the Iraq War during interviews with Truthout.
Law and Disorder caught up with Carolyn Ho, mother of Lt. Ehren Watada at the Church Center for the United Nations. She spoke out against her son’s upcoming court martial for refusing deployment to Iraq. Lt. Watada is quoted as saying – “As a commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces my legal and moral obligation is to the constitution – not to those who would issue unlawful orders. It is my duty to refuse to fight this illegal war.”
Professor Louie and Fast Eddie deliver another powerful spoken word performance called Be All You Can Be. These Brooklyn natives poets/musicians weave stream of consciousness style prose with conga. They performed live in the studio at WBAI. To order CDs by Professor Louie and Fast Eddie – call Free Brooklyn Now at 718-768-8728