Protester who interrupted McCain’s speech is an Iraq War Veteran
by Mary MacElveen on Sat 06 Sep 2008 01:12 AM EDT By Mary MacElveen
September 6, 2008
Much has been made of the surge strategy in Iraq by the McCain/Palin ticket since John McCain supported it and it should open the door to actually discuss the conduct of this God awful war and those brave soldiers who come home from it and the ones who do not. Putting personalities aside, drama aside, let us at least discuss this war. Yes, we are spending $10 billion a month on it, but what about the true human cost meaning those who have died and those who come home. Some forever broken.
In his acceptance speech before the Republican convention, there was no mention of the veterans who have served over in Iraq by John McCain. As he gave his acceptance speech a protester interrupted that speech and this is what McCain said of it, "My friends, my dear friends ... please, please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static," in which those gathered at the convention shouted back at that protester, “USA” over and over. Let some of them walk a mile in his shoes.
Little did they know or John McCain know that this protester actually served over in Iraq and according to Iraq Veterans Against the War, his name is, Adam Kokesh who is an IVAW board member. He held up a sign stating, "McCain Votes Against Vets." Surge nothing, this patriotic American actually put on the uniform, served his country deserved some respect coming from McCain and those Republicans gathered at the convention. While they may not have know who he was, it was the sign that should have at least clued them in before they belligerently shouted him down.
According to IVAW, “McCain's record on veterans' issues is extremely poor. He received a "D" rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans reports that he voted for legislation benefiting veterans only 20% of the time.” That is one dismal record and the mainstream media should press him on it. Then again, the McCain campaign as well as those in attendance demonized the media by calling them elitists. But, the facts should be brought out none the less.
Another fact not really being talked about as reported by the IVAW, "Despite numerous mailed, faxed, and in-person invitations to meet, McCain’s office refused to send anyone to receive the briefing. When Davey, a retired Army First Sergeant and former St. Paul police officer, attempted to deliver the briefing, he was escorted off the premises." Such arrogance coming from the McCain campaign.
If McCain truly wants to be the Commander in Chief of the armed forces; shouldn’t he at least hear any grievances and concerns coming from these veterans? You would think so. Then again, he has circled the wagons where he will not allow the mainstream media to interview Sarah Palin. Obama, McCain, Biden and others have been fully vetted by the media and so should Palin.
On May 21st, 2008, The Nation reported that Senator Barack Obama slammed McCain for not supporting a GI bill sponsored by Virginia’s senator, Jim Webb and Nebraska’s senator, Chuck Hagel. This bill “would increase the amount of money given to returning vets to cover tuition, books, and a living stipend…”
Also reported by The Nation, "Today, soldiers receive only a fraction of the benefits that they used to, and the college costs covered by the military are usually only enough to cover about 60 percent of a public education, and far less at a private institution."
It was none other than Senator Barack Obama who stood up for our veterans when he said, "He is one of the few Senators (meaning McCain) of either party who oppose this bill because he thinks it's too generous. I couldn't disagree more." So Barack did not wear a flag lapel pin, but he did after all stand up in support of our veterans when it counted most.
According to Veterans for Common Sense, they do list McCain’s dismal record in his non-support of our troops and veterans.
This site reports that "John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans." Yet, yet, he wants to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces?
Below you will read but a few votes McCain voted against.
September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.
May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.
April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.
March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.
In reading a past piece by The Hill dated, May 17th, 2007, you will read, “Sen. McCain has spent considerable time defending the president on Iraq and catering to the Republican base on immigration, but has only managed to show up for four of the last 14 Iraq votes…”
It is no wonder why that protester who interrupted his speech was so angry. I would be too especially if a candidate could become the next president of the United States.
We should expect more from a man who can become the next president, but again, according to The Hill, "McCain’s campaign said the rigorous travel schedule necessary when running for the White House makes it extremely difficult to be voting all the time in Washington."
The McCain/Palin ticket or should we say the McBush/Palin ticket often states that Senator Obama just talks, but when it came to these important votes, he did what was expected of him when one reads, “Barack Obama (D-Ill.) voted on each of the 14 measures.” Voting is an action and it is exactly why his constituents voted him into office in the first place.
This article also cites, "Iraq has arguably become the central issue of McCain’s campaign, as he has been the most outspoken in his defense of the recent troop surge." Well what about McCain's defense and support of our troops when they do need him?
Yes, he was a POW during the Viet Nam War and did come home, but we also must remember that over 58,000 soldiers did not make it home alive from that war. So far over 4,000 did not make it home from this war and those still serving are being stretched to the limit.
I will be writing of the devastation of war during the next few weeks, since McBush brought it up, but I wish to end this one piece with one of the most powerful essays written to date called The Wall by Alfred A. Hambidge, Jr.. When I first read it, no words came to me to adequately describe how it made me feel, but I do think it extremely important for all of my readers to read in its entirety so that McCain aka McBush does not go onto become the next Commander in Chief.
In the meantime, here is but a snippet of this marvelous essay, “You know what really galls me? How those that seem to yell loudest for war have never seen one. They've never seen a buddy disappear from the waist up after a shell hit, then see his legs stand there for a moment before falling over. They never saw a friend all psyched up about going home tomorrow after finishing his tour get hit in the belly with shrapnel, see his guts spill out, then watch him try to gather up his intestines lying in the dirt.” In true support of our troops and veterans, all I ask is that you pass this piece onto everyone you know asking they do the same and then go out and vote.
You may contact the author at this email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Protester who interrupted McCain’s speech is an Iraq War Veteran
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:31 PM
I hope you will enjoy this video from the folks at Jib Jab:
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 7:27 PM
Here are four documented examples of how John McCain and Sarah Palin are lying to the American public and continue to do it shamelessly.
The McCain campaign has said they will NOT allow Sarah Palin to be interviewed by the mainstream media and she will only go on FOX NEWS and talkradio shows like Rush Limbaugh and others.
Welcome to the FOURTH REICH. Move over HITLER. There is a new DICTATOR and his parrot in town.
The new Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun are John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Comment by Bill Corcoran, Editor of CORKSPHERE: url: http://corksphere.blogspot.com
Click on links below for the REAL documented TRUTH about John McCain and Sarah Palin:
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 3:01 PM
Spinning Iraq for a GOP Victory
By Patrick Cockburn, Independent UKPosted on September 3, 2008, Printed on September 6, 2008
Political events in Iraq are seldom what they seem.
The handover by the U.S. military of control of Anbar province, once the heartland of the Sunni rebellion, to Iraqi forces is a case in point.
The U.S. will keep 25,000 American soldiers in Anbar, so the extent to which the Iraqi government will really take over is debatable. But the future of Anbar is a crucial pointer to the fate of Iraq. It is a vast area and one of the few parts of Iraq that is overwhelmingly Sunni.
The Iraqi government is dominated by Shia Islamic parties in alliance with Kurdish nationalists.
The vital question now is whether or not this Shia-dominated government can reassure the Sunni minority that they are not going to be overrun as the U.S. withdraws its forces. The Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is in a very confident mood. In the past four months he feels he has successfully faced down the Shia militiamen of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army by taking back control of Basra, Sadr City and Amarah.
Then he refused to sign a new security accord with the U.S. which President George Bush wanted to see agreed by August 31st.
In the past few weeks he has been confronting his Kurdish allies over the future of the oil city of Kirkuk and the town of Khanaqin.
Maliki may be overplaying his hand but there is no doubt that the Iraqi state is becoming more powerful in Iraq and the Mahdi Army, the Americans and the Kurds less so. The Americans in particular feel that he exaggerates the extent to which his success against the Mahdi Army was because of the new strength of the Iraqi security forces. These troops were doing badly until they received American support.
Click here to read full story: http://www.alternet.org/story/97511/
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 2:22 PM
It remains a shame the mainstream media doesn't CHALLENGE John McCain and Sarah Palin on how they can keep on saying we are "winning the war in Iraq" when incidents like the following are happening every single day in Iraq.
The "surge" was a total joke and anyone who has ever been in the military knows the United States military didn't do anything or you would have been reading about the body count of dead Al Qaeda or insurgents.
The Sunni Awakening and other Iraq tribal leaders ran Al Qaeda and the insurgents out of their provinces while the U.S. military stood GUARD.
McCain and Palin continue to LIE, LIE, LIE to the American public about the "surge" and not a single reporter has the guts to ask them where are all the bodies of dead Al Qaeda and insurgents if this was such a big U.S. military victory.
This is now the only military victory in the history of the world where no dead bodies of the enemy have ever been found.
Comment by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE
Deadly Iraq bombings target market, politician
Saturday car bombing in busy Tal Afar outdoor market kills 6, wounds 50
Bombing follows attack on politician Ahmed Chalabi; he survives but 6 killed
Tal Afar was scene of May crackdown on Sunni insurgents
Violence happening during Islam's holy month of Ramadan
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least six people were killed and 50 wounded in a suicide car bombing Saturday at an outdoor market in northern Iraq, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.
The midday attack in Tal Afar, about 45 miles west of Mosul in Nineveh province, was carried out less than a day after a car bombing in western Baghdad that targeted Shiite politician Ahmed Chalabi.
The car bombing hit the same market in Tal Afar where a car bombing last month killed more than two dozen people and wounded scores, police said.
Iraqi officials said at least six people, including five from Chalabi's entourage, were killed in Friday's attack in Baghdad. Chalabi was not harmed, Iraq's Interior Ministry said.
Nine of Chalabi's guards or drivers were among the 17 wounded, the ministry said. The rest of the casualties were civilians, it said.
Chalabi is a controversial Iraqi politician best known outside the country for providing false intelligence to the U.S. government on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The intelligence was cited, in part, as the justification for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
A deputy prime minister for a time after the invasion, Chalabi is now head of a committee overseeing the activities of former members of deposed President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.
Also on Friday, Defense Ministry adviser Abdul Amir Hassan was driving near his home in east Baghdad when he was shot to death by attackers using guns equipped with silencers.
The violence comes as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan, a time when markets are busier than usual with people shopping for food and other items in preparation for the breaking of the daily fast at dusk.
Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/09/06/iraq.main/index.html
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:43 PM
President Bush is planning on cutting 8,000 troops from Iraq and the move is considered to be politically motivated as a way to help the McCain/Palin ticket in November.
Source: Bush considering 8,000 troop cuts in Iraq
NEW: President Bush looking at top commander's proposal for troop reduction
Commanders agree more troops needed in Afghanistan to counter growing Taliban
U.S. military leaders say no significant troop withdrawals before early 2009
A joint Iraqi-U.S. committee would determine duration and number of forces needed
From Barbara Starr, Jamie McIntyre and Brianna Keilar CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top U.S. general in Iraq is recommending nearly 8,000 troop cuts in Iraq because of the improving situation there, a source close to the process has told CNN.
President Bush is considering Gen. David Petraeus' recommendation, which the official said is for a reduction of "well over 7,500 personnel," with the number including combat and support troops.
Some units would leave Iraq over the next five months as they complete their missions. But the first possible significant reduction -- an army brigade combat team -- would leave without replacement early next year, said the official, and that would free a brigade to be rotated to Afghanistan instead of Iraq.
Petraeus gave his recommendation to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who have passed it and other recommendations along to the president.
A reduction in U.S. troops in Iraq would free up personnel for deployment to Afghanistan, a move urged by many commanders. The Taliban has stepped up its fight in that country, posing a challenge for the 33,000 U.S. troops deployed there.
The White House will not comment on the details of the Iraq recommendations. Spokeswoman Dana Perino said only that Bush "has received the assessment and recommendation from the Pentagon and he is considering his options."
The president is expected to make an announcement on troop levels next week, the same time Gates and Mullen are to testify before the House Armed Services Committee about Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Iraq and the United States are working to seal a security agreement that would set down a framework to withdraw troops.
In deciding on troop cuts, officials must weigh the need for sufficient U.S. military presence to help Iraq build its army and the significant sentiment there for U.S. and coalition troops to withdraw swiftly.
U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have been looking at a proposal calling for a complete U.S. military withdrawal by the end of 2011, and a deadline of June 30, 2009, to end the presence of U.S. troops in cities and towns.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed that Gates and Mullen made their recommendations to Bush on Wednesday, but gave no details.
"I can tell you that all these leaders are fundamentally in agreement on how we should proceed in Iraq," he said of Gates, Mullen, Petraeus, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and acting Central Command chief Gen. Martin Dempsey.
"Of course, now it is up to the commander-in-chief to decide the way ahead," Morrell said.
Officials said senior military leaders agree that the soonest troop levels could be significantly reduced would be early in 2009, when a 3,500-strong brigade from the 10th Mountain Division is scheduled to deploy to Iraq to replace a brigade leaving in mid-January.
Pentagon officials say that would free another brigade combat team to arrive in Afghanistan in mid-February.
The Army has identified units that could be available for Afghanistan, but it would take two to three months from the time the decision is made to assemble all the weaponry and equipment they need and ship them and the troops to Afghanistan, two Army officials told CNN.
The officials said the troops would not need extensive additional training to switch from Iraq to Afghanistan, especially those earmarked to train Afghan forces.
The increase in fighting in Afghanistan contrasts with the dramatic drop in violence across Iraq, where U.S. military is confident that it will continue to make strides.
The military transferred security control to Iraqis this week in the country's Anbar province, a Sunni Arab region once dominated by insurgents and now a bastion of the Awakening Councils, or Sons of Iraq, U.S.-backed groups that help with some security duties.
The military said it plans to transfer management of the Awakening Councils to the Iraqi government next month.
"The government of Iraq and coalition forces have agreed in principle to transfer all 100,000 Sons of Iraq," Maj. John Hall told CNN. "The transfer will start with the Baghdad province, with the other provinces following at a later date."
Under the security agreement still being negotiated, the Iraqi government could ask Americans to extend the tentative deadlines if it sees the necessity of doing so. A joint Iraqi-U.S. committee would then help define the duration and number of forces that would be needed and regularly assess the security situation on the ground.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 9:33 AM