Tag Archives: Mainstream Media

Meet the Protester who ‘May Have Received a Minor Injury’ at the Hofstra Debate

Originally posted at OpEdNews.com
Wednesday night Americans waited for presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, to take the stage at Hofstra University for the final debate before the elections. Outside the debate “15 protesters” were arrested. Oh, and “one person may have received a minor injury.” That according to the Associated Press.

Iraq War Vet Nick Morgan (photo by Bill Perry)

This is Nick’s fractured face after being trampled by mounted police at Wednesday’s peaceful protest.

After receiving this picture from friend, Bill Perry, a Vietnam vet and service officer who gives his time helping veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, I did a quick news search to find out more.

Democracy Now! was on it as were several Indy and alternative news sites including OpEdNews. Associated Press put out a brief release with the “one person may have received a minor injury” line, but then again their job is to make other news orgs aware of a story and in turn they can do the follow-up. Apparently, it was of little interest to most mainstream media that 10 of the 15 arrested were veterans most of whom served at least one tour in Iraq. Everyone of them repeated the “may have received a minor injury” statement making no effort to report the facts.

There were some media outlets that reported the arrests of protesters  at the debate, but few were inclined to mention that they were veterans. At most, they said the protesters “identified themselves as Iraq war veterans.” A rather dismissive remark and certainly not a hard thing for a veteran journalist to confirm.

How might the public have responded if the headlines read “10 Iraq Veterans Arrested Outside Obama – McCain Debate.” With great interest, I am sure. What if those “journalists” explained why these veterans were protesting? If they asked they might have received a response like this:

“Neither of the candidates has shown real support for service members and veterans. We came here to try and have serious questions answered, questions that we as veterans of the Iraq war have a right to ask, but instead we were arrested. We will continue to ask these questions no matter who is elected. We believe that the time has come to end this war and bring our troops home, and we will be pushing for that no matter what happens in this election.” said Jason Lemieux, a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps who served three tours in Iraq, and member of IVAW.

What if the American people learned from the mainstream media that there is a growing movement of Iraq veterans who are angry about the poor services they are receiving after risking life and limb in an illegal war?

What if this morning Americans pulled up to that kitchen table that the candidates love to talk about and unfolded their paper to find this image on the front page?


Hempstead or Baghdad? (photo by Bill Perry)

This is Nick being comforted by a buddy after literally having his face broken because he wants the world and the candidates to know the Iraq war needs to end now. Because he wants them to know that veterans are not receiving the necessary care that they deserve and were promised. Because he wants to know what the candidates are going to do about it.

I have faith in the American people. I believe that a lot of those people sitting at their kitchen table would have reached for the phone to ask their members of Congress why they were looking at an image of a wounded soldier bleeding on a sidewalk in Hempstead, New York in a picture that looks like it came from the streets of Baghdad, Iraq.

The politicians and pundits love to praise our veterans for protecting our way of life and ensuring our liberties. This week Nick and his fellow Iraq veterans sought to exercise those rights. They paid the price. As usual, the mainstream media looked the other way.

Ten veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant), Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant), James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years) and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007).

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded in July of 2004 to allow servicemen and women from all branches of the military a chance to come together and speak out against an illegal, unjust and unwinnable occupation. IVAW currently has over 1,300 members in 49 states, Canada and on military bases in the United States and overseas. To learn more about IVAW you can visit their website at http://ivaw.org/.

 

 

Advertisements

NJ Congressman: Bush Admin Will ‘Gulf of Tonkinize’ Iran

originally published at OpEdNews.com

Before an audience of constituents, activists and veterans, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) issued a strong warning at a South Jersey Iraq War Forum in June:

 

There is a real and consistent concern that the government of Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons. Now there has been saber rattling about this. There’s going to be an attempt, I believe, to Gulf of Tonkinize this issue before the November election and I think you can anticipate all kinds of Naval adventures in the Persian Gulf that will try to be used as a pretext for an attack on Iran. I think that that will be the strategy in the November election. [video at 6 min]

Congressman Andrews made a similar charge two weeks prior while engaged in a bitter primary campaign against incumbent and fellow Democrat, Senator Frank Lautenberg.

In May, Max Pizarro of the Politickr quoted Rep. Andrews, “Every couple of weeks the administration tries to blow out of proportion a naval incident. If you look at their history – the way they beat up Max Cleland in 2002, and their use of the Bin Laden tape against Kerry in 2004 – I expect them to do something like that again, and I wouldn’t doubt their attempts to Gulf of Tonkinize Iran in an election year.”

Pizarro either unconcerned or unfamiliar with what it would mean to “Gulf of Tonkinize” Iran zeroed in on Andrews claim that the 84-year-old Lautenberg could not “fight back against this Republican attack machine.” Other media outlets ignored the statement altogether.

What makes the June 13 remarks any different? Ten days earlier, Rep. Andrews lost decidedly to the senior statesman from North Jersey. The race for the U.S. Senate was no longer a factor. In addition, Rep. Andrews who held the House seat since 1990 announced in April that he would not seek reelection in November if he lost to Sen. Lautenberg.

Empty Rhetoric or Fair Warning?

The idea that the Bush administration would deliberately provoke a military conflict with Iran was not a new concept particularly among the mostly antiwar audience. Strong words, however, from a congressman tapped by President Bush to coauthor the House version of the Iraq Resolution in 2002.

Additionally, Rep. Andrews who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, co-founded the Iran Working Group and is on the board of advisors of the Israel Project is known to take a hard line when it comes to Iran. Regarding a nuclear Iran, he is clear: “A nuclear Iran would present the world with a danger never before realized.” In a 2006 address on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Rep. Andrews foreshadowed a “nuclear 9/11 in Lower Manhattan” if Iran were allowed to continue enriching uranium.

By February 2007, as Andrews’ faith in the administration’s handling of the Iraq War was waning, he began to express concern over President Bush’s approach to Iran. Andrews took to the House floor and argued that the House needed to affirm its constitutional prerogative and sole authority to declare war.

I am troubled by recent signs that I have seen from our administration with respect to the issue of Iran. Placement of naval assets in that area of the world is justified as a defensive measure, but I worry that it may be a provocative measure. The words of our President are words which can be taken, and I hope they are meant in the spirit of warning and cooperation, but they could also be taken in the spirit of provocation, and I hope and pray that they are not meant in that regard.

On May 16, 2007, Rep. Andrews’ amendment to the Defense Authorization Act for 2008 that would prevent authorized funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from being used to plan a contingency operation in Iran was narrowly defeated. Among supporters was Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Minutes later, the House voted on Rep. DeFazio’s amendment. It would clarify that no previously enacted law authorized military action against Iran. It prohibited funding authorized by the bill from being used to take military action against Iran without authorization from Congress unless there was a national emergency created by an attack by Iran. Andrews inexplicably voted against it.

The following month Rep. Andrews joined Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in introducing the Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act of 2007. This bipartisan legislation would extend sanctions to entities that provide refined petroleum to Iran.

Now Congressman Andrews, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Iran Working Group, predicts that in order to win an election for the Republicans, the administration will create a false flag, a casus belli, in order to attack Iran. Regardless of the reason, would the Bush administration take such sinister action? Journalist, Seymour Hersh, laid out such a case in his July article in the New Yorker, Preparing the Battlefield.

Were Rep. Andrews’ remarks partisan rhetoric or sincere warning? If it is the former, we may have stumbled upon a new low in partisan politics. If the latter, the question should be what is he going to do about it.

Caution and Reminders

Upon his return from Israel this summer, Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen warned of opening up a “third front” in Iran. He added, “Just about every move in that part of the world is a high risk move.”

Furthermore, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of the NIA and Chair of the NIC reaffirmed in a keynote address two weeks ago what was stated in the November NIE on Iran that “work on the weaponization portion of the program was suspended.”

Congressional Inaction and Reaction

If Rep. Andrews stands by his ‘Gulf of Tonkinize’ claim then he should be taking the proper steps to prevent what could be a catastrophic event. Unfortunately, the staffers in Andrews’ DC office are adept at reciting “we can’t speak for the congressman.” Numerous attempts at clarification have been ignored.

Meanwhile, a controversial resolution on Iran, H. Con. Res. 362, continues to gain support. Despite sponsorship withdrawal by five House members (Reps. Danny Davis, Steve Cohen, Thomas Allen, Wm. Lacy Clay and John Lewis), there are presently 271 cosponsors. Three other cosponsors (Reps. Robert Wexler, Barney Frank, and Jackie Speier), have called for a change in specific language.

 

This non binding resolution, demands that the President prohibit the export of refined petroleum products to Iran and impose stringent inspections on persons and transport entering and departing Iran. In addition, it prohibits all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating a suspension of Iran’s nuclear program from international movement.

related bill introduced by Senator Evan Bayh (R-IN) now with 50 cosponsors has been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Contained in both resolutions are whereas clauses that are of questionable validity.

 

Should President Bush choose to rise to the occasion and act on the recommendations, a perfect storm for Mr. Andrews’ gloomy prediction may soon roll into the Persian Gulf.

Dissing the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran

Among the Key Judgments of the Nov. 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran is the statement “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

Before the NIE release President Bush, ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran, invoked references such as “World War III.” Never one to let 16 U.S. intelligence agencies get in his way, the president used the findings to boost his claim that Iran is a “threat to peace” adding “My opinion hasn’t changed.”

Soon, the media and many members of Congress fell in line creating an opening for those hell-bent on opening up that third front.

Two weeks ago, John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN spoke to Pepe Escobar of the Real News. Regarding the November NIE, Bolton said, “Look, the NIE has been effectively repudiated by the intelligence community. It’s as dramatic a reversal as I’ve ever seen. I don’t think there’s any doubt in most people’s minds that Iran continues to pursue a nuclear-weapons capability, and I fear that they have achieved all of the scientific and technical knowledge that they need to have a deliverable nuclear weapon. So we’re at a very critical point in dealing with Iran, and our options are quite limited.”

Tell that to Dr. Fingar, Mr. Bolton.

 

Perverse Legislation

Perversion of the NIE has also made its way into congressional legislation. One “whereas” clause within H. Con. Res. 362 states, “Whereas the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate reported that Iran was secretly working on the design and manufacture of a nuclear warhead until at least 2003, but that Iran could have enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon as soon as late 2009.”

The first part of the clause is a far cry from the original that states “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

Part two states “Iran could have enough HEU for a nuclear weapon as soon as late 2009.” While the NIE judged with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of this is late 2009, it continued “but that this is very unlikely.”

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern who, during his 27-year tenure with the CIA, chaired National Intelligence Estimates commented “The resolution conveniently drops off the clause, but that this is very unlikely.” He added, “That is so transparent and disingenuous that it is not worthy of legislators.”

Recent news suggests the administration may not need to risk a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. Israel Today reported over the weekend, “In an apparent about-face, the Bush Administration announced on Friday that it has decided to approve the sale of 1,000 advanced bunker-buster bombs to Israel.”

If Israel uses these weapons against Iran it will come as no surprise if in the aftermath, the U.S. rushes to the aid of Israel. After all, Bush declared in an address to the Knesset in May that “America is proud to be Israel’s closest ally and best friend in the world.”

What should be done now?

Ray McGovern offered that “Mullen should formally and publicly request a Memorandum to Holders of the November 2007 NIE on Iran inquiring into what the evidence collected since mid-07 might tell us of any changes. He could do that and he should.”

The function of an MTH explained McGovern “would be to update the most serious issues covered in the original NIE dated Nov. 07.  A Memo to Holders could be done and coordinated among the 16 intelligence agencies in a month or two.”

At least one member of Congress agrees with the need for an MTH. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered an amendment to the 2009 National Intelligence Act that calls for a Memorandum to Holders of the NIE on Iran. The Bush administration has already threatened a veto.

McGovern responded, “It was a laudable effort on his part to try to make it law that there be an MTH so McConnell would be forced (theoretically, at least) to do one. But, it speaks volumes that a member of Reyes’ committee thinks it necessary to do, via eminently veto-able legislation, what Reyes could do by just picking up the phone. HPSCI does, after all, control the CIA budget and other agencies’ money as well.”

Yes. Congress has the power to request an update – a Memorandum to Holders – of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.

With a surge in rhetoric, a U.S. sale of bunker-busting bombs to Israel, a media that hasn’t learned its lesson, charges that the administration will “Gulf of Tonkinize” Iran, and more members of Congress including Presidential candidates conveniently forgetting or dismissing the findings of the NIE on Iran, ordering a Memorandum to Holders is the responsible thing to do. Anything less would be gross misfeasance.

For five months, Mr. Andrews emphatically stated he would not seek reelection to the House if he lost the Senate primary. Last week, he threw his hat back in the ring replacing wife, Camille, on the ballot.

Mr. Andrews, now that you’re back in the game, action is what is needed. Call for a Memorandum to Holders of the 2007 NIE on Iran and invite your colleagues on both sides to join you. Set the record straight before President Bush taps you on the shoulder once again.

 

Congressman Rob Andrews: Phone 202-225-6501 Fax 202-225-6583

 

 

 

Winter Soldier: Can the Mainstream Media Handle the Truth?

Media Misteps

The track record of the mainstream media’s efforts to unearth and report the truth about the war in Iraq is shoddy at best. When one considers that this war has been a big money maker for the corporate owned media and its sponsors, the integrity of the reporting – or lack thereof – becomes suspect. Whether the failure to engage in authentic investigative journalism is a result of incompetence or of manipulation, there is little doubt that it contributed to the nightmare that is the Iraq war.

Recently, the Center for Public Integrity exposed 935 false statements made by the Bush administration between October 2001 and August 2003, regarding the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Had any major news outlet in the United States pressed for the truth and exposed just a fraction of those lies, we may very well not be in Iraq today.

Instead of asking leaders the hard questions, the talking heads and pundits engaged in nightly cheerleading to the rhythm of a steady drumbeat with slick graphics, Pentagon-approved experts and mind numbing flag waving.

Five Years Later

Today, we turn on the tube to find those same faces salivating over discussions about whether a presidential candidate’s voice is too shrill, whether one has enough substance or if another is conservative enough for his own good. They do occasionally talk about each candidate’s campaign-issued platform on Iraq, but what continues to be overlooked are the facts on the ground. What is not evidenced is a sincere level of obligation to the men and women whom they cheered on as they marched off to war, or to the country that has been obliterated by five years of a bloody occupation.

Next week, the media will have an opportunity to chart a course of redemption. From March 13-16, veterans will gather in the Washington, D.C. area for the chance to speak out and share their experiences about what is happening on a daily basis on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War  will provide an outlet for veterans to speak out and for the American people to gain a better understanding of the human cost of this war.

The title, Winter Soldier, arises from the writings of Thomas Paine who in 1776, declared “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Stepping Up

In 1971, a group of veterans exposed the criminal nature of the Vietnam War in an event called Winter Soldier. Following in their footsteps, today’s Winter Soldiers will bare their souls for the sake of their country. A FAQ sheet provided by IVAW states, “We are fighting for the soul of our country. We will demonstrate our patriotism by speaking out with honor and integrity instead of blindly following failed policy.” Kelly Dougherty, executive director of IVAW and a former sergeant who served as a military police officer in Iraq explains, “We’ve heard from the politicians, we’ve heard from the generals, we’ve heard from the media – now it’s our turn.” “It’s not going to be easy to hear what we have to say. It’s not going to be easy for us to tell it. But we believe that the only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name.”


IVAWs Kelly Dougherty (Photo: Cheryl Biren-Wright)

Liam Madden, an Iraq war veteran and cofounder of Appeal for Redress  serves on the Board of Directors of IVAW. In an article published by AlterNet, Madden writes, “Thanks to our nation’s leadership, history will come to know this as an era of unabashed torture and war, led by the United States and its amorphous War on Terror.”

Regarding Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, he explains “We understand that truth, honesty and integrity are essential components to a functioning democracy. That is why American citizens must have informed opinions and take action in keeping with their principles – millions of lives depend on it.”

Madden makes clear that this is not about pointing fingers at his brothers and sisters in uniform. “Soldiers and Marines are not to blame for the suffering of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan; these veterans’ stories will indicate that responsibility belongs to those in the seat of power. Winter Soldier will prove that the problem goes much deeper than the atrocities of Abu Ghraib or the massacre in Haditha.”

The IVAW website backs that sentiment stating “Contrary to the rhetoric of political and military leaders, wrongdoings in Iraq and Afghanistan are not isolated incidents perpetrated by ‘bad apples.’ Throughout the military, from the highest levels of power, servicemen and women are being ordered to do things that violate their consciences and the rules of war. We repeatedly see lower enlisted soldiers getting punished for bad policy. Winter Soldier will place the blame of atrocious U.S. war policy where it belongs: on our political leaders.”

Four Days in March

Hundreds of veterans plan to travel to Washington, D.C. for this historic event which will feature live testimony including supporting video and photographic documentation. In order to ensure legitimacy of the testimony, a verification team made up of 20-members is gathering and vetting all testimony in advance. Background checks, interviews, questionnaires and incident reports are required. Every veteran participating must have his or her DD-214 which is issued to military members upon separation from active service. The process doesn’t end there. After collecting testimony, each story is thoroughly researched including interviews with members of the participant’s unit. Anyone fabricating their story or posing as a veteran will be handed over to the authorities.

In addition to individual testimonies, panel discussions designed to focus on the human impact of the war as well as the breakdown of the military have also been planned. Among these panels are The Crisis in Veterans’ Healthcare; Corporate Pillaging and Military Contractors; Rules of Engagement; Divide to Conquer: Gender and Sexuality in the Military; Racism and War: The Dehumanization of the Enemy; Civilian Testimony: The Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the Cost of the War at Home.

Coverage to Date

A look at the press coverage to date on IVAWs media page, finds reports primarily from local media as well as alternative news sources such as Common DreamsAlterNet and truthout. An insightful and comprehensive article from a well-known news source was published this week. The article entitled, Patriot Missiles: Iraq Veterans Against the War came not from the New York Times or the Washington Post, but from the U K’s Sunday Times. While the U.S. mainstream media has remained largely silent about next week’s event, the 1971 Winter Soldier did receive attention during the 2004 presidential elections. Media types like Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough delved into presidential candidate John Kerry’s participation in the Winter Soldier investigations and the controversy surrounding it.

Their apparent disinterest now suggests that there never was any real concern by the media about the effects of the Winter Soldier investigation on fellow soldiers, but that instead the discussion was driven by the intoxicating effects of campaign vitriol.

Lest anyone think that they’re not talking about it now simply because it’s not yet taken place, just look back at the media build up and anticipation of the testimony by General Petraeus last September.

Hilton v. Lugar

In the world of 24-hour news coverage, there certainly is time to highlight, even discuss in depth, many of the oft-ignored issues that will be presented next week. Rather, the public is regularly inundated with sugar coated stories and nauseating celebrity gossip by purported news programs. Sometimes, though not often, the frustration over these nonsense stories that steal air time from hard news spills over unexpectedly. And that, my friends, is a real treat.

Enter Mika Brzezinski, cohost of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Joe Scarborough. Last June at the top of the hour, she was handed a story about socialiate Paris Hilton’s release from jail. Brzezinski did the unthinkable. She refused to read it. Later, her producer again pushed the story elevating it above the story of Republican Senator Richard Lugar’s break from President Bush on Iraq war policy.

Brzezinski, offended by her producer’s insistence that the story of a capricious Hollywood socialite take precedence over a Republican Senator challenging the President during a time of war, attempted to set the Hilton script on fire. [video link] Not satisfied, she then retrieved another copy from Dan Abram’s office and put it through a paper shredder much to the delight of viewers.

Upsetting the Cart

A more sobering example of on-air dissent, took place last month on the set of Fox and Friends. Guest, Montel Williams, tv host and former Naval officer was pressed by the hosts to discuss the “major tragedy” of actor Heath Ledger’s death. [video link] Williams objected to the relentless coverage stating, “Honestly, my heart goes out to the family, but I have been repulsed by all the coverage. Here’s a question I have. Watch this. How many people have died in Iraq since January 1? Can you give me a number?”

Host Brian Kilmeade jumped in and remarked “It’s about…it’s about 20.”

Williams replied, “No, it’s not about . It’s 28. I say it that way because we’re going to spend 15 minutes talking about this, I’ve not seen one death, one name of a soldier, one name of a person that allows us to do this.”

Host, Gretchen Carlson asked quizzically “Why do we do that as a society.” Williams answered “Because it’s our voracious appetite to bring on ratings. That’s what it is. We know it as a fact. Let’s be honest about it.” Carlson agreed “Of course, it’s the ratings.” She then moved to place the blame on the public, “It’s the appetite, we’re feeding the beast. The audience…”

“Well, cart before the horse, horse before the cart. I don’t know who drives it,” Williams responded. “I think right now if we woke up this morning and instead of talking about Heath Ledger, we talked about the troop who died last night by the IED…”

Kilmeade defended the media by stating, “We talk about the war plenty. I was actually embedded. I was there for the invasion.” “I got ya,” offered Williams. Kilmeade continued, “I think everybody in this country knows we’re at war.”

Williams countered, “Nobody in this country knows who died yesterday and if I know about Heath, I want to know about the troops.”

Kilmeade then asked whether there was any realistic way to talk about each of these deaths individually. Williams resolved that “We can talk about all of the troops from yesterday and I’m sorry if we’re going to sit here and have this discussion about Heath Ledger, I want to tell America [looking into the camera] 28 troops died since January 1st. That’s what I want to talk about.”

The hosts relented and offered Williams the chance to tell them about one of the troops who died since January. Thirty seconds later, they went to commercial. Montel never returned. Just days later, it was announced that Fox declined to renew it’s contract with the Montel Williams show.

Truth and Consequences

Last year, Joe Scarborough an early and ardent supporter of the invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. could not win the war. He stated, “And you’re hearing that from a guy who’s been a hawk from his earliest days. But I’m also a realist…When the facts change, so does my mind. You know, what do you do? Well, bottom line is, if you keep your feet in cement and you don’t change with the realities on the ground, then you’re responsible for the killing of a lot more U.S. troops.”

Well, Joe, next week a group of brave men and women will gather to share with the world the realities on the ground. Will you be there to listen?

A Challenge

I offer then, a challenge to the media. A self-imposed stop loss – no weekend get away, no excursions to the world of eye candy reporting. For four days next week, censor the celebrity and political hijinks. You cheered the troops on while turning your back on the truth, the least you can do now is hear their stories and report them to the public. Hey, Scarborough, Matthews, Blitzer et al – can you handle the truth?

______________________

Note: IVAW has coordinated live video and audio feeds of the entire Winter Soldier weekend. For more information visit, How to Watch

To learn more about Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and the Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, visit www.IVAW.org.

______

writer’s note: when writing this article, i was conflicted regarding montel williams’ question “how many people have died in iraq since january 1?” understanding that williams’ was referring to u.s. military, i did not address the fact that, of course, a far greater number than 28 died as a result of the war in iraq since january 1 if one considers the iraqi people. still, this is an issue that needs to be recognized and it should be noted again that it will be addressed during the winter soldier investigations as servicemembers and civilians will be discussing the impact of the occupation on the civilian population. end.