Show Details for March 23rd, 2008

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This week’s Features note: no headlines this week

— WINTER SOLDIER – a brief montage
— JAMES PAUL on the Iraq War
— BARACK OBAMA’S speech in full: “A More Perfect Union”


— WINTER SOLDIER, a brief montage of testimony by members of the US military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan
As the US war in Iraq hits 5 years of devastation, hundreds of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered just outside Washington, D.C. this past week to testify about their experiences. Called “Winter Soldier,” it echoed a similar event held by Vietnam veterans in 1971. The current event was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War —
Aaron Glantz co-anchored Pacifica Radio’s live coverage of Winter Soldier 2008. Aaron writes that the event got “only a small article in the metro section of the Washington Post; the New York Times¸ CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS ignored it completely.” We will play for you a montage created by Aaron’s crew.

Aaron was a guest on Arab Voices on KPFT this past Wednesday. To hear Aaron and more on the Winter Soldier, go to, or see links below
Winter Soldier audio and images —

Includes audio from many of the veteran’s testimonials from Winter Soldier, organized by speaker and panel:
Rules of Engagement
The Crisis in Veterans’ Healthcare
Corporate Pillaging and Military Contractors
Gender and Sexuality in the Military
Racism and War: Dehumanization of the Enemy
The Breakdown of the Military
The Future of GI Resistance
“Winter Soldiers Move Toward GI Resistance”
by Aaron Glantz
Saturday, March 22, 2008
by Inter Press Service

— JAMES PAUL on the Iraq War

JAMES PAUL is tonight’s guest with Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi. James Paul has been Executive Director of Global Policy Forum since its founding in late 1993, and is a well-known speaker and writer on the UN and global policy issues.
Global Policy Forum has released an extensive report titled “War and Occupation in Iraq.” Co-sponsored by 30 NGOs, the report documents issues from the destruction of cultural heritage to corruption to long-term bases and the new U.S. embassy compound. The report states:

“Most public discussion of Iraq today — especially in the United States — focuses on inter-ethnic conflict among Iraqis, the ‘civil war,’ ethnic cleansing, terror bombings and the like. Commentators often blame these tragedies on flawed concepts such as Iraqis’ age-old ethnic hatreds, the extremism of Islam, or the meddlesome impulses of neighboring countries. Anything but the occupation itself.”
“One issue that frequently gets scant attention is there are some 60,000 prisoners in Iraq, with 24,000 being held by the United States. These are unlawful detainees being held without charge or trial.”

“Another major issue is the extensive air war. Balad Airbase, north of Baghdad, is probably the busiest air facility in the world. Now, some of that is supply shipments, but fundamentally, it’s attacks — everything from drones to fixed wing [planes], all coming at an enormous cost of human life.”
Global Policy Forum —

— Barack Obama’s speech in full: “A More Perfect Union”

On Tuesday, SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, currently in the lead to win the Democratic nomination for US President, gave a major address in Philadelphia at the Constitution Center. Entitled “A More Perfect Union,” the speech addresses what some have called “the third rail” of American politics, race. He said we need to discuss race rather than run away: “And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.”
The speech has won acclaim from many quarters, with some calling it historic. “He may have given the most eloquent political speech America has heard in at least a generation,” wrote The Independent in Britain. Comedian Jon Stewart found it rather noteworthy that he “was talking to Americans about race as though they were adults.”

Senator Obama was recently attacked in national media for sermons made by his long-time friend and minister. In his speech on Tuesday, Obama said of Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “I could no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I could no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother … who once confessed her fear of black men who pass her by on the street.”

Obama said:

“I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.” …

“[The path to a more perfect union] requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.”
The speech has been listened to nearly 3 million times on YouTube. We play the speech in its entirety.
YouTube video:
Barack Obama: “A More Perfect Union” (Full Speech) —
“A More Perfect Union” full text:

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