Thursday, April 4, 2013

IVAW needs to watch the sexism

IVAW is Iraq Veterans Against the War.  They have members who post things for everyone to see and they have members who post things that only IVAW members can see.

Patrick McCarthy's post probably should have been private and even then would have been questionable.

As a Christian myself, I have no problem with McCarthy writing about his beliefs.  But his beliefs don't excuse rank sexism.

Regardless of origins one thing is certain, we have a common ancestor, perhaps a cell but certainly a human, therefore we are all brothers. Eve’s Selfishness defiled our soils and our warring and bloodshed, is an exasperated condition of Cain’s incapacity-(Failure) to simply “do good and be accepted.”
No, jerk-wad, we're not all "brothers."  It's 2013, asswipe, look around you.

I'm so sick of this sexism.  And it's not enough that we're all brothers Pig Face wants to say but then he want to demonize Eve. 

And he can't even get the story right, can he?

If you're going to go to Biblical stories, try getting them right.

But I'm sick of Eve as the scapegoat for humanity and question the mind of anyone of my generation or younger who would pimp that crap.

IVAW needs to watch the sexism.  It's not really doing much of anything these days and I agree with Rebecca that they have made themselves useless.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, April 4, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, a dig brings attention to 4,000 years prior,  Iraqiya continues to be targeted, Nouri faces more criticism, even a Nouri supporter admits things aren't the good, Joan Wile stands up against The Drone War, Cindy Sheehan peddles for peace and more. reports
on finds a team of archaeologists from the University of Manchester are making in Iraq -- specifically in historical Ur. The team is lead by Dr. Jane Moon and Professor Stuart Campbell.  They began with satellite imagery before going to Ur where they've found a "complex at about 80 metres square -- roughly the size of a football pitch.  They believe the building goes back 4,000 years, going back to early Sumer and was "connected to the administration of Ur."   Ancient Digger explains:

Tell Khaiber, as the site is called, is playing host to one of the first major archaeological projects with extensive participation by foreign scientists since the hiatus caused by the political situation and hostilities of the Iraqi war. Consisting of an international mix of six British archaeologists representing four UK institutions and four Iraqi archaeologists from the State Board for Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq, the team expects to uncover not just monumental buildings, but evidence that may shed new light on the environment and lifeways of the people who inhabited the site.

Archaeology Magazine adds, "The area has been closed to foreign scholars since the 1950s, when a military air base was constructed nearby."  Noted Iraqi archaeologist Donny George passed away March 11, 2011.  For many around the world, with Iraq either closed off due to Saddam Hussein or due to violence, George was the ambassador for the early historical civilization.  May 26, 2005, he was a guest on Neal Conan's Talk of the Nation (NPR) and discussed Iraq's historical importance.  Excerpt.

CONAN: Give us an example, if you would. Is there a piece that is of particular significance that--or at least significance to you?
Mr. GEORGE: Well, at the beginning, you see, we lost some very, very important masterpieces, like the Warka vase, like the mask of the lady from Warka, but these came back. But now one of the most important pieces that is still missing is the headless statue, half-natural-size, of the Sumerian King Natum(ph), which--we still don't have it. And, by the way, this piece is inscribed on the back shoulder, and it could be one of the rare examples, the first examples, of this mentioning the word 'king' in the history of mankind. So this is -- I mean, every single piece has its own significance.
CONAN: We're talking with Donny George, director of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. You mentioned Sumer; this was an early, maybe the earliest, human civilization...
Mr. GEORGE: That's right.
CONAN: ...speaking a language that appears to have no relation to any language anywhere else.
Mr. GEORGE: That's right. Yeah.
CONAN: This is a great mystery and--but these were the people who first invented the hydrographic civilization that we emerged from.
Mr. GEORGE: That's right. I mean, modern scholars believe that the Sumerians are the descendants of the first people coming to Mesopotamia. Those were the people coming from the Neolithic period. Those were the people who started the villages. Those were the people who actually, with the villages, started the animal domestication and agriculture and a lot of -- villages planning and, you know -- but then, in about 4,500 BC, we learn that these are Sumerians. We don't have the writing then, but in about 3,200 BC we started having the writing, the inscription that they themselves invented at the beginning. It was a kind of pictographic. And, you see, this is the greatness of the people: Out of nothing, they invent something, something very important, something that can exchange ideas and can accumulate ideas between generations and generations. That was the writing. Now we have it here.

Last month, Ur was the topic of the geo quiz on PRI's The World.  (What is the ancient capital of Mesopotamia?  Ur. Following the quiz, Marco Werman speaks with anthropologist Elizabeth Stone about Ur.)  AP reports of the newly discovered  complex that it would have existed "around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible."  Last week, Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) spoke with Dr. Jane Moon about the dig:

The last major excavation at Ur was performed by a British-American team led by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley in the 1920s and the 1930s. After the 1950s revolution, which toppled Iraq’s monarchy, a nearby military air base put the area off limits to foreign archaeologists for the next half century.
“What Wooley found were these tremendous monumental buildings, but it’s difficult to tell a coherent story about them because they were restored again and again and again, and what you see is neo-Babylonian, 7th century BC – very much later,” says Moon. “He wasn’t able to see what they were really used for and that’s where I’m hoping our modern methods might be able to say something.”
At Ur, Wooley also discovered a spectacular treasure trove that rivals King Tut’s tomb. At least 16 members of royalty were buried at Ur with elaborate gold jewelry, including a queen’s headdress made of gold leaves and studded with lapis lazuli. Other objects included a gold and lapis lyre, one of the first known musical instruments.
In the 1930s, the treasures were split between the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania, which funded Wooley’s work, and the newly created Iraq museum.
Moon says it’s impossible to tell whether the new site might contain similar finds.
“Ultimately we’re not looking for objects we’re looking for information.… I guess it’s always a possibility. In archaeology you can always be surprised.”

For more on Wooley's historic dig, you can refer to the American Journal of Archaeology (see PDF link on the page for the article by Naomi F. Miller).  Moon's team is one of six foreign teams recently authorized to do excavations.

From Iraq's glorious past to its murky present.  Violence is increasing in Iraq, Iraq Body Count counted 407 violent deaths in Iraq last month.  Today, for example,  Alsumaria reports that a suicide bomber in Mosul has left eight Iraqi soldiers injured.  All Iraq News adds the suicide bomber was in a car.  In addition, All Iraq News notes, "A missile hit a headquarter of an Iraqi Army regiment in al-Hanka village of Shurqat district of northern Salah-il-Din province on Thursday." The National Iraqi News Agency notes that a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left two more injured, and a Mosul shooting left two police officers injured, a Kirkuk roadside bombing left a police officer woundedTang Danlu (Xinhua) reports, "In a separate incident, gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead a civilian in the town of Tarmiyah, some 40 km north of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua."   Alsumaria notes 1 guard was killed in Abu Ghraib.

As noted in Tuesday's snapshot, Monday evening saw  Dar Addustour, Al-Parliament, Al-Mustaqbal and Al-Nas  attacked in Baghdad, their employees threatened (five people stabbed, more left with bruises and fractures), offices destroyed and cars set on fire (a fifth Baghdad newspaper, Al Mada, was threatened but not attacked).  Al Mada notes that the National Union of Iraq Journalists have condemned the attacks.  All Iraq News adds that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi denounced the attacks, "Nujaifi assured that targeting the journalists is a dangerous issue and against the dialogue and democracy in Iraq.  He stressed that the repetition of such attacks is a justification for the ignorant of the performance of the press in Iraq."

All Iraq News reports that the National Dialogue Front's Haider al-Mulla has called out the security situation, "The terrorist attacks targeting Iraqis are going on and the security forces are dilatory in their performances so Maliki has to attend to the parliament to discuss the reasons behind the security deterioration to solve them by adopting security policies able to confront terrorism."

The security situation isn't good for candidates -- not ones who are rivals of Nouri al-Maliki.  With elections scheduled for April 20th (provincial elections in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces),  Iraqiya is yet again targeted with death.  This happened in the March 2010 elections as well where Iraqiya candidates were repeatedly killed in the lead up to the election.  At least 12 candidates have been killed this campaign season, many from Iraqiya.  All Iraq News quotes Iraqiya MP Talal al-Zubayi stating, "The organized attacks for the candidates of the IS [Iraqiya Slate] are a part of the attempts of targeting [Iraqiya head Ayad] Allawi due to his Arabic, regional and international position."   Al Mada reports on the assassination of attorney Salah al-Obeidi who was a member of Iraqiya seeking election this month.  The 37-year-old male was one of 12 Sunni candidates killed this election cycle and 7 of the 12 were from Iraqiya.  Iraqiya beat Nouri's State of Law in the 2010 elections.  NINA notes that Moqtada al-Sadr today called for all Iraqis to participate in the elections while noting reasons for them to be less than eager after elections that appeared to produce little results.  He is quoted stating, "The reluctance in elections and no vote would be an injustice for Iraq and Iraqis, because it would be a prelude for muggers and secularists to take power in the councils and parliament."

Meanwhile Alsumaria notes that Martin Kobler is declaring all political blocs are responsible for the ongoing protests.   Kobler is the Special Envoy to Iraq of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Alsumaria also notes that Nouri's Operation Tigris Command has surrounded ten villages in Kirkuk and are targeting protesters involved in the sit-ins.   Al Mada notes Anbar protesters are pessimistic that any demands will be met.  And that probably has to do with the fact that the protests have now gone on for over 100 days and Nouri refuses to offer any real changes.

Deutsche Welle spoke with Nineveh Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi about the protests. Excerpt.

DW:You are Niniveh's most senior representative but you have openly supported the ongoing demonstrations in Mosul and even joined them several times over the last three months. Isn't that counterproductive?

Atheel al Nujaifi: Our local people are demanding their rights in a peaceful way. They want basic infrastructures such as water, electricity, and also employment; they are denouncing the abuses and also asking to play an active role in Iraq's government. There's a blatant lack of balance in power between Iraq's different communities after the invasion in 2003. Today, Iraq's Sunnis are subjected to systematic marginalization under the Shiite power in Baghdad.

President Nouri al-Maliki has denounced the "foreign agendas" behind the demonstrations in the country's Sunni provinces.

It's difficult to believe such an accusation when hundreds of thousands of people are peacefully demonstrating in the streets.

The peaceful protesters have been targeted by Nouri.  They are arrested, they are photographed, in Falluja and Mosul they are even killed by his forces in public, in front of tons of witnesses.  Karlos Zurutuza (IPS) reports on what the protesters have to face to fight for a free Iraq:

Armoured vehicles and thousands of soldiers masked in black balaclavas guard the entrance to the city of Mosul, 350 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. Arriving here gives one the unmistakable feeling of entering a territory that is still under occupation – only this time, the Iraqi Federal soldiers, not the U.S. military, play the role of the occupying army, locals tell IPS.
Once a key trading post on the fabled Silk Road, Iraq’s second largest city was known for centuries for its high quality marble, and for having revolutionised 18th century Parisian fashion through the supply of its most emblematic product: muslin.
But the beginning of the 21st century brought dramatic changes to this city on the banks of the Tigris River. Trapped in the deadly crossfire between foreign Islamists, local insurgents and Western occupiers for a decade, the capital of the Nineveh region is now the scene of some of the largest anti-government demonstrations Iraq has seen since 2003.
Since last December, speeches and prayers have been strung between large communal meals and public tea rituals in Ahrar Square, in downtown Mosul. The same picture is also recurrent in Anbar and Salahadin, regions of Iraq where Sunni Arabs are in the majority, and where protests reach their peak every Friday.
“The federal police seal the bridges over the Tigris and thoroughly check those individuals that make it in to the square,” Ghanem Alabed, coordinator of the protests in Mosul, told IPS.
“They confiscate tents, blankets, mats … We have to pray on the (hard) ground because even our small prayer rugs are taken away. They try their best to (uproot) the camp but we still manage to sleep in the square every night.”
Being one of the most visible faces of the protests, Alabed has received both threats and bribes from Baghdad. He says he’s not the only one.
“Can you see those men on the roof of that house?” he asks, pointing towards a nearby building. “Those are cops and they spend the day taking pictures of the protesters to identify them afterwards.”

And it's not just the protesters calling Nouri out, Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reports Ayatollah Bashir al-Nujaifi has spoken out publicly, calling Nouri out for the crises (plural) Iraq is facing, saying that it is due to poor management.  He noted all the billions Iraq brings in from oil and the fact that electricity is still not consistent and that public services continue to deteriorate.  Even Nouri's ally Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, sees some problems.  All Iraq News quotes him admitting today, "There is depression and disappointment in the new Iraq since not all dreams have come true."

Northern Iraq is the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government.  Abdel Hamid Zebari (Al-Monitor) reports on the book fair taking place there:

The 2013 Erbil International Book Fair, organized by the publishing house Al-Mada for Media, Culture and Arts, showcases more than a million books in their original languages. Erbil, the largest city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is hosting the fair's eighth gathering, which opened April 2, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Culture and Youth.
The organizers this year deliberately chose not to feature books promoting violence or sectarianism. Al-Mada general manager Ghada al-Amili said in a statement to Al-Monitor, “There was a prior agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Al-Mada to limit extremist Islamic publishing houses. We imposed strict regulations and censorship on books that incite violence and sectarianism, and we succeeded in deterring the participation of these publishing houses, and for that we apologize to them.”
She added, “This year, more than 1.5 million original books were featured in the fair. They varied -- from scientific to philosophical, translated and biographical and all other types -- in a bid to meet the needs of buyers. We also provided extensive facilities to all participants to ensure a high level of participation in the upcoming years.”
Amili said, further, “More than 37 publishing houses from across 33 countries took part in this year’s fair.” Some Arab countries -- Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia -- took part for the first time. Space for this year's event exceeded 10,000 cubic meters.

Iraq shares borders with many countries.  To the north it's Turkey, then Iran to the east, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan and Syria to the west.  Let's start with Syria,  Al Mada notes that Nouri has asked the US government for 'help' on the border Iraq shares with Syria.  John Glaser ( wonders if this is how the US government opens another front in The Drone War?  Carlo Munoz (The Hill) adds, "If approved, the drone strikes would be a significant escalation of American involvement in the war between Syrian rebels and embattled president Bashar Assad.  The Pentagon deployed a battery of Patriot anti-missile systems along the Turkey-Syria border earlier this year, but those weapons are strictly designed as a defensive measure against any cross-border violence from Syria.  The drone strikes, however, would be the first real offensive use of American military firepower against either side involved in the Syrian conflict."   Micah Zenko (Council on Foreign Relations) offers:

It is a positive sign that President Obama has (apparently) decided not to authorize drone strikes in Iraq, and that his administration insisted on a formal request from Baghdad before considering such a significant policy change. Intervening on behalf of another country to protect its borders is not something that the United States should rush into, even if the targeted individuals are suspected of belonging to a State Department-designated terrorist organization.
In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the CIA had increased its covert training and support efforts to enhance Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service forces that are focused on AQI or al-Nusrah militants that threaten western Iraq. A senior Obama administration official stated: “This relationship is focused on supporting the Iraqis to deal with terrorist threats within their borders, and not about ramping up unilateral operations.” Training and advising another state’s security forces is a normal component of military to military cooperation, but conducting kinetic operations for them could quickly draw the United States into creating additional enemies out of what are domestic and regionally-focused terrorist groups. The CIA already serves as the counterterrorism air force of Yemen, and, occasionally, Pakistan. It should not further expand this chore to Iraq.
President Obama should also ask himself if the United States wants to open up a fifth front in its campaign of non-battlefield targeted killings, outside of Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and The Philippines.

Yesterday evening in NYC, Joan Wile, the author of Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace and one of the Raging Grannies, joined others to protest The Drone War:

Joan Wile:  We must stop preying on other nations with these immoral lethal weapons.  The war against terrorism cannot be justification for using killer drones that often miss their targets and result in the deaths of children and other innocents.  It is unthinkable that our nation, the so-called beacon of democracy, orders an anonymous person sitting in front of a screen to press a button that launches death and destruction to people thousands of miles away.  We are acting as accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. Where is due process?

Courtney Brooks (RFERL) reports the protest drew over 50 participants and that:

Joan Wile, the 81-year-old founder of Grandmothers Against the War, had retired from activism last year to pursue her love of piano. But she told RFE/RL that she was spurred back into action and organized the April 3 rally out of a sense of horror at the effects that U.S. drone strikes are having in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"I just found the whole thing so immoral," Wile says. "In this country, you're presumed innocent until you're found guilty. And here we were acting as judge, as jury, and executioner, without a trial."

Over 50 participants is very good when you consider that they pulled together the protest in basically 24 hours.

Let's move over to Turkey.   Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."   The issue of Turkey and the PKK was a topic Wednesday night on KPFA's Voices of The Middle East and Africa.  (Here to stream the episode, you have until April 17th, then it's gone  -- show airs every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST).

Malihe Razazan:  In his new year message on March 21st, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, declared a cease-fire and called on armed militants to withdraw from Turkish territory.  He said, "Today we are waking up to a new Middle East, a new Turkey and a new future."  Ocalan's message was warmly welcomed by the million-strong crowd gathered in the city of Diyarbakir.  The next day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to apologize for "operational errors" that led to loss of life during a 2010 raid by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara ship.  Nine activists who were trying to attract the world's attention to the Israeli blockade on Gaza were killed in that incident.  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the apology and pronounced his intention to normalize relations with Israel.  Has Turkey been able to find an answer to the Kurdish question after nearly three decades of armed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Turkish state?

They spoke with UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Sociology Cihan Tugal about the events taking place.

Cihan Tugal: This is a sea change in Turkish politics, no question about it.  And it's a sea change on multiple levels. First of all, this is the first time when we can seriously believe that there might be a long lasting peace even though this is still not a given fact. So the steps taken seem to be more serious when compared to the end of the 2000s.  That is the first level.  But the second level -- the possibility of peace, that's big.  But the second thing is the de facto recognition of the Kurdish forces, of the Kurdish political movement by the Turkish state, beyond the government, by the Turkish state.  I'm still saying "de facto recognition" because what's happening is that the Prime Minister is still using the old vocabulary about the Kurdish movement.  He's calling them "terrorists."  He is still speaking as if they are not equal partners in peace.  But the reality on the ground is that, for the first time in the last thirty years, ever since the Kurdish insurgents started in 1984, the Kurdish guerrilla is recognized as an equal partner.

VOMEANA: Cihan, the armed confrontation between Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and  the Turkish state, what were the roots of this conflict and what were the grievances of the Kurds inside Turkey?

Cihan Tugal:  The first skirmishes, the first signs of a movement, starts at the end of the 19th century.  This is when the Kurdish tribes start to lose their autonomy.  So at first, there's a tribal resistance against the loss of autonomy.  Then this turns into an Islamic tribal resistance with the Turkish state's move towards more secularism.  With the 1920s, we start to see a national movement and nationalist rebellions but there are still very strong tribal and Islamic overtones. So the national question is mixed up with -- or blended with an Islamic resistance against secularization as well as tribal resistance against the loss of autonomy.  And there is more than a dozen rebellions from 1925 to the major rebellion in 1938.  And after that point the tribal resistance is more or less gone and the rebellions do not show up again or the movement itself does not show up again until the 1960s.  So there is more or less silence.  Of course, it is more complex but I am simplifying.  And in the 1960s, the Kurdish movement comes back as a Socialist, nationalist movement and it makes a lot of inroads in the Turkish intelligentsia.  So parts of the Turkish intelligentsia are turned over to pro-Kurdish cause by the end of the 1970s and there are many Kurdish Socialist organizations as well as mixed Socialist organizations and one of these is going to be at the roots of the PKK.  And it's name changes a lot so that shouldn't concern us here but one of the Maoist organizations slowly evolves into what is today known as the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party.  And all the other movements lose out against the state and one major reason why the PKK survives the coup -- the military coup in Turkey in 1980 -- is because its leadership happens to be outside of Turkey at this point.  So there are conspiracy theories about this but the visible fact is that all of the other Kurdish organizations are crushed and they are the only remaining Kurdish organization.  Whatever remains of the other Kurdish organizations are further marginalized or even repressed by the PKK itself throughout the course of the 1980s.  So the main voice for Kurdish autonomy and the Kurdish rights becomes the PKK.  And when we are talking about the 1980s, it's still not only a nationalist movement, it's both a nationalist and a Socialist movement.  So there are demands for national autonomy, linguistic rights.  The demands for a separate state comes and goes.  The Kurdish movement, the PKK never becomes completely explicit about this so sometimes it's a demand for autonomy, sometimes federation, sometimes confederation.  And all of these demands are tied in with Socialist demands in the 1980s and after the 1980s.  So throughout the course of the 1990s, the movement gradually moves away from Socialism and becomes a more purely nationalist movement.

VOMEANA: You know, let's be mindful of the fact, in the 1980s witnessed a dark period for Socialist forces and labor movement in Turkey -- as it is also the military coup.

Cihan Tugal: Yes, exactly.  I don't want to over-generalize.  Not 100% of the Socialist Turks but a good majority of the Socialist Turks as well as the Socialist Kurds are looking at the PKK as an ally if not a savior.  It was perceived as a very positive force among the Socialist and some of the labor movement in Turkey in the 1980s.  But that changes a little throughout the 1990s as PKK moves away from Socialism but also liquidates the religious minority opposition within the PKK.  So there's an Alevi contingent in the PKK -- and there still is -- but they used to be a part of the leadership up until the 1990s.  And they're liquidated throughout the 1990s.  And, at the same time, the movement moves away from Socialism and, as I was saying, it becomes more and more repressive of other Kurdish forces and also other Socialist forces in Turkish Kurdistan.

Today, Daren Butler (Reuters) reports, "Turkey's main pro-Kurdish political party denied on Thursday media reports that jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan had told his fighters to leave the country without their weapons under a peace plan."

In the US, Cindy Sheehan continues to stand up for peace.  Kimberly K. Fu (Reporter) notes, "Vacaville anti-war activist and Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan kicked off the first leg of her 'Tour de Peace' cross-country bike ride today, the nine-year anniversary of the death of her son in Iraq.Bay City News explains the Tour de Peace is "a three-month, cross-country bicycle tour to call for peace  in honor of her son, who was killed in Iraq nine years ago today" and that "The tour will end in July in Washington, D.C., with the final  stretch from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House."  More information can be found at Tour de Peace.  And we'll again note the press release:

for Thursday, April 4, 2013
Contact: Tour Media - DeDe Miller 562/500-9079
National – Cres Vellucci 916/996-9170

Anti-War Mom Cindy Sheehan Announces 3,000-Mile
Cross Country 'Tour de Peace' Bike Ride for Peace; 1st Leg
Begins Thursday at Son Casey's Grave, and Ends in Sacramento

VACAVILLE/SACRAMENTO, Ca. – Cindy Sheehan will begin an arduous 3 month, 3,000-mile Ride-for-Peace – dubbed "Tour de Peace" – this Thursday/April 4 from the Vacaville grave of her son to Arlington Cemetery and White House.

She will hold a press availability at 10 a.m., Thursday (April 4) at Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery (522 Elmira Road/West Side), where her son Casey is buried. He was killed in Iraq nine years ago.

The first leg of the 'Tour de Peace" runs from that Vacaville gravesite in to Sacramento, about 41 miles. Supporters are expected to welcome Cindy and the initial bike rider in Sacramento about 6 p.m. Thursday at Sierra 2/Curtis Hall (2791 24th St.).

Cindy will be available for interviews along the route, and in Sacramento at the end of the first leg.

WHAT: The Tour de Peace bike ride across the United States will follow historic Route
66 to Chicago, and other roads from there on to D.C.  Bicyclers will join in for all or part of the tour, which will include public events organized by local groups along the way. 
Complete route:

The tour begins April 4, 2013, nine years after Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq, and 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed in Memphis.  It will conclude on July 3, 2013, with a ride from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House.

WHY: This August will mark 8 years since Cindy Sheehan began a widely reported protest at then-President George W. Bush's "ranch" in Crawford, Texas, demanding to know what the "noble cause" was for which Bush claimed Americans were dying in Iraq.  Neither Bush nor President Obama has yet offered a justification for a global war now in its 12th year.  The Tour de Peace will carry with it these demands:

To end wars,
To end immunity for U.S. war crimes,
To end suppression of our civil rights,
To end the use of fossil fuels,
To end persecution of whistleblowers,
To end partisan apathy and inaction.

Watch the trailer:

the world
marco werman


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