FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Picket the New York Times in DC on Friday?

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Well, it has to do with a movie I just saw.

It’s called Body of War.

It was produced by Phil Donahue.

The star of the movie is a young man named Tomas Young.

He’s an Iraq war vet.

Young had been on duty in Iraq a mere five days when he was hit by a bullet under his collar bone.

The bullet shattered his spine.

And now he’s paralyzed from the chest down.

The movie is about his daily struggle to live.

It’s about his wife and mother, who care for him.

And its about the politicians who sent him to Iraq.

I watched the movie last night at home in West Virginia with my wife and my two boys–aged 10 and 13.

I’m not sure what effect the movie had on the boys.

It held their attention for the full 87 minutes.

The bottom line lesson from Tomas Young–don’t make impetuous decisions –about attacking another country or signing up for the military.

The boys were quiet afterwards. The older one picked up a book and read into the night. The younger one went straight to bed.

In the past, we have talked about Iraq war. We have talked about the possibility of a draft.

The boys see the pictures of dead American soldiers in the newspaper.

But this is the first time they’ve seen a documentary on the real life effects of the Iraq war.

And it wasn’t easy for anyone.

This movie links the suffering of this one young man–25-year old Tomas Young of Kansas City, Missouri–directly to the votes of our politicians.

The Senators who voted for it–including John Kerry, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton–come off as scripted stooges for President Bush.

Mr. Kerry–aye.

Mrs. Clinton–aye.

Mr. Edwards–aye.

One of the heros of the movie is our own Senator, Robert Byrd, who opposed the war from the beginning.

He was one of 23 Senators who voted against the war resolution in October 2002.

Thousands have died since.

Tens of thousands have been wounded.

Wounded.

It means not being able to walk.

It means not being able to cough, because you have lost control of your stomach muscles.

It means having your mother shove a catheter into your penis so that you can pee.

“Don’t worry, Tomas, I’ve had your pee on my hands before,” the mother says to Tomas.

It means taking a slew of medications every day–anti-nausea drugs, painkillers, blood thinners, anti-depressants–that’s just the beginning of the list.

It means struggling against incredible odds to keep together your marriage.

It means traveling across the country to speak out against the illegal war that put you in the wheelchair.

It means holding accountable those who put us in this mess.

On January 22, 2008, Donahue will find out whether or not his movie will be nominated for an Academy Award.

If it is nominated, this will help Donahue line up a distribution deal.

Right now, he’s traveling the country showing the film to college audiences.

“I discovered a great American in Tomas Young, a warrior turned anti-warrior, a voice of courage rising above the war drums,” Donahue writes on his web site. “To all the main-streamers in the press who supported the invasion of Iraq, to the pundits who continue to talk tough while other people’s kids die, to all the merry warriors who recruited Jesus to assist them in this massive foreign policy blunder–I have a soldier for you.”

Eddie Vedder wrote two original songs for the movie. As the credits roll, we hear Vedder’s voice:

I speak for a man who gave for this land
took a bullet in the back for his pay
spilled his blood in the dirt and the dust
and he’s come back to say

That what he has seen is hard to believe
and it does no good to just pray
he asks of us to stand, and we must
end this war today

Which brings me to this Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12 noon.

In honor of Tomas Young, there will be a protest in front of the New York Times Washington office at 1627 I St NW (Farragut West Metro stop).

Why the New York Times?

Because the Times recently signed on William Kristol as a columnist. Kristol was the lead pundit cheerleader for war–with Iraq, with Lebanon and now with Iran.

As Donahue said–to the pundits who continue to talk tough while other people’s kids die–I have a soldier for you.

(To join with us at the Friday protest, write to me at russellmokhiber@gmail.com)

RUSSELL MOKHIBER is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail