"Body of War"

A Call To Action for Anyone in or near Washington DC on Friday January 11 2008

CounterPunch has a post there today that asks a Request, from Russell Mokhiber, to join him outside of the DC Offices of the New York Times.

I'm going to place the whole request below, why, because I want to make sure that whoever visits this Reads The Whole Thing, everyone of Russells words, and not just selected cuts without clicking through.

This Request Is Important

January 9, 2008

Phil Donahue's Body of War
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.

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.

View the Trailer of "Body of War"

I'm not near DC so sadly I can't join Russell, but someone who can will be taking me in Spirit as well!!

If they were sent to fight, they are too few. If they were sent to die, they are too many!

Is 'Funding' Really For Troops?

What Happened To Funding and Oversite For Military/Veteran Care In Previous Congresses?

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Comments

Yesterday's Lies

War is a waltz,
A dance with the Devil
On the bones of Angels.

- John Cory

As John, a fellow 'Nam brother, states a couple of time in his op-ed Shame on us!!

If they were sent to fight, they are too few. If they were sent to die, they are too many!

Is 'Funding' Really For Troops?

What Happened To Funding and Oversite For Military/Veteran Care In Previous Congresses?

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

the war hit uncomfortably close to home for me. My cousins grandson (a bright and beautiful young man) lost both of his legs to an IED in Iraq. We fear he will not live. But, even if he does live, his life will be irrevocably changed. The tears I shed are not just for Jessy, but for all the men and women who will live with the results of this war -- if they live at all.

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