imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Activists Report on Afghanistan, Iraq

by April Ingram Thursday, Jun. 03, 2004 at 3:03 PM

Global Exchange's Medea Benjamin questioned the ongoing war in Iraq, and KPFK's Sonali Kolhatkar spoke of the how commercial news media neglects to report on the suffering of the people of Afghanistan in a May 27th forum.

Global Exchange founding director Medea Benjamin questioned what the ongoing war in Iraq is about in a forum sponsored by Global Exchange and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), May 27, at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Is it really about the oil? Medea suggests that Bush’s invasion of Iraq is more insidious than that. No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. However, now that the infrastructure of Iraq has been destroyed, Iraq is an opportunity for mass construction--mass construction projects not for the average Iraqi corporation or citizen, but for American corporate giants such as Halliburton and Bechtel.

Now this once in a lifetime opportunity to destroy a country that was not an immediate threat to the United States could only come at the right time and with the right reason. Post 9-11 proved to be the perfect climate for Bush and Co. to convince the shaken American public that weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda existed in Iraq. However, when the WMD were not found, “freeing the Iraqi people” was the new message, and for the most part, the American public bought it.

The overwhelming public support of the time allowed Bush and Co. the power to spend as much as they wanted for defense. Medea points out that the cost of “the war on terrorism” is triple the U.S. budget for education. The U.S. budget deficit directly impacts the states because they receive less federal funding for state educational programs and other social services. Many states had no alternative than to increase tuition for higher education, often leaving college out of reach for low income and even some middle class college-age adults. Many have joined the military with either the lure of a free education or the lure of obtaining U.S. citizenship, not only for them, but for their families as well.

Medea also brought to attention the irony of two servicemen who both received the maximum penalty of one year in prison, and a bad conduct discharge. One of these soldiers was military policeman Jeremy Sivits, the first to be court-martialed over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib detention center. (Only one year in prison for torture? And that is the maximum sentence—he could be out sooner!)

The other soldier to receive prison time was Sergeant Camilo Mejia, who filed a conscientious objector claim, citing abuses of Iraqi prisoners. Mejia was the first US soldier in Iraq to publicly challenge the morality of the war and refuse to fight. As he sits in prison right now, Medea urges the public to send a letter of support to Camilo Mejia through her e-mail at

Sonali Kolhatkar, host of KPFK's "Uprising" morning show, spoke of the how commercial news media neglect to report on the pain and suffering of the people of Afghanistan. After the U.S. bombed their way into Afghanistan looking for Osama bin Laden, the soldiers left a wake of destruction and misery for many civilians. The U.S. did not reconstruct what they have destroyed and many livelihoods and many lives were lost or ruined in the process. But the average American reading the newspaper or watching the news on television does not know what the people of Afghanistan are experiencing. This is not because Americans are inherently ignorant, but rather because of lack of news coverage--most reporters are assigned to cover events that affect the political elites of the nation, meaning the status of the average Afghan citizen is not high on the agenda for a commercial news enterprise.

Sonali also explained that the Taliban regime came into power with the help of the United States. The U.S first intervened in a war on Afghan soil against Russian troops during Jimmy Carter's administration in 1979. The U.S.-backed Afghan guerrillas continued fighting the Russians during the Reagan administration (1981-1989) and in the first year of George H W Bush (1989). When the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan, so did the United States. However, the U.S. also left behind a sizable stash of weapons and cash, which fell into the hands of the Taliban. The Taliban became a notoriously cruel regime, punishing those who did not obey their whims by flogging, public amputations, and public executions. After 9-11, the Americans went back into Afghan terrain, not only to find Osama Bin Laden, but to “bring freedom and democracy.” However, the Northern Alliance that replaced the Taliban did not improve the lot of the Afghan people very much. In other words, the Afghans got pretty much the same crap, but with another despot in charge. Photos by Anne Brodsky, which were presented in conjunction with Sonali’s speech show images of Afghans living in squalor amid the ruins of bombed-out buildings and neighborhoods reduced to rubble. Among Brodsky’s photos are haunting images of a public execution and images of school children sitting on dirt floors, because they lack chairs and desks.

Political folk singer Ross Altman’s lyrics demonstrate the irony of the American self-deception of being a peaceful nation, even in the face of war. The first two stanzas of his first song were a direct quote from the president: “We’re a peace-loving nation; I’m a peace-loving guy.” However, this illusion of peace is shattered as Altman’s song continues: “Kill a camel for peace--bomb’em back into the Stone Age—you’re just collateral damage.” The powerful lyrics of his next song mentions the atrocities of Wounded Knee, the Koreans massacred at No Gun Ri and of Vietnam. Shifting his focus to current events, Altman sings “Torturing Iraqi Prisoners is as American as apple pie,” in reference to the infamous events at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

[NEW HOT] World Soccer King Hack Coins and Gems J17 4:32AM

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy