FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 04-10
GENDER & SPORTS
Bronner & IDF
Jane Anne Morris
Protesting School Cuts
Dolls & Drudges
Epic Recession III
Capitalizing on Disaster
NY For Sale
In Vitro, In Vivo!
Zaps - 04-10
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A Journalist's Responsibility
A talk with Dahr Jamail
As one of the first and only "unembedded" American journalists to report from Iraq, Dahr Jamail's work offers an unfiltered look at the lives of Iraqis affected by the occupation. A former mountain guide with no formal journalistic training, Jamail's dispatches have been published in the Guardian (UK), the Nation, and Le Monde Diplomatique, to name just a few.
KERSHNER: As you discuss in your book The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse To Fight In Iraq and Afghanistan, more and more American GIs have been openly opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Could you talk about what military resisters are doing?
JAMAIL: I've found through interviewing dozens and dozens of soldiers that there have been many instances of overt resistance in Iraq. Soldiers have really low morale. They've become completely disgruntled by the situation and they're doing things called search and avoid missions. They've realized that their patrols are not serving any purpose, so they go out on fake patrols. They'll park in fields, radio in every hour at scheduled times telling their base that they're searching for weapons caches, etc., and then go back to base after their shift is done. I've talked with soldiers who've participated in this and it's been going on since the beginning of the occupation.
Other things that are happening—both in Iraq and back home—are instances of soldiers standing up against parts of the system that they don't agree with. There are many women now who are speaking out about being sexually assaulted in the military. It's really astounding.
While researching your book, was the Pentagon trying to clamp down on dissent? Or is it harder to see where the brass stands on the issue?
I think they take it on a case-by-case basis. Their overall objective, most of the time, is to sweep it under the carpet. In most instances, the U.S. military chooses to do things like they did with Ronn Cantu, a U.S. Army interrogator, who testified at the Winter Soldier hearings on Iraq and Afghanistan. They're either going to promote him so maybe that'll shut him up or ignore it and not do anything (probably the most common response). At the same time, there have been a few instances—like with Lt. Ehren Watada—where the military decides that it's a high profile case, that the guy has the potential of being a leader in a GI resistance movement, so they're going to throw the book at this guy.
However, I should point out that, currently, Watada is in legal limbo, pushing papers at a desk, still waiting for resolution. This is a situation where he is the highest-ranking person to refuse orders to go to Iraq. And, to this day, he hasn't yet done a day in jail or had to go back to Iraq.
Do you see military resisters playing a constructive role in discussions of U.S. foreign policy?
Absolutely. The problem is that they don't have a voice in the mainstream media or to elected officials. An exception to that would be the Winter Soldier hearings on the Hill that occurred last year. But that's the exception to the rule. If, at some point, they could be tapped for their information, then I think we could really see some fundamental change.
Would you ally yourself more with the European model of journalism, whereby reporters and their papers quite openly place themselves somewhere specific on the political spectrum?
I think that I would. I've been accused of being a populist. As a journalist, that's a compliment and that's how I'd like to be perceived. I feel it's my job to go where the silence is, to give people a voice who are outside the government or major media outlets. I think it's our job as journalists to monitor the centers of power and take them to task; to make them prove what they're saying and to make them give evidence. If we're not doing that, then we're not doing our jobs as journalists.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.