Friday, April 20, 2007

Friedman takes a trip

Reading "'Patient' Capital for an Africa That Can't Wait " in the paper this morning, I had to laugh.

Even tripping, my husband Thomas Friedman was both a moron and a corporate schill. I wondered how many trips or tabs it took before a tight ass was set free? I wondered if that was even possible.

The week prior, I had returned to Flop House, skinned up, banged up, with one shoe. I'd survived. Thomas Friedman and Nicky K had decided to get rid of me. Their concern was that their kidnapping might get reported.

The fact that instead of showing true remorse, they immediately decided to instead 'get rid of the body,' demonstrated a lot.

It proved to me that sniveling Nicky K didn't have a good bone in his body.

Thomas Friedman?

I believe all his bones turned to fat years ago. I know his brain did.

What could have been a very sad moment ended up instead to be one of those moments when all illusions are stripped from the eye.

Whatever else Thomas Friedman said or did, there was no mistaking that he had any deep feelings for me, that he ever had. The kidnapping was not an errant moment, it was his character as evidenced by the fact that, when cornered, he immediately thought to replace one crime with another.

Was there even a moment's hesitation before he decided the way to prevent his kidnapping from being exposed was to dump me in a bad neighborhood where he assumed I would be murdered -- possibly with a 'bonus' rape tossed in?

I didn't know. And walking home that morning, I didn't care.

What I did know was I had been kidnapped, I had been lied to and I had been drugged. What I did know was that as horrible as those things were, Thomas Friedman managed to find a way to bottom even himself by resorting to what he hoped would be my death.

So the blinders were off. I saw nothing but a disgusting fat ass who didn't just go through the day with crumbs in his mustache, not just a cross dresser who maintained he was straight but hadn't been able to get it up with me since 2005, not just a closet case who would have given his right teste if his pillow of Slater from "Saved By The Bell" could've come to life, not just a penny pincher who was so cheap that he invented a story of me being from a village to convince me that "your people" wore sheets. Unclean sheets at that. Tattered ones. I saw a man whose columns of cruelty didn't speak to the fact that he just didn't know better.

This was a man who damn well knew better. This was a man who knew which side his bread was buttered on and chose to preach hatred towards Muslims not out of ignorance but because he could hear the Ka-Ching-Ching and imagine the Bling-Bling.

Forget Ghetto Fabulous, the truly appalling are the Corporate Monkeys who dance for their dinner.

So it hit me that nothing I could do to Thomas Friedman was out of bounds at this point.

And I had a lot of plans including setting up my end.

I had already decided I was getting a college education. That he owed me that much was obvious even when I was trying to playing it nice.

I felt like Dolly Parton's character in "Nine to Five" -- when she gives the "Up to now, I've been forgiving and forgetting because of the way I was raised" speech. No more.

A college education was the least of what he owed me and I intended to make the blowhard pay up. I also intended to destroy him in such a way that when I was done with him, there would be nothing left -- not even a shell.

I shared these thoughts with Elaine who told me the first thing I needed to do was to control the money. Cut off the addict's stash first and foremost. In order to do that, I needed him and Nicky K out of the way Wednesday. So I whipped up a batch of "Macaroni Coleslaw in the Kitchen" and made sure to top it with a layer of melted cheese that I'd melted with several tabs of acid in it.

The acid? Not hard to get a hold of. Davey Brooks is known for two things -- his "ass pants" and his surreal columns that read like they're written in the desperate hours, from a shut-ins bunker. I had a whole song and dance planned out but Brooks was happy to share some of his stash with no questions asked.

So, as Thomas Friedman and Nicky K began their acid trip, we took a taxi and I dropped them off at Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. In Thomas Friedman's drugged out mind, he thought he was in Tanzania. He went and on and on about the colors -- and how he could hear them talking to him -- in an original draft that Bill Keller pruned. Also part of my larger plan.

While they tripped out at the flea market, I headed downtown to take care of money issues. I was actually surprised by how much we had. "We" "had." Money's in a new account with just my name on it now.

It was actually very easy to start up Destruction Friedman -- I figured I needed a name for the plan -- and if there were any problems at all . . . I guess I'd say the 7 hours Wednesday night when Thomas Friedman was "at one" with a potato in the kitchen that he thought held the secrets of the universe.

"Hold it to your ear, Betinna! You can hear the ocean!"

That was just irritating. I don't believe there were any major problems.

For me.

Thomas Friedman? Oh, the coming days are going to be very interesting.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills)
Friday, April 20, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces the death of another service member, "development" passes for an answer in Baghdad ("Time-shares" is next), Helga Aguayo explains the status of her husband (war resister Agustin Aguayo), and Bobby Gates finally gets to act out his long held dream to be Marisa Tomei.

"The investigating officer said that it was in the best interest of the military to discharge him and that he believed that Agustin was sincere. However, higher ups in the chain of command -- that never met with my husband -- decided that he wasn't sincere and just didn't really give a reason, just said that he didn't qualify as a conscienious objector,"
Helga Aguayo speaking to Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) today. Helga Aguayo sketched out
how her husband came to see the illegal war as immoral while serving in Iraq, how he attempted to receive CO status, the obstacles there and a great deal more including the the convictions of missing movement and desertion. On the latter, she noted that it "is unheard of for people that are gone less than thirty days -- soldiers that are gone less than thirty days." Aguayo was gone from
September 2nd through September 26th. The rule of thumb is that if you are gone less than 30 days, desertion isn't even a possible charge. Not only was Aguayo gone less than 30, he turned himself in. Helga Aguayo explained how the two felony convictions mean trigger an automatic appeal:

Helga Aguayo: And the other thing is that Agustin will not be discharged. I'm getting congratulations -- 'Oh, congratulations, he's coming home' -- we don't know when he's coming home, one. And, two, he actually will not be discharged from the military for twelve to twenty-four months from now, because he got a bad-conduct discharge and it's such a serious offense. He has two felonies. It goes onto an automatic appeal, and because of that, he will remain active-duty, which means he has to abide by the standards that is required of every soldier. He could potentially be charged with anything else during the time that he's on voluntary or involuntary leave or administrative leave. They'll give him of the three, if it's approved. And we won't know if it's approved.

Amy Goodman: Could he sent back to Iraq?

Helga Aguayo: I hope not. I don't think so. I think it would be -- I mean, Agustin's gotten a lot of support. And I, you know, would definitely just go to the press and go to the people. I don't think it would be in their best interest to do that.

Agustin Aguayo's repeated attempts to receive CO status demonstrate the need for the system to be fixed. As does the case of Robert Zabala who had to take the issue to the civilian courts to be awarded his status. The two, and many others, illustrate the problems with and arbitrary nature of the way the US military chooses to recognize (or not) CO status.
This is why the
Center on Conscience & War has declared May 14th the day to lobby Congress to pass a law that would "protect the rights of conscientious objectors".

Aguayo is part of a movement of war resistance within the military that also includes
Ehren Watada, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Camilo Mejia, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Turning to news in Iraq, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates landed in Baghdad Thursday to provide war weary Iraqis and US service members with a bus and truck show of My Cousin Vinnie.
David S. Cloud, Alissa J. Rubin and Edward Wong (New York Times) report that he visited "to press Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq to move faster on Sunni-Shiite reconciliation at a momment when Mr. Maliki's ability to deliver appears limited, at best." This allowed Bobby Gates to attack the part of Lisa with vigor as he stomped his feet in the safety of the Green Zone.

Bobby Gates: Well I hate to bring it up because I know you've got enough pressure on you already. But, we agreed to get an oil law passed as soon as we installed you. Meanwhile, ELEVEN MONTHS LATER, no oil law, Iran is making us nervous and our bully clock is TICKING and the way this war is going, I ain't never going to see the theft of Iraqi oil.

While Gates was telling/ordering al-Maliki to step it up,
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reported that it really doesn't make a great deal of difference: "Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces. Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, had dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said."

As most play mum on that revelation,
Mark Tran (Guardian of London) notes, "Washington today said it would take political reconciliation in Iraq into account when it decides this summer whether to reduce troop numbers." Translation? There will be no real reduction unless the people insist upon it. Just more stalling tactics on the part of the US installed puppet and more bluster from the bullies of the US administration. Meanwhile, the government of Turkey has set a deadline. KUNA reports that Turkey now has: "a 'specific timetable' for trans-borders operations including intrusions into northern Iraqi, Turkish NTV news website reported Friday. . . . The plan, envising the intrusion of thousands of Turkish troops into northern Iraqi areas to hunt rebel Kurds, is about to be a reality, according to the report."

Meanwhile in "New Listings" news, need a getaway? How about some place just east of a river, a gated community with rustic charm?
CBS and AP report that gated communities are coming to Baghdad in the form of "a three mile wall": "When the wall is finished, the minority Sunni community or Azamiyah, on the eastern side of the Tigris River, will be gated, and traffic control points manned by Iraqi soldiers will be the only entries, the military said."

Gated communities? And people think the US administration has no ideas in the tank.
While the US administration continues their attempts at stand up,
Tom Clifford (CounterPunch) notes the very real increase in Iraqi deaths including that last month was the deadliest in the last 12 months and that the escalation has claimed at least 7,400 reported deaths. And in some of the reported violence today in Iraq . . .


AFP reports a Nasiriyah bombing that killed 4 "including an 11-year-old girl". Reuters reports an eastern Baghdad mortar attack the killed 1 person and left 4 injured as well as a truck bombing in Falluja that killed 2 people and left 37 wounded. Lebanon's Daily Star reports that gunfire and helicopter fire were used around a mosque as US forces attacked what they hope are 'guilty' people since they killed four -- however, they originally denied the deaths and the attack only to correct that later on..


Reuters notes two police officers shot dead in Baquba and eight wounded, 1 person was shot dead in Falluja (2 more injured), and 1 person shot dead in Kufa. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports: "Employees working for the North Oil Company were targeted in Kirkuk by gunmen yesterday evening. The gunmen attacked the employees' while they were coming to Baghdad, the incident took place on Karkuk-Baghdad motorway when the insurgents opened fire injuring 4 employees."


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 19 corpses discovered in Baghdad on Friday.

In addition, the
US military announced today: "A Task Force Marne Soldier was killed and two were wounded when a rocket struck Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah Thursday night."

And in news of activism,
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) notes the national Make Hip Hop, Not War tour which attempts to welcome important segments that have otherwise been overlooked. Ford writes: "The 'Make Hip Hop, Not War' movement finds only lip-service support from the white-dominated anti-war 'movement,' which finds itself unable to include the most anti-war segment of the American public: Black people. Rosa Clemente, of Pacifica's New York radio station WBAI and a founded of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, says, 'This is why the anti-war movement is not working. How are you going to have an anti-war movement that marginalizes Black people?'"