New Issue Of Traveling Soldier Is Out!

March 24, 2008

New Issue Of Traveling Soldier Is Out!

This issue features:

1. “Without the active support of military service members, this war cannot continue. … [W]ithout people to drive the trucks, to man the checkpoints, and to go out on nightly raids, no war is possible”

2. “The tide is beginning to turn” writes Iraq vet J.D. Englehart of IVAW & The Military Project.

3. Bridging the Gap – a conference for those who want to do military organizing hosted by the Military Project.

4. Bridging the Gap – a poem by a Vietnam Vet written for the Conference.

5. Active-Duty and Vets Organize Against the War at Fort Hood

6. “It’s soldier’s lives being tossed away on this never-ending bad wager, in the hope that somehow, someday, a big win will come out of it”

Click here to read the entire issue

Latin Music Giant “Cachao” Dies at 89

March 24, 2008

Mambo creator ‘Cachao’ dies at 89

Cuban-born jazz musician Israel “Cachao” Lopez, credited with inventing the mambo, has died in Miami at the age of 89.

The bassist and composer left Cuba for the US in the early 1960s and continued to perform until his final months.

The mambo emerged from his improvisational work with his late brother, multi-instrumentalist Orestes Lopez, in the late 1930s. A family spokesman said Lopez died with his relatives around him. He had fallen ill in the past week and died at Coral Gable Hospital, the spokesman added.

Cuban-American actor Andy Garcia, who made a 1993 documentary about the musician, praised him as the “musical father” of Cubans.

“He is revered by all who have come in contact with him and his music,” Garcia said in a statement.

“Maestro… you have been my teacher and you took me in like a son. “I will continue to rejoice with your music and carry our traditions wherever I go, in your honour.”

Lopez, a classically- trained bassist who began performing with Havana’s symphony orchestra as a teenager, was a prolific composer of songs and pieces of music based on the Cuban music style of son.

In the 1930s, Lopez and his brother pioneered mambo after experimenting with Afro-Cuban music.

In a 2004 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he said the origins of mambo “happened in 1937”.

“My brother and I were trying to add something new to our music and came up with a section that we called danzon mambo,” he said. “It made an impact and stirred up people. “At that time our music needed that type of enrichment.”

The new genre enjoyed popularity in the 1950s and, since then, has been a jazz staple.

After he emigrated in 1962, Lopez performed at New York’s Palladium nightclub with the leading Latin bands of the day.

He collaborated with Latin music stars including Tito Puente, Tito Rodrigues and Gloria Estefan.
But, after moving to Miami in the 1980s, he fell into relative obscurity.

In the 1990s, thanks partly to Garcia’s documentary, Lopez came back to international attention and released several successful albums.

In 2003, he was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Accepting the award, he said: “Imagine, this is for all of you. “I want to dedicate this award not only to my country, but all Latin America and the United States.”

In 2004, he received a Grammy Award for his album Agora Si.

A funeral service will take place on Wednesday.

Cartoon of the Day

March 24, 2008


March 20, 2008


Uno hace versos y ama
la extraña risa de los niños,
el subsuelo del hombre
que en las ciudades ácidas disfraza su leyenda,
la instauración de la alegría
que profetiza el humo de las fábricas.

Uno tiene en las manos un pequeño país,
horribles fechas,
muertos como cuchillos exigentes,
obispos venenosos,
inmensos jóvenes de pie
sin más edad que la esperanza,
rebeldes panaderas con más poder que un lirio,
sastres como la vida,
páginas, novias,
esporádico pan, hijos enfermos,
abogados traidores
nietos de la sentencia y lo que fueron,
bodas desperdiciadas de impotente varón,
madre, pupilas, puentes,
rotas fotografías y programas.
Uno se va a morir,
un año,
un mes sin pétalos dormidos;
disperso va a quedar bajo la tierra
y vendrán nuevos hombres
pidiendo panoramas.
Preguntarán qué fuimos,
quienes con llamas puras les antecedieron,
a quienes maldecir con el recuerdo.
Eso hacemos:
custodiamos para ellos el tiempo que nos toca.

– Roque Dalton García

Music Video of the Week

March 20, 2008

Erykah Badu – Soldier

Open Letter to the Democratic Front-runner

March 20, 2008

Voice of the Day

March 20, 2008

“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.”

– Carl T. Rowan

Georgia State Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence Against Troy Davis

March 20, 2008

This case is another example of the unjust and racist nature of the death penalty. The case against Troy Davis consisted entirely of “witness” testimony, which were full inconsistencies throughout the trial. On that basis alone, Davis was convicted and placed on death row.

Help Save Troy Davis!


March 17, 2008

USA: Amnesty International Decries Ruling in Troy Davis Case

GA Supreme Court Decision is ‘Simply Stunning;’ U.S. ‘Has Shrugged Off the Very Notion of Justice at Every Level’ in Davis Case

(Atlanta) — Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) decried today’s Georgia Supreme Court decision to deny a new trial for Troy Anthony Davis, who has been on death row for more than 16 years despite significant concerns regarding his innocence. The human rights organization, which has collected more than 60,000 petition signatures while campaigning for Davis, said the ruling demonstrates a blatant disregard for justice, and asserted that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles must grant clemency in his case.

“The claim that evidence in Davis’ favor was not sufficient to reopen his case is simply stunning,” said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. “In turning a blind eye to the realities of the case, the legal system has shrugged off the very notion of justice at every level, from Savannah to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Board of Pardons must recognize that a blind adherence to technicalities cannot trump a concerted search for the truth, especially when a human being’s life is at stake.”

The Georgia State Supreme Court decided 4-3 against a new trial or evidentiary hearing, with the majority ruling that the Savannah trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Davis’ extraordinary motion for new trial without first conducting a hearing.

Amnesty International maintains that the case has been tainted from the start, with a questionable police investigation, a lack of funding to ensure adequate defense, and an increasingly restrictive appeals process, which has thwarted attempts to present new evidence in the case. In the wake of the state Supreme Court decision, the human rights organization is once again calling for the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles to commute the death sentence for Davis due to the troubling facts of the conviction.

Troy Davis was convicted of the murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail in 1991. Davis was convicted solely on the basis of witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony. No murder weapon was found and no physical evidence linked Davis to the crime. Several cited police coercion, and others fear of one of the remaining two witnesses, whom they allege actually committed the crime.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court is ignoring the fundamental flaws that underlie the death penalty in Georgia and in Troy Davis’s case,” said Jared Feuer, Southern Regional Director of AIUSA. “As a result, we will continue to advocate for a re-examination of his sentence and of Georgia’s use of capital punishment. Officer MacPhail’s life was cut tragically short, and his family and the people of Georgia deserve justice. This will not be accomplished by executing a man with a strong case of innocence.”


CONTACT: Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247
Or Jared Feuer at 404-876-5661 x14

Cartoon of the Day

March 20, 2008

Why Are Winter Soldiers Not News?

March 20, 2008

Why Are Winter Soldiers Not News?


Dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered in Silver Spring, Maryland last weekend for the Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan hearings (3/13/08-3/16/08), where they offered harrowing testimony about atrocities they had witnessed or participated in directly.

The BBC predicted that the event, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, “could be dominating the headlines around the world this week” (3/7/08). The hearings were covered as far afield as the U.K. (Guardian, 3/17/08), Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3/14/08), Croatia (Javno, 3/16/08), and Iran (Press TV, 3/14/08). Yet there has been an almost complete media blackout on this historic news event in the U.S. corporate media.

Despite being noted in the New York Times’ Paris-based International Herald Tribune (3/13/08), Winter Soldier has yet to be mentioned in the New York Times itself.

No major U.S. newspaper has covered the hearings except as a story of local interest; the few stories major U.S. newspapers have published on the event have focused on the participation of local vets (Boston Globe, 3/16/08; Boston Herald, 3/16/08; Newsday, 3/16/08, Buffalo News, 3/16/08).

The Washington Post, too, published their account in the metro section (3/15/08). In contrast, the paper published an article about pro-war demonstrators protesting the Winter Soldier hearings in the A section (3/16/08), despite the fact that they were, according to the Post, “small in number.”

None of the major broadcast TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) have mentioned the hearings in their newscasts. PBS has been silent as well.

But for a couple of exceptions (Time, 3/15/08; NPR, 3/16/08), the hearings have been virtually ignored by all but the independent media (Democracy Now!, 3/14/08; 3/17-18/08; In These Times, 3/17/08; Alternet, 3/14/08) and military publications (Stars and Stripes, 3/15/08 and the four Military Times newsweeklies, 3/15/08, 3/17/08), in a pattern reminiscent of the near complete corporate media blackout on the first Winter Soldier hearings.

FAIR founder Jeff Cohen (Huffington Post, 3/16/08) traces the beginning of his career as a media critic back to his experience of watching as “one of the rare mainstream camera crews showed up at Winter Soldier… and then abruptly packed up to leave in the middle of particularly gripping testimony.”

While the testimony of soldiers who had served multiple tours of duty was broadcast on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV, and the Real News network, the major broadcast networks and PBS instead devoted airtime to the pro-war assessments of Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, both of whom have only made brief visits to Iraq (NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, PBS NewsHour, all 3/17/08).

Given the common media rhetoric of “supporting the troops” (FAIR Action Alert, 3/26/03), to ignore these same troops when they speak out about the horrors of the war is unconscionable. On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, it is particularly important that the media reverse this silence, and include the voices of the vets who are speaking out about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan in national news coverage.

Contact the broadcast networks and ask them why they decided to ignore the Winter Soldiers hearings while carrying the less-informed observations on Iraq of John McCain and Dick Cheney.


ABC World News
ABC World News contact web form
Phone: 212-456-7777

CBS Evening News
Phone: 212-975-3691

NBC Nightly News
Phone: 212-664-4971