Archive for April 11th, 2012

by jhwygirl

For you non-Rapture types, Montana Women Vote is co-sponsoring a Congressional Candidate Forum in Missoula tomorrow night, April 12th. (And while I am loath to utilize facebook, MWV do update their page a lot – so here’s that link.)

Head on down to the University Center Theater, 6 p.m. I’m told Pat Williams (Montana’s former U.S. Representative) and Jen Gursky (President of ASUM) will be moderating.

Here’s a piece from Olivia Riutta:

Montana has just one Congressional seat in the US House of Representatives and you have to opportunity to hear directly from candidates where they stand on issues that affect Montana women and families. From education to reproductive health care to funding for programs and services that help Montana women and families, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet the candidates before the June 6th primary election. There will also be time at the end when we will take questions from the audience.

Republicans, it looks like, are once again passing up a non-partisan candidate forum. Is that 5 now? Or 6? Convenient for them, I guess, though I see their party spokespeople online lobbing attacks at the candidates. All this while 3 Republicans and one Libertarian get to hide from the main stream public unbiased forums which seek to get at issue positions.

Why, exactly, are they avoiding public non-partisan debates?

Montana Women Vote will also be at the event registering voters. It’s fine organization doing excellent work in the community educating people on meaningful participation in the democratic process through education and other information-based strategies. I have always been impressed by their presentations.

If you have questions, contact Montana Women Vote at 543-3550 x213

by lizard

When Pogie and I had our recent little spat, he was able to leave on a positive note, saying:

Best of luck to you guys over here. I think I’m going to take my leave for awhile and focus on what matters to me. No doubt you’ll do the same at your place.

I think Pogie is sincere and earnest in writing about what matters to him. Obviously that includes helping get Democrats elected. When I think about some of the legislation that could have passed the last session here in Montana, and the real-life damage it would have done if federal funds had somehow been given back in the name of anti-deficit, ideological purity, it’s hard to argue against supporting Montana Democrats.

For me, one of the topics I keep returning to (with my limited time and knowledge) is foreign policy issues.

Unfortunately my default setting is skepticism when it comes to official lines of reasoning justifying US military involvement around the world, and recently that has put me at odds with other well-meaning people who read and see awful things and want to support ways of stopping it.

Of the more than 200 posts I’ve written in the last year and a half, a few of them examined the counter narrative to the allegedly altruistic aims of using the UN security council to establish a no-fly zone in order to save civilians in Libya.

The fallout from how the US and company exploited the UN resolution to impose regime change in Libya is now being experienced by Syrians, who are suffering under what certainly appears to be a brutal crackdown. But the opposition is by no means innocent, and comprised of a mosaic of actors not fully understood by the west and apartheid Israel, who are yearning for bigger fish to fry.

And by frying fish I mean starting an all out apocalyptic conflagration in the Middle East.

b, the sole blogger @Moon of Alabama, has a new post up speculating on whether or not Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has lost his marbles by floating the idea of invoking NATO’s article 5 over a recent cross-border skirmish:

In a statement that may be interpreted as the harshest response yet to the escalating 13-month-old Syrian crisis, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the first time on Wednesday raised the possibility of calling on the NATO military alliance to protect Turkey’s border against incursions by Syrian forces.

Speaking to reporters travelling with him during his official visit to China, Erdoğan said Turkey may consider invoking NATO’s fifth article to protect Turkish national security in the face of increasing tension along the Syrian border. His comments came after four Syrians who fled to Turkey from the violence in Syria were killed by Syrian forces targeting refugees on the Turkish side of the border on Monday.

What does article 5 say you ask? Good Question. It says:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

There is a counter narrative to this recent development, and one person I regularly follow, Pepe Escobar offers a different depiction of refugees fleeing being targeted by Syrian forces. Instead, there is evidence that Syrian forces came under fire by the Free Syrian Army, who may be getting some level of cover from Turkey.

I think this matters because the consequence of an all out regional war breaking out would be cataclysmic. So yeah, I’m going to keep writing about it, even if including the role Democrats play in the war consensus makes some feel uncomfortable.

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