Archive for October, 2007

David Smith-Ferri and Kathy Kelly read from Battlefield Without Borders

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Talk Nation Radio for October 31, 2007

David Smith-Ferri and Kathy Kelly read from Battlefield Without Borders

David Smith-Ferri’s book about Iraqi War Victims

Click here to listen to this week’s program.

TRT: 29:20
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport Or

David reads, ‘Blood at the wrist,’ Dori reads, “They Reach Us,’ and Kathy reads, ‘The Eyes of These Two Children.’ All three poems are from the book, ‘Battlefield without Borders’ available on David’s web site ‘‘. 12 of the 14 dollar cover price is donated to the Iraq War Victims fund.

David Smith-Ferri and Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non Violence
share more of their experiences in Jordan and discuss ways we can help Iraqi War Victims. This program is both a call to action and a celebration of David’s poems and the people who inspired them.

David Smith-Ferri is Poet Laureate of Ukiah, CA. He invites listeners to contact him through his web page to share their ideas on ways to help Iraqi war victims. He and Kathy Kelly have been helping individual Iraqi War Victims get medical care.

Kathy Kelly shares her insights on the problem that we feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.

The problem is outlined on UNHCR’s web site. When I phoned them for information the office spokesperson happened to explain that there were ‘several countries’ they were having problems reaching due to security problems, ‘Darfur, Somalia, and Iraq’, he said. There are some 2.3 million displaced Iraqis living within Iraq and over 2.2 million in neighboriong countries, primarily Syria and Jordan. Some 35% of the Iraqis being helped by UNHCR in Syria have specific needs such as medical needs, many are children, women, or elderly people. And UNHCR is reporting that it is now increasing it’s efforts to do outreach in Jordan in order to reach tens of thousands of Iraqis trying to survive there but many are afraid to approach them. Their fears are understandable. The Jordanian government is deporting them when they are discovered, an ordeal within an ordeal.

David and Kathy invite listeners to contact them through with creative ideas on how to help Iraq War victims. Finally, Kathy Kelly shares some inspirational thoughts about continuing on to help victims of the Iraq War in spite our feelings of despair at the way things have been going. We can borrow courage…she says and from the Iraqis themselves.

Here are two people who have found a way through the politics of confusion. An uplifting and heroic team. We are grateful to them for spending time with us at Talk Nation. See battlefieldwithoutborders, and for further information.

You can also download this program at

Poetry of David Smith-Ferri offers Hope for Direct Aid to Iraqi War Victims

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Coming Soon!
We will soon be posting reviews of Dahr Jamail’s book, Beyond the Green Zone, Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq and the book Battlefield Without Borders written by today’s guest, poet, scholar and humanitarian, David Smith-Ferri.

Talk Nation Radio for October 24, 2007

Listen to this week’s broadcast in64 MP3

Poet David Smith-Ferri on Direct Aid for Iraqi War Victims

The poet reads from his book Battlefield without Borders

‘If Irony Were Justice’
(See poem below)

TRT: 29:23
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport

Download in a variety of formats or link to your web site at

We begin our two part series on the poetry of David Smith-Ferri with a discussion on the direct aid program he has been funding through profits from his book. David is just back from Jordan where he and Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non Violence ( studied the dire needs of Iraqi refugees.

In part two we hear more poetry as both Kathy Kelly and David Smith-Ferri read about the Iraqis they have come to know. The proceeds from the book go to aid Iraq War victims and refugees.

David Smith-Ferri is author of the book, ‘Battlefield without Borders’ and the current Poet Laureate of Ukiah, CA. His poetry won the Janice Farrell Poetry Prize. He has been traveling across the country reading his poetry as a way to call attention to the damage being done to individual Iraqis. His poems have been published in Z magazine, Yes! Magazine, The Other Side Magazine, and the print edition of CounterPunch.

Battlefield without Borders is sold for fourteen dollars and twelve of those dollars go to programs set up to help Iraqi war victims. You can find the book online at David Smith Ferri’s web site: Battlefield Without

We hear about Iraqis who need medical care such as surgery, prosthetic limbs or eyes, and medication for conditions like diabetes and seizures. And we discuss the inner struggles we may have when trying to absorb the truth about the devastation to human life in Iraq and elsewhere on this overheating planet. The poet helps us understand the root of his inspiration and success at staying active: It lies in our relationships with others and getting to know the Iraqis who need our help.Tell the American people I love them,’ offers one Iraqi who was injured by a US bomb while standing on his roof to get better TV reception as the ‘shock and awe’ was beginning.

And we look at some of the recent shocking and ironic stories about armed and ready nuclear cruise missiles flown on a B-52 to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, ( Defense Secretary Gates as he admits that Blackwater may have ‘offended’ Iraqis, and the strange ideas of a US veteran of four wars who sees “us” as the ‘war criminals’…those of us who criticize the war. (his name is Buzz Patterson). In fact, one US soldier wrote home that the American people are becoming the enemy. He perished in the war. What is happening to our collective hearts and minds?

This audio is also available at at in 128 and various other formats including ones suitable for podcasting.

I will place individual poems here soon too so that you can put them on your web site and link to David Smith-Ferri’s sites and others who are participating in this important effort to help the most needy Iraqi War victims.

Voices for Creative Non Violence
Our music is by Fritz Heede, composer and musician whose work has been featured in the film ‘The Oil Factor’

Read the article Roundtable debates energy issues, All-star panel calls for climate change research, market solutions October 15, 2007, By Gerry Shih and Susana Montes. ‘“Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” Abizaid said of the Iraq campaign early on in the talk.

“We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations,” the retired general said. “Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back.”’

…but we can also distill love and pour our energies into action to stop the war and take care of its victims! Learn more about what you can do to
End this unjust war!

We don’t generally share our personal opinions but those of us who are participating in the production of Talk Nation Radio on a regular basis must say that we do support the efforts of Kathy Kelly, David Smith-Ferri, and others who are working tireless to end the war. We are privileged to have had the opportunity to speak with them.

Please cross link your site to their web page, share their work with your local newspaper editors and journalists and bring them to your town for a poetry reading, slide show, or talk about the Iraqis living in dire circumstances in Jordan and other places. Some 750,000 Iraqis have arrived in Jordan alone and they must often continue to live in secret. If caught they are deported, and in such cases family members are often stuck having to survive without a spouse or parent. America is responsible for these refugees under international law and helping them with their medical needs is the least we can do.

Under pressure from the general public the US accepted a mere 7,000 Iraqi refugees. The Bush administration had to be shamed into doing it and were responding to public criticism after CNN report accepting only 466 Iraqi refugees between 2003 and February of 2007. This at least shows us that public outcry can provoke change.

When you purchase ‘Battlefield without Borders’ you are providing 12 dollars of the 14 dollar purchase price to pay for life saving medical care for Iraqi civilians living with terrible war wounds and devastating medical problems.

This is the poem David reads in part one. In part two we will hear Kathy Kelly read another poem from Battlefield without Borders, and the poet offers us another dramatic and compelling reading to help us understand how vital this effort is.

If Irony Were Justice
By David Smith-Ferri

Somewhere, Moustafa knows, he has a twin brother,
an American soldier with wheels for legs
a man who stands for nothing,
a man who is no longer a man
who urinates through a cannula into a bag,
an American digging into the bureaucratic rubble of his government
trying to unearth its humanity,
trying to locate a surgeon’s fingers to reset the clock of his life
and point him forward.

If irony were iron,
Moustafa’s back would have held
when four years ago today
the force of a US missile swept him like a branch from his roof
and dropped him two stories below in his garden.

If irony were bread,
a small round of dough, pounded, stretched, flattened
and thrown on a fire,
a bowl of hummus dribbled with olive oil,
a cool yogurt and cucumber salad,
Moustafa would never be hungry here in Amman.

For three years he rolled his chair through Baghdad –
one more broken body bent to its wheel –
and along concrete and barbed wire barriers that line the “Green Zone”
seeking reparation for his injuries.

I left no door unknocked, he says.

If irony were justice,
the U.S. military would have given him more than a letter:

Moustafa Samir Hassan was injured
when a missile exploded near his home
in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad on April 3rd, 2003 . . .

It would have given him instead:
anesthesia, scalpels, transfusions, trained fingers, aftercare.

Somewhere, Moustafa knows, there is a clinic
with doctors who can repair his back,
who can reorient his life toward the future.
But for now, he is still trying to learn about this war from his television,
still climbing a ladder to fix an antenna on his house in Baghdad,
still falling
like a long-stemmed glass
to hard ground.

From ‘Battlefield without borders’ by David Smith-Ferri

Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-violence and Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Talk Nation Radio for October 17, 2007

1,087,537 Iraqi Civilian Casualties and Counting

Produced by Dori Smith at Pacifica Affiliate WHUS, FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut

TRT: 29:41 music fades

Talk Nation Radio for October 17, 2007
Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-violence and Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy

1,087,537 Iraqi Civilian Casualties and Counting

Produced by Dori Smith at Pacifica Affiliate WHUS, FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut

TRT: 29:41 music fades
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here

Listen to the broadcast here

Download in various formats at

The Just Foreign Policy web site counter stands at 1, 087,537 violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003. Spokesperson Robert Naiman produces the Just Foreign Policy daily news summary and podcast. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics and is co-author, with Mark Weisbrot, of a blog on Huffington Post. He joins us to explain the meaning of the new statistics and assesses responsibility.

Humanitarian and peace activist Kathy Kelly joins us from Chicago. She has just returned from Jordan where she has been assessing conditions for a growing population of some 750,000 Iraqi refugees. She has visited Iraq many times over the years and has long been calling on Americans and others to step in where governments are failing the Iraqi people. We also discuss the possibility that Turkish citizens will be displaced by new fighting at the border with Iraq and look at ways to discuss the war with candidates.

Download at the following links (Use version 2 for enhanced sound quality.) (64 bitrate MP3 (128 and 64 bitrate MP3 files and podcasting)

Civilian casualty reports have ranged wildly over the years and the Bush administration has contributed to the overall downplaying of the numbers. A 2004 study published by the British Medical journal Lancet was based on the joint effort of US medical researchers at John’s Hopkins and Columbia, and Iraqi counter parts at Baghdad’s Al-Mustansiriya University College of Medicine. Their estimate was that as of October 2004 at least 100,000 civilians had died based on interviews with a sampling of residents of 988 Iraqi households. This limited study did not include many parts of the country including Fallujah where 60% of the city was destroyed by US forces during two costly sieges.

Lancet published their follow up study in October of 2006, which established that at least 655,000 civilian Iraqi deaths had occurred.

Iraqis have continued to perish at alarming rates ever since, and according to Robert Naiman, the group Just foreign policy, used the Lancet Study and then extrapolated from reports by Iraq Body Count to arrive at their
1, 087,537 figure.

Iraq body Count publishes an online tally of deaths reported in newspapers.

In September 2007, a new scientific poll of Iraqis confirmed that the number dead is likely to be over a million. The prestigious British polling firm, Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis had been killed violently since the U.S. invasion.

These numbers eclipse the numbers killed during the Rwandan Genocide, and the US is responsible for the deaths explains Robert Naiman.

Useful Links

Journalist David Lindorff on Barksdale Nuke Incident, Leaving Democratic Party, and Mumia Abu Jamal case

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Talk Nation Radio for October 4, 2007

Investigative Journalist David Lindorff on Barksdale Nuke Incident, Leaving Democratic Party, and Mumia Abu Jamal case

Total Running Time 29:29
Produced by Dori Smith at WHUS at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here or try or

Click here to listen in 64 bitrate MP3 or here
for 128 bitrate MP3 zip file.

Journalist, author, and two time Fullbright scholar David Lindorff, joins us for the half hour to discuss his latest articles on leaving the Democratic party, Mumia Abu Jamal, impeachment, and a disturbing incident August 30th involving nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flown in launch position on a B-52 from a base in Minot, North Dakota to one in Barksdale, Loisianna.

The Bush administration has called it a mistake. But Barksdale AFB is a staging area for B-52s being sent to the Middle East for combat duty, Lindorff goes over detail on this and strange deaths of six people including pilots near AF bases.

We discuss David Lindorff’s message to quit the Democratic Party as a political tactic. We look at ongoing efforts to hold Blackwater accountable as an example of what might work to bring about change. What about efforts to restore Constitution and Democracy? — Impeachment is the answer says Lindorff.

Updates: Two Barksdale airmen confirmed dead see this article

Posted documents about Barksdale I came across on the net

July 21, 2008 ‘Barksdale Air Force Base has confirmed the bodies of two of its B-52 bomber crewmembers were pulled from the water Sunday during a search and rescue operation following the aircraft’s crash near Guam,’ the story in the Shreveport Times opens. Byline is: Times staffers John Andrew Prime and Adam Kealoha Causey and Barksdale Warrior Editor Stephanie Bemrose contributed.

“One of the airmen has been identified, but the name is being withheld pending family notification. There is no word on the four other crewmembers.

Col. Robert Wheeler, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, this morning called last night’s Barksdale B-52 bomber crash near Guam a “mishap” but said he knows little else about the missing aircraft.”

Here is another reporter trying hard to document this story of ‘Missing Nukes,’ August 29-30, 2007, Source: Global Research, October 29, 2007, by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.

And another story here

One of the funniest things I received was this.. indeed maybe they were just trying to recycle the nukes.

Sorry we can’t allow comments. Web site crash September 2008 makes it impossible for now but thanks to those who have posted interesting ones. Dori