By JANE NORMAN firstname.lastname@example.org
DES MOINES REGISTER WASHINGTON BUREAU
August 28, 2005
Count on Rep. Jim Leach. He's going to make waves again as, apparently,
the first Republican to sign on to a House resolution demanding disclosure
of administration documents related to what's known as the Downing Street
Aides to the Iowa City Republican on Friday confirmed an announcement
posted on an anti-war Web site, www.afterdowningstreet.org, saying that
Leach will become a co-sponsor of House Resolution 375, authored by Rep.
Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
The resolution, which as of Friday had 39 Democratic co-sponsors, requests
Bush's Long Hot Summer
With his numbers slipping over Iraq and high gas prices, the president's advisers ponder what to do next
By MATTHEW COOPER
Posted Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005
The North Carolina coast is Bush country. But when the Republican congressman from the area, Walter Jones, was picking up hardware at the local Lowe's last week he got an earful from constituents worried about the situation in Iraq and when the U.S. would start pulling out. "Everyone of them said we need some kind of goal line. The Vietnam veterans were especially upset," says Jones who does not favor immediate withdrawal from Iraq but has offered a bipartisan resolution in Congress—along with liberals like Ohio Dem Dennis Kucinich—calling on the administration to come up with some kind of road map for pullout. "I don't know who his speechwriters are," Jones says of the President " but we need to better articulate the guidelines of what is victory."
Two U.S. Senators Held at Russian Airport By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 28, 6:36 PM ET
MOSCOW - A plane carrying two U.S. senators was detained for several hours Sunday while trying to leave Russia, before being permitted to leave the country for Ukraine, according to spokesmen for the lawmakers.
Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., who had been visiting storage sites for weapons of mass destruction, were held at an airport in the Ural Mountain city of Perm for several hours but were allowed to leave after talks between U.S. and Russian officials.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Martin Sheen visits Camp Casey
Following our wedding earlier in the day, Martin Sheen visited Camp Casey and led a Catholic rosary that incorporated the reading of the names of 50 U.S. servicepersons killed in Iraq. Interspersed in the reading of the names, a chorus sang religious hymns from many different faiths. Upon taking the stage, Martin Sheen declared that many had been silent far too long about what's happening and he hoped that Cindy would be the catalyst for changing that. After posing for a photo op with members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, he joined the nightly Camp Casey sunset taps ceremony.
Al Sharpton joins interfaith service
Representatives of a dozen faith-based communities and beliefs gathered this morning for an interfaith prayer service. Each took a moment to express in their own words why this war must end. "We should not declare God to be on our side, but we should be on God's side," said one clergy member. Rev. Al Sharpton closed the service with a moving call to take history into our own hands. Maybe folks didn't have the courage to do what Cindy did, but the least we can do now is stand with her now, he urged.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Two thousand gather for anti-war Texas hoe down and BBQ
Over two thousand people made their way to Camp Casey yesterday for a huge hoe down deep in the heart of Texas. Full buses of supporters from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin unload and loaded throughout the day. The day included a massive volunteer mobilization to serve up a full "Texas-style BBQ," and to support all of the camp visitors in the 100+ heat. After Cindy Sheehan welcomed many of the buses, the main tent stage featured a day of music by artists from across Texas.
Camp Casey II Press Conference
Elliott Adams, for Veterans for Peace, addressing yesterday's morning press conference. Background: Cody Camacho , Tina Garnanez, and Jeff Key, for Iraq Veterans Against the War. Cindy Sheehan and Steve DeFord, for Gold Star Families for Peace. Steve's son David was killed in Iraq last September.
Photo by Jeff Paterson, copywrite 2005
# posted by Jeff Paterson @ 10:33
Change of the Blog Guard
Hi folks. Emily Sharpe, Camp Casey blogger extraordinaire, had to leave this morning to get back to life on the outside. Apparently, she appreciated my daily photos and reports from the camp and has turned over blog control to me in her leave. Of course, I will probably never be able to fill her shoes, but I'll give it my best.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Bring Them Home Now Tour 2005
From Camp Casey, Crawford to Washington, D.C.;
From George Bush's door step to Communities along the way, We Demand That:
Elected Representatives Decide Now to Bring the Troops Home
We Take Care of Them When They Get Here
We Never Again Send Our Loved Ones to War Based on Lies!
On August 31st, the last day of the encampment, the Bring Them Home Now Tour will lauch three buses from Crawford, TX, each carrying military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, D.C. on September 21st, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization September 24th-26th.
"A Tale of Two Wars," by Lewis M. Simons, veteran Washington Post reporter on war in Vietnam. Simons compares his visit this year to Baghdad to his experience in Saigon. Here are some excerpts:
"But the singular constant remains this: Armies and governments at war lie. They tell us that they're winning hearts and minds, that the troops will be home for Christmas, that the mission is accomplished. They did it then, and they're doing it now. My hawkishness is long gone. I went to Iraq this May on an assignment for National Geographic Magazine...I returned home a month later, certain that this war, like Vietnam, will never be won."
General Wes Clark nails all the points
by up2date [Subscribe]
Sun Aug 28th, 2005 at 16:57:58 PDT
Cross posted from It Affects You
As usual, General Wesley Clark gets it right. Today on Meet the Press:
Mr. Russert: Was it a mistake to go into Iraq?
Gen. Clark: Well, I think it was a strategic blunder. First it wasn't connected to the war on terror, at least not to the people that struck us. Secondly, it has proved a huge recruitment tool for al-Qaeda. It's a feed lot for terrorists who want to learn how to fight Americans. We put our American soldiers at risk there. And we're producing terrorists out there. It's a training ground. And seeing American soldiers engaged there just raises the temperature and the blood pressure throughout the Islamic world. So I wish we hadn't done it. But having said that, I still believe there's an opportunity to make the best of a bad situation in Iraq. I don't want to see us come out of there if we can put a strategy together that will leave that region more peaceful and protect our interests and the interests of the other nations.
Chickenhawks Caught on Tape!! Are they really pro-war?
by AHiddenSaint [Subscribe]
Sun Aug 28th, 2005 at 18:15:15 PDT
Truthout actually asked the tough questions that should have been asked by reporters.
Pro-war or just chickenhawks? These are your Republicans in action. Send your kids not me!!! Maybe truthout could get their video shown on countdown?
The New York Times
By FRANK RICH
Published: August 28, 2005
ANOTHER week in Iraq, another light at the end of the tunnel. On Monday President Bush saluted the Iraqis for "completing work on a democratic constitution" even as the process was breaking down yet again. But was anyone even listening to his latest premature celebration?
We have long since lost count of all the historic turning points and fast-evaporating victories hyped by this president. The toppling of Saddam's statue, "Mission Accomplished," the transfer of sovereignty and the purple fingers all blur into a hallucinatory loop of delusion. One such red-letter day, some may dimly recall, was the adoption of the previous, interim constitution in March 2004, also proclaimed a "historic milestone" by Mr. Bush. Within a month after that fabulous victory, the insurgency boiled over into the war we have today, taking, among many others, the life of Casey Sheehan.
Critic of U.S. contract in Iraq gets demotion
By Eric Eckholm The New York Times
MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2005
NEW YORK A top U.S. Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive Iraq contract with the Halliburton Company was demoted for what the army called a poor job performance.
The official, Bunnatine Greenhouse, is a 20-year veteran of military procurement and for the last several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.
The demotion on Saturday removed her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigned her to a lesser job in the corps' civil works division.
Greenhouse's lawyer, Michael Kohn, called the action "obvious reprisal" for the strong objections she raised in 2003 to a series of corps decisions involving the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown Root, which has garnered more than $10 billion for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"She is being demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the army's preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs," he said in an interview Sunday
Reuters soundman killed in Baghdad,police blame US
28 Aug 2005 15:14:19 GMT
By Alastair Macdonald
BAGHDAD, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A Reuters Television soundman was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday and a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
Iraqi police said they had been shot by U.S. forces. A U.S. military spokesman said the incident was being investigated.
Waleed Khaled, 35, was hit by a shot to the face and at least four to the chest as he drove to check a report from police sources of an incident involving police and gunmen in the Hay al-Adil district, in the west of the city.
Report: More journalists killed in Iraq than Vietnam
Sunday, August 28, 2005 Posted: 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
PARIS, France (Reuters) -- More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.
Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said.
The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday, while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
August 24, 2005 No.236
The ‘Super Spike’ in Oil Prices – Implications for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia
By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli*.
The recent spike in prices at the pump has been "shock and awe" for the American driver – a situation occupying the front pages of major dailies and many minutes of airtime on television news programs. In one year, the price of oil has risen by 52 percent. Drivers who paid $25 to fill their tanks a year ago now pay $50 and more. No relief is in sight. OPEC members (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries) are already producing at full capacity, and OPEC's figures show that the 10 member countries, excluding Iraq, are currently producing 30,255 million barrels of crude oil daily.  With the exception of Saudi Arabia, none of the cartel members currently has surplus capacity. 
Blair Was Warned Iraq War Would Fuel Extremism
Mushtak Parker, Arab News
LONDON, 29 August 2005 — The war to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein continues to haunt British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has consistently denied any link between the war and the rise of extremism among British Muslims.
Yesterday it emerged that London was warned more than a year ago before the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 56 people, that the war made Britain a target for extremists, who now regard Britain, along with the United States, as a “crusader state
Holy Sports Talk, Batman!
Seems in some ways to be an even better indicator of public opinion than polls charting Bush's approval ratings - the sports guys are beginning to question Bush's priorities and the war in Iraq.
From an August 22 item by USA Today sports columnist Ian O' Connor:
This was a minor misstep when measured against a biking and fishing vacation lasting longer than the Spanish Inquisition. Bush is a man who cares about fitness — this is good. When a bum knee forced him to stop running, he could've done what most 50-something men with bum knees do: limit their recreational pursuits to synchronized channel-surfing. Bush burned calories on the 10-speed instead.
But nobody wants to hear about his impressive pulse rate and body-fat percentages when American boys and girls are dying overseas, and when lawmakers start throwing around the dreaded V-word — Vietnam — in the daily dialogue on Iraq.
Although not known to be a sports columnist, Maureen Dowd offers a similar side dish of snark:
I mean, I like to exercise, but W. is psychopathic about it. He interviewed one potential Supreme Court nominee, Harvie Wilkinson III, by asking him how much he exercised. Last winter, Mr. Bush was obsessed with his love handles, telling people he was determined to get rid of seven pounds.
Shouldn't the president worry more about body armor than body fat?
Instead of calling in Karl Rove to ask him if he'd leaked, W. probably called him in to order him to the gym.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Bush Enjoys Vacation While Troops Continue to Make the Ultimate Sacrifice
67 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since President Bush began his annual vacation. As of today, 1,874 men & women have lost their lives in this war.
President Bush has defended his vacation during a time of war by saying "it’s time to get on with my life." Given his recent approval ratings, if the election was held today, the majority of Americans would be happy to give him an early retirement. This year's five week break is, according to the Washington Post, "the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years."
Bush lies, they die
Thoughts on Iraq, its very bad constitution, and a cowardly press
President George W. Bush did something remarkable several days ago. He actually mentioned the number of Americans who have died in Iraq — 1864 and climbing.
Bush’s reference to the dead comes at a time when his standing in opinion polls is lower even than Richard Nixon’s during the depths of Watergate. In those days of constitutional crisis Nixon mustered an approval rating of 39 percent. Today, Bush scores 36 percent.
Bush spoke in a context intended to bolster support for the Iraqi constitution, a seriously flawed document that is a recipe for intensifying the low-level civil war now being waged by that gang of out-of-nation Islamic terrorists and in-state die-hard supporters of Saddam Hussein who have come to be known collectively as insurgents.
Rather than promote a Western-style pluralistic democracy, the existing Iraqi constitution contains more loopholes than the US tax code. The worst of these loopholes can be used to deny women liberties and rights while simultaneously opening the door for religious courts to review and overturn civil, secular legislation.
One of 1873 regulars
Casey Sheehan sold shoes. When careless customers left soiled nylon socks or shoebox packing materials on the floor, he’d clean them up. When kids purposefully swapped shoes and put them in different boxes, he’d reunite the correct mates. He also emptied garbage, restocked shelves, swept stockroom floors, and completed various other mundane tasks that come with a job in retail. I know this because for two years we worked together at a low-end department store called Mervyn’s in our California hometown.
Like most employees at our store, Casey wasn’t great with customers. He was shy and sometimes awkward, and could be unfriendly to clientele and co-workers alike. All reasons, I thought, that he eventually left the shoe department and started working in the back room, a job code-named "logistics," where he concentrated on tracking inventory and replenishing stock. On logistics, Casey roamed the cavernous back rooms alone most days stuffing new products, such as towels and sheet sets and soap dispensers, onto wooden shelves, visiting the store’s various departments to deliver goods or conduct price checks. Yet Casey and I still had our problems. When I’d call him on our store-issued walkie-talkies to request assistance, he’d rarely respond with a sense of urgency. I never thought the guy liked me very much.
Bronwyn Garrison, my best friend’s wife, dated Casey in high school, where they both took theater classes and performed in a staging of an obscure play, Good Morning Ms. Dove. Garrison says that Casey was an Eagle Scout and an altar boy. He played video games and liked Star Trek.
As Casey’s mother, Cindy Sheehan, prepares to resume her protest on a dusty roadside in Crawford, Texas, people across America have divided into two camps: those who put Cindy on a pedestal, and those who say she’s exploiting her son’s sacrifice to advance her own political agenda (or that she’s being exploited by the left). But for those who actually knew one of the soldiers killed in Iraq — even if he was a guy in the shoe department who didn’t like you very much — Casey Sheehan’s mom is performing a service in the absence of the coffins.
Casey never struck me as anything other than a regular guy. There’s nothing wrong with that, and for once in America we should celebrate a hero for what he really was. There were 1872 soldiers just like him.
Issue Date: August 26 - September 1, 2005
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Press Wants to Know if Pro-War Officials Will Send Their Own Kids to War
By E&P Staff
Published: August 27, 2005 7:45 PM ET
NEW YORK It's a question from the press sure to be posed more and more as the months go on, directed at public officials who continue to support the Iraq war: If you believe in the cause so deeply, why aren't your own kids signing up? Most prominently, President Bush (through his press spokesmen) is now hearing it, but it's now trickling down to the congressional and state level.
Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a strong backer of Bush policy in Iraq -- who has give sons age 24 to 35 -- heard the query yesterday, from a Boston Herald reporter. Romney, who has promoted National Guard recruitment, replied, a bit angrily, that he has not urged his own sons to enlist -- and isn't sure whether they would.
The Herald tossed the question as Romney as he was honored by the Massachusetts National Guard. "No, I have not urged my own children to enlist. I don't know the status of my childrens' potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve," Romney said, his voice tinged with anger, the Herald reported.
Neither the Romney children nor the governor have served in the military, a Romney spokeswoman said.
Velvet Revolution Takes Off The Gloves,
Launches Controversial Long-Term Ad Campaign
CRAWFORD — The Velvet Revolution, a nationwide movement started immediately following the discovery of numerous voting discrepancies in Ohio following the 2004 Presidential election, is launching a long-term advertising campaign questioning “why the rich children of this chicken hawk administration won’t go to war.
Arrests, rhetoric highlight protests
By Thaddeus DeJesus and J.B. Smith Tribune-Herald staff writers
Sunday, August 28, 2005
CRAWFORD -– With five days left until the end of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil near President Bush's ranch, Crawford became protest central Saturday as supporters and opponents of the Iraq war rallied, marched and simmered in 101-degree heat.
A handful also got themselves arrested, including a protester whose anti-Sheehan sign was deemed unnecessarily offensive by organizers of a large pro-Bush rally. The man carrying the sign became violent when he was asked to put it down.
Ken Robinson, of Richardson, Texas, who described himself as a Vietnam veteran, was carrying a sign at a “You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!
Grim reminder of the future
[Information I’ve seen indicates that] 89 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan so far this month as the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, with no sign, or mention, of Osama bin Laden, despite bombings in London, nor does President Bush appear interested in finding him or the anthrax terrorists. Indeed, Bush is busy setting vacation records.
For Americans who’ve noticed the looming cloud over the United States since Bush took office and wonder, “What’s going on?
Call This Passive?
We're Young and We Do It Our Way
By Anya Kamenetz
Sunday, August 28, 2005; Page B03
I'll never forget the first time I marched on Washington. It was an overwhelming rush to join such a huge crowd, drumming and dancing, shouting to stop the war. When we saw the small city of people-- 100,000! -- assembled on the Mall, we knew we were making history.
The date? Oct. 26, 2002. My age? 22. The war? Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As the vigil of Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan has refocused a jaded media's attention on the antiwar movement, some are asking: Why has a middle-aged mom emerged as a hero? Why not a young radical? Where is the youthful passion that fueled popular politics a generation ago?
Well, it may come as a shock to those who wear the blinders of nostalgia, but the youth movement of today is bigger than ever before. We're just having some trouble getting the world to pay attention.
Despite the familiar, unthinking smear of young people as apathetic, I and the countless others I've met and reported on over the past five years care just as much as our parents ever did. The difference is in the balance of hope and despair -- how much we believe we can truly affect a world that progressives, anyway, think is going horribly wrong.
The truth is, the 2000s so far have taught our generation that the old methods of expressing your beliefs -- activism, voting -- aren't going to work by themselves. And we're just now figuring out what to do next.
A quiet majority replaces Vietnam's "silent majority."
BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Friday, August 26, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is an aphorism of uncertain truth everyone seems to have etched into their minds. Who can forget? From the sound of the "antiwar" tom-toms thumping across the land, forgetting the past is the one thing America doesn't have to worry about. We routinely open the sepulchers of memory, and just now it is the "ghost of Vietnam" that is strolling among us.
Gary Hart, a former Democratic senator from Colorado who ran for president twice and worked on the McGovern campaign, published an op-ed in the Washington Post this week in which he exhorted someone in his party to actively oppose Mr. Bush on the war--to "jump on the hot stove" of Iraq, notwithstanding the Democrats' searing experience with Vietnam.
Chuck Hagel, a senator from Nebraska and current presidential marathoner, is beating his singular path to the nomination by explicitly saying that as in Vietnam, we are "bogged down" in Iraq and "need to be out." Also on the yellow brick road to the presidency, Democratic senator Russ Feingold has called for withdrawal from Iraq by Dec 31, 2006
Maybe Santayana was misquoted. Maybe what he meant to say is those who remember history are condemned to repeat it. And repeat it, and repeat it.
Joan Baez, now 64, has descended from the mists to sing songs at Cindy Sheehan's Crawford ditch in Texas. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, respectively 62 and 61, have decided to cap their careers with a new song called "Sweet Neo-Con" ("It's liberty for all . . . unless you are against us, then it's prison without trial.") The ghost of Tom Hayden showed up on Bill O'Reilly this week to announce, with the confidence of experience, that "an exit strategy is an art form all in itself." And indeed some polls have dropped the war's support below 50%.
Here's a truer saying: It's déjà vu all over again.
Any politician aspiring to the presidency who gets the call wrong on the Iraq war may find himself in the ditch George McGovern dug for his party in 1972--with 37.5% of the vote. Perhaps the reason Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden aren't jumping in front of Cindy's parade is that as a matter of species survival they're required to keep an ear to the ground. And you know what, the times really have changed since Vietnam.
Richard Nixon, amid a similar low ebb of popularity with Vietnam, gave a famous speech in 1969. This was the year after the Tet offensive, which caused Walter Cronkite's famous Hagel-like throwing in of the towel. In that speech Nixon described a "great silent majority" in America. The idea, of course, was that the daily media attention commanded by the antiwar movement was missing a class of Americans who sat home seething at the behavior of the protesters.
Today, because of the Internet, no one has to seethe in silence, as wired activists in both parties proved in 2004's high-tech election, and now. But it may be that the current infatuation with anti-Bush, anti-Iraq sentiment is again missing a political current flowing beneath the surface of the news, just as the media missed the silent majority 40 years ago and the values voters in the 2004 election.
Pro- and Anti-War Demonstrations Hit Texas By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 37 minutes ago
CRAWFORD, Texas - Several thousand people descended on President Bush's adopted hometown Saturday, attending a rally supporting him or arriving for the last leg of an anti-war demonstration near his ranch.
The pro-Bush rally by the school football stadium was the culmination of the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour that started last week in California — referring to the protest that peace activist Cindy Sheehan started Aug. 6 near Bush's ranch.
Several times the crowd of about 1,500 chanted, "Cindy, go home!"
"You are giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America," said former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, a Republican who co-founded Move America Forward, the group that coordinated the rally.
Meanwhile, busloads of war protesters gathered several miles away at "Camp Casey," named for Sheehan's 24-year-old son who died in Iraq last year, for a Saturday bell-ringing ceremony to honor soldiers serving in Iraq. Organizers estimated the crowd at more than 2,000, but it appeared smaller.
"I know that the Camp Casey movement is going to end the war in Iraq," Sheehan said, adding that no other families should have to suffer the loss of a relative. She led the crowd in chanting "Not one more!"
The Fire Sermon
By Chris Floyd
08/26/05 "Moscow Times" -- -- In his inaugural speech last January, President George W. Bush repeatedly invoked images of unbridled, ravaging destruction as the emblem of his crusade for "freedom." Fire was his symbol, his word of power, his incantation of holy war. Mirroring the rhetoric of his fundamentalist enemies, Bush moved the conflict from the political to the spiritual, from the outer world to the inner soul, claiming that he had lit "a fire in the minds of men."
But words are recalcitrant things; they have their own magic, and they will often find their own meanings, outside the intentions of those who use them. Bush has indeed inflamed the minds of men -- and women -- with his military crusade. But it is not the "untamed fire of freedom" that scorches them: It is the fire of grief and outrage at the lies that have consumed the bodies of their loved ones. This bitter flame burns in the rubble of blasted houses in Iraq and in the quiet, leafy suburbs of America, where the dead are mourned and the mutilated are left as the enduring legacy of Bush's cruel, wilful and unnecessary war.
This "fire in the mind" has now found its own symbol in the unlikely figure of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain American soldier. Here again, Bush's war-rousing words have gotten away from him. Sheehan's campaign -- which began as a lonely vigil outside Bush's vacation ranch and has now spread across the country -- centers on a single, simple request: that Bush explain to her what he means when he describes the war as "a noble cause."