Rallying the Troops and Avoiding Reality
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, August 27, 2005; Page A17
There is something almost surreal in the juxtaposition of President Bush's statements on Iraq and news reporting on the war. The two are simply irreconcilable.
Bush's upbeat take collides with recent news reports about events in Iraq as well as with the judgments of senior officials within his administration. If the media have got it wrong, then we deserve to get hammered. If, however, it turns out that Bush is not being straight with courageous U.S. service members and their families, then it will be the Bush presidency and his legacy that will pay dearly.
At the moment he's hitting it off in visits to military posts, where he dons his commander-in-chief hat. One Bush line always draws applause: "We will stay on the offensive. Whatever it takes, we will seek and find and destroy the terrorists, so that we do not have to face them in our own country." It went over well last year with a gathering of applauding Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group and the Night Stalkers, at Fort Campbell, Ky.
In June the president went to Fort Bragg, N.C., and in a televised address described Iraq as the latest battlefield in the war on terrorism, saying: "America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend . . . . We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
And to cheering military families at Nampa, Idaho, this week, Bush said: "Terrorists will emerge from Iraq one of two ways: emboldened or defeated . . . . for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, the terrorists will be defeated."
Bush's portrayal of America as a nation besieged by a cruel enemy that has made Iraq the battleground is one of the reasons America's military families willingly send sons and daughters off to war. Yes, it's hard duty, but what goal is worthier than defending America? Stated that way, there's no argument, at least where I'm concerned. That was one of the reasons that I, along with many in my generation, suited up during the Cold War.
The country should be grateful to all who wear the uniform of the United States and to the families that are sacrificing to achieve Bush's stated mission to fight the terrorists over there, and "stay until the fight is won."
But what if something else is in the works? Suppose staying on the offense "until the enemy is broken," an applause line, is just that -- an applause line?
This latest batch of photos includes some of supporters of Cindy Sheehan, but mostly images of pro-death demonstrators leaving their rally at a stadium in Crawford. See if you can tell who is who.
Also watch for a video on www.truthout.org in which Scott Galindez asks a 19-year-old pro-war activist whether he'll sign up to go, and he replies: only if there's a draft.
From Camp Casey, Crawford to Washington DC
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!
We are currently at a significant turning point in how the American public views the war in Iraq. As the death toll in Iraq rises, Cindy Sheehan’s vigil near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Americans. Bush’s approval rating is falling. The voice of military families, who have lost loved ones and those with loved ones in harm’s way or about to deploy, can activate the American people. The voice of veterans, both of this war and of previous wars will also build the movement to end the war. Together these critical voices can demand that President Bush make the decision now to bring the troops home.
On August 31st, the last day of the encampment, the Bring Them Home Now Tour will launch three buses from Crawford, Texas, 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, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization September 24th-26th.
The tour will amplify the voice of Gold Star families, who show the devastating human cost of this war; the voice of military families, for whom each and every day that this war continues brings the potential for the most devastating of consequences; and the voice of veterans, who can share the ground truth about war and the impact on those who were sent off to fight it.
Over the course of the tour, members of the sponsoring organizations will reach out to military families, veterans, and concerned citizens in cities and towns in the heartland, the north, and the south. The Tour will spread the truth about the war in Iraq, mobilize people to Washington DC for September 24-26th and ask Congressional decision-makers the hard questions Cindy has asked President Bush and to learn what our elected representatives are doing to bring this war to an end.
The Bring Them Home Now Tour is sponsored by Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
Email and contact information for the Bring Them Home Now Tour
Turn off your tv. Stay away from MSM. They're not giving you the real story here at Camp Casey 2 where it's peaceful. Some pro-Georgie's are driving by, trying to engage us in banter, but we're here for peace.
Jesse is singing "Sons & Daughters" right now...the song Indy told us about earlier in the week (and some of us listened to online). "How 'bout your son? How 'bout your daughter? How come it's always poor folk who get shuffled off to slaughter?"
We're safe. We're all in this together. And this is the beginning of the end of the war.
Posted by: Indy & madame defarge together in peace at August 27, 2005 07:28 PM
Sheehan's ad says Bush lied about Iraq war
Some stations refuse to air commercial by soldier's mom
By Nick Madigan
Originally published August 27, 2005
In her effort to elicit an explanation from President Bush as to his reasons for continuing to wage war in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier, has ruffled feathers far and wide, riling the president's supporters unlike anyone since Michael Moore's polemics in Fahrenheit 9/11.
Yesterday, Sheehan - who has returned to her protest post near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, after tending to a family emergency - launched a national commercial on CNN and Fox News in which she asks the president, "How many more soldiers have to die before we say enough?"
"You were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction," Sheehan says in the ad. "You were wrong about the link between Iraq and al-Qaida. You lied to us and because of your lies, my son died."
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Frary column points to problems with Bush
LINK TO ORIGINAL
A troubling example of war supporters' answers to serious questions about Iraq appeared in John Frary's column (Aug. 19) regarding Cindy Sheehan's opposition to the war that took her son's life.
When confronted with legitimate questions about our involvement, Bush surrogates attempt to ignore the questions, smear the messenger, devise distractions, and change the subject. Frary managed to do it all in his personal attack on Mrs. Sheehan while arrogantly bragging about avoiding the news.
The ultimate sad reality in this avoidance of critical war concerns, is that it exemplifies how we are saddled with a president who is unbelievably isolated from dialogue. His audiences are sanitized ticket-holding boosters, he shrugs off critics, pays lip-service to military family sacrifices and is surrounded only by advisors that march to his war tune. Bush wants to force democracy in Iraq without having democracy at home.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Sheehan asking Bush the right questions
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Cindy Sheehan might dare to ask George W. Bush the question he fears most: "Mr. Bush, since you have told us that the war in Iraq is vital to America's freedom and that there is no higher calling for our young people than military service, why haven't your daughters volunteered to serve in Iraq?" If the war in Iraq isn't worth putting the sons and daughters of the rich and powerful in harm's way, we need to admit that and bring all of our troops home now.
The war in Iraq was sold to the American people by snake-oil salesmen who used lies and scare tactics. John Frary's blather would have you believe that all the pre-war hype about "weapons of mass destruction" and innuendoes of links between Saddam and al-Qaida or 9/11 were merely the result of honest mistakes caused by the use of imperfect intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Standing with Cindy Sheehan (and learning why Jesus wept)
By Duncan Burch
Online Journal Contributing Writer
"And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark."—Ralph W. Emerson
August 26, 2005—On Wednesday, August 17, I rode from Austin to Crawford, Texas, with two beautiful women who happen to share my belief that George W. Bush is a deceitful and treacherous jackass who deserves to be run out of office as soon as possible because he has betrayed the trust of the American people.
We went there to show our support for Cindy Sheehan, who has been holding a vigil outside Bush's Crawford ranch since August 6, shortly after the president began his five-week, war-time vacation there.
UPDATES ON CINDY SHEEHAN VISIT TO CRAWFORD
Saturday, August 27, 2005
(Reverse Time Order — More Recent Entries Toward Top)
Michael Harvey reporting for the Iconoclast
At Camp Casey I, the Bush side is chanting "George Bush!" and the anti-war side is finishing their sentence by chanting "War criminal!"
The Bush side is loudly calling out, "Where is your anti-semitic leader?"
One pro-war sign says, "Cindy and Osama sitting in a tree." Another says "Who's paying you?"
A bunch of cars are passing by honking, as they have been constantly today.
Now the Bush side is yelling, "I'm for W."
There are close to 200 people out here now (both sides combined).
Music and barbecue is planned on the Camp Casey side this afternoon.
by CindySheehan [Subscribe]
Sat Aug 27th, 2005 at 06:51:02 PDT
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford
I finally figured out George Bush's NEW reason for staying in Iraq. This reason has also been co-opted by the Move America Forward (forward to what: Fascism?) and the poor mothers who would be honored if their sons were killed in George Bush's war for greed and power.
Since the Freedom and Democracy thing is not going so well and the Iraqi parliament is having such a hard time writing their constitution. Since violence is mounting against Iraqis and Americans and since his poll numbers are going down everyday, he had to come up with something.
I have continually asked George Bush to quit using Casey's name the name of the other Gold Star Families for Peace loved ones to justify his continued killing. He continues to say this: "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission." So the mission is now this: WE MUST CONTINUE KILLING AMERICANS BECAUSE AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY BEEN KILLED!!!
For folks heading for Crawford, a message from the Crawford Peace House and DU's Anarchy1999.
Update 11:08 Crawford time:
Desperately need folks to help direct traffic today and tomorrow! When you come into Crawford, see Barbara at the Peace House. Don't stop in front of the Peace House. Overflow parking is at the Westin Hotel.
Lots of folks waiting for shuttles. Anarchy passed 6 vans and 2 busses headed to Camp Casey.
Peacekeepers in Green and Blue bandanas at Camp Casey. They have cell phones and are working with CPH and local sheriff's dept. Don't confront anyone. Go to peacekeepers if you see disruptors.
Medic tent is up and working!
You called for an investigation of the Downing Street minutes, the first direct evidence that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy". Now House Representative Barbara Lee is standing up with already 50 co-sponsors, including at least one Republican, to demand that the administration deliver to Congress evidence of all communications with the British government that caused them to reach this conclusion in their own minds. Please ask your own house member to vote FOR this Resolution of Inquiry (H.R. 375) and join in sponsoring it if they have not signed on already.
Cindy Sheehan just spoke and said she'd finally figured out what the noble cause was. Bush, she said, wants to kill more American soldiers because he's already killed so many. That's the reason.
When Bush started this war, Cindy said, he said "You're with us or you're against us." Well, Cindy said, Mr. President, WE'RE AGAINST YOU!
Cindy also spoke to the members of the media who have been smearing her and her family. "Smear away," she shouted, "because we're not going away!"
How many more, Cindy asked, have to die for lies? For giving those who have too much power more power?
Leaders and members of Military Families Speak Out spoke out in Crawford today, and Joan Baez led the crowd (which is clearly well over 1,000, if not 2,000, just at Camp Casey 2) in "Amazing Grace". MFSO spoke in support of getting out of Iraq NOW - not months from now, but before another life is lost to a war started by chicken hawks.
Iraq Veterans Against the War are on stage now.
And now Cindy's on stage and can't start speaking, and nobody can hear themselves think for the nois
Cindy Sheehan, of course, wants to know what precisely is the "noble cause" for which George Bush has been saying her son died in Iraq.
This might make you wonder: what other presidents have used that exact term—"noble cause"—to describe what other wars?
Ronald Reagan accepted the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today... Defending American motives in past and recent wars, Reagan called the Vietnam War "a noble cause"...
—"Reagan: 'Peace Through Strength,'" Lou Cannon, Washington Post, Chicago, Aug. 18, 1980
t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
Bring Them Home Now Tour
From Camp Casey, Crawford to Washington DC
Saturday 26 August 2005
As the death toll in Iraq rises, Cindy Sheehan’s vigil near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Americans. Bush’s approval rating is falling. The voice of military families, who have lost loved ones and those with loved ones in harm’s way or about to deploy, can activate the American people. The voice of veterans, both of this war and of previous wars will also build the movement to end the war. Together these critical voices can demand that President Bush make the decision now to bring the troops home.
August 26, 2005
I know I have been sick this week, and sure, the fever did get pretty high there for a day or two, but does that mean that total and utter crap like this is supposed to make sense to any person who's not flatlining on the old EEG?
The President, speaking from Idaho:
"In this war, we have said farewell to some very good men and women, including 491 heroes of the National Guard and reserves," he said. "These brave men and women gave their lives for a cause that is just and necessary for the security of our country, and now we will honor their sacrifice by completing their mission."
What the heck was that? You know, if anyone in my family ever came out with a statement like that one, my father would have just assumed you fell and hit your head hard and were likely to be talking crazy talk for the next couple of minutes until the stars went away.
Not George Bush. This was a planned and scripted speech, as per usual. So let's break part of it down for just a minute.
By David Swanson
It's very, very early morning on Saturday, August 27, in Crawford, Texas. The roads are as dark as Dick Cheney's heart, and the stars as numerous as W's lies. All hell has not yet broken loose and may or may not do so later today. But the police are telling the media that they're preparing for trouble. And Camp Casey 2 ran a workshop yesterday on how to nonviolently respond to hostility. (Watch video on Truthout.org.)
Huge numbers of supporters of Cindy Sheehan are expected here today, along with a rumored crowd of pro-war activists (whether it will be of any size remains to be seen). And then there's the rumor that local military recruiters will work the crowd if it materializes at the high school stadium. This is one of those rumors that makes a little too much sense to seem true. What, after all, does it mean to be a pro-war activist if not to sign up and engage in the war?
Galloway to go on anti-war tour of US with Jane Fonda
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 27 August 2005
George Galloway, the anti-war MP for Bethnal Green and Bow who rocked the US Senate earlier this year, is to be accompanied on a speaking tour of America by the actress and activist Jane Fonda.
Few things are more likely to antagonise US conservatives than the combination of Mr Galloway and Ms Fonda - still hated by the right because of her outspoken opposition to the war in Vietnam - joining to condemn the American presence in Iraq. But Mr Galloway can expect a thunderous reception from those he impressed with his performance before a Senate committee last May.
Bike-Deep in the Big Muddy
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 27, 2005
W. has jumped the couch.
Not fallen off the couch, as he did when he choked on that pretzel.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, "jump the couch" has now become slang for "a defining moment when you know someone has gone off the deep end. Inspired by Tom Cruise's recent behavior on 'Oprah.' Also see 'jump the shark.' "
The former stateside National Guardsman who was sometimes M.I.A. jumped the shark by landing on that "Mission Accomplished" carrier. (With Tom Cruise cockiness.)
Then, as president, he jumped the couch by pedaling through the guns of August - the growing carnage and chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He did do a few minutes of work this month, calling a Shiite leader in Baghdad a few days ago to lobby him to reach a consensus with the Sunnis, so Iraq doesn't crack apart. But the Shiites and Kurds ignored the president and skewered the Sunnis.
Iraq, it turns out, is the one branch of American government that the Republicans don't control.
Memo for the President
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Wednesday 24 August 2005
Memorandum for: The President
From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Subject: Recommendation: Try a Circle of "Wise Women"
By way of re-introduction, we begin with a brief reminder of the analyses we provided you before the attack on Iraq. On the afternoon of February 5, 2003, following Colin Powell's speech before the UN Security Council that morning, we sent you our critique of his attempt to make the case for war. (You may recall that we gave him an "A" for assembling and listing the charges against Iraq and a "C-" for providing context and perspective.) Unlike Powell, we made no claim that our analysis was "irrefutable/undeniable."
We did point out, though, that what he said fell far short of justification for war. We closed with these words: "We are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."
To jog your memory further, the thrust of our next two pre-war memoranda can be gleaned from their titles: "Cooking Intelligence for War" (March 12) and "Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A Problem" (March 18). When the war started, we reasoned at first that you might had been oblivious to our cautions. However, last spring's disclosures in the "Downing Street Memo" containing the official minutes of Tony Blair's briefing on July 23, 2002 - and the particularly the bald acknowledgement that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of war on Iraq - show that the White House was well aware of how the intelligence was being cooked. We write you now in the hope that the sour results of the recipe - the current bedlam in Iraq - will incline you to seek and ponder wider opinion this time around.
Radioactive Wounds of War
By Dave Lindorff
In These Times
Thursday 25 August 2005
Tests on returning troops suggest serious health consequences of depleted uranium use in Iraq.
Gerard Matthew thought he was lucky. He returned from his Iraq tour a year and a half ago alive and in one piece. But after the New York State National Guardsman got home, he learned that a bunkmate, Sgt. Ray Ramos, and a group of N.Y. Guard members from another unit had accepted an offer by the New York Daily News and reporter Juan Gonzalez to be tested for depleted uranium (DU) contamination, and had tested positive.
By Karen Houppert
12 September 2005 Issue
The US Army Recruiting Command has a motto: "First to contact, first to contract." In the school recruiting handbook the Army gives to the 7,500 recruiters it has trawling the nation these days, the motto crops up so often it serves as a stuttering paean to aggressive new tactics - tactics that target increasingly younger students.
To make sure they are the first folks to contact students about their future plans, Army recruiters are ordered to approach tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders - repeatedly. Army officials spell out the rules of engagement: Recruiters are told to dig in deep at their assigned high schools, to offer their services as assistant football coaches - or basketball coaches or track coaches or wrestling coaches or baseball coaches (interestingly, not softball coaches or volleyball coaches) - to "offer to be a chaperon [sic] or escort for homecoming activities and coronations" (though not thespian ones), to "Deliver donuts and coffee for the faculty once a month," to participate visibly in Hispanic Heritage and Black History Month activities, to "get involved with local Boy Scout troops" (Girl Scouts aren't mentioned), to "offer to be a timekeeper at football games," to "serve as test proctors," to "eat lunch in the school cafeteria several times each month" and to "always remember secretary's week with a card or flowers." They should befriend student leaders and school staff: "Know your student influencers," they are told. "Identify these individuals and develop them as COIs" (centers of influence). After all, "some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist; however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist." Cast a wide net, recruiters are told. Go for the Jocks, but don't ignore the Brains. "Encourage college-capable individuals to defer their college until they have served in the Army."
American Legion Press Release
HONOLULU, August 23, 2005
Article from Editor and Publisher
American Legion Declares War on Protestors -- Media Next?
America Legion's Attack on Dissidents, A Gold Star Families for Peace Member's Response
Diana Rowe Pauls
Gold Star Families For Peace
Sister of Marine KIA/Member of American Legion Auxiliary
Dear Honorable Commander Cadmus,
I learned today that the American Legion passed Resolution 3, which states: "The American Legion fully supports the president of the United States, the United States Congress and the men, women and leadership of our armed forces as they are engaged in the global war on terrorism and the troops who are engaged in protecting our values and way of life."
I would like to bring to your attention a previous position from the American Legion.
In 1999, the American Legion wrote the following letter to President Clinton:
The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''
The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.
Authorities Brace For A Perfect Storm In Crawford
Local Officials Brace For Weekend Protest
The population of Crawford could increase tenfold this weekend as anti-war and pro-Bush protesters stream into town for vigils and rallies.
As many as 7,000 demonstrators could gather in and around the town of about 700 people near the President’s Central Texas ranch, and local authorities spent the day Friday making plans to deal with the crowds and the potential for problems.
The combination of high summer temperatures and high emotions could lead to confrontations that authorities hope to defuse quickly.
Momentum for the weekend of demonstrations both for and against the war and the President’s policy on Iraq has been building ever since Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif. began what at first was a quiet vigil along a rural roadside, demanding a meeting with the President about the death of her son Casey, 24, a 1st Cavalry Division soldier who was killed in 2004 in Iraq.
Sheehan’s protest quickly attracted the attention of the White House press corps and within days was receiving national and international attention and generating local and national controversy.
Warriors in Crawford
by APRIL FITZSIMMONS
CRAWFORD, TEXAS — “I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about,