Last week I wrote a letter to David Broder about this exchange between him and Tim Russert on Meet the Press:
MR. RUSSERT: David Broder, is it possible for official Washington--the president, Democratic leaders, Republican leaders--to arrive at common ground, a consensus position on Iraq?
MR. DAVID BRODER: It's possible, Tim, but they won't get there by arguing about who did what three years ago. And this whole debate about whether there was just a mistake or misrepresentation or so on is, I think, from the public point of view largely irrelevant. The public's moved past that.
In my letter I inquired what the evidence was for Mr. Broder's assertion. Mr. Broder hasn't seen fit to respond, but I think that's only fair, since it was such a stupid question. Every passing day brings more evidence no one cares about this dumb issue—for instance, this NY Times/CBS poll released yesterday (pdf):
Proposal for International Groups to Affect U.S. Foreign Policy
Unfortunately the Bush administration is driving horrible U.S. foreign policy including the occupation of Iraq. For those working on peace issues—especially on ending the occupation of Iraq—a change of U.S. policy is the top priority.
Unknown to many in the U.S. and my guess to our colleagues internationally is that the peace movement in the U.S. is woefully under-funded and under-resourced. Peace Action—the largest U.S. grassroots peace organization—has a combined budget of it’s various entities (100 Affiliates and Chapters across the country) of less than $5 million USD annually.
There are many reasons for this:
IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
Friday 9 December 2005
FROM: Parliament Square Peace Campaign [A]
CINDY SHEEHAN TO VISIT UK PEACE PROTESTOR BRIAN HAW
The first meeting of two of the most iconic figures of the US and UK anti-war movements
By Larry Johnson
If you've paid attention to the right wing flapping about the so called "war on Christmas" (i.e., the apparent plot of politicians and merchants to substitute the phrase "Happy Holidays" for "Christmas") you are getting an inkling of the future of Iraq. With the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity railing against those who don't want to bow the knee to Jesus, we are getting a taste of what life in the new Iraq will be like. The religious extremists in our country, who insist that there is no compromise when it comes to Jesus, capture perfectly the mentality of the folks who are poised to take the reins of power in Baghdad. Note, even some of the President's most stalwart supporters among evangelical Christians have made quite a show of throwing away the "Holiday" card sent by the White House. Welcome to the American Taliban.
For Immediate Release
December 8, 2005
House Panel Keeps Alive Hinchey Measure To Obtain All White House Drafts Of 2003 State of the Union Address That Contained False Iraq Uranium Claims
Former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said yesterday that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq might not have occurred if the United States had known there were no weapons of mass destruction in the country, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Dec. 5).
The Atlantic Monthly | December 2005
If America Left Iraq
by Nir Rosen
Nir Rosen, a fellow at the New America Foundation, spent sixteen months reporting from Iraq after the American invasion.
"Iraq Tests Party Unity"
By Erin P. Billings,Roll Call Staff
Roll Call -December 8, 2005
House Democrats on Wednesday worked to hit the restart button on their Iraq war message, talking up their unity and trying to downplay suggestions that their policy disagreements are damaging them politically.
Dear Members of Congress:
Fifty eight thousand of your fellow citizens died during the Vietnam War in an attempt by the United States Government to impose its political will on the people of Vietnam. The lesson that the 58,000 paid for with their lives is that the United States can not, and should not, hope to impose its political will by military force in foreign lands when neither the people of the foreign country nor the people of the United States wants it. The parallels between the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq should be well-known to you, and the lesson of Vietnam should be one that you are loath to repeat, both for its effects on your fellow citizens and for its effects on the people of Iraq.
Rice with Indefensible Brief; Cheney in Last Throes
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 09 December 2005
First Minister criticised for refusing to meet US peace campaigner
The mother of the dead Scottish Soldier Gordon Gentle has branded First Minister Jack McConnell a disgrace to Scotland. Mr McConnell refused to meet the American peace campaigner, Cindy Sheehan, when she flew into Scotland today for a series of anti-war engagements.
In the land of her grandmothers
RAYMOND DUNCAN and CAMERON SIMPSON
December 09 2005
It was a whistle-stop appearance, but there was time enough for the tall figure, all in black save for the white peace poppy on her lapel, to create a stir.
'I feel I'm carrying the world on my shoulders'
After Cindy Sheehan's son died in Iraq, her protest outside Bush's Texas ranch became a symbol of opposition to the war. Duncan Campbell joins her as she brings her campaign to Britain
Friday December 9, 2005
When Casey Sheehan joined the army in May 2000, he was assured that he would never see combat. Four years later, he was killed in Iraq. Over the summer, his mother, Cindy, pitched a tent in front of George Bush's Texas ranch. Others joined what was to become known as Camp Casey. Soon, Cindy Sheehan, a housewife and mature student, was the face of the opposition to the president's Iraq policy - and a target of virulent abuse from right-wing commentators. Now she is in Britain for the first time, joining the anti-war movement here.
The Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth and Politics
By Harold Pinter
In 1958 I wrote the following:
'There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.'
The President's Speech on Iraq Reconstruction
By Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Wednesday 07 December 2005
The President's claims today are mindboggling. Either he doesn't understand the facts or simply doesn't want to face them. The reconstruction of Iraq has been an enormous boondoggle - not an example of "quiet, steady progress." Halliburton has repeatedly overcharged American taxpayers through fraud, waste, and abuse. The U.S. officials in charge of the reconstruction have been incompetent and, in some cases, corrupt. And billions of dollars have been squandered without increasing oil or electricity production.
American Progress Action Fund and Operation Truth Launch
“Torture is Not US” TV Ad Campaign
Washington, DC – The American Progress Action Fund and Operation Truth announced today that they will be airing TV ads in select congressional districts as part of the TortureIsNotUS.org campaign. The campaign ads urge Congress to enact the McCain anti-torture amendment into law for the well-being of our troops and the nation’s efforts against terrorism.
By: Mary Maxwell, Ph.D.
At the Law School graduation at Berkley in 2004, a quarter of the graduates sported red armbands to express disapproval of their professor, John Yoo, in relation to his support of torture. Perhaps next year the students will signify their disapproval of Professor Yoo’s assault on the Constitution.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Washington, DC – On the day before the president delivers another speech on the war in Iraq, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Carl Levin and Senator Jack Reed called on the president to provide a real strategy for success in Iraq. In a letter to the president, the Senators called on Bush to deliver more than a public relations document to the American people and our troops and to provide a strategy with benchmarks by which our progress can be measured.
The text of the letter follows below:
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 07 December 2005
The US military death toll in Iraq surpassed 2,100 soldiers last month, and despite the fact that there is a strong debate about permanently pulling troops out of the country, there are still unanswered questions as to whether there are actually enough ground forces to deal with insurgents.
The lack of soldiers on the ground has been a hot-button issue since the start of the Iraq war in March 2003. Career military officials believe that's the reason the war hasn't been a "cakewalk," and they blame Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for designing a flawed war plan.
The war plan Rumsfeld shaped in the year before the Iraq war has led to deep divisions between military commanders and the defense secretary that continue to this day, according to some military officials who requested anonymity because they said they were not authorized to speak publicly.
by David Corn
Is the United States in the last throes of empire? That sounds like an ideologically loaded, fatalistic and defeatist question. But it's what I've been wondering about at the start of this holiday season. Might future historians look back at the Bush II days and ask if this was the point when the country started slipping? Might the war in Iraq be regarded as a desperate act of a superpower that had already peaked? Will economists of the latter 21st century examine our economic decisions and say, "What were they thinking?" Or has the Grinch gotten to me?
For Immediate Release Contact: Mikael Moore
December 7, 2005 (202) 225-2201
Members of the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus Urged to Support Murtha's Iraq Resolution
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-25), Chair of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus sent a letter to the seventy-one members of the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus urging them to cosponsor Congressman John Murtha's resolution, H J Res 73, which would redeploy US Forces from Iraq.
Today, Congresswoman Waters signed on as a cosponsor of H J Res 73.
The text of Congresswoman Waters' letter is as follows:
The Left Coaster: WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy, Part 3 -- The White House Iraq Protocol (WHIP) for Deceiving the United States
Day of decision is Dec. 16
Let's not forget Vietnam's first free election
By Newton N. Minow
Published December 6, 2005
Every day, our experience in Iraq sounds more and more like our experience in Vietnam 40 years ago. What can we learn from their parallels?
In the summer of 1965, our ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai E. Stevenson, died unexpectedly. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg to succeed Stevenson. As the Vietnam War escalated, Goldberg went to the UN on July 26, 1965.
Goldberg was a kissin' cousin of my wife, so I called Arthur to ask why he gave up a Supreme Court position. He told me he did not want to leave the court, but Johnson had persuaded him to go to the United Nations. Johnson told him, "Only you, Arthur, will be able to end the Vietnam War."
Arthur added, "If you have any ideas, please call me."
THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ MUST END
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is in crisis. As any sensible union member knows, the first thing to do when you find you've dug yourself into a hole is to STOP DIGGING. The U.S. needs to find a way out of the mess that our government has gotten us into and stop digging this country deeper into Iraq. Every reason Bush gave for going to war -- Irag having weapons of mass destruction, Iraq collaborating with al Qaida and it being an imminent threat to the US -- has been proven false.
by David Sirota
Sometimes you just have to just laugh at Rush Limbaugh. Here's a guy who dodged the Vietnam War draft by citing a cyst on his ass (no joke), and yet who accuses Vietnam War heroes essentially of treason. Today, Limbaugh's attack is on Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). You remember him – he's that guy who actually went over and served in Vietnam, while Limbaugh sat home, dropped his pants, and pointed his draft board to a cyst on his own ass in order to avoid serving his country.
By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian UK
Tuesday 06 December 2005
The robust defence of rendition offered yesterday by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, marks the export to a European audience of a position on torture that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for the Bush administration.
Condoleezza Rice's contradictory, misleading and outright false statements about the U.S. and torture have taken America's moral standing -- and her own -- to new depths.
By Sidney Blumenthal
Dec. 08, 2005 | The metamorphosis of Condoleezza Rice from the chrysalis of the protégé into the butterfly of the State Department has not been a natural evolution but has demanded self-discipline. She has burnished an image of the ultimate loyalist, yet betrayed her mentor, George H.W. Bush's national security advisor Brent Scowcroft. She is the team player, yet carefully inserted knives in the back of her predecessor, Colin Powell, climbing up them like a ladder of success. She is the person most trusted on foreign policy by the president, yet was an enabler for Vice President Cheney and the neoconservatives. Now her public relations team at the State Department depicts her as a restorer of realism, builder of alliances and maker of peace.
By Norman Solomon
Thursday 08 December 2005
Christmas came 11 days early for Donald Rumsfeld two years ago, when the news broke that American forces had pulled Saddam Hussein from a spidery hole. During interviews about the capture, on CBS and ABC, the Pentagon's top man was upbeat. And he didn't have to deal with a question that Lesley Stahl or Peter Jennings could have logically chosen to ask: "Secretary Rumsfeld, you met with Saddam almost exactly 20 years ago and shook his hand. What kind of guy was he?"
London, Day 2: Scotland Trip
Scotland: Stop the War!
By David Swanson
Today, Cindy Sheehan and Scottish mothers who have lost their sons in Iraq held a rally outside the Scottish parliament, spoke at a cross-party meeting of Members of the Scottish Parliament, were welcomed to the City of Glasgow by the Lord Provost, and addressed an anti-war rally in Glasgow. This, plus the trips up to Scotland from London and back took Cindy and Andrew Burgin and me about 16 hours, so we're a wee bit knackered, but we're learning to speak the lingo – and I'm going to run out for fish and chips after posting this.
By Alexander Cockburn for CounterPunch.org:
"Four-Star Generals briefed Murtha and gave him the state-of-the-art data which made his speech so deadly, stinging the White House into panic-stricken and foolish denunciations of Murtha as a clone of Michael Moore."
The immense significance of Rep John Murtha's November 17 speech calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq is that it signals mutiny in the US senior officer corps, seeing the institution they lead as "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth", to use the biting words of their spokesman, John Murtha, as he reiterated on December his denunciation of Bush's destruction of the Army.