Published on Thursday, April 20, 2006 by San Francisco Chronicle
Military faces huge maintenance tab and spending to replace depleted equipment
by Jonathan Weisman
Annual war expenditures in Iraq will almost certainly come close to doubling since the U.S. invasion, as the military confronts the rapidly escalating cost of repairing, rebuilding and replacing equipment chewed up by three years of combat.
Khaleej Times, (AFP)
BAGHDAD - Ten people were killed across Iraq Thursday in a series of bombings and shootings, as the education ministry denied a grisly report that two teachers had been slaughtered in front of their pupils.
The education ministry “denies the information” which was aimed at “spreading panic among students and disrupting classes,” a statement said.
On Wednesday, a government national security statement said armed men had burst into a pair of Baghdad schools and slit two teachers’ throats in view of the children. It gave no date for the slayings, however.
By Will Strong
To the One-Third
Who’ve Not Heard
or it hasn’t occurred
as driven as they are
to living oblivious to
George W. Bush’s far-
fetched wretched lying
over Iraq War’s cause
readily, steadily denying
any international laws
innocents by thousands
Ten peaceful student protesters at SFSU were grabbed and pushed out of a career fair by police, where the students were protesting military recruitment. They were kicked off campus without a hearing and given notice that if they returned within two weeks, they were subject to "immediate arrest." Some students were instantly made homeless or jobless, and none could go to class on campus. The university let them return to campus after 3 days, in the face of NBC planning to televise coverage.
By Kimo Lee, http://patrioticpulse.org
NORTHAMPTON, MA - A concerned crowd of about 250 townspeople gathered tonight at First Churches for a panel discussion called What Will Our Country Stand For? about the secrecy and torture used by the Bush administration in their war on terror.
Keys topics discussed were the treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; the erosion of civil rights caused by the domestic spying program; the pursuit of an investigation of the Bush administration for misrepresenting the facts leading up to both the war in Iraq as well as the illegal wiretapping of American citizens without court orders; and how increased individual activism is needed on a national scale as a means of letting our leaders know that what they are doing is not acceptable.
American University International Law Review Annual Conference
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty:
A Legal Framework in Crisis?
Panel on Iran and Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
Limits of the Non-Proliferation Regime- And why Multilateralism is the Only Solution
Michael Spies, Program Associate
Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
Compliance assessment under the NPT is a flawed process, as I will explain. The problem of Iran is therefore a problem inherent in the NPT framework. And, as I will conclude, only effective multilateralism will be sufficient to solve the crisis we face now and will successively face in the future.
By Michael Spies, http://disarmamentactivist.org
The US and the EU3 have said that Iran’s resumption of uranium enrichment activities amounted to crossing a “red line”. But a story run by Reuters on Sunday indicates that IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei may also be stepping over that line. Reuters quotes a diplomat close to the IAEA who said ElBaradei “told diplomats that Natanz (pilot enrichment plant) is Iran’s bottom line, a sovereignty issue, a reality we may have to deal with.” In any deal involving the pilot plant, Iran would be expected to foreswear proceeding with plans to establish a commercial scale enrichment facility.
Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
On 4 February 2006 the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution on Iran requesting the Director-General “to report to the Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to this issue.” The resolution further requests that the Director-General provide a report on Iran’s implementation of IAEA resolutions to the Council immediately after the next meeting of the Board in March, together with any additional resolution. The response of the Security Council will be crucial in halting further escalation of the situation into crisis and ensuring that the IAEA is able to complete its investigation of Iran’s past nuclear activities and present intentions, allowing it to determine if Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful use. We offer the following points and recommendations for your consideration.
Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
Jeffrey Lewis at Armscontrolwonk.com responded today to the Seymour Hersh article on U.S. preparations and planning for an attack on Iran. Hersh reports that a debate is raging in the government over use of nuclear weapons against certain hard to destroy targets. Lewis suggests that it is unlikely that use of nuclear weapons is under consideration, arguing that the underground facility built for Iran’s uranium enrichment operations can be destroyed with existing U.S. conventional weapons. But there remain unanswered questions, and Hersh’s report that vigorous debate regarding nuclear weapons use against Iran is going on inside the government is as important as how “practical” such use might be.
By Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
There have been two related sets of news stories in the past week involving nuclear weapons. Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker, and the Washington Post ran stories regarding planning for a possible use of nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran. The reported rationale for considering nuclear weapons use is that some underground Iranian facilities might be difficult to destroy with conventional weapons. A scattering of newspapers have reported that a large conventional test explosion called “Divine Strake,” planned for June at the Nevada Test Site, will simulate nuclear weapons use. One purpose of the program of which that test is a part, according to Department of Defense budget documents, is to “develop a planning tool that will improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage.”
For the New York Times, Washington is NPT's enforcer, not a violator
By Steve Rendall, http://www.fair.org
The U.S. is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
That view, far from exotic or extreme, was expressed repeatedly by arms control experts and international officials at the month-long NPT review conference held at the U.N. in May. It is embraced by U.S. establishment figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and Kennedy-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.
Today we are renewing the call for a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. Re-opening negotiations toward achieving that goal is the best way—perhaps the only way—to halt without violence the prospect of a nuclear arms race in that deeply troubled part of the world. Additionally, achieving a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East would bring the world one step closer to eliminating both the problem of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war and could serve as a model solution for resolving similar tensions in other regions of the world.
By Tad Daley and Jodie Evans and Mimi Kennedy
Three years ago last month, in more than 600 cities around the world, as many as 14 million people marched in their streets to prevent the United States from launching a unilateral, preemptive, illegal, unprovoked, and unwise invasion of Iraq. The "Guinness Book of World Records" has identified Feb. 15, 2003 as the largest global antiwar mobilization in history. Now this same peace and progressive community (which the New York Times has called "the other superpower") is slowly beginning to turn its attention from the last war to the next war -- a looming military showdown between the West and Iran.
UFPJ Talking Points #39
By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
Escalating rhetoric, continued losses in Iraq, Bush's political problems, and an ideologically-driven pursuit of power make the possibility of a U.S. military attack on Iran - however reckless and however dangerous its consequences - a frighteningly real possibility.
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has not violated the Treaty. While there appear to be unresolved issues regarding full transparency, its nuclear program, including enriching uranium, is perfectly legal under NPT requirements for non-nuclear weapons states.
By Andrew Lichterman, http://disarmamentactivist.org
The American Society of International Law adopted the following resolution at its recent annual meeting:
The American Society of International Law, at its centennial annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 2006, Resolves:
1. Resort to armed force is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and other international law (jus ad bellum).
By John Burroughs, http://disarmamentactivist.org
In a stunning article, “The Iran Plans,” to appear in the April 17 New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reports that the Bush administration has intensified planning for bombing Iran; that it is giving serious attention to the option of using nuclear weapons to attack buried targets; and that U.S. combat troops are already in Iran preparing for military operations and recruiting local supporters from minority groups. As a whole, the article conveys that the administration is prepared to launch an attack should Iran not accede to U.S. demands, above all not to proceed with uranium enrichment activities. But the potential conflict goes beyond that: the administration seems committed to regime change regardless of whether the nuclear issues are capable of resolution (which they probably are, given any willingness to compromise on Washington’s part).
"There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush's ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change," Seymour Hersh writes in the new issue of The New Yorker. He also reports: "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. ... The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles.... He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue." Full Article
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
By Peter Rothberg, http://www.thenation.com
In a very informal, unscientific straw poll I took this week of eight acquaintances spanning the political spectrum--three distinctly right, three distinctly left and two from the mushy center--no one thinks it's anything other than insane for the Bush Administration to consider any military option against Iran. And, Bush's posturing of "keeping all options on the table" aside, the Administration has gone out of its way to discount any attack plans. But Seymour Hersh's recent New Yorker reporting suggesting otherwise--and the Administration's track record of doing incredibly stupid things--have got people spooked. As Phyllis Bennis wrote recently on CommonDreams, "the danger of such a reckless move is real, and rising. The Bush administration claims that negotiations are their first choice. But they have gone to war based on lies before, and there is no reason to believe that they are telling the truth this time."
I received an email yesterday from that flaming Connecticut neocon senator in a democrat suit, Joe Lieberman, regarding Iran. It is no doubt the same one he sent to every constituent who has written urging him to stand against King-Wannabe George’s plan to go nuclear against Iran.
By the CIA’s own estimate, if Iran were indeed enriching uranium for the production of nuclear weapons (and to date there is no proof whatsoever that they are), they would be at least five and perhaps as many as ten years away from having a bomb.
By Richard M. Matthews
Besides the impeachments of Judges Swayne and Bruin that came from petitions from legislatures, we have these precedents:
Impeachment of Judge Watrous in 1856 was referred to the Judiciary Committee based on memorials from two private citizens and a resolution from the Texas legislature that called for the judge to resign. The Judiciary Committee recommended impeachment, but the congressional session ended. The matter continued into 1857 with the new Congress, when more resolutions from the legislature and another memorial from a private citizen were accepted. An equally split Judiciary Committee presented minority views both for and against impeachment. The House voted not to impeach. In 1860, the memorials were reintroduced twice -- at the end of one Congress and at the opening of the next. Each introduction resulted in the Judiciary Committee recommending impeachment, but no other action was taken. This is in Hinds III, 2496-2499 (Chapter 79).
A group of women who call themselves the "Granny Peace Brigade" have gone on trial in New York for their protest against the Iraq war.
The women, aged between 50 and 91, were charged with disorderly conduct after demonstrating outside a military recruitment centre.
Their supporters outside the courthouse included leading anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq.
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP
NEW YORK (April 20) - If the snippets Neil Young is posting on his Web site are any indication, his upcoming album, "Living With War," will be a serious musical broadside against the Bush administration and the Iraq war.
Young isn't alone in his feelings of discontent.
Pink , known more for her slams against bubble-headed pop stars than political figures, assails President Bush in the searing attack "Dear Mr. President" on her album "I'm Not Dead Yet," released this month. And the new single from Pearl Jam - always politically minded - is titled "World Wide Suicide," about a soldier's death.
Cindy Sheehan, Marcy Winograd - 36th District Congressional Candidate
Tues., April 25th
Mar Vista Park - Picnic Area #2
McLaughlin & Palms (directions below)
Bring peace signs, tennis shoes, & friends
Get Out the Word on Winograd
Join With PDA Notables
Rev. Lennox Yearwood (Pres. of Hip Hop Caucus)
Meet Cindy Sheehan & Marcy Winograd
By FRED CONTRADA, email@example.com
NORTHAMPTON - A panel of legal experts pulled no punches last night as it deplored the actions of the Bush administration during a town meeting-style forum on torture, detention and domestic spying.
Titled "What Will Our Country Stand For?", the event was presented by the Pioneer Valley Coalition Against Secrecy and Torture and sponsored by dozens of local groups and businesses.
We in the peace and justice movement need to have more direct contact with Iraqis. Since it is so dangerous to go to Iraq, Global Exchange is organizing a special delegation to Jordan and Syria this June to meet with Iraqis in a safe setting. Sending a delegate from your peace group on this trip can give your group much greater credibility and access to the media when they return. So please consider joining us or sending someone from your community.
FOUR PEACE ACTIVISTS ACQUITTED, IN FEDERAL COURT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., OF DEMONSTRATING WITHOUT A PERMIT
CONTACTS: Max Obuszewski 410-323-7200, ext. 31; Mark Goldstone 301-530-6612
Washington, DC. On Sept. 26, 2005, 371 peace activists who delivered the names of the dead from Iraq to the White House were arrested in the largest action of the sort in U.S. Park Police history. On Oct. 26, 2005, 26 activists protesting the war in Iraq were arrested after engaging in a die-in on the White House sidewalk. Activists from both groups were charged with demonstrating without a permit, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $500 fine.
by Samuel Bostaph
Although much has been written and said about the casualties of war, there are few mentions of the casualties of those committed to peace and opposed to war. In demonstrations against past wars, protestors have been beaten by police, imprisoned and rendered penniless by expenditures on defense lawyers, as well as had their characters and reputations lied about and smeared by government officials, war supporters and the press. This is no less true of those opposed to President George W. Bush's war against Iraq and his use of U.S. military forces in a continuing occupation of what was once the "cradle of civilization."