By Colin Buchanan, www.iransolidarity.endofempire.org
Public meetings addressed by Professor Abbas Edalat, founder of The
Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran
(www.campaigniran.org ). Professor Edalat is a London-based Iranian who has
worked tirelessly to alert us to this dangerous escalation of the war. He
recently spoke at the New York, 18th March, antiwar demonstration and his
By David Swanson
Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee will host a hearing on the Iraq War next Thursday, April 27, 8:30-11 a.m., in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (with an overflow room planned for anyone wanting to attend who can't fit in). The two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are continuing to do what the "leadership" of both parties does not, respond to the demands of the majority of Americans, who disapprove of current policy.
Congressman Continues FOIA Request Battle with Depts of Defense, State over Iraq War-Related Documents
Conyers Sends New Letters to Agencies, Continues to Amend Request by 52 Congressmen, Argues Fees Should be Waived as Agencies Keep Up Stonewall
DoD, State, Question House Members' Ability to 'Disseminate Info to Public'
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written to the Departments of Defense and State by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG...
FULL STORY, COMPLETE TEXT OF LETTERS TO DoD, STATE:
March for Peace, Justice, and Democracy on April 29, 2006.
Join the Backbone Brigade. Animate the giant Backbone and Chain Gang.
The March for Peace, Justice and Democracy comes at a crucial moment. It represents and affirms the diversity, unity and potential of our progressive movement. At the Backbone Campaign, we are dropping everything to be there, and we hope you will too. Check out all the details at april29.org.
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
It is one of the most infamous incidents of the war in Iraq: On March 31, 2004, four private American security contractors get lost and end up driving through the center of Falluja, a hotbed of Sunni resistance to the US occupation. Shortly after entering the city, they get stuck in traffic, and their small convoy is ambushed. Several armed men approach the two vehicles and open fire from behind, repeatedly shooting the men at point-blank range. Within moments, their bodies are dragged from the vehicles and a crowd descends on them, tearing them to pieces. Eventually, their corpses are chopped and burned. The remains of two of the men are strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River and left to dangle. The gruesome image is soon beamed across the globe.
Congress is about to sell out the Internet by letting big phone and cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway.
Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in Washington to kill "network neutrality" -- a principle that keeps the Internet open to all.
A bill moving quickly through Congress would let these companies become Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and which won't load at all -- based on who pays them more. The rest of us will be detoured to the "slow lane," clicking furiously and waiting for our favorite sites to download.
By Democracy Now!
Author Stephen Kinzer discusses his new book, "Overthrow: America's Century
of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq." In it, he writes that the invasion of
Iraq "was the culmination of a 110-year period during which Americans
overthrew fourteen governments that displeased them for various ideological,
political, and economic reasons."
By Larisa Alexandrovna
The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.
Latest on NoQuarter.typepad.com
By Larry C Johnson
In his latest diatribe, Christopher Hitchens declares Joe Wilson clueless
and then proceeds to demonstrate that he is the one floundering in fantasy
land and devoid of clear reason. Maybe this is a consequence of sleep
deprivation (lack of sleep can have deleterious effects on one's mental
acuity). I cannot explain his addled ways, but look at what Hitchens writes
By Michael Hammerschlag, http://hammernews.com
Former National Security Agency Director Lt. General William Odom dissected the strategic folly of the Iraq invasion and Bush Administration policies in a major policy speech at Brown University for the Watson Institute- America’s Strategic Paralysis . "The Iraq War may turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in American history. In a mere 18 months we went from unprecedented levels of support after 9-11..to being one of the most hated countries…Turkey used to be one of strongest pro-US regimes, now we’re so unpopular, there’s a movie playing there- Metal Storm, about a war between US and Turkey. In addition to producing faulty intel and ties to Al Qaida, Bush made preposterous claim that toppling Saddam would open the way for liberal democracy in a very short time... Misunderstanding the character of American power, he dismissed the allies as a nuisance and failed to get the UN Security Council’s sanction… We must reinforce international law, not reject and ridicule it.”
Week of April 17-21, 2006
HUCKABEE in Nashville, TN: Governor Huckabee joins Tennessee Governor
Phil Bredesen for a town hall meeting with Tennessee students to discuss
improving student wellness. The governors also will visit a local job
site to learn how Tennessee companies are helping their workers stay
healthy. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 04/18/06]
April 21-23, 2006
FRIST in Nashville, TN: Senator Frist's VOLPAC hosts its 5th Annual
By Paul Krugman, The New York Times
Lee Raymond, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was paid $686 million over 13 years. But that's not a reason to single him out for special excoriation. Executive compensation is out of control in corporate America as a whole, and unlike other grossly overpaid business leaders, Mr. Raymond can at least claim to have made money for his stockholders.
There's a better reason to excoriate Mr. Raymond: for the sake of his company's bottom line, and perhaps his own personal enrichment, he turned Exxon Mobil into an enemy of the planet.
Published on Thursday, April 20, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Larry Beinhart
During the first half of the 20th Century the United States spearheaded the movement to make war illegal.
Based on the standards that were set then, based on international and American law, and based on the facts, a clear-cut and convincing case can be made that the invasion of Iraq was a crime.
It is impossible to imagine that George Bush and Dick Cheney and the rest of their group will actually be brought into court and charged, and perhaps that is the reason that the response has been silence. We do not even discuss what makes a war legal or illegal. It has not and will not be debated on the floor of the US Senate. It won’t be the subject of an investigation in the Washington Post or the New York Times. It won’t be a segment on 60 Minutes or an item the NBC Nightly News. Anyone who says that the invasion of Iraq was a war crime will probably be dismissed as a member of the loony left.
By Bob Herbert, New York Times
I said, "Some of these folks have never been heard from again, right?"
"Yup," said Curt Goering. "That's right."
Mr. Goering is the senior deputy executive director for policy and programs at Amnesty International USA. We were discussing a subject — government-sanctioned disappearances — that ordinarily would repel most Americans.
In past years, stories about torture and "the disappeared" have been associated with sinister regimes in South and Central America. The attitude in the United States was that we were above such dirty business, that it was immoral and uncivilized, and we were better than that.
By KEN OSBORNE, The State News, MI
Last month while protesting the war in Iraq outside Congressman Mike Rogers', R- Brighton, Lansing office, Terry Olson came up with an idea.
"Right in the middle of the week — it was a long, hard, grind of a week — I looked up and saw the flower shop and thought it would be nice to do something positive to deliver our message," said Olson, who is a member of the Greater Lansing Network Against War & Injustice, or GLNAWI.
Poor Planning, Need for New Equipment Could Push War Costs to $1 Trillion
By KEITH GARVIN
April 20, 2006 — There are many uncertainties about the progress made by coalition forces and the future prospects for stability and democracy in Iraq, but there is at least one indisputable fact: The Bush administration vastly underestimated the costs of the Iraq war.
Not only in human lives, but in monetary terms as well, the costs of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq far exceed the administration's initial projection of a $50 billion tab. While the number of American casualties in Iraq has declined this year, the amount of money spent to fight the war and rebuild the country has spiralled upward.
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.