The Shifting Sands Of The Iraq War

November 17, 2005
The Shifting Sands Of The Iraq War
Casey Morris
Democracy Cell Project

As Iraq War hawk John Murtha spoke today, calling for the immediate scheduling of redeployment of US forces from Iraq, one could sense the shift in American attitude towards the War in Iraq.

The full text of the statement by the fifteen term veteran Democratic Congressman and 38-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps:

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region."

Cindy Sheehan Found Guilty of Misdemeanor

Cindy Sheehan Found Guilty of Misdemeanor
38 minutes ago

Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan was found guilty Thursday of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House, a misdemeanor carrying a $50 fine.

Twenty-six other defendants also were convicted at the end of a two-day trial before U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay today.

Sheehan, who demonstrated against the war for several weeks near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the others were among 300 arrested September 26 while trying to deliver petitions calling for an end to the war. Some sat on the sidewalk outside the White House fence while others chanted and sang songs. They were taken into custody after refusing police orders to disperse.

Conventional Terror...

Baghdad Burning
riverbend

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Conventional Terror...

It sat on my PC desktop for five days.

The first day I read about it on the internet, on some site, my heart sank. White phosphorous in Falloojeh. I knew nothing about white phosphorous, of course, and a part of me didn’t want to know the details. I tried downloading the film four times and was almost relieved when I got disconnected all four times.

E. had heard about the film too and one of his friends S. finally brought it by on CD. He and E. shut themselves up in the room with the computer to watch the brief documentary. E. came out half an hour later looking pale- his lips tightened in a straight line, which is the way he looks when he’s pensive... thinking about something he'd rather not discuss.

The Spies Who Pushed for War

The Spies Who Pushed for War
quiet.american
Democratic Underground
Thu Nov-17-05 03:25 PM

In light of Cheney emerging from his hidey-hole yesterday to
literally spew more of the same ol', same ol', I think this is worth calling attention to again today (I'd posted about it yesterday) --

it's an article about the Office of Special Plans that was published
in 2003 by the Guardian newspaper; and it:

1) slays the lie that "everyone had access to the exact same
information we did"

"They surveyed data and picked out what they liked," said Gregory Thielmann, a senior official in the state department's intelligence bureau until his retirement in September. "The whole thing was bizarre. The secretary of defence had this huge defence intelligence agency, and he went around it."

Cheney calls war critics 'opportunists'

Cheney calls war critics 'opportunists'
Vice president is latest in GOP to defend war, criticize
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 9:00 a.m. ET Nov. 17, 2005
Associated Press and Rueters contributed to this article
LINK TO ORIGINAL

(Editor's note: Cheney comes out of his bunker to continue the attack on anyone who holds this administration up to the higher standard of telling the truth. Speak truth to power in the comments section of this thread. In the meantime, the opportunists are still waiting for Halliburton to donate all their war profits to the poor in Iraq and the U.S--and that includes Dick Cheney's profits from his Halliburton shares as well.)

WASHINGTON - In the sharpest White House attack yet on critics of the Iraq war, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that accusations the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war were a “dishonest and reprehensible

Leading House Democrat urges withdrawal from Iraq

Leading House Democrat urges withdrawal from Iraq
17 Nov 2005 15:51:02 GMT
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - A leading pro-defense Democrat in the House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Bush administration to start the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

"The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a senior Democrat on the subcommittee that oversees military spending.

Murtha's remarks followed attacks from the Bush administration on critics of its Iraq war policy and its handling of intelligence that led to the war.

Hagel Defends Criticisms of Iraq Policy

Hagel Defends Criticisms of Iraq Policy
Administration Calls Statements by Democrats Harmful to War Effort, Troops

By Glenn Kessler (Ann Scott Tyson)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; A06

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) strongly criticized yesterday the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."

With President Bush leading the charge, administration officials have lashed out at Democrats who have accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Bush has suggested that critics are hurting the war effort, telling U.S. troops in Alaska on Monday that critics "are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible."

John Kerry Fires Back to Cheney’s Latest Personal Attacks and Lies

John Kerry Fires Back to Cheney’s Latest Personal Attacks and Lies
Democratic Daily
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Dick Cheney opened his mouth and spewed forth a mess of lies and attacks tonight at the Frontiers of Freedom Institute 2005 Ronald Reagan Gala. In his speech, Cheney accused Democratic senators who allege that the Bush administration distorted intelligence to justify the war in Iraq of engaging in “one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.

A Timetable for Mr. Bush

Editorial
A Timetable for Mr. Bush
Published: November 17, 2005
New York Times

No matter how the White House chooses to spin it, the United States Senate cast a vote of no confidence this week on the war in Iraq. And about time.

The actual content of the resolution, passed on a vote of 79 to 19, was meaningless. The Senate asked the administration to provide regular reports on progress in Iraq, and took the position that next year should be "a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty." It was a desperate - but toothless - cry of election-bound lawmakers to be let off the hook for a disastrous military quagmire.

It Depends on the Definition of Dead Civilians

Update: Government Lies About Not Targeting Civilians in Fallujah
By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

Now that the Iraqi government has been forced to investigate the US military's use of phosphorus incindiary bombs in the assault on Fallujah, it is important to note how slippery the Pentagon is being about its claim not to have used this dreadful weapon against "civilians." As I wrote during the assault (see the November 13 article on the 2004 Archive page of my website) two years ago, before the assault began on this city of 300,000, the US military ringed the doomed city. Civilians were ordered to leave, but US troops turned back all men and boys of "fighting age,"--a term that was not defined, but that reportedly was set at 14!

Policymakers on torture take note -- remember Pinochet

Policymakers on torture take note -- remember Pinochet
- Philippe Sands, sfgate.com
Sunday, November 13, 2005

Before embarking on international travels, David Addington and others who are said to be closely associated with the crafting of the Bush administration's policy on the interrogation of detainees would do well to reflect on the fate of Augusto Pinochet.

The Chilean senator and former head of state was unexpectedly arrested during a visit to London on Oct. 16, 1998, at the request of a Spanish judge who sought his extradition on various charges of international criminality, including torture.

Iraq official defends 'torture' facility

Iraq official defends 'torture' facility

Thursday, November 17, 2005; Posted: 9:12 a.m. EST (14:12 GMT)
Cnn.com

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's interior minister has defended a government facility that was found to be holding dozens of prisoners, including some showing signs of torture, saying it held "the most criminal terrorists."

"Nobody was beheaded or killed," a defiant Bayan Jabr told a news conference Thursday, saying that only seven of 170 detainees showed marks of torture.

"Those detainees, those criminal killers inside the bunker were not Indians or Pakistanis or Iranians," he said, waving a stack of passports in the air. "Those are your Arab brothers that came here to kill your sons."

U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq

U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq
Brian Becker
deoxy.org

Even before the first day of the Persian Gulf crisis George Bush and the Pentagon wanted to wage war against Iraq.

What was the character of this war? Iraq neither attacked nor threatened the United States. We believe that this was a war to redivide and redistribute the fabulous markets and resources of the Middle East, in other words this was an imperialist war. The Bush administration, on behalf of the giant oil corporations and banks, sought to strengthen its domination of this strategic region. It did this in league with the former colonial powers of the region, namely Britain and France, and in opposition to the Iraqi people's claim on their own land and especially their natural resources.

Vietnam Archive Offers Parallel to War in Iraq

November 16, 2005
Vietnam Archive Offers Parallel to War in Iraq
By THOM SHANKER, DAVID STOUT
and JOHN FILES
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - White House advisers convene secret sessions on the political dangers of revelations that American troops committed atrocities in the war zone, and whether the president can delicately intervene in the investigation. In the face of an increasingly unpopular war, they wonder at the impact on support at home. The best way out of the war, they agree, is propping up a new government that can attract feuding elements across a fractured foreign land.

With an obvious resonance to current events, the National Archives and Records Administration released 50,000 pages of previously classified documents from the Nixon administration today that reveal how all that president's men wrestled with issues that eerily parallel problems facing the Bush administration.

Why Iraq Has No Army

Why Iraq Has No Army
DiAnne Grieser
Democracy Cell Project
November 17, 2005

I have in hand the new Atlantic Monthly, with a long-awaited cover article by James Fallows. It has a long subtitle: Why Iraq Has No Army - we can't leave until the Iraqis have one, the Bush administration says - and they're not even close - so now what. See also to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015143, as Fallows also was interviewed on "Fresh Air".

This article comes at a time when we need to know more what is going on in Iraq. It comes a time when Bush has been bolstering his case for going into Iraq and once again, questioning the patriotism of those who dissent and even implying they play into the hands of the enemy. It also comes at a time when Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency and a majority of Americans say that he is not honest and disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war on terrorism. A majority of Senators are asking this administration for quarterly reports, new evidence of torture in Iraq has emerged, and this week has seen unusually high casualties.

'Peace mom' goes back to court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- War protester Cindy Sheehan and several others return to court Thursday for the second day of trials on misdemeanor charges of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.

The protesters, who are being tried separately in one proceeding, took turns questioning police and arguing their cases Wednesday afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay.

Charges against at least nine were dismissed, leaving about 30 protesters facing possible fines but no jail time if found guilty by Kay. The maximum fine each faces is $500.

Before the trial began, Sheehan announced plans to return to Texas next week to resume her anti-war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch, despite new county ordinances banning roadside camping.

Beware Confusing Symbolism With Substance: The Senate Votes on Iraq

By John Isaacs, Council for a Livable World

There were mixed views on the Senate votes Tuesday on Iraq. Many saw the votes as a watershed in Congressional criticism of the President’s Iraq policies and a clear vote of no confidence.

Others, however, after reading the actual language, wonder what is the big deal, especially the Warner-Frist language that was adopted 79 – 19 with most Democrats and Republicans voting "aye."

The skeptics are confusing substance with symbolism.

It is true that the adopted language does not remove a single soldier from Iraq; set a timetable for withdrawal; or cut off funds. That is the reality of the substance.

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

November 17, 2005
by Michael Shannon
Democratic Underground
LINK TO ORIGINAL

The argument that the Bush administration did not polish – that's the nicest word I could think of – the intelligence concerning Iraq's capabilities in the weeks and months leading to the onset of hostilities is preposterous.

Every speck of information on the subject which has reached the light of day since then has been directly supportive of the notion that a very small group of people came to the conclusion that the removal of Saddam Hussein, and the taking control of Iraq, was not only a good idea, it was a necessary one. It also shows that they then did everything in their power to sell that idea, regardless of any and all evidence to the contrary of its merit and in doing so used every trick in the book. How anyone can deny this is beyond me.

In Lawsuit, Team Bush Swore Saddam Was Behind 9/11

In Lawsuit, Team Bush Swore Saddam Was Behind 9/11
November 17, 2005
by Evelyn Pringle
Democtatic Underground
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Much to the dismay of President Bush, Americans can remember all on their own, without any coaching from Democrats, that in the run up to war in Iraq it was top officials from the administration who were making the claim that Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden and that he was secretly involved in 9/11.

The fact that the administration's disinformation campaign was entirely successful is evidenced by an October 2004 Harris Poll, taken three weeks before the last presidential election, which reported that 62% of all voters and 84% of those planning to vote for Bush still believed that Saddam had "strong links" to Al Qaeda, and that 41% of all voters and 52% of Bush backers believed that Saddam had "helped plan and support the hijackers" who had attacked the country on 9/11.

Open Letter to George's Mama

By Cindy Sheehan

Dear Barbara,

On April 04, 2004, your oldest child killed my oldest child, Casey Austin Sheehan.

Unlike your oldest child, my son was a marvelous person who joined the military to serve his country and to try and make the world a better place. Casey didn't want to go to Iraq, but he knew his duty. Your son went AWOL from a glamour unit. George couldn't even handle the Alabama Air National Guard. Casey joined the Army before your son became commander in chief. We all know that your son was thinking of invading Iraq as early as 1999. Casey was a dead man before George even became president and before he even joined the Army in May of 2000.

Victory for Free Speech at Kent State

See photos and hear students at Kent State announce on Nov. 16th that
the university has canceled the disciplinary hearing against David
Airhart, student and veteran of Guantanamo Bay and the Iraq War. LINK.

Hear the entire, unedited news conference (36:20 minutes; mp3 audio),
and see links to related resources, such as the statements of support
from Cindy Sheehan, Howard Zinn and many others.

Airhart had been threatened with possible expulsion after he climbed
a 30 foot rock climbing wall erected by military recruiters and then

Why the GOP's Attacks on Rockefeller Are Totally Dishonest

By David Sirota

Bill Bennett's new attacks on Sen. Jay Rockefeller (linked below) are about as inane, ridiculous, and embarrassing as his preaching about the need for personal morality while hiding a gambling problem or his offensive public slandering of African Americans.

Bennett claims that Rockefeller supposedly compromised U.S. national security because Rockefeller went on a Mideast trip in early 2002 and told some heads of states that he believed President Bush was planning an invasion of Iraq. Bennett claims that by stating his opinion, Rockefeller tipped off these heads of states to something that wasn't already known. The reason that is a ridiculous charge is not only because Rockefeller was stating his own opinion, but because what he was saying was already well-known. In fact the Bush administration was actually PUBLILCLY saying the same thing:

Allawi Tells Bush White House He Will Not Work With Chalabi

By IIMCR, http://www.iimcr.org/blog

Washington---The Bush White House has asked Iyad Allawi, its leading candidate to become the next prime minister of Iraq, if he would be willing to work with Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial current deputy prime minister of that country. Allawi, the former prime minister of Iraq, has told the Americans that he will not cooperate with Chalabi under any circumstances. In recent weeks, he has referred to Chalabi as “that snake

First Woman GI Publicly Stands Against War; Faces Immediate Deployment

Contacts: Aimee Allison, 510-343-4019; Aiden Delgado, 941-685-7941

Fort Benning, GA: Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski, on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, makes a public statement against war as a conscientious objector in the face of orders to participate in weapons training and deploy to the Middle East. She will be joined by several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Jashinski applied for a discharge as a conscientious objector in 2004. The Army recently denied her claim and ordered her to weapons training and deployment this week.

The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime National Meeting

Drown out Bush's State of the Union speech in January with protest

BUSH: STEP DOWN AND TAKE YOUR WHOLE PROGRAM WITH YOU!
Saturday/Sunday November 19/20, 2005
The Law School of Columbia University
116th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, New York City
conferences@worldcantwait.org

347-693-3319
sliding scale: $25 - $100

(working agenda)

Saturday 19 10 am-9:30 pm

9:30 Registration

10:30 Open the conference

11:00 Presentations on what we accomplished with our launch from Steering Committee members. Further Proposals presented on State of the Union, Funds, national mobilization

Free the Sheehan 34!

http://www.democracycellproject.net/blog/

(Stephanie Allen is a young woman from Buffalo who came down to D.C. for the September 24 March and who decided to get arrested, along with Cindy Sheehan and others, in front of the White House on September 26. The group of over 300 protesters were engaged in peaceful civil disobedience. Their arrests were statements of protest against the war in Iraq, and the lies of the Bush Administration. Stephanie came back to D.C. to have her hearing today. It was also Cindy Sheehan's hearing. Here is Stephanie's report.)

Stephanie has returned from her day in court, which will continue tomorrow. Today was a long day of waiting and riding a roller coaster. No one was sentenced today; some of the cases were dismissed (the arresting officer did not show up) but everyone plans to show up tomorrow.

'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus Demands a Debate on the Iraq War

From Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Contact: Mikael Moore (202)225-2201

Washington, DC - Today, twenty members of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus held a press conference to announce the beginning of a drive to secure 218 signatures for a discharge petition on H J Res 55, a bill authored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI) and Congressman Walter Jones (NC). If passed by Congress, H J Res 55 would require the President to begin bringing US soldiers home from Iraq.

Attending the press conference were Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman William Delahunt, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congressman William Lacy Clay, Congressman Sam Farr, Congressman Barney Frank, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Jim McDermott, Congressman Jim McGovern, Congressman Major Owens, Congressman Jose Serrano, Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and Congresswoman Diane Watson.

Dems party with Sheehan

Under the Dome
By Jeff Dufour, The Hill

....Dems party with Sheehan

Perhaps seeking to unwind with some like-minded folks before her court date yesterday, anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan popped in at the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) board reception at the National Democratic Club.

She was joined by Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Maxine Waters (Calif.) and Raul Grijalva (Ariz.). In no uncertain terms, Conyers called out “the misrepresentations of the sorriest administration in my lifetime,

Pincus: Woodward 'Asked Me to Keep Him Out' of Plame Reporting

Pincus: Woodward 'Asked Me to Keep Him Out' of Plame Reporting
By Joe Strupp
Editor and Publisher
Published: November 16, 2005 12:45 PM ET
LINK TO ORIGINAL
NEW YORK Walter Pincus, the longtime Washington Post reporter and one of several journalists who testified in the Valerie Plame case, said he believed as far back as 2003 that Bob Woodward had some involvement in the case but he did not pursue the information because Woodward asked him not to.

"He asked me to keep him out of the reporting and I agreed to do that," Pincus said today. His comments followed a Post story today about Woodward's testimony on Monday before special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, in which Woodward reportedly disclosed that a senior White House official told him about Plame's identity as a CIA operative a month before her identity was disclosed publicly.

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