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,
A Nurse's Perspective on Iraq
First Lutentant Rachel Grover has been serving as a nurse in Iraq since the beginning of December. On leave for two weeks Rachel is relaxing with family and friends. But she talks about how the injuries to soldiers have gone from bullet wounds to something worse.
“IED Injuries...shrapnel wounds a lot of burns and amputations stuff like that
August 26, 2005
Watch TV show to decide who was 'Dead Wrong'
Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said this week that the longer we stay in Iraq, the more it looks like Vietnam. In so many ways he is right and as a decorated veteran of that earlier war he has the experience and the authority to offer that judgment.
But Vietnam comparisons are wrong in one respect. Listening to the Johnson White House tapes of the early months of 1963-1964, one cannot help but sense the anguish, turmoil and indecision as the president grapples with pressures to escalate the war and send more troops to the inescapable battlefields of Southeast Asia. Sleepless to the point that Lady Bird worried for his health, LBJ would go to the White House situation room at midnight to await the nightly casualty reports.
August 25, 2005
A CIA Cover Blown, a White House Exposed
By Tom Hamburger and Sonni Efron, Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — Toward the end of a steamy summer week in 2003, reporters were peppering the White House with phone calls and e-mails, looking for someone to defend the administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
About to emerge as a key critic was Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat who asserted that the administration had manipulated intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion.
At the White House, there wasn't much interest in responding to critics like Wilson that Fourth of July weekend. The communications staff faced more pressing concerns — the president's imminent trip to Africa, growing questions about the war and declining ratings in public opinion polls.
Courage under fire
By NANCY DILLON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
BAGHDAD - As its armored Humvees rumbled west along Route Mets in northern Baghdad, the ill-fated convoy sensed something was wrong.
"I remember we all mentioned there were no Iraqi police out. We were like, 'Oh man, that's never a good sign,'" said Daniel Barr, 33, a sergeant with New York's Fighting 69th.
"It was still an hour and a half before curfew. It seemed like the neighborhood knew something."
The soldiers were in the same meat market a week earlier, buying watermelon from a local vendor. But now it was 10:45 p.m., and the darkness was compounded by the start of a nasty sandstorm that would later shut down Baghdad.
Nobody saw the powerful platter charge hidden in a bag and tucked beside a vending stall.
No special treatment for journalists in Iraq, says US
Friday August 26, 2005
The US military has told journalists working in Iraq they will be given no special consideration after Reuters demanded an explanation for the continued detention of its cameraman in the country's notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
Reuters has been denied access to Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani since he was arrested by US troops at his home in Ramadi on August 8.
Military sources told the news agency Mashhadani was a "security detainee", implying suspected links to insurgents, but have refused to give details of any suspicions or accusations.
Does Anyone Making Decisions at "The NYTimes" Bother to Connect Dots?
The answer through the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter of 2002, is not just no, but far worse.
The answer from January 2003 until now, remains NO and the consequences, irrespective of intent, have been catastrophic.
I review an item that appeared today at Huffington Post with two VIPS memoranda sent to Bush - one on February 7, 2003 and the other on March 18, 2003.
"We The People ..." didn't need Michael Smith to publish leaked Downing Street classified documents to have had ample access, prior to the start of Bush's illegal war on Iraq, to the deception being spewed, intentionally, by the Bush administration.
What "We The People ..." needed was a 4th Estate that was not a full-throated propaganda instrument of Bush and his neoconster buddies.