National Guardsmen return home from Iraq ... to ravaged Louisiana
By Jim Krane, Associated Press Writer | September 9, 2005
BANGOR, Maine --The first planeload of 100 weary Louisiana National Guardsmen touched down here Friday morning, returning from the carnage of Iraq on their way to the their home state that has been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
At Bangor airport, elderly members of a U.S. veterans group waved flags and offered the soldiers cell phones and chocolate chip cookies.
"It's good to be back," said Pvt. Joshua Dumas, 23, of Slidell, La.
After seeing 35 of their number killed in Iraq, members of the 256th Brigade Combat Team readied to take care of relatives made refugees, or, perhaps, mourn family members killed or hurt by Katrina and its devastating aftermath.
Louisiana Guardsmen Return Home From Iraq
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 42 minutes ago
ALEXANDRIA, La. - Greeted by the blasts of water cannon, the first planeload of 100 Louisiana National Guardsmen returned home Friday from Iraq, leaving behind the carnage of warfare for their hurricane-ravaged state.
As soon as the plane touched down, the troops clapped and yelled, "Yeah!"
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome home!" a flight attendant announced on the P.A. system. "We're glad you're home safe."
Most of the soldiers on the plane lost everything back home to Hurricane Katrina, and will qualify for safe haven status, in which they will get a 14-day leave and then be eligible for demobilization.
SAN FRANCISCO Cindy Sheehan met in San Francisco today with a member of Senator Dianne Feinstein's staff.
Sheehan is trying to bring attention to her belief that the war in Iraq is sucking away resources that could be better used in the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast.
Sheehan is the mother from Vacaville who camped outside of President Bush's Texas ranch, waiting for a second meeting with him that never came. Her son died in Iraq and she wanted some answers.
Feinstein was not at her office and did not meet with Sheehan.
SAN FRANCISCO--Taps run dry. Food rots when the power goes out. Toilets overflow with waste. Looters strip homes, businesses and public buildings. Armed bandits run wild in the streets. Fires rage out of control. Terrified policemen abandon their posts. Flies buzz over bloated corpses. People wave signs at passing helicopters. "Please help us," they read.
"Help is on the way," their head of state assures them. But the government sends soldiers instead of relief workers. The troops treat the victims, who are taxpayers and citizens, as if they were prisoners. Aiming weapons at the sick and dying, they herd thousands into sports arenas where they receive neither water, nor food, nor safe harbor. While indifferent soldiers man checkpoints to prevent the detainees from leaving, babies starve, the elderly die from lack of medicine and children are raped and murdered. They set up checkpoints to prevent anyone from leaving.
Iraqi: U.S. Troops Not Needed in 2 Years
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
53 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Friday he believes that within two years, there'll be no further need for U.S. forces there.
Praising U.S. forces for contributing to Iraq's emergence from hardline rule by Saddam Hussein, Talabani said, "We need American troops to intimidate our neighbors."
He warned that a quick withdrawal of American and multinational forces "could lead to the victory of the terrorists in Iraq and create grave threats to the region, the United States and the civilized world."
ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545 | Click to subscribe
FROM THE PERSIAN GULF TO THE GULF COAST DEMAND PEACE, NOT POVERTY!
Tuesday, September 13th
490 Riverside Drive
(at 120th Street)
Reverend Jesse Jackson,
Wangari Maathai - Nobel Laureate,
Mary Robinson - Former U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights
along with Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies;
Hany Khalil, United for Peace and Justice;
Adrianne Marie Brown, Singer/Poet ,
Akon, Hip Hop Activist
Moderated by: Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice National Coordinator;
Officials: Guard Deployment Hurt Response
Friday September 9, 2005 6:31 PM
By ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press Writer
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) - The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops from Mississippi and Louisiana in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina struck hindered those states' initial storm response, military and civilian officials said Friday.
Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that ``arguably'' a day or so of response time was lost due to the absence of the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Infantry Brigade and Louisiana's 256th Infantry Brigade, each with thousands of troops in Iraq.
Power to the victims of New Orleans
With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city
Friday September 9, 2005
(Editor's note: Will the rebuilding of New Orleans be handled like the rebuilding of Iraq? If so...then the poor, blacks, and minorities will be fighting the rich and powerful for their natural resources, just like the poor are fighting in Iraq for theirs.)
On September 4, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funnelled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants. We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."
Friday, September 09, 2005
Plain Dealer Reporter
A war protest launched in Texas is coming to Cleveland as it spreads across America.
The Bring Them Home Now Campaign will arrive today at the Federal Office Building on East Ninth Street, and fan out Saturday to Akron and Oberlin.
The protesters, including Iraq war veterans and relatives, ended a monthlong protest last week at Camp Casey (named for the slain son of founder Cindy Sheehan) when President Bush left his nearby ranch.
Now they are touring the country in three groups and planning to converge for a rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.
By David Swanson
Numerous media organizations regularly poll members of the public on whether they approve of the President's job performance. Uniformly, these polls show a dramatic upsurge in approval of Bush immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, but a decline in approval following Hurricane Katrina.
Working in favor of national sanity is the fact that the hurricane is more recent than the airplane attacks. While it seems distinctly unlikely that people will yet begin approving of Bush because there was a hurricane, it is at least conceivable that people will stop giving him credit for having occupied the White House and possessed a pulse on 9-11. That is to say, I can imagine people revising their assessments of 9-11 to fall more in line with their assessments of Katrina.
MILITARY RECRUITMENT - 9/7 JOB FAIR IN THE ASTRODOME
NO SCAVENGING THE GULF COAST CRISIS TO BOOST THE DEPLETED RANKS OF THE MILITARY!
Stop the military from preying upon the vulnerable! Come educate youth dislocated from their lives and communities – facing homelessness, joblessness and often hopelessness – about the false promises of recruiters!
Doling out food to the hungry crowds overflowing Houston’s Astrodome, the National Guard has engaged in ad hoc recruiting in recent days. Tomorrow, September 7, 2005, the U.S. military is conducting a Job Fair in the Astrodome in a blatant effort to exploit the despair of masses of Americans evacuated from the Gulf Coast. Once signed up, even if purportedly to reconstruct their region, they could easily find themselves deployed to Iraq, left with medical coverage for only two for only combat-related injury and the expectations for training eviscerated. And if they sign up on the promise of temporary relief, they could find themselves bound for extended tours of duty. Download info from the formidable Counter-Recruitment resources on the United for Peace and Justice site. www.unitedforpeace.org. Come and speak truth to empower! Call for a real jobs program which employs people to reconstruct the entire Gulf Coast region for the benefit of those in need, not to pander to corporate greed!
Published on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 by the New York Times
It's Not a 'Blame Game'
With the size and difficulty of the task of rescuing and rebuilding New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas still unfolding, it seemed early to talk about investigating how this predicted cataclysm had been allowed to occur and why the government's response was so slow and inept. Until yesterday, that is, when President Bush blithely announced at a photo-op cabinet meeting that he, personally, was going to "find out what went right and what went wrong." We can't imagine a worse idea.
No administration could credibly investigate such an immense failure on its own watch. And we have learned through bitter experience - the Abu Ghraib nightmare is just one example - that when this administration begins an internal investigation, it means a whitewash in which no one important is held accountable and no real change occurs.
Nothing to See Here, Move Along
In today's NY Times editorial, the point is made that Bush-led investigations have led to essentially nothing and the 'investigation' into Iraqi prisoner abuse and torture is given as an example. Now, there's another parallel between the occupation of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina: FEMA orders no photos to be taken of the dead from the Hurricane Katrina. Deja vu all over again.
Read: My Virgin Eyes from the Adventures of the Smart Patrol.
Daily Pepper reports FEMA may think it can boss around journalists, but just let them try to stop Oprah.
// posted by cali dem @ 11:01 AM
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
My Virgin Eyes!!
Just like Iraq, the Bush Administration was wholly unprepared for the fury of Katrina and its aftermath.
Just like Iraq, the Bush Administration is backed into a corner, as their incompetence and indifference is coming back to slap them in the face.
And just like Iraq, they're planning on hiding it from you.
FEMA Wants No Photos of Dead
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. agency leading Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts said Tuesday that it does not want the news media to photograph the dead as they are recovered.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected journalists' requests to accompany rescue boats searching for storm victims.
If I were to characterize today’s gathering outside the White House, by identifying one single cause, one single thing that has made these Americans angry, I’d be hard pressed to do so. There are a lot of different people here today, and they are here for a lot of different reasons.
Many of them are motivated by the massive governmental failure that the world witnessed with the Katrina disaster.
It’s clear that some people here also see the Katrina debacle as yet another blow to the already reeling masses of American “have-nots.
Bush visit halted 3 tons of food being delivered
(Editor's note: This photo essay is not part of Rawstory's article; however, this editor can not resist the temptation to show that history does indeed repeat itself!Different Picture: Same Story! Take a look...)
"We've lost more lives since (Bush) declared victory than we lost prior to the time we declared victory. And this latest fabrication is yet another illustration of their (the Republican administration's) unwillingness to except reality." stated Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (2003).
"The president's going out to an aircraft carrier to give a speech far out at sea ... while countless numbers of Americans are frightened stiff about the economy at home," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (2003).
President George W. Bush on Friday toured the Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricane Katrina, even as the mayor of New Orleans spoke out against the government's response to the disaster. (2005)
Rawstory and NOLA.com report:
"Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said, NOLA.com reports Wednesday on the news blog...MORE....
La. Guardsmen Depart Iraq to Find Families
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago
CAMP VICTORY, Kuwait - A plane carrying 100 Louisiana National Guardsmen left this U.S. base in the desert late Thursday, most returning to damaged homes and families-turned-refugees by Hurricane Katrina.
The troops ended their Iraq duty a little more than a week before they were scheduled to return to the United States on regular rotation.
"We were ecstatic because we were going home," said Sgt. Jackie Gantt, 39, of St. Rose, La., just outside New Orleans.
But after the ravages of the hurricane, New Orleans is no longer home.
By Adam Entous
1 hour, 1 minute ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Times reporter Judith Miller, locked up for refusing to reveal who told her a covert CIA operative's name in a probe that may be nearing a conclusion, works part time at the jail laundry helping clean fellow inmates' green jumpsuits and dirty linens.
Between shifts at the laundry, Miller works at the library on a card catalog of the jail's books, said attorney Floyd Abrams, offering new details about Miller's life behind bars after meeting with her on Wednesday.
Abrams, who represents The New York Times, said Miller was "safe" but that conditions in jail were "grim."
Rumsfeld says we have too many troops!
While speaking to Sean Hannity, Donald Rumsfeld was discussing troop levels in response to the criticism that we are thin on troops and National Guard that could have help with Katrina because of the war in Iraq. He says that we actually have too many troops in certain areas...
Rumsfeld: We do not have a shortage of capability. Today there are hundreds of thousands of guard and reserve people who are still available and aren't being used in this. Indeed, there is some areas where we today very well have excess capacity and we may have to make adjustments in that as we go forward..."
Thanks for the tip Donald. A little later in the show, Geraldo looked at Hannity in disbelief and said he disagreed with Rummy on his troop level assessment.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
U.S. Tour of Duty Presents
DIRECT FROM CAMP CASEY
2 big events with
IRAQ VETS, MILITARY FAMILIES & BAY AREA NEIGHBORS
Over 100,000 people, including many from the Bay Area, came to Crawford, Texas in August to support Cindy Sheehan's challenge to the Bush administration to explain its war in Iraq. A simple request from a bereaved mother inspired and galvanized the peace movement. Come find out what Camp Casey was like on the ground from people who were there, hear first-hand accounts of the war being fought in our name, and learn why the movement launched in Crawford by military families, vets, and activists is turning the tide.
By Cindy Sheehan
Well, after what turned out to be a few days' rest, instead of a week,
I am heading back out on the truth trail. Camp Casey III in Covington,
La, is really hopping. Members of our Camp Casey group took 10,000
pounds of supplies to Covington which is a poor African-American town
The Vets for Peace bus is also doubling as the communication?s center
since it has satellite internet and a satellite phone. Members of Code
Pink from Austin and Houston collected clothes, baby formula and
diapers and delivered them to Camp Casey III. The situation is dire,
The Outer Limits of Empire
A Tomdispatch Interview with Howard Zinn
He's tall and thin, with a shock of white hair. A bombardier in the great war against fascism and an antiwar veteran of America's wars ever since, he's best known as the author of the pathbreaking A People's History of the United States, and as an expert on the unexpected voices of resistance that have so regularly made themselves heard throughout our history. At 83 (though he looks a decade younger), he is also a veteran of a rugged century and yet there's nothing backward looking about him. His voice is quiet and he clearly takes himself with a grain of salt, chuckling wryly on occasion at his own comments. From time to time, when a thought pleases him and his well-used face lights up or breaks out in a bona fide grin, he looks positively boyish.
San Diego Volunteer
A tall, touseled. blonde emerged from a tiny trailer and headed for the porta potty. She was immediately surrounded by well wishers, cameras and reporters. They were all touching, hugging and just trying to get close. Could this average looking woman really be Cindy? The same Cindy I had driven half way across the country to see? The quiet, poised woman I had seen on the Conyer's forum? I angled closer myself and suddenly she thrust her bra into my hand and said " hold this for me so it's not in the pictures." She was smiling and in her gentle way showed no impatience or irritation with "the folks."
Published on Thursday, September 8, 2005 by the Baltimore Sun
by Gordon Adams
The disastrous federal response to Katrina exposes a record of incompetence, misjudgment and ideological blinders that should lead to serious doubts that the Bush administration should be allowed to continue in office.
When taxpayers have raised, borrowed and spent $40 billion to $50 billion a year for the past four years for homeland security but the officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot find their own hands in broad daylight for four days while New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast swelter, drown and die, it is time for them to go.
What Kind of Extremist Will You Be?
Early morning, April 04, a shot rings out in the Memphis sky,
Free at last, they asked for your life,
But they could not take your pride.
In the name of love, one more in the name of love.
U2: Pride (In the name of love)
Most everyone who is reading this knows what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 04, 1968. Some of you may even know what happened to my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan on April 04, 2004. If you don't know, Dr King and Casey were murdered by the same malevolent entities: People and ideologies that say that we have to be mortally afraid of the "ism" du jour and we, as Americans who have the "moral high-ground" in the world can send our innocent children to invade innocent countries and kill innocent people to fight the "ists" that go with the "isms." In Vietnam we were fighting the evil Communists and in Iraq we are fighting the evil terrorists. Our war against Communism out-stayed its welcome in the 1980's and the military industrial war complex was running out of excuses to build bombs, tanks, bullets, ships, submarines, and soldiers; so in 2001, our leaders who serve the war machine had to switch our enemy of the state to terrorism.
COMMUNIQUÉ: VFP CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT
In November of 2004 George W. Bush was “elected.
If you live in the US, please read this in light of what you are witnessing regarding New Orleans. The following is the latest press release from "Doctors for Iraq" Society:
HUNDREDS OF CIVILIANS ARE FORCED TO FLEE AS US/IRAQI FORCES ATTACK TALLAFA, NORTH-WESTERN IRAQ.
DOCTORS FOR IRAQ WARNS OF MEDICAL HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
Doctors for Iraq is deeply concerned at the fate of hundreds of civilians trying to flee the sieged town of Tallafa, 80 km from Mousel City. Thousands of residents from the town have been told to leave the area by US/ Iraqi forces who have been attacking the area for the past three- four days.
"Now Let's Rescue America: Nine Key Steps For The Left" By Van Jones, Wednesday 9.7.2005 (Originally published by the HuffingtonPost.com.)
The troops have arrived, and the waters are receding. The battered and traumatized residents are being transported - we hope and pray - to safer ground.
But the battle to save New Orleans is not over - not by a long shot.
The work to rescue it, and the country, has just begun. The coming struggle will be difficult - stretching over a decade or more.
But if we dedicate ourselves, the outcome is certain. The puffed-up potentate who fiddled while New Orleans drowned will lose his grip on power - and so will his party. And the people of New Orleans will live in a resurrected city - their hometown rebuilt by a nation more deeply committed to justice and equality.
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC: President Bush is at the White House, with
no public schedule. [MSNBC.com, 9/8/05]
UPDATED* CHENEY, LYNNE CHENEY and GONZALEZ in Gulf Coast: Dick Cheney,
joined by his wife Lynne and Attorney General Gonzales, visit the region
today. They start in Gulfport this morning, meeting local officials at
10:10 a.m. EDT. Then they meet with relief coordinators at 10:35 a.m.
They take a noon walking tour of a Gulfport neighborhood and then meet
with Gov. Haley Barbour at 1:25 p.m. The group then goes to New Orleans,
visiting the USS Iwo Jima at 3:15 p.m. EDT, seeing the 17th Street Canal