National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq

By Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, Military Families Speak Out
http://www.bringthemhomenowtour.org/

"Stay at home and serve your country" was the slogan used to attract men and women into service to their communities and their country in the National Guard. The promise to the men and women of the Guard was also a promise to citizens of the various states that they would have a force available to them in time of emergency.

One weekend a month, two weeks each year, those who signed up to serve in the state militia known as the National Guard trained to protect Country and Constitution and to provide aid in times of local emergencies such as forest fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and civil unrest. National Guard soldiers have specifically been trained to assist in emergencies such as the one that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast on August 28-29, 2005.

Iraq Vets Against the War Member Leaves the Tour to Join National Guard Unit

Iraq Vets Against the War Member Leaves the Tour to Join National Guard Unit Activated to Provide Hurricane Relief to Gulf Coast

Patrick Resta has been one of the representatives from Iraq Veterans Against the War on the northern “Bring Them Home Now

South Tour: Montgomery, AL

September 5th, 2005
by Julie Cuniglio, Gold Star Families for Peace

The Southern Tour rolled into Montgomery mid-afternoon and was met by our gracious local host, Ellen Griffin of the Montgomery Peace Project. Ellen escorted our group to a one of the two lovely Montgomery homes that was hosting us for the evening, where everyone enjoyed a couple of hours of iced tea and conversation, followed by a wonderful meal, home cooked by our host and another local supporter.

At 7:30 we gathered at the capitol, where a number of vigil participants were already beginning to arrive. While tour members lined the capitol steps with candles and hung the tour banner, others greeted the arrivals, who were anxious to hear details of the bus tour and stories of Camp Casey. Many asked how Cindy was doing and thanked the tour members, over and over, for taking the time to stop in Montgomery. Local press spoke for some time to Phil and Linda Waste, who shared detailed stories of how they’ve endured the extended deployments in Iraq of their children and grandchildren. By the vigil’s start, the crowd had grown to 50, including members of the Montgomery Peace Project, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Veterans for Peace and others.

Central Tour: Indianapolis, IN

September 5th, 2005
by Lietta Ruger, Military Families Speak Out

We pulled into Indianapolis and there was a large crowd of people waiting for us with signs expressing support. They applauded us, and embraced us – we were bowled over by how welcoming they were! There were people protesting – but we were able to turn that around. When they started singing God Bless America, we joined them! It also made our speeches more fiery and impassioned.

One of the things we carried from St. Louis was a gentleman who asked “is there anyone in this room that doesn’t support the troops? and no one raised their hand. That reinforces the fact that we are on a common page even with those who oppose us – that we all support the troops.

North Tour: Milwaukee, WI

September 5th, 2005
by Karen Meredith, Gold Star Families for Peace

In Milwaukee, we worked with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and representatives from organized labor. The speaker from Vietnam Veterans Against the War gave us a quiz based on the similarities between Vietnam and Iraq, instructing us that the answer to every question was “It was a Lie!

South Tour: Dothan, AL and Tallahassee, FL

September 6th, 2005
By Brooke Beasley, Gold Star Families for Peace

Greetings from the Southern tour! We had a busy day today, spanning
three different cities!

First we finished up in Montgomery with one last trip to the Martin
Luther King Monument. We took a great group photo and then hopped on the
bus to head to Dothan, Alabama!

Dothan became part of our tour when the local organizer, Priscilla
Andrews called us. Priscilla’s son served 14 months in Iraq before her
returned safely home. Dothan is a huge tank base and has many pro-war
residents. “I’ve had a huge banner in my yard for the past two years.

North Tour: Chicago, IL

September 6th, 2005
By Sherry Glover, Military Families Speak Out

We had a jam-packed day Tuesday in Chicago!

We started the day at the inauguration of a “Camp Casey North

Central Tour: Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN

September 6th, 2005
By Hart Viges, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Today we started out with a press conference in an independent bookstore
in Bloomington, IN. All of us shared our stories – I spoke about my
experiences in Iraq, and my concern about how violence and occupation
breed resentment towards the military and towards the US. I issued a
challenge to President Bush – how can he translate “love your enemies
and do good for them

Anti-war bus tour stops here

'Bring Them Home Now' event attended by 100
By Howard Wilkinson
Cincinatti Enquirer

The national bus tour sparked by Cindy Sheehan's monthlong protest against the Iraq war outside President Bush's Texas ranch rolled into Cincinnati on Wednesday on its way to Washington.

About 100 Cincinnati-area residents - opponents of the war - filled the Catholic Center at St. Monica-St. George Church in University Heights on Wednesday night to cheer on the eight protestors. Attending were Iraq veterans, parents of troops killed in Iraq and peace activists supporting the group as it makes its way to a protest in the nation's capital Sept. 24.

REMEMBER AND RESIST

A call to action for mass civil resistance at the White House on Monday, Sept. 26, 2005.

Mourn the Dead.
Resist Bush's War.
Bring U.S. troops home, now!

Be part of an historic mass nonviolent action to end the war in Iraq.

For the last two and half years the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq has brought immeasurable death and destruction. This is a war that never should have happened, a war based on lies and greed. It is time to end it and bring our troops home, now.

United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) invites you to participate in a mass civil resistance action at the White House on Monday, September 26, 2005. As part of three days of public protest against the war in Iraq, this action will provide a dramatic opportunity to more directly express your opposition to the war makers.

Bring Them Home Now Tour is in full swing

Dear brothers and sisters:

The Bring Them Home Now Tour is in full swing. Three buses of military and
gold star families, Iraq veterans and members of Veterans for Peace, left
Crawford, TX on Aug 31st and are traveling along three separate routes
across the country. We are carrying the message Bring Them Home Now to
cities and towns across the country on the way to Washington DC for the
United Peace and Justice March and Rally on Sept 24th. There are great
events happening and being planned daily, and the web site is getting
updated regularly, so check often for new information and to hear stories

Co-Sponsors at 65 and Rising

There are now 65 cosponsors of H Res 375, the Resolution of Inquiry into Bush's lies. It will be voted on in committee September 14th. Contact your Congress Member NOW!
Email Your Congress Member.
Phone and Fax Your Congress Member. Or call switchboard tollfree at (888) 818-6641.
Fill out feedback form.
More Info.

MAKE THAT 66: Add Rep. Betty McCullum (D-MN)!

$7.74

http://thinkprogress.org/2005/09/05/walmart-katrina/

At a press conference this afternoon, President George H. W. Bush singled out the Walton Family for their generosity to Katrina relief efforts:

I don’t think anyone would mind if I singled out the chairman and CEO of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, who is right here. He told us that they gave the Bush-Clinton fund a total of $23 million…$15 million from the company and then $8 million more from the Walton family, the marvelous philanthropists that they are.

Let’s put that in perspective. The Walton family’s net worth is $90 billion. So $8 million dollars represents .009 percent of their total.

Report from Bus Tour

From Arthur Ruger, who spoke to Lietta Ruger of Military Families Speak Out

She was pumpted up tonight.

"We just finished a super great rally tonight in Cincinnati." More on Cincinnati later.

Before leaving Indianapolis we met with aides to both Senator Evan Bayh (D) and Richard Lugar (R).

The meeting with Bayh's aide was productive and we felt that he "got" our message. The aide was responsive, with questions the reflected engagement and interest. At the end of the interview, Lietta gave him her card and told him, "I'd like the Senator to call me." She said the aide appeared somewhat astonished.

Cindy Sheehan’s Protests, Strikingly Reminiscent of John Kerry’s

Cindy Sheehan’s Protests, Strikingly Reminiscent of John Kerry’s

By Kapil Komireddi
SPECIAL TO THE ICONOCLAST

September 6, 2005 6:20 PM

Knowingly or unknowingly, President Bush has put America in a great predicament. This evening I was talking to an Iraqi expatriate about the ongoing situation in his country. “If the Americans leave,

Committee to Address Resolution of Inquiry into Bush Lies on September 14

FULL COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE
Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0128
September 7, 2005

TO: MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

You are respectfully requested to attend an OPEN markup of the Committee on International Relations, to be held in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building:

DATE: Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TIME: 10:30 a.m.

MARKUP OF: H. Res. 375, Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq;

White House Reverses Course on Oversight of Iraq Reconstruction

from cq.com

A top Bush administration official today told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the White House now supports new funding for an inspector general who has been critical of how the administration has spent billions Iraq reconstruction money.

President Bush’s fiscal 2006 budget request sought no extra money for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The foreign operations appropriations bill passed by the House in June did not extend the office, which is currently scheduled to expire next summer, long before most of the reconstruction money is spent.

Conyers Decries White House Attempts to Evade Accountability

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html

Conyers Decries White House Attempts to Evade Accountability

Requests Nonpartisan Legal Assessment of Hurricane Katrina Responsibilities

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee sent the following letter today to the Congressional Research Service to review the law and legal requests pertaining to Hurricane Katrina:

September 7, 2005

Ms. Elizabeth Bazan

Please take another look at this...

Democratic Underground
Posted by GaYellowDawg

It's not about blame. It's about responsibility. Let us not forget that the first of the inalienable rights listed by the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and it is the primary responsibility of the American government to safeguard American lives. When American lives are in danger, it is the responsibility of government to act, not to cut cakes, strum guitars, buy a house, attend a baseball game, or cut a swath through Manhattan's finest shops.

While George Bush was eating cake with John McCain, rats were eating American corpses in American cities. While George Bush was strumming a dissonant chord with a country singer, a dissonant, desperate cry for help went unheeded from American voices in American cities. While Dick Cheney was closing on a posh new house, floodwaters were closing in on many more American houses, and, even worse, their owners. While Donald Rumsfeld was enjoying a game in an American baseball stadium, American citizens were dying in an American football stadium. While Condoleeza Rice was delightedly prancing through Manhattan shops in search of shoes, American citizens were desperately sloshing through New Orleans buildings in search of drinkable water. The largest natural disaster in modern American history is no time for absentee government, but that's what we got.

BREAKING: Bush banning all media from New Orleans

U.S. agency blocks photos of New Orleans dead
07 Sep 2005 00:56:29 GMT

Source: Reuters

NEW ORLEANS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims.

An agency spokeswoman said space was needed on the rescue boats and that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

Firefighters as props; off-the-record lies...Sound Familiar?

Firefighters as props; off-the-record lies
by kos
Wed Sep 7th, 2005 at 12:15:48 PDT
(Editor's note: picture added)
 i.cnn.net.

So here's the primer. In short, firefighters who volunteered to help save and help people, were instead forced to act as human props as Bush walked around pretending to do stuff.

Billmon responds in his usual brilliant way:

I guess this is what Bush was talking about yesterday when he called himself a "problem solver." But one of these days he and the Rovians really ought to take a stab at trying to solve other people's problems.

Exploiting September 11th

By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Wednesday 07 September 2005

If Osama is still alive, he is now George W. Bush's #1 supporter.

Osama bin Laden wanted Saddam overthrown as much as the neo-cons did, if not more. The Baath Party that Saddam led did not share Osama's fundamentalist beliefs. Osama didn't like the fact that women were educated in Iraq. Osama didn't like that Saddam went to war with Iran, a Shiite theocracy. Osama wanted Iraq to be run by the Shia, hmmm ...

Back in 1991, when many wanted US troops to go to Baghdad and take down Saddam, those who feared a united Iran and Iraq prevailed and convinced Bush Sr. to stop at the Iraq-Kuwait border. A policy of containing Saddam was adopted and was succeeding right up until the invasion in 2003.

You Can't Pray a Lie, Except if You are George W. Bush

A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL

The chronic, bald-faced lying of the Bush Administration has been a BuzzFlash focus since before George even assumed office, and regular readers of our news and commentary site are familiar with our documentation of just a small fraction of the daily mendacity of the Bush Cartel.

Admittedly, no one would accuse politics of being a field that is noted for its veracity. But there are small lies, there are big lies, and there are lies that are beyond the pale of comprehension in terms of civilized interaction and responsibility to the nation.

It is the third category of Bush lies that BuzzFlash has noted for five years. And it the third category that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and their minions disseminate with such frequency that we are left like swirling dervishes trying to keep up with their pathological betrayal of the truth.

Tour Update from Cindy Sheehan

Dear Friends,

After spending the weekend with my family, and watching with amazement and horror the devastation of hurricane Katrina, I am preparing to rejoin the Bring Them Home Now bus tour and hope you’ll come out to support the tour when it passes through your community.

The news for the past week has centered on New Orleans - and rightly so - but we can't forget that the war and devastation in Iraq continues even as we face this tragedy here at home. In just the last week, 12 US troops were killed in Iraq, and countless Iraqi civilians. And in so many ways, the devastation of the hurricane and the disgraceful federal emergency response are intimately linked with Iraq -- the money that went to Iraq instead of to repair the levee; the national guard troops from Louisiana and Mississippi who are in Iraq instead of helping here at home; the botched relief operation that led to so many deaths.

Denial...The Only Way of Life in The Bush Administration

Dems Assail White House on Katrina Effort
Sep 07 12:52 PM US/Eastern
By JENNIFER LOVEN and DAVID ESPO
Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON

(Editor's note: "Deny and Lie" seems to be this administrations motto. Deny Iraq is heading towards Civil War; Deny the incompetent war planning; and deny incompetent rescue operations in New Orleans. Then lie, lie, lie--weapons of mass destruction, "last throes of insurgency..." and now: "Those that stayed in New Orleans chose to stay and FEMA did nothing wrong.")

Congress' top two Democrats furiously criticized the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina on Wednesday, with Sen. Harry Reid demanding to know whether President Bush's Texas vacation impeded relief efforts and Rep. Nancy Pelosi assailing the chief executive as "oblivious, in denial" about the difficulties.

Conyers and 32 Other Members to Introduce Anti- Price Gouging Bill

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html

Contact: Dena Graziano, 202-226-6888
September 7, 2005

Conyers and 32 Other Members to Introduce Anti- Price Gouging Bill

Cosponsors Include Members of the Affected Mississippi and Louisiana Delegation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement regarding the introduction of the "Anti-Price Gouging Act of 2005," legislation that makes price gouging during a time of a national disaster a federal crime. Currently, the bill has been cosponsored by Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Linda Sanchez, Jerrold Nadler, Martin Meehan, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bennie Thompson, William Jefferson, Adam Schiff, Joe Crowley, William Delahunt, Zoe Lofgren, Gene Taylor, Chris Van Hollen, Diane Watson, Bobby Scott, Ed Case, Bernie Sanders, Mike Capuano, Dennis Kucinich, Bob Filner, Dan Boren, Jim McDermott, George Miller, John Larson, Al Green, Julia Carson, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Carolyn Maloney, Emanuel Cleaver, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, Anthony Weiner.

Update on DSM Activity

By Congressman John Conyers
http://www.conyersblog.us

I thought you might be interested in a radio story I appeared in today on KPFK discussing the Downing Street Minutes.

Click here for the radio segment

http://www.conyersblog.us

The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed

The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed

By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted September 6, 2005.

What the world has witnessed this past week is an image of poverty and social disarray that tears away the affluent mask of the United States.

Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Third World rulers to shame. The well-reported litany of mistakes by the Bush administration in failing to prevent and respond to Katrina's destruction grew longer with each hour's grim revelation from the streets of an apocalyptic New Orleans.

Ordeal of a Whistleblower

Ordeal of a Whistleblower

By Evelyn Pringle, AlterNet. Posted September 7, 2005.

With the recent demotion of the woman who dared speak out, the list of lies about Halliburton's no-bid Iraq reconstruction contracts grows even longer.

In October 2004, Bunnatine Greenhouse, a top military official responsible for making sure the Army Corps of Engineers complies with contracting rules, came forward and revealed that top Pentagon officials showed improper favoritism to Halliburton when awarding military contracts.

The allegations made by this official were first reported by Time magazine.

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