Ubiquitous Culture of Death and Violence

By Jozef Hand-Boniakowski

I grew up in what most non-city folk would call a "big" city. After all, Jersey City, New Jersey, has a population that is one-half that of the entire state of Vermont. Growing up in "Joisey City" in the sixties meant living daily with violence in the streets. The street violence was supplanted and perhaps fostered by the racism, violence and killing seen daily on television. I remember my mother, a working class immigrant, complaining about the language children used while they played in the street. Often, that language was directed at the "green horns" of eastern European decent. Since my family is from Romania and Poland I am well familiar with the term. When my mother complained about the children's language she was not referring to their poor choice of vocabulary, the four-letter words we commonly hear today. She was referring to violent phrases, especially, "I will kill you!" Even in jest, when a child would disagree with another, they would often shake their fist and say, "I will kill you". This made my mother extremely uncomfortable. Her discomfort didn't register much with those of us dodging gangs in the neighborhood or coming home with their lips busted open, or heads bleeding with welts. This was the way of the streets in the New World and we adjusted. It was the way of the popular culture as reflected in television programs we watched and the magazines we saw on the candy store racks. I vividly recall the comic books in the racks on the walls of Herbie's candy store on Grove Street in downtown Jersey City. The one that sticks out in my mind is "Man Comics" which depicted barely clothed women tied up being "interrogated" by men in black Nazi uniforms and weapons. Torture and sex was a potent mix then as it is now. Few people besides my mother in the early sixties concerned themselves about the children's use of the phrase, "I will kill you". Ethnic slurs were rampant as well. Italians were called Wops. Poles were called Pollacks. Jews were called Kikes. Hispanics were called Spics. We all know what African Americans and women were called. The culture spoke for itself.

The Young Dead Soldiers

By Sherry Conable

As part of our action for National Stand Down Say, we did a brief memorial in honor of the 6 soldiers from Santa Cruz County who have died in Iraq - six people held flowers and we read this poem. We then left some flowers and a copy of the poem at the door of each of the four military recruiting offices.

The Young Dead Soldiers

The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard
In the still houses; who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night
And when the clock counts.

They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us.


U.S. Tour of Duty presents
Featuring in person: SCOTT RITTER

Monday, December 5, 7:30-9:00 PM at Venice United Methodist Church, 1020 Victoria Avenue, Venice (1 block north of Venice Blvd. at Lincoln Blvd.)

Join Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector and author of Iraq Confidential (Nation Books), and Lila Garrett, host of KPFK's "Connect the Dots," for an incisive discussion on how to extract ourselves from the Iraq quagmire.

A book sale and signing will follow the event.

Doors open 6:30 PM. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Suggested donation: $10 (nobody turned away)

Blowing the Whistle On Bob Woodward

By Larry C. Johnson

Among the many op-eds spawned by Bob Woodward's duplicity, this one in the Tampa Tribune struck a nerve. Entitled, Woodward Failed His Readers By Holding Back What He Knew, the piece sparked a reaction by Len Colodny. Len's site, watergate.com, has some fascinating background on Bob Woodward and his ties to military intelligence.

Woodward has been the consumate insider while cultivating the image of the hard charging investigative reporter. He is anything but, and it is time to blow the whistle on his incestuous relationship with certain government officials. The fact that the Washington Post is still covering for this joker says volumes about the decline of the Post.

USAID Official Calls for "Regime Change" in Syria

By the American Lebanese Coordination Council
Media Office Phone: 727-641-9764, Fax: 727-577-0183, www.alcc-research.com

“The Time has come for change in Syria…The Assad Ba’ath is like the Saddam Ba’ath

"No Permanent Bases in Iraq" -- It's the Least Congress Can Do

Please urge your Congress Member to co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 197, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Ask Congress to End the War

Current Cosponsors

H. CON. RES. 197

Widespread Violence Kills Dozens Across Iraq

By Edward Wong
The New York Times

Baghdad - The Marine Corps said today that 15 Iraqi civilians and a United States marine were killed on Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded in the town of Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. At least 11 other Iraqis were killed or discovered dead today in various incidents, and military officials reported the deaths of two more Americans and a British soldier.

The deaths capped one of the deadliest three-day periods since the American invasion. In all, at least 155 Iraqis and 7 foreign soldiers have been killed in a spate of bombings and assaults that began Friday morning, when jihadists tried using two trucks packed with explosives to demolish a Baghdad hotel full of Western journalists.

Once in a While There's a Reason to Watch Fox News

Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), who voted for Congressman Duncan Hunter's resolution for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, will debate Hunter on FOX at 11:10 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Thanksgiving Day 2005

Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Peak oil and Thanksgiving Day are now linked. Eminent geologist Kenneth Deffeyes predicted two years ago that the peak moment of world oil production would occur on Thanksgiving Day 2005.

Peak oil is a term for the point in time when world oil production will stop increasing and begin to decline. Deffeyes acknowledges that his prediction is just a guess based on extrapolated figures, but given all the unknowns, it may be as good as any other prediction about the end of the oil age.

One thing that is not in doubt is that the oil age will end. Geology and physics tell us that much. But because so many governments and corporations have not shared honest information about their oil reserves, they have not presented a reliable timeframe for the depletion of the oil resource.

30 Months in Iraq is 30 Months Too Long

By Rep. José E. Serrano
September 23, 2005

We are now in the 30th month of the Iraq war. Will it take us another 30
months to admit and correct our mistake?

The time has come for an immediate and complete withdrawal of the troops.

We have created a mess in Iraq, and the sooner we admit that and pull out,
the fewer American soldiers will be needlessly lost. As our nation's
civilian leaders, members of Congress owe reality-based assessments of the
situation to our troops, whose patriotism leads them to sacrifice for our
great nation.

The troops' job is to carry out the goals that their leaders set before

Wexler Votes "Yes" on Iraq Withdrawal to Send a "No Confidence" Vote to Bush

Wexler Refuses to Support the President's Failed Iraq War Policy

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) issued the
following statement after voting in support of the House Resolution calling
for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq:

"My vote in support of this resolution tonight sends an unequivocal message
to President Bush that his three-year, carte-blanche authority in Iraq must
come to an end. The American people have lost confidence in President Bush's
ability as Commander in Chief, and his flawed policies have failed to bring
stability and security to Iraq. It is time to hold the President and his

What I Knew Before the Invasion

By Bob Graham
Washington Post

In the past week President Bush has twice attacked Democrats for being hypocrites on the Iraq war. "[M]ore than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate, who had access to the same intelligence, voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power," he said.

The president's attacks are outrageous. Yes, more than 100 Democrats voted to authorize him to take the nation to war. Most of them, though, like their Republican colleagues, did so in the legitimate belief that the president and his administration were truthful in their statements that Saddam Hussein was a gathering menace -- that if Hussein was not disarmed, the smoking gun would become a mushroom cloud.

Woodward's Weakness

By Russ Baker, TomPaine.com

Investigative reporter and essayist Russ Baker is a longtime contributor to TomPaine.com. He is the founder of the Real News Project, a new organization dedicated to producing groundbreaking investigative journalism. He can be reached at russ@russbaker.com.

Whatever Bob Woodward did or didn’t do, should or shouldn’t have done, knew or didn’t know, several lessons can be drawn from this latest of media scandals—and none of them speak well of journalism as it is practiced at elite levels today.

For one thing, the very definition of an "investigative reporter," as Woodward is labeled these days ad nauseum , is a pretty elastic one. Meeting a source in a parking garage as a way of identifying abuses and high crimes by powerful insiders is one thing. Dining off that for the next three decades while chumming it up with well-placed insiders for their “exclusive accounts

Murtha And The Colonels

By Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He previously worked for 27 years as a CIA analyst. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Listening to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on ABC yesterday, I was reminded of his infamous “long, hard slog

Defense official: Rumsfeld given Iraq withdrawal plan

Plan calls for troops to begin pulling out after December elections

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq, according to a senior defense official.

Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades -- usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each -- begin pulling out of Iraq early next year.

The proposal comes as tension grows in both Washington and Baghdad following a call by a senior House Democrat to bring U.S. troops home and the deaths of scores of people by suicide bombers in two Iraqi cities.

Sacramento Rallies Against War

By Gary Zimmerman, Sacramento, CA


Anti-war demonstrators held another spirited rally in Sacramento on
Saturday, November 19th. About 65 people showed up at 16th & Broadway to
protest Bush’s War. This is the eighth demonstration at this location
since August 14, 2005. Virginia and Stephen Pearcy organized the event.

Sacramentans (including the Sacramento City Council) want the war to
end. We want the Bush administration to be held accountable for its

Iraq Debate

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

MICHAEL HOFFMAN, iraqvet@mail.com, http://www.ivaw.net
Hoffman is a co-founder and national coordinator of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps for over four years and was part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

NORMAN SOLOMON, norman@accuracy.org, http://www.WarMadeEasy.com, http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1121-32.htm
Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, is the author of the new book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." He writes in a piece today: "The failure of the Bush administration to show military progress in Iraq has made the war politically vulnerable. But that line of critique leaves a somewhat clear field for the White House to keep claiming -- however implausibly -- that U.S. military forces and their Iraqi government allies are turning the corner and can look forward to Iraqization of the war. Today's White House line is akin to the 'light at the end of the tunnel' and Vietnamization talk 35 years ago. ... With the underpinnings of war prerogatives unchallenged, a predictable response is that the war must be fought more effectively. ... Countless pundits and politicians continue to decry the Bush administration's failure to come up with an effective strategy in Iraq. But the war has not gone wrong. It was always wrong. And the basic problem with the current U.S. war effort is that it exists."

The Man Who Sold the Iraq War


* The Man Who Sold the Iraq War: John Rendon, Bush's General in the
Propaganda War *

Investigative journalist James Bamford examines how the Bush administration
and Iraqi National Congress used the PR firm Rendon Group to feed
journalists - including Judith Miller -- fabricated stories in an effort to
sell the war. The firm has received millions in government contracts since
1991 when it was by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal
of Hussein from power." Iraq wasn't the first regime change case for Rendon.
In 1989 the CIA turned to Rendon to use a variety of campaign and

Republicans Defy the American People and Attack a True Patriot

November 18, 2005

MR. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart to enter into the Congressional Record my observations regarding the shameless acts of the Republicans who have hijacked the House of Representatives and have become so arrogant, so deaf to any voices but their own they do not hear the voices of the American people. My friend and colleague, John Murtha, a true American patriot and decorated Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam combat, spoke from his heart yesterday on behalf of those he cares most about: the men and women wearing the uniform of the United States of America and the people of this country he has served all his life.

Iraqi leaders demand timetable for troop withdrawal

By Agence France Presse

Iraqi leaders reached a tentative agreement to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from their war-torn country during talks ahead of a reconciliation conference to be held next year.

Dozens of leaders representing most of Iraq's factions have been holding tough talks in Cairo since Saturday in a bid to reach a common agenda.

In a draft final statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, they demanded "a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops".

The draft also advocates "immediately setting up a national programme to rebuild the armed forces in a way that will allow them to control the security situation and put an end to terrorist operations".

Open Letter to George Bush

By Kevin and Monica Benderman

Open Letter to George Bush from Kevin Benderman November 20, 2004 followed by Open Letter to George Bush One Year Later By Monica Benderman

George Bush

When are you going to tell the truth to the people of the United States? Why don't you tell them why you want to be in Iraq so bad? I was there for six months and I did not see the first weapon of mass destruction. I did receive orders from the company commander to shoot children if they threw small rocks at us and that was when I figured out that the entire thing was way over the line.

Getting Out of Iraq

By Norman Solomon

Thanksgiving week began with the New York Times noting that “all of
Washington is consumed with debate over the direction of the war in

Not necessarily the news

From GQ, November 21, 2005, via FreePress
By Wil S. Hyton

Chances are you’ve never heard of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sure, it might be the largest independent owner of television stations in America, an empire of sixty channels spread across thirty-seven cities with a signal that reaches nearly a quarter of the TV-watching public, but even if you happen to receive that signal and watch it every night, getting your Sinclair news and Sinclair weather and Sinclair commentary from a Sinclair station, chances are you’ve still never heard of Sinclair and have no idea you’re watching it. You won’t see the word Sinclair on your screen, and you’ll probably just think you’re watching ABC or CBS or NBC, whichever network you thought you tuned in. Right there on the screen, you’ll see the old familiar logo—a peacock, an eye, the ABC bubble—and the anchors will look the same as ever, and the fact that the station has been purchased by Sinclair will be no more apparent than the fact that twenty or thirty minutes into the program, the real news will suddenly fade to black and Sinclair’s news will take over. It may be a glowing interview with a defense contractor or a fiery commentary on the evils of the French, something brief and punchy lasting two or ten or fourteen minutes, then slipping back into the regular news as quietly as it came. Not so much as a blip or a bleep to let you know that what you just witnessed was not the local NBC or CBS broadcast but just a little insert from the guys who own the station. That’s the goal at Sinclair: to be seen without being seen.

Rumsfeld's 'Hit Back'

From American Progress Action Fund

Fresh from his trip to Australia, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld yesterday made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows as the Bush administration official to "hit back" against Iraq war critics. (Vice President Cheney will continue the campaign in a speech this morning at 11:00 A.M.) Rumsfeld tried his best to deflect calls for troop redeployment, charges that the White House manipulated intelligence to sell its war in Iraq, and that progress in Iraq has stalled. But instead of offering strategies and plans, Rumsfeld followed the lead of his colleagues and gave the American people excuses. "We're consistently passing off responsibility," said Rumsfeld on Fox News Sunday, referring to the transfer of power from U.S. troops to Iraqi soldiers. But Rumsfeld's statement rings true on other fronts, as the White House passes off responsibility for its failures in the Iraq war onto lawmakers, U.S. soldiers, and the American public.

Democrats Plan to Caucus on Iraq

By Erin P. Billings, Roll Call Staff

House Democrats plan to meet immediately after the Thanksgiving recess to discuss Members’ positions on the Iraq war and whether to adopt a formal Democratic Caucus position on an issue that has divided lawmakers for more than three years.

Sources said the House Democratic leaders decided to hold a special session devoted to the war largely in deference to a growing bloc of Members who are ever more frustrated with the war and increasingly upset that House Democrats remain uncommitted to a particular policy track.

Those frustrations came into focus last week when Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a moderate and a defense hawk, called for an end to the war and rapid troop withdrawal.

Associated Press Claims Falsely That Friday's Vote Was on Murtha's Bill

Murtha says Americans agree with his call for Iraq withdrawal
By DAN LOVERING, Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a key Democrat on military issues, on Monday defended his call to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, saying he was reflecting Americans' sentiment.

"The public turned against this war before I said it," Murtha said. "The public is emotionally tied into finding a solution to this thing, and that's what I hope this administration is going to find out."

Murtha, 73, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriates defense subcommittee, said he has received support from the public since calling for the troop pullout on Thursday. He said he has gotten e-mails from World War II veterans and parents of American soldiers in Iraq.

Scurrilous Politics in the U.S. House -- You Helped Democrats Resist!

By Progressive Democrats of America

PHOTO: Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)

November 18, 2005--In a surprise move today, the Republicans moved a grossly amended version of Rep. Murtha's (D-PA) Resolution on Iraq out of committee and onto the floor of the House for a vote in an attempt to trick Democrats into supporting a 'cut and run' position on withdrawing U.S. troops. The attempt backfired. Instead, the move simply demonstrated the Republicans' continued unwillingness to allow reasoned bipartisan debate on bringing an end to the Iraq war debacle.

DNC December Meeting Update

By Progressive Democrats of America

PDA plans to be meeting with Democratic National Committee (DNC) members at their next meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Our goal will be simple: to message that the progressive movement within the Democratic Party is organized and in force!

We also plan to host an evening reception for attendees of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) and DNC events. This event will be open to the public and a place for folks to network with DNC members. There is a possibility of having some very progressive, well-known musicians there. Stay tuned as we firm that up. The details of this event are linked below.

PDA Makes Another Congressional Endorsement: Tony Trupiano!

By William Rivers Pitt, LINK TO ORIGINAL

Tony TrupianoTony Trupiano is a force of nature -- a man of tremendous accomplishment who has succeeded at virtually everything he has tried. He is a leading voice in progressive talk radio, he has written books, and teaches a seminar on the effective use of media. Now he is running for office, and he needs your help.

Mr. Trupiano is running for the House seat in Michigan's 11th District, which covers the greater metro Detroit area. His opponent, two-term incumbent Thaddeus McCotter, has not announced his candidacy yet, but it is only a matter of time before he does. It would be a worthwhile exercise to run a bag of doorknobs against McCotter, who votes with the GOP caucus 93% of the time and voted with Rep. Tom DeLay 92% of the time. Beyond this, Mr. McCotter has amassed a profound record of doing little to nothing for his constituents. He needs to go.

PDA's Future & My Advice to PDA Activists

By Tom Hayden, PDA Advisory Board Member

Request for Comments: Tom Hayden has submitted these recommendations for PDA for the year of 2006. We need your feedback, as well as your own thoughts on the direction you'd like to see PDA take in the upcoming year. Please submit your comments by filling out this form. Your ideas will be emailed to us immediately. Comments will be summarized later in an article on this web site. Thanks for your help!

The tide has turned. There is an opening. Expect the counter-offensive.

Speaking Events


August 27, Chicago

September 22, DC


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