Letting Go of Hope

Intro By Paul Loeb

Our hopes rise, and should, as Bush's poll numbers fall. But whatever the
polls, this is going to remain an exceptionally difficult political time for
a good while to come. In this context, Margaret Wheatley offers a powerful
reflection on working as hard as we can for immediate outcomes, and then
letting go. The outcomes matter, and matter tremendously. But so does the
process, where we can take heart from the value and appropriateness of our
work and from the communities we build. It's no accident that those who've
devoted their entire lives to creating a more humane world or have

Iraq War Critic Speaks at Democrat-Sponsored Forum

By Susan Haley, The Hingham Journal

Residents from throughout the South Shore participated in the recent forum "Intelligence Information and the War in Iraq" which was sponsored by the Hingham Democratic Town Committee and the Young Democrats Club at Hingham High School.

An audience of approximately 85 listened as the forum's featured speaker, William Rivers Pitt, detailed the current situation in Iraq: oil production seriously compromised, electricity available only for a few short hours during the day, deplorable conditions in local hospitals, clean water a precious commodity and daily attacks directed against our forces and the civilian population. While the recent election ratified an Iraq Constitution, 97 percent of the Sunni population of Iraq voted against the proposal. Not only have we lost nearly 2,100 American soldiers in the fighting, but the number of seriously wounded American soldiers is the equivalent of the elimination of an entire Army division. Mr. Pitt concluded this portion of his remarks by reminding people that our nation was told that our soldiers would be greeted with flowers as liberators.

Al Jazeera Wants US Bomb Memo Answers

By Reuters

London - Arabic news channel Al Jazeera's general manager flew to London on Friday to demand the British government explain a leaked report that President George W. Bush wanted to bomb the TV station.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Tuesday that a secret British government memo said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar in April last year.

"I have come to London in order to reach out to British officials, to investigate about the memo that some claim exists during the past week," Al Jazeera managing director Waddah Khanfar told Reuters by telephone after his arrival in London.

The Press: The Enemy Within

By Michael Massing, The New York Review of Books

The past few months have witnessed a striking change in the fortunes of two well-known journalists: Anderson Cooper and Judith Miller. CNN's Cooper, the one-time host of the entertainment show The Mole, who was known mostly for his pin-up good looks, hip outfits, and showy sentimentality, suddenly emerged during Hurricane Katrina as a tribune for the dispossessed and a scourge of do-nothing officials. He sought out poor blacks who were stranded in New Orleans, expressed anger over bodies rotting in the street, and rudely interrupted Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu when she began thanking federal officials for their efforts. When people "listen to politicians thanking one another and complimenting each other," he told her, "you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated." After receiving much praise, Cooper in early November was named to replace Aaron Brown as the host of CNN's NewsNight.

Tell Republicans to STOP Attacking Veterans

Unpatriotic Congresswoman Jean Schmidt Calls Vietnam Hero a Coward

Here at www.VetsForJustice.con we are fed up with the Bush Neocons, like the Anti-American Congresswoman from Ohio, Jean Schmidt, calling America's War Heroes names.

Having served in combat in Vietnam myself, I was pissed during the Vietnam War when the cowardly rich, like President "W" Bush, Vice President Chaney, and most of the present Bush Administration, avoided the war by being rich and powerful.
Being a lifelong Republican I was pissed when yellow "W" Bush used Swift Boat Tactics to attack Vietnam War Hero, and former POW, Senator McCain for mere politics.

World Without War

By John McConnell

The weapons and ways of war must be abolished --
Before they abolish us.

Is it now possible to achieve humanity's age-long dream of a world without war? In the evolution of history are there new factors that can facilitate peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage freedom and order, justice and mutual responsibility?

The suffering resulting from war always affects both sides. The original Memorial Day began during the civil war by women in Georgia who planted flowers on the graves of soldiers who had died, honoring friend and foe alike. Patriotic soldiers followed their leaders and died on both sides of the battle.

How Do We Honor Our Fallen Troops in a Wrongful War?

By Paul Rockwell, t r u t h o u t | Book Review

A review of Cindy Sheehan's uplifting and soulful book.

The agony of war can transform any human being.

In 1914, at the outset of World War I, Rudyard Kipling, the bellicose poet of the British empire who coined the infamous phrase "white man's burden," urged his own son to join the British military. One week after his son enlisted, he was dead. Overwhelmed with grief, Kipling wrote two "Epitaphs for War." In the first, dead soldiers speak:

If any question why we died,
Tell them because our fathers lied.
In the second, "The Dead Statesman," a statesman speaks:

Democratic lawmakers lament Iraq war vote

[here's a fine article with a baseless nonsensical final paragraph]

By Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer
The Sacramento Bee - November 25, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - Three years ago, Massachusetts
congressmen Martin Meehan, Stephen Lynch and Edward
Markey bucked their state Democratic colleagues and
cast votes to give President Bush a green light to go
to war in Iraq.

Since then, the three have renounced their votes and
emerged as critics of the way Bush has handled the war.

Unlike the dramatic public change of heart by Rep. John
Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Marine veteran who served in

The Democratic Pro-War Dead-Enders

By Bob Fertik, Democrats.com

First Democratic Hawk John Murtha (D-PA) declared his opposition to the
Iraq War, now fellow Hawk Norm Dicks (D-WA) is echoing Murtha's

Which makes those few Democrats who still support the disastrous war - led

Times A Changin' in San Diego

By Barbara Cummings, A Proud San Diegan

San Diego, Calif., is a well known, conservative military town. People who live here enjoy sun, surf, and year around good times.

On Friday afternoon people dressed all in black started to gather along the coast in Carlsbad, Ca, just north of San Diego. They came in two and threes. They came in wheelchairs. They came with dogs and baby joggers. They rode bikes. They walked. The coaster was full of people dressed in balck. They were singles and couples and families. One family had four generations. Many came with teen and pre-teen children. There were baby boomers and their parents.

Yesterday at Camp Casey

Memorial to Gold Star Families dedicated at Crawford Peace House
Submitted by admin on Sat, 2005-11-26 01:11. Memorial Garden 11/25/05

Cindy Sheehan and other Gold Star families take a moment to take in the just-unveiled monument to their loved ones while their supporters stand in support and the media looks on.

The monument, carved by Ron Teska of Pennsylvania, was installed in the new garden on the west side of the Peace House, and faces the historical marker that notes George W. Bush's residence in the town.

Today at Camp Casey

Noon - 5 PM:

Rally to Stop the War
Camp Casey 2 (note change of location)

Speakers include:
Cindy Sheehan - Gold Star Families for Peace
Daniel Ellsberg - Speaker, writer, activist
Ann Wright - Activist, organizer, speaker
Bill Mitchell - Gold Star Families for Peace
Juan Torres - Gold Star Families for Peace
Tammara Rosenleaf - Military Families Speak Out
Charlie Anderson - Iraq War Veteran
Dick Underhill - Veterans for Peace
Amy Branham - Gold Star Families for Peace
Music by:
Reggae band One Love Uprising (Code Red)
Singer/songwriter Jesse Dyen, composer of Camp Casey theme song Our Sons and Daughters

Having a Great Time, Wish You Were all Here

Throw the Bitch in the Ditch
By Cindy Sheehan

Camp Casey Thanksgiving, Crawford, Texas

I was feeling very down when I was flying to Waco yesterday. I did a lot of crying and missing Casey on the way out from Sacramento. I am not at the place in my grieving yet where I can look at all of our good times and feel grateful for them. Remembering many, many happy Thanksgivings past only made me feel worse, not better.

So, I called my sister (one of the Crawford 12 jailbirds) when I was on a short layover in Dallas to ask her who was picking me up. She wouldn't give me a straight answer saying that "don't worry, someone will be there." So I told her not to worry about it, I would take a taxi to the Peace House or rent a car. I was DEFINITELY feeling sorry for my poor little self.

When Your Ostensible Ally Says That Blowing Up Your Troops Shouldn't Be Called Terrorism, It's Time to Head Home

By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

If anything should have Americans of all political stripes calling for an immediate return of all US troops from Iraq, it would be the Iraqi summit conference in Egypt earlier this week, hosted by Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, at which it was decided that attacking and blowing up US, British and other occupation troops should not be called "terrorism," but rather "acts of resistance."

That's pretty shocking, wouldn't you say?

And yet, there has been nothing but silence from the right-wing yak shows, little in the mainstream media, and nothing from the White House.

Torture Claims 'Forced US to Cut Terror Charges'

By Jamie Wilson, The Guardian UK

Dirty bomb evidence came from al-Qaida leaders.

CIA worried case would expose prison network.

The Bush administration decided not to charge Jose Padilla with planning to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in a US city because the evidence against him was extracted using torture on members of al-Qaida, it was claimed yesterday.

Mr. Padilla, a US citizen who had been held for more than three years as an "enemy combatant" in a military prison in North Carolina, was indicted on Tuesday on the lesser charges of supporting terrorism abroad. After his arrest in 2002 the Brooklyn-born Muslim convert was also accused by the administration of planning to blow up apartment blocks in New York using natural gas.

An Innocent Man in the Hell of Guantánamo

By Sara Daniel, Le Nouvel Observateur
Translation: t r u t h o u t French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.

He's forgotten nothing of the pain, the humiliation, the solitude. American investigators took a year to clear him. And another year to free him. Beyond the revolting injustice to which he was victim, former journalist Bader Zaman denounces the arbitrariness of American detention centers.

He suffers from hypermnesia. It's twelve months since Bader Zaman was released from Guantánamo prison, but he remembers every detail of his detention. Not only the pain, the humiliation, the solitude, but also little things: dogs' breath, the scrape of the razor against his eyebrows, the accent of the creep who cried out over the megaphone to the other soldiers: "Don't show any sympathy for the terrorists!" He can't forget anything. Today he is free. The Americans have cleared him of all accusations against him. Yet, in Peshawar, this former journalist's liberty still remains under tight surveillance. A few weeks ago, ISI (Pakistani Secret Service) agents came back to see him again. He received them calmly: "What do I have to fear from you now? Have you found a worse hell on the earth than the one you've already thrown me into?"

Life Goes On in Fallujah's Rubble

By Dahr Jamail, Inter Press Service

San Francisco, California - A year after the US-led "Operation Phantom Fury" damaged or destroyed 36,000 homes, 60 schools and 65 mosques in Fallujah, Iraq, residents inside the city continue to suffer from lack of compensation, slow reconstruction and high rates of illness.

The Study Centre for Human Rights and Democracy based in Fallujah (SCHRD) estimates the number of people killed in the city during the US-led operation in October and November 2004 at 4,000 to 6,000, most of them civilians. Mass graves were dug on the outskirts of the city for thousands of the bodies.

The Long March of Dick Cheney

By Sidney Blumenthal, Salon.com

For his entire career, he sought untrammeled power. The Bush presidency and 9/11 finally gave it to him - and he's not about to give it up.

The hallmark of the Dick Cheney administration is its illegitimacy. Its essential method is bypassing established lines of authority; its goal is the concentration of unaccountable presidential power. When it matters, the regular operations of the CIA, Defense Department and State Department have been sidelined.

Richard Nixon is the model, but with modifications. In the Nixon administration, the president was the prime mover, present at the creation of his own options, attentive to detail, and conscious of their consequences. In the Cheney administration, the president is volatile but passive, firm but malleable, presiding but absent. Once his complicity has been arranged, a closely held "cabal" - as Lawrence Wilkerson, once chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, calls it - wields control.

Why Ted Koppel Shouldn’t be Compared to Murrow

By William Hughes

For a moment, I thought I was reading the obituary of an heroic figure who had stood fearlessly, risking life and limb for the truth, God, Motherhood and country. I was wrong! Instead, it was a local TV critic, one David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, wildly spinning, in a Barbara Walters-like fashion, about Ted Koppel’s 25-year career, as the host of that mostly boring and very predictable ABC News’ “Nightline.

Antiwar Protesters Arrested Near Bush Ranch

Ordinance Limits Parking, Camping
By Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post Staff Writer
November 24, 2005, The Washington Post

CRAWFORD, Tex., Nov. 23 -- About a dozen antiwar protesters,
including Daniel Ellsberg and the sister of Cindy Sheehan,
were arrested Wednesday morning while camping on a roadside
near President Bush's ranch in violation of a new county

The group returned this week as Bush arrived at his Texas
home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. They came in
hopes of reigniting the international attention they
attracted in August, when hundreds came to join Sheehan as

VIDEO - White House Pushed UK to Kill al-Jazeera Bombing Story

Bush wanted to bomb Arab news network to prevent reports on Falluja attack
Guest blogged by David Edwards

On Wednesday, Downing Street threatened The Daily Mirror with prosecution under the Britain's Official Secrets act for the disclosing a memo that indicated Blair had convinced Bush not to bomb the Arab language news network al-Jazeera.

News organizations in the U.K. can no longer report the contents of the memo but a report from London's Channel 4 News questions this first and historic use of the Official Secrets Act against the press. Their reporting concludes that White House pressure lead to the threat of legal action against The Daily Mirror.

NPR's Morning Edition on Pre-War Iraq Intelligence

Copyright 2005 National Public Radio (R)
All Rights Reserved
National Public Radio (NPR)

Morning Edition 10:00 AM EST NPR
November 23, 2005 Wednesday

Pre-Iraq War intelligence: a look at the facts


This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're reporting this morning on what the White House knew as it argued for war in Iraq. Critics of President Bush say he misled the nation. In speeches, the president and Vice President Cheney now accuse their critics of rewriting history. Today we will check the facts with a pair of reporters who covered some of that history. NPR's Don Gonyea was at the White House as the case for war was made. NPR's Jackie Northam was in Baghdad in the days after it fell. This morning, together, these two reporters examine what's known now.

'Peace Mom,' Supporters Return To Bush Ranch

By Associated Press

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Cindy Sheehan has returned to Crawford, Texas, to resume her protest against the war in Iraq.

The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year invigorated the anti-war movement in August when she began a lonely vigil outside President Bush's Crawford ranch and was joined by hundreds of others.

Sheehan was greeted by about three-dozen cheering supporters last night when she arrived at the Waco airport. She vowed to "keep pressing" until U.S. troops are brought home.

A dozen protesters were arrested near the ranch Wednesday. More than 100 continued the protest yesterday with a symbolic Iraqi meal. Instead of the usual Thanksgiving feast, they ate salmon, lentils and rice.

On the Road to Rock Bottom

How Many More People Will Die?
A TvNewsLIES Query

There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending: Albert Einstein


George W. Bush is on a collision course with America. His presidency is rolling steadily downhill, as the people of this nation slowly begin to rub sleep away from their eyes. His approval ratings are in the low thirties, unheard of in history for a war president. He is in the worst trouble of his presidency, and it seems almost certain that rock bottom lies just ahead.

It really shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, so much that George W. Bush has touched during his tenure in the White House has deteriorated into disaster. From the environment to the economy, from health care to education – nothing has panned out as promised. In every area and on every issue, life for Americans today, and for their progeny of tomorrow, is filled with doubt and disillusion. And that will only gather momentum as Bushco continues on its inevitable road to rock bottom.

U.S. already planning Iraq pullout, lawmakers say

By KEVIN DIAZ, McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- Amid raucous debate in Congress about an exit strategy from Iraq, U.S. commanders on the ground have already launched plans to close bases and withdraw troops in the coming year, according to two congressmen who returned from Iraq this week.

"They wouldn't put a hard date on it, but clearly the planning is at a very mature level," Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said. "We can shrink down the number of bases as we shrink down the number of Americans."

Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., who was with Kline in Iraq, said that in some places the turnover is already in progress. "They have a planned turnover process where American troops have already pulled back from some of the smaller bases."

Hospital explosion leaves dozens dead

By Sami al-Jumaili, Reuters

Mahmoudiya, Iraq - A suicide car bomber attacked a hospital south of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 31 people and wounding two dozen more as militants stepped up their campaign of violence ahead of elections next month.

The explosives-packed car detonated as Iraqi security forces were gathered outside Mahmoudiya General Hospital and as a group of US civil affairs soldiers was visiting to look at ways to improve the facility, the US army and witnesses said.

Four US troops were wounded in the blast, but most of those killed and injured were civilians, including Hoda Ali Mahmoud, a 30-year-old woman who had just visited the hospital with her young son, who needed treatment for a cold.

Sheehan Back in Texas for War Protest

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press

CRAWFORD, Texas - The mother of a fallen soldier whose vigil against the war in Iraq outside President Bush's ranch returned to Texas, saying she is "heartbroken" that the troops are not home.

When Cindy Sheehan arrived at the Waco airport Thursday, three dozen supporters erupted into cheers and tears and grabbed her for lengthy embraces. Before they whisked her back to Crawford, the group chanted, "Stop the war! Bring them home now!"

"I feel happy to be back here with all my friends ... but I'm heartbroken that we have to be here again," said Sheehan, who hoped to arrive earlier in the week, but was delayed by a family emergency. "We will keep pressing and we won't give up until our troops are brought home."

Feingold, Pelosi Urge Bush to Set Timetable

By Sari Gelzer, t r u t h o u t | Report

Days after Iraqi leaders called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Senator Russell Feingold and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi addressed the importance of declaring a timetable for the US exit from Iraq.

In a letter written yesterday, Feingold urged President Bush to declare a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and suggested the State of the Union address as an important chance to raise the issue.

After Congressman John P. Murtha's recent appeal to withdraw from Iraq in six months, Feingold appealed to Bush by saying that although the plan "need not be rigid," it must be declared for the sake of national security.

Ending the Iraq War

By Richard Falk, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

The American debate on the Iraq War has entered a dramatic new phase. For the first time, a prominent Democrat, Congressman John Murtha, has called for a withdrawal of American forces from the country. Murtha's words have had a major impact because he was a former supporter of the war, and has had a career distinguished by his consistently pro-military profile. His argument is based on the inability to complete the American military mission in Iraq, making inexcusable the continued killing and loss of life. He also refers to the adverse effects of the unpopular and flawed occupation of Iraq on the wider goals of opposing global terrorism and to the failure of American reconstruction efforts. Murtha's critique is widely shared by a majority of Americans at this point, and helps explain the declining popularity of the Bush presidency.

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