Obama the Enabler

Illinois Anti-Warriors and the Attractive Senator
By CARL G. ESTABROOK
CounterPunch

"...Yes, this protest march was like many we've seen over the years. First came the traditional running of the liberals [shot of what is probably the lead marchers running down the street], followed by the ritual display of somewhat eccentric signage like this one: CENTRAL ILLINOIS SAYS NO TO WAR -- reflecting the political wisdom that as goes Effingham, so go Altamont and Beecher City..."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, September 27, 2005

Actually, Stewart's got it quite wrong: the sign was from Urbana, not Effingham, which is some eighty miles south of Urbana along Illinois' Interstate 57... LeMonde captured Urbana's presence in the September 24 Washington peace demonstration somewhat more accurately: in an editorial, LeMonde wrote,

$50 Billion More for War?

The UFPJ Lobby Day on Sept. 26th was the largest lobby day for peace that many long-time organizers have ever seen! Almost 1000 grassroots activists met with over 300 Senators, Representatives and their staff to demand they take action to end the war. The pressure from the weekend's activities, including the Lobby Day, moved some congresspersons in the right direction. You can help us move more by making a phone call (and sending an email) to your Senators today.

The Senate is poised to vote yes on Wednesday to another $50 billion for the Iraq war. This money is being included as part of a $441 billion defense spending bill.

Is the VA Bush’s Next Target?

BoomanTribune
by jpol

There certainly hasn’t been much written about it in the mainstream media, but an article posted on Military.Com’s web site suggests that the Bush Administration is charging full speed ahead with plans to dismantle the Veteran’s administration.

"What VA?

I Remember Democrats

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 03 October 2005

There has been a fair amount of talk recently about the number of scandals surrounding the Bush administration and the Republican party, inspiring allusions to the historic Congressional reversal in 1994. Tom DeLay has been indicted, Bill Frist is being investigated for insider trading, and the recently indicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff watched his favorite White House procurement officer get arrested for obstruction. The administration was forced last week to scold conservative ubermensch Bill Bennett, who claimed the crime rate would go down if every African-American fetus were aborted.

THREE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER

ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545

What an amazing three days it was!

The Sept. 24 - 26th actions in Washington, DC offered a broad cross section of people many ways to express their opposition to the war on Iraq. The mobilization turned up the heat on the Bush administration and Congress while making connections between the war and other pressing issues of the day. We are proud to report on the tremendous success of these three days. As we return to organizing in our communities, schools, religious centers, and workplaces, our movement is stronger. Hundreds of thousands of people are re-energized for the work ahead, and Congress and the White House now recognize our movement as a force to reckon with.

Sources Say Bush Directly Involved In Leak Scandal

By American Progress Action Fund

In September 2003, White House spokesman Scott McClellan had this to say about the CIA leak scandal: "The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration." (McClellan added, "[T]here's been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement, and that includes the Vice President's office.") Since July, we've known that top administration officials -- including Karl Rove and Scooter Libby -- were involved, speaking to reporters about Joe Wilson's wife and her role at the CIA. Over the weekend, startling new evidence emerged that suggested direct involvement in the scandal by Vice President Cheney and President Bush.

Support Holt's Plame Investigation Bill

The BackBone Campaign and the After Downing Street Coalition are asking their members, allies, and all U.S. citizens to urge your Congress Member to Co-Sponsor Congressman Rush Holt's bill (H. Res. 363), calling for a Congressional investigation into the dangerous outing of Valerie Plame.

Cindy Sheehan in Phoenix October 5

SUPPORT CINDY SHEEHAN
END THE WAR NOW
BRING THE TROOPS HOME

Cindy will visit Phoenix Monday, October 5th

Join the March and Candlelight Vigil
6PM

Where: Meet at Higher Ground Church (NW corner of 13th and Madison)
March to MLK Jr. Memorial - 16th St. and Washington
parking at Pilgrim's Rest Church - 14th and Jefferson
1 block north of Madison - large church facing Jefferson

Bring appropriate signs, and candles

Invite your friends to join the call - Bring the Troops Home!

NOTE: Cindy will also be on the Charles Goyette Show on Air America Phoenix
1010 Talk KXXT at 8:30 AM on Monday.

Judith Miller's Strange Voluntary 85-Day Lock-Up

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

Judith Miller really must have a lot of embarrassing things to hide.

She has portrayed herself as a noble journalist going to jail to protect her source's identity, and to uphold a journalistic principle.

The only problem is, her source didn't need protection. The source, VP Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, says he told her quite clearly a year ago that she was free to discuss him and their conversation with Justice Department Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who is leading a federal grand jury investigation into the disclosure of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

Times Reporter Tried to Cut Earlier CIA Leak Deal

Reuters

Washington - New York Times reporter Judith Miller tried a year ago to make a deal with the prosecutor investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity but the prosecutor would not agree then to limit her testimony to Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, her lawyer said on Sunday.

Some lawyers involved in the case said prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's decision to reject the deal a year ago - only to agree last week to limit the scope of Miller's testimony to the subject of Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby - suggested Libby may have become increasingly important to wrapping up Fitzgerald's case.

Conyers on Department of Peace

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN CONYERS’ REMARKS
Conference on Establishing A Department of Peace
Washington, D.C. 9/12/2005

Congressman Conyers was scheduled to give the following remarks at our September 2005 conference on Monday the 12th, just prior to our attendees going off to lobby on the hill. Due to unforseen circumstances, he was unable to make it. He wanted us to share with our network the comments he was prepared to make. Below are his inspiring words about our campaign and the work we have before us.

I’m delighted to join you again for several reasons:

· I share your passion to build a peace-making capability to match America’s war-making ability, and to reduce violence at home and abroad.

Walter Cronkite and Dennis Kucinich Discuss Department of Peace

A Conversation with
Walter Cronkite & Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Video excerpt now online!

"What is quite clear - and would become clear as you go along with this campaign - is that you are trying, and I consider myself with you on this in every way... [To create] not only a massive but a basic change in our culture, in our entire approach to our relationships with other human beings... It's not a matter of simply getting another Department of government. You're speaking of an entire philosophical revolution."

Iraq war delayed Katrina relief effort, inquiry finds

Iraq war delayed Katrina relief effort, inquiry finds
By Kim Sengupta
Published: 03 October 2005
Relief efforts to combat Hurricane Katrina suffered near catastrophic failures due to endemic corruption, divisions within the military and troop shortages caused by the Iraq war, an official American inquiry into the disaster has revealed.

The confidential report, which has been seen by The Independent, details how funds for flood control were diverted to other projects, desperately needed National Guards were stuck in Iraq and how military personnel had to "sneak off post" to help with relief efforts because their commander had refused permission.

September; DEAD FOR BUSH'S LIES

September; DEAD FOR BUSH'S LIES;
At least 873 Iraqis killed in violence this month. That excludes "suspected insurgents".

11 American Contractor Deaths

1 State Department Employee

At least 174 soldiers seriously wounded

Coalition Deaths:
49 US
3 Brits

This is where they were from:

State
Pennsylvania 8 15.4%
California 6 11.5%
Texas 4 7.7%
Florida 4 7.7%
New York 4 7.7%
Georgia 3 5.8%
England 3 5.8%
Alaska 2 3.8%
Arizona 2 3.8%
Kentucky 2 3.8%
Washington 2 3.8%
Wisconsin 2 3.8%
Ohio 2 3.8%
Massachusetts 1 1.9%
Montana 1 1.9%
New Jersey 1 1.9%

Deficit Spending

Andy Rooney Rails Against Iraq War & Military Spending

Andy Rooney Rails Against Iraq War & Military Spending
Guest blogged by David Edwards

In a moment of true clarity on CBS's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney says what many Americans are thinking about the Iraq war and the threat of the military-industrial complex.

LINK TO ORIGINAL

'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus Meets with a Jordanian to Hear a Middle East Perspective of the Iraq War

Washington, DC - On Tuesday, the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus met with Dr. Munther J. Haddadin, who served in the Jordanian government in numerous capacities, including Minister of Water and Irrigation. Dr. Haddadin was invited to address the Caucus by its Chair, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), and Congressman Jim McDermott (WA-7).

"Dr. Haddadin's knowledge of the Middle East provided us with a unique prospective of the war in Iraq and the public opinion about the war in neighboring countries," said Congresswoman Waters. "Dr. Haddadin said it was his belief that this war was based on false information and sold to the public in order to justify a policy that was conceived a long time ago, a belief that is shared by many members of this Caucus."

Reflections on Bring Them Home Now Tour, Central Route

Reflections on Bring Them Home Now Tour, Central Route;
participant; Lietta Ruger, Military Families Speak Out,

Opportunities that might never have crossed my path were afforded by the Bring Them Home Now Tour, Crawford, TX to Washington DC, September 2005. I was fortunate to be included and participated in the central route, through the central Eastern states. There are two stories that emerged from my experiences. The story of interaction with thousands of people at each of our city stops is amazing in itself. The story, though, of being a part of the birthing of our 4 young panel speakers is yet another story. And of course, there is yet another story; the behind-the-scenes story of 6-12 adults travelling on an RV for almost 4 weeks on a whirlwind schedule of stops in cities across the states. Amusing anectodal storylines developed in our travels together and that's another time, another story.

Buy NeoConned and NeoConned Again

Buy these excellent books by clicking the image below, and part of the purchase price will go to support AfterDowningStreet:

Learn more: PDF.

History of the War Machine: From NSC68 to 2005

Brian Bogart
strikeforpeace.org
(Transcribed from the audio presentation)

This presentation comes from a wealth of sources, but I want to acknowledge the outstanding contribution by David Callahan, author of Dangerous Capabilities. For the sake of audio recordings, some of what I say will undoubtedly paraphrase his work, and—lest there be any misunderstanding—whatever overlap occurs between his work and my notes is to his credit and not mine.

Today’s presentation provides information surrounding the co-opting of Cold War policies by post-Cold War neoconservatives to plan and carry out the war on terror. You’re about to experience what I call HyperEducation, which my independent Peace Studies program drives me to do at home for some twelve hours a day—and something that I hope you find motivating and useful in your peace work.

Bin Laden's Little Helper

By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian UK

US administration lectures about God delivered to Muslims are a dangerous folly.
President Bush has no adviser more loyal and less self-serving than Karen Hughes. As governor of Texas, he trusted the former Dallas television reporter-turned-press secretary with the tending of his image and words. She was mother hen of his persona. In the White House, Hughes devoted heart and soul to Bush as his communications director until, suddenly, she returned home to Texas in 2002, citing her son's homesickness. There were reports that Karl Rove, jealous of power, had been sniping at her.

Questions and Answers on CIA Leak Case

The Associated Press

Washington - Reporters hauled before grand juries. A White House under fire. With the CIA leak investigation perhaps ending soon, some questions and answers about what it has meant:

Q: Who in the government disclosed the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame?

A: There is not a simple answer. In conversations inside the Bush administration, Plame was referred to as the CIA employee who was the wife of a former U.S. ambassador, Joseph Wilson.

In this regard, at least Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, qualify as leakers. Rove learned of Plame's name in a conversation with columnist Robert Novak. Where Novak heard about Plame's name is not known publicly. Libby says he did not learn Plame's name until he saw it in Novak's column. The reason any of this matters is that leaking the identity of a covert agent can be a crime.

Marine Mourns 11 Friends Killed in Bombing

The Associated Press

Haditha Dam, Iraq - Cpl. David Kreuter had a new baby boy he'd seen only in photos. Lance Cpl. Michael Cifuentes was counting the days to his wedding. Lance Cpl. Nicholas Bloem had just celebrated his 20th birthday.

Travis Williams remembers them all - all 11 men in his Marine squad - all now dead. Two months ago they shared a cramped room stacked with bunk beds at this base in northwest Iraq, where the Euphrates River rushes by. Now the room has been stripped of several beds, brutal testament that Lance Cpl. Williams' closest friends are gone.

For the 12 young Marines who landed in Iraq early this year, the war was a series of hectic, constant raids into more than a dozen lawless towns in Iraq's most hostile province, Anbar. The pace and the danger bound them together into what they called a second family, even as some began to question whether their raids were making any progress.

Tomgram: Withdrawal Symptoms

Last One to Leave, Please Turn On the Lights
Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms in Iraq
By Tom Engelhardt

Recently, our top commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., was brought back to the United States, officially to consult with George Bush on what the President still calls "our strategy for victory." Along with retiring Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, Centcom Commander Gen. John Abizaid, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Casey then testified before Congress on military "progress" in Iraq. As Rumsfeld confidently told the Armed Services Committee, ``Every single week that goes by, the number of [Iraqi] security forces goes up, the total.'' In a statement from the White House Rose Garden after meeting with his generals, the President made the same point: "The growing size and increasing capability of the Iraqi security forces are helping our coalition address a challenge we have faced since the beginning of the war. And General Casey discussed this with us in the Oval Office… Now, the increasing number of more capable Iraqi troops has allowed us to better hold on to the cities we have taken from the terrorists… We're on the offense. We have a plan to win."

IRAQ: Mommy and Daddy Are Fighting

By Larry C. Johnson

Just like a doomed relationship between a wife beater and a woman knocked senseless too many times, the Kurds are discovering that they are in a bad marriage with an abusive spouse. According to various press reports Kurdish leaders, including President Talabani, have complained to Shia Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that the coalition's Shia parties, known as the United Alliance, are welching on promises to start work on resettling Kurds in the northern city of Kirkuk and to fairly distribute government positions between the coalition parties.

Gee whiz. The Shias promised to share and now they, by virtue of their status as the majority population in Iraq, are laying claim to their self-perceived right to rule the country as they please. It seems that the Kurds have fallen victim to the same fantasy based approach to policy and politics in Iraq that afflicts the Bush Administration.

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