Left I on the News
I wrote below that I'd be taking a look at the "opposition" response to George Bush's speech and plan today. There is a transcript online, but you have to be a Federal News Service subscriber to see it, and, for a 30-minute news conference by two major Senators, the news coverage has been minimal to say the least (more on right-wing blogs and news sites than in the mainstream media). So I had to make my own transcript from the C-SPAN video (not a direct link, must scroll down). What follows is a partial transcript, containing the most "interesting" (i.e., repugnant) parts, with my comments interspersed in italics. I'm putting a lot into this post, since this isn't online elsewhere, but I've highlighted in bold the most important material:
By Glen Ford and Peter Gamble, the Black Commentator
U.S. Senator Barack Obama has planted his feet deeply inside the Iraq war-prolongation camp of the Democratic Party, the great swamp that, if not drained, will swallow up any hope of victory over the GOP in next year's congressional elections. In a masterpiece of double-speak before the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, November 22, the Black Illinois lawmaker managed to out-mush-mouth Sen. John Kerry - a prodigious feat, indeed.
For media elite, why U.S. went to war is a meaningless debate
With polls showing growing opposition to the Iraq War and an increasing distrust for the White House, one might think that the press corps would be willing to re-examine how the threat from Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction was used to lead the country into war. But for many pundits, the origins of the Iraq War are old news.
Dear Vice President McMorris, Dean Hopewell, and Dean Long:
Progressive Democrats of America,PDAmerica.org, with associates in fifty states and over 70 active chapters nationwide, hereby expresses it'sunconditional support for all students at Hampton University facingexpulsion or disciplinary action for peaceful protest. In times such asthese, when the conscience, soul, and fundamental morality of all Americancitizens is being strained by our government's actions (or inaction), thenotion that students will be sanctioned by a reputable university forexpressing their opinions in non-violent acts of civil disobedience runscounter to the values of free expression all Americans revere andhonor. Pressing social issues such as the HIV crisis, genocide in Darfur,Sudan, a racist response to Hurricane Katrina and the pre-hurricanecommunity, and the immoral illegal War in Iraq, must be addressed. And whobetter to demand accountability than the generation that will inherit theseproblems?
By David Swanson
Tonight the Democratic National Committee sent me a note that began thus:
"This is it -- your last chance to help place billboards in Jean Schmidt's district sending her a clear message: 'Shame on You, Jean Schmidt: Stop Attacking Veterans. Keep Your Eye on the Ball -- We Need a Real Plan for Iraq.'"
But that's a stellar example of an unclear message. She's supposed to keep her eye on a ball - what ball? "A Real Plan for Iraq." What plan? Can you imagine walking up to a murderer as he's stabbing a victim over and over and advising him in the sternest voice that he NEEDS to get a REAL plan? No, he needs to stop it, damn it.
By Rob Capriccioso, Inside Higher Ed
Left-leaning students at Hampton University have felt for some time that campus administrators favor conservative groups and limit the free speech of liberal ones. Their argument has gained steam - and faculty members' support - over the past month, as seven students who helped organize a gathering opposing the Bush administration face a hearing Friday that could lead to their expulsion.
“Our movement won’t back down
By Tom Chelston, http://www.tomsongs.org
Greetings from Texas,
I'm a Veteran (Infantry Hospital Corpsman, USMC/USN) and a songwriter opposed to Bush's war. I wrote "BushWhacked" in support and I have received an incredible response from Soldiers, Families and a few angry co-conspirators. Feel free add this to your site in our mutual mission.
Join the Catholic Workers on Friday, Dec. 2, to welcome Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia.
Iraq war veteran, Camilo Mejia, refused to return to Iraq after a U.S. furlough. His war experiences had turned him against all wars, and he applied for conscientious objector status. He was sentenced to one year in prison.
National Call-In Day on Iraq War – Tuesday, Dec. 6
By Sue Udry, Legislative Action Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
On Tuesday, December 6, Congress will reconvene in Washington, D.C. -- and United for Peace and Justice, in conjunction with Win Without War, is calling for a massive national grassroots call-in day against the war.
Bill Mitchell of Atascadero is still grieving the death of his only son, Sgt. Mike Mitchell who was killed in Iraq in April of last year.
The army says Sgt. Mitchell died along with seven other soldiers in an ambush.
By Robert Scheer, Truthdig.com
So, it is mission impossible that Bush has accomplished: A terminally inept US occupation of Iraq now threatens to make the despot we overthrew look good by comparison. But don't take my word for it; hear it from the United States' No. 1 ally in that increasingly nightmarish land.
"What the White House released today is more a list of goals than it is a workable plan. Concerns continue to mount that the Administration either will not or cannot recognize the clear facts on the ground that threaten our troops and our true objectives in combating terrorism worldwide.
"While today's speech by the President was billed as yet another attempt to lay out a plan for finishing the military mission in Iraq, the only new thing the administration gave the American people was a glossy 35-page pamphlet filled with the same rhetoric we've all heard before. Today's action by the White House isn't a step forward, it's a step back. In fact the booklet the administration released to accompany the President's speech is described as a "...document [that] articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003..." That alone makes it clear that the President seems more dug in than ever to the same old "stay the course" way of thinking. This is not a strategy, and it certainly is not a plan to complete the military mission in Iraq.
Statement from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer:
The President fails to see and confront the truth about the war in Iraq.
News from Rep. Waxman's offices:
Below is a letter Rep. Waxman sent today to Chairman Davis asking that the Committee investigate reports that the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to present positive images of the military and the U.S. mission in Iraq. The text of the letter follows:
· · Vol 26 · Issue 1304 · PUBLISHED 11/30/2005
Bob Briggs got a head full of shrapnel in Iraq. Then he came home to more wars: to regain the use of his half-paralyzed body, and to get the U.S. government to pay for his medical care.
By Pat Lang
"QUESTION: And, General Pace, what guidance do you have for your military commanders over there as to what to do if -- like when General Horst found this Interior Ministry jail?
Drop the Charges and Stop the Harassment Against the Hampton University Students Against the Bush Regime!
Students who act as part of the national movement to Drive Out the Bush
Regime because The World Can't Wait, especially when they remain firm in
Dear Bring Them Home Now Tour Participants and Supporters,
We are writing to share some of the stories and lessons from the Bring Them Home Now Tour. The tour was launched on the last day of Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside Bush's ranch and travelled three different routes to Washington, DC, building momentum for the United for Peace and Justice rally on September 24 th . The tour was a great success - with over 200 events, in 51 cities, in 28 states, in 21 days. From large events - like the 2,500 person rally in Austin - to small events - like the parking lot whistle stop in South Bend, Indiana - the tour brought the voices of those most directly affected by the war in Iraq to communities and elected officials across the country.
Institute for Public Accuracy
CLOVIS MAKSOUD, email@example.com
Maksoud is just back from Cairo, where he met with Iraqis participating in the recent Arab League meeting. He is former ambassador of the Arab League to the United Nations and is currently director of the Center for the Global South at American University. Maksoud said today: "President Bush is clearly trying to defuse the growing opposition to the war; among other things, he is not facing the fact that war made Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism....
By David Swanson
Chair of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean has previously laid out plans for success that avoided acknowledging the existence of the war. This time he acknowledges it.
Well, let's give her credit. There are still a few Dems promoting the war. Thank Rep. Nancy Pelosi here.
House minority leader backs quick withdrawal
The Cheerleader at Annapolis
By MIKE WHITNEY, www.CounterPunch.org
It's pathetic to see the world's most powerful man, shunted into prearranged venues so he can pitch his snake-oil to college aged boys. That said, Bush's appearance today at the Naval Academy has got to be a new low for the White House public relations team. Apparently the only people buying the huckster-in-chief's bedraggled vision of a democratic Iraq are rosy-cheeked young men who dream of battlefields instead of girlfriends.
By Randolph T. Holhut
DUMMERSTON, Vt. — Given the intense hatred that the Bush administration has for journalists and independent reporting, the news that in April 2004, President Bush seriously contemplated bombing the Qatar headquarters of the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, isn't surprising.
By Dahr Jamail and Harb al-Mukhtar, Inter Press Service
Ramadi - Hospital personnel are reporting regular raids and interference by the US military as fighting continues in the volatile Al-Anbar province of Iraq.*
By Juan Cole, Truthdig.com
The ongoing trial of Saddam Hussein could prove increasingly uncomfortable for the Bush administration. The first crime of which the deposed dictator is accused, the secret execution of 143 Shiites arrested in 1982, seems an odd choice for the prosecution, and politics may be behind it. Hussein is accused of using poison gas against Iranian troops, of genocide against the Kurds and of massacring tens of thousands to end the 1991 uprising after his defeat in the Gulf War. The problem for the Bush administration with these other, far graver charges, is that the Americans are implicated in them either through acts of commission or omission.
By Danny Schechter, TomPaine.com
By Democracy Now!
* Video Broadcast of Kidnapped Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams that
Helped Expose Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse Scandal *
The Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four peace activists