Powell regrets UN speech on Iraq WMDs

From ABC News Online (Australia)
 www.abc.net.au Former US secretary of state Colin Powell says his United Nations speech making the case for the US-led war on Iraq was "a blot" on his record.

Mr Powell has also said that he had "never seen evidence to suggest" a connection between the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States and the Saddam regime.

In the February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council, Mr Powell forcefully made the case for war on the regime of Saddam Hussein, offering "proof" that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Money runs out on U.S. projects in Iraq

By T. Christian Miller
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — The United States will halt construction work on some water and power plants in Iraq because it is running out of money for projects, officials said yesterday.

Security costs have cut into the funds available to complete some major infrastructure projects that were started under the $18.4 billion U.S. plan to rebuild Iraq. As a result, the United States has had to pare back some projects to only those deemed essential by the Iraqi government.

While no overall figures are yet available, one contractor has stopped work on six of eight water-treatment plants it was assigned.

Powell Criticizes Response to Katrina

Powell Criticizes Response to Katrina
By Associated Press

September 9, 2005, 9:49 AM EDT

NEW YORK -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized the response to Hurricane Katrina, saying "a lot of failures" occurred at all levels of government.

Powell, the highest ranking black official in President Bush's first term, also said he does not believe race was a factor in the slow delivery of relief to the hurricane victims.

"I think there have been a lot of failures at a lot of levels -- local, state and federal. There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. Not enough was done," Powell told ABC News' Barbara Walters in an interview to be aired Friday night.

Guard Stretched Between Katrina, Wars

Guard Stretched Between Katrina, Wars
Associated Press Writer
Published September 10, 2005, 3:47 AM CDT

WASHINGTON -- The National Guard is stretched so thin by simultaneous assignments in Iraq and the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast that leaders in statehouses and Congress say it is time to reconsider how the force is used.

Republicans and Democrats alike worry about the service's ability to balance its federal and state missions of fighting wars and responding to domestic crises.

"We need to look at what is going to be the long-term future of our Guard when states need to rely on these soldiers for emergencies and the nation continues to rely on them for overseas deployment," said Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat.

Point Those Fingers

Point Those Fingers
Published: September 9, 2005
To understand the history of the Bush administration's response to disaster, just follow the catchphrases.

First, look at 2001 Congressional testimony by Joseph Allbaugh, President Bush's first pick to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA, he said, would emphasize "Responsibility and Accountability" (capital letters and boldface in the original statement). He repeated the phrase several times.

What Mr. Allbaugh seems to have meant was that state and local government officials shouldn't count on FEMA to bail them out if they didn't prepare adequately for disasters. They should accept responsibility for protecting their constituents, and be held accountable if they don't.

Fuel shipments requested despite uneasy relations

Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005
Fuel shipments requested despite uneasy relations
Associated Press

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. - The U.S. did not officially ask Venezuela to increase fuel supplies after Hurricane Katrina, but some Bush Administration officials turned to the oil-rich neighbor for help, despite the two countries' uneasy relations, Venezuela's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

They "were telling us they need help," Bernardo Alvarez said Friday during a visit to Webster University in this St. Louis suburb. "We understand that."

With 12 percent of Gulf Coast refineries down, Venezuela's infusion of 1 million barrels of gasoline - in addition to its normal shipments - "will make a real and immediate impact" to ease hurricane-related energy problems, Alvarez said. The first shipment will leave Venezuela Wednesday and should arrive at the Gulf Coast in four to five days, he said.

Howard Zinn calls for Iraq pullout, 'Same arguments for Vietnam are being made now in Iraq'

Howard Zinn calls for Iraq pullout, 'Same arguments for Vietnam are being made now in Iraq'

Howard Zinn, a critically acclaimed historian and political scientist, is author of the "People's History of the United States," a radical and popular retelling of United States history. Zinn, 83, has written fifteen books and is a longstanding critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is now a professor emeritus at Boston University.

Raw Story's John Byrne: Let's first touch on New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina. What is your sense of the region, how this disaster will affect the Gulf Coast?

Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour Daily Notes

Lietta Ruger (MFSO) Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour Daily Notes
by Arthur Ruger [Subscribe]
Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 19:03:41 PDT
My wife, Lietta Ruger, (she also has a diary at Kos) spent a week at Crawford with Cindy Sheehan in early August. My diary at that time was a series of summaries of what she reported to me via cell phone.

She is now on the Central Tour of the Bring Them Home Now, MFSO/GSFP/IVAW and I've been collecting daily updates city by city. Since I work full time and have limited time at night, I'm using this post to bring you up to date and will try to make same day posts each evening from now on.

Is One of These Your Congress Member?

These are our top targets -- we need them to cosponsor H Res 375:

Ranking Member Tom Lantos, California, 12th District
Howard L. Berman, California, 28th District
Gary L. Ackerman, New York, 5th District
Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa
Eliot L. Engel, New York, 17th District
Earl Blumenauer, Oregon, 3rd District
Shelley Berkley, Nevada, 1st District
Grace F. Napolitano, California, 38th District
Adam B. Schiff, California, 29th District
Ben Chandler, Kentucky, 6th District
Dennis A. Cardoza, California, 18th District

We have 70 co-sponsors including one Republican on the committee and all the Dems on the committee except these ones above. The vote is next Wednesday. Why are there five California Dem holdouts and two from New York??? TAKE ACTION

Vote in Congress This Wednesday on Inquiry into Bush War Lies

Co-sponsors of the Resolution of Inquiry into Bush's lies about the reasons for war now include these 67 and these three brand new ones: Congressman Bob Menendez, Congressman Ben Cardin, and Congresswoman Julia Carson. That makes 70.

Now is the time to act to increase that number! Send this letter to all your friends!

Feingold Debunks Myths about US Policy in Iraq

t r u t h o u t | Press Release
Friday 09 September 2005

Senator Russ Feingold has called on the President to issue a flexible timeframe for the completion of the military mission in Iraq and has suggested December 31, 2006 as a target date for returning American troops home from Iraq. In discussing his proposal, he has been debunking several myths about US policy in Iraq.

Myth #1: There are only two options for the US in Iraq: 'stay the course' or 'cut and run.'

Senator Feingold: "This is a false choice offered by the President. The course we are on in Iraq is not sustainable, nor is it making the US more secure. At the same time, I am not in the "cut and run" or "immediate withdrawal" camp, nor do I propose a hard deadline for troop withdrawal, regardless of conditions on the ground. I believe that our military still has a mission to complete but the President needs to make clear what the mission is, and what our plan to get the job done is. We can't hold ourselves accountable for getting our troops the support they need to get the job done if we never clearly define where we are going, or when we plan to get there, in the first place."

National Guardsmen return home from Iraq ... to ravaged Louisiana

National Guardsmen return home from Iraq ... to ravaged Louisiana
By Jim Krane, Associated Press Writer | September 9, 2005

BANGOR, Maine --The first planeload of 100 weary Louisiana National Guardsmen touched down here Friday morning, returning from the carnage of Iraq on their way to the their home state that has been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

At Bangor airport, elderly members of a U.S. veterans group waved flags and offered the soldiers cell phones and chocolate chip cookies.

"It's good to be back," said Pvt. Joshua Dumas, 23, of Slidell, La.

After seeing 35 of their number killed in Iraq, members of the 256th Brigade Combat Team readied to take care of relatives made refugees, or, perhaps, mourn family members killed or hurt by Katrina and its devastating aftermath.

Louisiana Guardsmen Return Home From Iraq

Louisiana Guardsmen Return Home From Iraq
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 42 minutes ago

ALEXANDRIA, La. - Greeted by the blasts of water cannon, the first planeload of 100 Louisiana National Guardsmen returned home Friday from Iraq, leaving behind the carnage of warfare for their hurricane-ravaged state.

As soon as the plane touched down, the troops clapped and yelled, "Yeah!"

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome home!" a flight attendant announced on the P.A. system. "We're glad you're home safe."

Most of the soldiers on the plane lost everything back home to Hurricane Katrina, and will qualify for safe haven status, in which they will get a 14-day leave and then be eligible for demobilization.

Cindy Sheehan in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO Cindy Sheehan met in San Francisco today with a member of Senator Dianne Feinstein's staff.

Sheehan is trying to bring attention to her belief that the war in Iraq is sucking away resources that could be better used in the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast.

Sheehan is the mother from Vacaville who camped outside of President Bush's Texas ranch, waiting for a second meeting with him that never came. Her son died in Iraq and she wanted some answers.

Feinstein was not at her office and did not meet with Sheehan.

Some Sheehan supporters hugged her and presented her with flowers. She won't be in town long. She's headed to the airport to hop a plane to Los Angeles to visit her ailing mother.

Still wondering why they hate us?

Ted Rall
RALL 9/6/05

SAN FRANCISCO--Taps run dry. Food rots when the power goes out. Toilets overflow with waste. Looters strip homes, businesses and public buildings. Armed bandits run wild in the streets. Fires rage out of control. Terrified policemen abandon their posts. Flies buzz over bloated corpses. People wave signs at passing helicopters. "Please help us," they read.
"Help is on the way," their head of state assures them. But the government sends soldiers instead of relief workers. The troops treat the victims, who are taxpayers and citizens, as if they were prisoners. Aiming weapons at the sick and dying, they herd thousands into sports arenas where they receive neither water, nor food, nor safe harbor. While indifferent soldiers man checkpoints to prevent the detainees from leaving, babies starve, the elderly die from lack of medicine and children are raped and murdered. They set up checkpoints to prevent anyone from leaving.

Iraqi: U.S. Troops Not Needed in 2 Years

Iraqi: U.S. Troops Not Needed in 2 Years
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
53 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Friday he believes that within two years, there'll be no further need for U.S. forces there.

Praising U.S. forces for contributing to Iraq's emergence from hardline rule by Saddam Hussein, Talabani said, "We need American troops to intimidate our neighbors."

He warned that a quick withdrawal of American and multinational forces "could lead to the victory of the terrorists in Iraq and create grave threats to the region, the United States and the civilized world."


www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545 | Click to subscribe


Tuesday, September 13th
Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
(at 120th Street)

Reverend Jesse Jackson,
Wangari Maathai - Nobel Laureate,
Mary Robinson - Former U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights

along with Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies;
Hany Khalil, United for Peace and Justice;
Adrianne Marie Brown, Singer/Poet ,
Akon, Hip Hop Activist
Moderated by: Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice National Coordinator;

Officials: Guard Deployment Hurt Response

Officials: Guard Deployment Hurt Response
Friday September 9, 2005 6:31 PM
Associated Press Writer

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) - The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops from Mississippi and Louisiana in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina struck hindered those states' initial storm response, military and civilian officials said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that ``arguably'' a day or so of response time was lost due to the absence of the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Infantry Brigade and Louisiana's 256th Infantry Brigade, each with thousands of troops in Iraq.

Power to the victims of New Orleans

Power to the victims of New Orleans

With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city
Naomi Klein
Friday September 9, 2005
The Guardian
(Editor's note: Will the rebuilding of New Orleans be handled like the rebuilding of Iraq? If so...then the poor, blacks, and minorities will be fighting the rich and powerful for their natural resources, just like the poor are fighting in Iraq for theirs.)

On September 4, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funnelled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants. We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."

Anti-war tour hits Cleveland on way to D.C.

Friday, September 09, 2005
Grant Segall
Plain Dealer Reporter

A war protest launched in Texas is coming to Cleveland as it spreads across America.

The Bring Them Home Now Campaign will arrive today at the Federal Office Building on East Ninth Street, and fan out Saturday to Akron and Oberlin.

The protesters, including Iraq war veterans and relatives, ended a monthlong protest last week at Camp Casey (named for the slain son of founder Cindy Sheehan) when President Bush left his nearby ranch.

Now they are touring the country in three groups and planning to converge for a rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.

The Popularity of Peace and Presidents

By David Swanson

Numerous media organizations regularly poll members of the public on whether they approve of the President's job performance. Uniformly, these polls show a dramatic upsurge in approval of Bush immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, but a decline in approval following Hurricane Katrina.

Working in favor of national sanity is the fact that the hurricane is more recent than the airplane attacks. While it seems distinctly unlikely that people will yet begin approving of Bush because there was a hurricane, it is at least conceivable that people will stop giving him credit for having occupied the White House and possessed a pulse on 9-11. That is to say, I can imagine people revising their assessments of 9-11 to fall more in line with their assessments of Katrina.



Stop the military from preying upon the vulnerable! Come educate youth dislocated from their lives and communities – facing homelessness, joblessness and often hopelessness – about the false promises of recruiters!

Doling out food to the hungry crowds overflowing Houston’s Astrodome, the National Guard has engaged in ad hoc recruiting in recent days. Tomorrow, September 7, 2005, the U.S. military is conducting a Job Fair in the Astrodome in a blatant effort to exploit the despair of masses of Americans evacuated from the Gulf Coast. Once signed up, even if purportedly to reconstruct their region, they could easily find themselves deployed to Iraq, left with medical coverage for only two for only combat-related injury and the expectations for training eviscerated. And if they sign up on the promise of temporary relief, they could find themselves bound for extended tours of duty. Download info from the formidable Counter-Recruitment resources on the United for Peace and Justice site. www.unitedforpeace.org. Come and speak truth to empower! Call for a real jobs program which employs people to reconstruct the entire Gulf Coast region for the benefit of those in need, not to pander to corporate greed!

It's Not a 'Blame Game'

Published on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 by the New York Times
It's Not a 'Blame Game'

With the size and difficulty of the task of rescuing and rebuilding New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas still unfolding, it seemed early to talk about investigating how this predicted cataclysm had been allowed to occur and why the government's response was so slow and inept. Until yesterday, that is, when President Bush blithely announced at a photo-op cabinet meeting that he, personally, was going to "find out what went right and what went wrong." We can't imagine a worse idea.
No administration could credibly investigate such an immense failure on its own watch. And we have learned through bitter experience - the Abu Ghraib nightmare is just one example - that when this administration begins an internal investigation, it means a whitewash in which no one important is held accountable and no real change occurs.

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

In today's NY Times editorial, the point is made that Bush-led investigations have led to essentially nothing and the 'investigation' into Iraqi prisoner abuse and torture is given as an example. Now, there's another parallel between the occupation of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina: FEMA orders no photos to be taken of the dead from the Hurricane Katrina. Deja vu all over again.

Read: My Virgin Eyes from the Adventures of the Smart Patrol.

Daily Pepper reports FEMA may think it can boss around journalists, but just let them try to stop Oprah.

// posted by cali dem @ 11:01 AM

My Virgin Eyes!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
My Virgin Eyes!!

Just like Iraq, the Bush Administration was wholly unprepared for the fury of Katrina and its aftermath.

Just like Iraq, the Bush Administration is backed into a corner, as their incompetence and indifference is coming back to slap them in the face.

And just like Iraq, they're planning on hiding it from you.

FEMA Wants No Photos of Dead

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. agency leading Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts said Tuesday that it does not want the news media to photograph the dead as they are recovered.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected journalists' requests to accompany rescue boats searching for storm victims.

Katrina Comes to the White House

If I were to characterize today’s gathering outside the White House, by identifying one single cause, one single thing that has made these Americans angry, I’d be hard pressed to do so. There are a lot of different people here today, and they are here for a lot of different reasons.

Many of them are motivated by the massive governmental failure that the world witnessed with the Katrina disaster.

It’s clear that some people here also see the Katrina debacle as yet another blow to the already reeling masses of American “have-nots.

Bush visit halted 3 tons of food being delivered

Bush visit halted 3 tons of food being delivered
(Editor's note: This photo essay is not part of Rawstory's article; however, this editor can not resist the temptation to show that history does indeed repeat itself!Different Picture: Same Story! Take a look...)

"We've lost more lives since (Bush) declared victory than we lost prior to the time we declared victory. And this latest fabrication is yet another illustration of their (the Republican administration's) unwillingness to except reality." stated Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (2003).

"The president's going out to an aircraft carrier to give a speech far out at sea ... while countless numbers of Americans are frightened stiff about the economy at home," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (2003).
And Now!
President George W. Bush on Friday toured the Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricane Katrina, even as the mayor of New Orleans spoke out against the government's response to the disaster. (2005)

Rawstory and NOLA.com report:

"Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said, NOLA.com reports Wednesday on the news blog...MORE....

La. Guardsmen Depart Iraq to Find Families

La. Guardsmen Depart Iraq to Find Families
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago

CAMP VICTORY, Kuwait - A plane carrying 100 Louisiana National Guardsmen left this U.S. base in the desert late Thursday, most returning to damaged homes and families-turned-refugees by Hurricane Katrina.

The troops ended their Iraq duty a little more than a week before they were scheduled to return to the United States on regular rotation.

"We were ecstatic because we were going home," said Sgt. Jackie Gantt, 39, of St. Rose, La., just outside New Orleans.

But after the ravages of the hurricane, New Orleans is no longer home.

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