IN THESE TIMES
By Tom Hayden, August 23, 2005
When you're in the middle of a conflict, you're trying to find pillars of strength to lean on," an American officer in Iraq said recently. With those words he provided a clue to ending the war: Undermine the pillars of Pentagon policy through people power.
Those pillars--among them public cooperation, Iraqi cooperation, congressional compliance, centrist caution, military recruitment and U.S. alliances--are weakening.
The time is now
Public support for the war is down, as are the president's ratings. Antiwar Democrats are coming back. Military recruiting is hitting a wall. The strategy of "Iraqization" is failing. The coalition of the willing is disintegrating. America's reputation is tattered.
DEMOCRACY NOW! DAILY EMAIL DIGEST
August 23, 2005
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* Juan Cole's 10-Point Plan for U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq
More than two years after the US invaded Iraq, there is a debate in this
country that is increasingly dominating the public discussion on the
occupation: the issue of withdrawing US troops. We speak one of the most
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee gave an incredible talk last night at Camp Casey. We were so happy to welcome this long-time supporter of civil rights and women's rights to speak to us about opposing the war.
Joan Baez stayed an extra day with us at Camp Casey to meet with Iraq vets and military families. Last night she performed again, interspersing stories of her activism during the Civil Rights and Vietnam era. She opened by leading us in an a capella version of "America the Beautiful."
Here are some photos of the Move America Backward brigade stopping in Sacramento at the KFBK radio studios on 8/22 en route to Crawford, TX. They numbered about 40, and we also had about 40 to counter them. The caravan is supposed to arrive in Crawford on 8/27 after picking up "thousands" of Cindy stiflers on the way.
Gary Zimmerman, Sacramento, CA
Bush Suggests He Won't Change Mind on Meeting With Anti-War Protester Cindy Sheehan or His Iraq Policy
By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer
DONNELLY, Idaho (AP) - President Bush charged Tuesday that anti-war protesters like Cindy Sheehan who want troops brought home immediately do not represent the views of most U.S. military families and are "advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."
In brief remarks outside the resort where he is vacationing, Bush gave no indication that he would change his mind and meet with Sheehan after he returns to his Texas ranch Wednesday evening. Sheehan lost a son in Iraq and has emerged as a harsh critic of the war.
Sheehan has been maintaining a vigil outside Bush's ranch, a demonstration that has been joined by more and more other anti-war protesters.
By Chuck Pennacchio
"It is common knowledge that the Bush administration took America into war with Iraq by misleading the American public and the international community. Now the Bush Administration is keeping our military in Iraq -- also through deceptive means, specious arguments, and flawed thinking. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars and spilling oceans of American and Iraqi blood based on false assumptions, ideological obsessions, and arrogant decision-making.
"The stated goal of the Bush Administration is to promote 'democracy' in Iraq. They claim that they are succeeding because there was an election there this past spring. But, as all Americans know, democracy is far more than a plebiscite boycotted by the second- largest population group (Iraqi Sunnis) in a 3000-year-old, war-torn nation with no tradition of participatory politics. To cite the example best known to us, our fledgling United States held its first national election in 1788 -- but only after we had a unified country, a federal constitution, and a functional post-war economy. By extreme contrast, Iraq is deeply divided along religious, cultural, ethnic, economic, and political lines. There is no constitution unifying these factions. The economy is in shambles, with an official unemployment rate of 50% and an unofficial rate of 75%. The supposed progress toward national unity, economic stability, and constitutional cohesion (delayed for yet another week) -- not to mention continued civil war and rampant anti-Americanism -- is all evidence that the Bush administration is in the midst a Vietnem-like quagmire. You need go no further than Senator Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) poignant critique on national television this past Sunday.
Check out the photos of this protest - In Salt Lake City! http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/SLC8-22/
By Beau Elliot - The Daily Iowan
Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2005
If nothing else, the events of recent weeks have demonstrated the growing doubts the American people have about the great adventure in Iraq, the pit-bull eagerness of many on the right wing to blithely smear anyone who speaks out against the great adventure or the Cowboy-in-Chief, and the utter vacuity of said Cowboy.
And to think it only took one grieving mother.
Well, all right - that's simplifying life to the point of absurdity, and life does just fine in the absurdity department all by itself; it doesn't need our help. Not overtly, anyway.
Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA)
Recently as I watched George Bush launch his dog and pony show from Fort Bragg, I was not impressed, as most Americans were not. The script was same as usual, filled with lies and no answers as to how and when our young men and women will be getting out of this disaster which Bush created in Iraq.
On May 1, the London Times made public a confidential memo detailing a July 2002 meeting held at Downing Street between Tony Blair and military intelligence chiefs. The subject was support for the Bush administration's plans for war in Iraq.
According to the minutes, the head of British Intelligence Service, Richard Dearlove, had just returned from a meeting in Washington to announce that the decision to invade had already been made. The Bush administration was working on building an intelligence case, based on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, to justify the upcoming war. Vice President Cheney had made several visits to the CIA to make sure the intelligence would fit policy lies.
Tuesday August 23, 2005
BUSH in Donnelly, ID: The White House has said Bush will be staying at
the exclusive Tamarack Resort while participating in activities that
could include fishing for wild rainbow trout or riding a mountain bike
on forest trails with Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, also a Republican.
[Washington Post, 8/20/05]
Wednesday August 24, 2005
BUSH in Nampa, ID: Bush plans to travel to Nampa for a speaking
engagement where he'll discuss the U.S. war on terror. The Idaho Center
has been reserved for that date, though White House officials declined
to confirm if the president would be speaking there. [Associated Press,
By Glenda at DU
Go here to see a collection of political cartoons covering current events.
From Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee:
Iraq: Where Do We Go From Here?
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will be holding a Town Hall meeting on Thursday August 25th, 2005, at 7 p.m. CT entitled Iraq: Where Do We Go From Here?
Almost 2,000 of our American soldiers are dead because of the War in Iraq. No plan exists from the Bush Administration for a successful exit strategy to end this war. Meanwhile mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons and daughters ones are mourning their loved ones who gave their lives in Iraq.
By Terry M. Neal
There was an eye-opening article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a few days ago that explored the increasing difficulty the military is having recruiting young people to enlist. As has been well reported in many newspapers, including The Washington Post, the Army and Marines are having a particularly tough time meeting recruitment objectives, in part because of Americans' concern about the war in Iraq.
When you dig deeper into the reason for this phenomenon, it turns out that parents of potential soldiers and sailors are becoming one of the biggest obstacles facing military recruiters. Even top military officials acknowledge this and unveiled a new series of ads this spring targeted at "influencers" such as parents, teachers and coaches.
By Ari Berman
Monday 22 August 2005
There's a new batch of photos from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and these are reportedly far worse than the sickening originals. Naturally, the Pentagon is trying to block their release.
The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October 2003 to make public 87 photographs and four videos depicting prisoner abuse in Iraq. The Pentagon originally argued that releasing the images would violate the Geneva Convention rights of the detainees; a supreme irony considering that the US originally denied these very prisoners Geneva Convention protections. The ACLU agreed that the Pentagon could black out "identifying characteristics," but a federal judge in New York ruled last week that DoD must explain publicly why it's concealing the images. "By and large, I ruled for public disclosure," said US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein. A final ruling is expected on August 30.
By Karen Kilroy
The title of this article is what the notice read on the morning of May 4, 1970 – it sat largely unread in the mail boxes of Kent State University students. Later that day, four students were murdered when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a hillside filled with students – some protesting, some watching, others merely changing classes.
Whether or not you are old enough to remember the tragedy at Kent State (http://www.may41970.com), please pay attention to this history. As we head into the age of aggressive protests, the police response is becoming more violent, such as in Saturday’s actions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/) and Salt Lake City, Utah. (http://homepage.mac.com/apexgrin/FileSharing2.html) In Pittsburgh, protestors marched the wrong way up a one way street to close down an army recruiting office. Police used both tear gas and tasers to subdue the protestors, and one 68-year-old woman was even bitten by a police dog – she was also arrested. In Salt Lake City, a crowd of 1,500 was tear gassed from helicopters.
IS BLAIR OFF TO JOIN $30BN WORLD ELITE?
Aug 21 2005
Exclusive By Rupert Hamer
TONY Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street.
The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group - an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defence industry.
The firm has been nicknamed "The Ex-Presidents Club" because it has had a host of former world leaders on its books including George Bush Senior, his former secretary of state James Baker and former British PM John Major. There a also a large number of former US Army top brass.
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet. Posted August 22, 2005.
With the exception of a march in Harlem, the faces of the antiwar protestors have looked like Sheehan's.
The moving sight of aggrieved mother Cindy Sheehan camped out in front of President Bush's ranch touched a national nerve. Sheehan is a white mom that lost a son. And who wouldn't be compassionate and sensitive to her loss? But there are plenty of black moms that have lost sons in Iraq, and few have followed Sheehan's example and publicly and dramatically raised their voices in protest.
Though polls show that more blacks than whites oppose the war, and black Congressperson Maxine Waters has hammered Bush on Iraq, there has been no mass move by blacks to publicly join the antiwar chorus. Few blacks showed up at the peace vigils that Sheehan's one-woman protest stirred nationally in August. With the arguable exception of an antiwar march in Harlem on the second anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the faces of the antiwar protestors have looked like Sheehan's.
President finds a friendly audience in Salt Lake City
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
By Ann McFeatters, Post-Gazette National Bureau
WASHINGTON -- President Bush for the first time yesterday referred to the exact number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as he tried to hammer home his argument that staying in Iraq is vital to a "total victory over the terrorists and their hateful ideology."
Speaking to a friendly audience of military veterans in Salt Lake City, he referred to American "sacrifices" in war six times as he compared those who have died or been injured in Iraq to World War II casualties.
By Butler Shaffery Butler
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
~ Pastor Martin Niemoller
What has Cindy Sheehan done to warrant the unfocused rage and vicious name-calling to which she has been subjected? What is the nature of her "offense" that has led conservative war-whoopers to heap untold abuse upon her for daring to exercise what they pretend to "defend" – even as they work to destroy its expression – namely, individual liberty?
By Kelly Meyer
The Huffington Post
The other night I was listening to Sting's song "They Dance Alone," and I came to a new and profound understanding of Cindy Sheehan's protest in Crawford, Texas. As I heard Sting's stirring lyrics about Chilean women dancing in the streets with photographs of their sons and husbands who had gone missing under Pinochet's dictatorship, I came to see Cindy Sheehan as yet another woman mourning and grieving a loss she found meaningless and unnecessary.
Cindy Sheehan has become something of a folk hero to some and a crazy person to others.
Despite no realistic chance of coming face to face with the President, she continues to camp out as close to the President's house as the Secret Service will allow and to call for a meeting. In a sense, this behavior is as crazy and as symbolically profound as dancing in the streets with a photograph pinned to your blouse.
CRAWFORD, Texas - U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee visited the anti-war inspired "Camp Casey" near President Bush's ranch on Monday, lending support and words of encouragement to several families whose loved ones died in Iraq.
"It is time to bring our troops home," Lee said at the demonstration started by Cindy Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., on Aug. 6.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Army Spc. Casey Sheehan died last year in Iraq, is currently in Los Angeles to be with her mother, who had a stroke. But about 60 other people were spread between two anti-war campsites near the ranch on Monday.
Live and Deep in the Heart of Texas!
Plus: Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee's Surprise Appearance, A THIRD Night of Baez to Come Tomorrow and Margot Kidder on Tomorrow's BRAD SHOW!
Wow...What a day...A radio miracle, indeed. The BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO's "Operation Noble Cause" seems to now be up and running from Crawford Texas!
More news from Crawford...
LIVE LISTEN LINKS:
A Call to Support the Camp Casey Project
Ann Wright, the coordinator of Camp Casey sends an urgent request to all supporters of Cindy Sheehan.
Next weekend, on both Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28 Camp Casey is planning to hold large afternoon rallies. Readers who can make it to Crawford, Texas are urged to come themselves and organize others to join them. Any trained medics, nurses or physicians would be especially appreciated to staff the medical emergency tent.
If you can't make it to Texas, Ann urges you to organize your own local "Camp Casey" in solidarity with the Crawford project. Put up some tents on an obvious corner in your local community, make some signs, plan a vigil or find some other creative way to express your opposition to the war and your support for Cindy Sheehan, the men and women serving in Iraq and all Gold Star family members. And please make sure to invite the media!
By Larry C. Johnson
There are some things that George Bush should know about Casey Sheehan should he choose to sit down and talk with his mom. One thing he could discuss is the fact that a distant relative of his was wounded at Casey's side. That boy, Brian Emmett, also is my second cousin. But more about that later.
Perhaps the conversation ought to start about the other seven men who died on April 4, 2004 in Sadr City.
From the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas were:
Sgt. Yihjyh L. Chen, 31, of Saipan, Marianas Protectorate.
Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga, 25, of San Antonio, Texas.
By Amy Branham
Note: On Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005, in a radio interview on WFLA in Tampa Bay, Fla., Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld made the following statement:
"[I]n my mind, I think of the number of people who are lost to traffic accidents in the United States in a given year. I think of any one of our major cities, where two or three hundred people are killed by homicides. And you ask how long will we tolerate it? Now, if there were a daily report about the number of traffic deaths, and if the television and the press were reporting these things and photographing them and the homicides, I don't know if – Washington, D.C., had something like 230 homicides last year – and if that were reported daily every single day, one would think that the effect might be that it would reduce the number of homicides or reduce the number of traffic deaths. But what's being reported is the fact – not the fact that the schools are open, not the fact that the hospitals and clinics are open, not the fact that Iraq's got a stock exchange and that their oil and energy circumstances are proceeding apace, not the fact that tens of thousands of people are lined up to join the Iraqi security forces, not the fact that there's hundreds and hundreds of people running for public office and that there were something like 8 million people who voted in the last election on Jan. 30th. Those kinds of things get relatively modest attention, and what gets the attention is the death of Iraqis and the death of coalition forces."