Louisiana National Guard troops watch Katrina from Iraq

From btcnews.com 8/28/05:

More than 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Brigade serving in Iraq can only watch from Baghdad as Hurricane Katrina bears down on their families and homes in New Orleans and the other south Louisiana communities from which they hail. The deployed soldiers and their equipment, which includes high water vehicles, Humvees and generators, will be sorely missed as Louisiana attempts to prepare for and recover from the historic Category Five storm.

The 'Good News' from Baghdad

Published on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By David Michael Green

George Bush says we must honor the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in Iraq. At last we agree on something.

Mr. Bush, of course, is famously unable nowadays to articulate just what honorable cause our soldiers have been killing and dying for, despite the hundreds at Camp Casey demanding of him precisely that.

Perhaps I can be of some service to the president. I'd like to offer him an answer he can give to Cindy Sheehan's simple question.

You see, in a sense, Mr. Bush was right to analogize Iraq to World War II. Just as in that horrific war, Americans soldiers have been sacrificing their lives in Iraq to save the world from the scourge of a ravenous imperialist with the power to destroy millions of lives.

September 24-26 Anti-War Mobilization in Washington DC!

By Sherry Bohlen, National Field Director, Progressive Democrats of America

It's only three short weeks until we converge on DC for the Anti-War Mobilization! This will be a history-in-the-making event that you won't want to miss!

On Saturday, September 24, hundreds of thousands of activists are expected to gather for a mass rally and March. PDA will announce within the next week or so the specific intersection and time at which PDA members will gather. Watch for details in upcoming alerts and on PDA's web site for the latest information!

On Sunday, September 25, PDA has a stellar "Grassroots Strategy Day" planned. Click here for details of the day. Sign up early for this not-to-be-missed strategic planning day! Click here to sign up now!

Reuters cameraman ordered held in Abu Ghraib

A cameraman for Reuters in Iraq has been ordered by a secret tribunal to be held without charge in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison until his case is reviewed within six months, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. forces on August 8 after a search of his home in the city of Ramadi. The U.S. military has refused Reuters requests to disclose why he is being held. He has not been charged.

His brother, who was detained with him and then released, said they were arrested after Marines looked at the images on the journalist's cameras.

"The CRRB has determined that Mr. Mashhadani remains a threat to the people of Iraq and they recommended continued internment," Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill said, referring to a hearing of the Iraqi-U.S. Combined Review and Release Board held at a secret location in Baghdad on Monday.

Bus Into the Storm

I spoke with Cindy briefly a minute ago and asked her if the southern bus route was being changed because of the storm. She said that they were going to go as far as they could because they had a lot of supplies to donate.

Nuremberg Lesson for Iraq War: It’s Murder

Published on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, distributed by Knight-Ridder Newspapers
By Michael Mandel

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, the basic legal document for the trial of the major Nazi war criminals that commenced in November 1945.
One of the great innovations of that charter was the charge of "Crimes Against Peace," defined as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances."

In a famous passage from their judgment of the following year, the four judges of the tribunal (American, British, French and Russian) declared the crime of aggressive war to be "the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Iraq Looking More and More Like Vietnam

Published on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 by the Baltimore Sun
By Gordon Livingston

As if the resemblance between Iraq and Vietnam were not enough, President Bush has closed the circle for us.
Speaking before National Guard troops and their families in Idaho - another "safe" audience - he acknowledged those who had died in the war and said, "These brave men and women gave their lives for a cause that is just and necessary for the security of our country, and now we will honor their sacrifice by completing their mission." In other words, the way to honor the dead is by having more soldiers die.

Portrait of Cindy Sheehan also a Picture of Democracy

Published on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 by the Portland Press Herald (Maine)
By Victoria Mares-Hershey

Maine artist Robert Shetterly, creator of the "Americans Who Tell The Truth" portrait series, has started a painting of Cindy Sheehan.
His analysis of getting to the truth in painting a portrait sounds much like getting to the truth of what a democracy really looks and feels like.

Click above for full-size version.
Cindy Sheehan © Copyright 2005 by Robert Shetterly.
All rights reserved.

"After one has been painting for awhile, it's not really that difficult to reproduce the correct slope of the eyes, the idiosyncratic architecture of a nose, the subtle topography of that crevice between the nose & the upper lip . . ." he wrote in his online journal.

Sheehan Glad Bush Didn't Meet With Her

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

(08-30) 17:11 PDT Crawford, Texas (AP) --

A woman who led an anti-war protest for nearly a month near President Bush's ranch said Tuesday that she's glad Bush never showed up to discuss her son's death in Iraq, saying the president's absence "galvanized the peace movement."

Cindy Sheehan's comments came as war protesters packed up their campsite near the ranch and prepared to leave Tuesday for a three-week bus tour.

"I look back on it, and I am very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have sparked and galvanized the peace movement," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "If he'd met with me, then I would have gone home, and it would have ended there."

Bush and his famous false choices means, withdrawal NOW

Bush's favorite political gambit is the false choice. One alternative is what he wants to do. The other is unacceptable. No other alternatives are allowed, creating a false choice.

Remember this one: either use US military force to remove Saddam OR DO NOTHING. Other moderate alternatives, like UN inspections or containment or continued sanctions, were simply rejected or ignored to create the false choice: give Bush power to invade or let Saddam do whatever he wanted. America picked giving Bush power.

Now Bush's false choice is, give me yet another blank check for occupation in the way and as long as I want, that I may torture who I want, contract with Halliburton as I please, stop loss who I want---or just cut and run. Other moderate alternatives, like timetables or target dates, are simply rejected, as are little things like transparency or some stated metric by which we can say the mission is "accomplished". It's either retreat and leave Iraq a mess or let him do whatever he wants.

Good Bye to Crawford

by Cindy Sheehan on Daily Kos
Tue Aug 30th, 2005 at 06:28:59 PDT

Good Bye to Crawford
But Not to Camp Casey
Day 24
The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford

While George golfed yesterday, the worst hurricane ever struck New Orleans; oil went up to over 68.00/barrel; and an American soldier was killed in the charade and cataclysmic occupation of Iraq. The soldier's family doesn't even know what's going to hit them yet. The death is "Pending Notification." I continually ask myself: "How do George Bush and other death-mongers live with themselves?" While George vacations and bikes and golfs his way to the lowest poll numbers since Richard Nixon, other "patriots" are wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes and going along with the farce that the mission from hell: Killing more people in Iraq, because so many have already been killed" is somehow a good thing ordained by God. I can live with myself, but trust me, sleep does not come easily to me these days.

Killed soldier questioned Bush's war plan

"Before he died when his truck overturned during combat in Baghdad, Sgt. Thomas Strickland, 27, posted an entry on his weblog sharing his anger about the situation in Iraq," in which he questioned the United States' 'fucktarded' Iraq war plan, Rogers Cadenhead reports on his site, DrudgeRetort.com."

"What the fuck has my chain of command been doing? We were winning somewhat when I left. And now we're being pinned down in our own fucking homes? Insurgents are pushing locals out of their homes and taking over my area at will? What kind of fucktarded plan have we been half-assedly executing? Obviously the kind that neglects sound contact with locals. Obviously the kind that gives further distance to unbridged gaps between soldiers and locals. Obviously the kind that has shown enough weakness when confronted by the insugency that it has been encouraged to grow.

Bush Draws Comparisons Between Iraq War, WWII

Bush Draws Comparisons Between Iraq War, WWII
Bush Arrived At NAS North Island On Monday

SAN DIEGO -- A resolute President George W. Bush, facing a public wary of his war policies, declared Tuesday at Naval Air Station North Island that "we will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure."

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the president drew comparisons between that 20th-century conflict and current wars on terror and in Iraq.

"As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood," he said at a naval base here, referring to Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Decorated veteran, and lifelong Republican, says new Abu Ghraib photos must be released

Larisa Alexandrovna

In an exclusive interview with RAW STORY, retired U. S. Army Colonel Michael Pheneger explained why he submitted testimony in support of the ACLU's lawsuit seeking new Abu Ghraib detainee abuse documents, saying "the only way to assign accountability is to conduct a thorough investigation of every aspect of these deplorable episodes."

The Pentagon has successfully kept new photographs out of the public eye, arguing that their release would be detrimental to the safety of troops abroad.

Colonel Pheneger is a highly decorated thirty year veteran who has served in various high level military posts throughout his career, including: Commander, U. S. Army Intelligence School, Director of Intelligence, U. S. Special Operations Command; Deputy Director of Intelligence, and has worked with the USSOCOM and USCENTCOM teams providing high level intelligence support. Colonel Pheneger is also a lifelong Republican, who finds the government’s case just another "bending of rules" long since prohibited by the military. He voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and works with the ACLU.

From US Labor Against the War

IN THIS MESSAGE: Bring Them Home Now Tour; In Iraq, hope should spring internal; U.S. corporations march into Baghdad

Dear Friends,

On August 31st the Bring Them Home Now Tour will ROLL from Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas to Washington, D.C. The messages and the spirit of Camp Casey will spread to communities across the country.

Since August 6th Cindy Sheehan and other Gold Star and military families have raised a clear, uncompromising call: it is time to stop the senseless death, time to end the war in Iraq and to bring all of our troops home now. As the 24-hour-a-day vigil at the front door of president Bush’s vacation ranch comes to a close, the final touches are being put in place for the next step in this campaign.

A Citizen's Report From Camp Casey

by Chris Greta, Founder, HeroBracelets.org

News was happening just up the road.

A growing anti-war protest was festering along the country lanes surrounding President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch. Cindy Sheehan had lost her son in Iraq and was staging a live-in outside the President’s ranch. She was trying to get him to meet with her. And he would not. It became a grand debate and spectacle. Thousands of people on both sides of the issue came to make themselves heard. I decided to bring my own kids and show them first-hand what the debate was about and who was involved.

Family at Camp Casey w/ daughter in LA needs your help!

Buddy Spell (aka Dylan Garcia) is one of Cindy Sheehan's lawyers. He and his wife are here at Camp Casey helping to make this action as smooth as possible.

When they left Louisiana they left their 7-year old daughter, Sarah, with a friend in Washington Parish. (In LA, counties are called "Parishes")

Due to the hurricane, they have lost all contact with their friend and they fear the worst. The Spells are frantic for solid information about the state of Washington Parrish or their daughter.

If you have solid information about what is going on in Washington Parrish, please call 612-578-0130. This is the cell-phone number of Alex, a close friend of the Spells. I have full permission from the family, mods and Admins to post this personal information.

War and Anti-War

War and Anti-War
By Hendrik Hertzberg
The New Yorker

09 September Issue

A few days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush, during a visit to the still smoldering Pentagon, said that what was already calle the "war on terror" would be "a different type of war"-different, presumably, from the two World Wars, different from Korea and Vietnam, differen from the surrogate skirmishes in the Cold War's buffer zones, different from the Cold War itself, different from his father's war to expel Sadda Hussein's marauders from Kuwait. Four years later, many of Bush's (and others') expectations about the ensuing struggle have fallen by the wayside But that one has proved right.

UFPJ: Leave My Child Alone!

Dear UFPJ Member Group:

We're strongly encouraging you to participate in the following

call to action from the Leave My Child Alone Coalition, including:

opting out of military recruiter lists and hosting a back to school event.

Here's an already written email we hope you will send out to your


Buried deep within the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision that
requires public high schools to hand over students' private contact
information to military recruiters. If a school does not comply, it
risks losing vital federal education funds. As if that weren't bad

American Indian Movement representatives visit Camp Casey


Dennis Banks, "Commander and Chief" of the American Indian Movement, presented Cindy a cloak on behalf of her fallen warrior son. He then presented Cindy a pin of five gold stars (it looked a lot like the rank ensign of a five star general). Dennis explained that the pin was not only representative of her as a gold star mother, but also of a leader in the struggle against injustice and war. He was also not the first person to mention Cindy and Rosa Parks in the same sentence. Four other members of AIM joined Dennis on stage for ceremonial drum circle.

Cindy and vets hold morning press conference


At this mornings's press conference, Cindy, military families and veterans, including National Guardsmen, sent condolences to the men and women of Louisiana who are facing Hurricane Katrina. Cindy called for all remaining Camp Casey materials to be sent to the disaster site, and veteran called on fellow vets in Louisiana to help with disaster relief. More information about the coming bus tour was announced.

Paralyzed Iraq veteran Tomas Young called on President Bush to meet with him to explain why his best hope to walk again, stem cell research, was not being pursued. Tomas was wounded in Iraq the same day that Casey Sheehan was killed.

Five New Co-Sponsors of Resolution of Inquiry

Reps. John Tierney (MA), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Gwen Moore (WI), Jim Moran (VA), and Jerry Nadler (NY), have now signed on to co-sponsor H Res 375, demanding answers from the Bush Administration. That makes 58 Co-Sponsors. Who will be #s 59 and 60? See:

Summary of Meeting with Representative Brad Miller (D-NC)

From the Government Accountability Project (GAP)

A group of concerned citizens gathered at a house party in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the third anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes meeting. Out of that meeting was formed the Government Accountability Project (GAP). Five members of GAP, all constituents of Representative Brad Miller (D-NC), met with him on August 17th to discuss his positions on the war in Iraq and specifically to ask him to sign Barbara Lee’s Resolution of Inquiry.

Rep. Miller has expressed early and continued concern over our involvement in Iraq and the intelligence that led us there. Last year he co-sponsored a resolution initiated by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) calling for a House investigation of that intelligence. Rep. Miller has since asked Rep. Waxman to reintroduce this resolution and he promised our group that he would pursue this with him again.

Here's the Funny Part

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 30 August 2005

If the thunder don't get you
Then the lightning will ...

-- Robert Hunter
Try this madness on for size.

Here we have Pat Robertson, ostensibly a Christian, judging by the number of crosses he surrounds himself with, calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Parsing the gibberish that pours forth from this fraud of a holy man has been a parlor game in my home for a while now. My favorite remains the statement made by Robertson in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when he said the attack was God's judgment on America for our tolerance of gays, feminists and the ACLU.

Slight Majority Say Bush Should Meet With Sheehan

Survey Suggests Mother's Actions Have Little Impact on War Views
By Richard Morin, Washington Post Staff Writer

Slightly more than half of the country says President Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed last year in Iraq, who is leading a protest against the war outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that 52 percent of the public says Bush should talk to Sheehan, who has repeatedly asked for a meeting with the president, while 46 percent said he should not. Fifty-three percent support what she is doing while 42 percent oppose her actions, according to the poll.

Kucinich to re-introduce Dept. of Peace legislation

Landmark measure addresses all forms of conflict and violence,
nationally and internationally

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and 55 co-sponsors will re-introduce legislation to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace during the first week the House is back in session, September 12, 2005.

“Every day in our country, millions of people are touched by various aspects of violence. And yet, every day people are still reaching for hope, looking for some opportunity to be delivered from this violence,

Anti-War America

Todd Gitlin
August 30, 2005

Todd Gitlin (toddgitlin.net) contributes regularly to TPMcafe.com and is the author of The Intellectuals and the Flag, forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

There come moments in the course of all movements when they go mainstream, despite the best efforts of their enemies to demonize them and of their most radical elements to purify them. Such a moment has probably arrived in the case of the current anti-war effort. But pitfalls also loom.

You cannot trade on certainties in such elusive matters, because events intrude. But a probable turning point arrived the evening of Wednesday, August 17, when (according to Moveon.org) some hundreds of thousands around the country turned out for more than 1,600 candlelight vigils to express solidarity with Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey outside Crawford, Texas. In White Plains, N.Y., the more than 100 who gathered included, I was told by a correspondent, “loads of soccer moms, Little League dads and plenty of their kids.

Chorus of Church Bells to Ring Across Nation in Remembrance of the Fallen in Iraq

Bells Will Bear Witness to the Human Toll of War, Commemorate their Sacrifice, and Bring Forth a Moral Consensus on Next Steps in Iraq

Commencement Ceremony Thursday (9/1), 10:00AM;
All Souls Church, Washington, DC

Washington, DC: Religious leaders are calling for a coordinated tolling of bells to remember those who have lost their lives in Iraq. The National Council of Churches, Clergy, Laity Concerned About Iraq and Faithful America along with Democracy Rising are leading the call for churches and other religious institutions to take part in this healing. The groups were inspired, in part, by the actions of Gold Star Families for Peace seeking to understand why U.S. soldiers and Iraqis are dying.

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