Katrina is the Iraq War Come Home to Roost
Time to Recall the National Guard from Iraq
By Kevin Zeese
As I watched the scenes on television -- soldiers driving by dead bodies in the street, wayward people looking like refugees, soldiers pointing their guns at civilians -- I could not help but think of Baghdad, but it was New Orleans. The reports of people on the ground were even worse:
“Police drove by, windows rolled up, thumbs up signs. National guard trucks rolled by, completely empty, soldiers with guns cocked and aimed at them. Nobody stopped to drop off water. A helicopter dropped a load of water, but all the bottles exploded on impact due to the height of the helicopter.
Comments for Congressional hearing on Iraq exit strategy, Sept. 15, 2005
By Tom Hayden
Madame Chair and members,
Today you commence a vital shift in our government’s official discourse on Iraq, from how to win the war in Iraq to how to withdraw troops and end the occupation. This change of paradigm is overdue, is in keeping with public sentiment, and begins to fill a dangerous vacuum. We cannot accept a faith-based commitment to “stay the course
"As the Executive Director of the Center on Conscience
& War and part of the GI Rights Hotline where we speak
daily to our men and women in uniform, I bring you the
words of the soldiers themselves. The Center has been
a voice for soldiers since 1940. We have spent almost
65 years trying to end war, one soldier at a time.
Let me give you their voices now:
A Special Op, career, in his thirties, called us prior
to being deployed to Iraq. Special Ops are train to
allow nothing to get in the way of their mission. They
can even shot their own commanding officer if he
stands in the way of completing their mission. "I was
The Costs of Quagmire
The death and destruction strewn by hurricane Katrina may equal or even exceed the death toll of U.S. soldiers in the Iraq War. But while 6,000 miles separates the two, the links between war overseas and the fate of those in Katrina’s wake are closely interwoven.
The cost of having over 6,000 National Guardsmen stationed from Mississippi and Louisiana far overseas in Iraq is just being felt as the region seeks to deal with the horrific aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
Headlines across the nation highlighted the looting, the need for more rescue operations, and the need for boots on the ground to help with reconstruction—all tasks that the Guard is asked to perform.
HEAR OUR CRY*
I am a concerned father of two, a grandfather of two and a taxpayer. Hear our cry, Mr. President, hear our cry: end this quagmire of a war and bring our troops home.
Make no mistake about my support for our men and women who are in harm’s way.
I salute the men and women of the U.S. armed services and reserve units who so bravely and courageously are serving in Iraq today. Theirs is a gallant battle.
To the families of those valiant soldiers who have given their last measure of full devotion for our beloved country, my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and brothers, neighbors and friends. They are truly America’s heroes and who are deeply missed.
The War at Home and the War Abroad
Gene Bruskin, Co Convenor, US Labor Against the War
September 15, 2005
I want to thank Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and the Congressional Out of Iraq Caucus for their principled and critical efforts to end what was a predictably disastrous war in Iraq, at a time when disaster has predictably struck our own nation. There could not be a more timely moment to press this issue. Bush is caught between Iraq, and a hard place.
I am here to speak on behalf of US Labor Against the War, a national network of more than 120 labor organizations representing millions of workers from across our nation. We have witnessed a dramatic growth in opposition to the war in the labor movement this year, first in the overwhelming response to our national tour of Iraqi trade unionists in June and then in the powerful support for the resolution to bring the troops home at the national AFL-CIO convention in July.
REMARKS FROM ELLEN BARFIELD, VETERANS FOR PEACE BOARD MEMBER
Veterans for Peace is proud to join Representative Woolsey, other elected officials, and all the
other organizations here at this rally to yet again demand that the war in Iraq end.
Vets for Peace helped launch the "Bring Them Home NOW!" campaign with the then quite
new Military Families Speak Out in the summer of 2003, shortly after Bush's infamous and
reckless challenge to the Iraqi resistance, "Bring 'em on!" We meant "Bring Them Home
NOW" back then, and we have continued to say it ever since. The campaign now includes the
From Tomdispatch today, Michael Klare writes on a desperately under-covered subject, particularly relevant as the antiwar demonstration in Washington approaches this weekend: Iraqi oil and the American occupation. "More Blood, Less Oil, The Failed U.S. Mission to Capture Iraqi Petroleum" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=22859
points out a striking irony -- the American military occupation of Iraq has, in fact, driven Iraqi oil further out of reach of the market (at a moment when it was especially needed). As I say in my introduction to Klare's piece, two years-plus into the occupation of Iraq, we now know that the iconic protest sign, "No Blood for Oil" should actually have read: "Blood for No Oil." Don't miss this one.
Film: "Cindy Sheehan Rips War Party," LINK.
The speech took place at an anti-war rally at Johns Hopkins U., in Baltimore,
MD, on the night of 09/20/05.
By William Hughes
Soldiers Back From Iraq Support Cindy Sheehan's Antiwar Stance on Video.Google.Com
(PRWEB) September 22, 2005 -- Antiwar statements from US Soldiers who have served in the Iraq War (OIF) appear online now at Video.Google.Com. Metropole Filmworx LLC choose Video.Google.Com as a distribution method for clips of soldier videos in order to insure they would be available on demand in time for the September 23, 2005 protest in Washington DC led by Cindy Sheehan.
Metropole Filmworx LLC has been recording interviews with soldiers who have returned from Iraq since March. The footage collected will be used in their documentary "BACK FROM IRAQ: The Citizen Soldier Speaks". They have posted clips from several interviews online at Video.Google.Com (video.google.com/videosearch?q=metropole&pl=1) in order to make sure that congressional representatives and the general public are aware that Cindy Sheehan speaks for many, many soldiers when she says the War in Iraq must be brought to a swift conclusion.
September 21, 2005
By Joshua Frank
They can’t stop the antiwar movement, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. On Monday, September 19 Cindy Sheehan spoke in New York City’s Union Square to a group of supporters and onlookers when police rushed in to break up her speech as it was winding down.
"I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly," Sheehan told the Associated Press. "I was shoved around."
Police arrested organizer Paul Zulkowitz, who was charged with disorderly conduct as well as for using an unauthorized sound device. For anybody that has been through Union Square in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen Zulkowitz (aka Zool) who heads up "Camp Casey NYC," a small group of local activists who set up an encampment over a month ago to show their solidarity for Sheehan’s quest to end the Iraq war. Zool’s arrest was most likely a coordinated effort meant to disrupt the ongoing antiwar vigil.
September 20, 2005 #31
September 24th - into the streets to stop the war!
Join us Saturday at the national march in Washington DC! Regional mass marches also in Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, and Birmingham. End the occupation - US out of Iraq now! > More info
Katrina's aftermath: a man-made disaster
"We say not in our name to an administration that wages illegal, immoral wars ... while blatantly neglecting real and preventable threats to its own people within its borders." > Complete statement
Get Not in Our Name gear (link only)
Last chance to get stuff for the weekend! Orders will ship Wednesday afternoon via US Priority Mail at no additional charge. Also, our infamous "Bomb Flag" t-shirts are once again available! > Complete catalog
No thanks, there's just something about regimes of blood...
Award-winning poet Sharon Olds declined an invitation from the first lady to read at the National Book Festival in DC this weekend. Not that Olds is hard up for cash or recognition but poets don't often get the chance to read before 85,000 people -- especially poets whose poems don't rhyme.
Olds writes: "The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers."
She then delivers this powerful condemnation that I wouldn't excerpt if you begged me to:
by Arianna Huffington
The Huffington Post
I'm now hearing that the investigation may be inching closer to never-confirmed UN Ambassador John Bolton.
According to two sources, Bolton's former chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, was at least one of the sources of the classified information about Valerie Plame that flowed through the Bush administration and eventually made its way into Bob Novak's now infamous column.
After delving into Fleitz, I can safely report that he is, at a minimum, a very interesting character.
He is a career CIA agent who Bolton handpicked to join him at Foggy Bottom, having gotten to know him during the administration of the first President Bush. While working as Bolton's top aide, Fleitz also continued his work in the CIA's WINPAC division, the group responsible for some of the worst prewar intelligence on Iraq (for instance, they were, among other things, big fans of Curveball and had "high confidence" in the presence of WMD in Iraq).
By Mike Ferner
All last week I had a rare opportunity – to join several impressive speakers on the “Bring Them Home Now
Yesterday in New York City, for the first time during this tour, local police disrupted one of our events. Cindy Sheehan had just finished speaking to the crowd when the police disconnected the sound system and arrested a local organizer. We have included a statement at the tour website.
The 21 day tour is nearing Washington DC as the North and Central buses stop together in Baltimore, MD and the South bus stops in Norfolk, VA this evening. Tomorrow we will arrive in Washington DC. We have traveled to 51 cities in 28 states and participated in over 200 events, met with dozens of elected officials and members of the media. We’ll have more details on these events and reports and reflections on the tour in the coming days.
Arrive at U.S. Capitol for Press Conference Sept. 21
Gold Star and Military Families, Iraq War and other Vets Take Message to 51
Cities in 28 States, Gather in Washington, D.C. on September 21st
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On September 21st, the Bring Them Home Now Tour will
arrive in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Capitol for a press conference at
12:00 Noon. The three-bus tour is carrying military families, with loved
ones serving in Iraq; Gold Star families, who lost loved ones in Iraq and
Veterans of the Iraq war and previous wars. It was launched from Crawford,
Texas on August 31st - the last day of the nearly month-long vigil started
So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
(MLK, Jr. Aug. 28, 1963, I Have a Dream speech)
What Bush's Katrina shows once again is that my son died for nothing. If you listen to Bush – and fewer and fewer are, thank goodness -- we are in
Iraq in part due to 9/11. All our president has been talking about has been protecting this country since 9/11. That's why people voted for him in the
Published on Sunday, September 18, 2005 by the Boston Globe
In Cambridge, Crowd Cheers on Sheehan
Mother of soldier killed in Iraq touring nation
by Michael Levenson
CAMBRIDGE -- Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier whose vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, helped galvanize antiwar sentiment last month, told 200 cheering, chanting supporters in Cambridge yesterday that Americans should never again be led into what she called an illegal and unjust war.
It's going to be us that makes this war end," said Cambridge City Councilor Denise Simmons, to the cheers of the audience. ''It's going to be all of us.
posted on antiwar.com
Cindy Sheehan spoke to about 150 people in Union Square today -- but her talk was cut short when a NYPD goon squad charged into the crowd, yanked her off the stage, and pulled the plug on the rally. Whole story here. It isn't clear if she was arrested or not: this story says she was.
Remember how the last major antiwar march in NYC had such a hard time getting a permit? The little commissars over at the New York Sun were agitating to delay granting the march a permit as long as possible:
"Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly are doing the people of New York and the people of Iraq a great service by delaying and obstructing the anti-war protest planned for February 15. The longer they delay in granting the protesters a permit, the less time the organizers have to get their turnout organized, and the smaller the crowd is likely to be."
by JOHN NICHOLS
[from the October 3, 2005 issue]
In the crowd that gathered outside the Catonsville, Maryland, public library in August to support antiwar mom Cindy Sheehan's demand that President Bush listen to her plea for an end to the US occupation of Iraq, the distinguished gentleman in "CEO casual" dress was instantly recognizable. Women holding BRING OUR CHILDREN HOME banners nodded, men with STOP THE WAR signs waved and eventually one person after another edged over to shake the hand of Kweisi Mfume, the former NAACP president who is seeking an open Senate seat from Maryland. They were thanking Mfume for being something that is still all too rare--a prominent Democrat who is willing to stand unapologetically with the movement to bring troops home from a war that has gone horribly awry. Mfume smiled and told his well-wishers, "This is the right place to be for the right reasons."
By JoAnn Wypijewski
September/October 2005 Issue
The planners of Operation Iraqi Freedom forgot another thing on the road to Baghdad: how veterans would affect their ability to get new boots on the ground.
Think about ya life, the choices you make. Recruiters out to get you, don't make a mistake. Is obvious, right, they target the 'hood. Take a homeboy and write, what's wrong and what's good. My words are truth, heal like medicine. Don't believe me? Man, holla at a veteran.
Rayniel, a New York City teenager, rapper, serious Catholic, had been talking to veterans for years by the time he became a senior at West Side High School, an alternative public school where the lived history of men in war has become a regular part of the conversation and curriculum. Rayniel himself never considered the military a career option, but as recruiting and counter-recruiting became all the word around inner-city high schools late last spring, he picked up a flyer from the American Friends Service Committee (a.k.a. Quakers) and added his own riff on its "Ten Points to Consider Before You Sign a Military Enlistment Agreement." Points one through three advise young people to "not make a quick decision," to "take a witness when speaking with a recruiter," and to "talk with veterans." Or, in Rayniel's translation, "Think about ya life...."
REPORT ON EXIT STRATEGY CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
By Tom Hayden
Some of us set out in July to accomplish objectives: to achieve the first Congressional hearings on an exit strategy from Iraq, to instigate "people's diplomacy" with Iraqis, and to build momentum through a people's petition campaign, all before the large anti-war demonstrations planned for Sept. 24-26 in Washington DC.
We have succeeded. This is a report on the progress so far, and next steps.
Congressional debate finally has turned to an exit strategy from Iraq after an interminable period of dominance by proponents of war and occupation, as a result of the Sept.
[Leslie Cagan is national coordinator of United for
Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1,300 local
and national groups that have "joined together to oppose
our government's policy of permanent warfare and empire-
building." (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/) Leslie was
interviewed for portside on September 9, 2005, by Ethan
Young. -- ps moderator]
PORTSIDE: Since the federal funding shift from disaster
response to the war was largely responsible for the
failure to save the hurricane victims, how would you see
the anti-war movement addressing the Gulf Coast crisis,
and do you think it will affect which communities will
By Cindy Sheehan
It has been one month, one week, and 4 days since I sat in a ditch in Crawford, Tx. My request was very simple: I wanted to speak to the man who has sent over a million of our young people over to fight, kill, and die in a country that was absolutely no threat to the United States of America. I wanted to ask him: "What is the Noble Cause that you keep talking about?"
Well, we all know now that George Bush never came down the road to talk to me. Thank God! Many people have been saying that I am the "spark," "catalyst," "face of the anti-war movement" etc. I beg to differ. George Bush and his arrogant advisers are the spark that lit the prairie fire of peace activism that has swept over America and the entire world. If he had met with me that fateful day in August it would not have been good for him (because I knew he was going to lie and I would have advertised that fact) but it would have had less of an impact on the peace movement if he had.
Emotional Rather blasts 'new journalism order'
Sep 19 11:03 PM US/Eastern
By Paul J. Gough
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career.
Rather famously tangled with President Nixon and his aides during the Watergate years while Rather was a hard-charging White House correspondent.
Addressing the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, occasionally forcing back tears, he said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order."
Mother Who Lost Son in Iraq Continues Fight against War
By Marc Santora
The New York Times
Monday 19 September 2005
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, last night brought her campaign to end the war to New York, where she accused Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of not doing enough to challenge the Bush administration's Iraq policies.
Speaking in front of more than 500 supporters in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Ms. Sheehan, speaking of Senator Clinton, said, "She knows that the war is a lie but she is waiting for the right time to say it."
The New Fight Against the War
A big march in D.C. marks a change in tactics for those who want the U.S. out of Iraq
by Jarrett Murphy
September 19th, 2005 7:03 PM
A March long ago: Protesters in NYC in 2003
photo: Cary Conover
Anyone who thinks today's anti-war movement is trapped in tie-dyed '60s nostalgia should go to the United for Peace and Justice website, where one can sign up online to participate in civil disobedience next Monday, at the close of a three-day protest in Washington. It's not just a sign that the peaceniks of 2005 are Internet savvy; it's a signal that the movement thinks the D.C. rally is the moment to turn the tide against the war.