Minneapolis Star Tribune
'What They Died For' in Iraq is a Mystery
by Ken Lessley
President Bush spoke in Utah Monday defending his policies and practices in Iraq, and I have to say he seems focused solely on getting his agenda accomplished, regardless of who has to die unnecessarily in the process.
Referring to the "sacrifice" of the more than 1,800 American lives lost in Iraq to date, he said we must honor what they died for.
He left out the part about how they died for lack of proper armor, that the money for proper gear and equipment is still largely unaccounted for, that the families of the connected and powerful aren't sending their kids to die, that there weren't enough troops sent from day one, that their deaths will continue to mount for years to come, or that he started this war on false premises.
Published on Saturday, August 27, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Gar Smith
On August 2, George W. Bush fled the clamor of the Capitol and hopped aboard Air Force One for a two-and-a-half-hour flight to his Texas ranch - 1,300 miles from the Oval Office. Bush's five-week vacation has set a new record for the longest presidential hiatus in US history. It also marks a personal best for Bush, who had already established several benchmarks for excessive executive layoffs.
According to the Washington Post's tabulations, by August 2003, Mr. Bush had spent 250 days - 21% of his presidency - on vacation (166 of those days ensconced at his Crawford ranch). This year's jaunt marks Bush's 49th trip to Crawford since he was handed the presidency.
Bush's war in Iraq: The moment has come to decide whether to withdraw.
The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
"Why did my son have to die?" This simple question from a bereaved mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq is fueling growing war-weariness across the United States.
Already, three weeks have passed since the mother, Cindy Sheehan, 48, set up camp near President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he is spending his summer vacation.
Last April, Sheehan lost her son, a 24-year-old army specialist, in Iraq. Since early August, she has been asking to meet the president in person and calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq.
Sheehan's anti-war message follows Bush trail
60-second ad airs on stations in Idaho, Utah
Bill Wallace, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, August 27, 2005
An anti-war TV spot featuring Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville woman whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, has been dogging President Bush's footsteps as he traveled to Idaho and Utah this past week.
The 60-second ad, in which Sheehan speaks directly to the camera and castigates the president for "your lies" about the Iraq war, has aired on six television affiliates in Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho, and is scheduled to run nationally on CNN and Fox Network News during the next week.
By Sam Coates
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 28, 2005; A03
CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 27 -- They arrived in thousands from all corners of the country, asserting their right to protest in the name of war and peace near President Bush's ranch.
It was almost 100 in the shade, but the temperature in this dusty prairie town felt far higher, with protesters of wildly differing views and temperaments packing into narrow roads and small open spaces. Some came to party, some came to weep, a small number came spoiling for a fight -- police said there were two reports of assaults.
This weekend is the culmination of the standoff between Bush and war protester Cindy Sheehan, who arrived 21 days ago. She came asking Bush to meet with her, even though he had done so before, to discuss the war. Her protest snowballed, with the arrival of Sheehan sympathizers and then pro-war demonstrators. Both sides planned major rallies over the weekend because it is the last one before Bush ends his vacation and Sheehan leaves.
Dear Clifford May:
Unfortunately Cindy Sheehan is too busy trying to keep other mothers' sons and daughters from dying in Iraq to accept your invitation to lunch.
But I would be delighted to accept your invitation in her place on one small condition: that you sign and submit this document, known as "DD Form 4/1".
If you haven't already, visit this new site:
We propose the following principles as essential to ending the war in Iraq:
First, as a confidence-building measure, the U.S. government must declare that it has no interest in permanent military bases or the control of Iraqi oil or other resources.
Second, as a further confidence-building measure, the U.S. government must set goals for ending the occupation and bringing all our troops home - in months, not years, beginning with an initial withdrawal of troops by the end of this year.
ANGELA K. BROWN
CRAWFORD, Texas - Thousands of war protesters have come and gone since a grieving mother started camping off the road leading to President Bush's ranch three weeks ago, from business executives to young parents and their children spending a few hours or days for the cause.
But for more than a dozen people, their home for much of the sweltering month has been the makeshift campsite of tents and portable toilets in ditches and anti-war banners hanging from trees.
"It's staggering what's happened," said camp leader Ann Wright, who resigned her post as a senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia in 2003 in protest of the war with Iraq. "I would say between 8,000 and 10,000 people have wandered in and out since the beginning. Every single day you never know what's going to come up."
Bush in San Diego! 2 events: Mon. vigil & Tues. protest
As President George W. Bush visits San Diego, let’s ask him…
How Many More,
Support the Troops. Bring Them Home Alive.
Two Events! Attend Both!!
Monday, August 29th; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR PEACE
Ocean Blvd on the beach, Hotel Del Coronado
Join Gold Star father Fernando Suarez del Solar, military families and veterans for a Candlelight Vigil outside of the Hotel Del Coronado. Bush will be staying at the hotel Monday evening, prior to his speech to a select audience of supporters at Naval Station North Island Tuesday Morning. Bring candles, banners and signs of peace. Anticipate traffic congestion. Carpool or use public transit!
Tuesday, August 30; 6:00 am to 8:30 am
GIVE GEORGE BUSH THE WELCOME HE DESERVES!
North Island Naval Air Station, Main Gate
4th St. and Alameda Boulevard, Coronado
Gather at the base entrance with your signs and enthusiasm to tell President Bush: Stop the Unjust War in Iraq!
If either event is prevented on Coronado Island, please gather in Horton Plaza, 4th St. and Broadway, Downtown San Diego.
Brad Blog on Air America Saturday Night
Brad Blog: "In the spirit exemplified by the Peace House in Crawford, Texas, Saturday Night radio "competitors" Laura Flanders of Air America Radio and Brad Friedman of The BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO are announcing an historic partnership as they simulcast their programs together this Saturday Night from on the ground in Crawford!..read on"
More from Raw Story on the joint venture.
Bay Buchanan: Say What?
Cindy Sheehan is having a very weird effect on the extreme right wing apologists.
Case in point: Bay Buchanan actually praised Cindy Sheehan on The Situation Room yesterday: (hat tip Midori)
Bay: I think she deserves a lot of credit........She's very compassionate.....She's given it focus, national media...I think she's a very good spokesperson...
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Move America Forward's Shady Dealings
Max Blumenthal has some great information about the front group that has bankrolled the Creepy Caravan tour to attack Cindy Sheehan. Here's a little about Sal Russo:
"If Kaloogian wants to fight corruption, he should get up, turn the light on, and take a look in his own slimy bed. After all, Move America Forward's "Chief Strategist," Sal Russo, who handled Bill Simon's hapless 2002 gubernatorial campaign, is knee-deep in unethical business dealings and scandals."
and this: "That's right. Move America Forward's Sal Russo ran tax shelters and bilked campaign donors out of $200,000. Oh, and then there's the little thing about Russo and Simon being in bed with a major drug trafficker, something they still can't explain" ...read on
I went to Crawford yesterday
by JamesC [Subscribe]
Sat Aug 27th, 2005 at 19:23:52 PDT
I went to Crawford, Texas yesterday to add my voice to the protesters. It was exciting, enlightening, and all together satisfying. I met Cindy, sweated a lot, laughed, and wept.
This is Bob, and Bob is my new hero. He is a 6'7" Marine, Iraq War II vet, and evangelical Christian. What you can't see in his left hand here is a silver trumpet. At sunset he and Cindy stood next to each other at sunset in the middle of the crosses while he played taps. Everyone was completely silent. It brought tears to my eyes, and many openly wept.
[Breaking Update]Police just Arrest Driver that honked for peace!
by JR [Subscribe]
Sat Aug 27th, 2005 at 18:51:23 PDT
I'm standing on a street in St Pete as I type. Two cars were just stopped and at least one arrest ensued after the passing drivers honked their horns in support of our protest.
Call the St Pete police and ask when we lost the right to honk for peace! 727-893-7780
Email the mayor and demand he take action here
Here's some backstory:
Six protesters with the anti-war group St. Pete for Peace, including three under 18 years old, were arrested Aug. 6 outside a trendy downtown St. Petersburg development owned by Sembler Co., founded by a former Republican National Committee finance chairman and major contributor to President Bush.
The protesters were demonstrating against the Iraq War outside BayWalk, a complex of shops and restaurants owned by the development firm started by Bush-backer and former Ambassador to Italy Melvin Sembler. Protests by groups such as St. Pete for Peace and the Democratic Uhuru Movement are regular fixtures on the public sidewalk outside the development. Sembler Co. has reportedly attempted to- purchase the sidewalk in question from the city. Metal barricades were recently placed across the sidewalk by the St. Petersburg Police Department. Police spokesman Bill Proffitt has stated that the barricades are meant to aid pedestrian safety. "This is just our attempt to make sure that everyone who goes to BayWalk can go there safely," Proffitt said of the barricades.
Protesters claim the barricades are meant to force demonstrators either into traffic or onto Sembler property, making them subject to arrest for trespassing. At a press conference on August 9, ACLU spokesman Mark Kamleiter rejected police claims, saying, "Nobody is getting pushed into the streets." He later added, "these people have no access to the media. The only way that they can have an impact is to get out on the sidewalk and talk."
Our Visit to Camp Casey
by Dr Observer [Subscribe]
Sat Aug 27th, 2005 at 18:11:31 PDT
Our family (myself, my wife, and our three older kids who are 11, 13 and 16) went down to Crawford today. We wanted to take the kids down there to see what's going on before Cindy Sheehan leaves on her anti-war bus tour and the Boy King goes back to getting his workouts in and ignoring the country from the Oval Office. Today was a good day to go because there were two opposing rallies scheduled.
Before I tell the story, here is my advice to people thinking of going before Cindy leaves on August 31: There's plenty of ice and bottled water at the camp. Check the Peace House web site before you go to see if there are any urgent needs, like toilet paper, paper plates, cutlery, etc. It seemed to me that the biggest need today was for more shuttle drivers and vehicles, but today was probably crazy compared to most other days.
Acting on very good advice from Meet With Cindy and the Crawford Peace House, we arrived a little early (around 11am) at the Peace House. There was less traffic than I was expecting. We felt very lucky to be able to sneak into a grassy parking lot near the Peace House where a few places remained up against the railroad tracks.
URGENT: House Investigation of Downing Street Minutes Nears Vote
August 26, 2005
Reported on Wednesday, August 24, by a meager number of media outlets(a search on Google News produced all of ONE result, this, from Political Affairs Magazine) Congressman Jim Leach (R) of Iowa has become the first Republican to publicly announce that he would cosponsor the bill (H. Res. 375) by representative Barbara Lee (D) of California.
The bill, a resolution of inquiry, introduced by Lee in the House of Representatives on July 20, 2005 and referred to the Committee on International Relations on the same day, requests (quoting directly from the bill), "the President and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating
to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq."
The bill was originally co-sponsored by 25 other House members, all Democrats. Since that time, another 28 have signed on as co-sponsors, including Leach, who has previously been critical of the Bush administration's policies on the War in Iraq.
The U. S. House of Representatives Committee on International
Relations is comprised of 50 members - 23 Democrats and 27
Republicans. As of this writing, 10 Democrat members of the committee have publicly signed on as co-sponsors. A majority of 26 committee members is needed for passage.
A vote on the resolution must take place on or before September 16.
Including Leach with all 23 Democrats on the committee (assuming that the vote will proceed along party lines), the total now seemingly in favor of passage is 24. Representative Ron Paul (R), the libertarian firebrand from Texas, is widely assumed to be leaning toward co-sponsorship as well, leaving the margin at just one more Republican vote for passage.
The bill also has the particular status of a privileged resolution, meaning that if the committee cannot secure the required votes for passage, Congresswoman Lee has the right to seek a full House vote.
Four of my friends and I went to the support for Cindy Sheehan demonstration/anti-war protest in Charlotte, NC, today. There were about twenty people in all who stood on the busiest corner in Charlotte (Central Ave and Sharon Amity). We held signs and waved at drivers. I was SO shocked. I really expected a lot of people to be against our demonstration, but we got overwhelming support from the people who drove past us! We were there for two hours and out of that time, only five people chose to yell uncomplimentary things or flip us off. The vast majority were giving us the peace sign, waving and honking. My signs said "Support our Troops...Ask Tough Questions" and "1900 Dead. $118 Billion Spent...The Truth?? Priceless!!!". My friend's signs were a lot more to the point. She held "Support our Troops, Not our President" and "El Presidente Es Muy Loco." (we wrote that one after we noticed a high percentage of hispanic traffic). We had a blast doing the wave, hollering and waving at people. I had several people who were stopped at the light tell me that they supported what we were doing. One lady asked me about my sign and I told her that I thought that the best way to support our troops was to ask why we were sending them to fight and to make sure that their lives were only endangered to protect America. She said, "Amen!"
It was a really positive experience for all of us. We all plan to take our kids and husbands with us when we go back in two weeks. I also added lawn chairs, sunblock and a cooler with some cold drinks to my list of things to take next time. And more signs!!
(Updated to show picture from Camp Casey today.)
Saturday: LIVE FROM CAMP CASEY! This Saturday, the Laura Flanders Show will broadcast live from Crawford, Texas. Laura will cover the last climactic weekend before Cindy Sheehan hits the road. She'll be joined by British Gold Star dad Reg Keys who's bringing a lawsuit against his government, and others...DON'T MISS THIS HISTORIC BROADCAST.
7-10pm ET Saturday
(Editors Note: Protest Warriors show up at protests and try to incite violence. This time, as you will see, they caused a brawl with their own 'side'.)
"This is priceless. These idiots have been around for a while. They show up at protests posing as liberals with outrageous signs, which you can see at their site - HERE:
They're like the evil twin of Billionaires for Bush. But the Pro-War protestors in Crawford didn't get the joke and physically attacked them! Ha ha ha!
I saw it in Reuters & I suspected it was them - checked their site and lo and BEHOLD!
I met a group of terrific women from Colorado who performed at Camp Casey today a song caleld "Sweet Song of Peace." Here it is as a cda file.
UPDATES ON CINDY SHEEHAN VISIT TO CRAWFORD
Saturday, August 27, 2005
(Reverse Time Order — More Recent Entries Toward Top)
Gene Ellis reporting for the Iconoclast
Joan Baez sang about four times this afternoon, a couple of the songs being Joe Hill, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
Cindy Sheehan spoke at the rally and at a press conference just after that.
Sheehan said that before she came down here, someone told her, "You should go down in a pasture near Bush's ranch and thousands of people would come and you ought to call it Turdstock, so let's call it Turdstock."
She said that one question in her mind when she first arrived in Crawford was, "When will America care?" Now, she says, she knows that America cares.
Sheehan talked about her plans to take her message to the communities, that it is a grassroots movement that's growing and growing. She said, "I couldn't stop it now if I wanted to. It's got a life of its own. We'll take it to the cities, then the House and the Senate." She reiterated that the insurgency is fueled by our presence.She says she thinks it will stop if we leave.
The serving of barbecue has not yet started. The arrival of persons to have crosses removed has not happened.
There are still thousands here. Few, if any, are leaving. People keep arriving.
Tiny Crawford Braces for Dueling Protests
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Sat Aug 27, 1:23 PM ET
CRAWFORD, Texas - This one-stoplight town of 700 residents near President Bush's ranch braced for thousands of visitors Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support Cindy Sheehan's anti-war demonstration.
More than 3,000 people were expected at the school football stadium for a pro-Bush rally, the culmination of the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour that started last week in California.
It would be the largest counter protest since Sheehan started camping out off the road leading to Bush's ranch Aug. 6, soon after his Texas vacation began. She vowed to remain unless he talked to her about the war with Iraq that claimed the life of her son Casey and more than 1,870 other U.S. soldiers.
The pro-Bush caravan was coordinated by Move America Forward, a group led by former Republican California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian and Sal Russo, the strategist who in 2003 launched one of the two simultaneous efforts to recall California's then-governor, Democrat Gray Davis.
Meanwhile, hundreds were expected at Sheehan's camp for a somber Saturday ceremony honoring soldiers serving in Iraq. The protest, which has swelled from dozens on weekdays to about 1,000 the past two weekends, will end Wednesday.
Thousand of pro-Bush supporters are expected in Crawford to counter the supporters of Cindy Sheehan.
Crawford, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005. Thousand of pro-Bush supporters are expected in Crawford to counter the supporters of Cindy Sheehan.
Rallying the Troops and Avoiding Reality
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, August 27, 2005; Page A17
There is something almost surreal in the juxtaposition of President Bush's statements on Iraq and news reporting on the war. The two are simply irreconcilable.
Bush's upbeat take collides with recent news reports about events in Iraq as well as with the judgments of senior officials within his administration. If the media have got it wrong, then we deserve to get hammered. If, however, it turns out that Bush is not being straight with courageous U.S. service members and their families, then it will be the Bush presidency and his legacy that will pay dearly.
At the moment he's hitting it off in visits to military posts, where he dons his commander-in-chief hat. One Bush line always draws applause: "We will stay on the offensive. Whatever it takes, we will seek and find and destroy the terrorists, so that we do not have to face them in our own country." It went over well last year with a gathering of applauding Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group and the Night Stalkers, at Fort Campbell, Ky.
In June the president went to Fort Bragg, N.C., and in a televised address described Iraq as the latest battlefield in the war on terrorism, saying: "America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend . . . . We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
And to cheering military families at Nampa, Idaho, this week, Bush said: "Terrorists will emerge from Iraq one of two ways: emboldened or defeated . . . . for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, the terrorists will be defeated."
Bush's portrayal of America as a nation besieged by a cruel enemy that has made Iraq the battleground is one of the reasons America's military families willingly send sons and daughters off to war. Yes, it's hard duty, but what goal is worthier than defending America? Stated that way, there's no argument, at least where I'm concerned. That was one of the reasons that I, along with many in my generation, suited up during the Cold War.
The country should be grateful to all who wear the uniform of the United States and to the families that are sacrificing to achieve Bush's stated mission to fight the terrorists over there, and "stay until the fight is won."
But what if something else is in the works? Suppose staying on the offense "until the enemy is broken," an applause line, is just that -- an applause line?
This latest batch of photos includes some of supporters of Cindy Sheehan, but mostly images of pro-death demonstrators leaving their rally at a stadium in Crawford. See if you can tell who is who.
Also watch for a video on www.truthout.org in which Scott Galindez asks a 19-year-old pro-war activist whether he'll sign up to go, and he replies: only if there's a draft.
From Camp Casey, Crawford to Washington DC
From George Bush’s door step to Communities along the way, We Demand That:
Elected Representatives Decide Now to Bring the Troops Home
We Take Care of Them When They Get Here
We Never Again Send Our Loved Ones to War Based on Lies!
We are currently at a significant turning point in how the American public views the war in Iraq. As the death toll in Iraq rises, Cindy Sheehan’s vigil near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Americans. Bush’s approval rating is falling. The voice of military families, who have lost loved ones and those with loved ones in harm’s way or about to deploy, can activate the American people. The voice of veterans, both of this war and of previous wars will also build the movement to end the war. Together these critical voices can demand that President Bush make the decision now to bring the troops home.
On August 31st, the last day of the encampment, the Bring Them Home Now Tour will launch three buses from Crawford, Texas, each carrying military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization September 24th-26th.
The tour will amplify the voice of Gold Star families, who show the devastating human cost of this war; the voice of military families, for whom each and every day that this war continues brings the potential for the most devastating of consequences; and the voice of veterans, who can share the ground truth about war and the impact on those who were sent off to fight it.
Over the course of the tour, members of the sponsoring organizations will reach out to military families, veterans, and concerned citizens in cities and towns in the heartland, the north, and the south. The Tour will spread the truth about the war in Iraq, mobilize people to Washington DC for September 24-26th and ask Congressional decision-makers the hard questions Cindy has asked President Bush and to learn what our elected representatives are doing to bring this war to an end.
The Bring Them Home Now Tour is sponsored by Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
Email and contact information for the Bring Them Home Now Tour
Turn off your tv. Stay away from MSM. They're not giving you the real story here at Camp Casey 2 where it's peaceful. Some pro-Georgie's are driving by, trying to engage us in banter, but we're here for peace.
Jesse is singing "Sons & Daughters" right now...the song Indy told us about earlier in the week (and some of us listened to online). "How 'bout your son? How 'bout your daughter? How come it's always poor folk who get shuffled off to slaughter?"
We're safe. We're all in this together. And this is the beginning of the end of the war.
Posted by: Indy & madame defarge together in peace at August 27, 2005 07:28 PM
Sheehan's ad says Bush lied about Iraq war
Some stations refuse to air commercial by soldier's mom
By Nick Madigan
Originally published August 27, 2005
In her effort to elicit an explanation from President Bush as to his reasons for continuing to wage war in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier, has ruffled feathers far and wide, riling the president's supporters unlike anyone since Michael Moore's polemics in Fahrenheit 9/11.
Yesterday, Sheehan - who has returned to her protest post near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, after tending to a family emergency - launched a national commercial on CNN and Fox News in which she asks the president, "How many more soldiers have to die before we say enough?"
"You were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction," Sheehan says in the ad. "You were wrong about the link between Iraq and al-Qaida. You lied to us and because of your lies, my son died."