By Jeeni Criscenzo
I went down to Carlsbad Blvd. today to do a final walkabout, looking for any unexpected problems for our vigil on Friday. As I stood there looking south, toward Cannon Rd., I created a picture in my mind of what that stretch will look like 3:00 PM on Friday when over 2,000 people will line it. It's going to be an incredible experience!
As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, above all, I am thankful to have all of you in my heart - because if you are on this email list, you are most definitely in my heart. I am overwhelmed when I think about how many loving, brave and genuine people I have met and worked with here, over the past year. It seems as if, as things in our government get more and more horrendous, there is an equally powerful force growing within ordinary people who are finding the inner resolve to stand up and do something. I am honored and thankful to have you as my friends and supporters. A year from now, with your help, I'll be packing my bags for Washington, DC, to be your voice in a new Congress where people matter. Change is most definitely in the wind!
There is no one in this country more responsible for the change in Americans' attitudes toward the Iraq War than Cindy Sheehan. Let's ask Time Magazine to consider her for 2005 Person of the Year.
Nominate Cindy Sheehan for Time Magazine Person of the Year - Pass it on!
Click here to vote.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
By Kristina Borjesson
Weighed down by the detritus of their war-selling campaign, including the Plame affair, President Bush and Vice President Cheney came out swinging against charges that they misused pre-war intelligence. The intelligence was faulty, not manipulated, they say. "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war," the president declared, "it is irresponsible to re-write the history of how the war began."
Re-writing history may be wrong, but reviewing it is instructive. The record shows that Bush and Cheney's claims that they were duped by bad intelligence are disingenuous.
Iraq Fact Sheet
Americans Want Change and Leadership
• Americans believe change in Iraq is necessary. A recent CBS News Poll showed 59% of Americans want to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. The same poll indicated 64%, nearly 2/3 of Americans believe the results of the Iraq war are not worth its costs.
• Americans are disappointed with the current leadership on Iraq. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 64% of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.
By Phil Restino, Founding Member, Central Florida Chapter, Veterans for Peace
Lance Brown, one of the earliest to expose the PNAC and who launched the site http://www.pnac.info
which has recently been updated and re-launched, will be the 1-hour guest on Oregon's Progressive Talk Radio KOPT 1600 tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov 23rd) ... starting at 3:00 PM Pacific Time ... http://kopt.com/audio.php
... please pass the word and listen in if you can ... thanks ... Phil R.
Document allegedly says PM dissuaded Bush push for attack on Al-Jazeera
NBC News and news services
Updated: 2:37 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2005
LONDON - A civil servant has been charged under Britain’s Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that a newspaper said Tuesday suggested that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.
The Daily Mirror reported that Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16, 2004. The Bush administration has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.
From Progressive Democrats of America
While we support the efforts of Rep. Murtha, PDA's focus and resources will be devoted to support Rep. James McGovern's (D-MA) bill calling for withdrawal now. Rep. McGovern recently wrote a letter to PDA staff in which he asked to have us share it with our grassroots base. The letter outlines the need to withdraw from Iraq. You can read the letter here: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-PDA-Letter.pdf
You can also read a letter that gives some background on this issue: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-Background.pdf.
McGovern was recently at a PDA Washington, D.C. function at which he outlined the above letter in a new bill he has put forward and described specifically how PDA can help. A short video clip of part of his interview can be seen here: Rep. McGovern Video Clips (requires free RealPlayer software): [56k Modem] [Broadband]
2,100 soldiers now dead in Iraq; suicide bomber kills 17; Larry Johnson; dirty bomb suspect Padilla indicted; and more ... Browse our continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
VIDEO SPECIAL | School of the Americas Protest
A Film by Rebecca MacNeice
Rebecca MacNeice reports from the 16th annual School of the Americas protest at Fort Benning, GA. 20,000 people participated in the protest, including 41 who were arrested. The protesters focused their attention on the School because of its involvement in the training of many Central American military officers who went on to commit human rights abuses.
Operation Yellow Feather: Day Two
by BostonJoe, dailykos.com
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohip) is in deep political trouble because she called Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) a coward. And the progressive blogosphere has played a part in ensuring that she is held accountable for her remarks.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says she skipped two local appearances Monday. She is a true Chicken Hawk. Talk the talk. But when the going gets tough -- AWOL.
Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Far-Right Wingnut Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.
The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.
Schmidt has a longtime relationship working on far Right Fundamentalist Christian causes with Danny Bubp, and now appears to be breaking a few rules/laws on her own website. All in contradiction to what she had promised just months ago when she was sworn in...
By Kevin Zeese, Director, www.DemocracyRising.US
Dear Peace Stalwarts:
This Thanksgiving time period may be critical to the direction of the Iraq War debate in the nation's capitol. Below are three steps you can take to move this issue forward at this critical time.
Before leaving Washington, DC on Thanksgiving recess the debate on the Iraq War – something that has been quietly heating up – reached a boiling point in both chambers of Congress. At the beginning of the week the Senate took action with Republicans responding to a Democratic attempt to push an exit from Iraq. The Republicans passed legislation that would require the President to report quarterly to the Congress on progress toward ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq – sending a clear message of bi-partisan concern about the current Iraq policy.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Embattled Washington Post editor Bob Woodward provided an important clue that may help shed light on the identity of the person who told him in June 2003 that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.
In an interview with "Larry King Live" Monday night, Woodward said he realized that he was the first journalist to learn of Plame Wilson's covert CIA status when Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment last month of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, contradicting evidence that said former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who was jailed for 85 days for refusing to testify to a grand jury about her source, was the first reporter who was told about Plame Wilson.
By Jeffrey Laurenti, The Century Foundation
The near hysterical reaction of the Bush administration to Representative John Murtha’s call for a swift American pullout from Iraq, lumping the hawkish Pennsylvania Democrat with “Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party,
By Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the President's failure to provide a plan for success in Iraq:
"This week, Iraqi leaders at the Arab League conference in Cairo called for a timetable for withdrawing foreign forces from Iraq, further evidence of how far out of touch President Bush's Iraq policy is from reality. While senior Administration officials such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggest that U.S. forces may still be in Iraq in 10 years, Iraqi Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders have all stated clearly that they want the Iraqi people to quickly take over their country's future and be responsible for its security.
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Obama Calls for Troop Reduction in Iraq By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
12 minutes ago
CHICAGO - Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a troop reduction in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration for questioning the patriotism of people who have spoken out against the war.
"I believe that U.S. forces are still a part of the solution in Iraq," the Illinois Democrat said during a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. "The strategic goals should be to allow for a limited drawdown of U.S. troops, coupled with a shift to a more effective counter-insurgency strategy that puts the Iraqi security forces in the lead and intensifies our efforts to train Iraqi forces."
Getting Out: Responsible Withdrawal
by Stephen Zunes, TomPaine.com
The "Out Now!" slogan serves to pressure a change of course in Iraq -- but it is too simplistic to adopt as a policy.
Getting Out: Our Strategic Interest
by Charles V. Peña, TomPaine.com
Exiting Iraq may be a prerequisite for victory.
If you're in DC...
Don’t Miss Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Emergency Speak Out on The War & Our Priorities at Home
Moderator: Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU 88.5 FM
Thursday, December 1, 2005,6:30 – 8:30pm
345 Cannon House Office Building - Cannon Caucus Room, 1st and C Streets SE (Capitol South Metro)
You’ve Heard Contrasting Views from Rep. Jack Murtha and President Bush Congresswoman Norton Wants to Hear from You!
Brief Remarks by Emory Kosh, a Veteran Home from Iraq then the floor is yours on the War and on $50 billion in new House cuts in vital services, including health care and student loans.
By David Sirota, Huffington Post
I'm confused. We're now being told that the War in Iraq is being waged to promote freedom and democracy. Beyond the fact that such a rationale is an opportunistic departure from the rationale we were originally given (aka. Iraq's supposed possession of WMD), this freedom/democracy rationale is being undermined here at home by the same folks making the argument in the first place.
The latest example of this comes from the Washington Times, the Republican Party's paper of record. This rag today reports that unnamed Bush "Pentagon officials" (read: political appointees) are essentially claiming that critics of the war who have raised questions about the Iraq conflict are supposedly undermining the troops. But how is that possible? Aren't the troops fighting to spread freedom and democracy? And aren't the major tenets of freedom and democracy the right of citizens to challenge their government and raise questions about the decisions made by people in power? How can the troops be undermined by people at home who are exercising the very rights and privileges the troops are supposedly fighting for?
The case for cutting and running
By Nir Rosen
At some point—whether sooner or later—U.S. troops will leave Iraq. I have spent much of the occupation reporting from Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul, Fallujah, and elsewhere in the country, and I can tell you that a growing majority of Iraqis would like it to be sooner. As the occupation wears on, more and more Iraqis chafe at its failure to provide stability or even electricity, and they have grown to hate the explosions, gunfire, and constant war, and also the daily annoyances: having to wait hours in traffic because the Americans have closed off half the city; having to sit in that traffic behind a U.S. military vehicle pointing its weapons at them; having to endure constant searches and arrests. Before the January 30 elections this year the Association of Muslim Scholars—Iraq's most important Sunni Arab body, and one closely tied to the indigenous majority of the insurgency—called for a commitment to a timely U.S. withdrawal as a condition for its participation in the vote. (In exchange the association promised to rein in the resistance.) It's not just Sunnis who have demanded a withdrawal: the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is immensely popular among the young and the poor, has made a similar demand. So has the mainstream leader of the Shiites' Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, who made his first call for U.S. withdrawal as early as April 23, 2003.
By Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Commentary
I'm sitting here looking at photographs of the fall of Saigon. It was April 29, 1975, thirteen years after John F. Kennedy made the decision to send "military advisors" to South Vietnam. The scene is epic: US military and administrative personnel desperately trying to board helicopters, Marines holding down the perimeter against advancing North Vietnamese fighters, and a sea of South Vietnamese loyalists clawing their way through barbed wire for a chance at being aboard one of the flights taking off from the roof of the embassy.
In all, we shipped eight million American men and women - most without their consent - off to Southeast Asia. Fifty-eight thousand lost their lives; countless more lives were destroyed by maiming injuries, homelessness and substance abuse. The cost for the people of Vietnam was far higher: millions dead and the full brunt of modern warfare in all of its horror visited upon their land.
By David Sirota
A new nationwide poll (attached) finds that "sixty three percent of those surveyed were in favor of bringing US troops home from Iraq in the next year." Yet, even as some Democrats courageously say enough is enough, other high-profile Democrats are still saying the party will only have a position "at the right time." Meanwhile, Democratic "aides" are telling the press that "it is doubtful we will have a [Democratic] Caucus position on Iraq" because some Democratic officials believe supporting a withdrawal "is not the right place politically to be."
By Bob Fertik, President, Democrats.com
CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Interview With Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Lawrence Wilkerson
Aired November 20, 2005 - 11:00 ET
RUMSFELD: We know intelligence is imperfect.
BLITZER: That's why the U.S. went to war: the WMD and the Iraq- Al Qaida
connection that you alleged.
RUMSFELD: The reason the United States went to war, the president has
announced and said it repeatedly. There were 17 resolutions in the U.N.
that were ignored by Saddam Hussein. Our planes were being shot at on a
By Charles V. Peña, TomPaine.com
Charles V. Peña is an adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project, senior fellow with the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, and analyst for MSNBC. He is a co-author of Exiting Iraq: Why the United States Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War against Al Qaeda (Cato Institute, 2004) and author of the forthcoming Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism (Potomac Books, Inc.).
Rep. John Murtha is right when he says, “The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.
By Stephen Zunes, TomPaine.com
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and Middle East editor for the Foreign Policy in Focus Project . He is the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and scores of articles on U.S. policy toward Iraq, including the September 30, 2002, cover story in The Nation magazine, “The Case Against War.
Institute for Public Accuracy
The British group PLATFORM has just released a report: "Crude
Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq's Oil Wealth." Among the group's
* "Current Iraqi oil policy will allocate the development of at
least 64 percent of Iraq's reserves to foreign oil companies."
* "The estimated cost to Iraq over the life of the new oil
contracts is $74 to $194 billion, compared with leaving oil
development in public hands."
* "The contracts would guarantee massive profits to foreign
companies, with rates of return of 42 to 162 percent. The kinds of
* Colin Powell's Former Chief of Staff Col. Wilkerson on Prewar Intel,
Torture and How a White House "Cabal" Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy *
We spend the hour with a former senior member of the Bush administration:
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He served as chief of staff to former Secretary
of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. In the interview, Wilkerson
discusses what he calls a "White House cabal", led by Dick Cheney and Donald
Rumsfeld; pre-war intelligence and Powell's February 2003 speech before the
United Nations; the "memory lapse" by Gen. Peter Pace, the Chairman of the
United For Peace and Justice
Washington Update – November 22, 2005
Members of Congress are home for the holidays, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to visit them in their district offices, or question them about the war in Iraq at public events in the district. For updated lobbying materials – including talking points, bills and actions to ask for and more, please check the legislative page on the UFPJ website: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3116#grassroots
It was a busy week in Congress, the upshot is that we have many vehicles to press members on to show their support for an end to the war.
Watch this CNN VIDEO. Former Senator Bob Graham describes the pre-war Bush lies while repeatedly refusing to call them lies. What is he doing, auditioning for a job on CNN?