ZNet | Iraq
by Dave Edwards; Media Lens; June 28, 2005
At the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in 1946, Nazi leaders like Goering, von Ribbentrop, Jodl and Streicher were sentenced to death by hanging for "Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing." (Article 6, Charter of the International Military Tribunal, August 8, 1945)
ZNet | Iraq
by Phyllis Bennis; Institute for Policy Studies; June 28, 2005
Anti-war organizing that began within days of September 11th and kicked into high gear in the run-up to Bush's war in Iraq is paying off. In the last two or three weeks, sparked by the Downing Street Memo, but grounded in years of careful and intensive local and national organizing (along with growing official recognition that military "victory" in Iraq is impossible), we have seen a major tipping point in anti-war sentiment in public opinion, and resulting shifts in congress. The most significant aspect is that a large majority of people in this country now believe some or all U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq. New polls put that figure at 60%. The uncertainty within the peace movement about calling for U.S. troops to be brought home has faded, and there is greater clarity than ever on the demand. After UFPJ was able to mobilize 3300 messages to congress in less than 24 hours, an unexpected 128 members supported the Woolsey amendment calling for a troop withdrawal plan and amendment; soon after, almost 50 members of Congress joined the new "Out of Iraq Caucus," which will escalate the anti-war challenge inside the Democratic party. Even Republican opposition is growing, with Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones and Ron Paul joining Bill Abercrombie and Dennis Kucinich to introduce a bill calling on Bush to announce a plan for a withdrawal from Iraq that would begin by October 1, 2006.
Public pressure has reversed the Post's public position, moving this story from one the paper would not cover (and declared in an editorial was not news) to one that's on the front page. But it's just a start, and citizens in DC are still taking action:
When: Weds. June 29, 5Pm til...
Where: Wash Post 15th and L
Who: NoVA peace, DAWN, Gold Star Family members, assorted other activist
Why: Read below... (note that Wash Post on 6-28 DID finally give it a
front page news story, but we want more *news* coverage and no more Dana
Milbank smear peices)
Why Isn’t the Washington Post Fully Covering This Story?
Occupation Watch News Bulletin June 27, 2005
The World Tribunal on Iraq concluded its final session, held in Istanbul, Turkey, today. A self-appointed citizen activist effort, it was designed, not to provide a full hearing on the question of possible U.S. and U.K. war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to Iraq, but rather, like a grand jury, to present the case for the prosecution and to call for a real investigation and trial.
Testimony was heard from a wide variety of former U.N. officials, journalists, academics, lawyers, and Iraqi eyewitnesses, and the final press conference was attended by roughly 200 media sources from around the world. A LEXIS-NEXIS search showed not a single major U.S. newspaper that has picked up the story, although the Associated Press, AFP, and Reuters filed reports. More coverage is available from truthout.org.
Scott Ritter, at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA, July 23 2002
Thank you very much for coming. We live in very interesting times, times that find our nation, particularly those who lead us, talking more and more about war, war with Iraq; and I’d like to emphasize right at the start of this presentation that I’m not a pacifist, I’m not someone who is afraid of war, I’ve been to war, I’m a veteran of the US Marine Corps and I’d go to war again if required to defend my country. But I would say it’s never something to be undertaken lightly, war is never something to be trivialized, and I’m fearful that’s what happening in the debate and the discourse in the US today in regards to the war on terror and also in regards to the possibility of war against Iraq we have trivialized the subject of war, it is something that I believe the American people are taking lightly. War is not a game, war is not something that we might think it is, it is not a video cursor on a grainy black & white image following a building while a silver shaped object comes in and blows up the building, war is about death, it’s about destruction, plain and simple, and I think we should understand that when we talk about war, the reality of war.
By Scott Ritter
06/19/05 "Aljazeera" - - Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.
On 16 October 2002, President Bush told the American people that "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."
We know now that this statement was itself a lie, that the president, by late August 2002, had, in fact, signed off on the 'execute' orders authorising the US military to begin active military operations inside Iraq, and that these orders were being implemented as early as September 2002, when the US Air Force, assisted by the British Royal Air Force, began expanding its bombardment of targets inside and outside the so-called no-fly zone in Iraq.
By Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese
June 27, 2005
President Bush will be addressing the nation about Iraq on Tuesday night. This is the first time he will be speaking to the country on the U.S. occupation of Iraq since the Downing Street Memos have been released. As ten senators pointed out in a letter on Friday, June 24 "at a time the White House was promising Congress and the American people that war would be their last resort, that they believed military action against Iraq was 'inevitable.'"
Thus, the President was telling the public he was seeking a peaceful resolution when in fact he was planning an invasion. He told Americans there were unmanned Iraqi aircraft that could drop bombs over our cities. His own intelligence agencies told him this was inaccurate. He tied Saddam to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden - there was no evidence of that. Indeed, the two - one secular, one fundamentalist - were mortal foes. He talked about Saddam being able to launch a strike on the United States in 45 minutes - there was no evidence Iraq was capable of such an attack. He talked about the potential of a mushroom cloud over the United States - a nuclear attack by Saddam - when there was no evidence that a weakened, surrounded and embargoed Saddam had any nuclear capability. When he was going to the U.N. it was not to seek peace but to try and make an illegal invasion legal by tricking Saddam into a misstep. For month after month, it now seems evident, President Bush and his minions misled the nation, repeating the fabrications and manipulations about weapons of mass destruction, over and over and over in a drum beat to war.
By Ray McGovern
June 28, 2005
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. Now retired, he is a 27-year veteran of the analysis division of the CIA, and more recently co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Forget the documentary evidence (the Downing Street minutes) that the war on Iraq was fraudulent from the outset. Forget that the United States and Britain started pulverizing Iraq with stepped-up bombing months before the president or prime minister breathed a word to Congress or Parliament. Forget that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his merry men—his co-opted military brass—have no clue regarding what U.S. forces are up against in Iraq. Get ready to hear President George W. Bush tell us this evening that we "have to stay the course."
IRAQ WAR VETERANS, MILITARY FAMILIES, OTHERS PROTEST BUSH APPEARANCE AT FT. BRAGG and SAY: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS – BRING THEM HOME NOW; AND TAKE CARE OF THEM WHEN THEY GET HERE!
FAYETTEVILLE, NC – On Tuesday, June 28th, President Bush will be appearing at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to try to resuscitate the flagging support for the war in Iraq. Iraq War Veterans, military families, veterans of previous wars, and others who oppose the war in Iraq will be in Fayetteville to protest President Bush’s captive-audience photo opportunity and challenge the false picture of the war being portrayed by the White House. The Bush visit comes in the wake of a local (Fayetteville) newspaper poll showing that over forty percent of local residents are not in favor of the war, while national polls show that 52% of the US population want troops withdrawn and 60% believe the war in Iraq is not worth fighting....
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman John Murtha will hold a news conference today at 2:15 p.m. to discuss the war in Iraq and the questions Democrats would like the President to answer in his speech on Iraq tonight.
WHO: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman John Murtha, Ranking Member, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee
WHAT: News Conference to Discuss War in Iraq and questions Democrats would like the President to address in his speech
WHEN: Tuesday, June 28 at 2:15 p.m.
WHERE: H-204, The Capi
Following up on yesterday’s post about the general who confirmed in a 2003 briefing the secret air war, known as the "spikes of activity" which preceded Congressional authorization for the Iraq War, we come to find out, care of Spoof News editor JJ, that the same general, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, was nominated by Bush on May 16 as chief of staff of the Air Force to succeed Gen. John P. Jumper who has served in the position since September 2001.
Majority of Americans believe Bush administration misled public on Iraq: poll Tue Jun 28, 2:14 AM ET
Most Americans now believe that President George W. Bush's administration "intentionally misled" the public in going to war in Iraq, according to a poll.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll came on the eve of a key speech in which Bush will seek public support for the war, which 53 percent of Americans who were surveyed said was not worth fighting.
A record 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," according to the poll.
It wasn’t all that long ago when a young conservative congressman from Illinois named Donald Rumsfeld spoke eloquently on the floor of the House of Representatives during the Vietnam War about the need for the Johnson administration to speak more truthfully about that conflict.
A 1966 article in the Chicago Tribune quoted Rumsfeld as saying the following: “The administration should clarify its intent in Viet Nam,’ he said. ‘People lack confidence in the credibility of our government.’ Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say, he charged. ‘It’s a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy,’ he said. ‘With the secrecy, it’s impossible. The American people will do what’s right when they have the information they need.
Oregon Daily Emerald
By Emerald editorial board
June 28, 2005
Earlier this month, a piece of documentation relating to the war in Iraq was uncovered: The Downing Street memo; it is the most convincing proof yet that military action in Iraq was based on faulty, possibly nonexistent intelligence. Worst of all, the memo makes it perfectly clear that the lack of concrete information pertaining to Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was no secret to President Bush.
The memo details British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s report on a political talk involving President Bush. The most poignant line of the memo, dated eight months prior to the United States’ invasion of Iraq, reads:
Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate, www.sfgate.com
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
As President Bush gets ready to deliver another carefully stage-managed televised speech to the nation from an army base in North Carolina tonight, commentators and news analysts in the British press are cutting through the White House's rhetoric to ask, in language that often sounds much stronger than that of their counterparts in the United States, some hard questions about the Republicans' Iraq-war policy and the future of the post-Saddam crisis.
"U.S. public opinion on the Iraq war dips with every dead soldier and plummets at the first sniff of defeat," commentator Gary Younge writes in The Guardian. Citing a recent Gallup poll of Americans, Younge notes that "[m]ore than half [of those surveyed] believe the war has not made them safer, and 40 percent believe it has striking similarities to the experience in Vietnam." (A separate CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted June 16-19 shows that 59 percent of adult Americans nationwide are now opposed to the war. (PollingReport.com))
That's the buried lead in this Washington Post article, and that figure comes from a survey taken BEFORE people's activism forced the Post to put this issue on its front page today.
Americans skeptical about claims on insurgents
Most support staying in Iraq, though, poll finds
By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
The Washington Post
Updated: 10:29 p.m. ET June 27, 2005
As President Bush prepares to address the nation about Iraq tonight, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that most Americans do not believe the administration's claims that impressive gains are being made against the insurgency, but a clear majority is willing to keep U.S. forces there for an extended time to stabilize the country.
By Josephine Hearn
Democrats are eyeing several parliamentary maneuvers to prod Congress into investigating the so-called Downing Street memo and other recently disclosed documents that they contend shows that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence to build support for the war in Iraq.
Although any Democratic move will almost certainly fail in the face of vigorous Republican opposition, such maneuvers would constitute the first steps toward filing articles of impeachment, a bold step that some Democrats have left as an open question in recent weeks.
“If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq,
From Memos, Insights Into Ally's Doubts On Iraq War
British Advisers Foresaw Variety of Risks, Problems
By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; A01
LONDON -- In the spring of 2002, two weeks before British Prime Minister Tony Blair journeyed to Crawford, Tex., to meet with President Bush at his ranch about the escalating confrontation with Iraq, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sounded a prescient warning.
"The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few," Straw wrote in a March 25 memo to Blair stamped "Secret and Personal." "The risks are high, both for you and for the Government."
The unofficial war: U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign before Iraq war was declared
By Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne, Raw Story
A U.S. general who commanded the U.S. allied air forces in Iraq has confirmed that the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive secret bombing campaign before the U.S. actually declared war on Iraq.
The quote, passed from RAW STORY to the London Sunday Times last week, raises troubling questions of whether President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in an illegal war before seeking a UN resolution or congressional approval.
WTI: PRELIMINARY DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE WORLD
In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future.
Niagara Falls Reporter
By Bill Gallagher
DETROIT -- Cynicism is the soul of George W. Bush's presidency and Karl Rove, the man he calls his "brain," speaks out loud the thoughts lurking in the president's ruthless but muddled mind. Rove is the most vile, despicable, duplicitous, power-addicted, war-mongering, lying neo-fascist in the administration, save Dick Cheney and the man who lets them run the government for him.
Rove's cynicism is a perfect reflection of Bush's jaded mind and willingness to say and do anything to grab and preserve power. If that means sending young men and women to die in an illegal, unnecessary war against the wrong enemy, Rove figures, so what?
By Mike Whitney
June 27, 2005
“You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory.
Going on the attack
By Allan Saxe
Special to the Star-Telegram
Criticism of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq based on that country's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction continues without abatement.
The Downing Street memo recently surfaced in Britain. It implied that Bush wanted the war no matter what and that he used the WMD issue as a pretext.
Having been criticized for a lack of post-war planning, Bush ironically is being chastised for a surfeit of pre-war planning.
Nations have always used various reasons -- usually dramatic, oversimplified and visual -- as pretexts for war. This simple, sound-bite approach often obfuscates real and more complicated motivations.
Congressman John Conyers, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee are asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them on the evening of June 28 to discuss the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of the House.
They need our help. Please contact your Congress Member right away and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee staff and commit to taking part.
Below is a letter that has been circulated to Congress members:
Join the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus
On June 28, 2005 for an Hour of Special Order on the Downing Street Minutes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 27, 2005
WHAT: PICKET LINE AND DEMONSTRATION
WHEN: 5:00 PM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
WHERE: 1150 15TH ST., NW, WASHINGTON, DC
Members of a growing list of organizations concerned about the continued failure by the Washington Post, in particular, and much of the mainstream media, in general, to adequately cover the eight "Downing Street Papers", will conduct a peaceful protest in front of the Washington, D. C. offices of the Washington Post from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 29.
The demonstration has already been endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America, Code Pink, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Northern Virginians United for Peace and Justice, with more groups signing on every day. Members of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN), Gold Star Families for Peace, and other organizations will also participate in the demonstration.
49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War, 44% Say Hussein
June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.
In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.
The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.
By C.B. Hanif
Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005
No topic has funneled more recent outrage to this desk than what have become known as the Downing Street memos. Critics charge that the leaked British intelligence documents are further evidence that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was a done deal at least eight months earlier, rather than a last resort, and that the administration scammed a timid Congress while assuring a fearful American public that an invasion decision had not been made.
"And, if this be true," e-mailed Jimmy L. Shirley Jr., "it shows that the war is based on a lie (sound familiar?) and that our boys and girls are dying and being maimed based on this. Two of my sons are over there in the Army. I hope they get out and away alive and in one piece."
By Why Are We Back in Iraq?
UPDATE: At the end of this post, I've added excerpts from a Department of Defense briefing with Gen. Peter Pace, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld from September 16th, 2002. Shockingly (or not so shockingly), Rumsfeld made light of the war before the war, and many members of the press laughed about it with him.
(Updated with excerpts from Michael Smith's articles from 2002, and his latest Sunday Times article...even more updates...this article will remain at the top of my blog and I will continue to add to it over the next few days.)
June 26, 2005
By Michael Smith
It started with a phone call and has now swept across America: Michael Smith tells the tale of his 'Downing Street memo' scoop
It began with a phone call from a friend nearly 10 months ago — somebody well-placed who had given me a few stories before. But he wasn’t really a journalistic source, though he has now been dubbed "the British Deep Throat" by some of the US press.
He was just a friend. So I had no great expectations of the meeting we arranged in a quiet West End bar. I was just expecting a convivial drink, with the usual exchange of gossip, the catching-up on how our lives were going.
Published on Saturday, June 25, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
The Conduct of the UN Before and After the 2003 Invasion
by Hans Von Sponeck
June 24, 2005
In discussing UN involvement before and after the 2003 invasion of US, UK and other coalition forces into Iraq, a clear distinction has to be made between the policy makers and the civil servants expected to carry out the policies, i.e., between member governments in the UN Security Council and the UN Secretariat.
If this is done, it quickly becomes clear that primary responsibility for the human catastrophe in Iraq lies with the political UN, with those member governments in the UN Security Council who had the power to make a difference. The failure of the Council to make a humanitarian, ethical and legal difference is much more monumental than is commonly known. There is not only the betrayal of the Iraqi people but also the betrayal of the UN Charter and the betrayal of the international conscience.