By Philip Sherwell, The Telegraph UK
Britain has angered John Bolton, America's combative ambassador to the United Nations, by breaking ranks with him over the need for reform.
The rare public disagreement between the two close allies comes as the showdown over reforms at the UN's New York headquarters becomes increasingly acrimonious.
Britain has rebuffed a Bolton move to join him in refusing to pass the organisation's 2006 budget until member states approve wide-ranging management reforms.
To the irritation of Mr Bolton, many developing nations are bitterly opposed to changes that they claim are driven by American political pressure. He suggested last week that talks on the 2006 and 2007 budgets could be postponed as a means to overcome the trenchant resistance from the "G77" bloc of developing countries. He also threatened that the United States could seek an alternative to the UN for solving international problems in future.
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times
When Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced last week that Jose Padilla would be transferred to the federal justice system from military detention, he said almost nothing about the standards the administration used in deciding whether to charge terrorism suspects like Mr. Padilla with crimes or to hold them in military facilities as enemy combatants.
"We take each individual, each case, case by case," Mr. Gonzales said.
The upshot of that approach, underscored by the decision in Mr. Padilla's case, is that no one outside the administration knows just how the determination is made whether to handle a terror suspect as an enemy combatant or as a common criminal, to hold him indefinitely without charges in a military facility or to charge him in court.
Lawyers Against the War Charge George Bush of aiding, abetting and counselling the commission of torture.
A Vancouver Lawyer has won a procedural victory in her attempt to prosecute U.S. President George W. Bush under the Criminal Code.
Gail Davisson, cofounder of an international group of jurists called "Lawyers Against the War", expressed her delight on October 18 following the lifting of a publication ban on court proceedings against the U.S. president.
The lawyer got the ball rolling against Bush as soon as he set foot on Canadian soil for his November 30, 2004, visit. As a private citizen, she charged him with seven counts of counselling, aiding, and abetting torture as Abu Gharib prison in Iraq and at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay naval base. She had her charges accepted by a justice of the peace in Vancouver Provincial Court.
Talking About Iraq with the American Public
A Project of the U.S. in the World Initiative
Most Americans are deeply concerned about the way things are going in Iraq, but the public remains divided on the question of troop withdrawals. The “persuadable middle‿ of the American public does not seem to be convinced that the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq will improve the situation there or contribute to making America safer, if it leaves behind a violent and fragile Iraqi state that destabilizes a vital region and serves as a breeding ground for anti-American extremism and terrorism. They are equally unpersuaded by advocacy that focuses on staying the course, without explaining how a failing military strategy could become a successful one or when we can expect the sacrificing to stop. Unfortunately, the American public doesn’t have much of an opportunity to see or consider alternatives to either “withdrawing the troops‿ or “continuing the fight.‿ Most of what Americans hear from advocates, policymakers, and the media concentrates on one or the other of these prescriptions, with little attention to the political economic, and humanitarian challenges of rebuilding Iraq and stabilizing the region.
Future Hope column, Nov. 27, 2005
By Ted Glick
Within progressive circles there’s growing talk about the 2006 and the 2008 elections. The Bush/Cheney free fall to an average, between them, of 33-34% in the polls, combined with the indictments and investigations of Rove, Libby, Delay, Frist and other top Republicans, has generated hope among Democrats and others that they can take back at least one house of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
For some Democrats, hopefully not many, who call themselves progressive, it doesn’t much matter who their standard bearers are. As long as they win against Republicans, that’s just fine.
By Al Feldstein
Have a close look at the chart of Halliburton's stock ... and its rise over the past four years...
...factor in that Dick Cheney had 400,000 Halliburton options when he left to run for Vice President in 2000...
...that Halliburton has enjoyed a 50-60 point rise since America invaded Iraq...
...and figure out that Dick Cheney's profit from the Iraq war is currently between $20,000,000...twenty million dollars...and $30,000,000...thirty million dollars!
Talk about "War Profiteering"!
P.S. Please pass this on! America...and Republicans struggling to remain loyal to the Bush Administration and its murdering NeoilCon members...need to know!
WASHINGTON - A second Time magazine reporter has been asked to testify in the CIA leak case, this time about her discussions with Karl Rove's attorney, a sign that prosecutors are still exploring charges against the White House aide.
Viveca Novak, a reporter in Time's Washington bureau, is cooperating with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who is investigating the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity in 2003, the magazine reported in its Dec. 5 issue.
Novak specifically has been asked to testify under oath about conversations she had with Rove attorney Robert Luskin starting in May 2004, the magazine reported.
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press
CRAWFORD, Texas - Demonstrators on both sides of the war debate waved signs and argued their causes in President Bush's hometown again Saturday, though their efforts drew much smaller crowds than last summer's dueling rallies.
About 200 war protesters joined Cindy Sheehan on a private lot outside Bush's ranch, laughing at a Bush impersonator and crying while listening to relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq.
Sheehan, whose 26-day protest in August reinvigorated an anti-war movement, called on supporters to return to the campsite during the president's Thanksgiving holiday. Saturday, she held up a picture of 20 flag-draped coffins on a plane bound for the United States.
Join the majority: protest Bush in Phoenix, Ariz., on Monday, Nov. 28th between 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. at the corner of 24th Street and Camelback. Begin gathering at 2:30.
Let's all give him the warm welcome he deserves! In peace we march!
Oh, and he'll be in Annapolis, Md., on Wednesday speaking to the only people he can get to stand still and listen: those in uniform.
By Frank Rich, The New York Times
George W. Bush is so desperate for allies that his hapless Asian tour took him to Ulan Bator, a first for an American president, so he could mingle with the yaks and give personal thanks for Mongolia's contribution of some 160 soldiers to "the coalition of the willing." Dick Cheney, whose honest-and-ethical poll number hit 29 percent in Newsweek's latest survey, is so radioactive that he vanished into his bunker for weeks at a time during the storms Katrina and Scootergate.
The whole world can see that both men are on the run. Just how much so became clear in the brace of nasty broadsides each delivered this month about Iraq. Neither man engaged the national debate ignited by John Murtha about how our troops might be best redeployed in a recalibrated battle against Islamic radicalism. Neither offered a plan for "victory." Instead, both impugned their critics' patriotism and retreated into the past to defend the origins of the war. In a seasonally appropriate impersonation of the misanthropic Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life," the vice president went so far as to label critics of the administration's prewar smoke screen both "dishonest and reprehensible" and "corrupt and shameless." He sounded but one epithet away from a defibrillator.
By Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun Times
Not only did the Bush administration deceive the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, it is now deceiving them about the deceptions. In a burst of political tantrums, the president and the vice president have shouted that it was "irresponsible" to assert that there had been deception and it was unfair to the troops fighting in Iraq.
Is the administration lying about its lies? That many of the arguments in favor of the war were false is beyond question. Nor can there be any serious doubt that the new argument that it is irresponsible to question the old arguments is also false. But if a lie is a conscious effort to deceive, then the charge that the president and the men around him deliberately lied and are now lying again, then that issue must be left to heaven. It is enough to say they spread falsehoods three years because they had made up their minds that there had to be a war and are now spreading falsehoods about the original falsehoods. The president is not a man who likes to admit he was wrong. Therefore, one must cover up the mistakes.
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
Was President Bush's alleged plot to bomb al Jazeera's international headquarters an "outlandish" accusation as the White House now claims? Or was it a deadly serious option on the table? Until a news organization or British official defies the Official Secrets Act and publishes the 5-page memo, we have no way of knowing. But what we do know is that at the time of Bush's April 16, 2004 White House meeting with Tony Blair, the Bush administration was in the throws of a very public, high-level temper tantrum directed against al Jazeera. The Bush-Blair summit took place at the peak of the first US siege of Fallujah and al Jazeera was once again there to witness the slaughter and the fierce resistance.
By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
Remember Eason Jordan, the CNN news chief who was forced to resign back in February because he dared to say, at a private conference, that the United States had killed about a dozen journalists in Iraq?
Well, he's looking a lot better today, one day after the Daily Mirror reported that George W. Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. "He was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair," the Daily Mirror said.
The paper said it had a new "top secret" Downing Street Memo that contains a transcript of the Bush-Blair conversation of April 16, 2004.
The former Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has called for immediate action against human rights abuses.
Such abuses are as bad today as they were under Saddam Hussein, Mr Allawi told Britain's Observer newspaper.
His comments come two weeks after 170 detainees were found at an interior ministry centre, some allegedly suffering from abuse and starvation.
Iraq's president dismissed Mr Allawi's allegations, saying his government did not accept the torture of prisoners.
The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says Mr Allawi's remarks come as Iraq prepares for parliamentary elections next month, which he hopes could see him return as prime minister.
By CARL HIAASEN, Miami Herald
The loudest cheerleader for invading Iraq is on the stump once again, defending the bloody, bogged-down occupation and lambasting its critics.
Getting a war lecture from Dick Cheney is like getting dating advice from Michael Jackson.
The last time the United States went to battle, Cheney stayed far out of harm's way. His only wounds from Vietnam were the paper cuts he got from opening his five -- count 'em, five -- draft deferment notices.
''I had other priorities in the '60s other than military service,'' he explained to a reporter in 1989.
Thousands of other young men applied for student deferments in the Vietnam era, or received draft lottery numbers that were never called (mine was 44). However, none grew up to be vice president of the nation, peddling a contrived war that somebody else's kids would have to fight.
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ
By Paul Richter and Tyler Marshall, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Even as debate over the Iraq war continues to rage, signs are emerging of a convergence of opinion on how the Bush administration might begin to exit the conflict.
In a departure from previous statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer.
President Bush will give a major speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in which aides say he is expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.
Bush fights public’s weariness with war
By WILLIAM DOUGLAS and JAMES KUHNHENN, Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Should we stay or should we go?
The fundamental question about what the United States should do in Iraq is being asked with increasing fervor across America and in the nation’s capital.
The Bush administration is arguing that the nation must stay the course to prevent Iraq from becoming an oil-rich haven for terrorists and to keep the country from spiraling into a bloody civil war that could destabilize the Middle East.
“If they are not stopped, the terrorists will be able to advance their agenda to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to break our will and blackmail our government into isolation,
By Carsten Kofoed, Fritirak.dk, November 26, 2005
On November 22, Johan and Kirsten Kirkmand, parents of slain Danish soldier Bjarke Kirkmand, formally sued Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for breaking the Danish constitution by deciding to bring Denmark into the US-led illegal aggression against Iraq.
In this way, the two parents have now joined the 24 plaintiffs, who on October 11 delivered a writ to the Danish High Court instituting legal proceedings against the Danish Prime Minister for breaches of § 19 of the Danish Constitution, according to which the use of military force may only be applied under a UN mandate, and within the boundaries of commonly accepted international law. Furthermore, the decision is considered to be in breach of § 20 of the Constitution, as it does not fulfil the requirement of a 5/6 parliamentary majority in relinquishing sovereignty, the Danish troops having been placed under foreign command.
Kandahar, Afghanistan - The U.S. military admitted on Saturday that its soldiers in Afghanistan had burned the bodies of two dead Taliban guerrillas and taunted insurgents about it, but had not meant it as a desecration.
The U.S. military said an investigation into the incident concluded the soldiers had burned the bodies for "hygienic reasons" and said it would reprimand two non-commissioned officers for calling out taunts about it over a loudspeaker.
"Our investigation found there was no intent to desecrate the remains, but only to dispose them for hygienic reasons," U.S.-led forces operational commander, Major General Jason Kamiya said.
PREFATORY NOTE: You'll understand this issue much better after you've read
the four essays that I've cited underneath this short article. -EAP III
IRAQ: ARMY SAID USE OF WHITE PHOSPHOROUS WEAPONS VIOLATED LAW OF WAR
BY: Judd Legum, Nico Pitney, Payson Schwin, Faiz Shakir and Amanda Terkel.
SOURCE: APAF's 11-21-05 column, "Progress Report."
Reversing numerous prior denials, Pentagon officials admitted last
Intro By Paul Loeb
Our hopes rise, and should, as Bush's poll numbers fall. But whatever the
polls, this is going to remain an exceptionally difficult political time for
a good while to come. In this context, Margaret Wheatley offers a powerful
reflection on working as hard as we can for immediate outcomes, and then
letting go. The outcomes matter, and matter tremendously. But so does the
process, where we can take heart from the value and appropriateness of our
work and from the communities we build. It's no accident that those who've
devoted their entire lives to creating a more humane world or have
By Susan Haley, The Hingham Journal
Residents from throughout the South Shore participated in the recent forum "Intelligence Information and the War in Iraq" which was sponsored by the Hingham Democratic Town Committee and the Young Democrats Club at Hingham High School.
An audience of approximately 85 listened as the forum's featured speaker, William Rivers Pitt, detailed the current situation in Iraq: oil production seriously compromised, electricity available only for a few short hours during the day, deplorable conditions in local hospitals, clean water a precious commodity and daily attacks directed against our forces and the civilian population. While the recent election ratified an Iraq Constitution, 97 percent of the Sunni population of Iraq voted against the proposal. Not only have we lost nearly 2,100 American soldiers in the fighting, but the number of seriously wounded American soldiers is the equivalent of the elimination of an entire Army division. Mr. Pitt concluded this portion of his remarks by reminding people that our nation was told that our soldiers would be greeted with flowers as liberators.
London - Arabic news channel Al Jazeera's general manager flew to London on Friday to demand the British government explain a leaked report that President George W. Bush wanted to bomb the TV station.
The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Tuesday that a secret British government memo said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had talked Bush out of bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar in April last year.
"I have come to London in order to reach out to British officials, to investigate about the memo that some claim exists during the past week," Al Jazeera managing director Waddah Khanfar told Reuters by telephone after his arrival in London.
By Michael Massing, The New York Review of Books
The past few months have witnessed a striking change in the fortunes of two well-known journalists: Anderson Cooper and Judith Miller. CNN's Cooper, the one-time host of the entertainment show The Mole, who was known mostly for his pin-up good looks, hip outfits, and showy sentimentality, suddenly emerged during Hurricane Katrina as a tribune for the dispossessed and a scourge of do-nothing officials. He sought out poor blacks who were stranded in New Orleans, expressed anger over bodies rotting in the street, and rudely interrupted Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu when she began thanking federal officials for their efforts. When people "listen to politicians thanking one another and complimenting each other," he told her, "you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated." After receiving much praise, Cooper in early November was named to replace Aaron Brown as the host of CNN's NewsNight.
Unpatriotic Congresswoman Jean Schmidt Calls Vietnam Hero a Coward
Here at www.VetsForJustice.con we are fed up with the Bush Neocons, like the Anti-American Congresswoman from Ohio, Jean Schmidt, calling America's War Heroes names.
Having served in combat in Vietnam myself, I was pissed during the Vietnam War when the cowardly rich, like President "W" Bush, Vice President Chaney, and most of the present Bush Administration, avoided the war by being rich and powerful.
Being a lifelong Republican I was pissed when yellow "W" Bush used Swift Boat Tactics to attack Vietnam War Hero, and former POW, Senator McCain for mere politics.
By John McConnell
The weapons and ways of war must be abolished --
Before they abolish us.
Is it now possible to achieve humanity's age-long dream of a world without war? In the evolution of history are there new factors that can facilitate peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage freedom and order, justice and mutual responsibility?
The suffering resulting from war always affects both sides. The original Memorial Day began during the civil war by women in Georgia who planted flowers on the graves of soldiers who had died, honoring friend and foe alike. Patriotic soldiers followed their leaders and died on both sides of the battle.
By Paul Rockwell, t r u t h o u t | Book Review
A review of Cindy Sheehan's uplifting and soulful book.
The agony of war can transform any human being.
In 1914, at the outset of World War I, Rudyard Kipling, the bellicose poet of the British empire who coined the infamous phrase "white man's burden," urged his own son to join the British military. One week after his son enlisted, he was dead. Overwhelmed with grief, Kipling wrote two "Epitaphs for War." In the first, dead soldiers speak:
If any question why we died,
Tell them because our fathers lied.
In the second, "The Dead Statesman," a statesman speaks:
[here's a fine article with a baseless nonsensical final paragraph]
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer
The Sacramento Bee - November 25, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - Three years ago, Massachusetts
congressmen Martin Meehan, Stephen Lynch and Edward
Markey bucked their state Democratic colleagues and
cast votes to give President Bush a green light to go
to war in Iraq.
Since then, the three have renounced their votes and
emerged as critics of the way Bush has handled the war.
Unlike the dramatic public change of heart by Rep. John
Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Marine veteran who served in