New Orleans Disaster: Where’s the National Guard?

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915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
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PM Thursday, September 1, 2005

New Orleans Disaster: Where’s the National Guard?

Interviews Available

Lessin is a founder of Military Families Speak Out. She said today:
"The numbers we have are that there are 11,000 National Guard personnel
from Louisiana, of whom about 3,000 are in Iraq with most of the heavy
equipment. This included generators and high-water and other vehicles

Hastert Blames Residents of New Orleans, Says City Should Not Be Rebuilt

Thursday, September 01, 2005
New Orleans Times Picayune

By Bill Walsh
Washington bureau

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Dennis Hastert dropped a bombshell on flood-ravaged New Orleans on Thursday by suggesting that it isn’t sensible to rebuild the city.

"It doesn't make sense to me," Hastert told the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago in editions published today. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."

Hastert's comments came as Congress cut short its summer recess and raced back to Washington to take up an emergency aid package expected to be $10 billion or more. Details of the legislation are still emerging, but it is expected to target critical items such as buses to evacuate the city, reinforcing existing flood protection and providing food and shelter for a growing population of refugees.

Wake of the Flood

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 02 September 2005

All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin' about my baby and my happy home.

- Led Zeppelin, 'When the Levee Breaks'

This will come as no surprise, but columnist Molly Ivins has again nailed
it to the wall. "Government policies have real consequences in people's
lives," Ivins wrote in her Thursday column. "This is not 'just politics'
or blaming for political advantage. This is about the real consequences of
what governments do and do not do about their responsibilities. And about

New Gallup Poll: 41% Say Bring the Soldiers Home Now

From an article in the Chicago Sun-Times (9/1/05):

Four out of 10 Americans, given a few minutes to bend President Bush's ear on Iraq, would tell him to bring the soldiers home now.

Or, as more than one respondent told Gallup pollsters, "get the [swear word] out."

Paper: Tenet won't become fall guy for 9/11 intelligence

Paper: Tenet won't become fall guy for 9/11 intelligence

George Tenet will not let himself become the "fall guy" for 9/11 intelligence failures, according to a former intelligence officer and a source friendly to Mr. Tenet, the conservative Washington Times asserted Thursday.

The piece was written by John B. Roberts, who worked in the Reagan White House and often writes on terrorism and intelligence affairs. Tenet, the former CIA direction, was blamed for the sixteen words in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address in which he boldly asserted that Iraq was seeking uranium for a weapons of mass destruction program. He resigned shortly thereafter.

EXCLUSIVE: Karl Rove Makes Surprise Visit to Camp Casey!

EXCLUSIVE: Karl Rove Makes Surprise Visit to Camp Casey!
Greets, Thanks Bush Supporters Opposing Cindy Sheehan
Snubs, Ignores Combat Vets, Gold Star Families Who Made Ultimate Sacrifice for Bush's War

CRAWFORD, TX - Driving his own pickup, with two trucks blockading both sides of the street, Bush Administration Senior Political Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove made a surprise sunset visit/photo-op Tuesday night to the half dozen or so Bush supporters camped across the street from "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Texas where Cindy Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq -- originally made her stand requesting a meeting and an explanation from George W. Bush, The BRAD BLOG has learned from eye-witnesses.

Bush compares, contrasts Katrina and Nine-Eleven

Bush compares, contrasts Katrina and Nine-Eleven

WHITE HOUSE President Bush says while Nine-Eleven was a man-made attack and Hurricane Katrina natural, their aftermath is "just as serious."

Bush tells A-B-C "New Orleans is more devastated than New York was." But, he promises the city will rise again.

He says seeing the destruction from Air Force One was emotional. Bush plans to tour devastated areas tomorrow.


The Hurricane Exit Strategy

The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse

The Hurricane Exit Strategy:
At some point here, some wise, ambitious, and none-too-cynical member of Congress, perhaps Chuck Hagel, perhaps Russ Feingold, needs to say the obvious: Hurricane Katrina offers the ultimate exit strategy from Iraq. What other excuse need there be to pull vast numbers of troops and billions of dollars out of our overseas failure?

The patently absurd waste of billions of dollars will be brought to light by the suffering along the Gulf Coast. A couple of months from now, whenever some worthless, stupid right-wing fuck puppet declares that the U.S. has built schools in Basra, it'll simply be a reminder of how much faster things could have been done in Biloxi if all those funds and all that personnel were readily available.

Waiting for the outside world

© 2005 Mike Ferner

In the “old days

Why the Levee Broke

By Will Bunch, Attytood
Posted on September 1, 2005,

Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters continued to rise in New Orleans on Wednesday. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until until it's level with the massive lake.

There have been numerous reports of bodies floating in the poorest neighborhoods of this poverty-plagued city, but the truth is that the death toll may not be known for days, because the conditions continue to frustrate rescue efforts.

Austin stands with Cindy

t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
By Scott Galindez

Wednesday 31 August 2005
10:16 PM

Austin stands with Cindy. Austin welcomed the Bring Them Home Now Tour in grand style. Thousands greeted the buses at the State Capital, and marched to City Hall.

A powerful rally was led by Austin Against the War. Cindy, Iraq War Vet Jeff Key, Ann Wright, other Gold Star Families brought the spirit of Camp Casey.

Jim Hightower and others from Austin added their voices. The tour is heading to Houston. The vets are heading to Louisiana to roll up their sleeves and aid the victims of Katrina.

ABC's Antiwar "Reality Check"

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

ABC's Antiwar "Reality Check"
World News Tonight minimizes support for withdrawal

September 1, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's protest outside George W. Bush's Texas ranch has recently focused media attention on the antiwar movement. But some mainstream media outlets seem determined to marginalize such activism.

On August 25, ABC World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson asked, "People may tell pollsters they oppose the war, but are they part of any real antiwar movement? We asked ABC's Dan Harris to take a reality check on the depth of sentiment against the war."

Baghdad on the Big Muddy

By Dave Lindorff

There is a pattern starting to develop here in the way the Bush administration deals with urban crises.

Look at New Orleans and at Baghdad.

In both cases, you had a city that was facing imminent destruction--from a record-breaking hurricane in one case, and a well-planned mass bombing attack and invasion in the other.

In both cases, it was clear, and experts were warning, that there would be total destruction of the infrastructure and a need for a well-organized recovery program or the cities would descend into chaos and anarchy, with massive loss of life.

Questioning Bush's Sacrifice for a 'Noble Cause'

By Terry M. Neal Staff Writer
Thursday, September 1, 2005; 10:18 AM

The ongoing saga of the Cindy Sheehan show has raised the specter of service and sacrifice and what it means to give to a "noble cause."

"We have lost 1,864 members of our armed forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 223 in Operation Enduring Freedom," President Bush told a group of veterans in Salt Lake City earlier this month, referring to the fallen troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home.

"We owe them something.... We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We will honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists, and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us ... fight and win the war on terror."

Cindy Sheehan to Receive Unvarnished Truth Award from Pacifica Radio

Attend Pacifica Fundraiser to Watch Cindy Receive Her Award on Sept. 23 in D.C., the night before the march!

Flyer here on how to attend: PDF.

The 'Unvarnished Truth' awards are designed to recognize and honor the paths and works of individuals who demonstrate exceptional courage and committment to speaking their truth on political and/or social issues of the day. Individuals who despite the controversy or adversity their opinion might render, they nonetheless dared to tread. This is the 'First Annual Unvarnished Truth Awards' so these individuals are setting the standard for those to come...and they've set the bar pretty high.


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street, NYC.
(347) 693-3319

SATURDAY, SEPT. 3 6:00 pm-8:30 pm
PUBLIC Program: "Why the Bush Regime Must be Driven Out -- and How we
can build a movement to do that," including Larry Everest, author of
Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda (Common Courage
Press 2004)


Friends: The question on everyone's minds is: With the political life in

Hundreds Attend War Protest Rally In Austin

Nearly 2,000 demonstrators led by Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif. marched Wednesday from the Texas Capitol to Austin City Hall changing and holding anti-war signs.

About two dozen Bush supporters held a counter rally nearby.

Sheehan and dozens of other war opponents left their makeshift camp near President Bush's ranch in Central Texas on Wednesday.

They plan to be in the Houston area Thursday as part of the “Bring Them Home Tour,

Arianna Huffington: Cindy Sheehan to Congress: It's Time to Do Your Job

Arianna Huffington
Wed Aug 31, 4:35 PM ET

By any measure, Cindy Sheehan's Crawford vigil has been a triumph, capturing the attention of the nation and finally making Iraq the focus of a much-needed national debate. Not bad for a plain-spoken mom in a floppy hat.

Now she is taking her protest to the next level, helping to organize a bus tour of key congressional districts and sending letters to every member of Congress, asking them to meet with her and her fellow grieving parents -- and to hold the president accountable for his disastrous policies in Iraq. As she puts it in her letter: "The President has not been willing to meet with me, but he must meet and listen to you."

Between The Crosses

ZNet | Iraq
By Daniel Borgström; August 31, 2005

The Marine Corps didn't send me to Vietnam, so I came home in one piece, un-killed and un-maimed. I went on to trek around the world for a few years. Eventually I settled down to participate in the antiwar movement of that era.

But it could have been otherwise. After all, people who volunteer to fight those wars do sometimes get what they ask for. I've come to think a lot about that since this May when I attended a forum where Cindy Sheehan spoke. Cindy Sheehan is the mother of a GI who died in Iraq. “To make sense of his death I have to try to stop the war," she said. Her son, Casey, chose to go to Iraq, presumably believing that he was part of a liberation force, bringing freedom to Arabs and defending our country from terrorists.

Former Clinton Advisor: "No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming"

By Sidney Blumenthal

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.

Biblical in its uncontrolled rage and scope, Hurricane Katrina has left millions of Americans to scavenge for food and shelter and hundreds to thousands reportedly dead. With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico. But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.

How New Orleans Was Lost
By Paul Craig Roberts
Chalk up the city of New Orleans as a cost of Bush's Iraq war.

There were not enough helicopters to repair the breached levees and rescue people trapped by rising water. Nor are there enough Louisiana National Guardsmen available to help with rescue efforts and to patrol against looting.

The situation is the same in Mississippi.

The National Guard and helicopters are off on a fool's mission in Iraq.

The National Guard is in Iraq because fanatical neoconservatives in the Bush administration were determined to invade the Middle East and because incompetent Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld refused to listen to the generals, who told him there were not enough regular troops available to do the job.

At Least 74 Americans Killed in Iraq in August


WASHINGTON (Aug. 31) - American combat deaths in Iraq rose in August to the highest monthly total since November.

At least 74 were killed in action in August, including one unidentified soldier hit Wednesday by a roadside bomb near Samarra, north of Baghdad. There also were nine noncombat deaths in the month, according to Pentagon figures.

By either measure - combat deaths or total deaths - August was one of the worst months for U.S. troops since the invasion in March 2003. Only two months had more combat deaths: November 2004, with 125, and April 2004, with 126.

Iraq War Costs Every American $727. Exceeding Costs of Vietnam War

By Doug Ireland

A stunning new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) shows that the war in Iraq has so far cost every person in the U.S. $727, making the Iraq War the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years. Moreover, the costs of the war and the continuing American occupation of Iraq have exceeded those of the Vietnam war during eight years. Operations costs in Iraq are estimated at $5.6 billion per month in 2005. By comparison, the average cost of U.S. operations in Vietnam over the eight-year war was $5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation.
The IPS report, The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops, was written by Phyllis Bennis, Erik Leaver and the IPS Iraq Task Force. Among the report's other findings:

The Passion of Cindy Sheehan

The protest in Crawford has far greater meaning than just ‘one woman sitting in a ditch’

CRAWFORD, Texas – I’ll be honest: I went to Camp Casey this past weekend, the last of the summer before President Bush leaves his Texas ranch for the White House, with distinctly low expectations. I have absolutely no argument with Cindy Sheehan’s grief over the death of her son, or the emotionality of her appeal to the president to explain to her exactly why he had to lay down his life. She has brought the humanity and suffering of the war into American living rooms like nothing else since the fall of Baghdad, and for that alone her initiative deserves to be roundly applauded.

Bring them Home Now! bus stops in Madison Sunday

The Capital Times (WI)
By Judith Davidoff
August 31, 2005

War protesters are expected to leave Texas today on a three-week bus tour which makes its only stop in Wisconsin at the Barrymore Theatre Sunday night.

According to organizers, the event will begin at 7 p.m. and feature military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. They have been camping out with Cindy Sheehan near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. There will also be music at the free event. Ms. Sheehan will travel on the Southern route bus tour and not appear in Madison.

Yuppies and the Peace Movement

Yuppies and the Peace Movement
By David Swanson


The single biggest reason that the peace movement is not larger and more aggressive is that people with one foot in it are focused on trying to be respectable in the eyes of the corporate media, for their own sake and – in their misguided view – for the sake of the movement.

As an example, take the meeting I went to in Washington, D.C., this evening. About 40 people, mostly in their thirties, mostly doing all right financially, about 37 of them white, gathered at a restaurant to vote on whether their little organization would endorse the September 24th march against the war.

Casey Bracelets: Red Cross/Men's Style Update

Wed Aug 31st, 2005 at 18:27:01 PDT
Cliff's Notes Version:

$900 in donations have already been made to Gold Star Families for Peace and the Crawford Peace House. Cindy has received her own specially-made bracelet.

September donations will go to the Red Cross.

Later donations will be split between Gold Star Families for Peace and Operation Truth.

Men's/Unisex style now available. Weightier and less sparkly. Available in various sizes (including women's sizes).

Ah, Katrina.

It's hard to think of much of anything else right now. I've been very busy and very committed to these little bracelets and what they mean to people and what they mean to the organizations who get the donations. But I have been mentally consumed with the horror unfolding in our own country for the past several days.

"For They That Sow The Wind Shall reap the Whirlwind"

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.

In March of 2001, just two days after EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman’s strong statement affirming Bush’s CO2 promise former RNC Chief Barbour responded with an urgent memo to the White House.

Barbour, who had served as RNC Chair and Bush campaign strategist, was now representing the president’s major donors from the fossil fuel industry who had enlisted him to map a Bush energy policy that would be friendly to their interests. His credentials ensured the new administration’s attention.

Bush gives new reason for Iraq war

Bush gives new reason for Iraq war
Says US must prevent oil fields from falling into hands of terrorists
By Jennifer Loven, Associated Press | August 31, 2005

CORONADO, Calif. -- President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

''We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. ''We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."

Appearing at Naval Air Station North Island to commemorate the anniversary of the Allies' World War II victory over Japan, Bush compared his resolve to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's in the 1940s and said America's mission in Iraq is to turn it into a democratic ally just as the United States did with Japan after its 1945 surrender. Bush's V-J Day ceremony did not fall on the actual anniversary. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15, 1945 -- Aug. 14 in the United States because of the time difference.

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