By Tom Hayden
PEACE PROCESS NOTES #1
NOTES ON LONDON INTERVIEWS WITH IRAQIS RE PEACE PROCESS.
The National Foundation Congress (NFC), a coalition of 20 Iraqi political parties and organizations opposed to the occupation, was formed in April 2004. Since its second Congress in May 2005 the group has begun seeking contact with Western anti-war networks, including journalists and officials.
I met in London Sept. 28 with two Iraqis who work closely with the international network, who explained the Congress' agenda and goals.
They are two years on the ground, I was told, and now seek a voice on the outside of Iraq. They are not a street-based organization but effective at peacemaking bridges within the country. To counter the divide-and-rule strategy of the occupiers, they attempt to cross ethnic and sectarian lines in order to rebuild a nationalist and united Iraqi state.
Judith Miller released from jail, agrees to testify in leak investigation
JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press
September 30, 2005
WASHINGTON -- After nearly three months behind bars, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released Thursday after agreeing to testify about the Bush administration's disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity.
Miller left the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., after reaching an agreement with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. She will appear Friday morning before a grand jury investigating the case.
"My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations," Miller said in a statement.
The human side of the war
Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war march heads to Washington, drumming up support they hope will make a difference
B Y P A T R I C K O ' N E I L L
Standing in Raleigh's Moore Square Park, the mother who may be remembered as the person who set in motion the campaign that ended the Iraq war, told her story.
September 21, 2005
Angry that her son, Casey, was killed in the war, Cindy Sheehan had a "brainstorm." While in Dallas for a Veterans for Peace convention, Sheehan thought it might be worthwhile to drive to President George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch to ask the vacationing commander-in-chief why her son had to die in a war based on lies.
A handful of congressional Democrats -- and N.C. Republican Walter Jones -- start the push to get out of Iraq
B Y B O B G E A R Y
WASHINGTON, D.C. --Room 122 of the Cannon House Office Building. It's small--it's not a hearing room--and it's about as far away from the Capitol itself as it's possible to be and still be in a House office. No surprise, then, that this is the room Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey, Democrat of California, was permitted to use by the House Republican leadership for her "informal hearing" Thursday, Sept. 15, on exit strategies to get our troops out of Iraq.
Miller's time almost there
Raleigh Congressman Brad Miller's a war critic, but not quite ready to say "Out of Iraq."
B Y B O B G E A R Y
At first, Congressman Brad Miller thought that the only way ordinary Iraqis would join their own military and their own police forces was if they were convinced the American troops would stay to protect them from the insurgents. They didn't want to be left holding the bag--he thought. Now, Miller's almost convinced that the only way ordinary Iraqis will actually come together and defend their own country is if they're convinced that the Americans are going to leave--soon--and it's that or chaos.
Anti-war lawmakers kept in the basement
LINK TO ORIGINAL
WASHINGTON — Polls show that most people in the United States favor withdrawal of at least some troops from Iraq, and Bush's overall approval ratings are at record lows. Yet, when a few dozen House members gathered on Feb. 15 to talk about an exit strategy, they were consigned to a tiny, crowded room in a House office building, and charged that they are being denied a proper forum to air their views.
The House members opposed to the war say they have been stifled in the International Relations and Armed Services Committees and from offering legislation for debate on the House floor, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "The nearest thing we have to a hearing is a pep rally for the administration's policies, so we are forced into a forum like this,
Representatives debate Iraq, but is anyone listening?
By Joe Feuerherd
National Catholic Reporter
It was the sort of no-holds-barred debate Americans might expect from their representatives amid an increasingly unpopular war. On one side, Democrats demanding answers about pre-war planning and an occupation conducted with all the efficiency of a FEMA emergency response operation. On the other, Republicans loyal to the president decrying a "cut and run" mentality that would surely weaken the U.S. in the eyes of its terrorist enemies.
The Democratic effort to force disclosure of presidential and other executive branch communications related to the "Downing Street Memo" was all about "politics, politics, politics," charged Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations committee. It was a contemptible attempt to "weaken and erode the authority of the president" during war, said Hyde.
The Meaning of the IAEA Iran Vote
Where have we seen this before?
by Jorge Hirsch
What could possibly be the purpose of the "gentle slap" (according to the L.A. Times headline, 9/25) delivered to Iran via the IAEA vote that found it in noncompliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and requires that it be reported to the UN at an unspecified date? One might argue that the threat of sanctions from the Security Council (SC) would put pressure on Iran to further satisfy demands of Europe and the U.S. regarding its nuclear program. However, because Russia and China abstained from the IAEA vote, oppose sanctions on Iran, and have veto power in the SC, there is no possibility that sanctions on Iran will be imposed by the Security Council. Hence no additional pressure on Iran will result from this IAEA vote. Why then did the U.S. push for it so adamantly?
Cindy Sheehan, Our Imploding President
By Tom Engelhardt
Thursday 29 September 2005
Katrina will be Bush's Monica.
A TomDispatch Interview with Cindy Sheehan
My brief immersion in the almost unimaginable life of Cindy Sheehan begins on the Friday before the massive antiwar march past the White House. I take a cab to an address somewhere at the edge of Washington DC - a city I don't know well - where I'm to have a quiet hour with her. Finding myself on a porch filled with peace signs and vases of roses (assumedly sent for Sheehan), I ring the doorbell, only to be greeted by two barking dogs but no human beings. Checking my cell phone, I discover a message back in New York from someone helping Sheehan out. Good Morning America has just called; plans have changed. Can I make it to Constitution and 15th by five? I rush to the nearest major street and, from a bus stop, fruitlessly attempt to hail a cab. The only empty one passes me by and a young black man next to me offers an apologetic commentary: "I hate to say this, but they probably think you're hailing it for me and they don't want to pick me up." On his recommendation, I board a bus, leaping off (twenty blocks of crawl later) at the sight of a hotel with a cab stand.
National Guard Should Protect People, Not Oil
By Stacy Bannerman, Foreign Policy in Focus. Posted September 29, 2005.
Hurricane Katrina blew apart President Bush's rickety arguments about how invading Iraq would make us safe.
We don't know Hurricane Katrina's death toll, or how many Americans might have lived had the thousands of National Guard troops trained to help in the wake of hurricanes and floods not been protecting oil in the desert.
But we know 35 percent of Louisiana's and 40 percent of Mississippi's National Guard troops were in Iraq while their towns were leveled. National Guard officers repeatedly had warned officials about the catastrophic impact of having so many Guardsmen deployed in the event of a major natural disaster.
IN THESE TIMES
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By Rep. Barbara Lee September 29, 2005
If you are inclined to believe the president, we will be in Iraq, in his words "as long as necessary, and not a day longer." Members of the Bush administration, including the president, have been at pains to dispel any notion that they have plans for a permanent military presence in Iraq.
On April 13, 2004, President Bush said, "As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation and neither does America."
IN THESE TIMES
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Military families bring the cost of war to students
By Phoebe Connelly September 29, 2005
At 7:45 am on the second day of school, Karen Meredith, a founding member of Gold Star Families For Peace, sat in front of a senior sociology class at Thomas Kelly High School on Chicago's south side. "I am not anti-military, my son was a fourth generation army officer," she told the class. "But I believe that this administration is not using the military in a way many of us in this country think they should."
Virginia Grassroots Coalition workshop
Saturday, October 8, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Falls Church, Virginia
Blogs (Web logs) can be used to disseminate important news overlooked by the mainstream media, sharpen our thinking and analysis on key issues, help organize events, and raise money. In this workshop you’ll learn more about blogs and how to apply them in the progressive issues that are important to you. The class is intended for persons with any level of experience with blogs, from none at all to lots. The workshop will have three panelists, plus plenty of time for questions and discussion.
Tomdispatch Interview: Cindy Sheehan, Our Imploding President
Katrina Will Be Bush's Monica
A Tomdispatch Interview with Cindy Sheehan
My brief immersion in the almost unimaginable life of Cindy Sheehan begins on the Friday before the massive antiwar march past the White House. I take a cab to an address somewhere at the edge of Washington DC -- a city I don't know well -- where I'm to have a quiet hour with her. Finding myself on a porch filled with peace signs and vases of roses (assumedly sent for Sheehan), I ring the doorbell, only to be greeted by two barking dogs but no human beings. Checking my cell phone, I discover a message back in New York from someone helping Sheehan out. Good Morning America has just called; plans have changed. Can I make it to Constitution and 15th by five? I rush to the nearest major street and, from a bus stop, fruitlessly attempt to hail a cab. The only empty one passes me by and a young black man next to me offers an apologetic commentary: "I hate to say this, but they probably think you're hailing it for me and they don't want to pick me up." On his recommendation, I board a bus, leaping off (twenty blocks of crawl later) at the sight of a hotel with a cab stand.
The Relevance of Marching
By David Swanson
David Corn, www.davidcorn.com, published an article today on his site and on www.tompaine.com arguing that last weekend's march on Washington to end the war was a waste of time and money and energy and won't help end the war. I disagree, but think Corn makes some useful points.
Corn's arguments include:
1-these marches always result in debates over how many people showed up
2-not enough people showed up
3-there's nothing novel about marching anymore
4-more people watched "Desperate House Wives" than marched
5-the marchers are all from blue states, so the Republicans don't care
As of 11:30am, there was a protest at Holyoke Community College against
military recruiters. The protesters were not blocking the recruiters, but
were just trying to counter protest and provide real information about what
the military does.
The police arrived and started knocking people to the ground and
macing them. The College Republicans were there encouraging the
police to attack the protesters. Reportedly, the College Administration
called the police.
Please immediately call 413-538-7000 and register your outrage with the
President's office at the College's attack on peaceful protest on a public
By Robert Parry
Federal authorities “frog-marched
Yale Daily News
By Xan White
Democrats will celebrate Tom DeLay's recent indictment because, well, it's Tom DeLay. Anything bad that happens to Tom DeLay is good for Democrats. But, more importantly, is Tom DeLay's indictment good for democracy?
DeLay was indicted for one count of criminal conspiracy for some unethical, and possibly illegal, campaign activities. If this indictment sets the bar for what constitutes criminal conspiracy, it's time we take a good, long look at the actions of the current administration.
We could start by looking at the recount in Florida. In 2000, five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court conspired to end the recount and effectively put George W. Bush in office. Was their conspiracy criminal? Probably not. Was it motivated by partisan politics, and was their decision handed down on shaky legal grounds? Yes.
By David Michael Green
You would not want to be George W. Bush right now.
Not that you ever would anyhow, but especially not now. Indeed, there are indications that not even George W. Bush wants to be George W. Bush right now.
That second term in office, the one that just a year or two ago seemed so precious that he was willing to launch a war just to obtain it, now feels like a life sentence. Plans for four years spending political capital now look a lot more like endless months of capital punishment.
The Bush Administration has nowhere to go but down, and that is precisely where it is headed. Poll data show that even members of his solid-to-the-point-of-twelve-step-eligibility base are now deserting him as his job approval ratings plunge like so much Enron stock, lately crashing southward through the forty percent threshold. With almost his entire second term still in front of him, Bush is poised to set new records for presidential unpopularity. That scraping noise you hear? It's the sound of sheepish voters creeping out to the garage late at night, furtively removing "Bush-Cheney 2004" bumperstickers from the back of their SUVs when no one is looking.
I joined seven Vermont bus loads of concerned United States citizens in converging on the nation's capital, Washington D.C. on Saturday, September 24, 2005. We endured twenty-two hours on a bus which afforded little opportunity for sleep and twelve hours on our feet in solidarity with the multitude protesting George W. Bush's illegal war on Iraq. It was a tiring day, made so in large part by standing in place for two-and-a-half hours at the corner of Constitution Avenue and K Streets as the feeder marches converged on the rally site nearby. Wave after wave of people streamed by as we awaited our turn to step off into the march. We were standing at corner where Camp Casey was established and the Veterans For Peace were gathering. More than one-quarter-million people had come to Mordor to say, "Stop the war! We've had enough". I joined hundreds and hundreds of Veterans For Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the Gold Star Mothers for Peace in being the lead contingent of the march. We marched three-and-a-half miles through the streets of D.C. passing the institutions and their immense buildings that make war profitable. We passed in front of the White House where we expressed the people's growing displeasure with this regime. In no uncertain terms we let the occupant of the People's House know that impeachment is in the wind.
By Dave Lindorff
Iraq War going to hell, with U.S casualties approaching 2000 dead and 25,000 wounded, at a cost of $200 billion and rising.
Poverty in America on the rise in a period of supposed economic growth.
Republican Party a cesspool of corruption.
White House being investigated for outing undercover CIA agent.
Abortion rights under serious threat and civil liberties on the chopping block, with the Supreme Court being packed with right-wing judges.
New Orleans, just drying out from disastrous flood, being raped by White House-linked corporate pirates and scam artists.
By Sherry Conable
On Tuesday, September 27th, the SC City Council voted unanimously to
send, once again, their letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking
for investigation of the Bush Regime with regard to the possibility of
beginning impeachment procedures. They are resending the six original
questions they asked to have investigated, and adding some new ones.
When I get a copy of what goes out, I will send it to everyone.
Channel 8 news was there and did an evening show, and the Watsonville
Register-Pajaronian has a story today (register-pajaronian.com) - I
have not seen either yet. The SC Sentinel failed to cover it, just as
Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 by the Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington
If you need yet another reminder why the Democrats continue to teeter on the verge of becoming a permanent minority party, I suggest you pick up the Boston Herald and watch CBS News.
At the same time the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, with CBS reporting on the "undeclared civil war" raging between Shiites and Sunnis and the Saudi Foreign Minister telling the world that Iraq is "going toward disintegration," there was John Kerry giving a speech arguing that "progress" was being made. As the Boston Herald put it, Senator John Kerry "back-pedalled on blistering criticism of the war."
By Benjamin Dangl and Brendan Coyne | Special to the Vermont Guardian
posted September 28, 2005
WASHINGTON — Capping three days of anti-war action in the nation’s capital — the largest anti-war protest since the Vietnam Era — law enforcement officers arrested hundreds of people who took part in nonviolent civil disobedience (CD) on Sept. 26 in front of the White House. U.S. Park Police said approximately 370 people were arrested for protesting without a permit. Activists put their freedom temporarily on the line to pressure the Bush administration into immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq.
San Francisco Bay Guardian
A Matter of Principle marshals the humanitarian arguments for the Iraq war – wrongheadedly
By Tom Gallagher
WHEN EXPATRIATE BRITISH columnists Christopher Hitchens and Alexander Cockburn went at each other in the pages of the Nation magazine a few years ago, they set a standard for vituperation that few Americans had seen anywhere outside of Monty Python routines. While they didn't actually call each other ridiculous piles of parrot droppings, they weren't far from it. When Hitchens then resigned from the publication, while offering loud support of the Iraq war, some saw it as evidence that Cockburn had come out much the better in the vitriolic exchange: Not only had he driven Hitchens out of the magazine, but out of his mind as well.
Socialist Worker Online
Hundreds of thousands of people protested in Washington last Saturday showing that the movement against the Iraq war is growing in strength across the US.
Virginia Rodino, who was one of the United for Peace and Justice mobilising
co-ordinators for the protest, told Socialist Worker, “This was the biggest demonstration in the US since the 15 February 2003 protests.
“This was representative of the mood in the US. The protest was calling for the US troops to be brought home.
“There were many black people on the march, which reflected the aftermath of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. There was a lot of anger and recognition of the Bush administration’s racism and class bias.
The New Standard
By Benjamin Dangl
A weekend of actions against the US occupation of Iraq culminated in the mass arrest of nearly 400 protesters who tried to deliver messages -- literal and symbolic -- to the White House.
Washington, DC, Sep 27 - Hundreds of activists participated in a staged act of collective civil disobedience in front of the White House on Monday to protest the ongoing occupation of Iraq. The event closed a weekend of anti-war demonstrations, lobbying, teach-ins and concerts. US Park Police reported approximately 370 arrests at the event and charged participants with demonstrating without a permit.
"What our police found in their car was very disturbing - weapons, explosives, and a remote control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists. We believe these soldiers were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets," Sheik Hassan al-Zarqani, spokesman for the Mehdi Army said.
What needs to be given more attention in the wake of recent clashes that broke out in Basra following the arrest of two British soldier last week is whether those commandos were planning an attack or not, whether their car did have explosives or not? The answer to this question is crucial for the future of Iraq and Bush's so-called “war on terror
By Patricia Taylor
I have written in the past regarding pending legislation which would benefit Connecticut veterans and its process through the state legislature. This diary is for those voters in Connecticut who supported this legislation, and for those voters in other states who are considering similar laws:
Last night, the Connecticut Legislature, in Special Session, voted to pass Bill No. 7502, AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF VARIOUS BUDGETARY PROVISIONS. Within this bill, Representative Roger Michele made sure that two sections covering legislation forwarded from the CT House and Senate to provide testing for depleted uranium and a medical registry for returning CT National Guard were included for passage.
By David Swanson
Imagine you could take years and years to carefully study political history, that you could read numerous sources of political news from around the world, that you could do your own research into declassified government documents and little known areas of information, and that you could travel extensively so that you might compare various societies and governments in the current day.
If you can get someone to pay you or feed you while you do all of that, then by all means do it. Otherwise, your second best option is to listen to Noam Chomsky. Chomsky knows an incredible amount of information and is brilliant at analyzing it. He does so without any theory or pretense, using a vocabulary that any high school graduate has mastered.