By Terry M. Neal
washingtonpost.com 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."
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 WORLD CAN'T WAIT - DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME
NATIONAL ORGANIZING CONFERENCE
NEW YORK CITY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 3-4
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street, NYC.
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
Friends: The question on everyone's minds is: With the political life in
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,
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."
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.
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.
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.
By ROBERT BURNS, AP
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.
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 protest in Crawford has far greater meaning than just ‘one woman sitting in a ditch’
~ By ANDREW GUMBEL ~
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
Sheehan, War Protesters Leave Texas Camp By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
7 minutes ago
CRAWFORD, Texas - After a 26-day vigil that ignited the anti-war movement, Cindy Sheehan took her protest on the road Wednesday, while a handful of veterans pledged to continue camping off the road leading to President Bush's ranch until the war in Iraq ends.
Rather than heading home to California, the mother of a 24-year-old soldier who died in Iraq boarded one of three buses heading out on tour to spread her message.
"This is where I'm going to spend every August from now on," Sheehan said as she smiled and waved through a bus window, after hugging dozens of fellow protesters.
By Alastair Macdonald
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A cameraman for Reuters in Iraq has been ordered by a secret tribunal to be held without charge in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison until his case is reviewed within six months, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.
But another Reuters cameraman was released after being held for three days by U.S. troops following an incident in which his soundman was shot dead, apparently by American soldiers.
Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. forces on August 8 after a search of his home in the city of Ramadi. The U.S. military has refused Reuters' requests to disclose why he is being held. He has not been charged.
Daily Mail Thursday: Brits blame terrorists for stampede
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has condemned the "depravity" of terrorists who launched a mortar attack on pilgrims in Iraq, triggering a stampede near a holy shrine, Britain's Daily Mail will report Thursday. The Mail also asserts that more than a thousand are now dead after a stampeded on a bridge, which caused it to collapse...Excerpts follow...
CNN counters, saying it's not known that 'terrorists' were actually responsible. The cable news network's latest death toll is 843.
"Government officials are investigating that attack and the stampede itself -- which also led to the injuries of 323 people. The death count could rise as crews search for more victims," CNN reports Wednesday. "They also want to explore the extent of any 'technical defects" on the bridge.'"
As debate over the Iraq War rages across the nation and peace activists plan a Sept. 24 rally in Washington likely to be the largest anti-war demonstration since early 2003, the Institute for Policy Studies has released a report that comprehensively assesses the conflict's costs to the U.S., Iraq and the world, and analyzes why bringing the troops home is the only viable option.
"The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of the War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," is available at:
The third in a series of reports by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus, this report underscores the cost of "staying the course" and outlines an exit strategy.
New York Daily News
Except for the final body count, the war in Iraq is over.
Islam won. Islam won when it was codified into the new constitution as the guiding North Star of Iraq's future.
This was not startling. After we righteously stormed into Afghanistan and kicked some butt, we abandoned the search for Osama Bin Laden, who killed those 2,700 people in downtown Manhattan, for a bait-and-switch invasion of Iraq.
We then turned Afghanistan over to the murderous warlords and opium merchants - whose product probably wound up in the veins of Mellie Carballo and Maria Pesantez, the two coeds who OD'd on heroin a few weeks back on the lower East Side - and declared it a victory for liberal democracy.
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Wednesday 31 August 2005
The men and women of the National Guard shouldn't be killing in Iraq. They should be helping in New Orleans and Biloxi.
The catastrophic hurricane was an act of God. But the US war effort in Iraq is a continuing act of the president. And now, that effort is hampering the capacity of the National Guard to save lives at home.
Before the flooding of New Orleans drastically escalated on Tuesday, the White House tried to disarm questions that could be politically explosive. "To those of you who are concerned about whether or not we're prepared to help, don't be, we are," President Bush said. "We're in place, we've got equipment in place, supplies in place, and once the - once we're able to assess the damage, we'll be able to move in and help those good folks in the affected areas."
[Bush speaks wisely from air-conditioned comfort of his jet plane. Just imagine the brilliance of the remarks his press secretary chose NOT to repeat to the media.]
Bush Views Katrina Devastation From Plane By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
President Bush flew over areas of the South devastated by Hurricane Katrina after holding a video conference Wednesday with top aides to discuss federal relief efforts. "It's totally wiped out," he told aides at one point during the hastily-arranged inspection flight.
Bush, who may visit the area later in the week, cut short his working vacation in Texas by two days — even though aides have long contended that his duties are uninterrupted when he spends time at his ranch in nearby Crawford, which has White House-level communications capability.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Camp Casey comes to an end, bus tours begin
Today is the last day of the encampment. Setting off from Crawford, Texas today are three buses that will make up The Bring Them Home Now Tour. Each bus is carrying military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization Sep 24th-26th.
I was talking to Iraq veteran Kelly Dougherty yesterday. She summed up what many were thinking, "This (Camp Casey) was not supposed to happen. No one could have planned it, but here it is. It has been amazing. And it is just the beginning. We are going to keep at it until all of the troops are brought home."
(As of August 31, 2005)
Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair, Co-Founder
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Founder
Rep. John Conyers, Co-Founder
Rep. Charlie Rangel, Co-Founder
Rep. Barbara Lee, Co-Founder
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-Founder
Rep. William Delahunt, Co-Founder
Rep. John Lewis, Co-Founder
President Bush happily picked guitar at one of his famous spin rallies yesterday before a typically cherry-picked audience in Colorado yesterday:
Associated Press photo
Other U.S. Presidents, including his father, made a beeline for major U.S. disaster areas, but not this President. Apparently, the only disasters he appreciates are those he can leverage to invade other countries. The closest he has gotten to this disaster is a 20,000 foot fly-over. A FLY-BY.
It took him 3 days to realize the magnitude of this disaster even though it has had wall-to-wall coverage on CNN and all of the networks. (Of course, it took him 3 days to respond to the Indonesian tsunami, too... but this effected HIS constituents, HIS voters).
By Gar Smith / The-Edge
On August 2, George W. Bush fled the clamor of the Capitol and hopped aboard Air Force One for a two-and-a-half-hour flight to his Texas ranch ‹ 1,300 miles from the Oval Office. Bush's five-week vacation has set a new record for the longest presidential hiatus in US history. It also marks a personal best for Bush, who had already established several benchmarks for excessive executive lay-offs.
According to the Washington Post's tabulations, by August 2003, Mr. Bush had spent 250 days ‹ 21% of his presidency ‹ on vacation (166 of those days ensconced at his Crawford ranch). This year's jaunt marks Bush's 49th trip to Crawford since he was handed the presidency.
(Tune: “Mr. Tambourine Man