Iraq Burns; Dems Look on the Bright Side

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."

Anti-war protests climax with civil disobedience

Vermont Guardian
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.

See dick fight

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.

Washington protest biggest since Iraq war started

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.

Staged Arrests Round Off Weekend of Anti-war Protests in DC

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.

Basra: Another embarrassment to the “war on terror

"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

Connecticut Passes Depleted Uranium Law for Veterans

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.

Chomsky's New Book

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.

Grassroots Lobby Day

By Mike Hersh, PDA

September 26, 2005--This is what democracy looks like, Progressive Democrats of America and United for Peace and Justice style. PDA, UFPJ, and a host of progressive allies issued a call to arms, and at least 800 citizen lobbyists from 40 states answered. Activists—-almost all still in D.C. from the mobilization on September 24th—-walked the corridors of power demanding their Representatives and Senators stand up against the occupation of Iraq, and in support of legislation against permanent military bases and "sweetheart deals" the Administration has planned. See PDA Talking Points.

A Grassroots Organizer’s Perspective: PDA Strategy Day

By Mike Hersh, PDA

In the wake of the march that seized the streets of our Nation's Capitol September 24th, Progressive Democrats of America activated and trained hundreds of members and guests at a National Strategy Conference Sunday, September 25th. We began with an Interfaith Service led by Dr. James A. Nelson, Reverend Gerry Straatemeier, Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and Nicoli Bailey. Mimi Kennedy, star of "Dharma and Greg" and the Chair of PDA's Board, hosted a breakfast for participants to honor PDA's Grassroots Leadership.

Cindy Sheehan electrified us with her call for peace and a report of her discussions with top Democrats demanding they start leading the U.S. out of Iraq. Incredible speakers followed, including key members of the House Progressive Caucus; Tim Carpenter, Executive Director of PDA; Reverend Yearwood, Founder of the Hip Hop Caucus; PDA Board Member and best-selling author William Rivers Pitt; Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and Global Exchange; and Jeff Cohen, Founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Then we broke into regional and state caucuses to prepare for our lobbying day and plan our ongoing organization.

Congress never voted for this war

War Powers: the Hijacking of the Constitution?
"...Congress never voted for this war..."

Washington, D.C. - Institute for Public Accuracy - infoZine - Author of the just-released book "War Powers: How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution," Peter Irons said yesterday: "There's no question that John Roberts is an advocate of virtually unlimited executive power. He has already voted on the circuit court to allow the president to hold alleged enemy combatants indefinitely, for example in Guantanamo. It's ironic that the supposed advocates of 'original intent' don't apply that doctrine when it comes to war powers -- the framers made it clear that the Congress and not the president should make decisions about going to war." Irons has written several books about the Supreme Court including "A People's History of the Supreme Court." -

GOP bars release of Plame files, war memos

GOP bars release of Plame files, war memos
By Liz Sidoti
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — House Republicans derailed Democratic attempts yesterday to force the Bush administration to surrender documents on prewar intelligence and the disclosure of a covert CIA operative's identity.

Democrats have introduced several "resolutions of inquiry" to compel President Bush and members of his Cabinet to release all information relating to communications with British officials before the invasion of Iraq and the Valerie Plame case.

The White House has taken heat since the disclosure this year of the "Downing Street memos," British documents that suggest the Bush administration had made up its mind by 2002 to invade Iraq. Administration officials also have been interviewed by a special prosecutor in his quest to determine who leaked Plame's identity to reporters.

Media culpa

Media culpa
September 22, 2005

Dear Editor:

Karl Rove was sighted in Aspen last Friday at the Forstmann Little & Co. gathering at the Jerome by some friends of mine. Nearby was George Lucas - both known for amazing special effects!

Amazing that Karl has survived Enron, Enron Europe (Caspian intrigue), the Carlyle Group (Saudi intrigue), Iraq, WMD, Valerie Plame and now also the FEMA debacles along with, of course, his "re-elected" president.

How is it that FEMA was so slow when Nicolas Davies of the Online Journal states with regard to the Downing Street memos, "The British documents show that they were already committed to 'regime change' in Iraq by April 2002. Britain's Ministry of Defense and two senior U.S. generals have confirmed that offensive military operations began in May 2002, without authorization from the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament, or the Security Council"?

Werner: Anti-war movement a success

Werner: Anti-war movement a success
by Maximillian Werner
published on Monday, September 26, 2005

Despite the national and local media's abysmal coverage, the march for peace that took place on Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C., was a tremendous success.

In the days leading up to the march, organizers anticipated 100,000 people would attend. That prediction proved inaccurate: An estimated number of more than 300,000 people surrounded the White House in peaceful protest of this insane, immoral and illegal war.

This march represents the single greatest anti-war effort since this indefensible war began. And it signifies the American public's recognition that even the loftiest rhetoric and the most ardent appeals to our "values" ring hollow when professed over the dead bodies of innocent men, women and children.

Cindy Sheehan to speak at LI college

Cindy Sheehan to speak at LI college

Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, who has led protests against the war in Iraq since the death of her son, is scheduled to speak at Nassau Community College next month.

Sheehan is scheduled to speak Oct. 17, at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., in her first Long Island engagement. She is to talk about her experiences as a grieving mother and as the protester whose actions outside Bush's ranch galvanized the anti-war movement this summer. The talk is free, but seating is limited. For more information, call 516-572-7153.

Special Plans: The Blogs On Douglas Feith And The Faulty Intelligence That Led To War

Special Plans: The Blogs On Douglas Feith And The Faulty Intelligence That Led To War (Book)
by Allison Hantschel's Review (excerpt)

Hey, how can we not recommend a book that quotes us on the back cover: "Special Plans [The Blogs on Douglas Feith]" offers invaluable insight into a key figure behind the propaganda campaign that swayed Americans to support Bush's Iraq War. Douglas Feith didn't get much coverage in the mainstream press because he was 'just' an undersecretary in the Defense Department. But this collection of blog entries about Feith reveals that he was much, much more than that. This book is a testament to the fact that the new Internet media delivers needed information that the mainstream press no longer covers in detail."

Reuters says U.S. troops obstruct reporting of Iraq

Reuters says U.S. troops obstruct reporting of Iraq
28 Sep 2005 11:11:24 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Barry Moody

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday.

In a letter to Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. The letter from Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger called on Warner to raise widespread media concerns about the conduct of U.S. troops with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is due to testify to the committee on Thursday.

Is Dean Drunk?

By David Swanson

Cindy Sheehan met with Howard Dean last Saturday.

Then she showed up at a Progressive Democrats of America conference on Sunday and recounted what had happened at the meeting. Dean, she said, had showed her his plan to build the Democratic Party, which included a long platform of issues. That list did not acknowledge the existence of the war.

Cindy said she asked Dean whether the war would be part of the agenda. He replied, she said, that he'd like it to be but couldn't figure out how, because it was such a hard question. "Hire me," Cindy said she'd told him, "because I don't think it's hard!"

Meeting with Cindy Sheehan

Meeting with Cindy Sheehan
Posted by Howard Dean on September 27, 2005 at 06:06 PM

I met with Cindy Sheehan and three activist supporters here in my office at the DNC (two of whom were involved in the Presidential race) on Saturday after the rally. Some of you have met her, but for those who have not, I thought I would share my impressions.

She is a delightful person. She had not a drop of holier than thou zealotry. She is unpretentious and very clear. All this I expected, given the terrible sacrifice she has made, and her willingness to speak out.

What I was surprised at was her ability to be so comfortable in her own skin. After she became a phenomenon in Crawford, the Republican spin team realized she was a real threat. Cindy Sheehan, made a tremendous personal sacrifice. A sacrifice being made by too many American families who have had loved ones killed or maimed in this war.

Disinformation From Alliance

From Alliance

If you have been watching mainstream news coverage of the war, you are being deceived!

The media isn't reporting the truth about the war. Instead, they are more interested in comparing the war effort to Vietnam and focusing their cameras on anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan.

They are ignoring the despicable, anti-American agenda of groups like and the radical group Code Pink's so-called vigil at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

But our partners in the Demand the Media "Tell the Truth!" campaign, The Media Research Center (MRC) caught it all.

A direct request to Congressman John Conyers from B Robert Franza MD

Good evening Congressman Conyers,

I have posted the following at DU and hope you will discuss with your colleagues and family and consider taking the proposed action:


"The one Democratic leader who requires no spin, and who likely never will, is Congressman Conyers.

The Nation needs for him to step forward and assume leadership.

So, everyone, how about a concerted effort to convince Congressman Conyers to declare that if Bush and Cheney are not either forced to resign or are impeached before Nov 2006, then after he leads the Democrats to capturing the majority in both the House and the Senate in 2006 - based on a campaign laser focused on the vast criminality of Bush administration and the Republican 109th Congress -- he will lead the effort to impeach them in the House and assist his colleagues in the Senate to convict both of them.

George Bush in Hell

George Bush in Hell
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.

When Storm Hit, National Guard Was Deluged Too

When Storm Hit, National Guard Was Deluged Too

Marko Georgiev for The New York TimesA policeman supervised refugees at the New Orleans Convention Center on Sept. 2, four days after Hurricane Katrina hit.

Published: September 28, 2005
The morning Hurricane Katrina thundered ashore, Louisiana National Guard commanders thought they were prepared to save their state. But when 15-foot floodwaters swept into their headquarters, cut their communications and disabled their high-water trucks, they had their hands full just saving themselves.

Report on Yesterday's Antiwar Protests

Report on Yesterday's Antiwar Protests
Yesterday was the long-awaited antiwar protest here in DC, sponsored by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and United for Peace and Justice. It was one of the first major ones since the U.S. went to war in 2003. Kevin and I went downtown with his uncle John (on the Jernegan side), who flew in from California for the event. For a while before the march, I wasn't sure if DF wanted to go: He seemed to have taken a stance that "What's the use? The Bushistas are going to do whatever the hell they want." So, I was quite pleased when he started showing signs of interest, and even more so when we found out that John was flying in. Kev has a great deal of respect for his uncle and always spoke very highly of him. John attended and photographed many of the Vietnam antiwar protests. That's him on the left there.

Intelligence Indicates Al Qaeda Is Now Self-Sustaining In Iraq

Intelligence Indicates Al Qaeda Is Now Self-Sustaining In Iraq

On a day when Central Command made noise about the killing of Zarqawi's second in command in Iraq, Reuters is reporting that it doesn't matter anymore who we kill in Iraq, because Bush has allowed Al Qaeda to flourish to a point that they are self-sustaining.

Remember that Al Qaeda was virtually nothing in Iraq before we toppled Saddam. As a result of Bush's war of choice, we have now set the conditions for Al Qaeda to merge with former Baathists from Saddam's regime, who were pushed aside by Paul Bremer, to mutate from an insurgency into a self-sustaining guerilla force.

Words to Live By

Words to Live By
As of this minute, while America is assaulted by what will be the media's framing onslaught of Cindy Sheehan's arrest in front of the White House, we offer this short collection of words from famous originators of civil disobedience. Their words, like Cindy's actions yesterday, help us keep our spine...

"The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the constitutions of the several states and the organic laws of the Territories, all alike propose to protect the people in the exercise of their God-given rights. Not one of them pretends to bestow rights."

National Guard Sent to Protect Oil, Not People

Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
By Stacy Bannerman

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.

The Bloody Face of Colonialism and of State Terror -- US Style

By Dave Lindorff

The Bush administration, which has already made a joke of Americans' birthright by imprisoning American citizen Jose Padilla for four years and running without charge, has now irrevocably destroyed America's image in Latin America by reintroducing official death squads in the American colony of Puerto Rico.

On the sacred Puerto Rican anniversary of the 1868 uprising called the Grito de Lares against Spanish colonial rule, over 100 heavily armed FBI agents, backed by helicopters and heavy weapons, surrounded the home of Puerto Rican militant nationalist Filberto Ojeda Rios, 72, and his wife, who were home alone, and killed him with a single sniper bullet to the upper chest. Ojeda Rios, who was not mortally wounded by the shot, and who reportedly posed no threat to federal agents at any time, was left to bleed slowly to death as the agents barred entry to rescuers for 24 hours. (The Justice Dept. initially tried to claim agents responded to fire from Ojeda Rios, but later reports from his wife, a neighbor and others suggest that he offered no resistance. The presence of multiple sharpshooters among the FBI assault team adds to suspicions about the agency's "self-defense" claim.)


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