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From Associated Press in Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES -- U-S Rep. Maxine Waters led a rally today calling for the United States to withdraw from Iraq.

Attendees sought to raise awareness about Britain's so-called "Downing Street memos" documents they say raise questions about President Bush's decision to go to war.

The document include leaked minutes of a July 23rd, 2002, meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and top government officials.

The rally was held to coincide with the third anniversary of the meeting.

According to the meeting minutes, top British officials said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable following the September 11th attacks. One memo states the U-S government -QUOTE- "scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing."

Blair has said the memos paint a distorted picture, and has insisted that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.

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... but obviously not very serious questions in the minds of those who shape and manage most reporting by the U.S. "news media".

Where reported at all, this whole issue seems to have degenerated into an esoteric debate about whether some particular statutory provision has been violated by one or more administration officials. In the meantime, the killing of innocent victims and the torture of uncharged and untried "suspects" continues unabated.

You Americans once engaged in armed rebellion against what you then regarded as tyranny while we "wimpy" Canucks chose a more peaceful route to settling differences and gaining independence. Regardless of who was right then, I'm beginning to think that the forces of tyranny today may require the more drastic solution.

I look for news on the Downing Street Memos and related documents twice a day. After two months of doing this, I've concluded that the NeoCons have full control of "traditional" media in this country, and that real investigative journalism in that traditional media is a dead horse.

Our representatives in Washington need to be pressured more...and more for the truth. To be frank, those representatives who are in dissent with this administration over their policies and their motivations need to be spending more time in their home districts, listening to and talking to their constituents about what is going on in Washington. They also need to be invited to the areas in this country where this controversy is totally suppressed, along with the democratic members of house and senate intelligence committees who have the right to hold minority hearings with subpoena powers. The latter don't just represent their home states on these committees. They represent the whole nation.

We the people need to foster public debate, setting and enforcing firm guidelines about keeping it civilized. This avoids on BOTH sides people spoiling for a shouting match or a fist fight. It's hard to hear the truth over shouting.

That's fine, as far as it goes. But keep in mind that, while you're engaged in "keeping it civilized" at home, others elsewhere are being deprived of any such option by your country's "hyperpower" tyrants. How long would you expect the "civilized" internal debate to last in the circumstances?

I don't know how it looks and feels from inside the belly of the beast, but from outside it looks quite ironic for a country whose origins lie in an armed struggle against imperial power.

I too have been watching and waiting. Fear is the Neo con agenda and it has worked all too well. The Media is petrified of responding in a negative way to the Bush admin and has been called, as many have, left wing apologists or unpatriotic.

I have heard and read of many stories where the media is receiving phone calls from the white house regarding news stories that they are producing and one of the most obvious cases has been the KARL ROVE story where it is clearly stated that the white house had a hand in what was being printed.

That should be the real story. I heard even Dan Rather admitted fear of being lambasted by the right wing attack machine which I believe goes right up to the white house.

The United States, as well as Canada, is still a very young country. Americans think it is impossible to have a revolution in this country. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United States of America is only 228 years old. Most other countries of the world are far older than that. They all have seen revolutions in their countries.

If the neocons continue down this pursuit of global leadership, that will be the task of the American citizens to overthrow the government. Bolivia's on the brink of overthrowing their government and expropriating their natural resources from multinational companies. Americans will have to do this not only to save their own country but the rest of the planet.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the collective obligation to oppose tyranny that might arise at home at any time the underlying reason for the citizens' right to keep and bear arms in the U.S. constitution? Somehow I doubt that it had anything to do with fully-automatic high-caliber weapons being used for "sport" as the NRA seems to suggest.

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