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WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that his visit to Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, at Sen. John McCain's behest, persuaded him that the United States and its allies must take tough steps to prevent further Russian military aggression against its smaller neighbors.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, called on NATO to "stop war-gaming on tables in Brussels" and to begin military exercises in Europe to show its commitment to protecting member nations.
"I found a Russia on the move, a Russia that is trying to intimidate its neighbors who are Democratic in nature," Graham said. "This (Georgia) conflict is not about a border dispute. It's about the desire by Russia to send a signal to its democratic neighbors that Russia is a dominant power."
The photo left is a make shift hospital in a school basement in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia after Georgia's military attack that killed around 2,000 people on August 7.
The media in the U.S. are now using the Russian response to Georgia's attack to justify the deployment of "missile defense" systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Like many corporate media outlets across the country the Portland Press Herald today editorializes, "Where once displeasing Moscow would seem a strong argument against deployment, now there's reason to create a negative consequence for Russia's behavior.....for now, missile defense has a purpose -- if not strategically, then at least diplomatically."
So as we search for the reasons why Washington and Georgia would launch such an attack, knowing just how Russia would have to respond, we find another piece of the puzzle.
I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.
In doggedly pursuing impeachment of members of the Bush administration, U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich is one of few in Congress willing to speak truth to power.
Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently proposed 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush charging that he manufactured a false case for going to war against Iraq. The measure also claims Bush failed to provide troops with vehicle armor; illegally detained both foreign nationals and Americans; condoned torture; mishandled the government's response to Hurricane Katrina; and undermined efforts to address global warning. Quickly, the articles were relegated to the Judiciary Committee where they most likely will die.
Protections Set for Antiabortion Health Workers
Opponents Denounce Proposed Regulation Allowing Federal Officials to Pull Funding
By Rob Stein | Washington Post
The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs.
The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds.
A two-year-old letter by Vice President Dick Cheney that pushed a controversial Alaska natural-gas pipeline bill is getting renewed scrutiny because of recently disclosed evidence in the Justice Department's corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens. In a conversation secretly tape-recorded by the FBI on June 25, 2006, Stevens discussed ways to get a pipeline bill through the Alaska Legislature with Bill Allen, an oil-services executive accused of providing the senator with about $250,000 in undisclosed financial benefits. According to a Justice motion, Stevens told Allen, "I'm gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here and say, 'Look...you gotta get this done'." Two days later, Cheney wrote a letter to the Alaska Legislature urging members to "promptly enact" a bill to build the pipeline. The letter was considered unusual because the White House rarely contacts state lawmakers about pending legislative matters. It also angered state Democrats, who accused Cheney of pushing oil-company interests. The former executive director of Cheney's energy task force had gone to work as a lobbyist for British Petroleum, one of three firms slated to build the pipeline.
By Dave Lindorff
If the direr warnings about the US economy and the general state of the world are correct, maybe we should be glad that Obama’s presidential campaign is in failure mode (see Loserville).
Two terms of the Bush/Cheney administration have pretty much destroyed the dollar, wrecked the US industrial base, emasculated the US military, undermined public faith in the legal system, wrecked the educational system, bankrupted working people, fired up many labor unions, bankrupted the government and threatened the retirement and Medicare systems.
Do we really want to now hand this mess over to a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress?
By Shailagh Murray
As Sen. Barack Obama closes in on his running mate pick, one prospect with clear momentum is Sen. Joseph Biden Jr.
Even difficult news for the Delaware Democrat personally has added a compelling twist to his case. On Oct. 3, Biden's son, Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III, will be deployed to Iraq.
"I don't want him going," Biden told an Iowa state fair crowd a year ago, when, as a presidential candidate himself, he learned that his son's unit would be deployed at some point in 2008.
There really is only one answer: Deep inside we love war. We want war. Need it. Relish it. Thrive on war. War is in our genes, deep in our DNA. War excites our economic brain. War drives our entrepreneurial spirit. War thrills the American soul. Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war. We love "America's Outrageous War Economy."
Uncounted: The Electronic Voting Machine Hokey Pokey (You Put Your Right Vote In. It Spits Your Wrong Vote Out)
WEEK 7: The Electronic Voting Machine Hokey Pokey (You Put Your Right Vote In. It Spits Your Wrong Vote Out)
Note from David Earnhardt, "Uncounted" filmmaker:
You’ve probably seen the T-shirt around.
On the front, in huge capital letters, are the words “Bush Lied.” And on the back, also huge, the words, “They Died.”
In tiny type, on both sides, are the names of all of the U.S. soldiers who have fallen in Iraq.
Dan Frazier of Flagstaff is the maker of the shirts, and you can find them at his website, carryabigsticker.com.
“My idea was to show dramatically the toll that the war was taking,” he said. At the time of the original shirt, 1,600 U.S. soldiers had died, and he couldn’t get all of the names on a bumper sticker, so he opted for a T-shirt.
“It didn’t sell very well,” Frazier said. “It was kind of a flop, actually.”
He even thought about discontinuing the shirts.
The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the U.S. military may lead to a death toll far higher than that from the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of World War II. DU is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density, it is used in armor- or tank-piercing ammunition. It has been fired by the U.S. and British militaries in the two Iraq wars and in Afghanistan, as well as by NATO forces in Kosovo and the Israeli military in Lebanon and Palestine.
Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that 50 tons of DU dust from the first Gulf War could lead to 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. To date, a total of 2,000 tons have been generated in the Middle East.
In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Free Inquiry readers may pause to read the “Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” on the inside cover of the magazine. To a secular humanist, these principles seem so logical, so right, so crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.
"Peace Mom" v. "Guardian of Power"
by Stephen Lendman
Credit both titles to the book authors. Cindy Sheehan as a mother, peace activist, and now candidate to succeed Nancy Pelosi in California's Eighth Congressional District. Pelosi as both "guardian" and possessor of what Davids Cromwell and Edwards wrote about in their powerful critique of the media.
Both women represent hugely different interests, so let readers choose which ones they prefer. First some background on both candidates.
The US ambassador to Moscow, endorsing Russia's initial moves in Georgia, described the Kremlin's first military response as legitimate after Russian troops came under attack.
This was the first positive statement by an American official about Moscow’s first response to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, after a string of condemnations from the heads of the Bush administration. It came from US ambassador John Beyrle, who arrived in Moscow last month, in an interview published by the Russian daily Kommersant Friday, Aug. 22.
Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.
It was obvious to anyone with any sense -- which excludes the entire Bush Regime and almost all of the “foreign policy community -- that the illegal and gratuitous US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon civilians with US blessing, would result in the overthrow of America’s Pakistani puppet.
The imbecilic Bush Regime ensured Musharraf’s overthrow by pressuring their puppet to conduct military operations against tribesmen in Pakistani border areas, whose loyalties were to fellow Muslims and not to American hegemony. When Musharraf’s military operations didn’t produce the desired result, the idiotic Americans began conducting their own military operations within Pakistan with bombs and missiles. This finished off Musharraf.
Documents Reveal PR Push for Iraq War Preceded Intel Findings
By Nick Juliano | TheRawStory.com
New documents from within the Bush administration and US intelligence community during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq reveal that the White House began assembling a case for war before it had compiled the intel that ostensibly formed the basis of that case.
A new report on the documents from George Washington University's National Security Archive also presents compelling evidence that the Bush administration pressured the CIA and other intelligence agencies to tailor their reports to back-up Bush's desire to invade. The report suggests the bulk of this effort was run out of Vice President Dick Cheney's office, backing up numerous other post-war examinations of the path to invasion that saw Cheney as the mastermind of the plan to oust Saddam Hussein.
The Archive published a July 2002 draft of a CIA "White Paper" on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction. The draft was prepared months before a National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam's regime, which Congress did not demand until September, although the final "White Paper" released in October purportedly summarized that very NIE.
After Jenna Kern, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, decided to write an Op-Ed piece for Newsday questioning whether shock jocks and hate speech contributed to the recent murderous shooting spree in a U-U church in Tennessee, the haters started to come after her as well. The attacks started first in the comments section of Newsday. (”Hi Rory. Guess what?” Ms. Kern emailed. “Newsday has received 3,000 emails against my piece. The online forum comments at newsday.com have been 99% hateful… I actually had someone sitting in a car outside my house for a half hour. I got so freaked I called the cops!”)
The attacks then continued on the Newsbusters site — a project of the Media Research Center, “the leader in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.” (Kern reports, “Wow, the blogs have gone crazy about the story I did. How did you handle all the nasty things! I don’t have the stomach for it, I’m afraid.”)
A New Rush to Spy
There is apparently no limit to the Bush administration’s desire to invade Americans’ privacy in the name of national security. According to members of Congress, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans — without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime.
Opening the door to sweeping investigations of this kind would be an invitation to the government to spy on people based on their race, religion or political activities. Before Mr. Mukasey goes any further, Congress should insist that the guidelines be fully vetted, and it should make certain that they do not pose a further threat to Americans’ civil liberties.
Some people -- anti-Semites, mostly -- deny that oil theft motivated the decision to invade Iraq. All such "alternative" theories face one problem: The oil was, in fact, stolen -- and Cheney planned the theft well in advance.
Previously undisclosed Halliburton documents obtained by The Public Record confirm that controlling the world's second largest oil reserves was a top priority for the Bush administration. Additionally, the deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root to operate Iraq's oil industry saved Halliburton from imminent bankruptcy.