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By Thomas D. Williams
t r u t h o u t | Report
Friday 02 February 2007
President George W. Bush's repeated statements of the need for 21,500 more combat troops in Iraq to quell the violence in Baghdad and in Anbar Province don't begin to give the full picture, a new Congressional Budget Office report reveals.
The startling report, issued Thursday by Budget Office Director Peter R. Orszag, said ordinarily another 27,500 troops would be necessary to support the additional 21,500 combat forces Bush featured in his talks to the nation. The budget office estimates range from 15,000 to 28,000 support troops that will be needed to back up the 21,500 mentioned by the administration.
Last update: January 28, 2007 – 12:39 AM
Bush & Co. are using taxpayer dollars to run an outsourcing lab in Iraq.
As President Bush took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, five American families received news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither "civilians," as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina -- Blackwater USA.
Published on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
by Bill C. Davis
It sounds cozy – almost storybook. “In harm’s way.” This phrase presents what is happening to and with American troops as a static reality. Harm was there waiting for the troops to arrive and they got in the way of this thing that was coiled ready to meet the unsuspecting soldiers.
The implication is that “harm’s way” is disconnected from any provocative action. It’s presented as a prickly natural phenomenon – a bee sting, an ice patch, poison ivy – harm’s way.
The reality is that more than being “in harm’s way” – they are in the wrong place. It was wrong in 2003 and it’s wrong now. They are in the middle of a cyclone ignited by an immoral decision – by a collection of immoral decisions and abdications.
By PHILLIP BUTLER
Many peace and justice organizations have been promoting and demonstrating lately for awareness of torture and related issues. I'm amazed and profoundly disappointed that this has apparently become necessary in our country.
I spent eight years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, from 1965 to 1973. During that time, I and more than 90 percent of my fellow POWs were repeatedly tortured for the extortion of political propaganda and sometimes just for retribution. We were not recognized by Vietnam as POWs, but as criminals, because the Vietnamese had not signed the 1949 "Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War."
Go to Original. Posted on Jan 12, 2007
By Stan Goff
Editor’s note: In this piece, a retired U.S. Special Forces soldier takes an oil-filtered look at Bush’s “surge” plan for Iraq.
“Jodl! Is Paris burning?”
Aug. 25, 1944
The United States makes up about 5 percent of the Earth’s population, but as an aggregate we burn more than 25 percent of its fossil energy. That’s roughly true of all three main forms of fossil energy—oil, natural gas and coal.
By Stacy Bannerman
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 15 January 2007
As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for US troops to come home.
- Appeal for Redress
An anti-war organization launched by a 22-year-old Marine and a 29-year-old sailor has accumulated 1,028 signatures from active-duty and Reserve troops calling for an end to the war in Iraq, which has lasted nearly four years. The signatures will be delivered to lawmakers on January 16th.
Say Good-bye to a Future Republican Presidency
January 8, 2007 by Ivan Eland
President George W. Bush, contrary to the will of the American and Iraqi peoples and his own military commanders, seems ready to embark on a potentially disastrous escalation of the Iraq war, which was lost long ago. This mind-numbingly idiotic strategy is sure to needlessly cost more American and Iraqi lives and to lose the presidency for the Republicans in 2008.
These past few days, the touching memorial services for President Gerald R. Ford featured a cavalcade of Washington elites, including both Presidents Bush. Many members of the Bush Administrations had been nascent bureaucrats during the Nixon and Ford Administrations.
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, James Baker and Alan Greenspan all attended the services. Their relationships with Gerald Ford spanned several decades. But while Mr. Ford retained his humanity throughout these years, his political proteges morphed into mean-spirited men. Ideologues who created an imperialist war machine out of America. The same America Gerald Ford returned to decency over thirty years before.
George W. Bush attended one President Ford memorial. Cheney and Rumsfeld attended them all. At these services, as in most official venues, Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney are in the company of our military. Courageous young men and women who volunteered to serve. I usually view the military as heroes. But in the presence of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush, I see them as victims instead. Sacrificial pawns of these chickenhawks who prey on the children of others.
I heard it in my Italian family, and in my Jewish family growing up in New York. And I've heard it in Los Angeles, or Hollywood as some would say, over the years that I've lived here. "Death comes in threes." "Watch," they'd say. "As soon as one famous person dies, two more will follow." And though I'm not superstitious, I must admit I've seen this "death comes in threes" often enough that it's really quite freaky... even scary.
Just this year (2006), Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and spiritual leader Coretta Scott King died on the same day, January 30th. The great feminist Betty Friedan died a mere five days later on February 4th.
Also this year (2006), actors Dennis Weaver and Don Knotts died on February 24th, and actor Darren McGavin died the next day on February 25th. Not only did they all die a day apart, but all their first names began with the letter "D." Oooh... doubly scary!
In 2005, singer/actor John Raitt, free-spirit/raconteur Hunter S. Thompson, and actress Sandra Dee all passed away on the very same day, February 20th.
By Philip A. Farruggio
Herman Goring, Hitler's right hand man during the reign of the Nazi regime, was interviewed by a psychologist while awaiting the Nuremberg trial. He was asked how Hitler and the Nazis were able to get the German people to go along so easily with their policies of war and aggression. Goring's answer was startling, yet pointedly concise and ominous. " Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same in every country."
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE
NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ON CNN
By Philip Martin
12/08/06 "Lew Rockwell" --- I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It's the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life.
The following e-mail message was received by Impeach for Peace. Impeach for Peace developed the DIY Impeachment. Evidently, that's come to someone's attention.
In the not too distant future, America will once again be visited with the love and sincerity of the Islam-O-fascist, then the fun can begin.
We have a nation of narcissistic, hedonistic, comfort punks who have taken up the mantra of peace at any cost, for now.
Once this cabal of the self centered is faced with some reality, reality will once again rear its fun little head.
In the not too distant future, America hating cowards and peace punks may find themselves looking at a gallows for treason. What fun, just imagine what you would do, when your day arrives, they lead you to the place of execution and you stand there in all your peace glory, shaking like a leaf in the breeze, the noose is placed over your hippie head and you wait for the drop. I can't wait, the pissing of the pants and cries for Jesus, who you rejected when you embraced atheism, sodomy and the dumbocrap way.......That'll be a great day!
By Greg Mitchell
Editor and Publisher
Monday 13 November 2006
New York - Her name doesn't show on any official list of American military deaths in the Iraq war, by hostile or non-hostile fire, who died in that country or in hospitals in Europe or back home in the USA. But Iraq killed her just as certainly.
She is Jeanne "Linda" Michel, a Navy medic. She came home last month to her husband and three kids (ages 11, 5, and 4), delighted to be back in her suburban home of Clifton Park in upstate New York. Michel, 33, would be discharged from the Navy in a few weeks, finishing her five years of duty.
Two weeks after she got home, she shot and killed herself.
Published on Friday, November 10, 2006 by the Independent / UK
One by one, they are falling victim to conflict they engineered. Bush and Blair remain - for now
Colin Powell's number two quit at the same time as his boss after the 2004 election.
Jose Maria Aznar
Spanish PM. Victim of Islamic extremism caused by war. Ousted after Madrid bombs.
Published on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 by the Independent / UK
by Colin Brown
Injured soldiers returning from Iraq have brought back a superbug that has been linked with outbreaks in NHS hospitals where they have been treated, a health minister has confirmed. The links between casualties brought back from Iraq and outbreaks in the NHS have caused alarm within the health service and led to renewed demands for more dedicated wards for Britain's armed forces to enable wounded soldiers to be isolated more effectively.
By Greg Mitchell
Editor & Publisher
Wednesday 01 November 2006
One of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh "interrogation techniques."
The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. On Tuesday, we explored the case of Kenny Stanton, Jr., murdered last month by our allies, the Iraqi police, though the military didn’t make that known at the time. Now we learn that one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners.
Published on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 by CommonDreams.org Bush
by Bob Burnett
One of the most memorable Iraq war images was President Bush's May 1, 2003, speech from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. As Bush announced, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," framed by the banner, "Mission Accomplished," he was surrounded by hundreds of cheering troops. At the time, it would have been hard to predict that three years later major combat operations would not have ended, the mission would not be accomplished, and Bush would be losing the support of the military.
By James Glanz
The New York Times
Monday 30 October 2006
The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded.
The report was undertaken at the request of Senator John W. Warner, the Virginia Republican who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and who recently expressed an assessment far darker than the Bush administration's on the situation in Iraq.
By Donna St. George
The Washington Post
Tuesday 19 September 2006
Harassment allegations have galvanized activists.
Eugene, Ore. - Suzanne Swift remembers standing in her mother's living room, hours away from her second deployment to Iraq. Her military gear had already been shipped - along with her Game Boy, her DVDs and books, her favorite pink pillow, her stash of sunflower seeds. She had the car keys in her hand, ready to drive to the base. Suddenly, she turned to her mother.
"I can't do this," she remembers saying. "I can't go."
By Keith Olbermann
Monday 18 September 2006
Watch it or Read it:
Published on Sunday, September 17, 2006 by the Associated Press
by Patrick Quinn
In the few short years since the first shackled Afghan shuffled off to Guantanamo, the U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons, its islands of high security keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law.
By Robert Parry
Monday 18 September 2006
George W. Bush's Sept. 15 outburst - threatening to stop interrogating terror suspects if Congress doesn't let him revise the Geneva Conventions to permit coercive techniques - is part of a pattern of petulance that dates back to even before the 9/11 attacks but has resurfaced as Bush faces new challenges to his authority.
By Robert Dreyfuss
Wednesday 13 September 2006
President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney and the entire Republican election team are scrambling to make their socalled war on terror the focus of the next seven weeks. As in 2002 and 2004, they're counting on their ability to scare Americans with the al-Qaida bogeyman. And while the trauma of 9/11 has begun to dissipate and American voters seem less susceptible than ever to the scare tactics used by the White House, for the past five years the Democrats have been singularly unable to develop an effective counter to the Bush administration on terrorism. So, for that reason, here are 10 important facts about terrorism that opponents of President Bush should understand.
By William Fisher
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 18 September 2006
President Bush's speechwriters have just about worn out their lexicon of scary words and phrases to regale us with tales of all the terrorist plots he has disrupted since 9/11. But one word has apparently been expunged from the White House dictionary: Anthrax.
September 13, 2006 | Issue 42•37
The White House recently released an updated version of its anti-terrorism strategy, "National Strategy For Combating Terrorism." Here are its main new components:
Published on Sunday, September 17, 2006 by the Toronto Sun (Canada)
by Eric Margolis
As Canadian, American and British soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan, it is time the truth be told about this ugly little war.
Much of what we’ve so far been told by our governments and media has been untrue, wishful thinking, or crass jingoism.
The respected European think tank, Senlis Council, which focuses on Afghanistan, just reported the Taliban is “taking back Afghanistan” and now controls that nation’s southern half. According to Senlis, southern Afghanistan is suffering “a humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty.
By Abu Bakker Qassim
The New York Times
Sunday 17 September 2006
Tirana, Albania -- I have been greatly saddened to hear that the Congress of the United States, a country I deeply admire, is considering new laws that would deny prisoners at Guantánamo Bay the right to challenge their detentions in federal court.
I learned my respect for American institutions the hard way. When I was growing up as a Uighur in China, there were no independent courts to review the imprisonment and oppression of people who, like me, peacefully opposed the Communists. But I learned my hardest lesson from the United States: I spent four long years behind the razor wire of its prison in Cuba.
Published on Saturday, September 16, 2006 by The Spectrum (Utah)
by Ed Kociela
The bomb test looking for a home may have found one in White Sands, N.M.
A spokesman for Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said recently that the Divine Strake test - an explosion of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil over a series of tunnels to see how deep it will go, how much damage it will create - has not been scrubbed.
Published on Saturday, September 16, 2006 by the Boston Globe
by Robert Kuttner
My father was a machine gunner with the Army's 28th Infantry Division, which was among the first units to march down the Champs-Elysées after the Allied liberation of Paris . In December 1944, having landed at Normandy and fought across France and Belgium, he was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, and sent hundreds of miles through northern Germany in an unheated boxcar in the dead of winter to a prison camp at Muhlberg in the east.
My father survived the war not because of the generosity of the Nazis to Jewish soldiers. The Germans must have been tempted to send captured Jewish American soldiers to Auschwitz along with Polish, German, and Dutch Jews and kindred human garbage. But they did not. My father survived because, amazingly, even the Nazis respected the reciprocal agreements on humane treatment of prisoners.
The doctrine was simple: You don't abuse my soldiers when you take them prisoner, and I won't abuse yours. Mostly, despite the multiple atrocities of World War II, the doctrine held.
By Constant Brand
The Associated Press
Friday 15 September 2006
Brussels, Belgium - The European Union on Friday called on the United States to respect international law in its handling of terror suspects after President Bush acknowledged his country had operated secret prisons abroad.
"We reiterate that in combating terrorism, human rights and human standards have to be maintained," said Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, speaking on behalf of the 25 EU foreign ministers. "We acknowledge the intention of the US administration to treat all detainees in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention."
Tuomioja's statement was the first formal joint reaction by the 25-nation bloc to Bush's disclosure last week that the CIA had operated controversial detention centers, some of which were believed by human rights groups to have been located in eastern Europe.
The EU appeal for Washington not to ignore international treaties on prisoners of war came as Bush is pushing Congress to back new rules for interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects.