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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.
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.'"
Ex-Counterterrorism Chief Cites Rise in Attacks
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 31, 2005; Page A19
Richard A. Clarke, the former head of counterterrorism in the White House under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said yesterday that there were twice as many attacks outside Iraq in the three years after the 2001 attacks as in the three preceding years.
Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda group "are no longer the traditional leaders as they were in the 1990s," Clarke said, adding that the terrorist leader had been building ideological groups from Afghanistan before Sept. 11, 2001, and that they had grown in the past few years into 14 to 16 separate networks.
From btcnews.com 8/28/05:
More than 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Brigade serving in Iraq can only watch from Baghdad as Hurricane Katrina bears down on their families and homes in New Orleans and the other south Louisiana communities from which they hail. The deployed soldiers and their equipment, which includes high water vehicles, Humvees and generators, will be sorely missed as Louisiana attempts to prepare for and recover from the historic Category Five storm.
Bush's favorite political gambit is the false choice. One alternative is what he wants to do. The other is unacceptable. No other alternatives are allowed, creating a false choice.
Remember this one: either use US military force to remove Saddam OR DO NOTHING. Other moderate alternatives, like UN inspections or containment or continued sanctions, were simply rejected or ignored to create the false choice: give Bush power to invade or let Saddam do whatever he wanted. America picked giving Bush power.
Now Bush's false choice is, give me yet another blank check for occupation in the way and as long as I want, that I may torture who I want, contract with Halliburton as I please, stop loss who I want---or just cut and run. Other moderate alternatives, like timetables or target dates, are simply rejected, as are little things like transparency or some stated metric by which we can say the mission is "accomplished". It's either retreat and leave Iraq a mess or let him do whatever he wants.
"Before he died when his truck overturned during combat in Baghdad, Sgt. Thomas Strickland, 27, posted an entry on his weblog sharing his anger about the situation in Iraq," in which he questioned the United States' 'fucktarded' Iraq war plan, Rogers Cadenhead reports on his site, DrudgeRetort.com."
"What the fuck has my chain of command been doing? We were winning somewhat when I left. And now we're being pinned down in our own fucking homes? Insurgents are pushing locals out of their homes and taking over my area at will? What kind of fucktarded plan have we been half-assedly executing? Obviously the kind that neglects sound contact with locals. Obviously the kind that gives further distance to unbridged gaps between soldiers and locals. Obviously the kind that has shown enough weakness when confronted by the insugency that it has been encouraged to grow.
Bush Draws Comparisons Between Iraq War, WWII
Bush Arrived At NAS North Island On Monday
SAN DIEGO -- A resolute President George W. Bush, facing a public wary of his war policies, declared Tuesday at Naval Air Station North Island that "we will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure."
Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the president drew comparisons between that 20th-century conflict and current wars on terror and in Iraq.
"As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood," he said at a naval base here, referring to Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
War and Anti-War
By Hendrik Hertzberg
The New Yorker
09 September Issue
A few days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush, during a visit to the still smoldering Pentagon, said that what was already calle the "war on terror" would be "a different type of war"-different, presumably, from the two World Wars, different from Korea and Vietnam, differen from the surrogate skirmishes in the Cold War's buffer zones, different from the Cold War itself, different from his father's war to expel Sadda Hussein's marauders from Kuwait. Four years later, many of Bush's (and others') expectations about the ensuing struggle have fallen by the wayside But that one has proved right.
ACLU reveals FBI labeled peace, affirmative action group 'terrorist'
The American Civil Liberties Union today released an FBI document that designates a Michigan-based peace group and an affirmative action advocacy group as potentially "involved in terrorist activities," RAW STORY has learned. The ACLU release follows.
The file was obtained through an ongoing nationwide ACLU effort seeking information on the FBI's use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces to engage in political surveillance.
"This document confirms our fears that federal and state counterterrorism officers have turned their attention to groups and individuals engaged in peaceful protest activities," said Ben Wizner, an ACLU staff attorney and counsel in a lawsuit seeking the release of additional FBI records. "When the FBI and local law enforcement identify affirmative action advocates as potential terrorists, every American has cause for concern."
A Christian Republican friend recently shared this parable gem,
written by Mark Twain in 1905. It gave him pause.
It seems important to share Twain's wisdom today.
The War Prayer
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
August 30, 2005
Anti-war band win MTV awards
From James Bonein New York
GREEN DAY, the anti-war punk rockers, swept the MTV Video Music Awards in a sign that American popular culture is turning against US presence in Iraq.
The Californian band won seven awards for their anti-war album American Idiot and the single The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, including Best Rock Video, Best Group Video, Video of the Year and the Viewer’s Choice Award.
Accepting the awards at the ceremony in Miami on Sunday night, the band members noted that they had been playing together for 16 years before the success of their latest album. “I think it struck a note right now,
The Lords of War
George Bush. "One dead American for every day in office".
By Mike Whitney
08/29/05 "ICH" -- -- President Bush's latest milestone in the war on terror has been predictably ignored in the mainstream media. Bush, who is now in the fifth year of his presidency, has served 1727 days in office. With the death toll in Iraq currently at 1873 servicemen, Bush can now boast that at least one American has died for every day he's been in office; a sobering tribute to a man who wants to be remembered "a war president".
Every day; another Casey Sheehan or some other faceless patriot dies in Bush's war of choice.
(Editor's note: aj posted this article from an Army Doc called "Bring Us Home." What a powerful and stirring plea this is! Because of that, we've decided to elevate it to a thread header.)
Army Doc: "Bring Us Home" Ca
Submitted by aj (not verified) on Mon, 2005-08-29 15:00.
Army Doc: "Bring Us Home"
Captain Daniel Green is an battlefield surgeon, treating soldiers and Iraqi civilians around Baghdad's Green Zone. He has seen more casualties -- and interacted with more Iraqis -- than the vast majority of GIs over there. And that has given the captain a different perspective on this war. He isn't happy with how it's being run. In an e-mail to friends and family back home, Green says that it's time for U.S. forces to get out of Iraq.
I don't rightly know what your US news is saying, but here are a few of my own observations... The US Army is putting forth its main effort to train Iraqi soldiers... It will realistically take years before their Army and police are sufficient to protect the people and resist internal corruption. The reports that the commands are making to the higher-ups are biased and sugar-coated. The corruption is underplayed and the achievements/milestones exaggerated. The results however, may convince Congress and that a successful pull-out is close.
Iraq Worse Than Vietnam -- in Number of Journalists Killed
Published: August 28, 2005 6:30 PM ET
PARIS (Reuters) More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.
Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said.
The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
The death toll in Iraq compares with a total of 63 journalists in Vietnam, but which was over a period of 20 years from 1955 to 1975, the Paris-based organisation that campaigns to protect journalists said on its Web site.
During the fighting in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, 49 journalists were killed doing their job, while 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed during a civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996.
RSF listed Iraq as the world's most dangerous place for journalists. In addition to those killed, 22 have been kidnapped. All but one was released. Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni was executed by his captors.
The media was targeted from the first days of the fighting, when cameraman Paul Moran, of the Australian TV network ABC, was killed by a car bomb on March 22, 2003, it added.
Two other journalists have been missing since March 2003 and August 2004.
Iraq Pipeline Watch
A listing of attacks on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel (260 total). Click "Read More" below to see the whole list.
Mayor dodges Sheehan debate
Bloomberg says the anti-war protest is not a 'local issue,' but his opponents, soldier's kin feel differently
BY GLENN THRUSH
August 29, 2005
Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants no part of the wrenching national debate over Cindy Sheehan's anti-war protest, arguing yesterday that the bereaved mother's peace campaign isn't a "local issue" in New York.
But Bloomberg's effort to duck controversy only seemed to accentuate the Republican mayor's pro-war stance in a Democratic city that, on balance, is decidedly opposed to the invasion of Iraq.
It's not a local issue, and I don't have anything to say," Bloomberg replied when asked about Sheehan's ongoing protests near President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Sheehan's son Casey, 24, died in Iraq last year.
The mayor's response, or lack thereof, elicited an emotional reaction from Carmen Depompeis, whose brother, Pfc. Hernando Rios, 29, was killed earlier this month in Baghdad. The father of three, who lived in Woodside, was one of 10 members of the Manhattan-based Fighting 69th Army National Guard regiment killed in Iraq.
Bush's Long Hot Summer
With his numbers slipping over Iraq and high gas prices, the president's advisers ponder what to do next
By MATTHEW COOPER
Posted Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005
The North Carolina coast is Bush country. But when the Republican congressman from the area, Walter Jones, was picking up hardware at the local Lowe's last week he got an earful from constituents worried about the situation in Iraq and when the U.S. would start pulling out. "Everyone of them said we need some kind of goal line. The Vietnam veterans were especially upset," says Jones who does not favor immediate withdrawal from Iraq but has offered a bipartisan resolution in Congress—along with liberals like Ohio Dem Dennis Kucinich—calling on the administration to come up with some kind of road map for pullout. "I don't know who his speechwriters are," Jones says of the President " but we need to better articulate the guidelines of what is victory."
Two U.S. Senators Held at Russian Airport By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 28, 6:36 PM ET
MOSCOW - A plane carrying two U.S. senators was detained for several hours Sunday while trying to leave Russia, before being permitted to leave the country for Ukraine, according to spokesmen for the lawmakers.
Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., who had been visiting storage sites for weapons of mass destruction, were held at an airport in the Ural Mountain city of Perm for several hours but were allowed to leave after talks between U.S. and Russian officials.
General Wes Clark nails all the points
by up2date [Subscribe]
Sun Aug 28th, 2005 at 16:57:58 PDT
Cross posted from It Affects You
As usual, General Wesley Clark gets it right. Today on Meet the Press:
Mr. Russert: Was it a mistake to go into Iraq?
Gen. Clark: Well, I think it was a strategic blunder. First it wasn't connected to the war on terror, at least not to the people that struck us. Secondly, it has proved a huge recruitment tool for al-Qaeda. It's a feed lot for terrorists who want to learn how to fight Americans. We put our American soldiers at risk there. And we're producing terrorists out there. It's a training ground. And seeing American soldiers engaged there just raises the temperature and the blood pressure throughout the Islamic world. So I wish we hadn't done it. But having said that, I still believe there's an opportunity to make the best of a bad situation in Iraq. I don't want to see us come out of there if we can put a strategy together that will leave that region more peaceful and protect our interests and the interests of the other nations.
Critic of U.S. contract in Iraq gets demotion
By Eric Eckholm The New York Times
MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2005
NEW YORK A top U.S. Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive Iraq contract with the Halliburton Company was demoted for what the army called a poor job performance.
The official, Bunnatine Greenhouse, is a 20-year veteran of military procurement and for the last several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.
The demotion on Saturday removed her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigned her to a lesser job in the corps' civil works division.
Greenhouse's lawyer, Michael Kohn, called the action "obvious reprisal" for the strong objections she raised in 2003 to a series of corps decisions involving the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown Root, which has garnered more than $10 billion for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"She is being demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the army's preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs," he said in an interview Sunday
Reuters soundman killed in Baghdad,police blame US
28 Aug 2005 15:14:19 GMT
By Alastair Macdonald
BAGHDAD, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A Reuters Television soundman was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday and a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
Iraqi police said they had been shot by U.S. forces. A U.S. military spokesman said the incident was being investigated.
Waleed Khaled, 35, was hit by a shot to the face and at least four to the chest as he drove to check a report from police sources of an incident involving police and gunmen in the Hay al-Adil district, in the west of the city.
Report: More journalists killed in Iraq than Vietnam
Sunday, August 28, 2005 Posted: 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
PARIS, France (Reuters) -- More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.
Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said.
The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday, while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
August 24, 2005 No.236
The ‘Super Spike’ in Oil Prices – Implications for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia
By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli*.
The recent spike in prices at the pump has been "shock and awe" for the American driver – a situation occupying the front pages of major dailies and many minutes of airtime on television news programs. In one year, the price of oil has risen by 52 percent. Drivers who paid $25 to fill their tanks a year ago now pay $50 and more. No relief is in sight. OPEC members (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries) are already producing at full capacity, and OPEC's figures show that the 10 member countries, excluding Iraq, are currently producing 30,255 million barrels of crude oil daily.  With the exception of Saudi Arabia, none of the cartel members currently has surplus capacity. 
Blair Was Warned Iraq War Would Fuel Extremism
Mushtak Parker, Arab News
LONDON, 29 August 2005 — The war to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein continues to haunt British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has consistently denied any link between the war and the rise of extremism among British Muslims.
Yesterday it emerged that London was warned more than a year ago before the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 56 people, that the war made Britain a target for extremists, who now regard Britain, along with the United States, as a “crusader state
Holy Sports Talk, Batman!
Seems in some ways to be an even better indicator of public opinion than polls charting Bush's approval ratings - the sports guys are beginning to question Bush's priorities and the war in Iraq.
From an August 22 item by USA Today sports columnist Ian O' Connor:
This was a minor misstep when measured against a biking and fishing vacation lasting longer than the Spanish Inquisition. Bush is a man who cares about fitness — this is good. When a bum knee forced him to stop running, he could've done what most 50-something men with bum knees do: limit their recreational pursuits to synchronized channel-surfing. Bush burned calories on the 10-speed instead.
But nobody wants to hear about his impressive pulse rate and body-fat percentages when American boys and girls are dying overseas, and when lawmakers start throwing around the dreaded V-word — Vietnam — in the daily dialogue on Iraq.
Although not known to be a sports columnist, Maureen Dowd offers a similar side dish of snark:
I mean, I like to exercise, but W. is psychopathic about it. He interviewed one potential Supreme Court nominee, Harvie Wilkinson III, by asking him how much he exercised. Last winter, Mr. Bush was obsessed with his love handles, telling people he was determined to get rid of seven pounds.
Shouldn't the president worry more about body armor than body fat?
Instead of calling in Karl Rove to ask him if he'd leaked, W. probably called him in to order him to the gym.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Bush Enjoys Vacation While Troops Continue to Make the Ultimate Sacrifice
67 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since President Bush began his annual vacation. As of today, 1,874 men & women have lost their lives in this war.
President Bush has defended his vacation during a time of war by saying "it’s time to get on with my life." Given his recent approval ratings, if the election was held today, the majority of Americans would be happy to give him an early retirement. This year's five week break is, according to the Washington Post, "the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years."
Velvet Revolution Takes Off The Gloves,
Launches Controversial Long-Term Ad Campaign
CRAWFORD — The Velvet Revolution, a nationwide movement started immediately following the discovery of numerous voting discrepancies in Ohio following the 2004 Presidential election, is launching a long-term advertising campaign questioning “why the rich children of this chicken hawk administration won’t go to war.
Grim reminder of the future
[Information I’ve seen indicates that] 89 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan so far this month as the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, with no sign, or mention, of Osama bin Laden, despite bombings in London, nor does President Bush appear interested in finding him or the anthrax terrorists. Indeed, Bush is busy setting vacation records.
For Americans who’ve noticed the looming cloud over the United States since Bush took office and wonder, “What’s going on?