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By Norman Solomon
A lot of people want to believe that the current war on Iraq is some kind of aberration -- a radical departure from the previous baseline of U.S. foreign policy. That's a comforting illusion.
Yes, the current administration in Washington is notable for the extreme mendacity and calculated idiocy of its claims. But -- decade after decade -- the propaganda fuel for one U.S. war after another has flowed from a standard set of lies.
Some of the boilerplate lies are implicit assumptions about Uncle Sam's benign and even noble intent. Other deceptions rely on more specific whoppers, endlessly whirling through the news media's spin cycle. From one war to the next, certain themes are played up more than others -- but the process always involves building an agenda to start a war, trying to justify the war while it's underway, and then claiming that the war must continue as long as the man in the Oval Office says so.
Niagra Falls Reporter
By Bill Gallagher
The worst commander in chief in American history is relaxing, escaping from reality, and enjoying his five-week vacation down on the ranch. Maybe he should spend a little time reviewing his war plan for prevailing in Iraq, thinking of a way to end the carnage and get U.S. troops home safely.
Such a review is clearly in order, but don't count on this commander in chief questioning his own judgments and actually considering the possibility that he's made horrible mistakes and miscalculations.
The war in Iraq is all about politics, and George W. Bush practices the politics of Karl Rove.
By Marie Cocco
No oil for blood.
The bumper sticker popular among left-leaning opponents of the conflict - no war for oil - has been inverted. There is no oil to be had for the shedding of American blood. Not for years anyway.
Remember the bold promises?
"Iraq has oil," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Fortune magazine in 2002, discussing the potential cost of an Iraq invasion and how it would be met. "They have financial resources."
Paul Wolfowitz, formerly Rumsfeld's deputy, was bolder: "The oil revenues of that country could bring in between $50 [billion] and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years," he told Congress as the war began. "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction."
Could it be that the War in Iraq will be stopped by one woman walking down a road in Texas?
As of today, it certainly seems so.
Yesterday afternoon, Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier, marched toward the President's vacation home in Texas. Asked by reporters what she hoped to achieve, Cindy replied:
"I want to ask the president, why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?"
(The full Reuters article is here)
Sheehan, who comes from a small town in rural California, told reporters that she blames the President for the recent death of her son Casey (Army Specialist, killed in Iraq, April 4, 2004). Following a peaceful rally in Dallas, she decided to come to Texas to speak directly to the President at his vacation home.
Trial by Constitution
By Stirling Newberry
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thirty-one years ago, on August 8th, Richard Nixon addressed the American public for the 37th time from the Oval Office. His message was that he was resigning the Presidency "effective noon tomorrow." It was the fall of a man who had risen in public life under a cloud, and had participated in five national elections on a major party ticket, more than any one else except Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For many who had been opposed to him from the beginning, it was a great weight lifted from the country. GB Trudeau had a metaphorical brick wall removed from in front of Doonesbury's White House.
Lawrence McManus reports from Los Angeles:
Rumsfeld says Saddam and sons were top leadership of al Qaeda.
I heard it with my own ears about 6:30 a.m. today [August 6].
He was interviewed by the "senior political correspondent" Dick Helton on KNX news radio 1070 am.
The lie was NOT questioned. NOT even brought up by Helton.
I emailed the station and asked for an on the air correction or that Mr. Helton be fired.
I will call KNX management on Monday and go up the ladder until I get someone to listen.
Home News Tribune
How gratifying to see Home News Tribune coverage of our dramatic reading of the Downing Street minutes on July 28 outside your offices. As much as we would like our performance to be the main event, we were really only supposed to be the opening act. You, Home News Tribune, you were cast in the lead role.
We are now back in the wings, sweaty and exhilarated from our brief performance, but the stage has been left bare. There is an awkward silence — the orchestra is confused. When will you step out into the limelight and, through an in-depth analysis, let the truth of the Downing Street minutes sing out to the world?
By Greg Moses
LINK TO ORIGINAL
IndyMedia North Texas / Bella Ciao / TodaysAlternativeNews / truthout! / UrukNet
“I’m back here where I met you, in the tent!
The Lone Star Iconoclast is covering Saturday's journey to Crawford by several groups, including Veterans For Peace, Military Family Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink, Crawford Peace House, and others.
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is seeking a meeting with President Bush, who is vacationing in Crawford, to have some of her questions answered about the war. Several busloads of interested individuals are expected in Crawford to support her cause. Sheehan has said that she is willing to camp out in Crawford until she gets to meet with the President.
Note the original on the CNN site has links to the video from one story run by CNN as well as a Wolf Blitzer interview with Cindy.
Soldier's mom digs in near Bush ranch
Senator sees 'echoes of Vietnam' in vigil to meet president
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- A mother whose son was killed in Iraq says she is prepared to continue her protest outside President Bush's ranch through August until she is granted an opportunity to speak with him.
White House officials meet anti-war protesters
Sat Aug 6, 2005 6:38 PM ET
By Steve Holland
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - About 70 anti-war protesters shouted "bring the troops home" from Iraq near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, prompting two White House officials to come out to meet with mothers who lost children in combat in Iraq.
National Security Adviser Steven Hadley and Deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin listened to the concerns of Cindy Sheehan and five or six other mothers in a meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. Duffy said Sheehan told the two officials she appreciated the meeting.
Crawford vs. Dallas is Fantasy vs. Reality
The Baltimore Chronicle
By Ward Reilly
It's time to open the door, Mr. President. Our nation is knocking. If you turn Gold Star families and other REAL heroes away, what is that going to tell the "free press," and what is it going to tell all those veterans who have paid the price?
And you thought that the truth was in Crawford...
This weekend in Dallas, Texas, there will be a "Truth Convention" of sorts, centered around the Veterans For Peace national meeting.
This weekend in Dallas, Iraq veterans and Gold Star families will be joining with veterans of all US wars since WWII, the members of "Veterans For Peace," as they sit just a stone's throw away from a partying-for-five-weeks CIC, George Bush, over on his ranch, entertaining the new Saudi King perhaps.
[photo by Tonia Young shows Jeff Norman being detained by Secret Service after questioning Donald Rumsfeld]
Gold Star mom Nadia McCaffrey wound up her Southern California visit yesterday by attending Donald Rumsfeld's speech at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Secretary of Defense spoke before a capacity audience at a luncheon presented by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
Rumsfeld continued to dismiss reports that prisoner abuse by American military personnel is widespread. He praised his subordinates for "conducting investigations," and claimed the torture problem has been solved. Rumsfeld insisted recent news coverage of prior incidents only makes it seem "like it's new allegations."
Nadia, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June of 2004, attempted to approach Rumsfeld to ask him about what she believes are his various inconsistent statements, but was blocked by security. In an interview after the event, she told me the military leadership has failed to protect troops with adequate equipment that is readily available.
"If You Can't Stand The Heat...That's Bull*t!" blares a Democratic National Committee release issued Friday. Conservative columnist Robert Novak quit a CNN program live yesterday before taking questions about his role in the outing of a CIA operative, saying, 'that's bullshit.'
"Apparently, Robert Novak was afraid to answer questions in an open forum or perhaps he had to meet with his lawyer,
The Sag Harbor Express
By Julie Penny
The “Downing Street Memo
CBS News Poll. July 29-Aug. 2, 2005. N=1,222 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).
"How much have you heard or read about the special investigation into the possible leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity to reporters in 2003? Would you say you have heard or read a lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?"
A Lot Some Not Much Nothing Unsure
19 35 22 23 1
"There is currently a grand jury investigating whether a crime was committed when a CIA officer's identity was revealed to reporters. How important do you think the investigation is to the nation -- of great importance, some importance, or very little importance?"
By David Swanson
Norman Solomon's new book, "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death," opens with a disturbing prologue. The U.S. media has refused to give serious coverage to the Downing Street Memos on the grounds that they are "old news." In the initial pages of his book, and supplemented by the rest, Solomon makes a case that both outdoes and undoes that claim.
Solomon outdoes the "old news" claim by providing evidence that the Bush Administration's campaign to take the country to war in Iraq on the basis of lies was remarkably similar to President Lyndon Johnson's use of the media when he wanted to attack the Dominican Republic and Reagan's when he was inclined to invade Grenada, not to mention Bush the First's when Panama was his chosen victim. In fact, Solomon draws disturbing parallels to Johnson and Nixon's lies about Vietnam, Reagan's about Libya and Lebanon, Bush the First's about the First Gulf War and about Haiti, Clinton's about Haiti, Yugoslavia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia, and Bush Jr.'s all too recent lies about Afghanistan. There just doesn't seem to be anything new about a president taking this country to war on the basis of laughably bad lies that anyone who was paying attention never fell for.
Bush's Approval Rating on Iraq Drops in Poll
Six Out of Ten Believe Country Is on Wrong Track
By WILL LESTER, AP
WASHINGTON (Aug. 5) - Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also found fewer than half now think he's honest.
A solid majority still see Bush as a strong and likable leader, though the president's confidence is seen as arrogance by a growing number.
Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent. Midwesterners and young women and men with a high school education or less were most likely to abandon Bush on his handling of Iraq in the last six months.
The Standard Times (Rhode Island)
Cindy Sheehan is a woman to be emulated.
Sheehan is the mother of fallen soldier Casey A. Sheehan. He was just 24 years old and in Iraq a matter of days when he and seven soldiers were killed. Their units were attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire south of Baghdad.
Whether you are anti-war or pro-war, Cindy Sheehan's devotion is to be admired.
Since her son's death in April of 2004, Sheehan has traveled the country protesting the war. Earlier this week she spoke to an audience of 200 at Christ the King Church. She has worked diligently to put a name and a face to at least one life the war has claimed.
“Barbara Bush has 17 grandchildren, and none of them are serving in Iraq...
(But some people still believe the war on Iraq has something to do with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.)
Some question Iraq war; others urge US to press on
By Kaitlin Bell and Susan Milligan, Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff | August 5, 2005
BROOK PARK, Ohio -- The chain fence surrounding the headquarters of the Third Battalion, 25th Marines, yesterday gave the people of northeastern Ohio something they desperately needed: a place to express their complicated feelings about a war that took the lives of 16 of the battalion's members in Iraq.
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
As the blood of US soldiers continues to drain into the hot sands of Iraq over the last several days with at least 27 US soldiers killed and the approval rating for his handling of the debacle in Iraq dropping to an all-time low of 38%, Mr. Bush commented from the comforts of his ranch in Crawford, Texas today, “We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq.
Novak's fit on CNN may have been feigned anger that allowed him to leave the set before being questioned about the Plame affair, but in any event there was likely some real anger there. For one thing, Novak apparently has a history of resorting to violence when asked about Valerie Plame.
And I don't just mean his alleged comment to a man on the street that Joe Wilson was "an asshole." Rather, I have in mind an incident in January 2004.
The video on this page does not show the incident but purports to show the victim of it commenting immediately afterward. The man shown here, Brad Carr, says that he called Novak a traitor, and that Novak responded by pushing him and attempting to strike him. Shortly after this happened, fellow CNN pundit Tucker Carlson is shown on this video telling an angry crowd "You're going to call the cops because a 72-year-old guy pushed you? Get a life, dude!"
Dallas Morning News
By GRETEL C. KOVACH
IRVING – Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia spent nine months in a military prison for refusing to return to his National Guard unit at war in Iraq.
Sgt. Mejia, the first Iraq combat veteran to file for conscientious-objector status, was treated well at the Fort Sill prison in Oklahoma. Soldiers still ask to shake his hand.
"I felt like I had spoken for a lot of people," said Sgt. Mejia, 29, of Miami. "A lot of soldiers are against the war."
Sgt. Mejia will lead a workshop today on war resistance at the annual Veterans for Peace National Convention, held this year at the University of Dallas. The conference continues through Sunday and is open to the public.
Yarmouthport Register, MA
By Joe Burns/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Kelly huddled with an Iraqi family in a makeshift shelter the night American bombs rained down on Baghdad.
Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was one of 1,790 members of the military killed in action in Iraq.
Mimi Evans' son has just returned from a humanitarian mission to Iraq, and she will soon be sending a second son, a JAG Marine, to Fallujah.
Three women with three different experiences and one common cause - to end the Iraq war. They came together July 28 from as near as West Barnstable and from as far as California. They came to Cape Cod Community College to participate in a public forum "Families Stand for Peace: The Truth about Iraq." They came to tell their stories to the 250 or so gathered at the event sponsored by Cape Codders for Peace and Justice.
By Chuck Terzella
Well, it's summertime and an once again Washington watchers are gearing up for that age old pastime: that's right folks...it's Impeachment Season. The warm and balmy months in our nations capitol are traditionally a time for frolicking poolside and attempting to bring down our nations leaders.
It will be remembered by the half dozen Americans who actually pay attention to what their nations leaders are doing that Presidents Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan all faced impeachment, or at least the threat of it, during the summer months. Now, apparently, it's George W. Bush's turn.
By David Bauder, AP Television Writer
NEW YORK --CNN suspended commentator Robert Novak indefinitely after he swore and walked off the set Thursday during a debate with Democratic operative James Carville.
The exchange during CNN's "Inside Politics" came during a discussion of Florida's Senate campaign. CNN correspondent Ed Henry noted when it was through that he had been about to ask Novak about his role in the investigation of the leak of a CIA officer's identity.
A CNN spokeswoman, Edie Emery, called Novak's behavior "inexcusable and unacceptable." Novak had apologized to CNN, and CNN was apologizing to viewers, she said.
Says 'Bullshit' and Walks off the Air!
By BRAD BLOG
Is the pressure starting to get to Covert CIA Operative Outter Bob Novak?
For reasons we can't entirely explain, Novak just said "Bullshit" live on the air on CNN and then walked off the set.
The host for the segment said that Novak knew in advance he was going to be asked about the outting of covert CIA asset, Valerie Plame. Apparently, he never got the chance. Let's go to the video tape.
By Ray McGovern
Recent attempts by Vice President Dick Cheney and his “neo-conservative