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My country is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits
By Howard Zinn
It has quickly become clear that Iraq is not a liberated country, but an occupied country. We became familiar with that term during the second world war. We talked of German-occupied France, German-occupied Europe. And after the war we spoke of Soviet-occupied Hungary, Czechoslovakia, eastern Europe. It was the Nazis, the Soviets, who occupied countries. The United States liberated them from occupation.
Now we are the occupiers. True, we liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, but not from us. Just as in 1898 we liberated Cuba from Spain, but not from us. Spanish tyranny was overthrown, but the US established a military base in Cuba, as we are doing in Iraq. US corporations moved into Cuba, just as Bechtel and Halliburton and the oil corporations are moving into Iraq. The US framed and imposed, with support from local accomplices, the constitution that would govern Cuba, just as it has drawn up, with help from local political groups, a constitution for Iraq. Not a liberation. An occupation.
DemocracyRising.US Webmaster Karen Kilroy Co-Produced 8-minute Film About the Media Blackout of the Protests Against the War in Iraq
Watch the 8-minute political music video here: http://chrisvids.org
Karen Kilroy, our DemocracyRising.US webmaster, asked me to pass this message along about an 8-minute film she recently produced, as well as the amazing story behind it. The message from Karen follows:
I am not writing you this letter just to tell you about political spoken word artist Chris Chandler, and artists whose work, I have admired for years. No, I am writing to tell you about what all has gone down here in Ohio after the tragedy of losing 14 of our young service men last week, while I was working on a project with him.
By Michael Zweig
The path to stability and reconstruction in Iraq must first and foremost be a political process in the hands of the Iraqis themselves. It cannot be imposed by an outside power through military might.
Americans seeking an exit strategy from Iraq would do well to advocate strengthening institutions of Iraqi civil society, including trade unions, as vehicles to organize the Iraqi people and allow them to shape their future.
When we think about what is going on in Iraq, it's easy to imagine the society divided between two forces: on the one hand, suicide bombers and mysterious insurgents pushing toward civil war; on the other, the U.S. military striving to hold things together while promoting democracy. Some Americans originally opposed to the war now feel worried about calling for an end to the occupation, fearing "the terrorists will win," with disastrous results for the Iraqi people and our own safety.
Editor and Publisher
By Greg Mitchell
Published: August 11, 2005 9:00 PM ET
NEW YORK In an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair (not yet online), Michael Wolff, in probing the Plame/CIA leak scandal, rips those in the news media -- principally Time magazine and The New York Times -- who knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers but refused to expose what would have been “one of the biggest stories of the Bush years.
by Tom Gallagher
Given San Francisco's well deserved reputation as a center of the movement against the war against Iraq, many people outside the city may be surprised to learn that it does not have an antiwar representative in Congress, that is, one who supports withdrawing our troops now – not at some indeterminate time in the future, as Donald Rumsfield assures us we will do. And given that one of its representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is the House Democratic leader, it's not just the city, but the nation that needs an antiwar representative from San Francisco.
In fact, many San Franciscans are themselves quite surprised, shocked even, when they learn that both of their Congressional representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Tom Lantos, opposed a May 25 budget amendment calling upon the President to "develop a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq." After all, last November, 63% of the city's voters approved Proposition N, which called on the Federal government to "bring the troops safely home now."
Republicans for Humility
By William Frey, M. D.
The willingness of far too Americans to patiently accept the rationale of Administration talking points through every twist and turn, through every flip-flop, through the every Presidential renunciation of previously sacred American civic principles, may at long last be coming to an end.
29 months after the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, the pretext given to the American people and to Congress for invading Iraq has yet to be substantiated.
Nonetheless, intelligence we now know to be less than accurate was utilized both to obtain public support and Congressional authorization for the use of military force, a decision that only Congress has the legal authority to make.
By David Sirota
Permit me to engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I thought folks would be interested in the debate I just had with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on National Public Radio over America's Iraq policy. Also appearing in the roundtable was pollster John Zogby; Dante Zappalla, the brother of a National Guardsmen killed in Iraq; and Andrew McCarthy, an archconservative from the so-called Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (a group set up to advocate for war in Iraq). Go to www.kcrw.com and listen to the debate at:
Terry Rodgers Came Back From Iraq a Changed Man, and Not Just Because of the Bomb
By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2005; C01
"So we're driving down the road and it's midnight, so it's pitch-black, and when you're driving at night, you don't use any lights," says Terry Rodgers, "but we can see fine because we've got night vision goggles."
He's sitting in the living room of his mother's townhouse in Gaithersburg, telling the story of his last night in Iraq. He's still got his Army crew cut and he's wearing a T-shirt with an American flag on the chest.
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Crawford, Texas (AP) - The mother of a fallen U.S. soldier who started a quiet roadside peace vigil near President Bush's ranch last weekend is drawing supporters from across the nation.
Dozens of people have joined her and others have sent flowers and food. One activist called her "the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement."
Cindy Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., says she was surprised at the response.
"Before my son was killed, I used to think that one person could not make a difference," she said Wednesday under a tent where she has slept since Saturday. "But one person that is surrounded and supported by millions of people can be heard."
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.