Friday, February 17, 2006

How the U.S. is Failing Veterans

Tens of thousands of American veterans find winning the disability payments they're owed is often doomed by lengthy delays, hurt by inconsistent rulings and failed by the veterans reps who try to help them. Knight Ridder's Washington Bureau investigates their plight.

Knight Ridder Investigation: Failing those who served
Read More

Discharged and Dishonored: Shortchanging America's Veterans
When help is needed, ex-soldiers battle delays, inconsistent rulings, inadequate representation
» Read their story

Iraq: What Cheney Truly Has to Answer For

Tom Lasseter, intrepid war correspondent for Knight Ridder, has an appointment in Samarra. In this city, "re-taken" by the U.S., death, devastation and cries of "Why? Why?" come from both Iraqis and Americans.

By Greg Mitchell
Editor & Publisher

(February 16, 2006) -- We’d like to give Vice President Cheney a break from the wall-the-wall coverage of the face-shooting incident of this past week, so let’s turn to his war in the Middle East, which continues maiming (and creating more terrorists) every day. Over there, the warriors on each side are not using birdshot.

Full article

Rice: Iran is Global Terror 'Banker' Working with Syria to Destabilise the M.E.

It is beginning to look more and more like Iran is next on Bush's agenda for "regime change", and Syria is not far behind. Strange, isn't it, that not long ago, Syria was a trusted, complicit friend, when Canadian citizen Maher Arar (with Canada's help) was 'renditioned' there for torture by the U.S. Now that country is in Bush's bad books too. Friends one day, foes the next... Of course, that was the case with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and countless others..

The Iranian government is a "central banker" for global terrorism and working with Syria to destablise the Middle East, the US Secretary of State has said. Speaking in testimony to the US Senate on Thursday, Condoleeza Rice signaled the US intention to step up the diplomatic offensive against Iran, saying the threat it posed went beyond its controversial nuclear programme.

Full Story

U.S. Automakers Left Behind

Find out which vehicles are the "greenest" and "meanest" according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy[ACEEE]. Which are the most energy-efficient? Read this weekly update from, a US group that is tirelessly working to make 40 miles per gallon the standard for all automobiles in the U.S. With escalating gasoline prices - and global warmning - this is definitely a good thing.

Do you think the U.S. automakers are trying hard enough to make their vehicles more energy-efficient?

February 17, 2006: Another sign of the woes of U.S. automakers: Cars from Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia hold 10 of the top 12 spots in the annual "green car" survey released this week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

As the Los Angeles Times notes, there is an interesting twist in the ACEEE ratings: "Only three of the most environmentally friendly vehicles are gas-electric hybrids because advances in fuel economy and emissions controls have boosted conventional cars onto the list." Just not U.S. cars for the most part ... While you are surfing the ACEEE Web site, take the time to check out the estimated federal tax breaks for hybrid owners. The IRS has not yet come out with the official numbers ... Incentives for car owners to go hybrid are sparking some backlashes here and there, including grumbling in the Washington, D.C. area about special access for hybrids to faster travel lanes ... Don't get your hopes up about the recent easing of some energy prices. Experts say there is more trouble ahead on the energy supply front ... Read more from

More Deaths Reported in Cartoon Protest

The violence precipitated over the Danish cartoons seems to be escalating, as seen from this news just in from CNN: "Eleven people were killed and an Italian consulate burned in Libya on Friday during protests to denounce the publication of cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed, sources in Libya said." Read more here

Lower Mainland Green Party Candidates Insist Emerson Resign

Nine Green Party of Canada candidates are calling for Emerson's resignation. Read more in this News Release:

News Release
For Immediate Release

Lower Mainland Green Party Candidates Insist Emerson Resign

Emerson defection a dark day for democracy

(Vancouver, BC, February 14, 2006) Nine of the Green Party's candidates from the Lower Mainland have stepped forth to demand the resignation of former Liberal candidate (now Conservative MP) David Emerson. Furthermore, say the nine GPC candidates, Emerson's defection provides yet more evidence that electoral reform, particularly some form of proportional representation, is urgently required in Canada.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Arno Schortinghuis, Green Party candidate for Vancouver-Kingsway, said: "The day that Mr. Emerson "crossed the floor" to the Conservative party was a dark day for Canadian democracy. We believe that to do this so soon after the election is opportunistic, deceitful and possibly fraudulent. He has betrayed his supporters and the entire electorate in Vancouver Kingsway. He has put his personal goals ahead of those of the electorate."

Mr. Schortinghuis noted that Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper made a promise to make government more accountable. However, his first act as prime minister shows that he has little regard for the wishes of people of Vancouver Kingsway. How can we ever trust this man again? Mr. Schortinghuis and his colleagues look forward to a ruling from the Ethics Commissioner as to whether Mr. Harper is in breach of ethics rules for offering a cabinet post for switching parties.

Mr. Schortinghuis and colleagues also called into question the integrity of the existing electoral system, which encourages so-called strategic voting instead of voting according to actual values, beliefs and ideals.

Voters in the Green Party candidate's ridings frequently indicated intentions to vote strategically under Canada's antiquated and imbalanced first-past-the-post electoral system, in order that the Conservative candidate would not get elected. They suggest it is possible that Mr. Emerson's margin of victory is due to these strategic votes. This is one more reason that we desperately need a system of proportional representation (PR), added Mr. Schortinghuis, so that the wishes of each voter are reflected in the election results, and put an end to the need for such duplicity and trickery by old-line parties.

Mr. Schortinghuis and his Green Party colleagues were not surprised to see Mr. Harper reach outside of his party for suitable cabinet members but were shocked that Mr. Emerson joined the Conservative Party, since it is possible for opposition MPs to join the ruling party cabinet while remaining members of an opposing party. This type of cabinet structure is common in Europe.

Mr. Emerson must resign his seat so that the true wishes of the voters of Vancouver Kingsway may be heard.

The nine Green Party of Canada candidates calling for Emerson's resignation are:

Arno Schortinghuis, Green Party Candidate, Vancouver Kingsway Jerad Evans, Green Party Candidate, Vancouver Centre Robert Hornsey, Green Party Candidate, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission Jean Philipe LaFlamme, Green Party Candidate, Delta-Richmond East Richard Mathias, Green Party Candidate, Richmond Patrick Meyer, Green Party Candidate, Langley Pierre Rovtar, Green Party Candidate, Surrey South-White Rock Roy Whyte, Green Party Candidate, Surrey North Silvaine Zimmerman, Green Party Candidate, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country

For more information:
Derek Pinto
Media Relations Officers

Authorized by the Chief Agent of the Green Party of Canada
Read this media release online

April 8 March on Washington: Stop the Threats Against Venezuela and Cuba

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition



On Saturday, April 8, thousands of people from cities up and down the East Coast and Midwest will travel by bus and car caravan to march on the White House. This demonstration comes at a critical time as the Bush administration is moving aggressively to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela, while it initiates new provocations against the people of Cuba.

The ANSWER Coalition has joined with many other organizations to form the April 8: Hands Off Venezuela and Cuba Coalition. We are urging progressive organizations and local organizing/transportation centers that have brought antiwar demonstrators to Washington, DC in the past years to mobilize.

To list your organization as a local transportation center, click here

Desperately bogged down in its war for Empire in Iraq, the Bush administration is escalating its threats and campaigns to undermine, subvert, provoke, and overthrow the government of Venezuela, while strengthening the economic blockade of Cuba, tightening the travel ban to Cuba, and refusing to extradite vicious anti-Cuba terrorist killers like Luis Posada Carriles.

All the signs that the U.S. is preparing for new aggression against Venezuela are there: Rumsfeld has likened Hugo Chavez to "Adolf Hitler," Condoleezza Rice has called the democratically elected government a "major threat to the region," and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte has made a special point to link Venezuela with countries in the U.S. government's so-called "axis of evil." Just this past week, a U.S. naval officer functioning as an attache in Caracas was expelled from the country for illegal espionage and attempting to recruit Venezuelan military officers to oppose Chavez. In retaliation, Washington expelled the Venezuelan Embassy's chief of staff.

In countless elections and a popular referendum, the people of Venezuela have voted for Chavez. With the country's social revolution deepening every day and Chavez up for re-election in December, violent subversive activities backed by Bush - like the failed 2002 coup - seem increasingly probable.

U.S. hostility towards Cuba is of course nothing new. For 44 years, the U.S. has imposed a criminal blockade on the island nation, preventing it from receiving essential goods and medicines. Last year the United Nations General Assembly condemned the blockade for the 14th time by a large margin. The U.S., which invaded Cuba in 1961, has spent four decades providing financial and political support to a network of anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based in Miami. It has undertaken scores of covert attacks on the people and the leaders of Cuba.

As it executes a so-called "war on terror" abroad, the U.S. government provides safe harbor to infamous, admitted terrorists like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles in the United States. The U.S. has refused Venezuela's extradition request for Luis Posada Carriles who is charged with planning the 1976 deadly bombing of a Cuban plane departing from Venezuela. Meanwhile, it has kept actual anti-terrorists, the Cuban Five, languishing in jail for over seven years. Their crime: infiltrating anti-Cuba terrorist organizations.

As the U.S. escalates its aggressiveness and threats against the people of Venezuela and Cuba, it is critical that the antiwar movement step forward to say "No!"

Join the march on April 8 in Washington DC, from Malcolm X Park to the White House, with a closing rally in Lafayette Park!

Stop U.S. intervention and hostile campaigns against Venezuela!
Stop Washington's economic and political war against Cuba!
End the blockade of Cuba!
Allow U.S. citizens and legal residents to travel freely to Cuba!
Normalize U.S.-Cuban relations!

April 8 Endorsers include:

A.N.S.W.E.R, Casa de las Americas, Circulo Bolivariano Alberto Lovera (New York), Circulo Bolivariano (Minneapolis), Circulo Bolivariano Alí Primera (Connecticut), Circulo Bolivariano Amada Libertad (Chicago), Circulo Bolivariano Cyber Solidarity,Circulo Bolivariano Eugene V. Debs (Detroit), Circulo Bolivariano Tnte. (f) Alberto José Carregal Cruz de Miami, Circulo Bolivariano Manuelita Sáenz (Los Angeles), Circulo Bolivariano de Oregon, Circulo Bolivariano Martin Luther King (Boston), Circulo Bolivariano Negra Hip�lita (Miami), Circulo Bolivariano Toronto (Canada), Circulo Bolivariano Vancouver (Canadá), Circulo Bolivariano Milano (Italia), Circulo Bolivariano Nápoles (Italia), Circulo Bolivariano Roma (Italia), 1199 SEIU East, Casa de Las Américas, CISPES, Committees of Correspondence, Communist Party USA, Congress for Korean Reunification, Corean Action Network for Unification, Cuban Solidarity New York, FMLN NY, FSLN NY, Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico, New York, Fuerza de la Revolución, Haiti Progress, Haití Support Network, Haitian In New York, Haitian Initiative for Democracy, Harlem Tenants Council, IFCO-Pastors for Peace, Iglesia San Romero de las Américas, International Action Center, International Socialist Organization, Latinos USA, La Voz Latina, Movimiento Nuevo Rumbo, Movimiento Popular Dominicano, Movimiento Revolucionario Nueva Patria, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, National Network on Cuba, National People's Party, Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, New York Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Pro-Libertad, Queers United In Solidarity with Latin America & Caribbean, September 30 Foundation, Socialist Workers Party, US/Cuba Labor Exchange, US Troops Out Coalition, Venceremos Brigade, Venezuelan Minnesota Committee, Workers World Party, Young Socialists


Conference on National Solidarity Network for Venezuela

This weekend, February 17- February 19, in New York City, there will be a conference on the creation of a National Solidarity Network for Venezuela. The opening program will take place on Friday, February 17th at 7:30 p.m. Ben Dupuy of Haiti's National Popular Party and a member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Steering Committee will speak representing the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.

The conference is public, and will take place at the:
Martin Luther King Workers Center-1199 SEIU
310 West 43rd Street, NYC (Between 8th & 9th Avenues)


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

Double Lives, Social Security, Grassroots Media in New Orleans, Ibrahim Rugova

Order a Copy of Gene traders: Biotechnology, World Trade and the Globalization of Hunger"

Articles for this week from Toward Freedom, offering a progressive perspective on world events:

Double Lives: The Dilemma of Education and Work under Capitalism: by Matt Dineen:
“Whatever you do, just don’t get stuck in a dead-end job.” These words had a powerful effect on me and have occupied my consciousness over the past seven years. It was the summer after my high school graduation and this advice was given to me while I was working in the mechanized bakery of a large grocery store chain. My coworker had been there for over 20 years and now, in the midst of back problems and middle-age, she was unhappy with her life and urged me not to make the same mistake.
Read more

Social Security in Danger: by Nancy J. Altman:
Breaking ranks with every former president, Republican and Democratic alike, President George W. Bush is engaged in a high-profile campaign to undo Social Security. He hopes to accomplish what has eluded his ideological brethren who fought
for similar ends over the last 70 years. Like Representative Carl Curtis in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bush seeks to curtail the benefits of all but the lowest-paid workers, so that all beneficiaries would receive meager, basically flat benefits, largely unrelated to earnings.
Read more

Grassroots Media Looks to Cover the Future of New Orleans: by Brian Conley:
Four and a half months since Katrina struck land, the situation in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast still leaves a lot of troubles and a lot of questions. Many of these questions are being asked by grassroots media activists. In the immediate aftermath New Orleans’ coverage was grossly lacking. While CNN and local affiliates set up shop dozens of miles away in Baton Rouge, grassroots media activists both in New Orleans and elsewhere prepared to fill the gap left by the mainstream media’s coverage.
Read more

Ibrahim Rugova: Non-violent Actions in Violent Kosovo, by Rene Wadlow:
Just as negotiations on the "final status" of Kosovo were to start on January 25 under the chairmanship of Martii Ahtisaari, former President of Finland
and a seasoned negotiator, Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosovo, died of lung cancer in the Kosovo capital Pristina. The start of the final status talks have been postponed but should start relatively soon as the negotiating team that Rugova had put together should be able to continue, but without the long-range vision and spirit of reconciliation that Rugova represented.
Read more

Between the Lines Radio:
Haiti's Poor Erupt in Protest After Charges that Presidential Vote Count was Manipulated; Protection of Canada's Great Bear Rain Forest Can Be a Model for Future Conservation Efforts; Bush Budget's Permanent Tax Cuts and Slashed Social Programs Reward the Rich, Punish the Poor and Underreported News Summary from Around the World.
Read more

Thanks for reading. Please forward these articles widely.

U.S. Rejects UN Call to Release Guantanamo Detainees

(Why am I not surprised by this?) The U.S. government has rejected a United Nations report calling for the release or trial of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"These are dangerous terrorists that we're talking about that are there," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday.


The Bush administration holds itself above ALL international laws, and completely disregards the UN - and every other organization. Bush's America exists only for itself, unto itself, the rest of the world is insignificant.

Meantime, the U.S. ambassador to the UN wrote in his report that the investigation did not take into account evidence they [U.S.] provided, and that the UN experts rejected the invitation to visit Gitmo. The UN investigators said they refused the invitation because U.S. authorities would not let them interview prisoners. So their visit have been futile anyway. (What's the point, if you can't talk to the prisoners?)

The European parliament is expected to support a call for the closure of Guantanamo and for all prisoners to be treated "in full accordance with international humanitarian law". This resolution is backed by all major political groups in the European legislature, but it is non-binding, so nothing will come of it, except perhaps some increased pressure on Washington, and as we have seen, Washington does not care about pressure or the opinions of other countries. The U.S. is the world's biggest bully and holds itself above all international laws. And the UN, EU, and every other organization has been rendered ineffectual, impotent.

FAIR: "Networks Treat White House Allegations as Fact"

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), a media watchdog dedicated to separate fact from fiction in the reporting of U.S. events, has issued a Media Advisory regarding the "Terror Plot" reports by the major networks.

Media Advisory

"Terror Plot" Reporting Lacks Skepticism

Networks treat White House allegations as fact


When George W. Bush announced on February 9 that an Al-Qaeda plot against a building in Los Angeles had been "thwarted," many television newscasts took the administration's claims as fact.

ABC World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson reported (2/9/06) that "President Bush today revealed some details of a terrorist plot that was foiled," later putting this question to ABC reporter Pierre Thomas: "So what were the details of the plot and how was it foiled?" After a brief summary of the administration's story of the plot and some soundbites from terrorism experts on the general threat posed by Al-Qaeda, Thomas concluded that "disaster was averted."

CNN's Miles O'Brien (2/10/06) displayed a similar lack of skepticism: "The president was talking terror yesterday, and lifting a veil on a thwarted Al-Qaeda attack that aimed to fly a hijacked airliner into a L.A. skyscraper in early 2002." Unsurprisingly, conservative commentators like Fox's Bill O'Reilly were upset that the media weren't credulous enough; O'Reilly (2/10/06) singled out the New York Times (2/10/06) for failing to give the story prominent placement: "Of course, on page 22 is the terror thing that they stopped an attack on Los Angeles. Page 22."

CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer announced (2/9/06) that "for the first time President Bush confirmed today that in the months after 9/11, the government broke up another terrorist plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles." The fact that Bush says something does not "confirm" that what he is saying is true—and in fact, earlier reporting by the Los Angeles Times casts doubts on Bush's claims.

Read more of this Media Advisory here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

U.S. Groups Organizing to Impeach and End the War have upgraded their site to permit effective local organizing by Congressional District. And they're putting this new capability to work to Impeach Bush/Cheney and End the War in Iraq. They urgently need help to succeed, so please sign up below and spread the word! Here is their latest update about these efforts:

Nonviolent Peaceful Demonstrations In Front of Congress Members' Homes Every Weekend, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Gold Star Families for Peace, the Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, and Velvet Revolution, are organizing grassroots teams in all 435 Congressional Districts plus 5 Delegate Districts (DC, PR, VI, GU, and AS) to hold nonviolent peaceful demonstrations every weekend in front of the homes of Members of Congress.

Our Mission: to persuade each of our Representatives to support:

1. Impeachment: Support John Conyers' Watergate-style investigation (H.Res. 635) of Bush's Iraq War lies - and immediately introduce Articles of Impeachment for Bush and Cheney

2. Getting Out of Iraq: Support John Murtha's bill to remove troops from Iraq (H.J. Res 73) and Jim McGovern's bill to end funding for the Iraq War (H.R. 4232)

The Problem: For a year, we have tried all of the traditional lobbying techniques including marches, petitions, emails, letters, calls, town hall forums, and even face-to-face meetings with our Representatives. Yet despite all this effort, not one Representative is willing to introduce Articles of Impeachment, while fewer than 30 have co-sponsored Rep. Conyers' Watergate-style investigation. On Iraq, John Murtha's bill has nearly 100 co-sponsors but not the 218 needed to force a floor vote; Jim McGovern's bill has fewer than 20 co-sponsors, even though George Bush just asked for $120 billion more for a war America does not support and cannot afford.

The Solution: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King faced far worse resistance from political leaders when they tried to end segregation in the South. So they took their movement to the streets and marched peacefully directly into the face of that resistance. We will take our inspiration from them, and bring our movement nonviolently and peacefully into the face of our resistance: the 435 Members of Congress who are supposed to represent us but refuse to do so. (We'll make an exception for the House Honor Roll - Members who support our three priority bills above. For those Members, we will focus on Member Meetings to persuade them to introduce Articles of Impeachment.)

Learn More and Volunteer:
You won't be part of this campaign unless you sign up here:


More Ways That You Can Act Every Day to End the War
By David Swanson

Link to 'The New Peace Lobby' posted at "No BMD, eh?"

Readers who may have missed it, please check out this informative post at: No BMD, eh? about 'The New Peace Lobby':
..."Taking a measured approach to the new political realities, 'The New Peace Lobby' lays out five priority areas for action in the upcoming parliament:.."

Many thanks to the site, No BMD,eh? for posting the information.

Tomgram: Jonathan Schell, Goodbye to All That

Jonathan Schell, who lives in downtown New York City, began writing his "Letter from Ground Zero" column -- still unnamed -- almost before the white dust storm of 9/11 had settled. The first of what would become almost four-and-a-half years of such columns -- piercing, questioning, thoughtful -- appeared the next week in the Nation magazine. In those early days, as the country and Congress were being panicked into every sort of folly, Jonathan stuck -- as calmly as possible -- to his most basic beliefs; and, at a time when so many were ducking for cover, he never hesitated to express them as strongly (and eloquently) as possible. To my mind, he has been a model of intelligent analysis and resistance in this strange, unhinged moment of ours.

Tomdispatch was far slower to start up. I began it only after two post-9/11 months of media coverage had driven me to despair, only after I couldn't bear the thought of leaving such a degraded world to my children without having done a thing in response. And then, of course, I had nothing as lofty as the Nation in mind for my first tentative thoughts. An e-list of twelve friends and relatives seemed ambitious enough. It would be another year-plus before my still-unnamed dispatches, now heading out to hundreds of e-readers, became (thanks to Hamilton Fish of the Nation Institute) the Tomdispatch website. Only months after that did I post the first "Letter from Ground Zero" at the site (through the kindness of the Nation's Katrina van den Heuvel). As all of you know, I've proudly posted many of Jonathan's pieces since then.

This was hardly the first time his path and mine had intersected. His remarkable Vietnam writings, The Village of Ben Suc and The Military Half, as well as his classic Watergate book, The Time of Illusion, had helped shape my worldview in the late 1960s and 1970s, though at the time I knew him (the way any reader would) only on the page. In 1980, in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear near-catastrophe in Pennsylvania -- I was by then an editor at Pantheon Books -- I decided to publish Unforgettable Fire, a volume of drawings and brief descriptions of the Hiroshima A-bomb experience by some of its survivors -- the first such book, I believe, to take mainstream Americans under the mushroom cloud since John Hersey's Hiroshima in 1946. Jonathan plucked an unforgettably strange and indomitable image from that book -- of a professor standing in his shorts in a sea of fire, holding only a rice ball in his fist -- and, having translated it into words, made it central to the first part of The Fate of the Earth, his bestselling book about the superpower nuclear conundrum that, even without the USSR, still has us in its grip. That book -- and so the image I had published -- was one spark helping to set ablaze the vast antinuclear movement that, in the early 1980s, all-too-briefly challenged the Reagan administration.

Some years later, I became Jonathan's editor, leaving Pantheon Books in 1990, only to be reunited with him years later at Metropolitan Books where I edited his post-9/11 work, The Unconquerable World. (Anyone who bothered to read that account of several centuries of state violence and popular resistance would have known, without a scintilla of doubt, that the Bush "cakewalk" into Iraq would prove anything but.)

Now, in a final "Letter from Ground Zero" column, Jonathan is saying goodbye to all that, only to offer the promise of an even deeper plunge into the American crisis of our moment. I have no doubt that our paths will cross again -- and soon, I hope -- at Tomdispatch. In the meantime, here (with my thanks yet again to the editors of the Nation magazine) is his final column. Tom

Farewell to Ground Zero
By Jonathan Schell

[This column, which will appear in the March 6th issue of the Nation, is posted here with the kind permission of the editors of that magazine.]

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Iraq Dispatches: Outrage Spreads over New Images

Outrage Spreads over New Images

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed

*BASRA, Feb 16 (IPS) -
New footage of British soldiers beating up young Iraqi men in Amarah city in 2003, and the release of more photographs of atrocities by U.S. soldiers against Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison has spread outrage across Iraq.*

The timing of the new images is potent, in the wake of violence spreading through Iraq and much of the Muslim world over cartoons of Prophet Mohammed carried by a Danish newspaper and then other European publications.

"We in Basra have decided not to cooperate in any way with the British troops," 43 year-old food merchant Ali Shehab Najim told IPS. "These occupiers of Basra are invaders and we will not sell them any of their requirements."

Najim added, "None of us will work with them any longer either. My cousin used to work with them inside their base, but not any more. He refuses to go to work, and we have decided to show our contempt for them in every way possible."

Najim said people are particularly angry over the Danish military presence in Iraq.

He said he had first accepted the presence of occupation forces, but now "I think it's about time to tell them we do not respect them since they are behaving in a very bad way."

After footage of British troops beating young Iraqis with fists and batons was aired earlier, the Governorate of Basra announced it has severed ties to the British military. This included cancellation of joint security patrols.

"We condemn any of those actions by British and American troops in torturing our young people," former head city councillor of Basra governorate Qasim Atta Al-Joubori told IPS.

"Iraqis suffered a lot during the past 35 years, but now they are tortured by foreigners who invaded our country," said Al-Joubori, who was a city councillor in Basra for 40 years. "We can't accept having them any more."

Far from cooperating, people in Basra are now prepared to fight the occupation forces, he said. "What these beatings and torture show is that the occupiers are both assaulting and insulting all of the Iraqi people."

Similar views are being echoed around Basra, a relatively quieter area in the south under charge of British troops.

"We are looking to the day we see those bastards out of our country," 55 year-old factory owner Abdullah Ibraheem told IPS. "Now they are torturing the citizens of Basra, Baghdad and Amarah, so they have not only lost the support of the Iraqi Sunnis but the Shias in this country as well."

He said most Iraqis know someone who has been in a military detention centre, but said the new video footage and photographic evidence of torture have "demolished whatever credibility may have remained for the occupiers."

The Australian television network Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) aired previously unpublished video footage and photographs Wednesday of abuse of Iraqis by U.S. soldiers inside the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.

The images are similar to those published in 2004 that led to furore across the Middle East. But many of the new images show a brutality and extent of sexual humiliation that many news outlets found too shocking to carry.

The American Civil Liberties Union had obtained the photographs from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request, but its members said they were not aware how the SBS came to air its new footage and the photographs.

There could be yet more photographs to come. "I believe major newspapers in the U.S. like the Washington Post have scores more photos which are evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib, but they won't publish them due to pressure from the U.S. government," an attorney at the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York City told IPS.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters, "The abuses at Abu Ghraib have been fully investigated." He added, "When there have been abuses, this department has acted upon them promptly, investigated them thoroughly and where appropriate prosecuted individuals."

He said the Pentagon believes that releasing of the new images would trigger greater violence, and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq.

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the http://DahrJamailIraq website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
** Website by **

Iraq Dispatches: Abu Ghraib Photos

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
** Website by **

The recently aired photos depicting torturing of Iraqis by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison are now posted for viewing at:

You may click here to see the photos

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media . Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

YAHOO's Media Bias Protects Image of Bush Adminstration!

Same AP article in 3 different publication. YAHOO originally printed the same title as the other sources but later changed from "Republicans Criticize Bush Mideast Policy" to the misleading "Rice Outlines White House Approach on Iran.". This is a drastic difference and it dramatically changes the tone of the article. This is media deception in its purest form. (From: TV News and Lies [TVNL])


- LINK 2 -

- LINK 3 -

To comment on this (and any other TV news and lies you come across) on Jessie's TVNL Blog, please click here

This is a wonderful site which exposes TV news and lies. You can subscribe to their email alerts by sending a quick email.

The Forgotten Victims of the War

In this article, the Independent UK details the forgotten British soldiers who have returned from Iraq with serious mental problems. Like their U.S. counterpart, the Military is under fire for 'abandoning' more than 1,000 of these veterans. Dramatic figures have been released revealing that almost 1.5 per cent of those who served in the Iraq War have returned with "serious psychiatric problems".
Iraq: the forgotten victims

Housing and Voting Rights Issues of Katrina Evacuees//UN Report Calls for Closure of Guantanamo

Readers who live in the New York area, are invited by Democracy Now! to celebrate their 10th year by joining them for an evening of conversation with Harry Belafonte. Also marked is the 3rd anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Details are below, and also a few of today's headlines with links.

February 16, 2006

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* An Evening of Conversation with Harry Belafonte *

Celebrating 10 Years of Democracy Now!, join us for an evening of conversation with Harry Belafonte

Democracy Now! and WBAI invite you to join us for an evening ofconversation with Harry Belafonte, Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez and WBAI's Bernard White as we mark the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and the 10th anniversary of Democracy Now!

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 2006
WHERE: The Great Hall at Cooper Union, East 7th Street at Third Avenue, New
York City

Pre-event reception: 6-7 p.m.
A special gathering with Harry Belafonte and Amy Goodman.
Hors d'oeuvres & Refreshments served.
Ticket price (includes admission to main event): $100

Main Event: 7 p.m.
Ticket price: $25

Space is limited. Purchase your tickets today here

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* Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney Blasts Government For Creating ³New Underclass of Katrina Homeless² *

The House select committee examining the federal response to Hurricane Katrina recently released a 600-page report criticizing all levels of government for the disaster. Democrats had refused to be involved in the committee officially, but a few participated informally and released their own supplementary reports. We speak with Georgia Congressmember Cynthia McKinney, one of the participating Democrats.


* FEMA Fails Katrina Evacuees on Housing: Hotel Evictions Continue, Promises of Trailers and Rental Assistance Unmet *

Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff spoke about the ongoing hotel evictions of Hurricane Katrina evacuees during his testimony before the bi-partisan Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. We speak with attorneys Bill Quigley and Tracie Washington, who represent a number of evacuees staying in hotels and facing eviction, and also an evacuee, about the ongoing housing crisis.


* Are New Orleans Evacuees Being Denied the Right to Vote? *

We look at how Hurricane Katrina is affecting the political power of New Orleans residents. Upcoming local elections will include a race for mayor with only one black candidate,­ incumbent Ray Nagin. Lawyers have filed a lawsuit alleging Louisiana¹s emergency election plan will disenfranchise thousands of displaced voters, the majority of whom are African-American.


* U.N. Report Calls for the Closing of Guantanamo, Former Prison Chaplain Yee Details Abuses *

The United Nations has called on the Bush administration to immediately close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. In a report on conditions at the prison recently released, the U.N. says the United States should try all detainees or release them "without further delay." We speak with former military Chaplain Yee, who was falsely accused of espionage by the U.S military and faced death penalty charges that were eventually dropped.


* Headlines for February 16, 2006 *

- Aristide Ally, Rene Preval, Wins Haitian Election
- UN Investigators Call on U.S. to Close Guantanamo
- Iraqis Outraged Over New Abu Ghraib Photos
- U.S. Government Criticizes Release of New Photographs
- U.S. Denies Entry To Iraqi Widows
- Cheney Takes Blame For Shooting, Defends Media Response


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Democracy Now!'s daily news summaries are now available in Spanish:

Read Thursday, February 16, 2006

To subscribe to these "Titulares de Hoy" by email, send a blank message to:

CorpWatch Radio Now Available on Their Site

CorpWatch is a wonderful organization dedicated to holding corporations accountable on human rights, labour rights and environmental justice issues through education and activism. They are now producing a weekly radio show which is available on the website. For more info please read below:

Holding Corporations Accountable

We are very excited to announce that CorpWatch is now producing a weekly radio show/podcast which will be available on our website. Each show will feature a review of the week in corporate news, and an interview with our featured writer.

This week, we interview CorpWatch's military researcher, David Phinney, about his most recent story about the construction of a new U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In the interview, David describes the issues surrounding military subcontracting in Iraq, focussing on labor issues involving third country nationals and human trafficking.

The headlines cover a diverse range of issues, from Enron to gold mining in Asia, biotech in Europe to oil conflicts in Nigeria.

Since this show is still in its inchoate form, we especially welcome feedback.
Please send any comments to

Listen here


Support CorpWatch's work to hold corporations accountable on human rights, labor rights and environmental justice issues through education and activism.

Help us bring the critical information and resources that tens of thousands of you access every month by making a contribution to CorpWatch.

Missile Defence Decision Could Be Undone, Warns the Polaris Institute

Media Release
For immediate release
February 16, 2006

Missile Defence Decision Could Be Undone, Group Warns

(Ottawa) The new Conservative government could undo the previous Liberal government's decision on ballistic missile defence, according to an analysis of the upcoming Parliament released by the Polaris Institute.

The report is being released only days before the first anniversary of former Prime Minister Paul Martin's announcement on February 24, 2005, that Canada would not participate in ballistic missile defence.

During the recent election, party leader Stephen Harper pledged to reopen talks if they were requested by the Bush administration, and to bring any agreement before Parliament for a free vote. All three opposition parties oppose missile defence, which indicates that the Harper government could face a humiliating defeat in a vote.

"But missile defence opponents should not become complacent," warns Steven Staples, Director of Security Programs at the Polaris Institute. "The danger remains that Canada could become involved, through either existing NORAD agreements or a new agreement."

Download (400k)

The political analysis is part of an assessment of the 2006 election results produced by the Polaris Institute titled "The New Peace Lobby: A Five-Point Action Plan for the 39th Parliament". While apprehensive about missile defence, the institute points out that civil society organizations could achieve other goals in the upcoming minority Parliament.
"All parties oppose space weapons, so the Conservatives could continue the work initiated under the Liberals at the UN," said Staples, "and there is a growing consensus in Ottawa that a public debate on Canada's role in Afghanistan is long overdue."

The Polaris Institute will pursue five key objectives when Parliament resumes on April 3, encouraging the government to lead UN talks to ban space weapons, increase parliamentary oversight of Canadian military spending, and hold a public debate on the Canadian Forces' role in Afghanistan.

- 30 -

For information:
Steven Staples, Director of Security Programs,
Polaris Institute
180 Metcalfe Street, Suite 500
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1P5 Canada
t. 613 237-1717 x 107 c. 613 290-2695

Download The New Peace Lobby (400k)

VIDEO Clips from MediaChannel: Cheney Coverage and Able Danger

This just in from MediaChannel and Mediavision® - for those who have missed it on CNN, FOX News, and other stations. Included is the MediaChannel's Danny Schechter on Hannity and Colmes, debating the Dick Cheney Shooting Incident. Also included are clips from David Letterman and Jon Stewart's Daily Show and Cheney's FoxNews interview.

Click the links below to access and view the video clips.

Station: CNN
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Cable Networks Network

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 06:00:36 PM
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Length: 19 seconds

CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight: Able Danger Preview
"What could be the biggest scandal of our lifetime." -- Lou Dobbs


Station: CNN
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Cable News Network

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 06:42:28 PM
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Length: 205 seconds

CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight: Coverage of Able Danger Congressional Hearings
Lou Dobbs: "Congress today held unprecedented hearings into the top-secret Army intelligence program code named Able Danger. Able Danger officials, finally, were able to tell their story in open hearings this afternoon about how they identified 9/11 radical Islamist terrorists and how their findings were ignored by officials who could have prevented, they say, 9/11."


Station: FOXNEWS
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Fox

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 06:02:33 PM
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Length: 172 seconds

Highlights From Fox News Cheney Interview
Three minutes of Fox news highlights from their interview with Dick Cheney.


Station: FOXNEWS
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Fox

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 06:00:36 PM
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Length: 438 seconds

Extended Length Fox News Cheney Interview
Seven minute clip from Fox interview with Dick Cheney.


Station: FOXNEWS
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Fox

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 09:13:30 PM
Broadcast Date: Monday, February 13, 2006
Length: 328 seconds

Danny Schechter Debates the Cheney Shooting
MediaChannel's Danny Schechter was on Hannity and Colmes debating the Dick Cheney shooting incident.


Station: WCBS
Market: New York
Affiliation: CBS

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 11:54:25 PM
Broadcast Date: Monday, February 13, 2006
Length: 143 seconds

Letterman: Top Ten Dick Cheney Excuses
#9: Wanted to get the Iraq mess off the front page.


Station: CMDY
Market: Cable Networks
Affiliation: Independent

Play Clip
Broadcast Time: 11:01:16 PM
Broadcast Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Length: 517 seconds

The Daily Show: #2 With a Bullet - Duck and Cover
Bush's response to phone call from Cheney: "You shot someone. A 78-year-old man in the face. Well, let's sleep on it."

AIUSA: Register now for the National Week of Student Action

For students -- and others -- who are interested in positive actions on behalf of women's issues, I have decided to post this info from Amnesty International USA, which I've just received. Here you will find information and calls-to-action that will bring you and students across the country together to end all forms of discrimination against women, and sign up to get your NWSA toolkit.

Now that we have a national theme, we will unite our voices and collective power to make the NWSA a success. Sign up today to get your NWSA toolkit.

We’re pleased to announce that the winning topic for this year’s National Week of Student Action is “Save Women’s Lives: Support the Treaty for the Rights of Women (CEDAW).”

Now that we have a national theme, we will unite our voices and our collective power to make the NWSA a success. Sign up today to get your NWSA toolkit.

Inside you will find information and calls-to-action that will bring you and students across the country together to end all forms of discrimination against women.
» Sign up

In Solidarity,
The National Student & Youth Program
Amnesty International USA

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Iraq Dispatches: The Real Abu Ghraib Footage the US will Not Allow You to See

SBS in Australia broadcasts the real Abu Ghraib footage the US government will not allow you to see.

*February 16, 2006*

On Wednesday 16 February 2006, Australian public broadcaster SBS current affairs program DATELINE telecast a segment featuring 60 new photos of the torture inflicted on prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These photos were secured by court order - the ACLU figures prominently in the report - but these photos haven't yet been shown in the media anywhere in the United States. Because of the broadcast on SBS, you now have access to both Web-downloadable versions and BitTorrent file-sharing network versions of the broadcast on this site.

*THESE PHOTOS ARE VERY DISTURBING. Please do not view this video if you are easily disturbed by graphic imagery of torture and death*.

Download the SBS Abu Ghraib video (mp4)
*Server busy? Then download the .torrent file (google bittorrent
tutorial for information on how to do this

.torrent mp4 tiny (13 megs)

.torrent mp4 small (45 megs)

.torrent high res mp4 (90 megs)

Learn about BitTorrent and see all of our torrents

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
** Website by **

Note: All of Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches are republished on my site with the kind, explicit permission of my friend Dahr.

International Campaign Against War On Iran

Click here to Send emails to Bush, Cheney, Congress, the UN, and the media saying No War On Iran!


Stop the war on Iran before it starts!

Sign the statement

It is with grave concern that we observe the growing threat of a new U.S. war--this time against the people of Iran.

The media is filled with reports of an alleged nuclear threat posed by Iran and the assumed need for the U.S. to take military action. These reports recall the

Help place this ad in major newspapers across the U.S.

Donate to help get the word out, a grassroots effort, has launched a massive public education campaign to oppose the drive towards a new war against the people of Iran. As part of this effort, we need your help to place this full page ad in major newspapers across the U.S.

"Weapons of Mass Destruction" stories issued in the months leading up to the war on Iraq.

In the lead up to the illegal invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration asserted that Iraq possessed massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and that it was capable of launching an attack - nuclear, chemical and biological - on the U.S. within 45 minutes.

President Bush said that the U.S. had to attack immediately, and could not "wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." We all know now that this propaganda campaign was a complete fabrication created to justify a war of aggression.

Now we see reports that are all too similar being made to justify military action against the people of Iran. Taking Iran to the UN Security Council is a prelude for unilateral action. Just as in the case of Iraq, none of the claims made by the U.S. government stand up to unbiased scrutiny. Iran has submitted to the most intrusive and humiliating inspections, above and beyond what is required by Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). None of the inspections have found any evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.

There is only one government that has used nuclear weapons against civilian populations, and that same nation has the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction on the planet. Most dangerous and incredible it is at this very moment developing a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons that it intends to use, not merely to threaten. That country is, of course, the United States. Shouldn't any real discussion of the dangers of nuclear weapons include the weapons stockpiled by the Pentagon and the history of U.S. aggression and interventions?

Iran has suffered greatly at the hands of the U.S. We recall the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government of Dr. M. Mossadegh and returned the Shah to the Peacock Throne "the proudest achievement of the CIA". For 25 years the Shah ruled Iran with an iron fist for the benefit of U.S. oil corporations before the people of Iran, in the millions, overthrew his tyranny at a terrible cost in lives. For the past 27 years U.S. sanctions have impeded Iran's right to development and brought great suffering to the people.

It is essential that all voices opposed to the devastation of a new war in the Middle East speak out now. We urge an immediate end to Washington's campaign of sanctions, hostility, and falsehood against the people of Iran. We oppose any new U.S. aggression against Iran. We need funds for human needs, not endless war for empire.

Initial Signers (add your name)

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Detroit Archdiocese, Founding President of Pax Christi*
The Most Rev. Filipe C. Teixeira, OFSJC, Diocesan Bishop, Diocese of Saint Francis of Assisi, CCA
Michael Parenti, author
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Howard Zinn, author, historian
George Galloway, MP, Britain
Tony Benn, MP, Britain
Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature
Margarita Papandreou, former First Lady of Greece
Ardeshir Ommani, co-founder of American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)
David Sole, President UAW, Local 2334*, Detroit
Steve Gillis, President, USWA Local 8751*
Elena Everett, Chair, NC Green Party*, Co-Chair, GPAX (Green Party Peace Action Committee)*

Dirk Adriaensens, coordinator SOS Iraq, exec. committee Brussells Tribunal)
Hani Y. Awadallah, President, Arab American Civic Organization
Axis of Logic
Dr. Barbara Nimri Aziz, Executive producer of RadioTahrir-WBAI-NY
Brian Barraza, AMAT, Association of Mexican American Workers
Sharon Black, All Peoples Congress
Jean Bricmont, Brussels Tribunal
Brookline PeaceWorks
John Catalinotto, Editor Metal of Dishonor
Ed Childs, Chief Steward, Unite Here Local #26*
Michel Collon, writer, publicist, Stop USA
Heather Cottin, Freeport Community Worklink Center*
Tiphaine Dickson, attorney
LeiLani Dowell, Queers for Peace & Justice
Gregory Elich, author, researcher
Leslie Feinberg, Nat'l Lgbt Caucus Co-chair, National Writers' Union/UAW*, Jersey City, NJ
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Lenora Foerstel, Vice Pres. Women for Mutual Security*
Tiokasin Ghosthorse, First Voices Indigenous Radio
Peter Gilbert, FIST - Fight Imperialism, Stand Together
Farrukh Sohail Goindi, Foundation for Democracy-Pakistan
Teresa Gutierrez, NY Committee to Free the Cuba 5
Samia Halaby, Defend Palestine, NYC
Klaus Hartmann, Chairman, German Freethinkers Association
Jesse Lokahi Heiwa,
Imani Henry, Playwright/Performer
Nellie Hester Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council
Sherif Hetata, MD, novelist,International Coordinating Committee of the Mediterranean Social Forum*
Larry Holmes, Troops Out Now Coalition
Yoomi Jeong, Korea Truth Commission
Berta Joubert-Ceci, Philadelphia International Action Center
Charlotte Kates, NJ Solidarity Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
Khadouri al-Kaysi, Committee to Support the Iraqi People
Nada Khader, Director of WESPAC* Foundation
Beth Lamont, NY Humanist Society*
Dustin Langley, No We Wont Go counter-recruiting network
Robert Merrill, Ph.D.,Professor, Maryland Institute College of Art*, Baltimore, MD
MLK, Jr. Bolivarian Circle, Boston
Monica Moorehead, Millions for Mumia
New England Human Rights for Haiti
Erik-Anders Nilsson, Jersey City Peace Movement
Eleanor Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)
John Parker,
Pam Parker, shop steward, Washington/Baltimore Newspaper Guild(WBNG) #32035
Rostam Pourzal, Iranian Cultural Association*, Washington DC
Ralph Poynter, New Abolitionist Movement*
Minnie Bruce Pratt, Lesbian Author/activist, National Writers Union*, Jersey City, NJ
Anne Pruden, 1199 SEIU delegate*
Milos Raickovich, composer, New York
Gloria Rubac, Steward, Houston Federation of Teachers, Local 2415*
Nawal El Saadawi, Writer and Psychiatrist, President, Arab Women's Solidarity Association*,
Njeri Shakur, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement
Nana Soul, Artists and Activists United for Peace
Annie & Buddy Spell, Covington Peace Project, Covington LA
Lynne Stewart, attorney
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Johnnie Stevens, Peoples Video Network
Brenda Stokely, New York City Labor Against the War
Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Religion & Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary*
Nadje Tesich, Author, Playwright, Poet
Usavior, Artists and Activists United for Peace
Tony Van Der Meer, Prof. Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston*
Klaus von Raussendorff, Association for International Solidarity*, Germany
Michael Tarif Warren, attorney
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO*
Walter Williams, People Judge Bush

How Your Can Help:

Sign your name
Make a donation

Download Lies, Lies, Lies - Bush, Iraq and Iran

Download the Stop War on Iran petition

NYT's Op-ed about Dick Cheney's Shooting Incident

Finally some of the more 'liberal' mainstream U.S. press are finding their voices after a long bout with laryngitis, as seen by this op-ed published in yesterday's edition of the New York Times. It is about Dick Cheney's friendly fire incident: "Dick Cheney appears to have behaved like a teenager who thinks that if he keeps quiet about the wreck, no one will notice that the family car is missing its right door." That's pretty strong stuff from an American newspaper.
A shot in the foot
Let's see. The vice president of the United States accidentally shot someone while bird-hunting on a Texas ranch. It took the White House nearly 24 hours to share that information with the rest of the nation because Dick Cheney thought it would be better for his host to give the story to the local newspaper first. And by the way, it was all the victim's fault...

Read full article, which arrived in my Inbox via the International Herald Tribune, here.

Why Is Canada In Afghanistan?

The violence in Afghanistan shows no signs of abating, in fact it's escalating. Canada is ostensibly a peace-keeping nation, and our role in Afghanistan was touted as such when our troops were first sent in. Much later we were told that they may be involved combat and face danger with "some casualties". What is our mission there? Will Canadians go along complacently, sheep-like, with our governments who in reality aligned with the U.S. but shamedfacedly tell us otherwise? Are we to become an apathetic, dumbed-down bunch like our neighbours to the south? Perhaps it's high time we start reviewing the facts and finding out the truth and demanding action. We cannot blindly 'follow the leaders'. We must not wait for the body bags to arrive...

Take the question: Why are there so many suicide bombers in the Muslim world?
Of course, there's a rote answer to this that we hear all the time: Muslims have a culture of death; their blind rage against our freedom leads them to sacrifice their lives to spite us.

Another explanation — one you rarely hear — is that they're blowing themselves up to fight military incursions into their lands. (In this sense, they're not that different from people throughout history who sacrificed their lives to defend territory against foreign armies.)

Then ask the question: Why is Canada really in Afghanistan?
Our troops are attempting a number of things in Afghanistan, including helping the Afghan people build a country. But we are also there to wage war, to kill “scumbags” who “detest our freedoms,” as our top military leader, Gen. Rick Hillier, has said.

(Shades of Bush?)

And do we Canadians really want our country staying in Afghanistan?
Canadian Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, echoing Hillier, has talked about Canada's role in Afghanistan as a 20-year commitment fraught with danger: “There are things worth fighting for. There are things worth dying for. There are things worth killing for.”

Read this article by Linda McQuaig here

The Iran Issue

Washington's confrontational rhetoric is fuelling the power of Iran's hardline leaders.
The events of the past few weeks, culminating in the decision on 4 February 2006 of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council over Tehran's nuclear-research programmes, can leave few people in doubt that a major crisis is brewing between the United States and Iran.

In one sense, this confrontation has been growing since the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 – along with the Cuban (1959) and Vietnamese (1975) revolutions, the US's greatest defeat during the cold war – and the source of still undiluted mutual resentment.

The Iranian-US confrontation has already been through several dramatic chapters, notably:
Read more from here

ACTION: Troops Out of Iraq and Afghanistan Mobilization in Toronto, March 18!


A consensus on 4 key priorities for the peace movement emerged at the November 11-13, 2005 Canadian Peace Alliance conference in Ottawa:

March 18: Troops Out of Iraq and Afghanistan

The tide has turned on the war on Iraq and attacks on civil liberties. Federal politicians in the US and UK are openly calling for the impeachment of Bush and Blair. 60% of US citizens now oppose the war. There was a recent International Peace Conference in London, UK, which brought together peace activists from the US, UK, Canada, Iraq, and many other places around the world. Events like this are leading to improved coordination and collaboration among the anti-war movements around the world. The global peace movement is getting stronger and the warmongers are on the defensive. We need to build on this momentum to finally end the war, and let the Iraqi people decide their own future. While there are those who claim that elections have brought democracy to Iraq, how would daily aerial bombings in civilian areas and 150,000 foreign soldiers in the streets affect your voting habits?

March 18, 2006 will mark the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. People around the world are preparing for a global day of action to stop the war, and to hold the war criminals accountable. The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is organizing towards this day of action, and we invite you to join us in doing so.

Let the War Resisters Stay

We need to intensify our efforts to ensure that war resisters are able to stay in Canada. Already over 2,000 US soldiers, and well over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the war. 5,500 American soldiers are AWOL (Absent With Out Leave) within the US. Many are seeking refuge in Canada, and by helping them stay Canadians can make a unique contribution to ending the war.

The campaign for the War Resisters has had two recent important victories with court decisions to grant the Federal appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Hinzman's appeal at Federal Court was heard on February 7, 2006. While these are huge successes, we still need to press for a political solution, which would apply to all War Resisters, both present and future. For more information on what you can do, visit

Federal Election

The Canadian federal election is over, and with a new Conservative Bush-friendly government, we need to mobilize in even greater numbers to oppose the war. We need to ensure that ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and letting the war resisters stay is something Stephen Harper hears loud and clear. Contact your Member of Parliament about taking a stand for peace. Visit their constituency offices. Express to them your community's support for peace. Protest them if they remain pro-war. Canada is complicit in the war and empire in many ways. With many new Members of Parliament we have an opportunity to move towards ending that complicity. If you receive responses from your Member of Parliament on peace issues, let us know!

Toronto Coalition To Stop The War
Canadian Peace Alliance

Statement from Danish Anti-War Coalition Re: Cartoons

This was just sent to me by my good friend Doug Brown of the Burlington Association for Nuclear Disarmament:

The western press has erroneously reported on the publication of anti-Islamic cartoons in a Danish paper as a free speech issue. Here is a good analysis from the Danish peace movement.

The Stop the War Coalition in Denmark, Nej til krig in Danish, sent the following message of support to the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War just before Saturday's rally against hate:

Greetings to all of you in Toronto and around the world who resist war and racism!

Any war has a propaganda side. And this war has been worse than any. We all know the lies about weapons of mass destruction. They have been exposed for what they are.

But a much more dangerous brand of propaganda has become an integral part of this war: the demonisation of Muslims and Arabs. In Denmark, this has amounted to an ongoing witch-hunt from politicians and the media.

So when a conservative paper, supporting the government and the war, published these cartoons it was only the last straw. It was designed as a deliberate provocation. In spite of this, Muslim organisations and ambassadors from Muslim countries sought dialogue with the government.

They did *not* demand police action against freedom of speech. They just asked the government to distance itself from and stand up against Islamophobic confrontation. The Danish government turned down this plea for dialogue. *They* let this situation escalate by their passivity.

And they did it for a simple reason: for Bush, Blair and Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen this is a very convenient divide-and-rule tactic. They want us to forget that since February 15th, 2003, public opinion has been against them and their war. Black and white, men and women, people of faith and those without, people in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa - and not least in the Middle East - millions of us have said again and again: "This is not our war, and we want to stop it."

We will not allow them to divide us. In Denmark, tens of thousands marched against the war in 2003, saying: "This war is not in our name." Last year when George W. Bush visited Denmark, tens of thousands marched again, saying: "George Bush is not welcome here." In Denmark - as well as in all other countries who have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan - a majority now demands: "Bring the troops home."

The coalition is trapped in a war they can't win. But this in itself won't stop the bloodshed. We need the majority who is against the war to manifest itself, not only in opinion polls, but in the streets and in schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. This is how we can stop the war. This is how we can stop the racism and Islamophobia.

And this is how we can pave the road for another world.

No To War Coalition, Denmark
Nej til krig

Rain Forest Action Network [RAN] Updates

Interview with Grassy Narrows First Nation Members

Judy Da Silva and Roberta Keesik are members of the aforementioned Grassy Narrows First Nations community. RAN campaigner, David Sone, interviewed these two inspiring ladies late last year.

Go to for a transcript of the interview.

Since 2003, RAN has provided ongoing support to Grassy Narrows through our Protect an Acre program. Small grants were made for Grassy Narrows speaking tours throughout Canada, as well as a Women's Gathering aimed at empowering indigenous women and enhancing and sustaining indigenous culture and the inherent rights as first peoples.

Despite widespread opposition, including a three year-long blockade, logging giants Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi Consolidated continue to log on Grassy Narrows traditional lands. Weyerhaeuser's Trus Joist mill in Kenora uses almost half the wood cut from the Whiskey Jack Forest to the tone of 323,726 cubic meters per year. Weyerhaeuser's Dryden paper mill uses wood sourced from the Trout Lake Forest to produce paper for Xerox.

Stay tuned for Grassy Narrows updates and upcoming events in your region!
Thanks for your help and being a part of the Old Growth Campaign at RAN!

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) works to protect the Earth's rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action. Founded by Randy Hayes in 1985, RAN is a non-profit, member-based organization. RAN accomplishes its mission through dynamic, hard-hitting campaigns that work to bring corporate and governmental policies into alignment with popular support for rainforest conservation. RAN works in alliance with environmental and human rights groups around the world, including indigenous forest communities and non-governmental organizations in rainforest countries.

Know someone who should get involved with keeping our old growth forests intact? Send 'em a note!

Sign up for Rainforest Action Network.

Jumpstart Ford: U.S. Oil Addiction, the WSF, Conflicts in Nigeria, BC's Great Bear Rainforest

photo by: Toben Dilworth

Thanks to my friend and tireless fellow activist Bob Wolfe from 'up North' for sending me this info.

While President Bush finally admitted our nation's oil addiction last week, Mike Hudema and Nile Malloy on the Jumpstart Ford team were on their way back from seeing first-hand the destruction this oil addiction causes. Mike has just returned from the 2006 World Social Forum (WSF) meetings in Caracas, Venezuela and Nile spent time building relationships with allies in the oil rich region of Niger Delta in Nigeria. It's time that we begin taking the first steps out of addiction and into freedom from oil. How do we do it? See our 12 Step Program to break America's oil addiction.

The chain of our oil dependence is complex; it endangers our environment, our health, our economy, and our national security. Of all the oil we burn, transportation is the single largest consumer of oil in the U.S. market; if we want to kick the oil habit, we need sustainable, petroleum-free transportation. Let's be clear: the auto industry is driving our oil dependence, and by producing the most wasteful cars, trucks and SUVs, Ford Motor Company is America's most addicted oil junkie.

JSF Goes to the World Social Forum

Mike Hudema traveled to Caracas, Venezuela for the World Social Forum (WSF) with a Global Exchange delegation. Amidst the continuing trends in South America, Venezuela remains a leading oil supplier to the United States. The recent efforts by Venezuela to use oil profits to fund social programs for the country's poor has caused an uproar within the Bush Administration. A similar program running in New York and Boston with Venezuelan subsidiary company Citgo has garnered attention as well among oil executives and the country's elite.

Checkout Mike's blog post on the Understory.

Conflicts in Nigeria and U.S. Oil Addiction

Bush is right:
U.S. addiction to imported oil is wreaking havoc on the rest of the world and ourselves. Jumpstart Ford organizer Nile Malloy recently returned from Nigeria, the fifth largest oil supplier in the world, where some of the world's most devastating oil spills and gas flares cause deadly health problems for men, women and children living in the region. A critical observation in all of this: many oil rich nations like Nigeria fail to benefit from the wealth generated by their natural resource. Most of the time this oil wealth doesn't to make it back into the local economy thus depriving citizens of better healthcare, a stronger job market and a robust education system, all of which are key elements to any a healthy society.

For more information, read the blog post from Nile Malloy on Nigeria.

Corporate Campaign Success

In other news this week, a historic deal proves that a successful corporate campaign can protect human rights and save rainforests. 5 million acres of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada will be protected from logging, the result of pressure from local communities, labor unions, the lumber industry and environmental groups like RAN, Forest Ethics and Greenpeace.

We can do the same with Ford Motors. Stay tuned for more updates on our Ideas Project and hear how everyday Americans are coming up with ways to help break our oil addiction!

In solidarity,

Sarah Connolly, Nile Malloy, and Jennifer Krill

Rainforest Action Network


Mike Hudema, Global Exchange


Mike Harris at Ipperwash Inquiry

FOREST, Ont.- ­While the crisis at Ipperwash Provincial Park was spinning out of control a decade ago, then-premier Mike Harris was detached from the fray.

Or at least that is the picture Harris painted of himself here yesterday in his long-awaited testimony to the Ipperwash inquiry. Harris told the inquiry he played golf, attended a black tie dinner and held a cabinet meeting on other business while decisions were being made that led up to the police slaying of an unarmed native protestor [Dudley George] at Ipperwash Provincial Park in September of 1995.

Furthermore, to the extent that he was involved in those decisions, Harris testified he merely went along with a consensus developed among provincial bureaucrats and the police.

If Harris was angry about having to appear before an inquiry he had long attempted to forestall, he didn't show it yesterday as he testified for more than five hours at the Forest community centre just a few kilometres from the park.

Read more here

Sen. Russ Feingold Tells It Like It Is

Lately, my outspoken opinions about the U.S. Democrats have been scathing, referring to them as "spineless" and "incapable of finding their voice" (and a few more, less than complimentary comments). However, there is one Democrat whom these descriptions do not fit: Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. During the Gonzales hearing on February 6, Feingold grilled the Attorney General for misleading the Senate during his confirmation hearings last January. But he didn't stop at Gonzales.

The following day, this intrepidly vocal Senator went after Gonzales' boss, the Prez himself. On the Senate floor on February 7, Feingold said: The NSA “program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify his program.”

And he took this accusation to its logical conclusion, or at least partly there: “When someone breaks the law, when someone misleads the public in an attempt to justify his actions, he needs to be held accountable. The President of the United States has broken the law. The President of the United States is trying to mislead the American people. And he needs to be held accountable.”

Read the rest here, also the full text of Senator Feingold's speech:
"Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on the President's Warrantless Wiretapping Program"
(As Prepared for Delivery from the Senate Floor)

From Matthew Rotschild, Editor, The Progressive

Restoring Constitutional Government

Today's dominant U.S. political dynamic is a combination of authoritarianism and a cult of personality built around George W. Bush. For many leading politicians and commentators, it seems, respect for civil liberties has become just a sign of weakness. Lost in this mix are the principles of constitutional republicanism and the rule of law. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at this threat to American traditions -- and the inadequate response so far.

Read this article at: Consortium - February 14, 2006

Why U.S. Intelligence Failed, Redux

In a scathing critique of the Bush administration's manipulation of Iraq War intelligence, former senior U.S. intelligence analyst Paul Pillar confirms the assertions of the "Downing Street Memo," which alleged that the facts were being "fixed" around the policy. Pillar accuses Bush's neoconservative advisers of "cherry-picking" the evidence to create a pretext for an invasion. But the neoconservative assault on objective intelligence actually dates back three decades.

For the full story of how the neocons have waged war with the truth, go to

Democratic Leaders 'Betray' Hackett

In an ideal world, leaders would try to do both what's right and what's smart, what's honorable and what works with voters. But in modern-day America, Republicans focus on the "smart" part and Democratic leaders often go oh-for-two, as happened in their pushing Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett out of the Ohio Senate race. Hackett termed the maneuver "a second betrayal," adding insult to the injury of being sent to war in Iraq under false pretenses.

For the full story on this new chasm growing between the national Democratic leadership and the Democratic base, go to

Cheney's Pellets Will Stay in Harry Whittington's Face

Harry Whittington will have a permanent reminder of being shot in the face, neck and chest by his "friend" Dick Cheney. He subsequently suffered a heart attack while in hospital. (Latest Update: I just read that his condition is much worse, with pellets lodged in his heart.)

"Mr. Whittington will probably have the pellets in his body for the rest of his life," said David Blanchard, chief of emergency care at Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi.

Meantime, the white-washing is going on in earnest. The questions are about Cheney not having the correct stamp on his quail-shooting licence. The W.H. gives an incredibly inane response:
Facing a phalanx of upset press corps reporters on Monday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "I think you can always look back at these issues and look at how to do a better job."

Cheney is an experienced hunter, and the incorrect stamp issue is lame, as is the excuse given by his office. Of course, the veep is above the law -- he is the law for chrissakes! The news was only made public on Sunday afternoon (a day late!) after the owner of the private ranch where the shooting incident happened said she was going to inform the local newspaper. She did, and the paper reported it. Otherwise, we would not have heard about it, guaranteed! (It's a wonder they did not manage to silence the ranch owner before she got to the paper.)

The whole incident is just another disgusting piece in the corrupt, amoral mosaic of an administration that holds itself supreme, untouchable, imperially hubristic while their cover-ups, transgressions, white-washes, lies, obfuscations and criminal actions are aided and abetted (and excused!) by a vapid, servile, neutered press.

America has become a very sick, moribund country.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Popular Ohio Democrat Paul Hackett Drops out of Race, and Perhaps Politics

It was somewhat disheartening to read here that Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders. Hackett was a straight-talker and an honest man. I guess he was too honest for his party, the Democrats, which have become a spineless bunch (with a few exceptions) and were probably fearful of Hackett's open, scathing criticism of Bushco's handling of the Iraq war, and other 'discordant' statements he may make during the race. In losing Hackett, the Democratic party will have lost an outspoken voice. It is his party's loss. Perhaps in the long run, it will prove better for Paul Hackett to remain untainted by the ruthless, dirty business that passes for politics these days.

I will be surprised if the feeble Democrats have good results in the mid-term elections, and if the party garners enough votes to govern the country in 2008. I'm afraid the Republicans will be in power for a long time, and Americans will wait for the return of their "democracy" until hell freezes over.

Valentine's Day: My Short Message

Valentine's Day has been attributed to either of two early Italian saints (who may have been the same person) - St. Valentine, a Roman priest martyred in c.269, and a bishop of Terni martyred at Rome. St. Valentine was regarded as a patron of lovers, a tradition which may be connected with the old belief that birds pair on the 14th of February, or with the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia (15th of February).

Valentine cards, with drawings and verses, first appeared in the 18th century and were made by the sender. In the 19th century shop-made valentines were first produced and became increasingly elaborate, adorned with lace, real flowers, feathers, and moss; their dispatch was aided by the introduction of the 'penny post'.

To me, this day is about Peace and Love toward our fellow travellers on this planet. It is in this spirit that I would like to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day.

Peace Website Calls to Bring United States to UN Security Council for Sanctions

Anti-war activists accused the USA of planning first use of nuclear weapons against Iran, and of currently using uranium weapons in Iraq, and noted that the UN Security Council is responsible for dealing with such threats of war and acts of aggression.

(PRWEB) February 9, 2006 -- A US-based anti-war publisher and activist denounced the recent Iran crisis as a replay of the trumped-up war against Iraq, and called for UN sanctions against the United States itself.

John Leonard, owner of the pro-peace websites, explained: "Article 39 of the United Nations Charter states, 'The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations...'

"After years of threats to the peace, the USA attacked Iraq based on lies, without provocation or cause. It is destroying Iraq with so-called 'depleted' uranium weapons that are highly radioactive, poisonous and permanent, with a half-life of 5 billion years! The public is now being hit by a re-run of this scenario – a hysterical propaganda campaign, hauling Iran before the UN Security Council, to be followed by a war of mass destruction against humanity."

"In fact, the venerable Federation of American Scientists itself catalogued over 200 'military incursions' by the United States between 1945 and 2002. The US is way overdue for a summons, while Iran has never attacked anybody."

The websites are,, and During the fabrication of war hysteria against Iraq in 2003, posted an online kit for lobbying the UN General Assembly. In co-operation with organizations like GreenPeace, the package generated tens of thousands of emails to UN representatives. The last-minute worldwide campaign called on the UN General Assembly to use its peacekeeping prerogatives in the case of a Security Council deadlock, under the Uniting For Peace clause of the UN Charter.

Progressive Press publishes 9/11 exposés, the latest by activist, historian and intelligence expert Webster Griffin Tarpley. His classic "George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography" first broke the story that G. W. Bush's grandfather Prescott was Adolf Hitler's banker, and a member of a financier faction working for a fascist world order. Calling the present rush to war a "Blitzkrieg," Leonard says the Bush family "have not changed their spots. The attack on Iraq was the beginning of World War IV. They can wage war on Iraq and Iran because of 9/11, even though neither country had the slightest connection with that atrocity, just like Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia on the barest of pretexts."

It gets worse. Tarpley's just-released new work, "9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA," 2nd edition, focuses on a "rogue network" of war provocateurs within the US establishment as the culprits behind 9/11. These "moles" are said to have entrenched themselves in key "nodes" over generations, where they have staged pretexts to instigate every major US foreign war - starting with the faking of the Mexican war of 1846-1848, and including the creation of the spectacular effects seen on 9/11/2001. As to how they can get away with this "dirty work" unpunished, the reply is that they are getting the results the ruling oligarchy wants.

Tarpley buttresses these historical analogies with scientific evidence of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and a third skyscraper, WTC7, on Sept. 11th, data which has recently figured widely in the news thanks to a statement by "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" (S9/11T).

In a recent article, "Scene Set for the Clash of Civilizations", Leonard defines the divide-and-conquer tactics of empire as "reverse impact" methods:

- Fostering ethnic and religious minorities and fanatics to destabilize rival empires, especially (but not only) right-wing extremists, who are destroyed when their dirty work is done;
- Countergang tactics, the secret sponsoring of atrocities in the name of a rival.

Last week, British television unveiled a memo on the lies against Iraq, with Bush telling Blair: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam [or the US? fired on them, he would be in breach."

The two capos were evidently contemplating a war provocation along the lines of Operation Northwoods, a 1962 plan to blow up a plane and blame it on Cuba as a pretext to attack that country. Kennedy nixed the scheme.

Such examples led Leonard to the conclusion that people can't work effectively for peace without identifying the cliques and techniques that work for war. To promote this idea, he founded Www.PeaceWeek.Net, which calls for a World Peace Week celebration from Nov. 5th to 11th, in commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day and Armistice Day.

PeaceWish.Com, a daughter website, is the web's premier locale for holiday e-greetings with a theme of world peace. A collection of free Valentine's Day E-Cards are available here.

Full length version of this release at

# # #

Press Contact: John Leonard
Email: email protected from spam bots
Phone: 760-366-2937

More Information:

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