- Peace Garden

Lack of Posts

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wondering why I was having so much trouble posting here. It was quite easy posting to Greener Spaces. Why so difficult to be motivated here?

I realize that it is frustration! Frustrated that we are still in Iraq and increasing the war in Afghanistan. Frustrated that we still rattle the swords at Iran and use the term "evil" at Nobel Peace Prize awards. Frustrated about the growing chasm between classes. Frustrated that Tiger Wood's sex escapades are more "newsworthy" and interesting to most than climate change conferences, the wars, medical insurance legislation...

Our consumer culture is still dominant. Our belief that "our way" is the only way is still dominant. The lack of concern about our future is still dominant.

This frustration, I realize, is what has made it hard to post here. I look at world events/news and cry. We are no better than we were when I submitted my first blog so many years ago.

Greener Spaces has a different feeling for me. It is much easier to talk about and comment on things I can do and influence - my own eating habits, lifestyle, purchases... So much easier to post there about my garden or the latest green item.

Sure I will still post here on a very sporadic basis - when my anger or concern is greater than my frustration with the world. But my efforts at Greener Spaces will continue (and grow) because there it is about my own life and choices - things I directly influence. I do not need a new President or a group to be at peace in my home or in my garden. Greener Spaces is in a sense my own personal Peace Garden. Selfish? In a way - but isn't it so important to be at peace with oneself first before we can spread the peace to others?


Obama's Afghanistan plan wins conservative praise

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Obama's Afghanistan plan wins conservative praise:

Washington (CNN) - It's not often the Republican National Committee holds a conference call with reporters during which President Barack Obama is largely praised.

But amid news the president has decided to beef up U.S. forces in Afghanistan by at least 30,000 within the next six months, the RNC deployed conservative foreign policy expert Dan Senor to offer accolades of the plan.

'I have been critical of the process over the last 90-some days through which the president has arrived at his decision, but it sounds to me, based on what we know, that it is a very good decision and I applaud him,' said Senor, an adjunct senior fellow at the non partisan Council on Foreign Relations and a former advisor to the U.S. led coalition in Iraq.

Why? Just withdraw the troops. It is over. It can never succeed. That should be clear to you, OBushama, when someone like Senor applauds your move.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has no plans to join a global treaty banning landmines because a policy review found the United States could not meet its security commitments without them, the State Department said on Tuesday.

'This administration undertook a policy review and we decided that our land mine policy remains in effect,' spokesman Ian Kelly told a briefing five days before a review conference in Cartegena, Colombia on the 10-year-old Mine Ban Treaty.

'We determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we signed this convention,' he said.

It was the first time the administration had publicly disclosed the decision.

The treaty bans the use, stockpiling, production or transfer of antipersonnel mines. It has been endorsed by 156 countries, but the United States, Russia, China and India have not adopted it.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a leading advocate for the treaty, called the decision 'a default of U.S. leadership.'

'It is a lost opportunity for the United States to show leadership instead of joining with China and Russia and impeding progress,' Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said in a statement.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CA Dems to Obama: Get Out of Afghanistan:

The California Democratic Party just sent a loud message to President Obama, who is pondering the next U.S. move in Afghanistan: Get out.

The state's Dems have gone on record with a Get Out message before -- like at their confab last summer. But this one is more specific. And bolder. Marin County activist and media critic Norman Solomon passes on that the CDP's 300-member statewide exec board passed a resolution Sunday called: 'End the U.S. Occupation and Air War in Afghanistan.' You can find the resolution here.

Update: CA Dem Party czar John Burton just called to weigh in on this. He says Obama has two choices now: Go all in and give Gen. Stanley McChrystal what he wants or begin a pullout.

The politics of it, according to Burton: If Obama proposes something less than what McChyrstal wants and the mission goes sideways, 'The Republicans will pound him for it.'

'It's not going to work over there,' Burton told us. 'You've got a corrupt government. The guy put together a ticket of drug lords and war lords.'

Plus, Burton said he 'doesn't have a lot of confidence' in McChyrstal after the general's role in the misclassification of Pat Tillman's death.

Burton remembers when a forerunner of the Cal Dem Party opposed LBJ's oversight of the Vietnam War -- soon thereafter its leader was bounced. As for whether he expects any other state party organizations to follow suit. 'I hope so,' he said. 'We just do what we do.'

Writes Norman Solomon:

'The resolution supports 'a timetable for withdrawal of our military personnel' and calls for 'an end to the use of mercenary contractors as well as an end to air strikes that cause heavy civilian casualties.' Advocating multiparty talks inside Afghanistan, the resolution also urges Obama 'to oversee a redirection of our funding and resources to include an increase in humanitarian and developmental aid.'

'While Obama weighs Afghanistan policy options, the California Democratic Party's adoption of the resolution is the most tangible indicator yet that escalation of the U.S. war effort can only fuel opposition within the president's own party -- opposition that has already begun to erode his political base.'


Cheney returns

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cheney urges strong U.S. commitment to Afghan war: BE

NTON HARBOR, Michigan - Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to commit enough troops to win the war in Afghanistan, warning hesitation would embolden U.S. foes and devastate its allies.

'I don't see how he can do anything other than move aggressively to achieve victory,' the Wyoming Republican, a harsh critic of the new administration, said in a speech to a Michigan business group.

'Our adversaries take heart from our hesitation and vacillation,' Cheney said.

'Our not following through will have devastating consequences not only for Afghanistan but also for our NATO allies. This is the first time ever (NATO members have) committed troops to combat.'

Two questions:
- Can wars ever be won?

- Who asked Uncle Dick's opinion? Who cares about his opinion?


Bring them home

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Obama Leaning Toward 34,000 More Troops for Afghanistan:

by Jonathan S. Landay, John Walcott and Nancy A. Youssef

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, but he may not announce it until after he consults with key allies and completes a trip to Asia later this month, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.

As it now stands, the administration's plan calls for sending three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. and a Marine brigade, for a total of as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops.

read more

Wrong answer. Unless you are sending them there to pack the bags and bring the others home.


Attack of the Drones?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Airstrikes Won't Build a Better Future in Afghanistan:

"The media is enamored of high-tech, sexy-sounding airstrikes over Pakistan. They shouldn't be."
Indeed, behind the glittering mirage of news about the technological wizardry of drones and the giddy success of manufacturers from California to Karachi lies a chilling void of information about their use. In June the UN Human Rights Council condemned the U.S. failure to count and disclose, much less prevent, civilian casualties from drones in Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, pledged to regulate their use (implying a disturbing lack of regulation till then). But the government still refuses to share even the most basic information about attacks, partly because in Pakistan they are run by the CIA. Independent reporters who dare to investigate -- like Stephen Farrell, who went to Kunduz after an airstrike killed about a hundred civilians -- court death as well as condemnation for taking "unnecessary" risks for something as trivial as the truth.
Better future? We get out!


We'll Follow Obama's Orders on Afghanistan

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gates to Army: We'll Follow Obama's Orders on Afghanistan:


Washington - Amid tension between the military and President Barack Obama over military action in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a gathering of Army officers Monday that the Pentagon would follow any strategy that Obama orders.

    "Speaking for the Department of Defense, once the commander in chief makes his decisions, we will salute and execute those decisions faithfully and to the best of our ability," Gates told the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington.

read more

There is something that nags me. There is this impending doom feeling. Maybe it stemmed from the pulled article about a military coup (I forget where it was being run). It just feels like the political chasm is growing larger and larger each day. And now the military is getting involved.


So what's new now

Saturday, September 26, 2009

U.S. was aware of ?new? Iranian nuke site for years:

Summary: WASHINGTON (CNN) The United States was aware of Iran's unfinished uranium enrichment site for several years, senior U.S. officials told CNN on Friday.

source: CNN

So why are we revving up the machine now?


New President - Same War Drums

Israel: Iranian nuclear facility for weapons

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the newly exposed Iranian nuclear facility proves the Islamic Republic is pursuing nuclear weapons. Lieberman told Israel radio on Saturday that "without a doubt" the reactor was for military purposes. Iran kept the facility, located 100 miles southwest of Tehran, hidden from the U.N. nuclear watchdog until revealing it in a letter to the IAEA on Monday. Iran insists its enrichment facilities are only for producing fuel for power plants rather than for weapons. Israel considers Iran a strategic threat due to its nuclear program, missile development and repeated references by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Israel's destruction.
He speaks and we are listening?

The drums are beating and the sabres are rattling - AGAIN!


Cronkite a US enemy?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FBI may have destroyed files on Walter Cronkite

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they may have destroyed files on legendary newsman Walter Cronkite in an October 2007 document purge. One of Cronkite's closest friends, Mike Ashford, said he wouldn't be surprised if Cronkite's name showed up in FBI files, but that it was probably for innocuous reasons. "He was routinely in the company of presidents and received clearance to enter secret places like a nuclear submarine," Ashford, who spoke at Cronkite's funeral, told Raw Story. "If there was anything on him, it probably said: 'He's a good guy and okay to have dinner with the president.' Walter was never fretting about the FBI following him around."
Or was it for his Vietnam war comments? Let us hope that Sir Walter was on file because of those clearances he received. But my gut tells me otherwise.


Bring 'em Home

New Pew Poll on Afghanistan Shows Dwindling Support for the War:

Even though more than three-quarters of Americans consider the Taliban a threat, an increasing number want Obama to start withdrawing troops.


Rush on the crazy train

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Limbaugh Wants Jim Crow Back: "We Need Segregated Buses"

Last week, a video of a school bus beating showing two African American children assaulting a white student began circulating the internet. Despite claims by authorities that the attack was not necessarily racially motivated, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh jumped on the story and claimed that in "Obama's America the white kids now get beat up." Yesterday, Limbaugh proposed a solution to this problem -- a return to segregated busing: LIMBAUGH: I think the guy's wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that's the lesson we're being taught here today. Kid shouldn't have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses -- it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama's America.
Glenn Beck rides the train. Sean Hannity rides it...Are these guys trying to outdo the other with insane ideas?


Tip of the hat to Murtha

Monday, September 14, 2009

Murtha To Obama: No More Troops: H

ouse defense spending cardinal John Murtha, an early bellwether of congressional opposition to the Iraq war, has made his strongest comments yet opposing more U.S. troops for the war in Afghanistan.

The Pennsylvania lawmaker and Vietnam veteran, who plays a crucial role in forming the budgets that would fund an increased troop presence, is skeptical of the basic logic of adding personnel.


Tea Party Crazies

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tea Party Protester: "We Think The Muslims Are Moving In And Taking Over" (:

A protester at Saturday's Tea Party on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. made clear that she was afraid, saying 'We are losing our country, we think the Muslim's are moving in and taking over.'

NBC Nightly News interviewed the woman, who was surrounded by fellow protesters as she made the remarks. Her name was not used.

Participants at the event, billed 'March on Washington' by its organizers, rallied against President Obama's health care plan and what they say is out-of-control spending.

Hope she doesn't look under her bed, the little green men have set up camp.

Sorry I missed chief loony Coulter in Bridgeport the other day. I could have used a good laugh.


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