- Peace Garden: 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005

Shut it down

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Guantánamo Bay prisoner of war camp is a disgrace to all Americans. In a recent report, the International Committee of the Red Cross referred to Guantánamo as the "gulag of our times." Even Thomas Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, is now calling on President Bush to tear down the prison.
As Friedman wrote, "Guantánamo Bay is becoming the anti-Statue of Liberty."
Tell President Bush it's time to close Guantánamo. It only took me a few seconds to sign the petition and I'm hoping you'll sign it, too. Click here to sign the petition:Working for Change

e-mail from Working for Change


They Also Serve Who Stand for Peace

Sunday, May 29, 2005

They Also Serve Who Stand for Peace is a great article to read before watching the town's parade, tapping the keg or flipping that burger.

" But on Memorial Day I also honor those who work to end war - or to avert it. Our diverse country is big enough for many kinds of heroes, including people who work for peace."



Saturday, May 28, 2005

What Would J.F.K. Do? Theodore C. Sorensen, former special counsel to President Kennedy, lists some of JFK quotes that have great bearing for today. My favorites:

"To President George W. Bush on Iraq, Iran, and North Korea: ''The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. This generation of Americans has had enough -- more than enough -- of war." (American University commencement, 1963)

"To Vice President Dick Cheney on international organizations, alliances, and consultations: ''The United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. We are only 6 percent of the world's population . . . we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind." (University of Washington, 1961)


Pentagon Confirms Koran Desecrated, Denies Flushing

Friday, May 27, 2005

" The Pentagon admitted last night it had substantiated five occasions when US military personnel at Guantánamo Bay prison "mishandled" the Koran of Muslim detainees. But it said it found no credible evidence to confirm a complaint that the Islamic holy book had been flushed down a toilet.
Jay W Hood, the one-star general who commands the detention centre for suspected terrorists on Cuba, refused to give details of the cases of mishandling, saying the incidents, which occurred early in the camp's existence, were still under investigation. That they could be "broadly defined" as mishandling was as far as he would go.
But he told a press conference that a prisoner who reportedly complained to an FBI agent that a military guard had thrown a Koran into a toilet told Brig-Gen Hood's team that he had only been told of the incident, and had never witnessed any form of desecration at first hand. "

What angers me is not so much the act of desecration but the blindness of so many to say that "we would never do this, they would do it to our Bible though". The point is that we are as capable of violence and corruption and abuse as "Them". We are not saints, we are not without fault. To think otherwise blinds us to our own faults and failings. Before we accuse or condemn "them" let us stop a moment and look at our own actions, feelings and thoughts.


House Kills First Vote on Iraq Withdrawal

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mitch Jeserich reports:

The House of Representatives voted down a measure, by a 128 to 300 vote, that called on President Bush to devise a plan for a withdrawal from Iraq. It came in the form of an amendment to the $491 billion budget for the Pentagon that was passed on Wednesday night.
But the withdrawal amendment marks the first time that Congress has officially voted and debated legislation that deals with a withdrawal.
"No, it won't pass today, but it will give us a chance to talk about it," said Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the sponsor of the amendment. "It's an opportunity for members of Congress who are frustrated that our troops are being killed for a war that wasn't necessary in the first place and that there is no plan in sight to bring them home."
Despite the overwhelming defeat, about two-thirds of Democrats voted for it and so did five Republicans – a dramatic shift from just a few months ago, when talk of a potential withdrawal was taboo for even the most progressive lawmakers.
Of the five Republicans to vote for Woolsey's amendment, only one, Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, spoke in favor of it on the House floor. Jones, one of the most conservative members in Congress, led the campaign in 2003 to change French fries to freedom fries.
Let us not give up hope that others will eventually realize that war must end and we must bring our troops home.


Bush's jihad against Newsweek

The Observer

...the broader allegations made in the Newsweek story are true. They are also old. Prisoner accounts of American interrogators abusing the Koran have been made before. The Observer reported Korans being trampled on and one being thrown into a toilet bucket in Kandahar on 14 March 2004.
Human Rights Watch has documented examples of Koranic abuse at Guantanamo. Last week it was revealed the Red Cross had given the Pentagon multiple reports of Koranic abuse at Guantanamo two years ago. The Red Cross had begun getting the accounts in 2002 and they continued until mid-2003, when the Red Cross submitted its reports to the Pentagon. The allegations ceased soon afterwards.
Another aspect of the story that garnered little attention was the irony of a White House mired in an Iraq war fought to find weapons of mass destruction lecturing a magazine for its faulty sourcing. 'There is a terrible irony here. The Bush administration is slamming Newsweek for relying on bad information and inflaming the Muslim world. Where have they been for the last two years?' said Jack Lule, chair of the journalism department at Lehigh University.
It seems that both the White House and Islamic politicians have therefore used Newsweek for their own ends. The Bush administration has shifted attention from genuine abuse with a barrage of anti-media invective that has left the Washington press corp cowed and afraid of criticism. At the same time it has rallied its own support by attacks on the mythical 'liberal media'.
Newsweek was lambasted, now we see that the stories are old and credible. So since W won't say it - "Sorry Newsweek." We hope the calls of sedition and outrage didn't hurt business. If it did, may I suggest that your lawyers look at suing Hannity first. I'd love that.


Separated at Birth

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Source: http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blbushvaderseparated.htm  Posted by Hello


Flushed Koran

MichaelMoore.com! reports on an FBI memo that states "...that a detainee held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had accused American jailers there of flushing the Koran down a toilet." So I guess the White House and the right wing nuts owe Newsweek an apology. Should we expect one? Don't hold your breath.


Is Bush a Sith Lord?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Is Bush a Sith Lord? What a silly question. Of course!

"In a moment of triumph, Palpatine tells the Senate: "In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society." The senators respond with sustained cheering and applause. Padme says, "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause."
Sound familiar? Fear, terror threats, a war based on lies, extended wars, devilish forces against "our truth".... Lucas and other Hollywood writers couldn't have written it any better. W - the Dark Lord - Darth Fearsome.


Syria Stops Cooperating With U.S. Forces and C.I.A.

Syria Stops Cooperating With U.S. Forces and C.I.A. Is it any wonder? The sabres are rattling. Opeartion Matador was a dress rehearsal. All signs indicate a go condition.

"Bush administration officials said Syria's stance has prompted intense debate at high levels in the administration about new steps that might be taken against the Syrian government. The officials said the options included possible military, diplomatic or economic action. But senior Pentagon and military officials cautioned Monday that if any military action was eventually ordered, it was likely to be limited to insurgent movements along the border."

Hey we are getting our permanent bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why not Syria?



Sunday, May 22, 2005

In light of the wars, the "nuclear option", lies and deception....we have to ask ourselves: What Would a Jedi Do? Based on the latest movie we know that Jedi respect and seek to preserve the Senate, the Republic and Democracy. Their way is not based on lies or deception. Their way is based on respect and understanding complexities and differences (Only Siths deal in absolutes).

Boy do we need some Jedi power to get us out of all the mess Darth W and Emperor Cheney got us in to. Just a few Master Jedi can set this government straight.


Karzai Demands Custody of All Afghan Prisoners

New York Times reports on the repercussions of a U.S. Army report on abuse of detainees in Afghanistan. Reports also have been published by The Independent, via Commondreams.org that "...two Afghan prisoners were tortured to death by American interrogators and prison guards at Bagram air base, outside Kabul."

So now W's buddy, Afghan Prez Karzai is rightfully ticked off and concerned. "Mr. Karzai wants to forge a broad long-term partnership with the United States, his most important ally, but he said he would also reiterate a request for the return of Afghan prisoners and control over American military operations."

Hope he doesn't hold his breath waiting for control.

What really is amazing is that reports of torture are coming out every day, but too many are more concerned with an article in Newsweek than the horror of U.S. "terrorism."

Karzai better be careful in his speeches and interviews. I hope he is one who understands history. W has been known to turn on friends. Hamid, tread carefully - you never know when the Poppy Revolution will occur to take you out of power.


Red Cross Told US of Koran Incidents

Friday, May 20, 2005

Red Cross Told US of Koran Incidents states that "The International Committee of the Red Cross documented what it called credible information about US personnel disrespecting or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and pointed it out to the Pentagon in confidential reports during 2002 and early 2003, an ICRC spokesman said Wednesday."

So what is the deal with Newsweek then. The White House coming out painting Newsweek with blood on their hands. Sean Hannity using the word sedition....And all along it was possibly and probably true.

Interesting items also concerning the Saddam photos. The White House saying the photo releases may be against the Geneva Convention. Remember the Geneva Convention - the one Alberto and others said not to worry about - we're dealing with terrorists.

Hey world - Pay no attention to our treatment of "prisoners" in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib. REMEMBER WORLD: DO AS WE SAY NOT AS WE DO .


At The Huffington Post

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Who's Sorry Now concerns the Newsweek issue. After hearing the airwaves resound with condemnation of Newsweek and calls of sedition it is refreshing to read this. I have felt the same way all along. The story may have been overstated but it is clearly possible and plausible based on our recent past actions.

The White House press secretary is accusing “Newsweek” of causing “lasting damage” to the image of the United States abroad. Makes me wonder if Mr. McClellan has read any of the Pew reports of late, since they make it clear that one is hard-pressed to find any country, anywhere where the negative rating of America doesn’t far exceed the positive.
Let’s ask why the Koran story was credible in the first place. Might it have something to do with the accurately reported (in words and pictures) horrible actions that took place at Abu Ghraib, and allegedly at Guantanamo Bay? Might those events be the source of “lasting damage” to our reputation abroad, especially among Muslim people?


New Pope Benedict XVI a Strong Critic of War

Michael Griffin of the Catholic Peace Fellowship writes about Pope Benedict XVI. I know I won't agree with him on many matters (as I disagreed with Pope JPII). I know that I wonder what the St. Malachy prophesy implies about this guy. I know I question many things about him- and then he says something like this:

"There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'."

Our world, Pope Benedict XVI knows well, has had enough of war. We join the chorus of hopes that his ministry as pope will help put an end to war and hasten along God's kingdom of peace.


Time for U.S. to withdraw

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

USATODAY.com - Time for U.S. to withdraw - an Op-Ed by Abercombie and Kucinich.

Forty-one months after the United States entered World War II, we had achieved victory in Europe. We've been in Iraq for over half that period. What reasonable person would say we have reached the halfway point in Iraq?
Today's troops are just as brave, patriotic and capable as their WWII predecessors. They have already accomplished much. They deposed and imprisoned a tyrant. They have given ordinary Iraqis the chance to shape their country's destiny.
Nevertheless, the military occupation of Iraq will not turn Iraq into a democratic nation. Longstanding rivalries will do more to shape that country's future than anything American troops can do. Those forces will not be controlled by American boots on Iraqi ground, no matter how many we put there or how long they remain.
In Iraq there are no front lines, no easy way to tell friend from foe, and no clear way to measure success. Iraq is a quagmire. Meantime, it has become a recruiting poster for Osama bin Laden. Are we to keep fighting indefinitely, losing more troops every week, spending billions of dollars, and increasing the strain on our armed forces, especially the reserve and National Guard?
We feel this course, with its echoes of Vietnam, is unsustainable. It has already added $200 billion to our national debt and costs U.S. taxpayers more than $1 billion per month. It jeopardizes the strategic interests of the United States, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. It alienates allies in the Muslim world and elsewhere, hindering efforts to create a united global front against al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
Unlike World War II, where the enemy surrendered and the troops came home, there is no such prospect in Iraq. We must define an endpoint. We will soon introduce legislation to achieve that goal by bringing the occupation of Iraq to a close. The troops have done their job. It's up to Congress and the president to forge a policy worthy of their sacrifices.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii,is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio,is ranking member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations.

No need for me to comment but to say - totally agree and I hope others are farsighted enough to see the wisdom in this legislation.


He's Ba-a-a-a-ack!

Return of the Mahdi is a report on Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. He is back---

"I demand several things," the black-robed cleric told a press conference in the holy city of Najaf, "including punishing Saddam and calling on the Iraqi government, religious movements, and political factions to work hard to kick out the occupier. I want the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces."
While Sadr has issued similar statements over the course of the two-year foreign occupation of his country, the timing of Monday's press conference was important, as it came just a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the country's newly elected Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Will we listen this time? He backed off before - but now he has many in the government agreeing with him. Let's listen - let the UN in - let us get OUT!


Darth Bush

Can't wait. The media is ablaze with notes and comments on "Revenge of the Sith" and Iraq/W parallels.

These two quotes come from MSNBC.

"This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause," bemoans Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) as the galactic Senate cheers dictator-in-waiting Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) while he announces a crusade against the Jedi.
"If you're not with me, then you're my enemy," Hayden Christensen's Anakin — soon to become villain Darth Vader — tells former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The line echoes Bush's international ultimatum after the Sept. 11 attacks, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
We all know W is Vader and Cheney is the real power, the Emperor. Can we give them Jar Jar? We'll keep the ewoks - they did prove useful. But Jar Jar? We'll trade - better yet we'll just give them Jar Jar at no cost.


Tension - Elevated levels

Monday, May 16, 2005

Secretary Rice, during her MidEast visits accomplished two things:
1) Setting the stage for a long occupation by stating that we are there until Iraqi forces can defend themselves. That will be the 12th of frigging never. 2) Setting the stage for our excellent adventures into Syria. War of words increases, tensions increase as Operation Matador seems to be over (for now).

Okay, so Newsweek recanted their story. But let's look at recent history. Abu Ghraib showed us that when it comes to human decency some troops/guards are pretty clueless. Descrecrating a Koran - possible when our leader is calling the war on terror a crusade.

And finally - can't wait for Star Wars. Even more excited after Lucas' comments today quoted by CNN:

"Star Wars" director George Lucas says that although he wrote the original film during the Vietnam War, his six-part saga could apply to the war in Iraq.
''In terms of evil, one of the original concepts was how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship,'' Lucas told a news conference at Cannes, where his final episode had its world premiere.
''The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.
''On the personal level it was how does a good person turn into a bad person, and part of the observation of that is that most bad people think they are good people, they are doing it for the right reasons,'' he added.


Losing the American "Near Abroad"

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Tom Engelhardt has written an excellent commentary in which explores the post Cold War times. He points out

"...how the victorious U.S. superpower attempted to finish off its former rival, the Russian remnant of the USSR and its last outlying regions of control, its "near abroad." ... We were concerned with winning over their "near abroad" and "poured money (direct and indirect), effort, and planning into the penetration of, and stripping away of, Russia's "near abroad.".... The U.S. now has military bases in the former Central Asian SSRs of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and may conceivably already have more military bases (and missions) in the far-flung imperial regions of the former USSR than do the Russians. (It's not even a contest if you throw in Afghanistan.)"
In our frenzy to defeat the Russian Bear we overloooked the formation of several power blocs - Greater Europe, Greater Asia and "...left-leaning democracies in Latin America determined to pursue their own collective interests whatever the Bush administration has in mind."

Engelhardt points out that one of the main reason's the USSR fell was the toll their war in Afghanistan had on their empire. Is Iraq our Afghanistan?

"With no end in sight, the draining Iraq War has already trumped much of the rest of the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy (especially in Asia) and has left the administration thoroughly distracted when it comes to whole regions of the world...This, in turn, has opened a remarkable space for experimentation and change in, of all places, the little attended to "near abroad" of the winning superpower -- a space Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has recently been playing with for all he's worth. A former military man with his own shadowy past of coup d'états, Chavez, the twice elected and popular president of Venezuela, is the sort of figure that American administrations once dealt with decisively. But Chavez, who finds himself in control of the third largest source of U.S. imported oil (to the tune of 15% of all our oil imports, almost as much as Saudi Arabia), has in the last months managed to: make energy deals with super-competitor China and super-hated Iran (Hey, that's our energy!); form a thumb-your-nose informal economic alliance with super-hated Cuban leader Fidel Castro, part of an attempt to create an alternative to the U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas (from which Cuba is excluded); buy arms from Russia and Spain; threaten to cut off Venezuelan oil supplies to the U.S. if his government should be endangered or blockaded by Washington; and last week -- in the ultimate insult to the Bush administration (for whom foreign policy and military policy are almost the same thing) -- throw the U.S. military out of Venezuela."
"When imperial power anywhere begins to crumble, it naturally creates space for local and regional experiments in new kinds of power relations. Unfortunately, all our covert (and less than covert) help in "organizing" democracy movements from Ukraine and Georgia to Kyrgyzstan and Belarus gives our leaders the feeling, I fear, that they are actually creating democracies by manipulation in someone else's near abroad."

Are we stretching ourselves too thin? Is our empire building taking its toll? I think it is more likely that our concept of friends and enemies, our concept of blocs, our concept of alliances, and our concept of how to bring about democracy and peace has lately been mirroring the USSR's ill-fated vision. Let's hope it is not too late to change our approach.


Iraq Elections May Have Made Things Worse

Saturday, May 14, 2005

t r u t h o u t has an article about the "successful" Iraqi elections. "Two weeks of intense insurgent violence have made it crystal clear that Iraq's parliamentary elections, hailed in late January as a triumph for democracy, haven't helped to heal the country's deep divisions. They may have made them worse.
The historic election sheared off a thin facade of wartime national unity and reinforced ethnic and sectarian tensions that have plagued Iraq for centuries. Iraqis immediately began playing the roles the election results delivered to them: victorious Shiite Muslim, assertive Kurd, disaffected Sunni Arab. Within those groups lies a mosaic of other splits, especially between secularists and Islamists vying for Iraq's soul."

This is the civil war that I and others talked about so long ago. The three sides of Iraq. We pit one side against the other. We try to institute policies without realizing that there are three sides. We do not consider differences ...

With our occupation we are seen as foreign colonialists. We are seen as trying to prop up one or two sides against the other. Let's get the U.N. in and the U.S. out. It is a huge mess - we created it - we need the U.N.'s help to clean it up.


From FDR via Rep. Kucinich

A Better Way Than War

In moments like Wednesday, we are one in support for each other's safety and well-being. Thankfully, it was an error by the pilot of a small plane.
The White House's response was telling: "We have to remember we are a Nation at war."
We are. But at war against Iraq. Iraq did not attack us. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We may well be proving that the best way to avoid a war is not to wage one.
Einstein said the significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. Does the war against Iraq make us safer or less safe?
After spending $420 billion annually for the military and an additional $270 billion for the war in Iraq, why are we still running for the exits? Has the so-called war on terror made us less safe?
We all want safety and security for ourselves, our loved ones, our Nation, and the world. But there has to be a better way than war. One of our greatest Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, knew this and he knew war. He concluded: "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all peoples of all lands to live together and to work together in the same world at peace."


Blissful ignorance

Thursday, May 12, 2005

MichaelMoore.com! has a link to the washington Post article about yesterday's plane scare.

"In follow-up answers e-mailed to reporters late in the day, McClellan said that Bush's Secret Service detail was informed soon after the incident began but that they chose not to disturb the perspiring president. After an hour and 24 minutes on the trails, Bush went back to work."

Just like 9-11. Remember those long minutes in the schoolroom.

But hey, W needs some time off. We all know that being Prez is hard work - he has told us that over and over again. Why trouble him with emergencies. Uncle Dick was in the West Wing anyways! We were all safe!


Foreign occupation troops fight foreign militants

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

US claims success in Iraq border offensive.

US Colonel Bob Chase said the operation to "capture and kill anti-Iraqi forces" began on Saturday in a desert region of the restive Anbar province, north of the Euphrates.
"Anti-Iraqi forces" is the catch-all name used by the US military to describe insurgents in Iraq.
The offensive had been inspired by "significant intelligence" from "brave" local Iraqis, said Col Chase. Most of the militants were foreign fighters, he added.
"They [the militants] have sanctuaries mostly along the Syria border where there are a series of points of entry and a series of supply lines to bring across illicit foreign weapons and foreign fighters," he said.
The announcement of the offensive came as US forces and Iraqi authorities tried to wrest the propaganda initiative from insurgents who have unleashed a wave of attacks in Iraqi cities in an attempt to destabilise the government of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, which took office last month.
Wait! Aren't we foreigners too, at least until we set up our permanent bases (see the article by Gary Hart at The Huffington Post). The whole idea of this battle is brings to mind our incursions and bombings into Cambodia and Laos during Vietnam. Then it was the Ho Chi Minh trail, now it is the "Saddam Trail" from Syria to Iraq. It is so easy for us to slip a few bombs or a few troops past the border - we probably have done this already.

This is all a prelude (IMHO) to an ever widening conflict in the area. FOX News even had the gall to air a special on Iran:Nuclear Menace (or something like that). I couldn't watch this all the way through but I did see the "plans" to take out the nuclear sites. The report stated that the Navy is beefing up forces in the area. And then those great CGI guys at FOX took us through some scenarios - missiles fired from the ships, stealth bombers firing missiles, bunker busters... It makes ones heart leap for joy - if you are W and Rummy.

Escalation. Devastation. When will it stop? Too late for so many.


The Huffington Post

Monday, May 09, 2005


This is W's hand-holding buddy - a little crazy!!

"According to the book, which will be released to the public on May 17, based on National Security Agency electronic intercepts, the Saudi Arabian government has in place a nationwide, self-destruction explosive system composed of conventional explosives and dirty bombs strategically placed at the Kingdom’s key oil ports, pipelines, pumping stations, storage tanks, offshore platforms, and backup facilities. If activated, the bombs would destroy the infrastructure of the world’s largest oil supplier, and leave the country a contaminated nuclear wasteland ensuring that the Kingdom’s oil would be unusable to anyone. The NSA file is dubbed internally Petro SE, for petroleum scorched earth."

So what is W doing about it? Sending tech support to run the wires?


The real Mother's Day

Sunday, May 08, 2005

For many of us, when we think of Mothers' Day, we think of a day to honor our mothers for their great gift to us, the gift of life. Yet there is a story behind Mothers' Day that testifies to the desire for peace and justice in our world that has been with us since the beginning of time.

The story begins with Julia Ward Howe. Julia Ward Howe is most widely known as the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Yet what is lesser-known is the fact that Julia Ward Howe was responsible for the creation of Mothers' Day.

During the Civil war, Julia worked with widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides. As she witnessed the horror of war, she began to question how any mother could willingly watch her son go off to battle. In 1870, at the start of the Franco-Prussian war, Julia called on all women to stand together in opposition to war. She issued this public proclamation:

Arise then... women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Julia began to hold peace conferences in the United States and Britain and, by 1872, she began proclaiming that June 2 of every year should be celebrated as a Mothers' Day for Peace. Forty years later, Congress declared Mothers' Day an official holiday.
Mothers' Day began as much more than a day when mothers got flowers and breakfast in bed. It began as a day for women to stand together and call for peace and justice in their world.

From Kucinich's website - a much more important beginning than what FTD or Hallmark envisions today.


Captured Al-Qaeda kingpin is case of ‘mistaken identity’

Sunday Times - Times Online talks about the recent capture of Al Quaeda's "third in command." Just maybe he is not as important as we were led to believe.

"THE capture of a supposed Al-Qaeda kingpin by Pakistani agents last week was hailed by President George W Bush as “a critical victory in the war on terror”. According to European intelligence experts, however, Abu Faraj al-Libbi was not the terrorists’ third in command, as claimed, but a middle-ranker derided by one source as “among the flotsam and jetsam” of the organisation.
Al-Libbi’s arrest in Pakistan, announced last Wednesday, was described in the United States as “a major breakthrough” in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
Bush called him a “top general” and “a major facilitator and chief planner for the Al- Qaeda network”. Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, said he was “a very important figure”. Yet the backslapping in Washington and Islamabad has astonished European terrorism experts, who point out that the Libyan was neither on the FBI’s most wanted list, nor on that of the State Department “rewards for justice” programme. "

So what the big deal? A little white lie - a little exaggeration. We have exaggerated before - remember? WMD's, "Mission Accomplished". Hell those exaggerations didn't get us into trouble and didn't mislead the public - right?


The Quagmire: As the Iraq War Drags on, it's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Vietnam

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Quagmire: As the Iraq War Drags on, it's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Vietnam is a great analysis of occupied Iraq. You won't hear this on FOX or ABC. They're too busy covering Jacko or the latest scoop on American Idol. Anyways this type of news isn't good for ratings- too depressing, too dark...

"The news from Iraq is bad and getting worse with each passing day. Iraqi insurgents are stepping up the pace of their attacks, unleashing eleven deadly bombings on April 29th alone. Many of the 150,000 Iraqi police and soldiers hastily trained by U.S. troops have deserted or joined the insurgents. The cost of the war now tops $192 billion, rising by $1 billion a week, and the corpses are piling up: Nearly 1,600 American soldiers and up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, as well as 177 allied troops and 229 private contractors. Other nations are abandoning the international coalition assembled to support the U.S., and the new Iraqi government, which announced its new cabinet to great fanfare on April 27th, remains sharply split along ethnic and religious lines."

"Two years after the U.S. invasion, Iraq is perched on the brink of civil war. Months after the election, the new Iraqi government remains hunkered down inside the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, surviving only because it is defended by thousands of U.S. troops. Iraqi officials hold meetings and press conferences in Alamo-like settings, often punctuated by the sounds of nearby explosions. Outside the Green Zone, party offices and government buildings are surrounded by tank traps, blast walls made from concrete slabs eighteen feet high, and private militias wielding machine guns and AK-47s. Even minor government officials travel from fort to fort in heavily armed convoys of Humvees."

I guess we need a new definition for the word freedom.


Rep. calls for deeper inquiry into secret Iraq attack plan

The Raw Story reports on ".. a letter authored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) calling on President Bush to answer questions about a secret U.S.-UK agreement to attack Iraq..."

'In a letter, Conyers and other members say they are disappointed the mainstream media has not touched the revelations.
"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers," Conyers writes. "The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so."

Kudos to the representatives who have signed this letter.


Proud to have worked for McGovern on my college campus

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Essential America: Still Out There is about McGovern,a man of conviction. "While most name Democrats, Dean included, have either bowed to the seeming inevitability of prolonged American occupation of Iraq or grown silent for other reasons, McGovern continues to call for withdrawal of our troops. And he offers suggestions for what to do with the $5 billion a month this would save, including sending a billion a month in food and agricultural aid to poor nations."

"...it is McGovern who is the realist in addressing a central matter of American politics that some "realists" would rather not consider: Democrats need to seriously distinguish themselves from White House foreign policy, not just because war and occupation is a loser of a national security strategy, but to be able to do much of anything at home."

And about his book published last year:"It stands out in its focus on specifics at a moment when political discussion can tend toward more oblique topics like "reframing" issues, "rebranding" the party, "repackaging" our values, and generally psychologizing the opposition."

I have to say that I am proud to have worked on campus for McGovern in '72. It is refrehing to know that even then I backed the "winner" , the man of integrity and reason.


Thank you Dennis J. Kucinich

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An Open Letter to Howard Dean by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich is a must read.

I hope Dean and others read this and come back to the realization that the war was wrong, occupation is wrong and both must end now. "The Democratic leadership should be pressing for quick withdrawal of all troops from Iraq."


4 minutes of silence tomorrow for 4 lives taken 35 years ago!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Never Forget Posted by Hello


A great day - a great cause!

Monday, May 02, 2005

 Posted by Hello

Okay so maybe we didn't have 50,000...But it was a very large human peace sign. Where I was on the ground I just couldn't tell - but now - great!

The Associated Press estimates that the crowd was 40,000. The great thing was that the entire world was represented. I just wish some of those tourists on 5th Avenue would have stopped shopping for a while and lent their voice to the rally, and increased the numbers. I think Caldicott said it best:

Longtime disarmament advocate Dr. Helen Caldicott said Russia and the United States are the real "rogue nations" and have enough weapons to destroy humankind.
"Let's for God's sake talk about the real moral issues of our time," she said. "Not stem cell research, gay marriage or abortion. Let's talk about whether or not the whole of the world survives, life on the planet survives."
I think for me the highlight of the whole day was to look up and see Pale Male circling the crowd. For those who don't know, Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk nesting on the 12th floor ledge of a condo on 5th Avenue. He was circling the crowd almost as if to lend his support. I think it was so appropriate that as we were talking about world-ending weapons, one of nature's creatures was flying majestically and effortlessly overhead. A flight, IMHO, of support and a flight asking the world to save Mother Earth every way we can.


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