- Peace Garden: 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008

Arrested for promoting peace?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Police Arrest Anti-War Protester, 80, At Mall
An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War. Police said that Don Zirkel, of Bethpage, was disturbing shoppers at the Lake Grove mall with his T-shirt, which had what they described as “graphic anti-war images.” Zirkel, a deacon at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Wyandanch, said his shirt had the death tolls of American military personnel and Iraqis - 4,000 and 1 million - and the words “Dead” and “Enough.” The shirt also has three blotches resembling blood splatters.
How dare he try to promote peace and disturb all those shoppers from buying their latest fashions from Macy's, Nordstroms, Gap.... Doesn't he realize taht consumerism is the sacred religion of our culture?

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Pretext? We need no stinking pretext!

Iran urges end to Iraq fighting, says helps US
Iran called on Saturday for an end to fighting between Iraqi government forces and Shi'ite Muslim militants to remove any "pretext" for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not regard the recent clashes in Iraq as being in the interest of the people of that country and calls for a speedy end to the clashes," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hossein said.
He added that by avoiding clashes "the people of Iraq take away any pretext for the continued illegal presence of the occupiers."
Does he really think that will drive W and regime to pull-out?

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

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War declared!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran

March 20, 2008, destined to be another day of infamy. On this date the US officially declared war on Iran. But it’s not going to be the kind of war many have been expecting.
No, there was no dramatic televised announcement by President George W. Bush from the White House oval office. In fact on this day, reports the Washington Post, Bush spent some time communicating directly with Iranians, telling them via Radio Farda (the US-financed broadcaster that transmits to Iran in Farsi, Iran’s native language) that their government has "declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people." But not to worry, he told his listeners in Farsi-translated Bushspeak: Tehran would not get the bomb because the US would be “firm.”
Over at the US Congress, no war resolution was passed, no debate transpired, no last-minute hearing on the Iran “threat” was held. The Pentagon did not put its forces on red alert and cancel all leave. The top story on the Pentagon’s website (on March 20) was: “Bush Lauds Military’s Performance in Terror War,” a feel-good piece about the president’s appearance on the US military’s TV channel to praise “the performance and courage of U.S. troops engaged in the global war on terrorism.” Bush discussed Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa but not Iran.
But make no mistake. As of Thursday, March 20 the US is at war with Iran.
So who made it official?
A unit within the US Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which issued a March 20 advisory to the world's financial institutions under the title: “Guidance to Financial Institutions on the Continuing Money Laundering Threat Involving Illicit Iranian Activity.”
In short, the US has in effect declared war on Iran. No bombs need fall as long as the US strategy relies solely on financial sanctions. But if the US Section 311 designates Iran's central bank as a financial criminal, the impact will be the financial equivalent to the first bombs falling on Baghdad at the start of the US-UK invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Could this be the war? Kill them through commerce and the financial industry? Kill them only through sanctions?

Read the article. You probably won't read about it in our newspapers.

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Moves before the attack?

Monday, March 24, 2008

US deploys nuclear sub to Persian Gulf’
An American nuclear submarine has crossed the Suez Canal to join the US fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, Egyptian sources say. Egyptian officials reported that the nuclear submarine crossed the canal along with a destroyer on Friday and Egyptian forces were put on high alert when the navy convoy was passing through the canal. An American destroyer recently left the Persian Gulf, heading towards the Mediterranean Sea; earlier on Thursday, a US Navy rescue ship crossed the canal to enter the Red Sea. The deployment comes as recent reports allege that US Vice President Dick Cheney is seeking to rally the support of Middle Eastern states for launching an attack on Iran.
Where are the media reports about this? Where is Congress?

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Welcome to another dimension...

Iran 'behind Green Zone attack'

The most senior US general in Iraq has said he has evidence that Iran was behind Sunday's bombardment of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.
Gen David Petraeus told the BBC he thought Tehran had trained, equipped and funded insurgents who fired the barrage of mortars and rockets.
He said Iran was adding what he described as "lethal accelerants" to a very combustible mix.
Another dimension of lies. You have entered the Twilight Zone (not the Green Zone) of W's regime.

" Let's expand this war before we leave office."

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Iran in the crosshairs?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dick Cheney tour sparks Iran war rumours
Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, has triggered speculation that he has been using a tour of the Middle East to prepare Iran's neighbours for a possible war with Tehran.
Mr Cheney, whose nine-day tour has included stops in Turkey, the Gulf and Afghanistan, insisted that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
"The important thing to keep in mind is the objective that we share with many of our friends in the region, and that is that a nuclear-armed Iran would be very destabilising for the entire area," Mr Cheney told ABC News before arriving in Kabul, the Afghan capital, after a visit to Oman.
Not to be undone W also talked about Iran 's desire for nuclear weapons
President Bush contended that Iran has "declared they want a nuclear weapon to destroy people" and that the Islamic Republic could be hiding a secret program.
Now let's think - which Presidential candidate wants to Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran? That's right - Repug John McCain. Could W's diseased brain think that an attack on Iran before November will somehow give McCain the presidency? Or will that be W's way to declare martial law and declare himself (what we all know is true) as King George (with Uncle Dick as Cardinal Richelieu)?

Either way - we must not let it happen!

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Five years later and what do we have?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five years of war. I refuse to call it an anniversary. Anniversary sounds to "happy." Weddings, years in business... those are anniversaries. This is not a happy milestone.

Five years of war. Are we safer? Was Saddam really a threat to our shores? Was al-Qaeda in Iraq? It is clear they were not. Have our actions been welcomed by the citizens of the world.

Five years of war. Was it worth it? Our economy is in terrible shape. Lives have been lost. Our standing in the world has diminished.

Five years of war - based on lies, based on greed, based on power, based on oil, based on some crazy vision of the End Times.

Five years of war. The end in sight? If you listen to the Repug candidate - we still have 95 years to go and Iran better watch out. The Dems say it will end in a "timely" manner but leave a funny taste in my mouth when they talk about forces remaining or use of mercenaries (Hired gunslingers).

Five years of war. Five years too many. End it now!

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Winning at War?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iraq: Who won the war?

Not the 90,000 Iraqi civilians or the 4,200 US and UK troops killed since 2003. The big winners are the money men who have made billions. Raymond Whitaker and Stephen Foley report

Many of the biggest contract winners have extensive lobbying budgets and funds for targeting political donations. Public records show that BearingPoint, the consulting firm appointed to advise on the economic reconstruction of Iraq, has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican Party coffers, including $117,000 to the two Bush presidential campaigns. The company is being paid $240m for its work in Iraq, winning an initial contract from the US Agency for International Development (USAid) within weeks of the fall of Saddam. It was charged with supporting the then Coalition Provisional Authority to introduce policies "which are designed to create a competitive private sector".

Western companies will be able to pocket up to three-quarters of profits from new drilling projects in their early years.

The others then list a number of winners and losers. But they left out at least one other loser : the American public. We have lost our nation, government, standing in the world, economy....

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The view from Brazil

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wonder how other nations and peoples view Bush’s Veto to Anti-Torture Law?
The veto is a way to say he doesn't accept any scratch to exceptional power he gave to the Executive, in name of anti terror fighting - such as allowing the government to monitor American residents' phone conversations and e-mail. Since it's hard for the opposition to gather 2/3 of the Congress to change Bush's veto, the only hope to remove this dirty mark and other ones is electing a president that is the antithesis of Bush.
Dirty mark? That's putting it mildly.

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News we already knew

No link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda: Pentagon study
A detailed Pentagon study confirms there was no direct link between late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda network, debunking a claim President George W. Bush's administration used to justify invading Iraq.
Some of us knew this more than five years ago, Why did it take the Pentagon so long? So many lives lost before they knew the truth.

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King George?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bush to Skip Congressional Approval for Iraq Agreement

As the Bush administration heads into months of negotiations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the future of US troops in Iraq, it aims to stretch the bounds of executive power to unprecedented lengths. The administration plans to bypass Congress to forge a status of forces agreement (SOFA) that would grant US forces an unlimited permit to continue engaging in military action in Iraq, according to statements by the State Department's Coordinator for Iraq, David Satterfield, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Mary Beth Long, at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last week.

Efforts are sprouting up in Congress to curb the president's authority to make agreements with Iraq. Late last week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a resolution affirming the Constitution only grants the president sole authority over "essentially nonpolitical foreign engagements," and any agreement regarding US military involvement in a foreign country should require the explicit consent of Congress. The bill is nonbinding, but Lee hopes it will build momentum for a backlash against executive excess.

Where were the Congress persons years ago when W threw the Constitution under the bus and created the Monarchy branch of government.

Is it too late? Has the damage already been done and just will carry over to the next President? Let's hope not!

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Ready to roll into Iran

Warriors welcome Fallon's resignation
Current and former military officials welcomed the resignation of Navy Adm. William J. Fallon, the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East, saying he failed to prevent foreign fighters and munitions from entering Iraq.
Translation - the last obstacle to entering Iran is gone. Get the tanks rolling.

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Winning the war...

Public, media losing sight of Iraq, study finds

Twenty-eight percent of the public is aware that nearly 4,000 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq over the past five years, while nearly half thinks the death tally is 3,000 or fewer and 23 percent think it is higher, according to an opinion survey released yesterday. The survey, by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, found that public awareness of developments in the Iraq war has dropped precipitously since last summer, as the news media have paid less attention to the conflict.
Liberal media? Or pawns of the war machine.

Who to blame? The media - for putting on as the front story Britney's lastest escapade? Or the public - for allowing this to happen?

Try both.

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Greasing the skids...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adm. Fallon Steps Down

Adm. William Fallon is stepping down as head of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees military matters in the Middle East, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday.
Gates said Fallon took the decision because of recent statements attributed to him that Fallon felt had created a misperception about his goals and those of President Bush.
Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to Bush’s Iran policy. It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
Gates described as “ridiculous” any notion that Fallon’s departure signals the United States is planning to go to war with Iran. “As I say, the notion that this decision portends anything in terms of change in Iran policy is, to quote myself, ’ridiculous,’ “ he said.
Ridiculous - quoting himself? What would W and Uncle Dick call it? A God-send? A gift? A firing?

A nice little new war right before elections...McCain would love it!

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It's Time...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

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Torture King

Saturday, March 08, 2008

W vetoes torture ban

Democrats and human rights advocates criticized President George W. Bush's veto Saturday of a bill that would have banned the CIA from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists. Bush said such tactics have helped foil terrorist plots. His critics likened some methods to torture and said they sullied America's reputation around the world.
The man's presidential legacy will be one of:
  1. Leading this nation into a war based on lies
  2. Continuing an unpopular war
  3. Rattling sabres at other nations he calls "evil"
  4. Bringing the nation to its economic knees through economic policies and war spending
  5. Disregard of the environment
  6. Abuse of power
  7. The use of power and might rather than diplomacy
  8. TORTURE and abuse.
Way to go W. Making your mark on history.

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Laws? We don't need them.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

State: UN mandate in Iraq not needed

The administration can keep troops in Iraq into next year even after the current U.N. mandate governing operations there expires and without Congress' permission, a senior State Department official told a Democratic lawmaker on Wednesday.
In a letter to Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., David Satterfield said military operations can continue "beyond the end of this year under the laws passed by Congress and the president's authority as commander in chief."
Democrats and some Republicans have questioned whether the 2002 authorization of force in Iraq still applies legally because it referred to the need to get rid of Saddam Hussein and eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 2003 invasion, Hussein has been captured and killed, and weapons of mass destruction were not found.
The Constitution? Balance of Power? UN? Diplomacy? Who needs them when W has God speaking to him (in his head).

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More on "Killers For Hire"

Top Iraq Contractor Skirts US Taxes Offshore

Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation’s top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.
The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving Defense dollars. But the use of the loophole results in a significantly greater loss of revenue to the government as a whole, particularly to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. And the creation of shell companies in places such as the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes has long been attacked by members of Congress.
Screwing us in so many ways.

Go ahead, TRM. Tell us how much we need them.

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Asking us to change

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

James Howard Kunstler looks at what our next President will wake up to:

Whoever wakes up as the next president on November 5 will have to preside over the comprehensive reorganization of American life. The big question is whether he can persuade the public to let go of its sunk costs, and all the sheer stuff that represents, and move ahead in a unified way that doesn't end up tearing the nation apart. The danger is that the public will want to mount a kind of last stand effort to defend a way of life that has no future under any circumstances, and they will ask the president to lead that last stand.
To avoid that deadly outcome, the new president will have to be equipped with a realistic vision of what this society can actually do to survive the discontinuities that circumstances present. This will require him to confront the prevailing delusion that the US can become "energy independent" in the sense that we can run WalMart on something other than oil from foreign lands. The new president would have to carefully restate American expectations and goals -- for instance, not to keep all the cars running at all costs, but to get us living in places where driving is not mandatory. I'm concerned that the American people will hate the new president if he tells them the truth: that an old way of life is over and a new one has to begin now. We're about to find out how much "change" the public can really stand.
Ahhh - how to get citizens to face some inconvenient truths - some inconveniences?

One thing is for sure, the next one better know what the price of a gallon of gas is.

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The real reason?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Missiles fired at Somalia terror target

The United States attacked a "known terrorist target" with precision missiles in southern Somalia on Monday, a U.S. military official said. The strike near Dhoobley, which is close to the Kenyan border, was aimed at a "facility where there were known terrorists" affiliated with East African al Qaeda operations, according to the official. The strike destroyed two houses -- killing three women and three children, and wounding another 20 people -- Dhoobley's District Commissioner Ali Nur Ali Dherre told CNN. Dherre said the remains of the missiles were marked "US K."
Mission to "safeguard" our nation or "safeguard oil?" Back in 2005, we heard:
Far beneath the surface of the tragic drama of Somalia, four major U.S. oil companies are quietly sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somali countryside. That land, in the opinion of geologists and industry sources, could yield significant amounts of oil and natural gas if the U.S.-led military mission can restore peace to the impoverished East African nation. According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there.
And we read about W's daddy:
Bush Senior went into Somalia with 20 thousand US troops in December, 1992 when he had been defeated in his re-election bid by Bill Clinton and was a lame-duck President. Why such a major overseas undertaking by an outgoing president was a question that perplexed many. His excuse was that US was in Somalia on a humanitarian mission to beef up the UN effort to stave off a bloodbath from civil war and anarchy. The real mission for Bush Senior was something else. He went in there to save the interest of US oil giants from his native Texas. After all, he had made his fortunes in the oil industry before making a mark in politics. The powerful and influence-peddling oil cartel had bankrolled him into politics, and he was anxious to pay back in kind. He might have lost his own bid for re-election but he had sons waiting in the wings to inherit his mantle. He had to lubricate their passage into high-stakes politics by obliging his powerful friends.
OIL - the reason for so many of our actions and so many of our wars. Wherever there is oil (Venezuela, etc.) expect W to be there with bombs in hand.

Energy independence (through conservation, renewables, etc.) is one solution. But how do we stop the money grabbers from mucking this up too?

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Numbing us for the future?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The end of oil is just a game

On a futuristic battlefield littered with broken oil wells, burnt-out electric cars and dilapidated wind turbines, you are leading crack military unit on a mission to secure the world's last remaining oil supplies. Your enemies are the Russians and Chinese, who are of course after the same prize. Suddenly machine guns rattle, men are hit, the helicopter goes down, and you're in the middle of an intense firefight in Central Asia.
Over the last two decades prior to 2030 oil production has peaked and is declining rapidly, renewables never panned out, plagues hit, and starvation ensued. In other words, things have been very bad, at least according to Kaos Studios, the maker of this video game you're playing. "It's a mess, it's a real wreck in there," said Frank DeLise, Kaos' general manager.
While Frontlines: Fuel of War is one of the first video games to capitalize on the doom-and-gloom scenario of what might happen when the world runs out of oil, it's not the only video game focusing on energy as oil prices rise, developing nations use more and more crude, and the world grapples with global warming fears.
But Anderson, the psychologist, is concerned about the message that violent games like Fuel of War may send to players. "It may well change attitudes towards the use of these tactics as a political tool," he said. Players may think "of course we have to use military tactics to go take oil."
It was the reason we are in Iraq. It is the reason we are eyeing Iran and Venezuela. It is the outlook put out my many including James Kunstler
The upshot of all this is that we are entering a historical period of potentially great instability, turbulence and hardship. Obviously, geopolitical maneuvering around the world's richest energy regions has already led to war and promises more international military conflict. Since the Middle East contains two-thirds of the world's remaining oil supplies, the U.S. has attempted desperately to stabilize the region by, in effect, opening a big police station in Iraq. The intent was not just to secure Iraq's oil but to modify and influence the behavior of neighboring states around the Persian Gulf, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia. The results have been far from entirely positive, and our future prospects in that part of the world are not something we can feel altogether confident about.
And then there is the issue of China, which, in 2004, became the world's second-greatest consumer of oil, surpassing Japan. China's surging industrial growth has made it increasingly dependent on the imports we are counting on. If China wanted to, it could easily walk into some of these places -- the Middle East, former Soviet republics in central Asia -- and extend its hegemony by force. Is America prepared to contest for this oil in an Asian land war with the Chinese army? I doubt it. Nor can the U.S. military occupy regions of the Eastern Hemisphere indefinitely, or hope to secure either the terrain or the oil infrastructure of one distant, unfriendly country after another. A likely scenario is that the U.S. could exhaust and bankrupt itself trying to do this, and be forced to withdraw back into our own hemisphere, having lost access to most of the world's remaining oil in the process.

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The Folly of Attacking Iran

JustForeignPolicy.org is touring the United States with the experts in this video and others, building a movement against military confrontation with Iran and for real diplomacy.
As Iran and Iraq become closer,w becomes more upset and increasing his "evil empire" rhetoric. Gee can we have the election a few months earlier?

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1968 - Police State ...2008 -?

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