- Peace Garden: 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009

Cindy Sheehan: Obama's wars now

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cindy Sheehan: Obama's wars now:


'System... stays the same, no matter who is in charge,' protester laments.

By Mark Silva / Chicago Tribune

Cindy Sheehan is back.

But this time, the war protester who lost her son, Casey, at war in Iraq, is not camped outside the Texas ranch of former President George W. Bush, who ordered the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

She is staking out the media on Martha's Vineyard, where President Barack Obama, who has pledged to withdraw troops from Iraq but is boosting the U.S. military deployment at war in Afghanistan, is spending a week's vacation.

Sheehan, who liked to pitch a 'peace camp'' outside the vacationing Bush's ranch near Crawford, Texas, showed up today outside the schoolhouse in Oak Bluffs, Mass., where reporters covering the vacationing Obama are working. The president is tucked away at Blue Heron Farm, a 28-acre rented estate, no brush clearing.

'The reason I am here is because ... even though the facade has changed in Washington DC, the policies are still the same,' Sheehan told a handful of journalists, with a Camp Casey banner behind her. Calling on peace activists to wake up and protest Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and complaining that troops still remain in Iraq, she said: 'We have to realize, it is not the president who is power, it is not the party that is in power, it is the system that stays the same, no matter who is in charge.'

'We are here to make the wars unpopular again,' Sheehan said.

It is time to end the wars. It is time to hold OBushama accountable.


Cheney ‘OK’ With Violating Felony Torture Statute

Cheney ‘OK’ With Violating Felony Torture Statute

In an interview with Fox News to be aired this Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he is “OK” with CIA interrogations that violated Justice Department guidelines and condemned the prospect of any investigation of abuses as potentially “devastating” to morale.
"OK" with crimes - if done in his name. Amazing that we are still debating whether to investigate abuses AT ALL LEVELS!


Kudos to Feingold

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feingold to Obama: Announce Withdrawal Timetable from Afghanistan

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, called on President Obama to announce a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. "This is a strategy that is not likely to succeed," Sen. Feingold said about the troop buildup in Afghanistan. "After eight years, I am not convinced that pouring more and more troops into Afghanistan is a well thought out policy," said Feingold. The liberal Democrat said he has expressed his reservations with President Obama, Admiral Mullen, and others inside the administration and he says he has "never been convinced they have a good answer." "I think it is time we start discussing a flexible timetable so that people around the world can see when we are going to bring our troops out," said Feingold. "Showing the people there and here that we have a sense about when it is time to leave is one of the best things we can do," he added.
Not too flexible though. This is a now win war - as if any war is winnable. Let us learn our lessons from past forays into Afghanistan.


Old Devils - Whitmore

Sunday, August 23, 2009


State Department Still Paying Blackwater More Than $400M -- Despite Public Break With Company

Saturday, August 22, 2009

State Department Still Paying Blackwater More Than $400M -- Despite Public Break With Company:

WASHINGTON -- Despite publicly breaking with an American private security company in Iraq, the State Department continues to award the company, formerly known as Blackwater, more than $400 million in contracts to fly its diplomats around Iraq, guard them in Afghanistan, and train security forces in antiterrorism tactics at its remote camp in North Carolina.

More on Afghanistan
Yeah sure - a break. Pretty clear who runs our government.


We already knew this

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tom Ridge: I Was Pressured To Raise Terror Alert To Help Bush Win

Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was "blindsided" by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.
Manipulation? Who didn't think this was happening?


Labor Warns Dems: We'll Sit Out Election If You Oppose Public Plan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Labor Warns Dems: We'll Sit Out Election If You Oppose Public Plan

by Sam Stein

One of the country's most prominent union officials is warning that big labor may pull its support from Democrats who don't fight for a government-run insurance plan.

In an interview with the Huffington Post on Saturday, Richard Trumka, the secretary-treasurer and likely next president of the AFL-CIO, said his federation is drawing a line in the sand when it comes to a public option in the health care bill. Lawmakers who don't support the provision, he said, shouldn't take anything for granted.

read more

Kudos. Now we have to stand and end the wars.


IRAN: Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right

Saturday, August 15, 2009

IRAN: Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right:

"Summary: But the administration is facing a great deal of pressure to move quickly to sanctions from congressional hawks – backed by hardline organisations within the so-called “Israel lobby” – who have been pushing for a tougher line against Tehran since well before the Jun. 12 elections that triggered Iran's current political crisis. While it remains too early to tell whether the Obama administration intends to follow through on threats of sanctions before the end of the year, recent statements by administration officials have sounded increasingly impatient with the rate of diplomatic progress. source: IPSread more"
There goes the hopes for "diplomacy?"


Progress on Cluster Bombs

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Progress on Cluster Bombs: "Excerpt: Good news is in short supply. The economy remains bleak. The war in Iraq entered its seventh year last week, and violence reaches new pinnacles in Afghanistan. But there is one bright light amid all this gloom. Real progress is being made to ban cluster munitions. These are canisters of different sizes that release hundreds of bomblets on detonation, scattering deadly devices over an area as large as several football fields.



Troops on Main Street

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Governors oppose DoD emergency powers

A bipartisan pair of governors is opposing a new Defense Department proposal to handle natural and terrorism-related disasters, contending that a murky chain of command could lead to more problems than solutions. Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R), chairman of the National Governors Association, and Vice Chairman Gov. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia penned a letter opposing the Pentagon proposal, which they said would hinder a state's effort to respond to a disaster. Current law gives governors control over National Guard forces in their own states as well as any Guard units and Defense Department personnel imported from other states. The letter comes as the Pentagon proposes a legislative fix that would give the secretary of Defense the authority to assist in response to domestic disasters and, consequently, control over units stationed in an affected state.
Swine flu outbreak would mean soldiers on Main Street inoculating us whether you want it or not.


Why decades?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

UK in Afghanistan for decades, says our man in Washington

"We're going to have a very long-term commitment to Afghanistan's future. This is not just one year," Sir Nigel said in an interview with The Boston Globe. "This is going to be for decades. We're going to help them get to a state which can they can ward off the return of the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. That's our strategic objective. We need to avoid the vacuum returning. And that's what this huge effort is about."
Grim outlook? You bet it is. The Soviet Union was planning on staying for decades. Will we never learn from history?


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