Sunday, March 26, 2006

Life in Baghdad today

Iraqis search among bodies laying outside a morgue of a local hospital in Baghdad, for missed relatives. Insurgents killed six in more attacks in Iraq as officials pressed on with efforts to form a unity government amid mounting frustration at their sluggish progress.(AFP/Ali Al Saadi)

For more updated information on what is happening in Iraq, go to Today In Iraq blog.

Dr. Rashad Pleads with You: Call Congress

This was sent to me in an email:

Dr. Rashad Pleads with You: Call Congress!

Long but a lot of very good info


On Wednesday Dr. Rashad Zidan, an Iraqi pharmacist and humanitarian, gave a powerful, moving, eloquent talk at NCSU at a wonderful event organized by the CodePink, NC Peace & Justice, the NCSU campus democrats, NCSU campus greens, MENASA (Middle Eastern & North African Student Association) and with great assistance from Dr. Gerald Surh. With over 130 people in attendance, Dr. Rashad spent nearly 2 hours answering audience questions about the reality of war and occupation in Iraq. An outstanding article by Saja Hindi and Curtis Martin in Thursday's Technician outlines many of her arguments for a speedy withdrawl by US occupation forces - online at:

At the heart of many Iraqi's call for an end to the occupation are many of the same concerns of the peace & justice movement:

*The presence of US troops puts ordinary Iraqis in a catch 22 - If they work with the occupation forices, they are collaborators. If not, they are targeted as insurgents.
*Occupation troops fuel the fire of a growing insurgency, which attracts foreign fighters and terrorists into the battle, and creates divisions among Iraqis where there were none before.
*The US Occupation has used divide and conquer tactics, arming the very militias which commit acts of atrocity against fellow Iraqis.
*The Occupation forces and mercenaries in Iraq are getting away with crimes that undermine any attempt at establishing a justice system or civil society.

Once US troops leave, the majority of Iraqi's can put their energy into building a coalition government, holding accountable elections, rebuilding their society, and providing for their security. The hard-core foreign and fundamentalist fighters still represent a small proportion of the resistance, and Iraqi society will better be able to handle this element once the fuel to their fire has been removed. The sooner the occupation ends, the more likely it is that Iraq as a society can survive.

Dr. Rashad met with Representative Price and Miller during her visit, pleading with them to end the suffering by ending the occupation. She also asked that all of us support her and all those in Iraq working for peace by being a voice for change with our elected officials.

NC Peace & Justice again encourages everyone across the state to contact members of Congress while they are on recess in their districts. If you haven't already, please make a call or fax to your Representative and Senator to their district and DC offices by Monday - you can even leave a voice mail over the weekend!

House Votes to Spend Another $72 Billion on War; Peace Movement Victory on "No Permanent Bases"March 17th, 2006

First, the Bad News ...Rushing through debate in order to get out of town for the St. Patrick's Day Recess, the House passed Bush's $92 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriation request. The request included $19 billion for hurricane relief, which caused some Representatives to vote for the bill.

Silver Lining:In a voice vote, the House approved the Lee-Allen-Hinchey-Schakowsky Amendment, assuring that "None of the funds in this Act may be used by the US government to enter into a basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq." This victory is a direct result of the pressure the peace movement. Although the House passed the supplemental spending bill, we can take heart in the 71 votes against the bill. Last year only 43 members of the House were willing to stand up against the war.

Some Resolutions to ask Congress to Support:

Rep Conyer’s H.Res.635 - Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment. No NC co-sponsors

Rep Murtha’s H.J.Res.73 - To redeploy U. S. Forces from Iraq. - Cosponsors include NC Rep Butterfield

The Senate will begin to consider the supplemental appropriation on March 30, aiming to finish before their Spring Recess (April 7–24). The Senate is generally more willing and able to consider amendments to appropriations bills, and we can expect a "No Permanent Bases" amendment to be offered in the Senate. Your Senators will be in their home states March 17–26, make sure they hear from you. Your message: Support a "No Permanent Bases" amendment, and vote against any appropriation for the War in Iraq.

Free Call to All Congress… 877-762-8762House of Representatives

(Name, DC Phone, NC Phone, Office Location)
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D - 01) 202-225-3101, 252-237-9816 Wilson
Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D - 02) 202-225-4531, 910-814-0335 Lillington
Rep. Walter B. Jones (R - 03) 202-225-3415, 800-351-1697 Greeneville
Rep. David E. Price (D - 04) 202-225-1784, 919-967-7924 Chapel Hill
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R - 05) 202-225-2071, 828-265-0240 Boone
Rep. Howard Coble (R - 06) 202-225-3065, 336-333-5005 Greensboro
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D - 07) 202-225-2731, 910-735-0610 Lumberton
Rep. Robert Hayes (R - 08) 202-225-3715, 888-207-1311 Concord
Rep. Sue Myrick (R - 09) 202-225-1976, 704-362-1060 Charlotte
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R - 10) 202-225-2576, 828-327-6100 Hickory
Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R - 11) 202-225-6401, 828-251-1988 Asheville
Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D - 12) 202-225-1510, 704-344-9950 Charlotte
Rep. Brad Miller (D - 13) 202-225-3032, 919-836-1313 Raleigh

Senator Burr
Washington, DC Office 217 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154 Fax: (202) 228-2981
Asheville OfficeFederal Building151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437 Fax: (828) 350-2439

Gastonia OfficeCity Hall181 South Street, Room 222Gastonia, NC 28052
Phone: (704) 833-0854 Fax: (704) 833-1467
Rocky Mount Office100 Coast Line Street, Room 210Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: (252) 977-9522 Fax: (252) 977-7902
Wilmington Office201 North Front StreetSuite 809Wilmington, NC 28401
Phone: (910) 251-1058 Fax: (910) 251-7975

Winston-Salem Office2000 West First StreetSuite 508Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: (800) 685-8916 Add. Phone: (336) 631-5125 Fax: (336) 725-4493

Senator Dole 555 Dirksen Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
Ph: 202.224.6342 Fax: 202.224.1100

Raleigh Office:310 New Bern AvenueSuite 122Raleigh, NC 27601
Ph: 919.856.4630 Fax: 919.856.4053

Salisbury Office:225 North Main StreetSuite 304Salisbury, NC 28144
Ph: 704.633.5011 Fax: 704.633.2937

Western Office:401 North Main StreetSuite 200Hendersonville, NC 28792
Ph: 828.698.3747 Fax: 828.698.1267

Eastern Office:306 South Evans StreetGreenville, NC 27835
Ph: 252.329.1093 Fax: 252.329.1097

Forwarded by N. C. PEACE ACTION

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Letter to the Washington Post

I find it curious indeed that a majority of Americans have the opinion that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, per your article on "Negative Perception of Islam Increasing." After all, it was the American goverment that authorized the war on Iraq, even with no evidence (just mistaken beliefs) that Iraq was a threat to the USA.

And it was the American military that dropped thousands of bombs on this country and killed at least 30,000 of it's citizens (actually, the number is probably much, much higher) when Iraq did not attack or threaten us.

Who is more prone to violence here? Who has killed more innocents?

(This letter has not been published by the Washington Post.)

Bush lies yet again

From press conference:

Q I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

Q Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

Q -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.
Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.
I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

Saddam did not deny inspectors, and he did disclose that he had no WMDs. So, Bush is a bigger liar than Saddam. What a sad day for America that we elected such a flat-out stupid liar.

I put this on my blog to document how badly Bush lies. Also, he said yesterday that he does not intend to leave Iraq, and that is for a future president to do........ well, let's hope he does not shread the constitution and declare himself "leader for life".

I never believe the fear-mongering about the WMDs, and I was sure they would not find any nuclear WMDs. And while I could not establish that there was no chemical or biological WMDs there, I knew they could not hurt the USA.

No matter how many lies Bush tells about "the terrorists".

I have never believed Bush when he talked about "freedom and democracy" for Iraq. I seems to me that he is bringing them the freedom of the grave and the democracy of death.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Another picture of setting the flags up

This is again from the Asheville Citizens Times website. This gives a better idea of the number of the flags. There are 1,400 for Iraqi civilian fatalities, and 23 for American fatalities.

May they all rest in peace.

May our country find peace.

Photo of the setting of the flags

This photo was taken by the Asheville Citizen Times and published on their website.

March 19, 2006

Rally for Peace 2006

On March 19, 2006, the Western North Carolina Peace Coalition held a Rally for Peace. This was the third annual rally to mark the start of the Iraq war, and this followed large pre-war rallies in 2002 and 2003. Our theme for this Rally for Peace was "the wages of peace".

This rally was held at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. We had over twenty different groups doing tables at the rally, and they included NOW, Women in Black, Kindness Campaign, Mountain Greens, Veterans for Peace, and Department of Peace Campaign. We had even more sponsors, and they included Physicians for Social Responsibility and several local churches.

We had 450 stickers to pass out to attendees that said "End the Occupation of Iraq". These stickers were from the Progressive Democrats of America, and we handed out all of them shortly before the program started. But people kept coming, and we estimate that another 150-250 people came after the start of the program. We had an activist table for the Peace Coalition, with petitions to be signed and pre-made postcards to send to our elected officials. The postcards said "WAGE PEACE for a better world" on the front along with a peace dove and "I believe in peace and ask you to support an end to the war in Iraq" on the back. We had hundreds of postcards signed and returned to us for mailing.

Several of our speakers were ministers from local churches, including one who was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Voices in the Wilderness. He was in Iraq in 2003. We had a speaker from the local Department of Peace campaign and several music acts. We had a couple of exhibits at the rally. One was five display boards of the names of Iraqi civilians killed by this war and another was a sculpture by DeWayne Barton. That sculpture spoke to the Iraq war and the Katrina disaster. It showed how we waste our money on destructive activities instead of helping our own people.

The very best part of our program was, in my opinion, the ending. We had a musical group called Pure Energy that consisted of two young men, with one playing bells and another playing the didgeridoo. The music was both inspiring and mystical. Along with that, two young women released their Peace Doves, which were trained homing pigeons. They were snow white, and they started by releasing two doves, then a few more, and then an entire box full of doves. The doves were trained to fly together in formation, and they formed two distinct groups that flew above us, dipping and gliding and circling around, as we listened to the magical music.

It was the most spiritual experience that I have ever experienced while attending a public event. It was both moving and hopeful, and this was a feeling shared by all who watched the doves and listened to the music. It was inspiring to see some young adults show such creative talent and energy into expressing their personal desires for peace.

It was awesome.

We did get some coverage in the local paper, but we did not feel it was an accurate portrayal of the Rally for Peace.

Also, the WNC Peace Coalition made flags to commemorate the casualties of the Iraq war, and they are now on display at Unitarian Universalist Church in Asheville. The picture above is a close up of the flags. We made 1,400 of them for the Iraqi civilians and 23 for the US military casualties. I don't have any good pictures of the Rally for Peace 2006.

Monday, March 20, 2006

US Legislation

Good News from Friends Council on National Legislation in DC:

This week the House voted to approve one of two key components of FCNL’s Iraq STEP Resolution and to protect civilians in Darfur. These victories are the result of your hard work: the thousands of emails you’ve sent to your representatives on Iraq and Darfur, the in-district lobby meetings with your members of Congress, your efforts to gain endorsements for FCNL’s STEP proposal, and your phone calls. Congratulations!

The STEP resoluton is to ban any permanent military bases in Iraq. So, the House of Representatives passed a bill saying they can not do that.... but will Bush follow the law?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bless the children

This picture is from Yahoo news, and it shows a child killed in a US bombing raid.... or, a US shooting raid, depending on who you talk to, in Iraq. There are more pictures on Yahoo news that show the 11 people killed in this incident. The US admits to 4 being killed, and say they were going after an insurgent. The pictures tell a different story. I printed up two copies of this picture and I am putting it on the back of an envelopes that will go to my Senators. That would be Dole and Burr.

Tomorrow is our Rally for Peace here in Asheville, where will will have speakers, music, poetry and peace doves released. We will think about and talk about what has happened in Iraq over the last three years, but we will never know the extent of it. And, our elected leaders will know even less. They don't care at all about the innocents who have lost their lives in Iraq.

More pictures of these children are on this website. This is not Yahoo News, so the pictures are even worse than above. They show the true reality of war. They also support the claim that the children were killed by shooting, not by a bomb blowing up their home.

God bless the children caught in this horrible conflict.

Friday, March 17, 2006

This is the weekend to Rally for Peace

Regarding this war, I can claim a lot less guilt than most Americans since I have put a LOT of effort into stopping this war. I will/have only done moral things, which means no violence. I have worked on it for hours per day, nearly every day. I have phone numbers of elected officials memorized by 2004 since I called so many times.

I feel sorry for the civilians, not the combatants. Particularly not for combatants that are not in their own homeland or doing it for defense. US troops are fighting for profit for Bush cronies.

Of course, we don't hear the stories of civilians who go through horrible things (like the dead children in today's news) and in Iraq, they not only lack press coverage, they lack medical care too (usually). They just die. Anyone should be able to use their imagaination to know what is happening to the citizens of Iraq.

This war is wicked evil, and the Americans who participated/supported/glamorized all this: shame on you.

This is the weekend to go to a rally and show the world where you stand on the issue of this war. United for Peace and Justice has the most complete list of events, if you are unsure of what is going on in your area. Asheville will have a Rally for Peace on Sunday at Pack Square from 2 to 4 PM. We expect better than 500 people.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Demonstration against Israeli government actions

URGENT: Demonstration at 5 PM at Vance Monument on 3/15/06 against the recent actions of the government of Israel (with USA and British help) in Palestine. This will be at Pack Square in downtown Asheville, NC.

UNCA students are organizing this event. This is their announcement:


Today the Israeli occupation forces launched a brutal and illegal raid on Jericho Prison with the goal of capturing or killing Palestinian resistance leader Ahmed Sa'adat. Sa'adat is the General Secretary ofthe Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He has been imprisoned since 2001 but has never been officially charged or tried. When the new Hamas government announced its intent to release Sa'adat and other prisoners of conscience held in the jail, the Israeli military responded with massive military force. Over 80 military vehicles, including two bulldozers and two helicopters, were sent to the prison in an all-out assault, only fifteen minutes after US andBritish overseers left the facility. The Israeli force attacked prisoners and guards indiscriminately, showing its willingness to kill whomever it needed to in order to keep the popular and respected resistance leader from going free. Two prison guards were killed anda number of other guards and prisoners were wounded before Sa'adat surrendered. Now his fate, in the hands of the Israeli military, is uncertain.Tomorrow at 5pm we will stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people to denounce this, the latest in a long list of Israeli crimes. We ask everyone who can to come out and show your support.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Color Coding

What happened to all those wonderful color coding exercises we did before the 2004 elections? How come we don't have Code Red days anymore? Did they catch bin Laden or something?

Well, that last one is probably never going to happen.... the Bush administration is either to incompetent or they just don't care. Hard to tell which.

Bush needs to be impeached, along with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and all the evil neo-cons.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Andrew Sullivan is dumb

From Andrew's blog: "Thanks for all your emails. I'm aware of one person who clearly stated before the war that he believed that Saddam had no WMDs. That was Scott Ritter. This is not the same as saying that we didn't know for sure, or should have waited some more; or that containment could have worked for a few months or years longer. I mean: an anti-war commentator, writer or speaker who clearly said that Saddam had no WMDs before we invaded and that therefore the war was illegitimate. I remember being told by many who were against getting rid of Saddam that we shouldn't invade precisely because he had WMDs and our invasion would be the only occasion in which he'd use them. But I don't recall anyone saying flat out that there were no WMDs in Iraq. But I may have missed someone. I'll happily post such pre-war statements if you send them to me."

I went around to co-workers, family, friends saying that Iraq had no nuclear WMDs. And I also said that it was possible that they had chemical or biological WMDs, there is no way they could hurt the USA with them.... unless they Fed-Ex them to us???

I figured this all out with a six year old notebook computer and a phone line connection to AOL.

Two really, really BIG clues: Rice and Powell. Both were on record saying that Saddam was contained and not a threat... way back in 2001. Then, a year and a half later, Saddam supposed was in possession of nuclear WMDs without the IAEA even being aware of it. It takes longer than a year and half to make those things.

Furthermore, there were UN inspectors all over Iraq.... YET, AMAZINGLY, Rumsfeld (who claimed he knew where the WMDs were) COULD NOT TELL THE UN INSPECTORS WHERE THERE WERE!!!! WELL, DUH...... WHAT ABOUT THAT?

And then there was the silly performance of Powell in front of the UN Security Council in February, 2003. I watched that and thought "it's all circumstantial evidance" and thought that would easily be debunked. It was - by the foreign press. Apparently, the US press is incapable of thinking!!!!

This past Friday, someone from my Representative's office claimed that Saddam may have moved his chemical WMDs to Syria. That is total nonsense. These people are out of touch with reality. It is not possible to move a chemical weapons plant (lock, stock, and barrel) without even a trace left behind. Never mind that such a claim defies common sense!

And this morning, while still half asleep, I heard someone on NPR go on and on about what we need to do in Iraq to "win" this conflict. He was spouting bullshit. Turns out it was Ken Pollack.... who has been wrong about Iraq for 16 YEARS. How long do you have to get things wrong before you are no longer interviewed on NPR?? How many decades??

We seriously, seriously, seriously need media reform here in the USA. They are pitiful.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It is with great sadness.....

That I have to report the death of Tom Fox. Below is an email sent to me by a local friend:

Our Friend Tom Fox, , the Christian Peacemaker of Langley Hills Meeting, who was captured last November by the "Swords of Righteousness Bridgade" in Baghdad, has been killed. CNN reports that Fox's body had two bullet wounds, his hands were bound, and there were cuts and bruises on his body that indicated physical abuse.

According to ABC News, "The State Department continues to call for the unconditional release of all other hostages in Iraq". This of course is completely and utterly false. The State Department is calling for the unconditional release of all hostages except the 20,000 or more being detained by Occupation forces. These hostages, some of whom have been tortured and killed, are used by terrorists as a convenient excuse to capture, torture, and kill innocent Americans.

Cynical warmongers claim that Fox and his compatriots were on a fool's errand. Nothing could be further from the truth, IMHO. It is the military that is on a fool's errand, one that has cost us over a half trillion dollars and 2,400 American lives. Anyone who thinks that Peacemakers are less safe because they are unarmed has forgotten what happened in Fallujah.

On Nov 25, 2005, the day before he was captured, Tom wrote this in his diary:

"Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exists within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls."

A true Peacemaker, Tom recognized that the first place to look for what stands in the way of peacemaking is within. Rest in Peace, Tom.

May your legacy live on, and triumph, before it is too late for all of us.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Too many are willing to die for war and too few are willing to die for peace.” – Thomas Fox, American member of Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Just says it all.....

And some people think our "image" in Muslims/Arabs/Iraqi minds are affected by such things as port deals or Americans speaking out against their government's policies.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

From Dede Miller, Gold Star Families for Peace

I got to meet Dede last year when she came to Asheville with her sister, Cindy Sheehan. Cindy was speaking at the Asheville Peace Rally in March 2005. I first met Cindy up in DC in January 2005, and I had asked her to speak in Asheville. She did, and she mainly did it at her own expense. The WNC Peace Coalition did make a donation to Gold Star Familes for Peace. Cindy and Dede are both great women. I agree with what Dede is calling for. I have long spells of calling the White House, Senators Burr and Dole and Representative Taylor every day. Lately, I have only been calling once or twice a week. They need to hear from other voices: they know me. I visited DC last year three times (and you can read about those trips on this blog) and I lobbied Burr, Dole and Taylor each time. And each time, I bumped into one of them in the halls of DC's office buildings. I am going to talk to Taylor's office staff again this Friday.

It does not take special knowledge or skills to lobby. All it take is time...... time to make a phone call or visit and tell them what you think. It pays to be polite, because you will have more of an impact that way. But you dont' need to know any facts, you can just speak from your heart.

Also, there is a RALLY FOR PEACE in Asheville on March 19, 2006 from 2 to 4 PM at Pack Square. There will be speakers, live music, poets, displays, tables, and a peace dove release. If you are in the area, we hope you will stop by for our rally.

Let's Go Gandhi -- By Dede Miller,

Yesterday my sister Cindy Sheehan was arrested outside of the U.S. mission to the United Nations. A contingent of Women which included Cindy, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, Missy Beattie a GSFP member whose Nephew Chase Comley was killed in Iraq and eight Iraqi women were attempting to deliver the Women Say no to War petition to the U.S. mission. This visit was pre approved by the mission. As the women arrived one of New York’s finest “cited a change of plans from “higher up” and moved in to arrest them. Four of the women, Cindy, Medea, Missy and code pink member Patti Ackerman were handled very roughly during their arrest. The women linked arms when it became apparent they were to be arrested. For this they were physically abused and charged with resisting arrest.

What will it take for the majority of you who don’t support the occupation of Iraq or the Bush regime to rise up? Polls tell us that 59% of you believe the occupation is wrong and we are being lied to by Bush. I do not see 160 million of you out in the streets. Again, what will it take? I will tell you what it took to get me off of my ass. It took my sweet beautiful nephew Casey’s blood spilling in Sadr City Baghdad. It took watching my sister and family suffer a pain I don’t think I can ever explain well enough but know it is a pain I would not even wish on the Bush family. I feel an indefensible guilt because of my apathy. I live daily thinking maybe Casey and 2300 other kids would still be alive if I had been in the streets prior to March 19 2003. Our civil rights are slowly being taken from us.

The Senate voted 89-10 to renew the Patriot Act. It still must pass the house. After hearing of the Dubai port deal and learning of the illegal wire tapping of Peace activists it is very apparent to me that the Patriot Act is used more to curtail the actions of U.S. citizens than to protect us from Terrorists. Patriot Act II will further increase the powers of the Bush regime and further diminish our rights.

So when will you wake up and rise up?

Will it be when you are arrested for trying to deliver a petition to a Government entity that your tax dollar pays?

Will it be when you are arrested for wearing a shirt a government official finds offensive?

Will it be when your e-mails and phone conversations are monitored by the NSA?

Will it be when your Child's brains are blown out in a foreign country?

Tell me please what it will take?

I was having this conversation with a dear friend of mine. Someone on our side. But a person comfortable in life and as yet untouched by the last 5 years. When I asked her to speak out, call her congressman, newspaper, etc. She said to me “who would listen?” My answer to her, no one if you don’t do anything.

I can’t stress it enough to you. At some point your life is going to be impacted by this administration of evil and greed. I implore you, I beg you, don’t wait until it is too late. The time is now to take our country back. The time is now to make our elected official do our will.

Non Violent Civil Disobedience is a time tested and proven tool to effect change.

To quote Gandhi:You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance.Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.

We must as Rep. Maxine Waters puts it “put street heat” on congress. It is time for us to as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it “cast our whole vote”.

You must now be willing to do as much as you can to reclaim our country. Can you make daily phone calls to your Senators and Congressmen? I think you can. Can you get out one hour a week in front of the homes of your Congressional reps demanding they do our will?

I think you can. Will you dig your heals in and stand your ground when they will not listen? I think you should.

It is time to go Gandhi on them……will you?


In Peace,Dede MillerProud Auntie of Casey Sheehan KIA Iraq 04/04/04Gold Star Families for Peace
Please visit our website for ways to get active

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Another response to another blog

First off, Bush will make a "show" of drawing down troops, but there will be no complete withdrawal of US forces while he is around. Not going to happen. Those bases are expected to be "permanent" and to insure the oil companies and others make a ton of money there in Iraq. That was the point of the whole war, and they do not intend to abondon that.

That does not mean you should not make them as miserable as possible right here in the USA. It is your moral duty. Call them everyday and tell them what poor excuses for human beings they are. By "them" I mean the White House, Representatives, Senators. Go visit them and tell them. Write them. Do this as often as you possibly can. Do it daily.

And, what the French did in Algeria is exactly what will happen in Iraq, and the sooner we get out of there, the better. Saying we should stay is like a violent drunk claiming he has to stay with his family to provide for them. No, he has to GET OUT and SEND SUPPORT CHECKS. This is what needs to happen in Iraq.

And, just like we can expect to see US troops come home and do violent crimes from PTSD, we can expect that from Iraqi citizens too - except that they have even more PTSD than the US troops, since they have lost their homes, jobs, business, neighborhoods and country, and don't have hardly any access to health care. Those factors are not true for US troops.

I support allowing any Iraqi who wants to come to the USA to come.... but I'm sure that among that large crowd will be terrorists who want revenge.

It would be well for you to keep in mind that there are "loyal-to-America" Iraqis RIGHT NOW working with US troops and US occupation authorities in Iraq who are INFILTRATORS. This is how guerilla wars go. They may want to come over here also. How can we tell them apart? How can we know what PTSD will do to Iraqi citizens who immigrate over here? We can't.

I am willing to pay the price, are you?

I am also sure that getting Iraqis over here is in the hands of the Bush administration. And we are having great difficulty getting them to do anything decent, or even show signs of intelligent behavior.

Monday, March 06, 2006

How to tell if you are a moron

I wrote this in the comment section of another blog:

I thought I would drop in and tell everyone how they can tell if they are the true moron or not.

You are a world class moron if you ever believed any of the following, even for a second:

1. there were nuclear weapons in Iraq
2. Iraq was a threat to the USA
3. Iraq had anything to do with 9/11
4. Bush administration was capable of doing anything right
5. Bush administration ever wanted what was best for other people beyond their "base"
6. Bush administration had any degree of competence, ever
7. Bush administration went into Iraq for WMDs or to bring "freedom and democracy" to Iraqis or to fight terrorism
8. This war in Iraq would reduce terrorism world-wide
9. Bush administration cares about what happens to the Iraqi people or US/UK troops ... or even the vast majority of Americans
10. Bush administration intends to get Iraq to a point where they are functioning normally and living a decent life
11. Bush administration did NOT intend to make a big, fat pile of money off of Iraq (with American taxpayer's help, of course)
12. Bush administration intends to leave Iraq permanently and not have any US bases left behind
13. Iran has nuclear weapons
14. Iran is a threat to the USA
15. Iran had anything to do with 9/11
16. Bush administration cares about democracy in Iran or cares one whit about the people of Iran
17. Bush administration would allow large scale immigration of poor Iraqis into the USA - (rich Iraqis may qualify as part of the "base")

Now, if you have, at any point in your life believed two or more of the above, then you are a huge moron. And you should get some red lipstick and write on your bathroom mirror: I AM A TRUE MORON AND A GULLIBLE FOOL, just so you don't forget it.

If you believe three of the above, then you should tattoo the word MORON on your forehead so the rest of us can identify you and look out for you when you try to cross streets or go vote or something.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Update on an Iraqi town that had "wall" built around it

Siniyah: An Iraqi Town That is Now a Prison

Twice now, an IPS correspondent has been refused entry to this town that has become a prison for its inhabitants. Contact with residents of the town came only at the checkpoint. A month back, the United States military built a 10 kilometre wall of sand around the town of Siniyah, 220km north of Baghdad. The town is close to Saddam Hussein’s hometown Tikrit and the oil refining centre at Beiji. Construction of a sand wall around the town began on January 7 in response to repeated attacks against the 101st Airborne US forces stationed in the area. A night curfew has been imposed in the area. “Journalists have not been limited or prevented from travelling in and around Siniyah,” US military spokesman Major Tim Keefe told IPS.

“Coalition and Iraqi Forces go to great lengths to make sure journalists are able to do their job in a safe environment.” That was after soldiers stopped the IPS correspondent entering the town on two occasions. But in the queue to the main checkpoint many people were more than willing to speak to IPS about the situation within.“On the 7th of January, the US troops started building this wall around Siniyah,” said Mohammed, a 34-year-old engineer from Siniyah.

“They are trying to isolate Iraqi fighters who are attacking them every day. The troops have been exposed to attacks near Siniyah by roadside bombs and by different weapons... Also, the resistance blows up the petrol pipelines leading to Turkey.” The issue of the pipeline is a salient one for residents of Siniyah. The town has been sealed off not because of attacks within the town, but due to the belief it is being used as a staging ground for attacks outside. The coalition forces are attempting to halt attacks directed mainly at the Beiji refinery and at convoys serving the coalition.

The chosen targets have brought general support for Iraqi resistance within Siniyah. Mohammed says the attacks are taking place because “this petrol will go to Turkey and is stolen by occupation forces, or when Turkey buys this petrol the money is taken by the occupation forces.” Residents of Siniyah speak also of injustices by the occupation troops. The wall of sand is now dividing residents from the Iraqi government, they say.“Siniyah has become a real battlefield now, and the occupation forces have destroyed many of our homes,” said Sumiya, a 33-year-old housewife. “There is no security inside Siniyah and it is worse than any place in Iraq now. The occupation forces and Iraqi National Guard are raiding Siniyah houses everyday and arresting many people. There is a curfew from 5pm to 5am; in Baghdad it is only midnight to 5am.”

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Some info on national security

The War At Home: National Security: Live Discussion with Post writer Dana Priest

Fairfax County, Va.: Dana, What could you tell us about the intelligence community's view of the President's persistent claim that the war in Iraq is not creating more terrorists? It has been my impression that the war was at the very least contributing to radicalization in much of the Arab and Muslim world. Is the president being, at the least, disingenuous in continuing his emphasis only on the potential benefits of the intervention, and not on the costs? Thanks as always.

Dana Priest: It is now a core belief, among every single intelligence person--inside and outside government, both foreign and domestic--that the Iraq war is pouring fuel on the fire, boosting recruitment and given individuals an anti-American ideology and the commitment to undertake suicide bombings. There is no dispute here.

So, this tells us that all the evil bombing and war-making is not even making us any safer here at home.

It is surely making us more hated.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

An Army interrogator speaks out

"Following orders that I believed were legal, I used military working dogs during interrogations. I terrified my interrogation subjects, but I never got intelligence (mostly because 90 percent of them were probably innocent, but that's another story). Perhaps, I have thought for a long time, I also deserve to be prosecuted. But if that is the case, culpability goes much farther up the chain of command than the Army and the Bush administration have so far been willing to admit....
In training, we learned that all P.O.W.'s are protected against actual and implied threats. You can never put a "knife on the table" to get someone to talk. That was clear. But our Iraqi prisoners weren't clearly classified as P.O.W.'s, so I never knew what laws applied. Instead, a confusing set of verbal and written orders had supplanted the Geneva Conventions."
- Anthony Lagouranis, who served as an Army interrogator from January 2004 to January 2005.