Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rally in DC, fourth picture

I remember before the war started, a friend of mine emailed me about how the war was going to really be great for America, because it would take care of our "enemies" who had attacked us on 9/11. I emailed back that this upcoming war on Iraq was illegal, immoral and very, very stupid.

She was extremely upset that I called the war "very, very stupid."

Fact is, I was wrong. It is not "very, very stupid." It is oh-so-breathtakingly stupid. It is stupid beyond belief.

I was called a "traitor" when I still did not support this war after it started. So I do have a few things in common with this sign holder.

This picture was taken by Emily M., a local high-schooler who went to DC last weekend.

Here is an article from the WaPo today:

Congress Can Stop Iraq War

The U.S. Congress has the power to end the war in Iraq, several high-powered legal experts including a former Bush administration attorney told a Senate hearing on Tuesday. With many lawmakers poised to confront President George W. Bush by voting disapproval of his war policy in the coming days, four of five experts called before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee said Congress could go further and restrict or stop U.S. involvement if it chose.

And here is something you can do from home, from your computer:

PEACE ACTION: Progressive Democrats of America has been working and organizing support for HR 4232 since Rep. McGovern introduced this important bill in November of 2005. Rep. McGovern spoke at the PDA "Get out of Iraq" Town Hall meeting the day after he introduced HR 4232. We continue to work for its passage as a top legislative priority. We urge you to continue organizing support for HR 4232 and to ask your Congressional member to co-sponsor the bill.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rally in DC, third picture

This photo is again from the rally in DC on January 27, 2007. It was taken by Emily M. It is a sign made by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace - Chapter 99 - a great group of folks!

I do not really remember if there was significant public support for impeachment during the Nixon years - I was a bit young to pay attention to all that. But I can say that today, there is a thousand times more public support for impeachment of Bush and Cheney than there ever was for Clinton. Most of the public thought that impeaching Clinton was just stupid. (Of course, most of us thought what he did was stupid, too.) Today, there is VAST support for starting impeachment hearings on Bush and Cheney. My license plates on my car say IMPEACH.

We need to impeach for justice, to save our country, to stop future wars, and to bring an end to the Iraq war, torture, kidnapping.

We must IMPEACH. If our next president is not Pelosi, we may not have a country at all.


Rally in DC, second picture

This photo was taken by Emily M. at the rally and march in DC on January 27, 2007. This is a picture of her mother, who happens to be a co-worker.

In the background, of course, is the capitol. I heard to day that the US Senators are saying that Bush cannot go and start up a war with Iran, and that he should stop trying to provoke them. If we do have a war with Iran, it would be horrible. In light of the fact that they have NEVER attacked or threatened our country, it would be truly evil to go and bomb them. As a matter of fact, Iran has not attacked any other country first, but they did have a war with Iraq for eight years. I have heard that there was a point where Saddam wanted peace, but the Iran government would not agree to that. But it was Saddam who started that war. And the USA sold arms to both sides, and give intelligence and other help to Iraq. This is truly evil to help people have a useless war that kills a million souls.

Rally in DC, first picture

Photo is from the rally in DC last weekend. This picture was taken by Emily M., a local high school student who went to the rally on the buses with over 100 others.

I hope I have time to write more later, particularly about the meeting the Peace Coalition had with the staff of our newly elected Representative. The meeting was here in Asheville, and some folks meet with the staff up in DC. But here is quote from our US Representative, and I think a hopeful sign:

Shuler: “It’s an escalation and a continuation of what we’ve heard two or three times before,” the freshman lawmaker said after the speech. “I feel it’s not the right approach.”

From Asheville Citizen Times, January 11, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Yesterday was a big protest day across the USA. The biggest protest was in DC, and many people have written up about that one. I found this picture of protesting in the USA.


Thousands of protesters of the war in Iraq heading to the Embarcadero after holding a rally at Powell and Market Streets, protesting the latest troop deployments, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Dino Vournas)

Here in Asheville, there was about 50-60 people who showed up for a Peace Rally at Vance Monument. This rally was called by a women who has not worked with the Peace Coalition or Vets for Peace or any other peace group in the area. She just felt inspired to call a rally. I had mentioned this rally when I was being interviewed by the only local TV station - and they covered the buses going to DC and also mentioned the local rally. That got some people there who were not connected to any local peace groups to the rally.

As I was walking to this small rally in Asheville, someone said to me: "War is not the answer, bigger bombs is the answer." I said "that's ridiculous" and kept on walking. I really don't know what to say to people who are so obviously stupid. I am sorry that they live in my country, however.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Prog Dems of Buncombe County Meeting

The quarterly meeting of the Progressive Democrats of Buncombe County was held on January 10, 2007. There were four members present. Minutes from the last meeting were accepted. We did a review of the last election, and we all agree that we are glad Taylor is out and Shuler is in. We think he is much more approachable and in line with our desires for our federal government. Shuler’s address in Asheville is 356 Biltmore Avenue, Suite #400. It is on the same side of the street as St. Joseph’s Hospital. It is also just across a small side street from St. Joseph’s Hospital. Shuler’s phone number is 828-252-1651 in Asheville and 202-225-6401 in DC. There will be meetings with Shuler’s staff later this month, both in Asheville and in DC. The WNC Peace Coalition will be visiting.

We discussed membership and decided to keep dues at the same level ($5/year). We have an email list that includes many people who are not paying dues, but right now we have limited expenses. We are paying $10 to rent the room at North Asheville Library for the meeting.

We decided not to elect officers at this time, due to limited attendance. Susan will continue to function as an organizer. Susan will continue as the PDA Point Person for congressional district #11. We did approve the letter going to Governor Easley from NC STOP TORTURE NOW group. This letter is asking the governor to stop torture and rendition flights out of airports in the eastern part of the state. These flights are run by Aero Contractors. We approved the two resolutions going to the Democratic Party State Executive Committee meeting later this month. These resolutions are Out of Iraq and No Preemptive War on Iran. (UPDATE: The Out of Iraq resolution was presented by the resolution committee, and it passed easily. The No Preemptive War on Iran resolution was not approved by the resolution committee, and a quorum was lost before other resolutions could be presented.)

We discussed spending money for a banner for PDA in NC, and decided that it needed more investigation to determine the cost. The next meeting date will be Tuesday, April the 10th at 7 PM. We discussed moving the meeting to EarthFare community room and that was agreeable to everyone. (Update: It now costs $35 to use this room, so we will stay with the North Asheville Library.) We then watched two DVDs from PDA on what PDA is about and how to work to get congress to stop funding the war. (These DVDs are available for loan.) Everyone was encouraged to become a sustaining donor to PDA. There was a door prize awarded – the book ‘Crashing the Gate’ and a couple of other books about political issues from a liberal perspective.


April 10, 2007 Tuesday at 7 PM at North Asheville Library

Monday, January 22, 2007

For Faiza

A picture of the sun setting over the city of Baghdad. Taken in 2006. I am writing this post for Faiza, who had to leave the city she loved and the rivers she loved, for safety in a foreign land. I know she is waiting and working to someday return to her own home, Baghdad.

I would like to dedicate a song to Faiza. It is called "Going Home" by Mary Fahl. I first picked this song and played it for her when she called into a local radio station for an interview. At that time, it was not commonly thought that Iraq was in a civil war, but the Bush administration's plan of divide and conquer was working, and would one day lead to a state of civil war in Iraq. The song "Going Home" was written about the American civil war. But when I first picked the song, there was violence and fighting in Iraq, but no civil war. Today, it is headed to a civil war, or maybe the more accurate way of looking at it is to say that it is a fight against the occupation supporters (those who profit and are in power because the US is there) and those who are against the occupation.

Faiza, I hope one day soon, you can go back home to Baghdad.

“Going Home”

They say there’s a place , where dreams have all gone
They never said where, but I think I know
Its miles through the night just over the dawn
On the road that will take me home

I know in my bones, I've been here before
The ground feels the same, tho the land's been torn
I've a long way to go, the stars tell me so
On this road that will take me home.

Love waits for me round the bend
Leads me endlessly on
Surely sorrows shall find their end
and all our troubles will be gone
And I know what I've lost, and all that I won
when the road finally takes me home

And when I pass by , don't lead me astray
Don't try and stop me , don't stand in my way
I'm bound for the hills where cool waters flow
on this road that will take me home

Love waits for me round the bend
Leads me endlessly on
Surely sorrows shall find their end
and all our troubles will be gone
And we'll know what we've lost and all that we've won
when the road finally takes me home.

I'm going home
I'm going home
I'm going home

UPDATE: This was also posted on Daily Kos.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Final Eyes Wide Open photo

Again, this photo was taken by Jill D., a remarkable young NC women who I have had the pleasure of lobbying with up in DC. This one shows a young man looking closely at the personal letters a family have written to their deceased son.

Many of the boots have personal mementos attached to them, and they all had a flag of North Carolina and a carnation in them.

May all the deceased from this war rest in peace.
And may Americans learn that war is wrong, and should not be pursued.

Another picture from Eyes Wide Open

And this picture is of a young man reading the names of the US troops killed in Afghanistan. It was important to the people who held the first Eyes Wide Open in North Carolina (in Asheville, my town) to remember them also. And so, this poster was made with their names on it in 2006. Fortunately, no new names have been added since then.

This is not true for the number of boots in the display for Iraq. There have been several more NC soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq since spring of 2006.

At our display (held indoors) we had several WW2 veterans come in uniform. One walked between all the boots and read the names silently. Then he walked to the front of the room and saluted them.

It brought tears to my eyes.

More Eyes Wide Open Pictures

Here is another picture by Jill D.

And here is a letter I wrote last month to the News and Observer, a Raleigh NC paper.

I remember four years ago hearing that Saddam had WMDs, and that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld knew where there were - but were unable to tell the location to the UN weapons inspectors for some inexplicable reason. I knew they were lying.

Today, we have a genocide going on in Iraq. It is a genocide started by the Bush administration and funded by US taxpayers. I am appalled and offended that my tax money would be put to such use, just like I am appalled that my government started an illegal war of aggression against Iraq in violation of the Nuremberg Principles.

This occupation and destruction of Iraq has got to stop. They did not attack us or threatened us. What the US is doing in Iraq is immoral. What our politicians have allowed to happen is evil. We have got to stop them.

Eyes Wide Open in North Carolina

This is a photo taken by Jill D., a fantastic women in Winston-Salem. She helped organize and run the Eyes Wide Open exhibit in that town. She also took some pictures, and this is my favorite! This child is holding a sign that says No More War.

Here are a couple links to the news stories that came out:

Friday, January 19, 2007

I always thought he was Anti-U.S. too...

Anti-U.S. President George W. Bush is seen on a TV screen during the transmission of American, anti-Shiite Iraqi insurgency television channel Al-Zawraa, in Cairo, Egypt Friday, Jan. 19, 2007. Washington and Baghdad are pressuring Egypt to remove from its government satellite an Iraqi TV station that supports Sunni Arab insurgents, airing a steady stream of footage of attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and denunciations of Iraq's Shiite leadership. So far, Egypt has refused. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Letter to Hendersonville Times

To the Editor:

I am totally appalled at what we have done to the people and country of
Iraq. They never attacked us. They never threatened us. And yet we have
turned their country into a living hell. To suggest that more troops are
needed flies in the face of current events, logic and common sense - and
common decency. We need to end this occupation of Iraq, not escalate it.
We need to help the international community help Iraqis with reconstruction
of their country.

There will be a vigil at Rep. Shuler's office about this escalation. I
will not be able to make this vigil, but I am there in spirit. This war
and occupation are the most immoral, most evil, most illegal action taken
by my government in my entire 50+ years. It is also take-your-breath-away
stupid. And no matter how long it goes on, these facts will never change.

Cheney turned down Iran offer in 2003

BBC and Newsnight report today about a letter was sent from Iranian officials to the US State Department. The letter proposed ending support for militant groups in Lebanon and Palestine and also offered support for stabilizing Iraq. Furthermore, they proposed making Iran’s nuclear program more transparent. All of this was conditional on the ending of US hostilities toward Iran.

In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.

Well, it got nowhere pretty fast. The US State Department was very much in support of following up on this effort, but when it got to the Cheney administration, they killed it.

"We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that," Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.

"But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself."

Pretty ironic that Cheney claims ‘we don’t talk to evil’ in light of the fact that there are people here in the USA who still talk to him. I would bet he even talks to himself, thereby making him a hypocrite (again).

The people who have seen this letter say it is close to what the US is demanding of Iran at this time in the year 2007, but the overall playing field has changed quite a bit since 2003. Today, Hamas is in power by a democratic election. Hezbollah has brought Israel’s superior military force to a standstill in Lebanon, and has increased in political power and standing from that development. And Iraq is in tatters, with violence spiraling out of control, with both the US and the Iraqi government is in need of any helpful suggestion or player that can come it’s way.

Our media constantly repeats what the Bushites say about Iran, but here is the truth:

Iran is developing nuclear power, and looking to sell nuclear fuel one day.

No sign or clear evidence that they are developing nuclear weapons at this time.

If they are developing nuclear weapons, it will be years before they achieve that goal.

There is no evidence that Iran is supplying arms to insurgents in Iraq who are doing roadside bombings (IED). It is really clear that they are not helping out the Sunni insurgents.

It is also clear that Iran is playing a political role in Iraq, with al Hakim being the closest in relationship to Iran. Sadr’s group is not affiliated with Iran at all. Interestingly, the Bush administration is working with al Hakim (and his SICRI group) and talks belligerently about Sadr’s group (the Mahdi army). And, of course, they talk belligerently about Iran. All of this is a huge clue that they are out of touch with reality, but you knew that already.

Iran’s growing political power in Iraq is making other countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan very nervous of the Shi’ite alliance. And, it so happens, that Shi’ite minority in Saudi Arabia are sitting on the oil, just like in Iraq (for the most part). Also, there are 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide, but only about 15% of them are Shi’ites, and most of them are living in Iraq and Iran. There has been growing violence against Shi’ites in Pakistan and other countries in the last year or so. Bin Laden and his group hate the Shi’ites and don’t see them as proper Muslims.

It is likely true that Iran did supply Hezbollah with money, training, and weapons. It is certainly true that the USA supplied Israel with cluster bombs, among a host of other things. This made the Israel-Lebanon war last summer somewhat of a proxy war for USA-Iran. (And guess who won?)

It is really unclear what relationship Iran may have with Hamas, if any relationship at all.

Americans who are opposed to Iran for “helping terrorists” are making big, fat hypocrites out of themselves if they are not also opposed to the terrorism dished out by the USA and Israel.


But, all in all, Iran has the cleanest hands of the whole damn group.

And the stupid Cheney administration passed up, yet again, a chance to further world stability and peace.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bravo, Rep. Walter Jones!!!

Today, I found out there is someone in the US House of Representatives who is willing to stand up to Bush/Cheney and stand up for our Constitution!

And it is Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to be able to share this news with you!

Rep. Walter Jones, as you probably know, was the Representative who was so pro-war in Iraq that he wanted to rename the French fries as “Freedom fries”. By the summer of 2005, he had woken up and realized that we were lead into war by the Bush administration by a pack of lies. Furthermore, and even more important, he realized the human toll being exacted by this war. Even so (being what some on Kos call a “purity troll”) I was not ready to forgive and forget and move on. However, Cindy Sheehan had visited with Walter Jones, and when I piped up and said that she should not be doing that, she told me that I should talk to Rep. Walter Jones.

So, I did. Actually, I went to talk with his staff, and happened to bump into Rep. Jones in the office. He is sincere. He felt the war was awful and a mistake. He took lots of political hits for his position, especially since his congressional district has a significant military presence. He called for (in 2004) the start of withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in 2006.

But today, I heard of a bill he has introduced that is just AWESOME. It shows HE REALLY GETS IT.

I got the following from an article on Information Clearing House:

The day after Bush's threat to Iran, Jones introduced a Joint Resolution, "Concerning the Use of Military Force by the United States Against Iran." Under HJR 14, "Absent a national emergency created by attack by Iran, or a demonstrably imminent attack by Iran, upon the United States, its territories, possessions or its armed forces, the president shall consult with Congress, and receive specific authorization pursuant to law from Congress, prior to initiating any use of force on Iran."

Jones' resolution further declares, "No provision of law enacted before the date of the enactment of this joint resolution shall be construed to authorize the use of military force by the United States against Iran."

In other words, Rep. Walter Jones has said that the Bush/Cheney administration has to follow the US Constitution and the US Congress must vote for war – BEFORE any military attacks on Iran. Rep. Jones is saying that we will not begin another war of aggression based on a pack of lies. Rep. Jones is saying that our country will adhere to the Nuremberg principals and international law.

Rep. Walter Jones office number is 202-225-3415.

I will call him tomorrow and say BRAVO for saying and doing the RIGHT THING and then I will call all the other federal politicians in North Carolina and tell them to support this bill.

NO ATTACK ON IRAN. They do not have nuclear weapons at this time, and the pundits who say they are developing nuclear weapons and will have them in a couple of years HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT SINCE 1991.

Please join me in calling your Representative and your Senators and ask them to support Rep. Walter Jones bill.

Monday, January 15, 2007


The two links below will lead you to ideas and petitions and actions you can take to stop the escalation of the war.

The first is Progressive Democrats of America petition to stop funding the war beyond June 2007, witch will allow plenty of time to get our troops out of there.

The second one is a Kos diary with lots of petitions and actions for you to follow.

Please spend the next five minutes doing these things, and please pass this information along.

Let's hear it for the power of the blogs!

Inside Media Reform Conference, Day Three

This blog was also posted on Daily Kos.

The report I wrote up for Friday can be found HERE.

The first report I wrote up for the first part of Saturday can be found HERE.

And you can watch parts of the Media Reform Conference online HERE. I have heard that they were on C-Span already, and C-Span will surely show more.

CONTINUATION OF SATURDAY’S MEDIA REFORM CONFERENCE (I had internet access problems, and was unable to update inside the conference….. had to wait until I got home.)

The YES Men: Media Hacktivists Extraordinaire

The basic premise of this movie is that criminals steal non-criminal’s identity to commit crimes – well the YES MEN steal criminal’s identities to commit JUSTICE. They call it ‘Identity Correction’. I am not going to go in to detail on this very funny, very astute movie. I don’t want to wreck it for you! I highly recommend this movie. Their website is HERE.

Bubbling Up: My Space, YouTube, Social Networking & Political Change

First speaker here was James Rucker at Color of Change. Rucker said that corporate media will decrease in importance, mainly due to low costs on the internet and the ability to reach a large audience. Blogs have come to maturity and have come to prominence. Rucker also ran Video The Vote. He started this to capture any suppression of voting. This route allowed Americans to report from every polling machine in the country, while corporate media could not do this. Rucker said what YouTube is lacking is background and credibility. It is a hodge-podge place of video clips without someone to write them up and explain them to the public. This issue was addressed by Video The Vote, since they did write up content and context. He did not think corporate media will be able to compete with citizen journalists. He was asked about censoring on YouTube now that Google owns it. Rucker did not think they could go very far on that because commercial interests will stop them.

Dina Kaplan is the webmaster of Blip TV. She spoke about video blogging, and she made several points. 1) You are the reporter, for local events or world events. 2) You are the lobbyist. 3) You can create a community around blog videos, link common blogs together, and use them to lobby and promote issues. 4) Video blog for candidates and campaigns – can speak directly to voters – without buying expensive ads. Those who will do the best in this medium are the ones who are “real” and down to earth. 5) Political future is in your hands. 6) You (WE) are the media. Kaplan told the story of Alive in Baghdad and how this ordinary American went to Baghdad to make videos about what was happening there. This guy also trained Iraqis to use video cameras and make videos. He has won awards for his work. His latest video from Baghdad is called “Everyone’s A Target”. On Blip TV, if you upload video to the site, you retain 100% of content rights. There are no limits to how much programming you can post. People vote on what is most popular by mouse clicks.
Joan McCarter was the next speaker on this panel, and she is better known in Daily Kos land as “McJoan”. She says she is a professional blogger, and that she felt like a bit of a dinosaur since she only uses “words” for her blogging. She has seen a phenomenal change in the last few years. She spoke about how bloggers changed the debate (about Iraq) and the outcome of the elections. Blogs also got people involved in grassroots efforts – some became paid staff on campaigns or even became candidates themselves. She spoke about the Saturday morning garden blog on Daily Kos. She spoke about how a working group formed called ‘Energize America’ to work on energy policy – and that policy was presented to Bill Richardson who is trying to get this policy out there and acted upon. There is a group doing flu tracking, called flu-wiki. The CDC comes and checks with them for latest outbreak of the flu. The bloggers raised important questions on Gonzalez’s nomination. There are rescue rangers (thank you, rescue rangers for rescuing my first diary on the Media Conference) and comment rescuers also.

McJoan felt that the social networks lead to the activist networks, and that many of us are hungry for social networking from shared core beliefs. McJoan felt the Civil Rights movement showed this aspect in action. The people who worked together on those issues became very close and supportive of each other. The blogging brings many more people into action, including people who can not even leave the home; they still can make positive contributions. Some of the challenges she saw were the digital divide, the telecommunications industries and net neutrality, the complexity of the internet, and the need for more usability and flexibility.

This went into a questions session, and the man who runs Tom Paine website asked about how to open up the site to comments without allowing people to act badly. McJoan said that SCOOP is used to moderate trouble makers on Daily Kos, and there is other software available also (like ability to see how long email was established). Moderation in Daily Kos is community based. Another question was on how do we get more people to participate. Blip.TV (Kaplan) said that they do instructions that walk people through the technology. McJoan said that many will be passive users. Another audience question was how to get on line activists to be real life activists. He said FACEBOOK was mainly used by college students, and when he could get 2000 to sign an on-line petition but only 30 to show up for a protest. Kaplan suggested having one person who was coming to the event to make a video blog on why they are going, and then get some more people to video blog why they are going, and then have more people do that, and it will grow. They warned not to start the process until the details of the event are well established. Someone commented that MY SPACE is facing censorship now that they are under Murdoch.

At the end of this session, I had the pleasure of going up to McJoan and let her know that I would be blogging on her later today! Well done session there, McJoan! (I didn’t get it up last night – internet connection problems. That WiFi at the conference was pretty dicey for me.)

The Press at War & the War on the Press

In the introduction to this panel, the moderator quoted Amy Goodman’s saying that “lies lose lives”.

Sonali Kolhatkar was the first speaker on the panel. She works with Afghan Women’s Mission and is a drive time radio journalist at KPFK. She said much of the portrayal of Afghan women was horrible. They were portrayed as helpless beings that were waiting for us to liberate them with our bombs and our bullets. Some of the “after” photos of burka-free women were faked. They women were paid to be photographed without burkas and then they put their burkas right back on. Kolhatkar said that the media was not monitoring when things went bad in Afghanistan and that they now have suicide bombings in a country that never had them before. She urged coverage of war when others are not paying attention.

Paul Rieckhoff, a veteran of the Iraq war, was on this panel. He wrote the book “Chasing Ghosts”. He came home from Iraq and the biggest story was the exposed nipple. He said that there is a big disconnect between the media and the public and war in Iraq. We never see a dead American soldier on TV. Policy wonks, politicians, and talking heads were on TV instead of people who know what was going on in Iraq. He said we never heard the Iraqi perspective at all – that side is really missing. He saw the Bush administration attack the press for stories. Rieckhoff felt embedding did not give Americans the full picture of the war and compromises journalistic integrity.

Helen Thomas has lived with Iraq every day, and feels it is probably the most dangerous place in the world. She feels the press corps lost their way in this war, and the media gave up the one weapon they had which was skepticism. Congress rolled over too, and the result is a disaster. The US government created the disinformation mill. She noted that some papers issued an apology and some still take pro-war positions. The US press came out of their coma with Katrina. After 9/11 the press had gone silent. Thomas says the newspapers were more relevant than ever even though they are being cut. She said the US government is chipping away at civil liberties, and she asked where were the voices against the “signing statements”. Thomas asks “where is the liberal press?” – we have been intimidated for too long. She said we will not have a democracy until press goes into action. There is no free country without a free press.

Eric Boehlert was also on this panel. He said that we need to be careful not to paint all the press with a broad brush. He talked about war bloggers and how conservatives want to dismantle the press so that it is one less institution to deal with, one less check on their power. Liberals do not want that. Boehlert claims that the Bush administration could not have sold this war without the press, so the Iraq war is not only the worst foreign policy decision in our nation’s history; it is also the worst press disaster also. He talked about the last press conference before the Iraq war started and how it was all staged and scripted. He also said that journalists sending back photos of the wounded and dead civilians were told not to send such pictures. Boehlert said that the war could not have happened without the Washington Post.

Questions followed the panel discussion. The first question was how has the war on the press impacted on journalists? Kolhatkar answered by stating her concerns about journalists being arrested by the Department of Defense. She feels that independent journalists are the most vulnerable and their only protection in the USA was the consumers of independent media. Sarah Olson then came to the stage and spoke about how she is being subpoenaed for Lt. Watada’s trial. She interviewed him early on, and now she is supposed to testify against her own sources. She stated that the public’s right to know outstripped the Pentagon’s right to know. She feels she has to pick between personal freedom and professional integrity. She would like to have all of us contact the US Army and let them know that we care about what happens to her and that we care if they eviscerate the First Amendment.

Boehlert made the comment that the war on the press started well before the Iraq war started. The Bush administration does not want them around. Thomas commented that the truth cannot be buried, and the support for the president has almost vanished. Rieckhoff asked that we push back on the media and NOT let them blame the press or the Iraqis for this disaster. He said the blame goes to those issuing orders from the top.

The mother of Josh Wolf spoke briefly to the group. Her son has spent 144 days in jail because he believes in a free press. He needs our support and publicity.

Another question was: “Where is the press before the Iran war?” Someone pointed out that the war was not a mistake, it was a crime. Another questioner asked “why are we still using the ‘war on terror’ phrase?” Kolhatkar said that we should call it a war of terror. Thomas said that this was one of the shifting rationales and it was just accepted. Rieckhoff said the phrase is just bullshit.

Media, War and Impeachment

Any Goodman, John Nichols, Jeff Cohen, Norman Solomon, Larry Everest, Peter Hart, David Swanson, Sam Husseini, and Mark Manning were present for this panel. John Nichols wants to impeach Bush. He said that if we had a media that covered politics instead of spin, we would know that 51% of the country said Bush should be impeached due to his lies about the war. He says we need to force the political class to put impeachment back on the agenda. Vermont will vote on impeachment in March. San Francisco voted 58% in favor of impeachment in November. Nichols said to cover the news and hold protests outside major media outlets.

David Swanson said the problem with the media is that they do not cover impeachment. He says evidence for impeachment is clear and overwhelming. Dem staffers say that they are not pushing for impeachment because they are afraid of the press. Swanson says failure to impeach is politically dangerous.

Larry Everest is concerned about the gap between dislike of this administration and protests against the war and for impeachment. He said that war will not stop until Bush/Cheney is out of office. He feels that Bush will push war into Syria and Iran and he feels that people don’t recognize the danger of the threat. Far too many people are waiting for the Democratic Party to take action, but they are not going to do this unless they are forced to do so. After Bush’s speech to escalate, the Dems did not speak out or offer alternative plans. We have to take it on ourselves to stop this administration and stop this escalation. Iraq war was not a blunder, it was a crime.

Mark Manning is with Conception Media. He made the movie “Caught in the Crossfire” about the November 2004 assault on the city. He feels embedded journalism has a place but should never be the only view. It also makes things more dangerous for un-embedded journalists. He went in under cover in Fallujah. What was never covered was the suffering of the Iraqi civilians. There were 250,000 refugees with no shelter, no food, no clothes, no water. Many are still living that way today. There are seven to ten mass graves in Fallujah from 2004 assault. Babies are dying routinely in Fallujah today.

Manning said that Iraqis now view journalists as the enemy, possibly as spies, because of embedded journalists. No matter where US journalists goes in the world, they will often be seen as part of the US military.

Amy Goodman talked about how the embedding process brought them to an all time low. She said that we need war reporting on the peace movement, Iraqi hospitals, Iraqi citizens, and that reporters should be embedded with those groups. She said the problem with Rumsfeld is TORTURE. What we have come to represent to the world on the war on terror is that WE ARE THE TERRORISTS. Goodman said we need a media that has a table that stretches to every community in this nation.

Robin Anderson wrote “A Century of Media, A Century of War”. He spoke on information management – and that we cannot have what we saw after the TET offensive. Video games are based on actual images from the war, which serves to make us numb in the face of war. The digital technology in war has permeated our culture. He called on us to divest media from weapons of war. Video games are most profitable aspect of media today, and this is desensitizing our society to the violence.

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist who interviews people on the streets of DC. He has a website called Washington Stake Out.

Norman Solomon talked about Sarah Olson (journalist) and how she is being subpoenaed by US military. Bush and Cheney will one day be history but military adventurism will still be here with us, and we need to widen the debate around that. To engage in war of aggression is to be guilty of the worst crimes on the planet. Bush and Cheney will not do something because it is morally correct~ but only because they are forced to do so.

Jeff Cohen was the senior producer of the Donahue show when it was cancelled, and he feels that if Olberman was cancelled there would be mass demonstrations. Cohen said that the WaPo ran 30 pro-war editorials before the war started. He suggests marching on WaPo on 1/27/07. Cohen said recently that Michael Gerson is an op-ed columnist now at WaPo, and he was a former Bush speech writer (he came up with the “axis of evil” idiocy). Cohen says that the Iraq war is the most important issue of our time. Cohen is on the board of directors for Progressive Democrats of America. (I added that – he did not mention it in the speech.)

Day Three - SUNDAY

Closing Session

The person who spoke first (sorry, forgot the name) said that MLK and civil rights fight was also a fight for media rights. He said that all media will be delivered by broadband in the future (soon), except for print. He introduced Jane Fonda.

Jane Fonda recently founded an all-women’s media center and radio station. She is advancing the causes of people, justice and equality. Fonda asked who knew Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, and I raised my hand. Fonda told the story of how US soldiers raped and killed Abeer and killed her family and then set them on fire. Her story is a tragedy, said Fonda, but even more of a tragedy when it is buried and not covered by the media. (I would disagree that the story was not covered by the media. Relative to every thing else going on in Iraq, it was covered fairly well and will be covered even more then the US soldiers have their trial. A picture of Abeer's brothers and their home can be seen HERE. Fonda made a small mistake in saying the attack happened at night. It happened at 10 in the morning, and Abeer's brothers survived because they were at school. Abeer was kept home because her parents worried for her safety since she was getting unwanted attention from US soldiers.) Fonda says that we need to create a media that is powerful – so powerful that it will speak for the powerless. So powerful it will stop a war instead of start one. (That last one has never happened.) She shared her goal of a democratic media and she said that the existence of independent media needs to be strengthened and media consolidation overturned. Fonda says that media that leaves women out is fundamentally flawed, and the absence in the media is glaring. Our media allows gender inequality to continue. Fonda created Women’s Media Center after the 2004 election to try to enact change. They have their own radio station also. The Women’s Media Center offer own content, links to news sources, and has a focus on collaboration. This center is the only one reporting on the “moral waiver” used by the US military during enlistment. No one else in the media is reporting on this. Fonda said the opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy it is democracy.

Myhia Ciries came on state next to introduce the last speaker. She said that the movement must have leadership from the ground up, with adequate funding.

Van Jones was the last speaker and he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He has made this into a major center for activism and media. He has the website Color of Change and he writes for AlterNet and others. Jones said the future of Memphis hangs in the balance. They are planning to build the world’s largest for-profit prison in Memphis, and these companies are exchanged on the stock market.

Jones felt that this will be the tipping point year for democracy and media. He then went on to mention several advances, like Al Gore and the debate on the environment. He said that progressive blogs are now as powerful as right wing radio. He spoke about Video the Vote and how that impacted on voting in 2006. They had one million people sign up and 100 were called to go and video the vote. This is the beginning of a new technology that will bring citizen activists together. Jones said that Bush’s presidency drowned in the flood waters of Katrina. Katrina was when we saw people left behind. We saw sisters and brothers sinking after years of hearing ‘sink or swim’. This touched our hearts and rehumanized the mainstream media by engagement with the poor and forgotten.

Jones asked ‘what if this movement succeeds?’ It will do no good to win on net neutrality if we lose on democracy. He said that Martin Luther King Jr. did not get famous for his “I have a complaint” speech. I really enjoyed that comment.

Bonus: Link to Moyer’s speech on Friday night. Recommended.

From an email about the Media Reform Conference:

It's never been easier to be a part of the action. Visit the conference action site to post your comments to the FCC about media ownership, call your Senators and Representatives about Net Neutrality, help create an accessible online media resource for non-profits and much more.

Josh Silver
Executive Director
Free Press

Free Press has created on line activists tools including Stop Big Media on Postcards and a petition you can sign for net neutrality.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Inside Media Reform Conference, Day Two

The conference is available for viewing on the FREE PRESS website. I have heard that they were on C-Span already, and the local paper has a front page story.

Saturday’s Opening Session: Senator Bernie Sanders

Hooray for Senator Sanders! I just love this guy.

Senator Sanders spoke about the importance of the media and how corporate control of media is influencing all aspects of life and politics. He said that all issues are controlled (to some extent) and related to the media. He predicts the end of corporate control of media. Some of the many points he made follow. In the issue of the Iraq war, media acted as a megaphone for the Bush administration, so they are also quite responsible for the violence, death and chaos in Iraq today. One issue that Sanders claims the media is not covering today is the collapse of the middle class in the USA. This reality of many working people’s lives is ignored. How they are struggling is not covered. So, when those Americans who are slipping out of the middle class turn to corporate media, they see the facts of their reality ignored and instead, the responsibility for the challenges they face is put back on themselves. They are being told it is a failure of “self-responsibility” that is the root cause of their problems. What is NOT covered by the corporate media is how politics in this country are impacting on the problems the slipping middle class are facing. Instead, they are presented with the reality that it is entirely all their own fault.

(Personally, I know that some people are struggling, and I realize that your ‘safety net’ can be non-existent in some situations, the most pressing one being a serious decline in one’s health. But I also see many people being greedy and living way beyond their means, and many more people who are clearly making bad choices for their lives. But clearly, Sanders is making some good points here – politics in this country is pushing more and more people out of the middle class, and concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands. That needs to be addressed. That needs to stop. )

Some other issues that Sanders noted is not on corporate media is: 1) single payer health care; 2) how the US has the most unfair distribution of wealth in the world; 3) virtually NO coverage of anti-war voices prior to the war; 4) coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. as an anti-Vietnam-war voice this coming Monday; and 5) no coverage of MLK Jr as a voice for social economic justice for all people.

Senator Sanders then went on to proclaim that now is the time to address whether corporate media is meeting it’s responsibilities and now is the time to bring back the fairness doctrine. He feels we need to stop media deregulation, and this is a serious, serious issues. He said that we will not have the kind of democracy that we want to have without major changes in the media and the way it works.

Citizen Journalism: Making an Impact in the New Media Landscape

Ellen Miller was the moderator, and she is from the Sunlight Foundation. This foundation tries to get government data and forms in the public domain and open for scrutiny. She made the comment that corporate media ‘misunderestimates’ the internet world and its contribution. Jay Rosen spoke about how media has changed in various ways over the centuries and how the media platform and direction is changing still today into an interaction instead of a one-way direction of information.

Christopher Rabb is the founder of Afro-Netizen. He talked about who he started with emailing friends with news aggregates and then moved on to blogging. He was invited to blog at the Democratic Party Convention. He talked about how reading other’s work on the internet gives an insider view to what that group may be thinking and feeling, but it may only be a sub-state of a certain group. He said that the power of citizen journalism is only as strong as our values, and we need to have the intentionality to bring everyone into the mix, so we don’t have that ‘elite’ subgroups.

Chris Nolan, works with, and she asks that we not yell at the media, and that a blog is not a by-line. She claims that having a by-line somehow contributes to accuracy! Well, I don’t agree with her on that. Dan Gillmor started out saying he was a ‘recovering journalist’. He is with Center for Citizen Media. He said the beauty of the new media is the ability for all people to interact. He does hope that journalism does include some principles like accuracy and he comments that transparency is new in corporate media, but feels it is essential for citizen journalism – that we need to know where the citizen journalist is coming from. He expressed concerns about AT&T and what they might do to net neutrality.

Afterwards, I went to talk to Chris Nolan of, and I found her to be somewhat dismissive of my addressed concerns. She had noted that a local press person had said “what do they want?” in response to a media reform conference in her town. I told her that I want press that does not quote DC pundits and DC idiot politicians and repeat that Iran will have usable nukes in a few years, without noting that they have been making this claim since 1991. Chris said that the press has deadlines, they take the wire print outs and use that – which basically to me says the corporate press are lazy and stupid. She commented to me that I was probably a well-informed person, and that’s apparently the reason why I am critical of this type of work by the press. So, does that mean that useless stupid information that will inspire the “dumb masses” out there to support war is okay, provided that there are no intelligent readers out there who know what is going on? Am I somehow special because I can do google searches and expect the corporate media to do so also? Well, let me say that I work as a pediatric audiologist, and have been working since 1983. I have MIS-diagnosed exactly one child in all that time, and he had a fluctuating hearing loss. I diagnosed him as being ‘normal hearing’ which I have no doubt he did on the first occasion I tested him. I expect the same standards in other people in whatever field they are working in. Somehow, in the corporate media, screwing up in your chosen profession is acceptable. I wish they would hold the same standards that I hold for myself in my chosen professional work. Or, in simple words, if you screw up routinely, you go find another line of work.

Capitol Hill Update: A New Congress

Representative Hinchey and Cohen were the only ones present for this debate, due to the fact that other contributors had travel delays or concerns. Rep Cohen commented on how PBS/NPR is on the “left” of the dial. I feel PBS/NPR is often inaccurate, and I really don’t care where it falls on the political spectrum. I had a friend who abandoned NPR after it discussed the stain on the blue dress for ten minutes. She felt that she had better things to do with her life. I have often heard things about the war in Iraq that are clearly wrong on NPR over the last few years. Rep. Cohen also said that he supports the Fairness Doctrine.

Rep. Hinchey congratulated Rep. Cohen for helping turn the US House of Representatives into a Democratic majority. The crowd here clapped and many stood up for that one. Personally, I will only clap for those who have proven that they hold and promote ethical values in the US Congress – like Senator Sanders. I do not stand up for someone just because they won an election.

Rep. Hinchey said the war on Iraq was totally misguided and illegal. He said he wonders how the congress of the US could have voted to give the President this authority and how the public could have been persuaded to support this illegal war. One of the ways this happened was though the coverage in the American media. He called the right wing of our country “neo-facists”. He called some of the reporting a “con job”. Rep. Hinchey expressed his concerns that this will happen again in the US – and may, in fact, end this democratic republic. He felt that many of the people involved in this deception have the real goal of ending our democratic republic. He pins a lot of the problems that we faced with the media in the build up to the war on MEDIA CONSOLIDATION, which started in the 1980’s. And then he commented that none of us knows everything, none of us know all the truth, which is why we need to hear from a vast variety of voices. We need the input, not the suppression of various voices of dissent. He commented that this was attacked and voices suppressed by the FCC under Reagan, which is where this all started. (I agree with all that he is saying, but he is only reviewing part of how we got where we are today. This may be new information to some people, but it is known history for me.) Rep. Hinchey says that Reagan administration pushed this agenda because they purposefully wanted to suppress voices on the left, because they knew that the only way they could win was to keep other voices out of the debate.

Rep. Hinchey commented on the recent actions by the Bush administration to maintain the CULTURE OF FEAR. He set up “The Future of American Media” caucus in congress. He is working on stopping media consolidation, and introducing a bill in the US House of Representatives on this. Senator Sanders will also introduce a bill in the Senate. He claims that with these bills, right wing nut radio and TV stations will have to present alternate views. (I think that is very optimistic! It should stop the ‘echo chamber’ however if we can bust up media consolidation.) He claims that it will take public pressure on congress to get this type of media reform passed. Rep. Hinchey says that all of us need to be involved, and we need to ask our elected legislators involved in backing these bills by Hinchey and Sanders. At the end, I stood up and clapped for Rep. Hinchey. And he’s right – it will take citizen action and citizen pressure to get congress to act, and then more pressure to enforce whatever bills they pass.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Inside Media Reform Conference, Day One

At the opening reception, the Mayor of Memphis specifically invited the local media to attend some of the sessions at this conference. He clearly saw that they would benefit from going to this conference. There are over 3000 people from nearly every state in the union here.

The opening speech was from Bill Moyers. He spoke about the redistribution of wealth to the wealthy and the redistribution of power to the powerful. He said that media consolidation is going up, and the few remaining voices were under great economic and political pressure. He said that the pursuit of personal gain and power turns lies into truth and truth into lies. Moyers said all media matters but some matter more than others, and print media (newspaper) are the overwhelmingly most important at this time, for covering and uncovering important stories. He also commented that the nation’s newspapers are purposefully are dumbing down.

Moyers is producing a documentary called “Buying the War” to be released later this year. He commented again on how major media in our country contributed to ignorance leading up to the war. He said that people have to see how money and politics works to understand. An example of this NOT happening is pundits on TV discussing bill, some for and some against, without anyone discussing whose financial interests are being advanced with the passage or defeat of a bill in Congress.

Moyers said that others have been writing our story – and we had better take the pen from their hands. He spoke about how powers are working to control the internet for the ‘plantation’. He also commented on the “swhooshing” sound in DC- as someone shows up to serve the public and then move on to serving the interests of the powerful instead.

Under what to do – continue to petition congress to stop media consolidation, which has shown success so far. He feels we need to have equal access provision for the internet and feel that we (the public) changed the nature and direction of the debate. He also felt that we should all petition our local Public TV to carry Democracy Now! That way people can get access by TV on real news and real information, not spin, on what is going on.

Finally, Moyers said we have to get alternative content out there or our country will die from too many lies. He advised that we not depend on the hope of good results, but concentrate instead on the truth of what you are doing.

I guess that last one means we have to try, no matter if we have good prospects of achieving success. More later on the Media Reform Conference.

UPDATE: Jessie Jackson’s speech

He said Bush needs a rope, instead he has a shovel and is digging the hole deeper. (Presumably the rope is to get out of the hole, not to do a Saddam execution tape imitation. Seven children around the world have died from watching Saddam’s execution on TV and then imitating it.) Mr. Jackson spoke about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his stand against humans killing one another…. King said he would not be quiet and he would be heard. King was confronted by his colleagues to continue to work on civil rights instead of stopping the war. King did not follow their advice.

Jessie Jackson will be in DC for the January 27, 2007 MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

Jackson has been to many countries in the Middle East, and has met Saddam Hussein. He raises the question of why he is asked about the Duke Lacrosse team incidents, but not what he thinks about the war or the Middle East.

Jackson said that what we see on TV is “all day, all night, all white”. He said Iraq was like a ‘cross-eyed archery’ since we went after Saddam instead of bin Laden. Jackson’ says his analysis was right, Kissinger was wrong, but they still go to Kissinger. (I have a theory that pundits have to be wrong for a decade or two before they are offered a position. I cannot explain why anyone would still listen to Kissinger.)

Jackson said that Bush makes a women or black president much more plausible. If Bush can be president twice, anyone can be president once. He also said we need bold leadership, not baby steps. He said at the end to REINVEST IN AMERICA.


This panel consisted of Jeff Cohen (FAIR), Phil Donahue, Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) and Laura Washington (In These Times).

Jeff Cohen commented that a lack of accuracy, a lack of truthfulness, is not a barrier to get on the air – it may actually help you! Jeff Cohen mentioned that some of the more egregious errors – and said the more pundits are off (with the data) – the more they are ON (TV, that is). FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) looks at various groups are represented on TV – which is a study that right wing groups would never do. News Hour had five “stay the course” pundits for every “get out now” pundit. Donahue had to have two “pro-war” pundits to every “anti-war” pundit. Here are the three things he says we need to do:

  1. challenge mainstream media – go for balance and diversity
  2. promote independent and non-profit media
  3. reform of media structure is important – net neutrality, and bust up media control.

Laura Washington talked about her background and how she worked inside and outside the media. She does a lot of freelancing and has an impact that way, even if she is not getting paid well. She said that corporate media is in TERROR, especially newspapers, because they are losing people and because they have been wrong so much. She commented that CONTENT is king. She commented on how in the early 1990’s African American communities were not discussing AIDS, but she came out with a story the day after Magic Johnson said he had HIV and that story got a lot of attention, because people want information.

Juan Gonzalez was introduced as someone who is a pain in the ass to corporate and media elite in our country. Juan said that mass media is a component of modern industrial society. He said it is essential for a democratic society, because all are equal on voting day – so mass media needs to get information out and control that information and control the sentiments to keep the benefit to the elites. Our nation, when new, needed newspapers to get organized and to get information to people. As people moved west, they started up their own newspapers in the new areas. He said that our press was part and parcel of the elites in this country, and later working people started up their own media. Development of media chains came from the development of the elite media. He then spoke on press and the war. Poor coverage of the war in nothing new in the press. It is very rare that commercial press will go against governments. He said in every war, governments sought to justify war - and in all cases, at least one side was wrong. Sometimes, all sides are wrong. During war is the toughest time to stand up to your government. It is the job of the press to try to get the “subjected” peoples stories told, but they fail in doing that. Today, technology is able to outstrip ability to provide CONTENT and we have an opportunity to use this as inroads to confront governments and corporate elites.

Juan Gonzalez’s comments reflect my own belief: All wars start with lies. And generally, the one starting the war is the one doing the lying. I stopped Juan as I was writing this up, and told him thank-you for all the good work he does and then told him my belief about wars and how they start. I wish all children could be taught this simple fact while in school, that all wars start with lies – maybe we could get more people to oppose their governments when they start wars.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bible Quote


You have plowed iniquity,
you have reaped injustice,
you have eaten the fruit of lies.

Because you have trusted in your chariots
and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore the tumault of war shall arise among your people
and all your fortresses shall be destroyed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Media Issues!

I am leaving early, early tomorrow for the Media Reform conference in Memphis TN. I just wanted to pass on this message from Common Cause, which is about our media here in the USA – and censorship. I hope to blog from the Media Reform conference!


MySpace has censored our ad about the dangers of media consolidation.

Common Cause members have already sent tens of thousands of messages to the FCC - but in this final week before the deadline, we wanted to advertise on high-traffic websites to recruit new activists. Outrageously, MySpace told us that they "won't allow that to be shown." (The ad we submitted is below.)

Maybe MySpace doesn't want the word getting out about proposed changes to the ownership rules because they themselves are owned by a media conglomerate. In 2005, MySpace was gobbled up by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also owns Fox.

Their refusal proves our point: Big Media has too much control over what the public hears, sees and watches -- and we need to let the FCC know it.

While MySpace's decision is disappointing, there is still time to tell the FCC 'no more media consolidation' . But we need to move fast, and we need your input.

1. Go to CommonBlog and vote for the sites where you think we should place our ad. Time is short; we need to get this together in the next 24 hours.

2. If you are a MySpace user, put our ad up on your own Myspace page, or on any other website or blog you are active with.

3. Make a financial contribution. The more money we raise, the more outreach we can conduct. We need to show the FCC how important this issue is to the public.

Thank you for everything you do.


The Common Cause Media Reform Team
Lauren Coletta, Dawn Iype, Jon Bartholomew and Celia Wexler

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Comments on Edwards

In recent posts on Daily Kos, there has been talk about John Edwards running for US president (again). I live in North Carolina, and happily voted for Edwards for Senator in 1998. I reluctantly voted for Kerry/Edwards in 2004 because the alternative was so unbelievably horrible. But I am no longer a supporter of Edwards for any federal office. I just don't think he is up to the task, that he has the judgment and foresight necessary to do the job. Here is what I wrote in the comments on a Daily Kos blog:

I fought this war of aggression on Iraq 100% non-stop. Still am.

And one of the things I did was write letters to my Senator John Edwards. I told him there were no nuclear WMDs in Iraq, and that chemical or biological WMDs, if there, could not hurt us. I told him that Iraq was not attacking or threatening anyone at this time.... I told him the neighboring countries did not see Iraq as a threat. I told him war should be THE LAST RESORT.... not the first or second. And when war started I sent him a tear-soaked letter saying:


I knew, of course, that they would not. It was not hard to figure out that the Bush regime was LYING.



The US started a war of aggression that violated the Nuremberg Principles. Just like Saddam. Just like Hitler. Oh, and by the way, violating the Nuremberg Principles also means we violated the US Constitution. Edwards voted against that too, with the damn Patriot Act.

From the original blog posting: "Is there some test one has to pass in order to have a credible plan?"


One must have the ability to think, reason, listen and find out the truth. In regards to Iraq, Edwards has no plan, except admit it was a mistake (when the political winds shifted and it was safe to do that) and say 'drawdown troops'.

I have yet to hear him utter a word about all the hundreds of thousand of DEAD INNOCENT PEOPLE AND HOW HE MIGHT HELP THEM.

And I can tell you one more thing: we are going to look back one day and wish we only had a war in Iraq, and not a war across the entire Middle East. Think Edwards can handle that? I do not.