Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, August 13, 2005



using new

tactic to

slash its payroll

August 12, 2005

Clarification: Friday's front-page article about Ford Motor Co. dismissals said the company chairman, Bill Ford, sent a reassuring message to "the so-called Ford Family." In fact, "Ford Family" was the chairman's phrase in his message. The Free Press should have avoided the "so-called" characterization.

Ford Motor Co., for the first time in generations, has resorted to firing employees and immediately escorting them from corporate buildings -- roiling the company and compelling Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford to send a message this week to reassure the so-called Ford Family.

Until now, Detroit automakers have cut thousands of white-collar jobs almost exclusively by getting employees to voluntarily quit through early retirement, buyouts or letting open positions go unfilled.

But not nearly enough people have come off Ford's payroll to meet its initial goal of cutting 2,750 of its 35,000 North American white-collar workers.

Even worse for workers, the company reported a $907-million loss in the April-June period this year for its North American division, and says now that cuts may have to go even deeper than 2,750 positions.

That means Ford is getting tough about cutting people loose. The company wouldn't say Thursday how many people it has fired in recent weeks, but Bill Ford acknowledged the bold new measures in an e-mail to employees on Monday.

"Some have asked me why we have had to ask employees to depart immediately," he wrote. "Well, the management team has discussed this and concluded that it's kinder to make our separations in this fashion, rather than have the employee remain in a difficult situation. Frankly, there's no easy way to do this."

Asked when Ford had last cut staff by firing people, company spokesman Oscar Suris said Thursday, "It has been a long, long time. I just can't say if there's been one other instance."
Ford drew up a policy for firing salaried workers in 2002, but didn't enact that plan until last month, Suris said.

Ford has cut its staff by tens of thousands over the last decade, but it is still bleeding money. Last month, the automaker fired 20 to 25 public relations staff members, including some who had worked for the automaker for decades, people familiar with the matter said.

This week, Ford announced plans to unify the sales and marketing field staffs for its Ford and Lincoln Mercury divisions, which a spokeswoman said will result in more firings.

The new measures have shocked Ford employees.

"It's fairly unprecedented that they're walking people out the door," one Ford white-collar employee said Thursday. The worker, who knew many of the fired employees, did not want to be identified for fear of retribution.

A second salaried worker, who also did not want to be identified, said Ford was being careful where it made the cuts, and that some departments are overstaffed.

"They're not just taking an ax or a machete and hoping for the best. It's really being done to departments that can afford to cut it," he said Thursday.

A third worker, who recently left the company and did not want to be labeled a disgruntled worker, said Thursday that Ford had been slow to downsize, even as it steadily cut jobs since 2002.

In the ever-cyclical business of the automotive industry, Ford traditionally would downsize during a recession but then rehire many of the workers once the economy recovered and profits grew.

However, Bill Ford explained in his e-mail that the company isn't facing a traditional economic downturn.

"We're not downsizing temporarily with the hope that conditions will get better," he said.
At a meeting in June, Ford executives discussed the possibility of cutting 30% of the company's white-collar workforce in the North American automotive unit, according to a person who attended the meeting.

"There's lots of plans under discussion," said Suris, who declined to detail any particular ideas on the table.

Ford's firings reflect the cold reality facing today's employees, workforce experts said.

"It used to be that if there was a downsizing, it would happen in a way that would show that you're taking care of us, that you're being a caring employer," Ellen Kossek, a professor of human resource management at Michigan State University, said Thursday. "Ford is not going out of its way to not be a nice employer. They are just making the difficult choices."

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Pro-Bush and anti-Iraq war demonstrators square off in Texas

Protestors, Supporters

of Bush square off at

Crawford Ranch.

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Pentagon moves to block new Abu Ghraib photos

The Pentagon has moved forcefully to block the release of new video evidence of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, arguing it would help recruit new Islamist insurgents and endanger American lives. [FULL STORY

How Can the US Ever Win, When Iraqi Children Die like This?

And This is Democracy, We are winning the Hearts

and mind of the Iraqi People

By Robert Fisk The Independent UK
Saturday 13 August 2005

There's the wreckage of a car bomb that killed seven Americans on the corner of a neighbouring street. Close by stands the shuttered shop of a phone supplier who put pictures of Saddam on a donkey on his mobiles. He was shot three days ago, along with two other men who had committed the same sin. In the al-Jamia neighbourhood, a US Humvee was purring up the road so we gingerly backed off and took a side street. In this part of Baghdad, you avoid both the insurgents and the Americans - if you are lucky.

Yassin al-Sammerai was not. On 14 July, the second grade schoolboy had gone to spend the night with two college friends and - this being a city without electricity in the hottest month of the year - they decided to spend the night sleeping in the front garden. Let his broken 65 year-old father Selim take up the story, for he's the one who still cannot believe his son is dead - or what the Americans told him afterwards.

"It was three-thirty in the morning and they were all asleep, Yassin and his friends Fahed and Walid Khaled. There was an American patrol outside and then suddenly, a Bradley armoured vehicle burst through the gate and wall and drove over Yassin. You know how heavy these things are. He died instantly. But the Americans didn't know what they'd done. He was lying crushed under the vehicle for 17 minutes. Um Khaled, his friends' mother, kept shouting in Arabic: "There is a boy under this vehicle."

According to Selim al-Sammerai, the Americans' first reaction was to put handcuffs on the two other boys. But a Lebanese Arabic interpreter working for the Americans arrived to explain that it was all a mistake. "We don't have anything against you," she said. The Americans produced a laminated paper in English and Arabic entitled "Iraqi Claims Pocket Card" which tells them how to claim compensation.

The unit whose Bradley drove over Yassin is listed as "256 BCT A/156 AR, Mortars". Under "Type of Incident", an American had written: "Raid destroyed gate and doors." No one told the family there had been a raid. And nowhere - but nowhere - on the form does it suggest that the "raid" destroyed the life of the football-loving Yassin al-Sammerai.

Inside Yassin's father's home yesterday, Selim shakes with anger and then weeps softly, wiping his eyes. "He is surely in heaven," one of his surviving seven sons replies. And the old man looks at me and says: "He liked swimming too. "

A former technical manager at the Baghdad University college of arts, Selim is now just a shadow. He is half bent over on his seat, his face sallow and his cheeks drawn in. This is a Sunni household in a Sunni area. This is "insurgent country" for the Americans, which is why they crash into these narrow streets at night. Several days ago, a collaborator gave away the location of a group of Sunni guerrillas and US troops surrounded the house. A two-hour gun-battle followed until an Apache helicopter came barrelling out of the darkness and dropped a bomb on the building, killing all inside.

There is much muttering around the room about the Americans and the West and I pick up on this quickly and say how grateful I am that they have let a Westerner come to their home after what has happened. Selim turns and shakes me by the hand. "You are welcome here," he says. "Please tell people what happened to us." Outside, my driver is watching the road; it's the usual story. Any car with three men inside or a man with a mobile phone means "get out". The sun bakes down. It is a Friday. "These guys take Fridays off," the driver offers by way of confidence.

"The Americans came back with an officer two days later," Selim al-Sammerai continues. "They offered us compensation. I refused. I lost my son, I told the officer. 'I don't want the money - I don't think the money will bring back my son.' That's what I told the American."

There is a long silence in the room. But Selim, who is still crying, insists on speaking again.

"I told the American officer: 'You have killed the innocent and such things will lead the people to destroy you and the people will make a revolution against you. You said you had come to liberate us from the previous regime. But you are destroying our walls and doors.'"

I suddenly realise that Selim al-Sammerai has straightened up on his seat and his voice is rising in strength. "Do you know what the American said to me? He said, 'This is fate.' I looked at him and I said, 'I am very faithful in the fate of God - but not in the fate of which you speak.'"

Then one of Yassin's brothers says that he took a photograph of the dead boy as he lay on the ground, a picture taken on his mobile phone, and he printed a picture of it and when the Americans returned on the second day they asked to see it. "They asked me why I had taken the picture and I said it was so people here could see what the Americans had done to my brother. They asked if they could borrow it and bring it back. I gave it to them but they didn't bring it back. But I still kept the image on my mobile and I was able to print another." And suddenly it is in my hands, an obscene and terrible snapshot of Yassin's head crushed flat as if an elephant had stood upon it, blood pouring from what had been the back of his brains. "So now, you see," the brother explains, "the people can still see what the Americans have done."

In the heat, we slunk out of al-Jamia yesterday, the place of insurgents and Americans and grief and revenge. "When the car bomb blew up over there," my driver says, "the US Humvees went on burning for three hours and the bodies were still there. The Americans took three hours to reach them. Al the people gathered round and watched." And I look at the carbonised car that still lies on the road and realise it has now become a little icon of resistance. How, I ask myself again, can the Americans ever win?

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The Big Picture

This is the house of Bush


Tony Blair and John Howard are no less complicit than George Bush in setting offthe chain of events in Iraq that continues to spill innocent blood. ...www.richardneville.com/Satire/Satire030605.html

Anti-Bush Internet Activists Focus on Australia's Howard


Patrick GoodenoughInternational Editor(CNSNews.com) -

A pair of Australians who worked for an anti-Bush 527 group during the 2004 presidential election have set up an Internet-based initiative in their home country targeting conservative Prime Minister John Howard.With the backing of a wealthy Australian Internet entrepreneur associated with the opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Heimans and David Madden this week launched GetUp!, "a new political movement to build a more progressive Australia."

"After nearly a decade of conservative government, our country has changed," they said on the site.

"Millions of Australians don't like the direction we've been heading."

The launch has been timed to coincide with a significant shift in the Australian political scene. Next week, Howard's coalition takes control of the Senate -- the deferred outcome of last October's general election victory.

No Australian government has controlled both houses of parliament since 1981, and opposition parties worry that Howard will use the opportunity to push through policies they have long managed to block in the upper house, including labor and media ownership reforms.

A new television ad launching GetUp! sends a message to the coalition members in the new-look Senate: "The other parties can't hold you accountable anymore, but we will.

"The ad includes messages to the government from "ordinary Australians."

"Don't keep putting George Bush's interests in front of Australia's," says one. "Don't even think about messing with my right to choose," warns another.

Heimans and Madden formerly studied at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. They said on the site that they "have worked at the vanguard of the new online organizing and campaigning techniques in the U.S."

"In 2004, David and Jeremy started a national campaign against George Bush's foreign policy. This campaign gathered thousands of online supporters and millions of dollars in donations to support a national television advertising campaign."

The campaign was "Win Back Respect," a 527 group whose large funders included the MoveOn.org Voter Fund and billionaire financier George Soros, and which ran campaign ads suggesting Bush would reinstate the draft

.Madden said by phone Tuesday that the group also sponsored a tour by Gen. Wesley Clark and "the Band of Sisters," a group of women with loved ones deployed in Iraq or killed during the military campaign there."

Jeremy and I were involved in a campaign that was extremely critical of the Bush foreign policy, and so when the time is right, we intend to address issues of Australian foreign policy as well," he said."

This initiative is very much inspired by MoveOn.org.

"Madden said the Australian venture had no links to any political party.

"This is independent of any existing political parties. It's really, in part, a response to the calcification and staleness of the existing political parties."

There are hundreds of thousands of Australians out there who care deeply about progressive issues and who are very concerned about the direction Australia is going. But that doesn't mean they want to get involved in tired old political structures. The purpose ... is to provide people with the tools to take politics back into their own hands."

In a letter being sent out to 75,000 would-be supporters -- including Australians who were already on the MoveOn.org mailing list, Madden said -- the organization said Howard's government had over the past nine years "taken our country in a direction that many of us find very distressing."

Once it assumed control of the Senate, it would enjoy "absolute power."

"We already know that the government is planning radical changes that will fundamentally change our country. We need to show John Howard's government that it can't just do whatever it wants."

Madden said the site was swamped with visitors on its first day and also received numerous donations, ranging from $10 to amounts in the "three figures.

"High-profile supporters of GetUp! include Internet entrepreneur and Laborite Evan Thornley; senior trade unionist and Laborite Bill Shorten; and John Hewson, a former leader of Howard's Liberal Party who opposed Howard's decision to take Australia into the Iraq war in 2003.

Participants on conservative Australian weblogs took swipes at the new venture, suggesting a host of alternative names, including GetLost, GiveUp and GetOverIt.

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Call it Bush's war, not a war on terror

First published:
Tuesday, August 2, 2005

It is time we stopped calling the war in Iraq a "war on terror." We know too much now to keep going along with this deceit. We know that Saddam was not behind the 9/11 attacks.

We know he didn't have a connection with the people who were behind it. We know he was not carrying out terrorist attacks on other countries, and did not, according to all the evidence, have plans to do so. We know Bush and others in his administration were planning to invade Iraq well before 9/11. We know Bush used every means he could, including misrepresentation, to induce us into going into this war.

So why don't we call it what is is, "Bush's war"? This is surely how history, looking back on these eight years, will regard it.

Mismanaged from the beginning, demeaning our country and its values by its unprovoked invasion of another country, dragging us into years of conflict with no foreseeable end, killing and maiming our countrymen, creating more and better trained terrorists as it goes along, costing billion of dollars that could be spent on the real war on terror -- this is the nightmare that will be the defining hallmark of the Bush presidency.

East Greenbush

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Half-price Colombian fighters offered for Iraq

A US company operating out of Ecuador says it has signed up about 1,000 Colombian police and military staff to work as hired guns in Iraq, for less than half of their US counterparts' salaries.
Colombians "have been fighting terrorists for the past 41 years and are experts in their respective areas" such as explosives and guerrilla warfare, Epi Security and Investigation says on its website, iraqijobcenter.com.

The company based in the Ecuadoran city of Manta is run by American Jeffrey Shippy, who is in Baghdad, according to his Ecuadoran wife.

He works out of his home not far from the Manta air base Washington rented from the Ecuadoran Air Force to relocate some of the troops and planes it used to have in Panama.
The Colombian daily El Tiempo reported Friday that the Colombians would be paid $US2,500 to $US5,000 a month, roughly half what their US and British counterparts earn.

It is not only Iraq that is occupied. America is too

My country is in the

grip of a president

surrounded by thugs

in suits

By Howard Zinn

More Americans are beginning to feel, like the soldiers in Iraq, that something is terribly wrong. More and more every day the lies are being exposed. And then there is the largest lie, that everything the US does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a "war on terrorism", ignoring the fact that war is itself terrorism, that barging into homes and taking away people and subjecting them to torture is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less.

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Art For Everyone


Soldiers blog through Iraq War

Accounts give new perspective of combat

Jonathan FinerWashington Post
Aug. 13, 2005 12:00 AM

BAGHDAD - No reporters were riding shotgun on the highway north of Baghdad when a roadside bomb sent Sgt. Elizabeth Le Bel's Humvee lurching into a concrete barrier. The Army released a three-sentence statement about the incident in which her driver, a fellow soldier, was killed. Most news stories that day noted it with just a few words.

A vivid account of the attack appeared on the Internet within hours of the Dec. 4 crash. Unable to sleep after arriving at the hospital, Le Bel hobbled to a computer and typed 1,000 words of what she called "my little war story" into her Web log, or blog, titled Life in This Girl's Army, at www.sgtlizzie.blogspot.com.

"I started to scream bloody murder, and one of the other females on the convoy came over, grabbed my hand and started to calm me down. She held onto me, allowing me to place my leg on her shoulder as it was hanging free," Le Bel wrote. "I thought that my face had been blown off, so I made the remark that I wouldn't be pretty again LOL. Of course the medics all rushed with reassurance which was quite amusing as I know what I look like now and I don't even want to think about what I looked like then.

"Since the 1850s, when a London Times reporter was sent to chronicle the Crimean War, journalists have generally provided the most immediate, firsthand depictions of major conflicts. In Iraq, service members are delivering real-time dispatches, often to an audience of thousands, through postings to their blogs."

I was able to jot a few lines in every day and it just grew from there," Le Bel, 24, of Haverhill, Mass., said in an e-mail. Her Web site has received about 45,000 hits since she started it a year ago.

At least 200 active-duty soldiers keep blogs. Only about a dozen blogs were in existence two years ago when the United States invaded Iraq, according to the Mudville Gazette, (http://www.mudvillegazette.com/), a clearinghouse of information on military blogging administered by an Army veteran who goes by the screen name Greyhawk.

Written in the casual, sometimes profane language of the barracks, blogs give readers an unfiltered perspective on combat largely unavailable elsewhere. Blogs also are drawing new scrutiny and regulation from commanders concerned they could compromise security

In April, Lt. Gen. John Vines, the top tactical commander in Iraq, published the military's first policy memorandum on Web sites maintained by soldiers, requiring that all blogs maintained by service members in Iraq be registered. The policy also barred bloggers from publishing classified information, revealing the names of service members killed or wounded before their families could be notified, and providing accounts of incidents still under investigation.

"We don't have a problem with most of what they write, but we don't want to give away the farm," said Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, a military spokesman in Baghdad, who said such guidelines are nearly identical to those required of news organizations that cover the military.

Enforcement of the policy was left to the discretion of unit commanders. In late July, Arizona National Guard Spc. Leonard Clark became the first soldier found to have violated the new policy. He was fined $1,640 and demoted to private first-class for posting what the military said was classified material on his blog. His site since has been shut down, although much of the content has been posted elsewhere on the Internet. He did not return e-mail messages seeking comment.

His postings, which included long entries detailing attacks against American patrols and convoys, described his company's captain as "a glory seeker" and the battalion sergeant major as "an inhuman monster." In at least one entry, Clark, who has run for political office in Arizona several times and was expected to run for Senate in 2006, suggested that his fellow soldiers were becoming opposed to the U.S. mission in Iraq."

A growing number of men here are starting to wonder why we should continue to risk our lives for this whole mess when we know that the government will probably pull out of here," he wrote on April 11.

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Bush's Guard service: AWOL

Lt.G. W. Bush's Military


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An Examination of the Bush Military Files

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You Decide Patriot or Deserter

In Praise of Kevin Benderman

It is an honour Sir, I would like to

shake your hand

by Norman Solomon

Conscience is not in

the chain of command

"Before being sentenced to 15 months for refusing to return to Iraq with his Army unit, Sgt. Kevin Benderman told a military judge that he acted with his conscience, not out of a disregard for duty," the Associated Press reports. Benderman, a 40-year-old Army mechanic, "refused to go on a second combat tour in January, saying the destruction and misery he witnessed during the 2003 Iraq invasion had turned him against war."

Three weeks ago, his wife Monica Benderman wrote: "He returned knowing that war is wrong, the most dehumanizing creation of humanity that exists. He saw war destroy civilians, innocent men, women, and children. He saw war destroy homes, relationships, and a country. He saw this not only in the country that was invaded, but he saw this happening to the invading country as well – and he knew that the only way to save those soldiers was for people to no longer participate in war. Sgt. Kevin Benderman is a conscientious objector to war, and the Army is mad."

On Thursday, at his court-martial, Kevin Benderman spoke. "Though some might take my actions as being against soldiers, I want everyone to be home and safe and raising their families," he said. "I don't want anyone to be hurt in a combat zone."

But the Pentagon is imposing its power to enforce the unconscionable. And words that were written by Monica Benderman in early July are now even more true: "The Army has removed itself so completely from its moral responsibility, that its representatives are willing to openly demand, in a court of law, that they be allowed to regain 'positive control over this soldier' by finding him guilty of crimes he did not commit, and put him in jail – a prisoner of conscience, for daring to obey a moral law."

And, she added: "It is 'hard work' to face the truth, and it is scary when people who are not afraid to face it begin to speak out. Someone once said that my husband's case is a question of morality over legality. I pray that this country has not gone so far over the edge that the two are so distinctly different that we can tell them apart."

Monica Benderman is correct. Facing truths about the priorities of our country's government can be very difficult. During the Vietnam War – also based on lies, also methodically murderous – an extraordinary U.S. senator made the same basic point. "We're going to become guilty, in my judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world," Wayne Morse said at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It's an ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it."

Moments before the Senate hearing adjourned, on Feb. 27, 1968, Morse said that he did not "intend to put the blood of this war on my hands." In the summer of 2005, while the horrors of the Iraq war continue, not a single United States senator is willing to speak with such moral clarity.

As an astute cliché says, truth is the first casualty of war. But another early casualty is conscience, routinely smothered in the national media echo chamber.

On the TV networks, the voices are usually smooth, and people often seem to be speaking loudly. In contrast, the human conscience is close to a whisper. Easily unheard.
Rarely explored in news media, the capacity for conscience makes us human. Out of all the differences between people and other animals, Darwin wrote, "the moral sense of conscience is by far the most important."

And that's why Kevin Benderman, now in prison, is providing greater moral leadership than any member of the United States Senate.

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'There Is No Enemy Greater Than Ourselves'

Finally, True Patriots

and Heroes

By Monica Benderman AlterNet
Friday 12 August 2005

[Editor's Note: On Tuesday, Amnesty International declared Kevin Benderman a "prisoner of conscience" and is seeking his immediate release.]

I have learned from first hand experience that war is the destroyer of everything that is good in the world, it turns our young into soulless killers and we tell them that they are heroes when they master the "art" of killing. - Kevin Benderman

I cannot tell anyone else how to live his or her life but I have determined how I want to live mine - by not participating in war any longer... - Monica Benderman

Dear Sirs:
As I am certain you are all aware, my husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, was sentenced to 15 months confinement, loss of rank, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge last week, the charge being "Missing Movement" or failure to get on a plane.

In actuality, the charge was "filing a Conscientious Objector packet against the recommendation of his commander, who had no intention of allowing my husband to follow his conscience, and therefore serving notice to the rest of our military that they should not follow suit."

I need to assure you that I do not make this statement out of anger, but rather by simply pointing to the facts. Not only did my husband's commander address this in a public comment to the media, the prosecutor used this in his closing statements, and the military representative was adamant about this in his public comments to the media immediately following my husband's court martial.

I am not writing out of anger. I am writing to request the opportunity to meet with one of you to discuss my husband's case from our point of view, as this has not been allowed to this point. Even in my husband's court martial, he was not allowed to discuss his beliefs, his reasons, or the fact that he has given 10 years of honorable service to his country, including a combat tour in Iraq, for which he received two Army commendation medals for meritorious service.

My husband's case for Conscientious Objection was brushed aside and mishandled so that his entire career of service came down to a meeting with his Command Sgt. Major that lasted less than one hour. My husband's testimony regarding this meeting has remained unchanged, as has my witness to that meeting. The Command Sgt. Major's testimony was re-written and sworn to on at least 5 separate occasions, each testimony contradicting another, even as they were presented in my husband's court martial.

In fairness to each of you, to the US Army, to the people of this country and mostly to my husband, who is paying the price for being falsely charged, I am respectfully requesting that the appeal process for his case be allowed to proceed without delay, and that he be given fair treatment not only in a re-presentation of the facts surrounding his court martial, but that he also be given the opportunity to have his application for Conscientious Objector status reconsidered as well.

We are all living in difficult times. My husband served in this war, and the effects it had on him will live with him for the rest of his life. We do not intend to dishonor the service of all the military personnel still serving, each will have to make the choice for themselves of how to live with their beliefs and their conscience. We will not say that the beliefs of those still fighting are wrong. We can only say for certain that what my husband was ordered to continue to believe, by his command, is very wrong for him.

This is the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sirs, my husband freely volunteered to serve in the United States Army because he believed it was right. He gave ten years of honorable service because he believed it was right for him. After seeing war firsthand, he knew that he could not participate any longer; because he knew war was the wrong choice for him. The stand he has taken, to say no to war and to lay down his weapon in the face of so many who do not understand, is what I believe gives him the right to live in this "home of the brave," as one of the bravest.

I have never met any of you. I hear what others say about you, but I cannot say the same. I do not know you. I would like the opportunity to know you, so that I could know what to believe. I would like the opportunity to sit with each of you and discuss what my husband believes, as people who care about our country and those who serve it.

Our country needs to heal. War has divided our country, our families and our world. I would like the opportunity to present our views for a different approach to lasting peace. We believe that we can make this country strong on our shores, that we can develop ways to defend our country without taking the fight to foreign lands. We believe that we can work together to provide adequate means to secure our land so that we will not have to "get to them before they can get to us." It will involve more than just coffee table discussions, and we make no illusion, no doubt there will be loss.

As we work through the process and remain firm in our commitment to not allow ourselves to be drawn into violence, we know that some will try to force us against our will, to show us to be weak by daring us to lose control. But the loss incurred will be far less than what we have already faced, and the innocents who now suffer will not be so openly in harm's way.

Taking a stand for what we believe, for a commitment to seeing that peace happens and that those who threaten this peace are neutralized does not have to involve weapons meant for killing. Animals on this earth were given their weapons; teeth, claws and a savage tenacity to protect what is theirs and keep "enemies" at bay. Humanity was given something much different, a far more significant weapon. Humanity was given a mind. Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten the power of our mind and what it can be used for. It became easy to create weapons of destruction, far easier than to use our minds to think and create strong principles for preventing the use of these weapons.

We believe that we should take pride in our abilities to use our mental strength. We believe that we should develop this asset and work with courage toward peace by drafting positive resolutions, knowing that while the implementation of these resolutions will result in some loss, it will be far less than the loss we face with weapons of destruction in our hands, no different than "the enemy" facing us.

We believe we should stand strong and confident in knowing that we have the courage of heart and strength of intellect to overcome the basest animalistic tendencies that so easily drive us to forget that we are human. We believe it is time to rise up from a position of strength knowing that there is no "enemy" greater than ourselves, when we lose respect for our God-given abilities and resort to violence as an answer.

Our world is divided because of war. We see children dying who will never have the chance to grow to use their talents to help our world. We see children who have lost their fathers. How will they grow? Will there be resentment, or will they come to believe that they must become strong in saying no to war? We see mothers crying as they reach out to find a noble cause for their sons' deaths. Wouldn't the cause be far nobler if the solution were to lay down our guns and say, "not one more person should have to die when we have the strength to resolve our problems without violence?" We see homes destroyed, a country laid waste to, and people struggling to survive.

Will they one day say "thank you" for making my world better because of war? Or will they find forgiveness and reach out in hope when we put our weapons away and give them the freedom to do what they must to heal their country and their homes?

This world is great and we are all part of it. War only creates chaos, it will never bring lasting peace, and fighting with killing machines to keep the turmoil from reaching our shores will only prolong the agony. We believe we must work together to strengthen us, to secure us, and to use our strength wisely to show the world that we mean business when we say that no one will control us, our actions or our way of life.

To take the stand of strength, to honor those who have served this country with their sacrifices, we believe we must rise above the violence and say "no more," we will not allow ourselves to be drawn to a position of having to use their methods to resolve our differences. Sirs, nothing that results in such massive destruction can ever be counted as success on the way to lasting peace.

Please consider my request. Please understand that I mean no disrespect, nor does the stand that my husband has taken. We care about our country, we care about healing the wounds we all now feel. We know that our country stands for human rights, for respecting others and for leading others to their personal freedom by giving them the right to make the choices that are best for them, as long as they bring no intentional pain to anyone else. We believe it is time to reach out for what makes us truly strong and to leave the way of violence behind.

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my husband's case with you. Mostly, I look forward to the opportunity to work together in strength, to bring lasting peace to our world, and to see our country represented by the confidence of a principled stand for conscience that all people deserve.

In Peace, Monica Benderman

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Every parent should remember this diviates words prior to commencement to Iraq war

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Unfeeling President

GUESTWORDS: By E.L. Doctorow

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.
They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.
But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.
Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

The novelist E.L. Doctorow has a house in Sag Harbor.

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The Strange Death of

Senator Paul Wellstone:

by Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs, Ed.D., Ph.D., and James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.

No one disputes that, prior to the election of 2002, the United States Senate was divided 50-49 with the Democrats in control. The split had come about as a result of the decision by Vermont Senator James Jeffords to disavow his status as a Republican and declare himself an Independent.

No one disputes that Georgia Senator Max Cleland lost an election he had been widely expected to win, where the votes were tabulated by electronic voting machines. The death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone not only deprived the Democrats of a majority during the lame-duck session after the election but the subsequent loss of Walter Mondale to Norm Coleman, whom Wellstone was defeating, cost them control of the Senate.

At the time, the victory was broadly hailed as displaying the power of the Bush machine, where the President was said to have placed his reputation "on the line". But more and more studies have suggested that Max Cleland's loss may have been due to machine manipulations of the vote rather than to genuine political muscle. And if the death of Paul Wellstone, who was pulling ahead of Norm Coleman, was no accident, as other studies suggest, then it may have been far less of a political risk for George W. Bush to have campaigned aggressively for a predetermined result. If the Republicans proved anything during the fiasco in Florida, it's that they can count. The outcome was control of the Senate, 51-48, with that one lone Independent.

Read about it here!

Book American Assasination the strange death of Paul Wellstone

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'Over There' gets mixed reviews at Fort Stewart

New TV drama focuses on squad of 3rd ID soldiers fighting the war in Iraq.
The FX network's new fictional war drama "Over There," about a squad of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers fighting the war in Iraq, may be entertaining television.
However, some in the 3rd ID - or married to soldiers serving in it - say the television show is an unrealistic and, at times, upsetting portrayal of a war that's already very real in their lives.

"In my opinion, as far as engaging in combat the way they do, it's a little unrealistic," said Sgt.

David Cebolla, now stationed at Fort Stewart with the 3rd ID's rear detachment.

Cebolla knows a thing or two about being "over there."

His first deployment as a platoon sergeant with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry during the 2003 invasion lasted seven months.

The way the show portrays a group of six new Army privates that head immediately into combat, alone and led by a sergeant they don't know, doesn't reflect reality, Cebolla said.

Most soldiers know the others in their unit because they've trained together for so long, he said.

And squads regularly interact with larger units, a fact that seems missing in "Over There."

"It seems they portray them as a bunch of draftees that get sent straight to the front line. That wouldn't happen. They're going to go through some train-up phase before they go into that situation," he said.

Created by Steven Bochco of "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" fame, "Over There" is the first TV war drama to be aired while combat is still taking place.

So far, it's been successful. The 4.1 million people who watched the first episode put it in the top-10 basic cable series debuts of all time.

Despite its edge, "the show doesn't proselytize," Bochco said. "It just presents you with the complex realities of being in a war and leaves you to ask yourself interesting questions: What's right? What's wrong? How does one reconcile personal beliefs with a sense of duty?"

Military personnel and their family, however, have been critical of the show on Internet message boards, including one on the show's Web site.

Erica Reynolds, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Sherman Reynolds of the 5th Squadron, 7th Calvary, is now in Iraq, has only seen part of an episode.

Scenes depicting a wife crying after discovering she's pregnant, and showing another wife cheating on her husband while he's in combat, unfairly portray military wives as weak, Reynolds said.

While the show depicts 3rd ID soldiers, and images of what is supposed to be Fort Stewart, the show's creators and writers have not actually visited the installation to do research, said Lt. Col. Robert Whetstone.

That bothers Reynolds.

"If they're going to use and abuse the 3rd ID patch, they need to come here and talk to some of the spouses," she said. "The actual drama is enough, they don't need to overplay it."

Made without the cooperation of the Pentagon, the show does employ a military adviser, former Marine Staff Sgt. Sean Bunch, himself a veteran of Iraq service.

Bunch not only put the actors through a week of "boot camp" before the show's pilot episode, but he continues to advise cast and crew on everything from the proper way to hold firearms to a soldier's likely emotional response.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. -->

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Fort Bragg Soldiers Star In Comic About Iraq War

Sick Sick Sick

I wonder if the 10s

of thousands of dead

and wounded Americans ,

Coalition and innocent Iraqi

women and children think the

war in Iraq is comic material

POSTED: 8:39 am EDT August 12, 2005
UPDATED: 8:50 am EDT August 12, 2005
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Fort Bragg soldiers are drawing attention. They are starring in a new 120-page Marvel comic book about the war in Iraq.

The comic is called "Combat Zone: True Tales of GIs in Iraq."

The author was embedded with the 82nd Airborne Division for three months.

The book covers everything from sand storms to night-time missions. It uses some military jargon and offers footnotes to explain them.

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Galloway: Iraq war caused bombings

12 August 2005
Katie Davies

HUNDREDS gathered near King's Cross to give MP George Galloway rapturous applause when he blamed the Iraq War for the London terror attacks.

A month after the July 7 bombings, Mr Galloway addressed members of the Stop the War Coalition and told them not to be silenced by people who say Iraq is not to blame.

At the Friends Meeting House on Euston Road, just a short distance from the sites of the Piccadilly Line and number 30 bus bombings, the MP for Bethnal Green & Bow said: "It is a crime, a sin in any language, in any religion, to punish innocent people for the cause of the guilty people.

"The guilty men are not travelling on buses or on the London Underground. If you bomb people, some of them will want to bomb you back, it is obvious.

"We will not be silenced. The country has to change course and it will not change course so long as Blair remains at number 10 Downing Street.

"Other speakers at the event underlined the connection between the killing of civilians in Iraq and the atrocities of July 7.

Journalist and political campaigner, Tariq Ali, said: "The government spends so much time denying it because to accept it in public means that it has to accept partial responsibility.

"To argue there are causes is not to justify it but I explain them so a solution can be formed to stop them.

Jeremy Corbyn MP for Islington North said: "Tragically we have been proved to be right.

What happened was a tremendous shock, I have been attending funerals all week in my borough.

"It is time for us to look at our country in the way others look at our country.

The war in Iraq is not the solution but the cause.

"However, objector Tom Cordiner, 28, from Chiswick, shouted "rubbish" at Galloway's claims and shook his head throughout the rally."

There is a confusion between the cause and effect. At no point did anyone say responsibility rests on the bombers, who killed 26 people half a mile away," he told the Ham&High.

"If my mother was blown up, I would feel quite offended. Imams shouldn't be able to spread messages of hate.

"His friend, Neil Levine, 31, from Belsize Park agreed."

I don't mind differences of opinion but take away the Iraq war and this was still going to happen. There must be blame on the bombers.


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Senator Pat Roberts (R - KS) Helps to Fix the Intel

Repeated Link: But a must read

By Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane

Shortly after 9/11 President Bush issues order asking CIA, FBI, DOD, NSA, and Cabinet members to restrict clearances greatly and limit all information to 8 members of Congress, effectively eliminating 92 clearances. The Presidential order can be found at Think Progress.

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Oh My, I Am Blushing

The following is from The Yellow Dog Blog, and I must say..I am flattered. To go check it out, please go see Bob HERE .

Yellow Dog Blog:
Friday, August 12, 2005

Christy Cole: Keep Fighting

For Red States

I get a lot of e-mail. It started as a trickle when the Yellow Dog Blog debuted and now, with hard work and the support of some wonderful fellow bloggers, the site has grown and the volume of correspondence has increased just as quickly.

Some are nice e-mails, some are hateful and a few really make me think -- this was one of the latter.

Christy Cole is one of the writers at ReBelle Nation and she sent me an e-mail in response to my recent column on what the future direction of the U.S. Supreme Court may mean in the growing demarcation between blue and red states. In this piece, "Preaching to the Choir," Christy talks about the difficulty in being a liberal in a solidly red state and the extent to which they need us Blue Staters to keep the faith and continue fighting to transform those states.

An excerpt:

"When the rallies that electrify the blue states are over, and the choir goes home, there will still be a quiet sense of desperation in the deep south. As a region we are the poorest and most illiterate, even now. You could get it all back, and win the very heart and mind of the country.

"But you can not take what you refuse to touch."

Christy tells me she's gratified by DNC Chairman Howard Dean's 50-state strategy and that it gives her hope that the South can, if not forgotten, be turned blue. "The fight here was never finished and it can not be completed unless the entire nation wills it to happen. I pray that happens soon."

She's a good writer, with a worthy point of view. Please take a look.

posted by Bob Geiger at 8/12/2005 11:38:00 AM

--Wow.Thats SOOOO freaking cool..I've been excerpted.. Hehehehehehehe!!!!! Seriously , thank you Bob. You are very kind.

And a big welcome to Yellow Dog Blog Readers! Make yourselves at home and we hope you enjoy!--

Oil Climbs above $66 for Fifth Record This Week

Stranded far from home:


Stranded far from home:Australian holidaymakers Glenn Mills and Ben Perryman, in thongs and shorts, arrive at Heathrow yesterday, hoping to fly home. Wildcat strikes in support of sacked catering workers led to the chaos. Picture: Reuters Report

Blast Near Iraq Mosque Kills 4, 3 Children


AP - Fri Aug 12, 3:48 PM ET
Iraqis give emergency blood donations for the wounded in an explosion at a mosque, Friday Aug. 12, 2005, in Al-Nasaf, 25 kms. (15 miles) east of Ramadi, central Iraq. Locals claim that during Friday prayers an artillery shell was fired into the Ibn Al-Jawzi Mosque killing 4 and injuring at least 19, of which 3 dead were children

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U.S. Fighter Jet Bombs Australia Building

Wow I will have to ask my cousin if she is impressed, she lives in Darwin

Friday August 12, 2005 10:01 PM
DARWIN, Australia (AP) - A U.S. Marine Corps fighter jet dropped a bomb and damaged a building in an accident at a remote military range in northern Australia, the government said Friday.

The bomb, dropped by an F/A-18 Hornet, exploded near a control tower and damaged facilities at the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory on Wednesday, Australia's Defense Department said. No one was injured and no details were released on the extent of the damage.

Defense Minister Robert Hill said the mishap was under investigation by both Australian and American authorities.

``We certainly regard it as a serious incident,'' Hill told reporters in the northern city of Darwin.
Bombing exercises have ceased at the weapons range, some 80 miles south of the town of Katherine.

``Things like this will always happen; we hope not very frequently and we hope not any more dangerously,'' Prime Minister John Howard told Melbourne Radio 3AW. ``But the idea that you can conduct any kind of military exercise without some kind of potential for mishap is unrealistic.''

The U.S. Marine contingent, which is based in Japan, was conducting an annual training exercise called Southern Frontier that involves 500 troops, 15 F/A-18 Hornets and two KC-130 Hercules aircraft.

The U.S. Marine Corps said the ordnance was a 500 pound laser-guided bomb, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported

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September 11 walk stirs ire of anti-Iraq war protestors

Fri Aug 12,12:54 PM ET

Pentagon' is dismissing claims that a "Freedom Walk" marking the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks and honoring US troops is merely a sinister stunt to build support for the
Iraq' war.

Walkers will leave the Pentagon parking lot this September 11 to trek two miles (3.2 kilometres) to Washington's National Mall, in an event culminating with a concert by Country Music star Clint Black.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday the walk would wind its way past some of Washington's most famous monuments "reminding participants of the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation that have so successfully defended our freedoms."

But critics say the Pentagon-sponsored "America Supports You Freedom Walk" is the latest bid by the Bush administration to connect the invasion of Iraq with September 11, despite the lack of evidence an Iraqi role in the 2001 attacks.

"The fact that they are having the walk on September 11 is clearly an attempt to link the two," said Nancy Mitchell, media coordinator of anti-war group ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).

"The Department of Defense' is always claiming that to support the troops we have to support the mission. We think that the best way to support the troops to bring them home safely now."

A senior Defense Department official was not immediately available to comment on criticisms of the walk on Friday.

But deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications Allison Barber said on local WTOP radio on Thursday there was no political agenda behind the event.

"This is not a statement about the war in Iraq or about any policy decisions."

"This is a statement about, 'We remember we came under attack, and we're grateful for our men and women in the military who volunteer to serve our country.'"

ANSWER meanwhile is laying plans for what it says will be the biggest anti-war demonstration yet, hoping to draw tens of thousands of protestors to Washington on September 24.

Some critics of the walk, notably on online political weblogs or "blogs," have said the requirement for marchers to sign up online providing a name and contact information provides the walk with an Orwellian touch.

But Pentagon officials say the requirment is necessary to allow them to estimate crowd numbers.

There has also been criticism of the fact that some media companies have agreed to act as sponsors for the event.

"Our interest in the event is consistent with our past support of causes related to September 11 and the veterans of wars past and present," the Washington Post quoted a spokesman for the paper as saying Friday.

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Ousted Baghdad mayor says gun, not vote, rules Iraq

12 Aug 2005 12:20:33 GMTSource:
ReutersBy Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Baghdad's former mayor, ousted by force this week, said on Friday the new Iraq had degenerated into a militia state ruled by the gun and not the ballot box.
"I was elected. I had dreams. Then I was removed in a coup by gunmen. This is very bad. Acts like these set a dangerous precedent for a country that wants to be democratic," Alaa al-Tamimi told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Elected officials are just removed by force. We live in a militia state even with American troops here. Imagine when they leave. It will be worse than Saddam Hussein's time."

Tamimi, chosen from a shortlist by city notables under the supervision of the U.S. military occupiers in 2003, said 120 gunmen took over his office on Monday. They installed Hussein al-Tahhan, a rival local official and a member of one of the main Islamist Shi'ite parties leading the government, as mayor.

Tamimi said he was not present when the gunmen occupied his office. Fearful for his life, he said he was living under U.S. protection and declined to say where he was speaking from.

His account of events was challenged by Tahhan, who is also governor of the province of Baghdad. Tahhan has said Tamimi himself was under investigation for corruption.

The crisis at city hall erupted as Iraqi leaders scramble to finish a draft of the constitution they say will advance democracy and stabilise a country gripped by violence.

Tamimi, who has watched suicide bombs, shootings and rampant crime ravage Baghdad since he took office, said Saddam Hussein's iron fist had been replaced by a few militia-backed political parties trying to dominate the country.

Tahhan is a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).


Tamimi, a French-trained civil engineer who once worked on Saddam's nuclear programme, fled the country in the 1990s and worked in the oil-rich Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi until the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Armed with a $75 million annual budget and 9,000 employees left over from Saddam's days, he vowed to clean up city hall.

"We hope Baghdad will return to be the mother of the world," he once said, describing his mission.

Two years later, power struggles dominate a local administration that still has not delivered on promises of improved electricity, water and sewage services.

The secular-minded Tamimi said the SCIRI-dominated Baghdad provincial council had been keen to replace him ever since it was elected in January, mirroring power struggles elsewhere.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, also a religious Shi'ite, was quoted this week as saying he had responded to a request from the city council to remove Tamimi.

Tamimi said Jaafari had rejected his previous offers to quit under pressure from Tahhan supporters: "What Jaafari said is very bad. Why now? This means he supports a state where armed men can just remove elected officials from office," said Tamimi.

"When Saddam was here we had one bad person. Now we have thousands running around with militias."

Also this week Jaafari sent officials to the southern city of Samawa after police fired on protesters and killed one during demonstrations to demand better public services and the resignation of the governor, a SCIRI member. The provincial council voted the governor out but he refuses to step down.

"When they removed the governor of Samawa, Jaafari sent a delegation to rescue him. I was removed by gunmen because I am a secular technocrat with no ties to SCIRI and not backed by a militia," said Tamimi.

"This is terrible for Iraq. It means any future elections will mean nothing because gunmen can just walk into any office and remove and install whoever they want."

Welcome to George Bushes Democracy

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Media Matters for America,

Here are the latest items from Media Matters for America, click on 'read more' to read the entire item.

Fox failed to mention Comstock's ties to pro-Roberts group whose ad was highlighted
The August 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume featured a segment by reporter Megyn Kendall on the ongoing controversy over a NARAL Pro-Choice America ad that criticizes Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. for allegedly supporting violent anti-abortion protesters. The segment included comments from Barbara Comstock, former director of the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs under Attorney General John Ashcroft. But Kendall failed to identify Comstock as a strategic adviser to Progress for America (PFA), a right-wing group actively campaigning for Roberts's confirmation. On August 9, the day after the NARAL Pro-Choice America ad was first released, Progress for America unveiled an ad defending Roberts, part of which was spotlighted during the Fox segment. In addition, PFA has launched a pro-Roberts website, and assembled a coalition of conservative groups to advocate for Roberts's confirmation.


NY Times misreported Bush's original spending limit on transportation bill
In an August 11 article on President Bush's signing of the $286.4 billion transportation bill, New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut falsely reported that President Bush "initially set the limit" for spending on the bill at $284 billion. In fact, Bush originally stated that he would reject any bill over $256 billion. Kornblut also failed to note that the bill may actually end up costing $295 billion; the $286.4 billion price tag does not include an additional $8.5 billion counted separately under what critics called an accounting gimmick.


One day after smearing protester Cindy Sheehan, O'Reilly claimed he and Malkin were "respectful" to her
On the August 10 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly responded to a viewer e-mail, which accused him and right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin of "savaging" Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan, by claiming that the viewer was distorting the show's coverage. O'Reilly maintained, "Both Michelle and I were respectful to Mrs. Sheehan, sir." But on the previous day's O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly falsely claimed that Sheehan's "story has been inconsistent" and suggested that she hates the government and the United States. Malkin also falsely claimed Sheehan's "story hasn't checked out," and said Sheehan should be scorned for the views she and O'Reilly falsely imputed to her. And on her weblog, Malkin sought to discredit Sheehan by suggesting that her son who was killed in the Iraq war would not approve of her protest.


Limbaugh falsely blamed Clinton administration for "wall" that purportedly prevented intelligence sharing about 9-11 hijackers
On the August 9 and 10 broadcasts of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely accused the Clinton administration of enacting a policy that prevented the Pentagon from sharing intelligence -- one year before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon -- about lead 9-11 hijacker Mohammed Atta. In fact, the policy, often referred to as a "wall," was established well before Clinton took office and was retained by the Bush administration; it is unclear whether the "wall" played any role in the decision to withhold information about Atta.


Schwarzenegger Accuser Said to Strike Deal

Friday August 12, 2005 7:46 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A tabloid publisher that was negotiating a business deal with Arnold Schwarzenegger arranged a $20,000 confidentiality agreement with a woman who said she once had a relationship with the actor, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Malibu resident Gigi Goyette signed the deal on Aug. 8, 2003, with American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, Star and other celebrity tabloids. That was two days after Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy in the recall election against then-Gov. Gray Davis, according to the Times.

Later that year, American Media reached an agreement with Schwarzenegger that made him editor of two of the company's fitness magazines. Schwarzenegger was to be paid at least $1 million a year for five years under the deal. The governor severed his financial relationship with the company last month after conflict-of-interest concerns arose, although he continues to write columns for the magazines.

The Enquirer in 2001 published a cover story about an alleged seven-year sexual relationship between Goyette and Schwarzenegger during his marriage to Maria Shriver. But American Media never sought additional information from her after she signed the confidentiality agreement, Goyette told the newspaper.

The publisher also signed Goyette's friend, Judy Mora, to a similar contract for $1,000, the Times reported.

Goyette, who worked as an extra on Hollywood film and TV productions and acts occasionally in commercials, told the Times she thought the contract would lead to a deal for a book about her life. She said she didn't think American Media would buy the rights to her story but do nothing with it.

``In my mind, it was trying to seal a deal so I wouldn't do the book with anybody else,'' she told the Times.

American Media referred calls Friday to New York attorney Stuart Zakim, who did not immediately return telephone calls from The Associated Press.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman told the Times he believed the governor did not know of AMI's deals with the women and denied a link between their confidentiality agreements and the governor's own contract with the media company.

Schwarzenegger is on vacation and unavailable for comment, Stutzman said. On Friday, the governor's staff said it would have no further comment.

The women might have been in a position to embarrass Schwarzenegger during his gubernatorial campaign. In announcing his candidacy on ``The Tonight Show,'' Schwarzenegger predicted he would face allegations of womanizing.

But the candidate believed the tabloids would go easy on him if they were doing business together, Schwarzenegger biographer Laurence Leamer wrote in his recent book, ``Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger.''

Indeed, during the election campaign, American Media published a 120-page magazine hailing Schwarzenegger as an embodiment of the ``American dream.'' Before the election, the Enquirer posted on its Web site a story about an alleged Schwarzenegger affair and then ran the story deep inside the magazine three weeks after his victory.

In the interview with the Times, Goyette did not dispute Leamer's claims that she and Schwarzenegger had a sometimes intimate relationship. In the book, she described the contact as ``'outercourse' because it's like foreplay.''

Goyette's lawyer, Charlotte Hassett, described the contact to the Times as ``more of a massage situation - however you want to interpret that.''

Goyette said she last communicated with Schwarzenegger in the spring of 2001, before the National Enquirer published its cover story on her alleged affair with him

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'Vanity Fair' Rips Media 'Conspiracy' in Covering Up Role in Plame Scandal

By Greg Mitchell Published:
August 11, 2005 9:00 PM ET

NEW YORK In an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair (not yet online), Michael Wolff, in probing the Plame/CIA leak scandal, rips those in the news media -- principally Time magazine and The New York Times -- who knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers but refused to expose what would have been “one of the biggest stories of the Bush years.” Not only that, “they helped cover it up.” You might say, he adds, they “became part of a conspiracy.”

If they had burned this unworthy source and exposed his “crime,” he adds, it would have been “of such consequences that it might, reasonably, have presaged the defeat of the president, might have even -- to be slightly melodramatic -- altered the course of the war in Iraq.”

In doing so they showed they owed their greatest allegiance to the source, not their readers.

And their source was no Deep Throat, not someone with dirt on the government -- the source “was the government.”

So in the end, he concludes, “the greatest news organizations in the land had a story about a potential crime that reached as close as you can get to the president himself and they punted, they swallowed it, they self-dealt.” And why did they do it? Well, “a source is a source who, unrevealed, will continue to be a source.”

Even after the news first emerged last month that Rove had leaked to Cooper, the media still waited days to even ask the White House press secretary about it. It was a story, "in full view, the media just ignored."

The title of the Wolff article is "All Roads Lead to Rove.

"Wolff mocks Time’s Matt Cooper and Norman Pearlstine and can’t seem to make heads or tails of “genuinely spooky” Robert Novak. He holds off full judgment on the Times’ jailed reporter Judith Miller, while noting the "baloney" she retailed for the White House. But he pointedly notes, concerning Miller, that reporters are born “blabbermouths” and even when they don’t write or print a certain story they are prone to “serve it up to everybody they know.”

He closes with a frontal blast at the media, many members of which will soon be exposed, he predicts, for having “lined up for these lies” spun by the White House.

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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig.

Rossi, WOW I see I've been missing a few things. You rock baby!

We just got in about an hour ago, and Tech Guy has a new forehead. Funny thing is, it looks just like the old one. They said two hours to fix it. It took six. A titainium mesh now spans the entire width of his head and he will simply have to refrain from headbutting anyone for atleast 6 months.

And yes I 'accidently' left the camera at home. So no pics. Thanks to everyone that has sent prayers and notes. And especially to John for the Proud to be a Democrat hat. LOVE IT LOVE IT.

Rossi the site looks fantastic and as always you are on top of all of it. We will talk very, very soon sweety. First I must unkink myself. I thought a shower would make me feel better, it actually made me realize how wrecked I feel. Once I get things in order I will jump right back in.

I adore you Rossi. The rest of you are damn fine people and I love all of you. I am here and will be getting back to everyone A.S.A.P.

Party on.

Dear Operation Truth Supporter—

August marks Operation Truth’s one-year anniversary and the launch of our new website! August also marks a turning point in the public’s understanding of the war in Iraq, thanks in part to your crucial support of our work. In the last 12 months, you’ve helped us accomplish a tremendous amount, but now we need your help more than ever.

In our first year, you’ve helped us support our Troops and our country by giving our Troops a voice and allowing us to bring important issues to the forefront of the public dialogue. In the last 12 months, you’ve helped us:

Send OIF Veterans to Capitol Hill in May 2005 to meet with key members of the House and Senate for the first time and provide them with direct access to Veterans of the War in Iraq.

Place an ad in the Washington Post in July 2005 calling on the President and the Congress to fix the gaping hole in our Veterans health care budget. The ad was a great success, and Congress passed the $1.5 billion emergency supplemental for Veterans’ care.

Air a national TV ad 47 times during the 2004 election season to force the candidates to focus on the Iraq war.

Draw national attention to the Humvee armor shortage in December 2004 and send over 4,000 messages to Capitol Hill demanding accountability, which led to Congressional hearings.
Grow our grassroots supporter list from zero to over 35,000 and make our website a popular and trusted location for information and opinion straight from the Troops.

Place our member Veterans in front of a national news audience, including four major cable network appearances in just the last two weeks, profiles in national newspapers such as USA Today and The New York Times, and dozens of articles in local papers all over the country.
Kick off a national college tour, sending veterans to schools across the country to share their experiences.

Help us build on these accomplishments. As the War in Iraq rages on, our Vets and Troops need a voice more than ever. Our buddies are under fire every day. We need to speak out and be heard, and we can't be heard without your help.

Without your donations, we won’t be able to continue our work and achieve more great accomplishments. A small recurring donation can go a long way towards making Operation Truth a permanent force supporting our Troops.

Please consider a small, monthly, tax-deductible contribution of $5, $10, or more that will help continue our work.

Once you donate online, and each time a recurring contribution is processed, you will receive a confirmation email that you can use as your tax receipt.

Thank you for your vital support, and for being part of our online Army supporting our Troops and country. We couldn't do it without you.

Best Regards,

P.S. In addition to our new website, in the next week we’ll be launching ‘TroopNet’, an innovative and cutting-edge way for our new generation of Veterans to network with each other and share their experiences with the American public.

Paul Rieckhoff
OIF VeteranFounder and Executive DirectorOperation Truth

Support the troops Your President Wont
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