Friday, August 12, 2005

War News for Friday, August 12, 2005 Bring 'em on: One US soldier killed by roadside bomb near Tikrit. Bring 'em on: One US Marine killed by roadside bomb near Ramadi. Bring 'em on: Iraqi translator working for US forces assassinated in Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Five Iraqi civilians and one soldier killed in ambush and roadside bomb attacks in Samarra. Two US soldiers injured in helicopter crash near Kirkuk. Whack-A-Mole. "U.S. Marines who recently completed an offensive to disrupt insurgent supply lines in western Iraq say there are not enough troops to leave behind in towns to maintain security after U.S. forces leave. 'It's a matter of available forces,' said Maj. Jeff Eichholz, 36, of Columbus, Ohio, executive officer of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. 'It's the truth. We don't have the forces here to leave Marines back in every city.'" Missing. "Iraqis in the northern city Mosul have made off with a top secret American spy plane. The U.S. military in Iraq said in a statement on Thursday that one of its 'unmanned aerial vehicles' -- otherwise known as a drone -- had crashed in the town the night before." Abu Ghraib. “Senior Pentagon officials have opposed the release of photographs and videotapes of the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, arguing that they would incite public opinion in the Muslim world and put the lives of American soldiers and officials at risk, according to documents unsealed in federal court in New York. Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement put forth to support the Pentagon's case that he believed that "riots, violence and attacks by insurgents will result" if the images were released. The papers were filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan in an ongoing lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union to obtain under the Freedom of Information Act the release of 87 photos and four videotapes taken at Abu Ghraib. The photos were among those turned over to Army investigators last year by Specialist Joseph M. Darby, a reservist who was posted at Abu Ghraib. The documents reveal both the high level and the determination of the Pentagon officials engaged in the effort to block disclosure of the images, and their alarm at the prospect that the photos might become public.” Cindy Sheehan. "Yet there was no sign Mr. Bush intends to meet Ms. Sheehan. In fact, there were reports he is travelling solely by helicopter when he leaves the ranch in an effort to avoid racing past the protester in a limousine. 'The President says he feels compassion for me,' Ms. Sheehan said, 'but the best way to show that compassion is by meeting with me and the other mothers and families who are here. All we're asking is that he sacrifice an hour out of his five-week vacation to talk to us before the next mother loses her son in Iraq.' Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas who has studied Mr. Bush's rise, said: 'For him, meeting this woman face to face would be blinking. His whole game is to be confident and to appear never to doubt and never to waiver. It's this idea of determination.' And unlike government leaders in a parliamentary system who are challenged directly by their political opponents, Mr. Bush can easily shelter himself from such confrontations. 'He would not trust himself in a face-to-face meeting and neither would his staff. These guys like control,' said Prof. Jillson, who added that Ms. Sheehan's protest in itself may not be that significant but it comes at a time when many Americans are reconsidering their views of the Iraq war." Support the troops! "Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents. It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt. 'I want you to know we support you,' she gushed. Rivera soon reached the limits of her support. 'Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people,' she told him." Bush Pioneers. "Iraqi investigators have uncovered widespread fraud and waste in more than $1 billion worth of weapons deals arranged by middlemen who reneged or took huge kickbacks on contracts to arm Iraq's fledgling military, according to a confidential report and interviews with U.S. and Iraqi officials. The Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit, in a report reviewed by Knight Ridder, describes transactions suggesting that senior U.S.-appointed Iraqi officials in the Defense Ministry used three intermediary companies to hide the kickbacks they received from contracts involving unnecessary, overpriced or outdated equipment. Commentary Editorial:
In a previous meeting a few months after his death, Sheehan says, the president seemed unaware of who her son was, addressed her as "mom" during the encounter and acted almost lighthearted. Now she wants a deadly serious discussion of why America invaded Iraq and how long the bloodshed will continue. Those are questions on the minds of millions of Americans, who see the list of dead and injured American personnel growing along with the expenditure of billions of U.S. tax dollars, with no end in sight. Polls reflect the growing unease of the country with the president's handling of the war. Approval of the Bush war policy has fallen below 40 percent. As Sheehan questions the war, she is voicing the concerns of a majority of Americans. In a way, the White House set the stage for Sheehan's vigil by saying Bush's five-week hiatus at the ranch was really a working vacation to allow him to talk to everyday folks about the issues that concern them. The likes of Cindy Sheehan don't come along every day, but she wants to discuss an issue that concerns millions of Americans who want to hear answers that go beyond the familiar "stay the course." Even Richard Nixon, often described as paranoid about critics, visited antiwar protesters at the Lincoln Memorial in 1970. Yet Bush has not yet found it in himself to meet a grieving mother or invite her to the ranch to discuss his policies. Thursday Bush told reporters he sympathized with Sheehan but that pulling out of Iraq "would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace." Sheehan responded that the best way to show compassion would be to meet with her and other parents of soldiers killed in action.
Bush's advisers seem to be telling him that if he gives in to Sheehan's demands — she's said she won't budge from her spot outside the president's Crawford ranch until he speaks with her — he will show weakness and give strength to the war's opponents. In fact, his not seeing Sheehan has bolstered the anti-war movement. Hundreds have visited her at her hot-as-blazes campsite. She is quickly becoming a symbol of growing national opposition to the war. Bush, in his resistance to a meeting, is becoming a symbol of intransigence and unfeeling arrogance. There is a precedent, actually. At the height of the Vietnam War, President Nixon went to see war protesters at the Lincoln Memorial. He didn't give in; he didn't change his views. He just reached out a little. That's all Bush would have to do.
It wouldn’t be a good idea to impeach President George W. Bush, even though he merits impeachment and removal far more than any other American president in history. No other president even comes close. This is the president, after all, who used the tragedy and hot blood stirred up by 9/11 to put into motion a neocon plan to attack Iraq and perform a regime change. This is the president who fed false reasons and cooked intelligence for the illegal, premeditated, unprovoked and immoral attack on a sovereign nation to Congress, the American people, the United Nations and the world. This is the president that has made it clear to the world that America means to change all non-democratic nations into democracies, starting with what he called the axis of evil – Iraq, North Korea and Iran. This is the president that claims he received guidance and the go-ahead for the attack on Iraq from the man upstairs personally. This president is not one of the Blues Brothers but he still believes that he is on a mission from God.
But more ominous, perhaps, than the occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the US. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking: the US is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water or the air, or what kind of world will be inherited by our children and grandchildren. 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. The Bush administration, unable to capture the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks, invaded Afghanistan, killing thousands of people and driving hundreds of thousands from their homes. Yet it still does not know where the criminals are. Not knowing what weapons Saddam Hussein was hiding, it invaded and bombed Iraq in March 2003, disregarding the UN, killing thousands of civilians and soldiers and terrorising the population; and not knowing who was and was not a terrorist, the US government confined hundreds of people in Guantánamo under such conditions that 18 have tried to commit suicide. The Amnesty International Report 2005 notes: "Guantánamo Bay has become the gulag of our times ... When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity". The "war on terrorism" is not only a war on innocent people in other countries; it is a war on the people of the US: on our liberties, on our standard of living. The country's wealth is being stolen from the people and handed over to the super-rich. The lives of the young are being stolen.
Casualty Reports Local story: Arizona soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Minnesota soldier dies from wounds received in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania Guardsman killed in Iraq.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?