Thursday, June 23, 2005

Church may black firms over Israeli 'occupation'

Church may black firms over Israeli 'occupation'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 23/06/2005)

The Anglican Church is expected to back a report tomorrow urging it to disinvest in companies that "support the occupation" of Palestinian lands. The report has been heavily criticised by senior clerics and Jewish leaders and its adoption would place the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in a difficult position.

Drawn up by the Anglican Justice and Peace Network, it will be debated by the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham, an international body that makes recommendations to the 75 million-strong Church.

The report calls on the Church to put moral pressure on firms deemed to be supporting controversial Israeli policies such as the security fence or the clearing of Palestinian homes. Its authors believe that, as a last resort, the Church should disinvest its holdings in companies that prove unresponsive.

 

Some would also like the Church to boycott goods produced in the Israeli settlements in the South Bank. These range from flowers and dates to parts for electronic equipment.

The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal, said that the adoption of the report would send a strong signal to Israel and raise awareness.

"It is not the amount of money that is important," said the bishop, who was host to the network when it visited the region last year. "It is a symbolic way of speaking for those who, for example, have had their homes demolished."

He said the Church had significant funds invested in companies such as the Caterpillar group, which manufactured the bulldozers used in clearance projects in Israel.

He warned the council against watering down the "mild" recommendations of the report when it is debated on Friday, saying that it would undermine the Church's credibility.

Pressure is growing for increased sanctions against Israel, and the Presbyterian Church in the US has already begun a similar programme.

At the same time Israel appears to be preparing to make significant concessions to revive the peace process in the Middle East, and senior Anglicans have come under pressure to drop the report.

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said earlier this month that approval of the report would be "disastrous" for peace efforts in the region. He said that the Israelis already felt traumatised by attacks on them and this would be "another knife in the back".

The Chief Rabbi's office and the Board of Deputies have made strong private representations to senior Anglican figures, including Dr Williams, who is the president of the council.

A spokesman for the Chief Rabbi said that a policy of disinvestment "would not only be misguided, particularly at the present time, but it would have worrying effects on the long-established ties between Jewish and Anglican communities worldwide".

If the report is adopted tomorrow, the 38 provinces which make up the worldwide Church will be asked to implement it, but they will be under no obligation to do so.

• The Anglican Consultative Council yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to traditional Church teaching on homosexuality following efforts by liberal Americans and Canadians to justify their consecration of a gay bishop and sanctioning of gay "blessings". The council also narrowly voted to exclude Americans and Canadians from key committees of the Council, at least until the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

jpetre@telegraph.co.uk

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/06/23/nchur23.xml

CIA says Iraq is now a terrorist training ground

Thanks, Junior. We have never been in more danger! Cannot possibly express our gratitude, you SOBs

By Reuters

06/22/05 - - WASHINGTON (Reuters)
- The CIA believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, officials said on Wednesday.

A classified report from the U.S. spy agency says Iraqi and foreign fighters are developing a broad range of skills, from car bombings and assassinations to coordinated conventional attacks on police and military targets, officials said.

Once the insurgency ends, Islamic militants are likely to disperse as highly organized battle-hardened combatants capable of operating throughout the Arab-speaking world and in other regions including Europe.

Fighters leaving Iraq would primarily pose a challenge for their countries of origin including Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

But the May report, which has been widely circulated in the intelligence community, also cites a potential threat to the United States.

"You have people coming to the action with anti-U.S. sentiment ... And since they're Iraqi or foreign Arabs or to some degree Kurds, they have more communities they can blend into outside Iraq," said a U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the report's classified status.

Canada also released an intelligence report saying the Sunni insurgency in Iraq posed a global problem given that most of the world's Sunni Muslims live outside the Middle East.

"The current war in Iraq is creating a whole new set of extremists," the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said in a briefing document obtained by Reuters.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon official said the CIA report appeared to be a synthesis of intelligence information already known to military commanders in the Gulf region.

Iraq has become a magnet for Islamic militants similar to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan two decades ago and Bosnia in the 1990s, U.S. officials say.

Bin Laden won prominence as a U.S. ally in the war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He later used Afghanistan as the training center for his al Qaeda network, which is blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York.

President Bush justified the invasion of Iraq in part by charging that Saddam Hussein was supporting al Qaeda. A U.S. inquiry later found no collaboration between prewar Iraq and the bin Laden network.

But since the invasion, Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has emerged as a key insurgent figure and pledged his allegiance to bin Laden.

While the Afghan war against the Soviets was largely fought on a rural battlefield, the CIA report said Iraq is providing extremists with more comprehensive skills including training in operations devised for populated urban areas.

"You have everything from bombings and assassinations to more or less conventional attacks," the counterterrorism official said.

"The urban warfare experience, for people facing fairly tight police and military activity at close quarters, should enable them to operate in a wider range of settings."

Vice President Dick Cheney has argued that the insurgency is in its last throes, despite reports that the guerrillas have grown more deadly.

CIA Director Porter Goss told Time magazine that the insurgency was not quite in its last throes, "but I think they are very close to it." 

© Reuters 2005. 

MilitaryWeek.com: Karen Kwiatkowski: Without Reservation

from MilitaryWeek.com


Without Reservation

A biweekly column by Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., Lt. Col. USAF (ret.)

Women at War


Militaryweek.com recently spotlighted "Women at War." This eye-opening collection of news reporting reminds us that we have both men and women on foreign battlefields that have "no rear battle areas, no forward line of troops."

Our Congress may debate what constitutes "combat," yet generally agrees that military work in occupying a country, dealing with nationalist insurgencies, and nation-building – whether performed by low-paid servicemembers or contractors at $250K a year – is in fact combat and combat support.

American liberals and neo-conservatives alike often perceive women in combat and combat support positions as a natural extension of the Civil Rights movement, a glowing example of the success of the feminist movement in America.

Interestingly, Christian traditionalists and political conservatives, who typically hold the line on both just war and the proper role of women in society, find themselves presented with a born-again President and a neo-conservative administration that embraces neither.

Images of women dead, dying, and permanently scarred by their battlefield experiences – most recently and most extremely in the American experiments in Iraq and Afghanistan – tend to jar us from our slumber back home. Dreams of an American-sponsored "liberation" are rudely broken when we watch our mothers and sisters buried, or embrace them while trying to ignore their missing limbs or faces.

The ongoing experience of women at war, in particular in Iraq and Afghanistan, should do more than tug at our heartstrings. It should launch new conversations among U.S. citizens and taxpayers.

We have been told by our government and the White House that America is fighting for democracy and "the vote" for all women in Iraq and Afghanistan. We ought to consider the present day lives of women who voted, managed shops, and worked in factories, government and academia under Saddam Hussein's atheistic national socialist program. Since 2003, this life for many consists of an unaccustomed veil, fear of rape and abuse in the absence of law enforcement, and female joblessness in the "new state" of Iraq that features an almost unfathomable national unemployment rate of 70%.

While conservative Americans like me don't approve of socialist dictatorships, we've delivered little to commend us to Iraq's women, who vividly remember a very different existence only a few short years ago.

We have been told that we toppled the Taliban in order to rip the hated burkha from Afghanistan's oppressed women. Yet, Afghan women continue to struggle, and the return to clan competition and political insecurity in Afghanistan has made their lot an extremely dangerous one. It's not just increased poppy production that ought to have the do-gooders in Washington worried.

American interference with Afghanistan may be producing pipelines and permanent basing, but it isn't observed to be helping Afghan women.

Amnesty International was all good back in 2002 when their reports were used by the administration to help justify a preemptive invasion and a nascent occupation of Iraq. However, when Amnesty International reporting doesn't support the Washington agenda, the White House playbook says to discount it entirely, and attack it as a terrorist tool. But the organization is at least as useful as it was in 2002, and we need to view the situation in Afghanistan without our neo-conservative sunglasses and petroleum-based sunscreen.

The news regarding women in the American military also reminds us of the ongoing and increasingly serious recruiting challenges faced by the Defense Department. To meet the shortfall, the Pentagon has relaxed entry requirement relating to drug and alcohol abuse, educational levels, age, physical fitness, parenthood, and offered shorter enlistment terms. In short, we are recruiting and creating a less capable military. Increased use of women in the military, in all types of positions, is wholly predictable, but not wholly good.

We may be amazed at the lies told by Washington on the way to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We may be mystified at the May 2005 Downing Street Memo and stunned at how it fails to interest our incurious pork-barreling Congress and a populace pre-occupied with a 1970s "Deep Throat" and a 1980s Michael Jackson.

However, we would do well to pay attention to Washington's global defensive/offensive program and its reliance on women – both as soldiers in our own military and as easy excuses to "spread democracy" abroad.

Time Magazine's 2002 "man" of the year award went to three female whistleblowers, who each faced retaliation at the hands of large government-linked companies or the government itself. Females like government-gagged Sibel Edmonds, and yours truly, among others, also fall into the category of women who have served, spoken out and who are then systematically denigrated by government spokespersons and government-allied media.

This exposure of women – at war, under occupation, and in the loyal opposition – says something important about the state of American government, and perhaps our society.

I'm no feminist, and never have been. But if I see a pedestal, I'd rather a live woman be standing on it instead of a marble government monument to her survivors – a footnote to some costly but forgotten political misadventure.

Washington, that strange collusion of liberals, neo-conservatives and the Christian right, seems to believe that women at home and abroad are simply expendable. For some politicians, this may be feminism in action; for others, it is payback for the feminist movement.

We are still a few dead mothers and sisters short of a political day of reckoning, whether in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or here in the United States. But that day is coming.


Maybe we won't have any power; maybe we shouldn't!

CONTACT: Green Party of the United States
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,mailto:mclarty@greens.org Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net

Greens to Senate: Reject the McCain-Lieberman Act, Which Would Subsidize Dangerous Nuclear Power
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders are urging the Senate to reject the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, calling the bill an effort to subsidize nuclear energy as a way to combat global warming.

The bill repeats earlier failed legislation that would combine mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions with a credit-trading system modeled after the Clean Air Act, and adds incentives for nuclear development ($6.1 billion in the recently passed House version; $4.3 billion in the Senate bill).

Greens have called market-based solutions to global warming severely inadequate and warn that the dangers of nuclear power are insurmountable.

"Democrats and Republicans have turned the need for sound energy policy into a choice between suffering the effects of catastrophic climate change and the massive accumulation of deadly radioactive waste from nuclear power," said Jody Grage Haug, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The only rational response to the threat of global warming is a plan that phases out fossil fuel and nuclear power, develops clean, renewable energy sources, and reduces energy consumption."

Greens, while criticizing the Kyoto Protocols' modest measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have called it an important first step, and continue to urge the U.S. to sign on and expand its goals.

"By ignoring energy conservation and embracing nuclear power, Democrats and Republicans who say they care about global warming have proved themselves only marginally better than President Bush," said David Cobb, the Green Party's 2004 presidential candidate. "Nuclear power is expensive, it would require the addition of 1,500 new plants worldwide to replace fossil fuel energy, it would present an enormous security and public health risk, and the storage of nuclear waste would be a permanent and growing environmental crisis.

"Furthermore, nuclear power does nothing to address the major source of CO2 emissions -- cars, trucks, and airplanes," Mr. Cobb added. "But Congress and the White House have refused to enact and enforce more stringent fuel economy standards, such as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] rules, or introduce consumer incentives to reduce demand, because of industry pressure." pporters of both Bush brothers, more than twelve times the assessed value of its oil and gas holdings in the Big Cypress National Preserve, adjacent to the Florida Everglades. This hugely inflated buyout was announced in a May 2002 White House ceremony intended to burnish the environmental credentials of both Bushes.

MORE INFORMATION

"Energy: Ignoring the Obvious Fix"
By Thane Peterson, Business Week, June 20, 2005 http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jun2005/nf20050620_6725_db045.htm
http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/062105EB.shtml

###


http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0623-22.htm

Rove Criticizes Liberals on 9/11

Published on Thursday, June 23, 2005 by the New York Times
by Patrick D. Healy
 

Karl Rove came to the heart of Manhattan last night to rhapsodize about the decline of liberalism in politics, saying Democrats responded weakly to Sept. 11 and had placed American troops in greater danger by criticizing their actions.

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Citing calls by progressive groups to respond carefully to the attacks, Mr. Rove said to the applause of several hundred audience members, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."

Told of Mr. Rove's remarks, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, replied: "In New York, where everyone unified after 9/11, the last thing we need is somebody who seeks to divide us for political purposes."

Mr. Rove also said American armed forces overseas were in more jeopardy as a result of remarks last week by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who compared American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others."

"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?" Mr. Rove asked. "Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, speaking after Mr. Rove, also touched on the Sept. 11 attacks. He promised that the proposed Freedom Tower, the new building at ground zero, would retain patriotic touches in its architecture, like a height of 1,776 feet, despite the concerns of some observers who fear that it would become a target for terrorists.

"We're going to have a Freedom Tower that soars 1,776 feet high, symbolizing our independence," Mr. Pataki said. As for the memorial, he said: "No one is going to turn it into something that is a negative statement about America and our belief in freedom, so long as I am governor of this state."

Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Pataki disclosed that he did not plan to reveal in the coming days if he will seek a fourth term, contrary to previous statements that he would make an announcement after the State Legislature adjourned today.

"I'm going to evaluate the bills that the Legislature has passed at the end of the session and then make a decision at the appropriate time, but not in the next couple of weeks," Mr. Pataki said.

© Copyright 2005 New York Times

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Lies we were told!

Interview with Hussein Kamel: 

Text of the transcript is here pdf format.

Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, in charge of Iraq's weapons programme, defected to Jordan on the night of 7 August 1995, together with his brother Col. Saddam Kamel. Hussein Kamel took crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes, and provided these to UNSCOM. Iraq responded by revealing a major store of documents that showed that Iraq had begun an unsuccessful crash programme to develop a nuclear bomb (on 20 August 1995). Hussein and Saddam Kamel agreed to return to Iraq, where they were assassinated (23 February 1996).

The interview was conducted in Amman on 22 August 1995, 15 days after Kamel left Iraq. His interviewers were:

  • Rolf Ekeus, the former executive chairman of Unscom (from 1991 to 1997).
  • Professor Maurizio Zifferero, deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and head of the inspections team in Iraq.
  • Nikita Smidovich, a Russian diplomat who led UNSCOM's ballistic missile team and former Deputy Director for Operations of UNSCOM.

During the interview, Major Izz al-Din al-Majid (transliterated as Major Ezzeddin) joins the discussion (p.10). Izz al-Din is Saddam Hussein's cousin, and defected together with the Kamel brothers. He did not return with them to Iraq in 1996, moving instead to Jordan and now to an unknown European country.

In the transcript of the interview, Kamel states categorically:

"I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed"
(p. 13).

Kamel specifically discussed the significance of anthrax, which he portrayed as the "main focus" of the biological programme (pp.7-8). Smidovich asked Kamel: "were weapons and agents destroyed?"

Kamel replied: "nothing remained".

He confirmed that destruction took place "after visits of inspection teams. You have important role in Iraq with this. You should not underestimate yourself. You are very effective in Iraq." (p.7)

Kamel added: "I made the decision to disclose everything so that Iraq could return to normal." (p.8)

Furthermore, Kamel describes the elimination of prohibited missiles: "not a single missile left but they had blueprints and molds for production. All missiles were destroyed." (p.8)

On VX, Kamel claimed: "they put it in bombs during last days of the Iran-Iraq war. They were not used and the programme was terminated." (p.12).

Ekeus asked Kamel: "did you restart VX production after the Iran-Iraq war?"

Kamel replied: "we changed the factory into pesticide production. Part of the establishment started to produce medicine [...] We gave insturctions [sic] not to produce chemical weapons." (p.13).

Despite the significance of these claims, it was not known that Kamel made this assertion until February 2003. Kamel's claim was first carried on 24 February 2003 by Newsweek, who reported that Kamel told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims (Newsweek, 3/3/03). Newsweek reported that the weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Newsweek reported.

However, these facts were "hushed up by the U.N. inspectors" in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still more", according to Newsweek.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow angrily denied the Newsweek report. "It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," Harlow told Reuters the day the report appeared (Reuters, 24 February 2003).

On Wednesday (26 February 2003), a complete copy of the Kamel transcript -- an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive" -- was obtained by Glen Rangwala.

The Significance of Hussein Kamel

Kamel's departure from Iraq was the major turning point of the inspections saga. As UNSCOM said in their final substantive report:

" the overall period of the Commission's disarmament work must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. General Hussein Kamal".

(25 January 1999 letter to U.N. Security Council, Enclosure 1, para.12).

Kamel's defection has been cited repeatedly by President Bush and leading officials in both the UK and US as evidence that (1) Iraq has not disarmed; (2) inspections cannot disarm it; and (3) defectors such as Kamel are the most reliable source of information on Iraq's weapons.

  • Prime Minister Tony Blair in his statement to the House of Commons on 25 February 2003, said: "It was only four years later after the defection of Saddam's son-in-law to Jordan, that the offensive biological weapons and the full extent of the nuclear programme were discovered."

  • President Bush declared in a 7 October 2002 speech: "In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions."

  • Colin Powell's 5 February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council claimed: "It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons. The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein's late son-in-law."

  • In a speech on 26 August 2002, Vice-President Dick Cheney said Kamel's story "should serve as a reminder to all that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself".

Hussein Kamel was not in the process of providing excuses for the Iraqi regime. Much of the interview is taken up with his criticisms of its mistakes: "They are only interested in themselves and not worried about economics or political state of the country. [..] I can state publicly I will work against the regime." (p.14). And yet, when it comes to prohibited weapons, Kamel is unequivocal: Iraq destroyed these weapons soon after the Gulf War.

The Significance of the Kamel Transcript

The above quotes from President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and Secretary Powell refer to material produced by Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War. The administration has cited various quantities of chemical and biological weapons on many other occasions -- weapons that Iraq produced but which remain unaccounted for. All of these claims refer to weapons produced before 1991. According to Kamel's transcript, Iraq destroyed all of these weapons in 1991.

Kamel's statement casts into new light the claims made by the Iraqi government that it destroyed its non-conventional weapons in the period immediately after the end of the Gulf War. This topic remains highly potent, with Hans Blix declaring that "[o]ne of three important questions before us today is how much might remain undeclared and intact from before 1991" (statement of 27 January 2003 to the Security Council). If Kamel is to be taken as seriously as the UK and US administrations have previously held him to be, then his claim that "[a]ll weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed" should be taken seriously.

Text of the transcript is here pdf format.

LINK

FW: Activists Call for United Front - "Troops Home Now, or We'll ShutIt Down!"

FOR YOUR INFORMATION!



In this email:
1) Report from Saturday, June 11 Strategy Meeting
2) Troops Out Now Coalition On Palestine and the September 24 antiwar protest




Troops Out Now Strategy Meeting on Building A United Front to Stop the War

Activists Say: "Bring the Troops Home Now or We'll Shut It Down!"



Endorse the Call for a United Front
Sign up to be a Troops Out Now organizing center for Sept. 24
Donate to help build a United Front Against the War


Activists from across the U.S. and from numerous antiwar, progressive, and labor organizations assembled on Saturday, June 11 at the Lang Center of New School University for a discussion of strategy and unity in the antiwar movement.

This gathering is part of the growing momentum in the antiwar movement for a united front against the war.  Polls indicate that the majority of people in the U.S. now oppose the occupation, recruiting numbers are at an all time low, and Bush's approval ratings are falling.  This growing opposition can have tremendous impact when it is manifested in the streets.  We have an opportunity to take decisive action to bring the troops home and end the criminal occupation of Iraq, and we have a responsibility to do so.  On May 26, the Troops Out Now Coalition issued a Unity Call, calling for massive, unified action to stop the war.  This call has gathered nearly 1,000 endorsers in the days since it was circulated, reflecting a widespread recognition that the antiwar movement needs to enter a new phase of struggle against the war.

This was evident in the meeting on Saturday, where more than 200 representatives gathered to discuss the next steps for the antiwar struggle.  Discussion was spirited, serious, and respectful.  Those gathered clearly affirmed proposals and positions put forth by the Troops Out Now Coalition, including:

  • The vital importance of building a united front against the war.  Our emphasis needs to be on building a large, militant antiwar movement that is capable of stopping the war.  TONC renews its appeal to the small but influential forces in the antiwar movement who refused to work together for the fall and beyond to reverse their positions and help unleash the full mass potential of the struggle to shut the war down.
  • That building a united movement means including, not excluding the struggles of oppressed people.  Support for the Right of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their original homes and property in all of historic Palestine is not negotiable.
  • That unity means much more than  organizational unity.  It means, more importantly, that the antiwar movement reaches out to and embraces the struggles of oppressed people here and internationally.  It means solidarity with the struggle of communities of color, with LGBT communities, with immigrants, and with struggles against racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression.  It means solidarity with the people of Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, the Philippines, and everywhere that people are struggling against U.S. colonial occupation.
  • That the antiwar movement needs to look to new and more effective tactics to stop the war.  Activists raised the slogan "Troops Home Now, or We'll Shut It Down!" and discussed the idea of declaring a moratorium against the war, including walkouts, civil disobedience, and other direct actions to bring the cities to a stop until the war is ended.
  • That the struggle to end the war will be won by mobilizing a massive movement in the streets.  Counting on elections and pro-war politicians to end the war is, at best, a misdirection of time, energy, and resources.  Only the people will stop the war.  To that end, it is important to immediately begin planning and mobilizing now for the September 24 March in Washington DC, the Millions More Movement events on the weekend of October 14-16, and the Moratorium Against the War.

Speakers and participants in the discussion represented many different struggles and organizations.  They included:

Brenda Stokely,  New York City Labor Against the War and the Million Worker March
Nana Soul of Artists and Activists United for Peace
Charlotte Kates, Al-Awda NY & New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
Berna Ellorin, BAYAN USA
Larry Holmes, International Action Center
Jesse Lokahi Heiwa, Queers for Peace and Justice and Queers for Palestine
Lee Siu Hin, an organizer with ActionLA
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Carl Webb, a member of the Army National Guard who refused to deploy to Iraq
Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council
Dustin Langley, Navy Veteran, No Draft No Way
LeiLani Dowell, FIST and Queers for Peace & Justice
Teresa Gutierrez, NY Committee to Free the Five
Paul Zulkowitz, Green Party Peace Action Committee
Hadas Their, Campus Antiwar Network, arrested at CCNY for protesting against military recruiters



Troops Out Now Coalition On Palestine and the September 24 antiwar protest

As TONC works to revive, and re-energize the struggle to not only end, but defeat, the colonial occupation of Iraq, we will walk every extra mile, and spare no effort in our efforts along with others to forge greater unity in the antiwar movement. The central question is, how can this best be done?

We don’t think that you can make the movement “broader” by narrowing its appeal and relevance. We believe that the idea that the movement should strive to look more white, colorless, and vapid, and that it should be fearful of looking too Arab, Black, Latin, and Asian, is a false notion.  There is no power or future in a movement based on this notion. Either the composition, politics and outlook of the antiwar movement in this country is going to reflect the world, or it’s going to be little more than a irrelevant reflection of a distant past.

Clearly the focus of the movement is Iraq.  But we must resist any effort to either exclude or minimize the occupation of Palestine as a focus of the movement.  We must do this because the struggle for the Right to Return and against the occupation of Palestine is central to the struggle of Arab people and it is impossible to separate the Palestinian Question From Iraq.   Trying to separate the occupation of Iraq from the occupation of Palestine is, to us, the same as trying to separate the struggle against the war from the struggle against racism at home.

Moreover, instead of abetting anti-Arab and Muslim racism and repression, the movement must spare no effort in facilitating the widest participation of the Arab and Muslim community in the Sept. 24 antiwar protest in Washington, and in all of our activities.  The movement reached such a high water mark at the antiwar march on Washington in April 2002, when after years of struggle within the movement, the antiwar movement embraced the struggle of Palestine, and for the first time in history, the streets of the capital were filled with tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims marching arm and arm with antiwar protesters. 

The movement has moved forwards on Palestine and the Troops Out Now Coalition is determined to fight any backsliding.  Our friends in the National Council of Arab Americans, as well as others in the Arab and Muslim community have engaged TONC on this important issue.  We have told our friends and we want to make it clear to all that the Troops Out Now Coalition supports the call for unity in the anti-war movement for the September 24, 2005 mobilization on the basis of the political program achieved on March 20, 2004, the first anniversary of the war on Iraq. We support, as a basis of the September 24 mobilization, the Arab American and Muslim community in the political slogan: End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti, Support the Palestinian People's Right to Return.  Meaningful solidarity with the Arab and Muslim community will truly make September 24 broader and stronger. TONC believes that this is what the world wants to see, and what the Imperialists don’t want.

TONC hopes to build unity on this basis for September 24 and beyond to unleash the full mass potential of the struggle to shut the war down.




Endorse the Call for a United Front
Sign up to be a Troops Out Now organizing center for Sept. 24
Donate to help build a United Front Against the War


Friday, June 17, 2005

State Department cable details ethnic cleansing by US-backed forces in Iraq

This is outrageous! Isn't this why we invaded Iraq? To stop this kind of thing? Oh yeah, right, never mind. That was all lies, eh?
 
By Patrick Martin

06/16/05 "
WSW" - - US-backed Kurdish police and security units have kidnapped hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmen in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, according to a confidential State Department cable leaked to the Washington Post.

Quoting from the cable, the Post on Wednesday reported that the kidnappings, accompanied in some cases by torture and ransom demands, were part of a “concerted and widespread initiative” by the two leading Kurdish parties “to exercise authority in Kirkuk in an increasingly provocative manner.”

The cable, drafted by the US Embassy’s regional coordinator in the area and dated June 5, was addressed to the White House, the Pentagon and the US Embassy in Baghdad. It warned that the kidnappings—in which hundreds have been taken from Kirkuk to prisons in the Kurdish cities of Sulamaniyah and Irbil—“greatly exacerbated tensions along purely ethnic lines” and discredited the US government. “Turkmen in Kirkuk tell us they perceive a US tolerance for the practice while Arabs in Kirkuk believe Coalition Forces are directly responsible,” the cable said.

The cable warned that the kidnappings would “seriously undermine...Coalition efforts in the region unless procedures are established to enforce Iraqi laws with regard to the transfer of detainees.”

Kirkuk has been the flashpoint for growing political and ethnic tensions. The city sits adjacent to one of the world’s largest oilfields, which Kurdish leaders hope will provide the resource base for a future independent Kurdish state. Kurds, however, make up only a plurality of the population of the province, being slightly outnumbered by Arabs and Turkmen.

The revelations in the Post article were confirmed by reporting from Reuters News Agency, citing Arab community leaders in Kirkuk. Ahmed al-Obeidi, head of a small Arab political party, said that the arrests had begun after the US occupation, but accelerated after the January 30 election in which the two US-backed Kurdish nationalist parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), won control of the Kirkuk provincial council.

The KDP and the PUK maintain large and heavily armed militia forces that exercise effective control over the Kurdish-populated region. Jalal Talabani, leader of the PUK, is now president of Iraq, while Massoud Barzani, leader of the KDP, heads the regional government that unites the three predominantly Kurdish provinces north of Kirkuk.

Obeidi estimated the total detained at 250 people, of whom 40 had so far been released. The Post cited other estimates of the number kidnapped as 600 or more. US military officials said they had logged 180 cases.

According to the Post account, citing US and Iraqi officials as well as the State Department cable, the anti-Arab and anti-Turkmen campaign is “being orchestrated and carried out by the Kurdish intelligence agency, known as Asayesh, and the Kurdish-led Emergency Services Unit, a 500-member anti-terrorism squad within the Kirkuk police force. Both are closely allied with the US military.”

In some cases, the Kurdish security services have cloaked their kidnappings as arrests related to the investigation of past crimes of the Hussein regime, such as the chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988 and the repression of a Kurdish uprising after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

US military officials in Kirkuk acknowledged that many prisoners had been detained there and removed to Sulamaniyah and Irbil. They claimed that this was necessary because of overcrowding in Kirkuk’s jails, although they admitted there had been no judicial authorization for the transfers.

Maj. Darren Blagburn, intelligence officer for the 116th Brigade Combat Team in Kirkuk, told the Post he had learned of the detentions a month ago and was “pretty sure” they had now stopped. But other military and Iraqi sources reported more than a dozen arrests in Kirkuk last week alone.

Blagburn confirmed that the detainees transferred to Sulamaniyah and Irbil were being held, not in regular state facilities, but in prisons operated by the intelligence arms of the two Kurdish political parties, which are headquartered in those cities (the PUK in Sulamaniyah, the KDP in Irbil). Several prisoners released from those facilities described conditions of overcrowding—up to 50 men in a 19x9-foot cell—violence, physical abuse and outright torture.

The Post quoted Abu Abdullah Jabbouri, who was abducted and released last week from the prison in Irbil, describing a fellow prisoner who had scars from whippings inflicted with a wire cable. On some occasions, the cable was first heated over a fire.

Other Kirkuk residents were interviewed who said virtually their entire families had been arrested and taken away. According to the Post, many of the arrests were carried out with the participation of American troops.

“When we go to the Americans, they send us to the police,” said Osama Danouk. “When we go to the police, they send us to the Americans, and so on, and so on.”

Maj. Blagburn described one Kurdish unit involved in the kidnappings as “very cooperative, coalition-friendly,” and said they continued to provide valuable assistance to US military efforts against Iraqi insurgents. “That’s basically the unit we can trust the most,” he told the Post.

Lt. Col. Anthony Wickham, who heads a team of US military advisers to the provincial government, contradicted Blagburn’s statements minimizing the scope of the extra-judicial arrests. By mid-April, he said, complaints of abductions and disappearances “became a flood.”

The revelations about what is taking place in Kirkuk are another shattering blow to the pretense that the purpose of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was to overturn the tyranny and oppression of Saddam Hussein and replace it with democracy. The US occupation regime is using the same methods of mass repression and divide-and-rule practiced by the former Iraqi dictator.

Under Hussein, the Iraqi central government deliberately encouraged migration of Arabs from further south into Kirkuk and expelled thousands of Kurds from their homes, aiming to cement Baghdad’s control over the oilfield. Now the Kurdish parties are responding in kind, using intimidation and repression to drive out Arabs and Turkmen and create a Kurdish majority in Kirkuk.

The Kurdish parties are playing a role analogous to that of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the US and NATO military assault on Serbia in 1999. The Clinton administration intervened in the former Yugoslavia using the abuses of the Milosevic government in Serbia as a pretext.

The US government claimed that Serb forces were engaged in ethnic cleansing in Kosovo against the majority Albanian population of the province. Once NATO forces had occupied Kosovo, the KLA went on the rampage against the Serbs and Gypsies, driving most of the minority population out of the province. The Kurdish forces in Kirkuk appear bent on a similar campaign of ethnic cleansing in reverse.

The American media has thus far chosen to ignore the reports of US-backed ethnic cleansing against the Arab and Turkmen population in Kirkuk. Although the Post article was prominently displayed on the front page of the newspaper, and undoubtedly provoked widespread discussion in official media and political circles, there was little coverage Wednesday on the cable news channels and no mention of the Post report on the broadcast networks’ evening news programs.

The cavalier treatment of the systematic kidnapping of hundreds of people in Kirkuk is in sharp contrast to the coverage given to the kidnappings of individual Westerners in Baghdad, either by Islamic fundamentalists or criminal gangs seeking ransom. According to figures released Tuesday, some 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since the US invaded the country in March 2003—many fewer than the number of people kidnapped in the single city of Kirkuk in the last few months.

Copyright: http://www.wsws.org

Bush Seeks to Calm Anxieties About Iraq on Yahoo! News

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press WriterThu Jun 16, 9:35 PM ET

Facing growing pressure to bring troops home from Iraq, President Bush is launching a public relations campaign to try to calm anxieties about the war.

Bush scheduled a major address for June 28, the one-year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty from the U.S.-led coalition to Iraqis. Four days before that, he will meet at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who heads the transitional government chosen after January elections.

The president also plans a series of radio addresses and appearances outside Washington. He will emphasize the importance of democracy in Iraq and elsewhere when he meets with fellow world leaders in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

The president's campaign comes as the U.S. death toll in Iraq has climbed above 1,700. A relentless wave of suicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings has killed at least 1,070 just since al-Jaafari's government was announced April 28.

"The president recognizes that this is a concern that's on the minds of the American people," McClellan said. "That's why he's going to sharpen his focus, spending more time talking about the progress that's being made on the ground — there's significant progress that has been made in a short period of time — the dangers that remain and that lie ahead, as well as our strategy for victory in Iraq."

A few Republicans have broken ranks with the White House on Iraq, supporting a resolution that calls for Bush to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by Oct. 1, 2006. "After 1,700 deaths, over 12,000 wounded and $200 billion spent, we believe it is time to have this debate and discussion," said one sponsor, Rep. Walter Jones (news, bio, voting record), R-N.C., who voted for the war.

Many GOP lawmakers also have been reluctant to embrace Bush's signature second-term domestic issue — allowing younger workers to set up private investment accounts with part of their Social Security taxes.

But the president has shown no public evidence yet of backing down and has traveled the country weekly — and will again next week — to campaign for his proposals.

Still, at a time when Bush intended to be concentrating primarily on his domestic agenda, he finds himself shifting emphasis to Iraq.

Foreign policy has typically given Bush his highest scores with the public, but that has changed. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll this month found just 41 percent of adults supported his handling of the Iraq war — an all-time low. In addition, a Gallup poll released Monday found that six in 10 Americans say they think the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

As with his new domestic agenda sales job, Bush plans to offer no policy changes on Iraq.

One development, though, could throw Bush completely off-stride. The Supreme Court's first vacancy in over a decade could come by the end of the month, and the fierce nomination battle that would immediate

LINK-

FW: Impeachment at the White House doorstep

 



Impeachment at White House doorstep

Join the tens of thousands on September 24
Who Will Call for Impeachment
Gather at the White House at 12 noon

We're doing it! The banners and signs of ImpeachBush.org were on prominent display yesterday on the doorstep of the White House as Congressman Conyers and hundreds of others rallied outside of the White House to denounce Bush's pattern of lies and deceit. Photos of ImpeachBush.org banners were picked up all over the mass media last night. The tide is turning. Bush is scrambling to "explain" Iraq to a population that is turning against the administration and its lies and criminal conduct. We are going to turn up the heat in the months ahead.

June 16 - John Conyers

Help us take the next steps by making the most generous contribution you can today. Click here for access to the online donation form and the secure server, where you can also get information to write a check.

The grassroots movement for impeachment has made itself into a force too powerful to ignore. Yesterday (June 16) Congressman John Conyers held a hearing at the Capitol followed by a rally at the White House demanding the Bush Administration answer the questions raised by the Downing Street Memorandum.

It is hardly news to those who have been working to demand impeachment of Bush and other officials of the administration for High Crimes and Misdemeanors that the administration lied to the people of the United States in their pre-planned and duplicitous rush to war. But for the politicians and media who have tried to ignore the plain reality of this criminal conduct, the truth is becoming unavoidable. The hearing was broadcast coast to coast by Pacifica radio, which also invited a representative from ImpeachBush.org to provide commentary on the impact of the Downing Street Memo as evidence of impeachable offenses.

June 16 - Maxine Waters

The response to the September 24 mobilization in the last few days has been incredible. People in big cities, small towns and every place in between are telling us that they want to be part of and help support this massive demonstration in Washington D.C. It will be the action of the people at the grassroots that will make everything else move forward. This is what led to the eventual expose and resignation of Nixon three decades ago. The people move first, then the elected officials and the media can't help but take notice.

Click here for access to the online donation form and the secure server, where you can also get information to write a check.

donate box

Everyone should wear an ImpeachBush.org t-shirt in the next weeks of warm weather, put up a lawn sign or give one to a friend or neighbor. This is the time to get the message out there! You can pick up shirts, signs, great baseball caps - all at the ImpeachBush Resource Center today.

-- All of Us at ImpeachBush / VoteToImpeach.org

 

Bush Lied t-shirt   Impeach Bush lawn signs.   Bumper sticker

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Thanks to the generosity of donors, we are able to offer a “pay what you can” price for the lawn signs for a limited time as part of the new Neighborhood Visibility Campaign. Click here for the ImpeachBush Resource Center to order your lawn sign today!

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FW: [Afterdowningstreet] We made history yesterday!

We made history yesterday!
 
Thirty-five Congress Members attended a hearing organized by AfterDowningStreet.org and Congressman John Conyers.  The hearing examined the question of whether there is good cause to investigate possible impeachable offenses by the President in his justification of the war.
 
Congressman Charles Rangel said at the hearing, "Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a president has to make, going to war."
 
Seven Congress Members, immediately after the hearing, proceeded to the White House, where Conyers delivered a letter, bearing 122 Congress Members' signatures and those of 560,000 Americans.  The letter demanded answers to the troubling facts presented in the Downing Street Minutes.  These seven members then joined the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition and several hundred supporters at a rally in Lafayette Square Park.
 
And we awoke the mainstream media!  They are now asking questions at White House press brifings, writing articles, and chattering away on the broadcast media.
 
We did all of this in exactly three weeks, and we're exhausted but exhilerated.  However, this is the beginning, not the end, and if we are going to be able to continue, we will need funding.
 
This is a turning point.
 
Please contribute to AfterDowningStreet.org through Democrats.com, one of our coalition members.  Please give what you can today:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

FW: Activists Call for United Front - "Troops Home Now, or We'll ShutIt Down!"


1) Report from Saturday, June 11 Strategy Meeting
2) Troops Out Now Coalition On Palestine and the September 24 antiwar protest




Troops Out Now Strategy Meeting on Building A United Front to Stop the War

Activists Say: "Bring the Troops Home Now or We'll Shut It Down!"



Endorse the Call for a United Front
Sign up to be a Troops Out Now organizing center for Sept. 24
Donate to help build a United Front Against the War


Activists from across the U.S. and from numerous antiwar, progressive, and labor organizations assembled on Saturday, June 11 at the Lang Center of New School University for a discussion of strategy and unity in the antiwar movement.

This gathering is part of the growing momentum in the antiwar movement for a united front against the war.  Polls indicate that the majority of people in the U.S. now oppose the occupation, recruiting numbers are at an all time low, and Bush's approval ratings are falling.  This growing opposition can have tremendous impact when it is manifested in the streets.  We have an opportunity to take decisive action to bring the troops home and end the criminal occupation of Iraq, and we have a responsibility to do so.  On May 26, the Troops Out Now Coalition issued a Unity Call, calling for massive, unified action to stop the war.  This call has gathered nearly 1,000 endorsers in the days since it was circulated, reflecting a widespread recognition that the antiwar movement needs to enter a new phase of struggle against the war.

This was evident in the meeting on Saturday, where more than 200 representatives gathered to discuss the next steps for the antiwar struggle.  Discussion was spirited, serious, and respectful.  Those gathered clearly affirmed proposals and positions put forth by the Troops Out Now Coalition, including:

  • The vital importance of building a united front against the war.  Our emphasis needs to be on building a large, militant antiwar movement that is capable of stopping the war.  TONC renews its appeal to the small but influential forces in the antiwar movement who refused to work together for the fall and beyond to reverse their positions and help unleash the full mass potential of the struggle to shut the war down.
  • That building a united movement means including, not excluding the struggles of oppressed people.  Support for the Right of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their original homes and property in all of historic Palestine is not negotiable.
  • That unity means much more than  organizational unity.  It means, more importantly, that the antiwar movement reaches out to and embraces the struggles of oppressed people here and internationally.  It means solidarity with the struggle of communities of color, with LGBT communities, with immigrants, and with struggles against racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression.  It means solidarity with the people of Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, the Philippines, and everywhere that people are struggling against U.S. colonial occupation.
  • That the antiwar movement needs to look to new and more effective tactics to stop the war.  Activists raised the slogan "Troops Home Now, or We'll Shut It Down!" and discussed the idea of declaring a moratorium against the war, including walkouts, civil disobedience, and other direct actions to bring the cities to a stop until the war is ended.
  • That the struggle to end the war will be won by mobilizing a massive movement in the streets.  Counting on elections and pro-war politicians to end the war is, at best, a misdirection of time, energy, and resources.  Only the people will stop the war.  To that end, it is important to immediately begin planning and mobilizing now for the September 24 March in Washington DC, the Millions More Movement events on the weekend of October 14-16, and the Moratorium Against the War.

Speakers and participants in the discussion represented many different struggles and organizations.  They included:

Brenda Stokely,  New York City Labor Against the War and the Million Worker March
Nana Soul of Artists and Activists United for Peace
Charlotte Kates, Al-Awda NY & New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
Berna Ellorin, BAYAN USA
Larry Holmes, International Action Center
Jesse Lokahi Heiwa, Queers for Peace and Justice and Queers for Palestine
Lee Siu Hin, an organizer with ActionLA
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Carl Webb, a member of the Army National Guard who refused to deploy to Iraq
Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council
Dustin Langley, Navy Veteran, No Draft No Way
LeiLani Dowell, FIST and Queers for Peace & Justice
Teresa Gutierrez, NY Committee to Free the Five
Paul Zulkowitz, Green Party Peace Action Committee
Hadas Their, Campus Antiwar Network, arrested at CCNY for protesting against military recruiters



Troops Out Now Coalition On Palestine and the September 24 antiwar protest

As TONC works to revive, and re-energize the struggle to not only end, but defeat, the colonial occupation of Iraq, we will walk every extra mile, and spare no effort in our efforts along with others to forge greater unity in the antiwar movement. The central question is, how can this best be done?

We don’t think that you can make the movement “broader” by narrowing its appeal and relevance. We believe that the idea that the movement should strive to look more white, colorless, and vapid, and that it should be fearful of looking too Arab, Black, Latin, and Asian, is a false notion.  There is no power or future in a movement based on this notion. Either the composition, politics and outlook of the antiwar movement in this country is going to reflect the world, or it’s going to be little more than a irrelevant reflection of a distant past.

Clearly the focus of the movement is Iraq.  But we must resist any effort to either exclude or minimize the occupation of Palestine as a focus of the movement.  We must do this because the struggle for the Right to Return and against the occupation of Palestine is central to the struggle of Arab people and it is impossible to separate the Palestinian Question From Iraq.   Trying to separate the occupation of Iraq from the occupation of Palestine is, to us, the same as trying to separate the struggle against the war from the struggle against racism at home.

Moreover, instead of abetting anti-Arab and Muslim racism and repression, the movement must spare no effort in facilitating the widest participation of the Arab and Muslim community in the Sept. 24 antiwar protest in Washington, and in all of our activities.  The movement reached such a high water mark at the antiwar march on Washington in April 2002, when after years of struggle within the movement, the antiwar movement embraced the struggle of Palestine, and for the first time in history, the streets of the capital were filled with tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims marching arm and arm with antiwar protesters. 

The movement has moved forwards on Palestine and the Troops Out Now Coalition is determined to fight any backsliding.  Our friends in the National Council of Arab Americans, as well as others in the Arab and Muslim community have engaged TONC on this important issue.  We have told our friends and we want to make it clear to all that the Troops Out Now Coalition supports the call for unity in the anti-war movement for the September 24, 2005 mobilization on the basis of the political program achieved on March 20, 2004, the first anniversary of the war on Iraq. We support, as a basis of the September 24 mobilization, the Arab American and Muslim community in the political slogan: End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti, Support the Palestinian People's Right to Return.  Meaningful solidarity with the Arab and Muslim community will truly make September 24 broader and stronger. TONC believes that this is what the world wants to see, and what the Imperialists don’t want.

TONC hopes to build unity on this basis for September 24 and beyond to unleash the full mass potential of the struggle to shut the war down.




Endorse the Call for a United Front
Sign up to be a Troops Out Now organizing center for Sept. 24
Donate to help build a United Front Against the War


FW: Formation of Sept. 24 National Coalition for the March on Washington DC

 

 

tell a friend 1

ANSWER email logo

Formation of September 24 National Coalition
for the March on Washington DC

All Out to Stop the War in Iraq -
Bring the Troops Home Now!

End Colonial Occupation
from Iraq to Haiti to Palestine and Everywhere

On September 24, we will show the deepening opposition that is leading to the political isolation of the warmakers. As during the Vietnam War era, the people of the United States from all communities are actively entering the political process through the mobilizing efforts of a genuinely broad and mass antiwar movement.

Since the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition issued the call for a mass mobilization in Washington DC on September 24, a large number of national organizations have endorsed and committed energy and resources with the aim of building the largest possible united demonstration.

The September 24 National Coalition for the March on Washington, therefore, represents a coming together of national organizations and communities who are committed to building opposition to the Bush Administration's war and occupation of Iraq. These organizations oppose war and colonial-style occupation, not only as it pertains to Iraq, but in Palestine, Haiti and everywhere. Support for self-determination means standing with the people in their effort to achieve sovereign control over their land, labor and resources. Recognizing the inextricability of the struggle of the Palestinian people from the anti-war movement, the September 24 National Coalition supports the Palestinian people and the inviolability of their Right to Return to the homes from which they were evicted.

The leadership of the September 24 National Coalition includes the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, National Council of Arab-Americans (NCA), Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, Haiti Support Network, Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines, and the National Lawyers Guild.

On March 20, 2004, many of the same organizations worked tirelessly to build a united front that brought more than 100,000 people into the streets of New York City under the banner "Bring the Troops Home Now! End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti and Everywhere!" The decision to form the September 24 National Coalition in support of the call to action initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition is a renewed sign of a reciprocal commitment to work together and build a mass movement opposing war for Empire. We believe that rather than excluding communities, building valid unity in the United States requires embracing the rights and contributions of all, primarily the very recipients of the ravages of war.

The people of the United States are witnessing a vicious attack against working class communities by the Bush Administration and the Military-Industrial Complex. While the government has allocated more than $300 billion to make war against the people of Iraq, it cries 'poverty' when it comes to funding education, healthcare, housing, jobs and job training, and other programs and services that meet the needs of working people. Bush claims that there is a lack of funds to maintain Social Security while the National Treasury is plundered to finance the endless imperial war. Instead of offering young people a decent education and decent jobs with decent wages, the government has deployed an army of military recruiters to snare young people into the armed forces. Bush and the corporate and banking elites view young people in the United States as nothing more than cannon fodder in the war for Empire.

September 24 is a day when people from all over the country will be joining together to speak with one voice against war and racism. Marching together we will show the growing power of the antiwar movement. Join us in spreading the word in the weeks and months ahead.


Get Involved in the September 24 Mass March

  • Read the Call to Action
  • Demands of the demonstration
  • Press Coverage
  • Endorse
  • View Endorsers
  • List Transportation
  • Spread the word - Downloadable flyers
  • Donate
  • More information

    A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
    Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
    http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org
    info@internationalanswer.org
    National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
    New York City: 212-533-0417
    Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
    San Francisco: 415-821-6545
    For media inquiries, call 202-544-3389.

  •  

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    FW: EVENT ADVISORY: Downing Street Memo Rally in DC Thursday


    Support the broadening of the Resolution of Inquiry (first step toward
    impeachment) to examine the attacks of September 11th beginning with
    Administration lies about lack of warnings and then follow the trails of
    covered-over evidence wherever they lead. 9/11 CitizensWatch is a member of
    the AfterDowningStreet Coalition. Check RawStory.com for more background and
    timeline for the Administration's illegal path to war on the backs of lies
    and exploitation of 9/11 -Ed.]

    ================

    AfterDowningStreet.org

    1. TIME AND PLACE FIXED FOR THURSDAY RALLY 2. NEW BRITISH DOCUMENTS LEAKED

    1. Hearings and Rally

    On Thursday June 16, 2005, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the
    House Judiciary Committee, and other Congress Members will hold a hearing on
    the Downing Street Minutes and related evidence of efforts to cook the books
    on pre-war intelligence. (Time and place yet to be determined.)

    Later on the same day at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of
    the White House, a large rally will support Congressman Conyers who plans to
    deliver to the White House a letter addressed to President Bush and signed
    by over 500,000 Americans and at least 94 Congress Members. The letter asks
    the President to respond to questions raised by the Downing Street Minutes.

    Among those speaking at the hearings will be: Joe Wilson, Former Ambassador
    and WMD Expert; Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA analyst who prepared regular
    Presidential briefings during the Reagan administration; Cindy Sheehan,
    mother of fallen American soldier; John Bonifaz, renowned constitutional
    lawyer and co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org.

    Among those speaking at the rally will be: Congressman Conyers and various
    other Congress Members, Cindy Sheehan of Gold Star Families for Peace, John
    Bonifaz of AfterDowningStreet.org, Ray McGovern former CIA analyst, Medea
    Benjamin of Global Exchange, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of Progressive Democrats
    of America, Stephen Cleghorn of Military Families Speak Out. More
    information, and flyers promoting the rally, are available at
    www.afterdowningstreet.org

    Flyers to print, copy, and distribute widely:

    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/rally.pdf

    LOCAL RALLIES PLANNED AROUND COUNTRY

    Supporters of this campaign are independently organizing rallies on Thursday
    at locations around the country.

    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=arti
    cle&sid=211

    2. New Documents

    AfterDowningStreet.org has made available additional secret documents leaked
    from the British government.

    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=arti
    cle&sid=205

    Statements from leaders of the AfterDowningStreet.org Coalition:

    "The UK Iraq War documents provide a roadmap for U.S. investigators, the
    media and Congress. Shame on them if they become complicit in the coverup
    and do not pursue them. It is time to interview current and former
    intelligence officials about whether they were asked to 'fix' the
    intelligence, whether intelligence was designed to convince people to
    support the already planned war or whether intelligence was intended to
    provide real information about whether Iraq was a threat. Public opinion
    has turned against the war -- it is now safe to report the truth."

    Kevin Zeese of Democracy Rising

    "George Bush may think that his lone 'accountability moment' was last
    November's election, but as these new documents show that he planned all
    along to invade Iraq and lie as needed, his real 'accountability moment' may
    be yet to come -- in the form of a House of Representatives Resolution of
    Inquiry into impeachable offenses. That resolution cannot come to soon for
    Veterans For Peace or for the people of Iraq, whose deaths and suffering
    demand justice.

    Mike Ferner, Veterans for Peace

    "Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is committed to continue to organize
    at the grassroots level with this coalition to demand Members of Congress
    introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to
    launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the
    House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach
    George W. Bush. Citizens from across the country will be on the ground in
    Washington DC this Thursday at the hearing and rally to demonstrate their
    resolve."

    Tim Carpenter, Director of PDA

    "My son was killed and my family destroyed by a war in Iraq that was
    premeditated and prefabricated. My son was killed by people in power who
    wanted this invasion and occupation at all costs. Anyone who lied to us
    about this invasion should be brought to justice. I am heart broken and
    devastated that my son was already a dead man by July 2002, if not sooner.
    We didn't even know. We had no way of knowing that our leaders were planning
    to engage in this massive subversion of the United States Constitution. I
    urge every person in this country with courage and integrity to rise up and
    demand that the truth be finally exposed to the light and that those in
    power who are responsible, including the President of the United States, be
    held accountable under the rule of law."

    Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace

    AfterDowningStreet.org is a rapidly growing coalition of veterans' groups,
    peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005,
    a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into
    whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with
    the Iraq war.

    Contacts:

    David Swanson david@davidswanson.org 202-329-7847 Jonathan Schwarz
    jonrschwartz@yahoo.com 301 928 7579

    FW: VOTE ALERT: Kerry to Force Key CAFTA Vote TUESDAY

     

    ttp://www.davidsirota.com/2005/06/kerry-to-force-key-cafta-vote.html

    Kerry to Force Key CAFTA Vote
     

    I have not always agreed with Sen. John Kerry (D) on trade. I happen to believe the failure of Democrats to articulate a strong position against corporate-written "free" trade deals has been a disaster for the party since Bill Clinton rammed NAFTA down America's throat in the early 1990s. That's why Kerry's move on Tuesday to force a critical vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is so refreshing. It shows that the Democratic Establishment is starting to figure out that trade is becoming one of the most critical political and economic issues in America.

    Kerry's amendment in the Senate Finance Committee is simple - force CAFTA to include stronger provisions to protect American and Central American workers. Specifically, while the bill contains measures to allow corporations to challenge violations of patents and intellectual property, it does not contain the same measures for workers to challenge violations of labor laws. The Kerry amendment simply extends the same protections that corporations get to ordinary workers. To read more about the amendment, see this letter from House Democrats in support of it.

    Kerry's amendment is not without precedent. America's trade agreement with Jordan has these protections in it. Thus, the question for Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee is cut and dry: are you going to follow Corporate America's orders and sell out average American workers who are already being ravaged by past trade deals, or are you going to actually stand up for America's middle class?

    The vote is scheduled in the Finance Committee for around 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 14. Senators be aware: America is watching to see who you side with.
     
    Sources:
    Kerry to force critical vote on CAFTA:
    Text of Kerry's amendment:
    Letter from House Democrats in support of the Kerry amendment:
    Comparison of the Jordan trade deal to CAFTA:
    Members of the Senate Finance Committee who will be voting on the Kerry amendment:


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