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Bush to Announce MORE Troops Tonight 9pm
PROTEST Thursday: End The War Now!
When Bush announces "more", we say NO!
The life for almost every Iraqi citizen is a living hell under the current U.S. occupation and will only get worse as long as the U.S. military remains in Iraq. " Today is better than tomorrow" is becoming a popular saying among citizens in Baghdad who make it through the day and in a
recent article by journalist Dahr Jamail included a letter he received from an resident in Baghdad who wrote:
“Life here in Iraq has become impossible because of the militias, sectarian violence, and the occupation [ U.S.] forces. Every day we see the dead bodies near our homes which have been killed by militias. We watch how the U.S. troops see these dead bodies and… do nothing to stop this violence.
Every day the U.S. troops raid so many houses in my area and arrest so many innocent people. I hope I can show you how the dogs have started eating the dead bodies which lie in the streets of Baghdad now.
Oh Dahr, I don't know what to say about my wounded country. Every Iraqi wants to bomb himself because of this shit life. Now Iraq is nothing like it was when you were here last, as bad as it was then. It has become very difficult to find someone who smiles. Everyone is sad and crying. This is true and this is our life now.”
Now imagine 30,000 MORE U.S. TROOPS in Iraq!!!
Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
It’s Time for an American Surge To Stop the Bush War in Iraq
by Tom Andrews
Defying the vast majority of the American public and top military leaders, the president of the United States is about to announce an escalation of his failed war in Iraq.
It appears to many that it comes down to the president’s not wanting the failure of the Iraq war to occur on his watch, that the images of Americans being evacuated from the Green Zone be reserved for his successor in the White House. Without the character and fortitude to accept a difficult reality, the president has decided to prolong the agony with the commitment of additional US troops. This would mean that thousands more of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis will die for a failed policy, a character flaw and a cynical political calculation.
What is astonishing is that the president might actually get away with it. Some in Congress, like Senators McCain and Graham, have launched a vigorous public campaign to support the president’s escalation. Others, like Senator Biden, believe that there is nothing that Congress can do about it.
That leaves a fed up American public, who issued a mandate in November for political leaders to start bringing our troops home, with only one option – hit the streets. We can begin this week 24 hours after the president announces his escalation.
The Win Without War Coalition, www.winwithoutwarus.org,
and allied groups opposed to the war are urging Americans to flock to their town squares, churches, synagogues, neighborhood centers and parks 24 hours after the president announces his escalation of the war. They can sign up and learn more by going to the web site www.americasaysno.org hosted by Win Without War member True Majority. Those gathered will pause to recognize soldiers from their state who have lost their lives in Iraq. They will take a group photo of themselves and their answer to the president’s escalation of the war with a simple and clear message: “NO!” The photos will be sent to their local newspaper and to campaign web site: www.americasaysno.org. where participants will be able to watch the response come in from neighborhoods throughout the country. Many will make a short video – “Why We Are Saying NO in 30 Seconds” and upload it on the web site and YouTube.
This will mark the beginning of a series of public actions against the war including a march in the nation’s capitol on January 27 organized by United for Peace and Justice and a national “Meet Up With Members” in the district offices of Representatives and Senators during the first Congressional District Work period of the new Congress.
Voters took to the polls in November to demand that the government start bringing our troops home. A recent CNN poll indicates only one in ten Americans support sending more troops to Iraq. Fewer than a third of Americans support the war, with a clear majority saying that they want U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year. Before the November Congressional elections, Americans told pollsters that if the Democrats won they expected Congress to end the war.
Here is what General John Abizaid, our top commander in Iraq and the region, told the Senate Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago: "I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey… And I said… if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no."
Last month US soldiers stationed in Baghdad told the Associated Press that the city "is embroiled in civil warfare" between Shiites and Sunnis that "no number of American troops can stop." They worried that "dispatching a new wave of soldiers would result in more U.S. casualties," and questioned whether "an increasingly muddled American mission in Baghdad is worth putting more lives on the line."
There are, of course, options to the president’s military escalation. Most sober analysts – and the majority of Americans - agree that there is no military solution to the conflict in Iraq, only a political one. The United States needs to work with regional governments, including Iran and Syria, to achieve reconciliation in Iraq. In a recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland, 82% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans said we should directly engage with Syria and Iran to establish a political solution in Iraq, as was unanimously recommended by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
The fate of our troops and any hope for turning around the disaster in Iraq now rests clearly with us. Whether or not Congress will allow the president to get away with his attempt to “double-down” his failed gamble in Iraq will depend on a clear and robust rejection by the American people.
When President Richard Nixon announced in April of 1970 that he would escalate the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia, Americans reacted with shock and disbelief. Protests erupted throughout the country, and Congress later banned US troops from operating in Cambodia and Laos. Today, more of the American public, including top military brass, is against this war and President Bush's proposed escalation than was opposed to the Vietnam War in 1970.
It is time for an American surge to stop the Bush war in Iraq. We can begin this week with a simple and clear message: Mr. President, Members of Congress, read our lips: “NO!”
Tom Andrews is the National Director of Win Without War.
America Says NO More Troops!
An Action Guide for A Nationwide Surge of Protest Of The US Military Occupation of Iraq
What it is
President Bush is expected to reveal his "new strategy” for Iraq in an address to the nation on or around Wednesday January 10th. Defying the mandate of Americans who voted in November to end the madness and begin to bring our troops home, the judgment of military leaders and even former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the president is expected to call for an increase in the number of US combat troops in Iraq.
We think it is crucial that Americans deliver an immediate and direct response to the president’s call for an escalation of the Iraq war: NO!
Volunteers will host actions in cities and towns across the country within 24 hours of the president’s speech with a simple message: "America says NO more troops in Iraq!” The message will be directed to the president and the newly elected Congress. The goal of the event is to generate media attention of the strong and growing nationwide sentiment against the President's proposal and strengthen the resolve of members of Congress to work for an end to the war. It will kick-off a series of actions that will build public awareness and opposition to the war over the next several weeks.
Groups will gather in well-lighted, convenient locations to be part of a “national family photo” of Americans who say NO to the president’s war in Iraq. The digital photos will be released to the local media, uploaded to this web site and displayed with hundreds of others from across the nation as they come in from communities from east to west. Participants will be invited to record a video message to their member of Congress that will be uploaded to the site and YouTube. Each gathering will read the names of soldiers from their state who have been killed in Iraq, circulate and sign a national petition to be hand-delivered to Congress and sign up for actions that are being organized in Washington, DC and in their community.
How to Join In
“America Says No” events will be simple and easy to host. We'll converge on the evening after the President's speech, with some ready-made signs carrying our message: “NO!” Participants will be able to download the signs, learn about the location of the event nearest them or register to coordinate an event at this web site.
Learn more and volunteer to coordinate an event by:
1) Visiting www.americasaysno.org or www.americasaysno.org/lead to register your event;
2) Download a host kit. On Monday, you'll find a sample press release to send to the local paper, a sheet of talking points about this event and why we're doing it, downloadable signs, a list of American service members killed in Iraq, and a blank petition form.
3) Let your friends know about the event. Point them to the website - www.americasaysno.org - so they can RSVP to the event. That way we can send them updates if the date of the President's speech changes or anything else needs to be adjusted. We'll also send a reminder message on the day of the event.
4) Join a national organizers conference call for the America Says NO! Campaign on Tuesday, January 9th at 7:00pmEST. 1-877-381-8833 44383#
5) Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or ideas about the event.
Community Coordinator Action Guide
First and foremost, THANKS for being willing to coordinate your local America Says NO! event. You are part of a team of coordinators, in cities and towns across America, who are making this action possible. Welcome to the team!
Here is a checklist of what to do to make your event a success:
BEFORE THE EVENT:
1) Identify and recruit a team of people to work with. Community leaders, organizers and those with experience in putting on local events are key;
2) Pick a time for the event (we've found that 6 or 7 pm usually works best, but it's up to you.) Then pick a location for people to gather. Make sure it's well lit (the sun goes down early at this time of year) and easy for others to find. Choose a safe, visible location in a public space. If it can be arranged, an inside location such as a public hall, community building, church or synagogue would be ideal for those living in colder climes;
3) Reach out to your community. Working with your team, identify every conceivable way people in your community can be reached and encouraged to attend your event. How do people in your community get their information? You might start with everyone sending personal e-mails to their web-mail list asking that their friends, colleagues and relatives to do the same; call leaders of local groups, religious institutions and networks and ask them to ask their members and colleagues to participate; distribute flyers (you can download a sample on the site); and put up posters;
4) Put out a news advisory (download our media kit) to your local media; ask those with experience with your local media who and how to reach key reporters, producers and editorial board members. Invite your local newspaper, television and radio stations to the event beforehand. This is easy -- simply send them the sample press advisory provided in the organizer kit, and follow it up with a phone call reminding them about your event. They'll appreciate this – it's the main way that newspapers and news crews find stories to cover every day.
5) Recruit speakers to help facilitate the event. Leaders from diverse local community groups and religious institutions are ideal;
6) Make sure to capture the event with a photo. Recruit a volunteer with a digital camera who can shoot still photos and videos that can be downloaded to the website.
7) If possible, enlarge the NO! You can use the “NO!” JPEG on the web site to make larger signs and banners for the event.
AT THE EVENT
Before the Program
Show up to the site early. Put up signs or banners. If you have a small public address system, set up the microphone where you want the speakers speak. As people arrive, invite them to participate by passing around a one-page fact sheet (available on this web site) and the list of casualties from your area. You may want to ask some participants to read aloud the names during the program. You might ask others to pass the petitions around and collect them at the end of the event.
1) Welcome and Introductions:
Thank everyone for coming and state simply why you are all there. [Download our “talking points” page for suggestions.] Talk about the events and actions that will follow including the March on Washington, January 27; Lobby Day at the nation’s Capitol on January 29; and “Meet-Up With Your Member” week starting on Tuesday February 20 – the first District Work Period of the new Congress.
You may want to invite community leaders who have helped organize the event to speak briefly, explaining why the members of your community are saying NO to president Bush and the war in Iraq.
2) Read the names of servicemen and women from your area who have been killed in Iraq – we're providing a list for your state on the website – as a reminder of why we're doing all this. You may also choose to stand in silence for a few moments.
3) Take a photo of your event to upload to the website’s “national family photo” gallery and to send to your local press:
This is easy, but also important – we'll be compiling the photos on the website from all across America, and you’ll be presenting them to the press in your news release to show that Americans do NOT agree with the President's plan to escalate our troop numbers. Use the downloadable NO! signs to show your opposition but you can also create your own NO!
Use your video camera or a videophone to record a 15-second personal message to your Member of Congress on why it’s vitally important that we stop the President from adding more troops in Iraq. Instructions will be provided on the website for you to upload the video to the gallery and to YouTube.
4) Finally, thank everyone for coming and encourage them to participate in the upcoming events including the next local action that will also be occurring in communities throughout the country - “Meet-Up with your Member” week. You can get more information on this on the website. As people depart, offer them the take-home petition, which also includes reminders about other upcoming opportunities to work for an end to the Iraq War
Who are the War Criminals?
by Felicity ArbuthnotLink
Fate certainly deals a strange hand. President Bush Jr., commented on the conviction of President Saddam Hussein, for crimes against humanity, in Waco, Texas, site of the massacre of the Branch Davidian religious group, in April 1993, by the U.S. Army, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Under President Clinton's watch, they laid siege to the building from February to April, subjecting those inside to continual sleep deprivation by playing deafening music and even continual screams of rabbits being slaughtered. Finally, surrounded by tanks, massive amounts of CS gas were sprayed in, then military pyrotechnic devices. Between seventy four and a hundred burned to death, including twelve between one and four years old. The building was then razed to the ground, allegedly to destroy the evidence.
From the town where this horror was perpetrated by the US military and others on American soil, Bush junior remarked of the Iraq trial outcome - in an area where US massacres have replaced daily bread - that : ' Iraqians' (eh?) were now ruled by justice not terror. He should take an unaccompanied stroll round the streets of Baghdad, pop in unannounced to Abu Ghraib and view the torture chamber discovered under the now 'democratic' Ministry of the Interior, just for starters.
However, trying Presidents and their governments for crimes against humanity, should be even handed in 'democracies'. Here is an inadequate list, for the land of the Gettysburg address, where on 19th November 1863, Abraham Lincoln invoked human equality and saying of those who had died in the battle for 'liberation' :''Thus choosing to die resisting, rather than live submitting, they fled only from dishonor...'
As Commander in Chief, President Bush Senior, President Clinton and Bush Junior, are cloaked in dishonor by their political and military's actions. The proverbial buck stops with them. Aside from the often forgotten reasons for the Kuwait invasion of 1990, which had, arguably, some validity - Kuwait's slant drilling under the border, into Iraq's Rumaila oil fields; destabilization of Iraq's currency and encroachment of settlements three hundred kilometers into Iraqi territory - the then US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, specifically asked by Saddam Hussein on US views if all negotiation failed, replied : 'We have no view on Arab-Arab conflicts.' Saddam invaded, James Baker, then Secretary of State to George Bush Senior, - now declaring the Iraq invasion catastrophic disaster - vowed the US would 'reduce Iraq to a pre-industrial age.' The Pentagon admitted that US aircraft dropped the equivalent of seven point five Hiroshimas, intended to destroy the life support system of the country.
In strict contravention of the Geneva Convention, all 'necessary to sustain life' was destroyed within the first hours of bombing (January 17th 1991) water, electricity, health infrastructure, communications, schools, food stores, large scale farms, productions units, bridges, roads, all industrial infrastructure. All needed for repair was denied under the US/UK driven embargo. During 1991, 'baseline mortality for the under fives, rose from 43.2 per thousand to 128.5 per thousand. A formerly largely well nourished nation was being compared in health and diet, to Mali and other of the world's poorest countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. An estimated one and a half million souls died from 'embargo related causes', to the 2003 invasion.
Further, not to be forgotten, is that after the 1991 ceasefire agreement was signed, United States aircraft bombed and incinerated thousands fleeing for Baghdad from Kuwait and Iraq's south, in accordance with that agreement. Their burned vehicles, to this day, piled high, mile after mile along the Basra highway. One US medical unit aided Iraqis surrendering and hurt, assuring them they would be safe. When they left, handing over to another unit, in good faith, that unit executed them all in cold blood. General Norman Schwartzkopf declared the Basra road slaughter 'a turkey shoot', adding : '..there was no one left to kill.'
With no UN mandate, the US and UK continued, with no legality, to bomb Iraq throughout the thirteen years of sanctions. When the Iraqi government accused them of bombing schools, mosques, monasteries, markets, repaired facilities, residential streets, the western media, largely, loyally repeated their governments' line that it was 'Iraqi propaganda.' Hospital wards frequently overflowed with the mutilated, blinded, damaged victims of Iraq's 'propaganda'. ' We met heartaches and bewilderment', wrote Debra Swinger, of the Bruderhof Community, in 1995, of the effect of the sanctions and the bombings.
On 1st January 1996, Ramsey Clark, twice US Attorney General, wrote to all Members of the UN Security Council :
'There is one crime against humanity in this last decade of the millennium, that exceeds all others in magnitude, cruelty and portent. It is the US-forced sanctions against the twenty million people of Iraq.' A detailed, shaming depiction of Iraqis plight, concludes: ' You must vote against these genocidal sanctions. Your nations should not share responsibility for the deaths of more than ten thousand Iraqis who will die before the Security Council Review in March, if sanctions are not lifted in January.' *
The shameful world body, avowed to protect 'succeeding generations', voted to maintain sanctions. The previous year, the head of the Red Cross told Clark that in one week, there had been six thousand infant deaths from diaharrea and vomiting due to contaminated water. Rehydration and anti-biotics costing just cents a dose, would have saved most. They were blocked under US-UK pressure. ' The enjoyment of the highest standard of health is .. the fundamental right of every human being ..' states the constitution of the (UN) World Health Organization.
From wars on babies to wars on the devastated: the inevitable, illegal invasion of Iraq. John Hopkins School of Public Health's meticulous Professor Les Roberts, estimates a possible further six hundred and fifty five thousand excess deaths in Iraq - or more - due to rape, torture, destruction on a barely believable scale; hospitals which now seem well stocked under the embargo's horrors, 'Falluja's' across ancient Mesopotamia in the name of the US and UK, for which no one is held responsible, killing Iraqis: ' ..choosing to die resisting .. (fleeing) only from dishonor.' Or just for being Iraqi. Over two million Iraqi deaths later, in the sixteen year war on Iraq, democracy might really catch on in the Middle East, were three other Presidents tried for crimes against humanity. Oh, and the verdict on Saddam Hussein was also delivered on Britain's bonfire night, commemorating exactly four hundred years since Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament. A day later, Simon Carr, insightful parliamentary sketch writer for the Independent, summed up Tony Blair throwing the toys out of the pram, when questioned about the verdict on Saddam Hussein: 'I thought, ruined. '
Felicity Arbuthnot is a Global Research Contributing Editor. Her carefully documented reports on Iraq based on extensive field work have not only provided evidence of the war crimes committed by occupying forces, they reveal the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the plight of an entire nation and its people.
* The Children are Dying, Ramsey Clark, Pub: World View Forum.
Pentagon Targets US Citizens with Raytheon RayGun
by CONSPIRACY PLANET
Going to an anti-war demonstration? Be sure to wear Mylar.
The Pentagon's new "crowd control" microwave weapon, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was tested on January 24, 2007, as a pointed reminder -- and warning -- to would be participants in the anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. on January 27.
The weapon, nicknamed "Sheriff" and called Active Denial System (ADS), was mounted on a Humvee and shown to the media at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
The allegedly "non-lethal" weapon, developed by Raytheon, uses a directed energy beam emitting from a parabolic antenna and aimed at so-called "angry mob" or "rioters."
The weapon heats the skin of the targeted individuals to 130 degrees, giving them the perception that they are being burned alive.
The problem with the government/media promoted weapon, reports independent journalist Wayne Madsen, is that it can be defeated by using aluminum- or gold-coated Mylar to deflect the energy beam back to the Humvee from which it came.
Madsen also reports that "in addition to aluminum or gold coated Mylar, Mylar reflective space blankets, aluminum coated windshield heat protective screens, and more sophisticated and precise corner cube retro-reflectors or Luneburg spheres can all be used to reflect the millimeter wave beam back to its source."
"The source we spoke to also revealed that the ADS technology has already been used in Iraq against civilian rioters even though the Pentagon claims it will not be deployable until 2010," Madsen continues.
"The source added that even if the ADS Humvee is present at the anti-war march in Washington tomorrow, Raytheon would not permit its use because of liability issues stemming from potential eye damage and human rights violations. However, WMR has learned that Raytheon is offering the ADS technology to police departments and as a component of home security alarm systems."
Just as Kevlar clothing has been promoted for high profile CEOs and other corporate executives, American ingenuity is bound to produce a line of clothing with reflective Mylar as its main ingredient -- for stylish street demonstrators.
Or as science fiction writer William Gibson once wrote -- The Street finds its own uses...
The Empire Turns Its Guns on the Citizenry
by Paul Craig Roberts
In recent years American police forces have called out SWAT teams 40,000 or more times annually. Last year did you read in your newspaper or hear on TV news of 110 hostage or terrorist events each day? No. What then were the SWAT teams doing? They were serving routine warrants to people who posed no danger to the police or to the public.
Occasionally Washington think tanks produce reports that are not special pleading for donors. One such report is Radley Balko's http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6476"Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" (Cato Institute, 2006).
This 100-page report is extremely important and should have been published as a book. SWAT teams ("special weapons and tactics") were once rare and used only for very dangerous situations, often involving hostages held by armed criminals. Today SWAT teams are deployed for routine police duties. In the U.S. today, 75-80 percent of SWAT deployments are for warrant service.
In a high percentage of the cases, the SWAT teams forcefully enter the wrong address, resulting in death, injury, and trauma to perfectly innocent people. Occasionally, highly keyed-up police kill one another in the confusion caused by their stun grenades.
Mr. Balko reports that the use of paramilitary police units began in Los Angeles in the 1960s. The militarization of local police forces got a big boost from Attorney General Ed Meese's "war on drugs" during the Reagan administration. A National Security Decision Directive was issued that declared drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security. In 1988 Congress ordered the National Guard into the domestic drug war. In 1994 the Department of Defense issued a memorandum authorizing the transfer of military equipment and technology to state and local police, and Congress created a program "to facilitate handing military gear over to civilian police agencies."
Today 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles. Some have tanks. In 1999, the New York Times reported that a retired police chief in New Haven, Conn., told the newspaper, "I was offered tanks, bazookas, anything I wanted." Balko reports that in 1997, for example, police departments received 1.2 million pieces of military equipment.
With local police forces now armed beyond the standard of U.S. heavy infantry, police forces have been retrained "to vaporize, not Mirandize," to use a phrase from Reagan administration Defense official Lawrence Korb. This leaves the public at the mercy of brutal actions based on bad police information from paid informers.
SWAT team deployments received a huge boost from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, which gave states federal money for drug enforcement. Balko explains that "the states then disbursed the money to local police departments on the basis of each department's number of drug arrests."
With financial incentives to maximize drug arrests and with idle SWAT teams due to a paucity of hostage or other dangerous situations, local police chiefs threw their SWAT teams into drug enforcement. In practice, this has meant using SWAT teams to serve warrants on drug users.
SWAT teams serve warrants by breaking into homes and apartments at night while people are sleeping, often using stun grenades and other devices to disorient the occupants. As much of the police's drug information comes from professional informers known as "snitches" who tip off police for cash rewards, dropped charges, and reduced sentences, names and addresses are often pulled out of a hat. Balko provides details for 135 tragic cases of mistaken addresses.
SWAT teams are not held accountable for their tragic mistakes and gratuitous brutality. Police killings got so bad in Albuquerque, N.M., for example, that the city hired criminologist Sam Walker to conduct an investigation of police tactics. Killings by police were "off the charts," Walker found, because the SWAT team "had an organizational culture that led them to escalate situations upward rather then de-escalating."
The mindset of militarized SWAT teams is geared to "taking out" or killing the suspect – thus, the many deaths from SWAT team utilization. Many innocent people are killed in nighttime SWAT team entries, because they don't realize that it is the police who have broken into their homes. They believe they are confronted by dangerous criminals, and when they try to defend themselves they are shot down by the police.
As Lawrence Stratton and I have reported, one of many corrupting influences on the criminal justice (sic) system is the practice of paying "snitches" to generate suspects. In 1995 the Boston Globe profiled people who lived entirely off the fees that they were paid as police informants. Snitches create suspects by selling a small amount of marijuana to a person whom they then report to the police as being in possession of drugs. Balko reports that "an overwhelming number of mistaken raids take place because police relied on information from confidential informants." In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, 87 percent of drug raids originated in tips from snitches.
Many police informers are themselves drug dealers who avoid arrest and knock off competitors by serving as police snitches.
Surveying the deplorable situation, the National Law Journal concluded: "Criminals have been turned into instruments of law enforcement, while law enforcement officers have become criminal co-conspirators."
Balko believes the problem could be reduced if judges scrutinized unreliable information before issuing warrants. If judges would actually do their jobs, there would be fewer innocent victims of SWAT brutality. However, as long as the war on drugs persists and as long as it produces financial rewards to police departments, local police forces, saturated with military weapons and war imagery, will continue to terrorize American citizens.