Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Impeachment: War Crimes: Treason: Surge: Confusion In The News

Before we delve into the dirth of news and dirt as regards our current government, let me share with you a most recent development. There have been a few who have taken rather vehement, though not well-reasoned, exception to materials and positions posted here as regards the matters of Impeachment and War Crimes.

That is your right, but (1) in the past few days it has been accurately stated that if anyone in the administration is Impeached or convicted of War Crimes, they have no avenue of pardon.

(2) There has surfaced a move to circumvent both processes by bringing Civil Criminal charges of Treason against the administration.

In that instance also, a pardon would not be available, and such charges can be brought by the people of this nation outside of the Halls of a still timid Congress. Legal scholars hold that there are sufficient sound legal grounds for such action.

The rationale of the proponents of such an approach is that action can be taken swiftly, and as a first result, would likely result in mass resignations from office. With a new government in place, Constitutional correction could begin and Impeachment and War Crimes proceedings could be conducted without the disruption of the new structure.

It has merit, and it is certain to add to the brewing conflict on the horizon. Right or wrong the people’s song is “2,4,6,8…we don’t want to escalate…” and “1,2,3,4…push Bush out the door!”


Please sign the petition supporting the The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT at this website:

Congressman John Conyers is now investigating an action to impeach Bush and others. This is a POLITICAL solution to the treason committed on 911. We are seeking a CRIMINAL solution to their actions on 911. Please sign, post, pass around, publish and promote this action to try Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for treason. Alfred Lambremont Webre and Leuren Moret ****************************************************

The full text:


Senate President Pro Tempore; U.S. Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Speaker of the House, and U.S. House of Representatives Majority and Minority Leaders We the Undersigned hereby request that the U.S. Senate President Pro Tempore; U.S. Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Speaker of the House, and U.S. House of Representatives Majority and Minority Leaders introduce, and that the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives adopt, fund, and implement The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT, to appoint an Independent Prosecutor under the authority of Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution to prosecute Treason against these United States of America by U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other John and Jane Does for planning and carrying out the acts of treason, as defined in Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution, by conspiring to carry out, carrying out and/or causing to be carried out an armed attack upon these United States on September 11, 2001, in the guise of a strategic deception operation. The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT

Joint Res. _______ 1__th CONGRESS ____ Session Joint Res. _______ To appoint an Independent Prosecutor under the authority of Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution to prosecute Treason against these United States of America by U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other John and Jane Does for planning and carrying out the acts of treason, as defined in Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution, by conspiring to carry out, carrying out and/or causing to be carried out an armed attack upon these United States on September 11, 2001, in the guise of a strategic deception operation. JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE U.S. SENATE & HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Date: ____________________ Sen. ________________________ and Rep. ____________________________________ introduced the following Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE U.S. SENATE & HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES To appoint an Independent Prosecutor under the authority of Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution to prosecute Treason against these United States of America by U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other John and Jane Does for planning and carrying out the acts of treason, as defined in Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution, by conspiring to carry out, carrying out and/or causing to be carried out an armed attack upon these United States on September 11, 2001, in the guise of a strategic deception operation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, WHEREAS, U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other John and Jane Does planned and carryied out acts of treason, as defined in Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution, by conspiring to carry out, carrying out and/or causing to be carried out an armed attack upon these United States on September 11, 2001, in the guise of a strategic deception operation;

and WHEREAS, the goals of the strategic deception operation of September 11, 2001 included providing a pretext for the unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty (announced by U.S. President George W. Bush on June 13, 2002) and for the weaponization of space; for the abrogation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution; and for the launching of illegal wars of aggression in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

WHEREAS, There is a sufficient legal threshold of evidence to issue an indictment for the crime of Treason against these individuals under the US Constitution, which in Article III(3) provides:Â "Sect. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on open confession in open court."

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON Independent Prosecutor Act'. SEC. 2. REAFFIRMATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION AGAINST TREASON AGAINST THESE UNITED STATES. Congress reaffirms the prohibition under the US Constitution, which in Article III(3) provides: "Sect. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on open confession in open court."

SEC. 3. APPOINTMENT AND FUNDING OF A SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR Congress hereby appoints and fully funds an Independent Prosecutor under the authority of Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution to prosecute Treason against these United States of America by George Walker Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Richard B. Myers and other John and Jane Does for planning and carrying out the acts of treason, as defined in Article III(3) of the U.S. Constitution, by conspiring to carry out, carrying out and/or causing to be carried out an armed attack upon these United States on September 11, 2001, in the guise of a strategic deception operation.

SEC. 4. REPORTS The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON Independent Prosecutor shall submit public progress reports to the Congress every 90 days. END URL OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT:

The Bush Crime Family: Three Generations of Treason
By Randy Lavello

There have been terrible crimes and criminals in United States history - but because the Bush family has passed their misdeeds down through generations, they are unequivocally the most corrupt. Rarely has there been a whole family of underhanded criminals where nefariousness was the rule rather than the exception. It’s not as if they have no code of conduct, the facts prove they lie, cheat and steal as their code of conduct.

Prescott Bush was a firm believer in eugenics, (the study of genetic improvement through selecting parents, or racial superiority) which was very common among the influential families at the start of the twentieth century… of course we are all more familiar with the eugenics ‘studies’ done by the Nazis. William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany in 1937 said, ‘… I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi Regime.’ Which ‘ruling families’ was he referring to?

Well, Old Prescott was convicted by the U.S. government under the Trading With The Enemy Act in 1942 and fined one million dollars. Brown Brothers Harriman’s affiliate Union Bank- of which Prescott was director- invested huge sums of money into Thyssen Steel, the backbone of Nazi steel production.

August Thyssen, an affluent German industrialist, lost much of his empire to the harsh Treaty of Versailles after WWI. Vowing this would never happen again, he founded three banks in three countries: August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, Bank voor Handel en Scheepuaart in Rotterdam, Holland, and Union Banking Corp. in New York City. Using money channeled through these three banks, Thyssen financed the rise of the Nazi party and their front-man Adolf Hitler, ruled Nazi steel production, profited from the mining of coal by Jewish slaves, and financed concentration camps including Auschwitz.

In 1937, while director of Union Bank, Prescott hired Allen Dulles to ‘cloak’ his accounts; Allen obviously didn’t do that great of a job because in 1942 the U.S. Alien Property Custodian froze Union Bank’s accounts. ‘Coincidentally,’ Allen Dulles was appointed U.S. Intelligence Chief in post-war Germany while he was also the lawyer representing Thyssen’s bank in Holland. This ensuing cover-up may have saved Prescott from further penalty stemming from proper investigation. In 1951, Prescott reclaimed Union Bank from the U.S. Alien Property Custodian, and went on to represent Connecticut in the Senate.

Why is it that picking up a gun and firing upon U.S. troops in wartime is considered treason, but financing the production of thousands of guns, munitions, tanks, and aircraft is not considered a treasonous act? Well, since you weren’t convicted by our government, I’ll convict you with my words: you, Prescott, were guilty in your lifetime of treason against the United States and your tomb bears the blood of veterans who died fighting the Nazis.

So Prescott had a son, and named him George - he became president of the United States… but first he became a vile criminal. Let’s not even speak of the Iran-Contra scandal or his membership in the Nixon Administration during Watergate.

Let’s skip the fact that he was ambassador to the U.N. in the seventies, then, during his presidency, he scandalously pledged his support for the establishment of a ‘New World Order.’ ‘Coincidentally,’ when the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were trained, funded, and empowered - Bush was director of the CIA and Vice President. These are all common crimes in comparison to the Bushes malevolent standard… let’s instead concentrate on the events of late March 1981.

James Baker, a member of Reagan’s cabinet at the time, stated, ‘Bush is functioning much like a co-president.’

This after George Sr. aspired to become president by running against Reagan in the Republican primaries. Here is evidence of a desire for power, then a taste of power.

On Monday, the 30th of March 1981, George Bush Sr. was in the Hotel where John F. Kennedy Jr. spent the final night of his life. Coincidence? Maybe George wanted to spend some time alone and reflect on the post-Kennedy years when he, Kissinger, and their fellow war-hawks were finally able to pass their agendas- such as committing to war in Southeast Asia.

Anyway, it was on this bizarre Monday in March that a fellow named John Hinckley Jr. shot President Reagan, lodging a bullet in his chest less than an inch from his heart. When there is an attempt to assassinate our President, isn’t the Vice President the most likely suspect?

John Hinckley Jr.’s family donated substantial amounts of money to Bush during the 1980 primaries when he ran for President… Neil Bush admitted this. Coincidence?

On March 31st The Houston Post ran a story that read, ‘Scott Hinckley, the brother of John Hinckley Jr., who is charged with shooting President Reagan and three others, was to have been a dinner guest Tuesday night at the home of Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, The Houston Chronicle has learned.’

As if this weren’t enough evidence, Neil and John Hinckley both were proven to have lived in Lubbock, Texas in 1978… how many sons of energy barons just happened to live in that town?

(It’s appropriate to mention that Neil was implicated in the Silverado Savings and Loan scandal.) As the final touch to this surreal scenario, Bush, as leader of the cabinet, came to the decision that this was not part of a domestic conspiracy!

It’s just like Janet Reno’s investigation of wrongdoings at Waco, when she was in charge of the murders committed there! Are we to believe that the Bush family was close with the bin Ladens and the Hinckleys and that both families had a rogue member whose violent acts just happened to help advance the political careers of Bushes?

The fact that there was no investigation into these incriminating facts nearly proves that the Bush family knew of Hinckley’s impending assassination attempt. George Bush Sr., you are guilty of high treason and should receive retribution for your vile lust for power.

George Bush had two other sons, named George Jr. and Jeb, and they carried on the name and traditions of the family. Let’s ignore George Jr.’s, and his brother Jeb’s known affiliation with Ken Lay of Enron.

Why don’t we look further east: from Texas to Florida. George Jr. obviously learned a valuable lesson from his father: lie, cheat, and steal your way into power.

Brother Jeb, as the Governor of Florida ignored the decision of the State’s Courts that ex-felons from out-of-state would retain their right to vote if they moved to Florida. (Under Florida law, and a handful of other states, an ex-felon could be stripped of his right to vote.)

Jeb hired a private data-mining firm, the first time a state government has done this, to compile a list of voters to be purged from Florida’s register.

Florida happens to be the only state in the Union to list race on the voter registration: because blacks tend to vote for Democrats (93% of the time nationally), between 50- 100,000 mostly black voters were illegally barred from voting in the 2000 elections.

George Jr. ‘won’ the election by 537 votes. These are the bare bones of the happenings in the Florida 2000 elections; for further detail of these disgraceful tactics look for an article by Christopher Mark to appear very soon on this site or purchase Greg Palast’s, ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Revised American Edition.’

Jeb Bush, you have undermined the Republic - the worst crime possible to commit. You killed freedom and stole the American people’s faith. You are guilty of treason against the Constitution and all of our Veterans who won our nation’s Independence and maintained its sovereignty.

George Bush Jr. was declared the winner of the 2000 elections and became president of these United States. Do you think the two Georges may have known about Jeb’s rigging of these elections? Well, just in case this was some sort of surprise gift for our current ‘president,’

let’s examine other evidence of treason committed by George Jr. He did call the FBI off investigations of Osama’s family upon taking office; he did run an oil business called Arbusto with Salem bin Laden, Osama’s brother. With the virtual laundry list of obscene disregard for our Constitution, why speculate into his close ties with suspected terrorists?

George Bush Jr. proves himself guilty of treason by the very laws he’s lent his signature to. This whole administration is guilty of criminal disregard for the laws of our land by violating citizen’s rights granted under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution.

This administration has passed laws allowing infinite detention without charge or access to counsel for U.S. citizens. As if this weren’t enough, he has refused to disclose information to Congress regarding executive function and granted the Attorney General the power to declare U.S. citizens as ‘enemy combatants’ and strip them of their rights.

In these ways he has usurped the power of the Judicial and Legislative Branches and dealt a severe blow to the Constitution’s Checks and Balances. He has destroyed the Fourth Amendment by removing the requirement for warrants, which could be easily attained if a
Judge believed a person may be involved with terrorists.

For his blatant disregard of the freedoms which represent our nation, Bush and this administration should be impeached and tried for treason by our courts to be sentenced for their crimes.

The penalties for those who represent our nation should be severe when they partake in actions detrimental to the citizens. The problem may be deeper than we realize: since treasonous criminals have the power to deem citizens ‘enemy combatants’ and strip them of their rights, this makes violating the Constitution the rule and adherence to the Constitution a criminal act… it has to.

If criminals make the rules, those who refuse illegitimate laws will be deemed the law-breakers. Furthermore, if we don’t reaffirm our Constitution there will be no reigns on our government and they’ll be able to pass any laws they wish.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely… but in the case of the Bush family - corruption empowers, and absolute corruption empowers absolutely!

The roots of the Bush family tree are imbedded in filth, in poison, in the abyss itself.

There is apparently no offense too dishonorable to be committed by three generations of Bushes: they engaged in every sort of thievery and deceit; they conspired to commit murder; they have conspired against the American people and Constitution itself.

After our present time period passes into history, the Bush family will forever be linked to depravity and malevolence; they’ll be immortalized as miscreants and swine. Let the truth be known!

Martin Luther King…(Had A Dream); THIS IS IS A NIGHTMARE. The real question today is: “Does anyone know what they are really doing?”


"This song was originally one of two African American Spirituals: I'll Overcome Some Day or I'll be All Right. In 1946, several hundred employees of the American Tobacco Company in Charleston, South Carolina were on strike.

They sang on the picket line to keep their spirits. Lucille Simmons started singing the song on the picket line and changed one important word from "I" to "we". Zilphia Horton learned it when a group of strikers visited the Highland Fold School, the Labor Education Center in Tennessee.

She taught it to me and we published it as WE SHALL OVERCOME in our songletter, People's Songs Bulletin. in 1952, I taught it to Guy Carawan and Frank Hamilton. Guy introduced the song to the founding convention of SNCC (student non-violent Coordinating Committee) in North Carolina. It swept the country.



We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day

We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand some day

We shall all be free
We shall all be free
We shall all be free some day

We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid some day

We are not alone
We are not alone
We are not alone some day

The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


Let's impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door
He's the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war
Let's impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones
What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way
Sheltered by our government's protection
Or was someone just not home that day?
Let's impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected
Thank god he's cracking down on steroids
Since he sold his old baseball team
There's lot of people looking at big trouble
But of course the president is clean
Thank God



Story Highlights

• Report calls for a "diplomatic offensive" and end of U.S. troop combat role by '08• U.S. troop mission should evolve to role of supporting Iraqi army• Military units "under significant strain" and equipment wearing out quickly• Bush, Congress must cooperate or "policy is doomed to failure

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Iraq Study Group called the situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating" Wednesday and recommended a radically different approach from President Bush's current policy, including the withdrawal of most U.S. combat troops by early 2008.

In delivering its report to Bush and Congress, the bipartisan panel listed 79 recommendations for change in Iraq strategy, including direct talks with Iran and Syria as part of a "diplomatic offensive."

All 10 members of the panel, chaired by former 5b4 Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican, and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, met with Bush at the White House to present the bound report. (View the complete report -- PDF)

The Bush administration has repeatedly rejected calls to seek help from Iran and Syria.

But the report states that "Iraq's neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group" to help Iraq achieve long-term security and political reconciliation -- "neither of which it can sustain on its own."

"If we don't talk to them, we don't see much progress being made," Hamilton said. "You can't look at this part of the world and pick and choose which countries you're going to deal with."

The panel, which was chartered by Congress, warns of dire consequences, both at home and abroad, if the U.S. fails to take action. (Watch Democrats claim vindication on Iraq )

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, the cons 5b4 people are "suffering great hardship" and their lives must be improved.

"The current approach is not working and the ability of the United States to influence events is diminishing," Hamilton said. "Our ship of state has hit rough waters. It must now chart a new way forward."

Among the group's recommendations were calls for a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will allow the United States to move forces out responsibly.

It also calls for prompt action by the Iraqi government to achieve milestones, particularly reconciliation. (Watch co-chair explain why the "current approach is not working" )

Stemming violence

Attacks against U.S. and coalition troops are "persistent and growing," the report states, and about 3,000 Iraqi civilians are killed every month.

"Violence is increasing in scope, complexity and lethality," the report says, blaming the Sunni Arab insurgency, Shiite militias and death squads, al Qae 5b4 da and other jihadist groups as the sources.

"Sectarian violence -- particularly in and around Baghdad -- has become the principal challenge to stability."

The U.S. military's ability to combat the violence is dwindling because of shortages in manpower and other resources, the report says.

It says almost every U.S. Army and Marine unit, as well as several National Guard and reserve units, have been to Iraq at least once, if not two or three times.

"Regular rotations, in and out of Iraq or within the country, complicate brigade and battalion efforts to get to know the local scene, earn the trust of the population and build a sense of cooperation," according to the report.

"The American military has little reserve force to call on if it needs ground forces to respond to other crises around the world."

Many units are "under significant strain" and equipment is wearing out quickly because of the harsh conditions in Iraq.

Iraqi security forces, too, are ill-equipped to fight the insurgency and are making only "fitful progress toward becoming a reliable and disciplined fighting force," according to the report.

Although U.S. troops have received adequate funding, "the entire appropriation for Iraqi defense forces [for fiscal year] 2006 [$3 billion] is less than the United States spends in Iraq every two weeks."

The stat 5b4 e of the Iraqi police force is even worse, states the report.

"It has neither the training nor legal authority to conduct criminal investigations, nor the firepower to take on organized crime, insurgents, or militias," it says.

"Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely engage in sectarian violence, including the unnecessary detention, torture, and targeted execution of Sunni Arab civilians."

In addition to its inability to provide security, the Iraqi government also fails to provide basic services like electricity, drinking water, sewage, health care and education, the report says.

"The government sometimes provides services on a sectarian basis. For example, in one Sunni neighborhood of Shia-governed Baghdad, there is less than two hours of electricity each day and trash piles are waist-high,' according to the report.

The report says Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government needs to show "substantial progress ... on national reconciliation, security and governance" or face a reduction in "political, military, or economic support" from Washington.

The report also prods the administration to launch a new diplomatic initiative to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

No timetable

It contends the United States "cannot achieve its goals in the Mideast" unless it embarks on a "renew eb0 ed and sustained commitment to a comprehensive peace plan on all fronts.

While not recommending a timetable for withdrawal, the report says: "The United States must not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq."

"We will take every proposal seriously, and we will act in a timely fashion," Bush said after receiving the report. (Watch Bush's reaction after receiving Iraq report )

Bush urged Congress to work with the administration to find "common ground" on Iraq policy.

Democratic leaders praised the report. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it a "tremendous step forward" and Sen. Joe Biden, who will head the foreign relations committee in January, said it was "a significant contribution."

Sen. Carl Levin, who will take over the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee in January, said, "The report represents another blow at the policy of stay the course that this administration has followed. Hopefully, this will be the end of that stay-the-course policy."

Asked if the report represented a repudiation of Bush's Iraq policy, White House press secretary Tony Snow said, "No, it's something we have acknowledged. It's an acknowledgement of reality."

"We look at this as a very positive document. One of the things they said is, 'We're not coming here, Mr. President, to criticize you,' " Snow said.

"What they said is that this is an opportunity -- they see an opportunity to come with a new way forward. Well, yes. And we like that. We like the formulation."

CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report.


ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Close to the same hour Wednesday night that President Bush vowed to disrupt the "flow of support" from Iran and Syria to "terrorists and insurgents" in Iraq, US forces raided an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq, arresting five diplomats and staff and taking computers and files.

The raid, and a buildup of US warships in the Persian Gulf, indicate that the Bush administration is ignoring the advice of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) to reach out to the two neighbors to help quell the violence in Iraq.

The tough rhetoric and military action – the second incident involving Iranian officials in Iraq in recent weeks – is seen in Tehran as a sign of escalation in the prickly US-Iran dynamic that could further complicate American efforts to calm the fires in Iraq and establish regional stability.

"It seems these 21,000 new troops Mr. Bush wants to send to Iraq are not just to calm [that] country," says Saeed Laylaz, a political and security analyst in Tehran. "It means the new strategy of the US in Iraq and the region is going to put more actual pressure against Iran - financial and military at the same time."

Iranian officials reacted angrily, calling the raid in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil illegal and a signal that US policy toward the Islamic Republic remained "hostile." Throughout 2006, the possibility of US-Iran talks about Iraq appeared to indicate the possibility that 28 years of bitter estrangement might be starting to fade.

There had been some hope in Syria, too, that the ISG's recommendations to engage Iran and Syria might improve strained US-Syrian ties. Bush's reference to deploying Patriot antimissile batteries to the region was aimed squarely at Iran - a point not missed in Tehran.

There had been some hope in Syria, too, that the ISG's recommendations to engage Iran and Syria might improve heavily strained US-Syrian ties. Bush's reference to deploying Patriot antimissile batteries to the region, to "reassure our friends and allies," was aimed squarely at Iran - a point not missed in Tehran.

Their arrival "is part of the US policy direction to create a support umbrella for the Zionist [Israeli] regime through an Islamic country," said Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini. The troop surge, he said, will only "extend insecurity, danger, and tension in the country. This will not help solve Iraq's problems."

Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa said that boosting US troops would "pour oil on the fire" in Iraq.

Bush's comments, in which he stated as fact that a consequence of US "failure" in Iraq would leave Iran "emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons," left many Iranians convinced that there is little chance of rapprochement during the remaining two years of his presidency, regardless of the results in Iraq.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy production, and denies that it wants the bomb. To date, UN atomic energy agency inspectors say they have found no evidence that Iran, a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has a weapons program.

"It appears that George Bush is hostile against the Islamic Republic, and is ruling out any compromise between Iran and the US," says Sadiq Zibakalam, a political scientist at Tehran University. "It was a bit surprising because after the [ISG] report, one thought that George Bush would be thinking seriously about its findings ... but he simply ignored it altogether."

The tough talk and military steps have led "many people in Iran [to] feel that if George Bush had not been bogged down in Iraq, he would have definitely attacked Iran long ago," says Mr. Zibakalam, adding that the current climate of suspicion resembles the period after Bush declared Iran part of an "axis of evil" three years ago.

"If the increase in [US] force levels in Iraq represents an escalation of the war as some insist," says Gary Sick, an Iran expert at Columbia University, "then the extension of US power, directly or indirectly, against Iran would represent an escalation of a different sort - and no less momentous in terms of its potential long-range implications." Mr. Sick was the principal White House aide for Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution and hostage crisis.

In December, several Iranians were arrested in Baghdad at the offices of a prominent Shiite leader. US officials are reported also to have found documents about Iran's role in Iraq, working with both anti-US Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents.

The White House has long accused Iran of meddling in Iraq, though analysts in Tehran agree that a stable Iraq - although preferably one of "manageable chaos" that keeps US forces tied down - is in its best interest.

"Raising troop levels shows that the US is not ready to go out of the region," says analyst Mr. Laylaz. "The US can't go out of [Iraq] at the moment. If they go now, there will be a bloodbath in Iraq, and it will be absolutely harmful for the majority Shiites in the country. I don't think Mr. Maliki's regime can stay in power for more than week if the Americans leave."

At a press conference Thursday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice renewed an offer to talk with her Iranian counterpart to discuss "every facet" of mutual grievance, if Iran first suspends uranium-enrichment programs - a step that Tehran has ruled out.

But Secretary Rice also told Fox News: "The president made very clear last night that we know that Iran is engaged in activities that are endangering our troops, activities that are destabilizing the young Iraqi government, and that we're going to pursue those who may be involved in those activities."

"There is a sense in Washington among some [conservative] circles - mistakenly, I would say - that their policy of putting pressure on Iran is working," says Mohammad Hadi Semati, a professor of political science at Tehran University who is finishing a three-year stint at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Carnegie Endowment in Washington.

US conservatives point to the backlash in December elections against candidates loyal to archconservative Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the recent unanimous UN Security Council decision to impose modest sanctions against Iran over the nuclear issue.

"There is a perception in some quarters in [Washington], that 'maybe our policy is working, so let's push further, and further put the screws on Iran,' " says Mr. Semati, noting that the election backlash was largely due to domestic issues in Iran. "The facts of the matter really don't matter."

The effect of Bush's stance may instead be the opposite in Iran. "If anything, this will help consolidate conservative forces, the hard-liners, even more," says Semati. "And the moderate, pragmatic forces, looking for an engagement [with the US and the West] - even a minimal engagement - they are going to lose the case."

A similar reaction may take place in Syria. "I keep hearing from Syrians that President Bush has lost touch with reality," says Andrew Tabler, a Damascus-based fellow with the Institute of Current World Affairs. The continued tough US stance against Syria, he says "is only going to strengthen the hard-liners in Syria, who have already come into the ascendance in the last year-and-a-half or so."

US-Syrian relations have been in a deep freeze since the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, two years ago. But several US senators have visited Damascus in recent weeks, emboldened by the Democrats' success in the midterm elections, and by the ISG call to reengage.

Even as the US has criticized Syria for allowing militants across its 400-mile border with Iraq, Iraq-Syria ties have improved since a visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem to Baghdad in November. Diplomatic ties were restored last month, and a joint security agreement signed.

Still, Syria's vice president, Mr. Sharaa, does not expect the Americans to ease their tough stance, says Ibrahim Hamidi, the Damascus correspondent of the Arabic Al-Hayat daily, who met Sharaa on Wednesday.

"If the Syrians keep on sending positive messages to the Iraqis, and if the relations with the Iraqis improve, then this may have some impact on Syria's relations with the Americans," says Mr. Hamidi. "But nothing will happen soon. It will take time."

• Correspondent Nicholas Blanford contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.



By Louise Roug and Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writers January 13, 2007

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has filled the top military job in Baghdad with a virtually unknown officer chosen over the objections of U.S. and Iraqi military commanders, officials from both governments said.Iraqi political figures said Friday that Maliki also had failed to consult the leaders of other political factions before announcing the appointment of Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar.

The appointment is highly significant because it is Maliki's first public move after President Bush's announcement that he was sending more troops to Iraq.

The prime mission of those troops is to reduce violence in Baghdad, much of which is blamed on sectarian fighters. As the Iraqi commander for the capital, Qanbar would play a central role in that campaign, and any ties he might have to sectarian groups could undermine the new U.S. effort.

In his speech Wednesday, in which he announced the troop increase, Bush said political and sectarian interference in security matters would no longer be tolerated."If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people," Bush said.

"The prime minister understands this."Maliki's decision to push through his own choice for one of the country's most sensitive military posts — and to reject another officer who was considered more qualified by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey — has renewed questions about the prime minister's intentions.

"It's a delicate situation," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker who questioned the choice of Qanbar. "It's very dangerous if it turns out that he has affiliations," he said, naming Maliki's political party and the anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr.U.S. officials are skeptical of Qanbar not only because of the way he was named, but because they know little about him.

Moreover, they have questioned the degree to which Maliki's government is reliant on sectarian figures, particularly Sadr. Maliki essentially is asking American officials to take Qanbar on trust at a time when they have little left. Qanbar, a commander in the navy during Saddam Hussein's reign, has not worked with American military officials, who say they know little about him other than that he hails from Amarah, a city in Iraq's Shiite-dominated south, and that he was taken prisoner by American forces near Kuwait during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.U.S. commanders have said that officials in Maliki's government have intervened several times to block them from combating Sadr's Al Mahdi militia, which is accused of being behind much of the bloodshed in Baghdad.

When U.S. forces did raid the militia's stronghold of Sadr City, a largely Shiite neighborhood of east Baghdad, Maliki's government publicly criticized them. On several occasions, Maliki ordered the release of suspected militiamen captured there, frustrating U.S. commanders.

The appointment of Qanbar comes as the U.S. military is debating whether to attack Sadr City. As the Iraqi commander, Qanbar could have advance knowledge of U.S. operations. He would command 18 brigades of Iraqi forces that are supposed to be deployed to work with the Americans.U.S. officials have said the decision on whether to move into Sadr City will be left to the Iraqi government.

Privately, senior military officials say that new rules of engagement negotiated with the Iraqis would allow them to go into the neighborhood and target individual insurgent and militia leaders. At least some Pentagon planners appear to relish the opportunity to target the Al Mahdi militia.

"This time we have a commitment from Maliki and other key players in the Iraqi government … to have a no-holds-barred arrangement for neighborhoods in Baghdad," said a senior military official who requested anonymity in order to freely discuss military planning. Sadr City "will not be a safe haven" for militias, he said.

Within the Pentagon, not everyone agrees that attacking Sadr City is advisable.Crucial to the decision will be the incoming U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus. He has not commented on the tactics he plans to pursue, but for the last two years he has overseen the development of the military's new counterinsurgency field manual, which appears to argue against a large-scale invasion of a neighborhood such as Sadr City, particularly in the early part of the new Baghdad security campaign.

The manual's first chapter, which Petraeus is known to have aggressively rewritten, advises commanders that though largescale offensives against insurgents may be necessary, they should be limited."Killing every insurgent is normally impossible," the manual says.

"Attempting to do so can be counterproductive in some cases; it risks generating popular resentment, creating martyrs that motivate new recruits, and producing cycles of revenge."

An influential plan for Baghdad security drawn up by retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and military analyst Frederick Kagan strongly advised against moving into Sadr City. The plan, which was highly influential within the White House and is considered to mirror Petraeus' thinking, argued that an attack on Sadr City would unite now-splintered Shiite factions against U.S. forces.

"We have an opportunity now to keep the Shiite parties separate and to avoid a full-scale military conflict with them," Kagan said. "If we go into Sadr City, that will not be the case. We will find ourselves in a full-scale, very bloody operation, which probably will look something like Fallouja."There is even more division over whether to target Sadr himself.Senior military officials refused to discuss which insurgents and militia commanders might be in the crosshairs.

They have been vague about whether Sadr could be detained or killed."The people we target are not fundamentally political leaders," said the senior military official. "We're targeting people who are directly involved with promoting violence either against our Iraqi partners or, in some instances, against us."To quell the concerns U.S. commanders have about Qanbar, American officials and the Iraqi government have agreed on a complicated system in which another layer would be added to the command structure between Maliki and Qanbar.

That layer would include the top U.S. commander, a high-ranking American official said.But that decision did not appease Iraqi politicians who object that they were not consulted on Qanbar's appointment."Nobody asked us," said Adnan Dulaimi, a lawmaker with a main Sunni bloc. "This is the first I've heard."

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff WriterSunday, January 14, 2007; Page A01

First of an occasional series

Timothy M. Carney went to Baghdad in April 2003 to run Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Minerals. Unlike many of his compatriots in the Green Zone, the rangy, retired American ambassador wasn't fazed by chaos. He'd been in Saigon during the Tet Offensive, Phnom Penh as it was falling to the Khmer Rouge and Mogadishu in the throes of Somalia's civil war. Once he received his Halliburton-issued Chevrolet Suburban, he disregarded security edicts and drove around Baghdad without a military escort. His mission, as he put it, "was to listen to the Iraqis and work with them."

He left after two months, disgusted and disillusioned. The U.S. occupation administration in Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), placed ideology over pragmatism, he believed. His boss, viceroy L. Paul Bremer, refused to pay for repairs needed to reopen many looted state-owned factories, even though they had employed tens of thousands of Iraqis. Carney spent his days screening workers for ties to the Baath Party.

"Planning was bad," he wrote in his diary on May 8, "but implementation is worse."

When he returned to Washington, he made little secret of his views. They were so scathing that his wife lost a government contract. He figured his days of working on Iraq were over.

Until a phone call on Tuesday.

David Satterfield, the State Department's Iraq coordinator, was on the line with a question: Would Carney be willing to go back to Baghdad as the overall coordinator of the American reconstruction effort?

The decision to send Carney back to Iraq -- and to abandon the policies that so rankled him in 2003 -- represents a fundamental shift in the Bush administration's approach to stabilizing the country. Desperate for new approaches to stifle the persistent Sunni insurgency and Shiite death squads that are jointly pushing the country toward an all-out civil war, the White House made a striking about-face last week, embracing strategies and people it once opposed or cast aside.

Indeed, Carney's rushed selection came just days after the administration announced two other key Baghdad appointments from among the ranks of dissenters in 2003: Ambassador designate Ryan Crocker and Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who will take over command of all coalition forces in Iraq.

Crocker, who spent the summer of 2003 helping to form Iraq's Governing Council, left the country frustrated with the CPA's reluctance to reach out to minority Sunnis. Even before the invasion, he wrote a blunt memo for then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell warning of the uncontrolled sectarian and ethnic tensions that would be released by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Petraeus, who spent 2003 commanding the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, grew dismayed by the heavy-handed tactics fellow military commanders were using to combat insurgents. He also opposed the methods by which Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army and fired Baathists from government jobs. And he chafed at the way reconstruction funds, personnel and decision-making were centralized in Baghdad. The CPA's policies, he said in 2004, should have been "tempered by reality."

It's a view the White House now seems to accept.

The plan unveiled by Bush last week calls for many people who lost their jobs under Bremer's de-Baathification decree to be rehired. It calls for more Sunnis, who were marginalized under the CPA, to be brought into the government. It calls for state-owned factories to be reopened. It calls for more reconstruction personnel to be stationed outside the Green Zone. It calls for a counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes providing security to the civilian population over transferring responsibility to local military forces.

Carney believes such measures could have been effective three years ago. Today, he worries they will be too little, too late.

During the phone call, Satterfield told him that the new reconstruction effort might not succeed. The two men agreed that if it was to have a chance, Americans would have to work more closely and collaboratively with Iraqis.

To Carney, it suggested "a sense of reality."

"It's certainly different than anything I saw out of the CPA or the aftermath of that," he said. "It seemed a little refreshing, actually."

He paused.

"It's been a long time coming."

Bush and his national security team began working on their new Iraq strategy in earnest shortly after the Nov. 7 midterm elections, which amounted to a rebuke of the president's war policy. They met among themselves. They talked to diplomats and military commanders in Iraq. They conducted a videoconference with Iraq's prime minister. They consulted with retired generals, experts at think tanks and academics.

By late December, the president and his closest security advisers -- Vice President Cheney, new Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley -- had coalesced around the need for more troops in Iraq. They had settled on Crocker to handle political strategy on the ground, replacing Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. And they had picked Petraeus to take over from Gen. George W. Casey Jr., whom they deemed to be too focused on the handover of responsibility to the Iraqis instead of on restoring peace to Baghdad's strife-torn neighborhoods.

But it wasn't until Monday, when Bush was going over a draft of the address he planned to deliver on television Wednesday, that they confronted the issue of who would coordinate the administration's new economic initiatives for Iraq.

Bush was planning to propose increasing the number of province-level reconstruction teams operating outside the Green Zone from 10 to 18. There would be new efforts to help the Iraqi government improve budgeting and management functions. And, most important, there would be a significant new emphasis on putting unemployed Iraqis to work. The strategy also included an implicit reversal of Bremer's policy on state-owned factories.

Scores of Americans ensconced in Baghdad's Green Zone would be involved: The U.S. Embassy has an economic section. There's a U.S. Agency for International Development mission. And there's the Project and Contracting Office, which manages reconstruction funded by an $18.4 billion U.S. aid package.

"Who's going to coordinate this?" Bush asked as he read through the economic initiatives, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting.

When Satterfield got back to his State Department office, he told his staff to "give me names."

The next day -- less than 36 hours before Bush addressed the nation -- Satterfield called Carney.


Before Carney left Iraq in June 2003, he tried one last time to persuade Bremer to rethink his refusal to repair more than a handful of state-owned factories. Iraq's government-run businesses employed more than 100,000 people before the U.S. invasion. To Carney, it was a no-brainer: Fixing the factories would allow thousands of Iraqis to get back to work, not only allowing them to provide for their families, but also keeping them occupied. He knew from his time in other post-conflict societies that the idle and unemployed are the best recruits for insurgencies.

But Bremer and his chief economic adviser, Peter McPherson, didn't want to pour money into inefficient state-run firms. They believed private investors would buy Iraq's government factories and set up new businesses to employ the populace. So they refused to give Carney money to reopen the plants.

The day before he left, Carney sent a note to McPherson titled "Fatal Flaws in Budget Policy towards State-Owned Enterprises." He argued that the CPA was violating the Geneva Conventions by undermining "assets of the Iraqi people." He also accused McPherson of drawing up policy "without adequate Iraqi participation."

"Instead of transparency, with major concerned Iraqi Ministries and academics engaged," he wrote, "the policy seems to be the thinking of a small group in the Coalition Provisional Authority."

"We need to rethink this," he wrote in closing.

Petraeus also opposed the immediate privatization of state-run firms. "What happens when you have privatization is . . . you end up with a hell of a lot less workers in the short term," he told an interviewer in 2004. "If you want to increase unemployment en route to greater employment and greater productivity and greater a lot of other things, that's great, but you've got to survive in the short term."

For almost three years, the policy didn't change. Although the Iraqi government reopened a small fraction of its 148 factories and began operating them at a diminished capacity, the efforts to sell them to private investors were unsuccessful.

When Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, at the time the top U.S. field commander in Iraq, sought to increase production at a state-owned tractor factory south of Baghdad early last year, a State Department official in Baghdad refused to pay for the necessary repairs, even though the rehabilitated facility would have been able to provide employment for many of the 10,000 people who worked there before the invasion. Chiarelli used money from a different program -- for small-scale reconstruction projects -- to fund the construction.

It wasn't until June that the Bush administration began to reevaluate its approach. Paul A. Brinkley, who had recently taken over as deputy undersecretary of defense for business transformation, returned from a trip to Iraq convinced that quelling violence depended on increasing employment. To Brinkley, a former corporate executive, the most effective way to create jobs was to reopen state-run factories.

Brinkley persuaded Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England to authorize funding to repair as many as 200 factories. England's predecessor, Paul D. Wolfowitz, was among the administration officials who opposed resuscitating state-owned firms in 2003.

It's not clear how effective Brinkley's initiative will be. Many of the factories are in dangerous, Sunni-dominated areas of the country. Electricity remains in short supply. Raw materials can be hard to come by. And given the intensity of the sectarian conflict, giving Iraqis jobs may not be enough to get them to put down their weapons.

Even if the odds are slim, the Bush administration wants to give it a try. Brinkley's team is focusing on 10 factories that it thinks could be open and employing more than 11,000 Iraqis by the end of this month.

"Any counterinsurgency strategy has to have an economic component to it," said Celeste Ward, who spent last year in Iraq as Chiarelli's political adviser. "It might give us a marginal increase in stability by getting some people off the street. You want people to start saying, 'Hey, we're a normal country where people go to work.' "


"This is a big mistake," Carney thought in May 2003, when Bremer told senior CPA officials that he would soon issue an edict prohibiting many former members of Hussein's Baath Party from holding government jobs. The one-and-a-half-page decree, which was drafted in the Pentagon office of then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, banned anyone who had been in the party's top four ranks; it also banned hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file members from holding senior management positions in government ministries. Bremer's stated goal was to cleanse Iraq's government of the former president's cronies.

Carney and the other Americans tapped to run Iraq's ministries knew that the senior managers in almost all government departments were Baathists. Hussein's government had forced them to join the party, but that didn't mean they all had blood on their hands or that they were all close associates of the former leader. And without them, it would be much more challenging to get the government running again.

With unemployment at more than 40 percent, Carney also knew that anyone kicked out of a government job wasn't going to find work elsewhere. They would be unemployed and angry.

Carney was one of many CPA officials to object. But Bremer refused to soften the policy.

The de-Baathification expert in the CPA's headquarters was Meghan O'Sullivan, then an aide to Bremer and now a deputy national security adviser working on Iraq. Although she voiced initial misgivings, she quickly became a vigorous and uncompromising enforcer of the edict.

From the moment the order was issued, most of Carney's time was devoted to de-Baathification. He held long meetings with the industry ministry's management, first to explain the policy and then to comb through records to identify people who were ineligible for future employment.

"It was a terrible waste of time," Carney said. "There were so many more important things we should have been doing, like starting factories and paying salaries."
After a few months, the CPA began to receive reports that 10,000 to 15,000 teachers had been fired because of the de-Baathification order. In some Sunni-dominated areas, entire schools were left with just one or two teachers.

Bremer eventually concluded that the policy had been applied "unevenly and unjustly." But instead of rescinding his edict, he announced that appeals would be handled by a de-Baathification commission headed by Ahmed Chalabi, a controversial former exile whose informants had helped the Bush administration make the case for war. Chalabi, a Shiite, saw little need to accommodate former Baathists, most of whom are Sunnis.

By the summer of 2004, as the United States was relinquishing sovereignty of Iraq, many officials handling Iraq policy in Washington had concluded that Bremer's initial edict was a mistake. But it was too late for the Americans to do anything other than urge Iraq's Shiite-led interim government to rehire ex-Baathists. The CPA no longer had the power to issue edicts.

U.S. officials in Baghdad and in Washington leaned on the governments of prime ministers Ayad Allawi and Ibrahim al-Jafari, but the country's powerful Shiite and Kurdish leaders were unwilling to embrace the changes sought by the Bush administration. As far as they were concerned, Bremer enacted a sound policy in 2003, and there was little need to change it.

Finally, in 2005, the Shiites and Kurds agreed to reexamine the de-Baathification rules as part of a compromise to get Sunni political parties to support Iraq's new constitution. The agreement called for a revised de-Baathification law to be enacted by parliament.


In an attempt to get the process moving, Bush used his televised address last week to call on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to embrace the reintegration of former Baathists. Maliki told Bush recently that he supports a revised de-Baathification law -- but the issue isn't in the prime minister's hands. It's still with Chalabi.

Chalabi is the chairman of the Supreme National Commission for De-Baathification, which continues to have ultimate authority to decide which ex-Baathists can return to work and which cannot. He has prepared draft legislation that calls for easing some elements of Bremer's policy, but he said parliament has been unable to act on it because a majority of the members of the legislature's de-Baathification committee belong to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political party, which walked out in November to protest a meeting between Maliki and Bush.

Speaking by telephone from Baghdad, Chalabi said he expects progress "pretty soon."

But he said the law will not contain a key demand of the U.S. government: a sunset clause that would abolish the commission, effectively depriving Chalabi of political influence. He called it unconstitutional.

Chalabi said he heard Bush's call for swift action on the de-Baathification law, but he emphasized that he and his fellow Iraqis, not U.S. officials, are in charge of the legislative timetable.

"We don't feel any pressure," he said.


Palestinian president seeks an edge in his struggle with Hamas, but the Israelis pursue the militants as terrorists.
By Richard Boudreaux, Times Staff WriterJanuary 14, 2007

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Kamel Ghannam, a 31-year-old Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade commander, is the kind of battle-hardened veteran that the Palestinian Authority president needs in his often-violent power struggle with Hamas.But President Mahmoud Abbas can't have him right now because the warrior is on Israel's "wanted terrorists" list.

He is hiding to elude an Israeli army crackdown in the West Bank.Though Israeli officials would like to see Abbas prevail over Hamas and start negotiating a peace deal with him, they doubt he can fully control militants such as Ghannam and prevent them from turning their guns against Israelis.

That is why Israel is reluctant to give Abbas one of the concessions he wants most: to take hundreds of fighters from his Fatah movement off the wanted list and stop trying to kill or arrest them.

The question of whether Israel should grant such an amnesty for one of the two Palestinian factions is an example of how their armed feud has become entangled with the Israeli-Arab conflict, complicating the Middle East diplomacy that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice resumed Saturday as she arrived in Israel.

While coaxing the Israelis and Palestinians toward peace, the Bush administration is also trying to help Abbas sideline Hamas, the Iran-backed Islamic movement that controls the Palestinian Authority government, resists peace overtures to Israel and is branded by the United States and Israel as a terrorist group.

Rice told reporters on her flight from Washington that she was coming for "intensive consultations" with Israeli and Palestinian leaders but bringing no proposal. She met Saturday with Israel's defense and foreign ministers and was to hold talks with Abbas today and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday.

In a Dec. 23 meeting that U.S. officials helped arrange, Olmert promised Abbas several concessions as the two men began exploring ways to revive full-scale peace talks that collapsed six years ago.MOOD HAS SOUREDBut the optimistic mood in Abbas' Fatah camp after that meeting has soured. Israel has been slow to keep its promises, and the army has stepped up its raids in the West Bank, seizing more than 20 Palestinians a day over the last week, many of them Fatah members.Ghannam, the militia commander, has vanished from the streets of Ramallah."From what we heard after the meeting, we relaxed a little," he said of Abbas and Olmert's talk. "

The leadership told us we could come out of hiding and live normal lives, get jobs and return to our families, but now we find that we cannot do this."Ghannam spoke at one of several safe houses he uses here. He moves at night from one to another, avoiding the home of his wife and two small children. He feels betrayed."The leadership keeps promising things and failing to deliver," he said. "We cannot trust them anymore."His bitter remarks echo wider criticism that Abbas is weak as a leader and negotiating partner with Israel.

Abbas lacks a solid base within Fatah's splintered ranks, which face a smaller but more disciplined Hamas fighting force. Trying to wrest political control from an elected Hamas government, Abbas has wavered between threats to call new elections and negotiations with Hamas on sharing power.He risks losing credibility and strengthening Hamas' argument for violent resistance against Israel if he cannot win Israeli concessions through dialogue.But Olmert is not in a position to deliver much.

Bruised by last summer's inconclusive war in Lebanon and recent corruption scandals, the Israeli leader is unpopular at home and reluctant to take risks. He has yet to make good on his promise to Abbas last month to deliver $100 million in tax and customs revenue that Israel had collected for the Palestinian Authority or to significantly relax travel restrictions for commuters within the West Bank.


Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, said Abbas would ask Rice to prod Olmert to move beyond peripheral issues and start negotiating the outlines of an agreement to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.Rice discussed such an approach Saturday with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who said she agreed that the talks with Abbas should "give the moderate Palestinians a political horizon," a vision of what a final settlement might look like, while providing for Israel's security.

But Olmert and Abbas are at odds over the security issue.In their meeting, Abbas called for a cease-fire in the West Bank, extending one he and Olmert established in the Gaza Strip in late November. Abbas proposed that Israel withdraw its troops from the West Bank and entrust his Fatah movement with the task of keeping the militants on Israel's wanted list disarmed and under control.Olmert rejected a West Bank cease-fire.

But the two leaders agreed to form a joint committee to review the wanted list, allowing Palestinian officials to lobby for amnesty for some. Israel has yet to name its members to the panel.Such a committee was set up in 2005 after the Palestinians declared a unilateral cease-fire in their conflict with Israel. The panel reviewed the status of about 500 wanted Fatah militants who had agreed to stop their attacks, but the truce broke down and the meetings stopped late that year.

Reviving the amnesty effort "is Abbas' way of recruiting militant elements against Hamas," said Shmuel Bar, a former intelligence officer who is now with Israel's Institute for Policy and Strategy. "He's saying, 'Hamas cannot get the Israelis off your backs, but I can.' "Israel's wanted list is compiled by its intelligence agency and distributed to the army and the police.

The government has not said how many names are on it.'QUIET' MILITANTSPalestinian officials involved in the 2005 review say many of the Fatah militants who stopped their attacks that year are still pursued in army raids and take up arms against the Israelis only to defend themselves.The officials say these "quiet" militants who should get amnesty include Ghannam, who swears he has not fired his M-16 rifle at an Israeli in nearly four years, and Rabe Hamed, a militia commander who was wounded Jan. 4 in a bungled Israeli undercover operation to seize him in Ramallah. Hamed escaped and went into hiding, but four Palestinians were killed in the two-hour gun battle.

Abbas condemned the raid, saying it belied Olmert's promises to lower tensions in the West Bank. It was taken as a signal that the Israeli government had "more or less lost control over the army, which will make political agreements impossible to carry out," said Mouin Rabbani, a senior Middle East analyst for the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit think tank based in Brussels.

Israeli officials say they are not enthusiastic about an amnesty arrangement and doubt one would work. They say Abbas is unwilling or unable to control militants either in Hamas or his own Fatah movement who are still intent on sending suicide bombers into Israel from the West Bank.

The army says 187 militants among the thousands seized in the West Bank last year were allegedly plotting suicide attacks.A senior army official who meets monthly in the West Bank with one of Abbas' security officials said they never act on his requests to arrest Palestinians suspected of violent activity."We sit together, drink, eat, and whatever he might say, I know that he's not going to do anything against the terrorists, and he knows that I know it," said the officer. "And so I continue to arrest his people every day, every night, whenever I like to.

"The officer and other Israeli officials said the army made it a priority to pursue active militants, not those on old wanted lists, and was not aiming to dismantle Fatah's militia or weaken Abbas."We don't blame Abbas personally," said Mark Regev, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, "but there are those in his Fatah structure who remain hands-on terrorist operatives. If he had the ability to discipline his entire military apparatus, if it weren't such a fragmented organization, the sort of operations we do now would be superfluous."



Katrina vanden Heuvel

Americans voted their disapproval of the President's Iraq strategy, yet he has escalated the conflict. In this VideoNation report, Katrina vanden Heuvel explains that Bush is recklessly using American lives to salvage a delusional national policy and set the stage for wider war. Congress and the American people must rein him in.


In the lead editorial this week, Nation editors argue that ratcheting up pressure on Congress to block Bush's Iraq escalation plan is the first step toward bringing the troops home


After his party's dramatic defeat on November 7, George W. Bush seemed, however briefly, to recognize that his Iraq policy wasn't working. He fired Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, promised to take the Iraq Study Group's report "very seriously" and pledged to work with the new Congress. But his speech January 10 announcing an escalation of the US occupation of Iraq confirms that Bush's "new way forward" is just more of the same, and that his contemptuous disregard of the will of the people and their elected representatives is unchanged.

The President's escalation, set to begin January 15, is the first test of the new Congress. The American people voted to get our troops out of Iraq, not dug deeper in, and it is up to Congress to see that it is done. Democratic leaders announced before Bush's speech that they would offer House and Senate resolutions opposing the escalation. And even though that escalation may be under way by the time Congress acts, and even though the resolution is nonbinding, it can still serve as a highly public rebuke to an imperial White House.

Some Democrats, most notably Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Joe Biden, are peddling the notion that "as a practical matter, there is no way to say, 'Mr. President, stop.'" But in fact, the opposite is true. A report by the Center for American Progress makes clear that past Congresses have curtailed or ended military deployments. The report notes, for example, that in 1983 the Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act required the President to return to seek authorization if he wished to expand the size of the US contingent in Lebanon. Congress has also acted to cut war funding. In 1970, the report notes, the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Law "prohibited the use of any funds for the introduction of US troops to Cambodia."

Peace groups and members of Congress are crafting creative ideas to counter a Commander-in-Chief who misled us into a catastrophic conflict and now proposes to escalate the war in Iraq.

As the President prepares to escalate (aka "surge") the war in Iraq, the new Democratic Congress and peace activists across the nation are searching for the most effective ways to respond to the continuing Madness of King George. Here is a look at what some legislators, former and current military personnel, and peace groups are doing to end a war that has stretched the military to the breaking point, and sacrificed more than three thousand American men and women to what columnist Paul Krugman calls "the quagmire of the vanities."

•Representative John Murtha has already taken a strong stand in announcing that he will oppose funding for any escalation as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Murtha told Arianna Huffington that "he wants to ‘fence the funding,' denying the president the resources to escalate the war, instead using the money to take care of the soldiers as we bring them home from Iraq…."

Murtha's stance is critical since the rightwing will wrongly spin (as they have post-Vietnam) that opposition to funding a war is tantamount to not supporting the troops. How best to counter the rightwing political blame game will require hard work and courage in the coming weeks and months.

•In addition to Murtha's stance, Representatives such as James McGovern and Dennis Kucinich--now a Presidential candidate--are also focused on using the power of the purse to end this debacle. Kucinich called for the withholding of funds for future troop deployments after the people spoke against the war so clearly on Election Day, and McGovern introduced the End the War in Iraq Act last session "to prohibit the use of funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq." While many--especially the still delusional neocons--will try to paint this legislation as anti-military, it isn't. It calls for using those funds "for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Iraq."

Although Rep. McGovern's bill only had 19 co-sponsors (including Rep. Kucinich) at the end of Congress' last session, more Democrats may be moved to take a stand when the next supplemental funding bill comes up as early as February – especially as they hear from their constituents and peace activists.

•In the Senate, according to the New York Times, Senator Edward Kennedy will introduce legislation on Tuesday that would require the President to obtain new authorization from Congress prior to sending any more troops to Iraq. Kennedy urged a quick vote, saying, "The importance of this legislation is that it will apply now before we could get the escalation." He cited Congressional intervention in both Vietnam and Lebanon in calling for his colleagues to take action to stop any escalation in Iraq. One clear ally of Sen. Kennedy's is Sen. Russ Feingold – who, along with Sen. John Kerry, introduced legislation during the last session of Congress for a withdrawal to be completed by July of this year. Feingold told The Times: "My concern now is that too many Democrats are going to want to play it safe on this issue and not take the strong stand that American people demand."

Appeal for Redress – Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, spokesman for the extraordinary movement of active military personnel, reservists, and officers (including "a handful of colonels") seeking withdrawal--says that getting Congressional representatives to explicitly take a stand against the occupation is even more pressing than any debate on funding. Hutto believes that the debate must focus on shifting the policy of this government from one of occupation to "withdrawing all troops and bases from Iraq." Any vote to fund the current policy--whether increasing troop levels, or training Iraqi soldiers, or even funding an Iraqi jobs program with no end to the war in sight--supports the principle of occupation, and to Hutto and his fellow-servicemen and women that is simply unacceptable.

"The first priority needs to be to get the leadership in DC to commit to the principle of withdrawal," Hutto says. "Then we can talk about funding needs."

Sen. George McGovern, who recently met with the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) advises that he would continue funding only in the context of moving towards a withdrawal. His book–-co-authored with former history professor and State Department Middle East expert, William R. Polk--outlines a step-by-step, six-month plan for withdrawal to be completed on or before June 30.

McGovern will present his proposal at the CPC's Capitol Hill Public Forum on Iraq this Friday, January 12 at 9:30 A.M. (345 Cannon House Office Building… and word is that new Iraq legislation will come out of this forum). He stresses the need for a massive reconstruction effort led by Iraqis and largely funded by the United States (at a far cheaper cost than maintaining the occupation); a provision for financing law enforcement contingents from other Muslim or Arab countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia; and reparations to Iraqi civilians for loss of life and property as the British are doing.

"I think [this] is more politically acceptable than simply cutting off funding," McGovern said. "Although, if that's the only thing that will work after trying this more deliberative effort then I would support a funding cutoff. We have to terminate that war in the near term."

Win Without War--a coalition of national organizations advocating for a foreign policy based on international cooperation and enforceable international law – is preparing to join forces with Rep. Murtha in calling for any supplemental to be used only towards a safe and orderly withdrawal. National Director and former Congressman Tom Andrews says, "In response to George Bush's call to escalate the war in Iraq, the message of our campaign will be as simple, direct and as straightforward as possible: NO!" The America Says NO! campaign will utilize local actions, signs, buttons, bumper stickers, flyers, and ads in newspapers and online to communicate this message.

MoveOn is launching an immediate campaign to oppose Bush's escalation and a long-term campaign to force Congress to end the war. It is organizing rallies across the nation, advertising, call-in days, online petitions, and more. Already over 260,000 members have signed MoveOn's petition opposing escalation and made over 8,000 calls to Congress. MoveOn has endorsed the Kennedy bill and – according to Washington Director Tom Matzzie--its message to Democratic leaders is: "Figure it out. Get out of Iraq. All options should be on the table."

Military Families Speak Out--with a membership of over 3,000 military families--is urging citizens to send their Congressional representatives a postcard--"Support Our Troops: De-fund the War!"--to bring the troops home now. And Iraq Veterans Against the War--with members in 41 states, Washington, DC, Canada, and on numerous bases overseas (including Iraq)--is also calling for an end to funding, as well as reparations to Iraqis and full benefits (including mental health) for returning servicemen and women.

Peace Action--with over 28 state affiliates and 100 local chapters across the country--will call on Congress to vote against the supplemental funding bill. But it will also explore with its Congressional allies how the money might be reduced or conditioned. In a statement, Executive Director Kevin Martin said "The question now is, how will the Democratic Congress respond? While they sound skeptical of [Bush's] plan right now, if they refuse to curtail funds in any way and allow Bush to do what he wants, they will become his accomplices in this disastrous war. And the American people will not accept that."

United for Peace and Justice--a coalition of more than 1300 local and national groups--is focused on demonstrating wide antiwar sentiment with March on Washington, DC on January 27 as well as a Congressional Advocacy Day on January 29. UFPJ hopes to have at least one participant from each of the 435 Congressional districts and will "remind Congress why they were elected and demand that they act immediately to end the occupation of Iraq."

While there is still some uncertainty about how to fulfill the mandate of the November election to end this war, peace groups and members of Congress are crafting creative ideas and resolutions to counter a Commander-in-Chief who misled us into a catastrophic conflict and would now recklessly waste more lives and resources in pursuit of his ideological mission and the salvaging of his legacy. It is time to focus on seeking a political resolution, energetic regional diplomacy to contain the civil war, and funding to address this growing humanitarian catastrophe.

And, finally, to find a safe and honorable way home for our troops.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, are trying to figure out how to respond to the to the expected presidential proposal for to surge the United States deeper into the quagmire that is Iraq.

But the man who, by virtue of his long service in the Senate and his mastery of that chamber's politics and procedures, is recognized and respected by savvy Democrats and Republicans as the essential member of the new Congress, is not confused.

Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, is today introducing legislation to uniquivocally "prohibit the use of funds for an escalation of United States forces in Iraq above the numbers existing as of January 9, 2007."

Kennedy voted against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq and he has been a consistent critic of the war. But this targeted piece of legislation specifically addresses the "surge" being proposed by the president.

Even more importantly, Kennedy's bill reasserts the role of Congress in a time of war. The Constitution allows the president to serve as commander-in-chief and affords him reasonable war-making powers in that role. But it reserves for Congress the power of the purse, and the founders were clear in their believe that the House and Senate should use that power to constrain a president who is waging war without reason or sound strategies.

The Congress has frequently used the power of the purse to control presidential war-making. Kennedy points to examples from the Vietnam era, but there are also examples from just the past quarter century of the Congress specifically embracing troops caps in Lebanon, in the European NATO countries and in Colombia. Indeed, as the Center for American Progress notes in a detailed new report, "Congressional Limitations and Requirements for Military Deployments and Funding," the Congress has a rich record of stepping in to prevent presidents from expanding U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts.

Kennedy, who came to the Senate in 1963 recognizes that record, and he embraces its central theme: That the Constitutionally-mandated system of checks and balances requires Congress to be in the thick of decision making with regard to wars and their escalation.

Kennedy's specific message is summed up in the title of the speech the senator is delivinng today at the National Press Club: "Escalation is Not the Answer: Time for Congress to Insist on Real Change in Iraq"

Says Kennedy, "It seems to me that we are at a time of a major escalation into a civil war, that's what the proposal of a surge is really about. This president is going to escalate the American presence and escalate the whole Iraqi war. This is a major mistake and a major blunder. If there's one thing that the election was about last fall was sending a very clear message to Congress and to the president that the American people want accountability. They want a change in direction on Iraq, they want accountability, and they want people to stand up and be counted."

Will other members of the Senate stand up and be counted? And will members of the House do the same?

Pelosi is clearly toying with strategies to challenge the proposed escalation of the war. She's said that Congress must be a part of the discussion about the president's "surge" proposal, while the Senate's Reid remains troublingly vague.

Ultimately, it is Kennedy who has proposed the clearest challenge to the administration. And senators, especially those who recognize the futility of expanding this war, need to join him in saying no to the surge.

"I think it's to try to hold policy makers accountable," Kennedy explained in a discussion with The New York Times regarding his legislation. "The president is the commander in chief. This is George Bush's war. But we have some responsibility in holding him accountable and holding accountable the people that want to continue the war in the way that it is being undertaken at the present time. The American people have expressed a different view and we need accountability."

Here are Kennedy's remarks regarding his bill:

The American people sent a clear message in November that we must change course in Iraq and begin to withdraw our troops, not escalate their presence. The way to start is by acting on the President's new plan. An escalation, whether it is called a surge or any other name, is still an escalation, and I believe it would be an immense new mistake. It would compound the original misguided decision to invade Iraq. We cannot simply speak out against an escalation of troops in Iraq.

Today I am introducing legislation to reclaim the rightful role of Congress and the people's right to a full voice in the President's plan to send more troops to Iraq. My bill will say that no additional troops can be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation, unless and until Congress approves the President's plan.

My proposal will not diminish our support for the forces we already have in Iraq. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have all the support they truly need. Even more important, we will continue to do all we can to bring them safely home. The best immediate way to support our troops is by refusing to inject more and more of them into the cauldron of a civil war that can be resolved only by the people and government of Iraq.

This bill will give all Americans – from Maine to Florida to California to Alaska and Hawaii – an opportunity to hold the President accountable for his actions. The President's speech must be the beginning – not the end – of a new national discussion of our policy in Iraq. Congress must have a genuine debate over the wisdom of the President's plan. Let us hear the arguments for it and against it. Then let us vote on it in the light of day. Let the American people hear – yes or no – where their elected representatives stand on one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Until now, a rubber stamp Republican Congress has refused to hold the White House accountable on Iraq. But the November election has dramatically changed all that. Over the past two years, Democrats reached for their roots as true members of our Party. We listened to the hopes and dreams of everyday Americans. We rejected the politics of fear and division. We embraced a vision of hope and shared purpose. And the American people voted for change.

Many of us felt the authorization to go to war was a grave mistake at the time. I've said that my vote against the war in Iraq is the best vote I've cast in my 44 years in the United States Senate.

But no matter what any of us thought then, the Iraq War resolution is obviously obsolete today. It authorized a war to destroy weapons of mass destruction. But there were no WMDs to destroy. It authorized a war with Saddam Hussein. But today, Saddam is no more. It authorized a war because Saddam was allied with al Qaeda. But there was no alliance.

The mission of our armed forces today in Iraq bears no resemblance whatever to the mission authorized by Congress. President Bush should not be permitted to escalate the war further, and send an even larger number of our troops into harm's way, without a clear and specific new authorization from Congress.

Our history makes clear that a new escalation in our forces will not advance our national security. It will not move Iraq toward self- government, and it will needlessly endanger our troops by injecting more of them into the middle of a civil war. We must act to prevent it.

... Comparisons from history resonate painfully in today's debate on Iraq. In Vietnam, the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy. The Department of Defense kept assuring us that each new escalation in Vietnam would be the last. Instead, each one led only to the next.

There was no military solution to that war. But we kept trying to find one anyway. In the end, 58,000 Americans died in the search for it.

Echoes of that disaster are all around us today. Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam.

As with Vietnam, the only rational solution to the crisis is political, not military. Injecting more troops into a civil war is not the answer. Our men and women in uniform cannot force the Iraqi people to reconcile their differences. The President may deny the plain truth. But the truth speaks loudly and tragically. Congress must no longer follow him deeper into the quagmire in Iraq.

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Media Misleading Americans By Using ‘Surge’ To Describe Bush Policy

Research compiled by ThinkProgress shows that when “surge” was first adopted by the mainstream media in November 2006, the term was specifically defined as a “temporary,” “short-term” increase in U.S. forces. In fact, we now know that the Bush administration and the most prominent advocates of escalation all reject a short-term increase in U.S. forces. Rather, they advocate a long-term increase of forces lasting at least 18 months.

The media, in other words, has continued to use the term “surge” even though its definition has fundamentally changed.

The choice of words is not an academic point. A CBS poll released Monday found that only 18 percent of Americans support an escalation of forces in Iraq. However, when asked whether they support a “short-term troop increase,” the number jumps to 45 percent approval (48 percent disapproval).

Every time the media repeats the word “surge,” they are helping to mislead the American people about the long-term escalation being proposed. Reporters and news organizations have a responsibility to stop using the term to describe President Bush’s policy.

Operation Impeachment calls for the impeachment & criminal prosecution of President George Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for high crimes & misdemeanors. Operation Impeachment seeks to support local, regional, national and international efforts for the impeachment and criminal prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice & Gonzales.


The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - - ARTICLE II, SECTION 4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAPresident George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United States, by the following acts:

1) Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of over one hundred thousand Iraqis, and thousands of U.S. G.I.s.

2) Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.

3) Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.

4) Instituting a secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States through the National Security Agency.

5) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.

6) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

7) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.

8) Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the "Supreme Law of the land" under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.

9) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy combatant."

10) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.

11) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.

12) Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.

13) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.

14) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.

15) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.

16) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed "terrorist."

17) Engaging in criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, depriving thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf States of urgently needed support, causing mass suffering and unnecessary loss of life.

18) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.

19) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.

20) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.Operation


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High Court Has Found Bush Guilty Of War Crimes Ignoring The Call To Impeach

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It is nothing short of a violation of their oaths of office for Congress members not to be initiating an immediate investigation into impeachable crimes by the Bush administration and by the president and vice president in particular.

Thursday, January 4, 2007--I just returned from a canoe trip in the Everglades National Park, and the picture there is not pretty, even if the park is. Not only was this last wet season the driest in memory for this unique ecological gem, but the rangers say it's only a matter of time--and not that much time at that--before rising seawater drowns the entire park (and much of southern Florida along with it). The rangers say these kinds of things under their breaths these days because their employer, the Bush administration, doesn't like science mixing with park business. It's not even permissible for rangers at the Grand Canyon National Park to respond if visitors ask them how old the ancient gorge is, for fear the scientific answer might offend some yahoo who thinks the park was carved by the retreating waters of Noah’s flood a few thousand years ago.

Back in the so-called civilized world, I read that our mad president is buying into yet another version of the neocon fantasy. This time, instead of claiming that we could beat the Iraqi Army by low-balling the troops on the ground (because the Iraqi people would rise up and welcome the American invaders with flowers), he's saying we'll go in with more troops than we even used for the invasion, and the now well-entrenched Iraqi insurgency will somehow be smashed, leaving in its and our bloody wake a new democratic and pro-American Iraq. The soldiers on the ground, of course, know better. According to the latest poll of the troops, more than half think that the war has already been irrevocably lost, and a majority want to just pack up and go home.

Bush in his signing statement gave himself a blank check to inspect any mail he wants--and screw the warrants.

I also learned on my flight home to Philadelphia that Bush, just before Christmas, issued yet another "signing statement"--he’s up past 1200 now--this time claiming the right to subvert the very bill he was signing into law. The law in question was the Postal Reauthorization Act--a seemingly routine measure providing federal support for the postal service. But where that act reaffirmed the inviolability of the mails from government snooping without a warrant, Bush in his signing statement gave himself a blank check to inspect any mail he wants--and screw the warrants.

Maybe he wanted to check out all the Christmas and Hanukah cards to look for illicit Muslim holiday greetings.

As disturbing as these things all are, there is precious little relief to be derived from watching the Democrats in their new role as majority party in the Congress.

Even with Paleolithic-aged ice sheets suddenly breaking away at both poles, global warming doesn't appear anywhere on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 100-hour agenda of urgent items, and with people like Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich) in key positions in the new Congress, with his record of obsequious support for the auto industry, it seems unlikely that much of consequence can be expected over the next two years. All the more so with Bush still pretending there’s no problem.

As for the war, Democrats in leadership positions are falling all over themselves offering support for Bush's preferred "surge" option for expanding the war by sending as many as 32,000 additional troops to Iraq. It's as though the election, in which American voters made it clear they wanted the U.S. out of Iraq, never happened. In a few months, the Bush fiasco known as the Iraq War will be transformed into a full-fledged Democratic fiasco, just as the Vietnam War, initially a Democratic fiasco, became Nixon’s fiasco in the late 1960s.

The irony was that today, the members of Congress, including especially the new members who have never served before as Senators and Representatives, were taking their oaths of office, in which they swore to “support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Given the president's and vice president's extensive abuses of power and crimes against the law and the Constitution--which have included, among other things, 1) lying to Congress and to the American people about the reasons for going to war, 2) violating international law by invading another nation which posed no immediate threat, 3) authorizing torture and kidnappings, 4) violating the FISA law by spying on the American people, 5) subverting and ignoring laws passed by the Congress, 6) failing to act to protect the lives of the residents of an American city during a declared state of national emergency, and 7) obstructing a federal investigation into the deliberate outing of an undercover CIA agent--it is nothing short of a violation of that very oath for Congress members not to be initiating an immediate investigation into impeachable crimes by the Bush administration and by the president and vice president in particular.

Instead of pursuing investigations into impeachable crimes, we have Pelosi basking in the encomia at expensive party celebrations reminiscent of a presidential inaugural ball, all the while insisting that impeachment of the president is "off the table."



One of the things I learned while exploring the Everglades was that alligators, while looking fearsome, are actually very timid animals with walnut-sized brains that leave them functioning largely by instinct. According to the park rangers, gators generally attack only small prey and shy away from anything larger than they can comfortably swallow whole.

In that, they sound not unlike Congressional Democrats, who may talk a good game on the stump, but who in office are afraid of their own shadows.

The good news is that the public is riled up, especially over the war, and on January 27, will show its anger to the new Congress, with a major march and rally in Washington DC for peace and impeachment.

Scared and startled, alligators can become truly aggressive and dangerous, park rangers say. Maybe if members of the new 110th Congress are confronted with masses of irate Americans demanding that the troops be brought home from Iraq and that the president be called to account for his crimes, they’ll be scared into acting in accordance with the oaths they swore today.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.

Sell-Out Democrats Have Walked into a Bush Trap on Iraq


The Democratic Party and its feckless leaders in Congress are about to fall into a trap. The trap is being sprung by President Bush and his too clever brain trust, but the sad fact is that it was actually laid by the Democrats themselves.

Taking over the Congress on a wave of popular revulsion at the twin catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats could have issued immediate calls for an end to those wars, a return of the troops, and investigations into the criminal causes of those costly fiascos. They could have initiated efforts to halt funding for further war and foreign occupation. Of course, taking such stands and actions would have opened them to charges of being "soft on terror," but the public clearly isn't buying that crap any more. With a little courage and leadership they could have handled it, and come out winners.

Instead, they took what they thought was the easy road, condemning not the criminal policies themselves, but only the administration's handling of the wars. This led some to call not for an end to the wars, but for more troops.

Now, Bush has called their bluff by proposing just that: more troops for Iraq (the so-called "surge" option), and a major expansion of the army over the longer term--the better to allow the president to invade other countries even as the nation is already mired in two losing wars.

And what are the Democrats in Congress going to do? Devoid of any principles, their chance to demand an end to reckless imperialist military adventures squandered, they are likely to fall in line and vote to fund both an escalation of the Iraq War and an expansion of the military.

It's a double win for Bush. He gets the funding for more war right through the end of his second term of office, allowing him to hand the Iraq quagmire to the next president, making it someone else's job to take the blame for the eventually unavoidable loss. And he gets a bigger defense budget and more troops to play with--perhaps as much as a 10 percent increase in total combat troops.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the allegedly liberal, allegedly anti-war incoming speaker of the House, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry "send-in-the-cavalry" Reid can kiss their much touted "First 100 Hours" progressive agenda goodbye. With all the new money that will have to be thrown into the Pentagon sinkhole, there won't be a dime for domestic spending.

The Pentagon budgeters claim deceptively that every increase of 10,000 new troops adds another $1.5 billion in defense costs, which makes a 50,000 increase in troop strength sound like a manageable $7.5 billion extra--a drop in the bucket of a $500-billion defense budget. But this figure is grossly misleading. First of all it doesn't include the back-end costs of pensions, benefits and support costs, and the interest on the debt, which taken together at least double the figure to over $15 billion a year. But more importantly, it doesn't factor in the costs when those extra troops are actually sent into battle, where the costs of support, equipment, equipment replacement, medical and long-term care can explode. And make no mistake, the purpose of adding troops to the U.S. active-duty roster is to use them for further war-mongering and further imperial adventurism.

Singer John Fogerty had it right: this is déjà vu all over again.

When President Lyndon Johnson saw that the Vietnam War was being lost, he over-rode the best advice he was getting that the war was a lost cause, and escalated the fighting with a massive infusion of troops and an expansion of the U.S. military. The only result was more killing of Vietnamese and Laotians, and more dying of American troops. President Nixon did the same thing. Instead of ending the war when he took over the presidency in 1968, he upped the ante again, eventually raising the number of US troops in Indochina to over half a million, doubling the number of Southeast Asians killed to over two million, and more than doubling U.S. casualties to an eventual 58,000 before the U.S. finally had to admit defeat.

"Surge" is the new escalation, and we're set to repeat this tragedy, with Democrats (the new "sucker"), who had a chance to call a halt to the nonsense, instead stupidly joining the mad charge.

The end result of this betrayal of the electorate, which has made it clear it wants an end to the Iraq War, will be a collapse of the Democrats in 2008, with the party losing both houses of Congress and probably the White House too. It will be a richly deserved collapse.

While the hour is late, there is yet a slim chance for the public to rescue the Democrats from this course of political suicide and the nation from disaster. If masses of committed people from all walks of life take to the streets on January 27, when United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and Impeach for Change are planning a major demonstration against war and against the crimes of the Bush administration, maybe enough Democrats in Congress will realize the intensity of public opposition to further pointless mayhem and slaughter in the Middle East, and will realize the only option is to pull the plug on the president’s imperialist megalomania--and to initiate impeachment hearings against the president.

I realize counting on Democrats to do the right thing, even in their own self-interest, is a thin reed on which to rest hopes for a return to national sanity, but we need to grasp it.



From the nation's point of view, of course, an attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster.... [But] the idea of hitting Iran may make sense from the Bush-Cheney bunker, where the only consideration is not what's good for the country, but what's good for Bush and Cheney.

Back on October 9, I wrote in The Nation that it looked like the Bush-Cheney gang, worried about the November election, was gearing up for an unprovoked attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, with a carrier strike group led by the USS Eisenhower being ordered to depart a month early from Norfolk, VA to join the already-on-station USS Enterprise. That article was based on reports from angry sailors based on the Eisenhower who had leaked word of their mission.

There was, thankfully, no attack on Iran before Election Day, but it is starting to look like I may have been right about the plan after all, but wrong about the timing.

As the threat of a catastrophic US election-eve attack on Iran started to look increasingly likely, reports began to trickle out of the Pentagon that the generals and admirals were protesting. They knew that the US military is stretched to the limit in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that a war with Iran would be a disaster of historic proportions. To bolster their blocking efforts, the Iraq Study Group, headed by Republican fixer and former Secretary of State (under Bush Pere) James Baker, which had been slated to release its report on what to do about Iraq in January, 2007, pushed forward its report.

Baker, together with co-chair Lee Hamilton, went prematurely public with the group’s conclusion that the Iraq war was a failure, and that the US should be trying to negotiate with Iran, not attack that country. That joint effort appeared to have blocked Bush and Cheney’s war plan, but the reprieve may have only been temporary.

It now appears that the idea of attacking Iran is again moving forward. The Eisenhower strike force, armed with some 800 Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as a fleet of strike aircraft, and already on station in the Arabian Sea for over a month and a half, has moved into the Persian Gulf. A second carrier group, led by the USS Stennis, is set to start steaming toward the Gulf, too, from its base in Washington. Already in position are three expeditionary strike groups and an amphibious warship, all suitable for landing Marines on Iranian beaches. On December 20, the The New York Times, citing Pentagon sources, reported that both Britain and the U.S. are moving additional naval forces into the region "in a display of military resolve toward Iran that will come as the United Nations continues to debate possible sanctions against the country." (We’ve all seen what "displays of force" by the Bush administration actually turn out to be.

Besides, to my mind, the most clear sign that Bush and Cheney are going to war with Iran is that the US and the British have sent over minesweepers to the Gulf. Now what would they need minesweepers for except war with Iran? Afghanistan is not near the Gulf and the Taliban is in any case land-locked. Likewise, the U.S. is supposedly on friendly terms with Iraq's government, and the insurgents have no Navy, and precious little coastline to operate from. Iran, on the other hand, could be expected to do a lot of mining of the Gulf if attacked.)

The idea of hitting Iran may make sense from the Bush-Cheney bunker, where the only consideration is not what's good for the country, but what's good for Bush and Cheney. After all, if you’re losing your war in Iraq, and if you have hit bottom politically at home (Bush's public support ratings are now down in the 20s, where Nixon's were just before his resignation, and Cheney's numbers have been in the teens for months), and if the public is clamoring for an end to it all--and maybe for your heads, too--expanding the conflict and putting the nation on a full war footing can look like an attractive even if desperate gambit.

From the nation's point of view, of course, an attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster. There are no more troops that the U.S. could throw into battle (the Pentagon is scrambling just to find another 20,000 or so bodies that Bush wants to throw into the Iraq quagmire), so an attack would have to be basically that--an attack.

Certainly the forces the Navy is assembling in the Persian Gulf, together with the B-52s and B-1s and B-2s available at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and at bases in other countries in the region, are capable of destroying most of Iran's nuclear facilities, as well as its military infrastructure. But in terms of conquering territory, the most the U.S. could hope to do would be to perhaps hold a beachhead on the Straits of Hormuz, where the Persian Gulf links to the Arabian Sea. And even that would be a bloody challenge.

There is no way the U.S. could hope to conquer Iran.

Nor would the Iranian people rise up and overthrow their theocratic leaders--the same neoconservative fantasy that Bush war-mongers promised ahead of the Iraq invasion, and which they are re-cycling now to justify an attack on Iran. In fact, an attack on Iran, far from sparking a rebellion against the government there, would crush the new wave of reform that was evidenced in last week's local elections in Iran, which dealt a blow to the country’s hardliners. Iran is a proud nation with a history reaching back thousands of years. If attacked, its people can be counted on to rally around their current rulers, and its war-hardened soldiers can be counted on to fight to the death to defend their country.

Moreover, while its military may be no match for America's, Iran has many asymmetrical options for retaliation. As the key player in Iraq, with close links to Iraq's Shia factions, Iran's military has trained and armed the Badr Brigades--the largest and best-armed faction in Iraq, and one which to date has stayed out of the fighting against US forces. Iran is also close to the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr, and could unleash his fanatical troops too, against US forces in Iraq. If this happens, count on American casualty rates leaping to or even surpassing Korea or Vietnam-era levels overnight.

Additionally, Iraq's intelligence services have connections with Shia groups in Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries, and can be expected to quickly organize cells to strike at economic and US military targets there.

More seriously, of course, an attack on Iran will jack the price of oil to levels never seen before. Even if the US managed to militarily control the Straits of Hormuz, Iran's hundreds of stockpiled anti-ship missiles, which are buried in bunkers all along the Persian Gulf, would cause insurance rates to soar so high that no tanker could afford to sail that route, effectively cutting off over one quarter of the world’s oil supply. Virtually all of the oil produced in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and the Arab Emirates would be trapped in the ground. As well, the network of pipelines that bring oil from wellheads to refineries and to storage and pier facilities would be virtually indefensible against Iran-inspired sapper attacks.

Oil industry analysts have talked of oil leaping in price to $200 a barrel or more in the event of a US war with Iran, and given how panicked this country got when oil reached $80 a barrel recently, there's no need to go into detail explaining what $200/barrel oil would do to the U.S. economy--or to the global economy.

Of course, the biggest issue is that attacking Iran would be yet another war crime by this craven administration. No one can argue that Iran poses an imminent threat to anyone, least of all to the U.S.--the only legitimate grounds under the U.N. Charter and the Nuremburg Charter, to which the U.S. is a signatory, for initiating a war. Attacking a country that poses no such threat is defined as the most heinous of war crimes: a Crime Against Peace.

If Bush and Cheney perpetrate this crime, the Congress should initiate immediate impeachment proceedings and should simultaneously pass legislation terminating funding for the war. The important thing now is for the American people to register their opposition to this war before it happens. Call your senators and your representative and let them know you don’t want it to happen, and you want impeachment if it does. And add your name to the petition against war. Also mark down January 27 in your calendar, for the big march and rally against war and for impeachment in Washington, D.C. (to be followed by two days of lobbying Congress on Jan. 28-29.

Finally, send this story to everyone you know, and urge them to do the same. At this point, with Democrats still cowering in their offices, only the American people can stop this madness.



It is not clear whom it is they are working for, but that hardly matters. What matters is that the American nation today, such as it is, is almost unrecognizable.

A sinister cabal of secret agents has infiltrated the U.S. government, working ceaselessly and tirelessly with one goal: to undermine Constitutional government, engineer economic collapse, and foment internecine conflict between races, regions and religions.

Working out in broad daylight, these agents have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams over the past half decade, and appear close to achieving most of their goals.

It is not clear whom it is they are working for, but that hardly matters. What matters is that the American nation today, such as it is, is almost unrecognizable.

The broad freedoms that once made the U.S. the envy of the world have been largely cancelled. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty has been scrapped. Now people are presumed guilty upon arrest, with hundreds of thousands in prison only because they had no decent lawyer to defend them. The right to be charged, to face one’s accuser, and to a fair trial by a jury of one's peers is gone. Now people may be held indefinitely without charge, are prevented from knowing who said what against them, and don't get a trial, much less a jury of peers.

Freedom of speech is largely gone, except for what people say privately to one another--about where it is in the People's Republic of China. The mass media have fallen under the sway of government pressures and are effectively closed to opinions and voices that lie outside of what is deemed "acceptable discourse." Meanwhile most means of communication are being secretly monitored, making people afraid to say or write anything critical of government policy.

The mass media have fallen under the sway of government pressures and are effectively closed to opinions and voices that lie outside of what is deemed "acceptable discourse."
The government has ceased to be even remotely democratic. The presidency has become a dictatorship, where the chief executive can ignore at will court orders and even acts passed by the Congress, which doesn't raise any objection to being so ignored. The courts have been filled with sycophants who cater to the needs of dictatorship. Elections are held, but the results, tightly controlled, are ignored if by some chance the public manages to vote in people who are outside of the conspiracy.

In Congress, so-called "leaders" keep a tight rein on legislation and on the powers of committees, to ensure that any freethinking politicians who might happen to slip into office, are neutered and unable to press any efforts at opening up government or acceding to the popular will.

The military is increasingly being injected into civil life, as the president is given blanket authority to call up National Guard troops over the objections of state governors, and to send active duty troops into any part of the country on his own whim, in effect declaring martial law for anything from a hurricane to a flu outbreak.

Meanwhile, the economy is being hollowed out, with taxes being virtually eliminated for the wealthy, millions of jobs exported, vast, incalculable budget deficits run up, and import barriers eliminated.



Back in the mid-20th Century, the International Communist movement attempted to subvert the U.S., but its efforts were a laughable failure. The few spies it was able to recruit and secrete into positions of power were easily detectable, even if it meant false accusations against some whose only crime was being too liberal, and those fifth columnists who did get into government or the military never made it to a level where they could inflict any real damage.

This time, however, the enemies of America have managed to insert their agents of destruction into the pinnacles of power--the presidency, the Supreme Court, and the leadership of both parties of the Congress.

By appealing to Americans' worst fears and worst instincts, these agents have managed to actually get themselves voted into power, and now they are using that power to destroy the nation, sending our youth off into pointless wars, wasting astronomical sums of taxpayer dollars on useless military hardware, most of which doesn't work and most of which will never be used, ripping apart legislation that in prior decades had sought to protect workers’ rights, the environment, etc., and gutting funds for education, infrastructure, and basic human needs like food, healthcare and retirement.




At some point we all may wake up and realize what we have lost, but by then it may be too late.

Still, we have to start somewhere.

I suggest that starting point is rejecting the politics of fear and hate, and ending the War in Iraq. Americans made it clear in November that we want that war ended. Now we need to force the subversives and quislings who are passing themselves off as Congressional leaders--the Nancy Pelosi's, the Harry Reid's and the Rahm Emanuel’'s of the Democratic Party--to act not in their interest but in ours.

Not one more penny for the war.

Once we win that one, we can move on to insisting that they challenge the number one Manchurian candidate in Washington, President George W. Bush.



With Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress after January 3, a failure to put an immediate halt to torture, and a failure to impeach the president for his ongoing crime of promoting and approving a policy of torture, would make Democrats as a party fully guilty of the crime along with the president.

The true horror of what President Bush—and the Republican-led 109th Congress—have done to all of us American citizens by authorizing torture in our names came clear during a talk I was giving on impeachment to a group organized by the New Jersey chapter of Progressive Democrats of America.

I had been reciting the growing list of Bush crimes against the Constitution and the laws of the land and had gotten to the issue of torture. At that point a large guy in the back of the room, a marine veteran of the Vietnam War who was proudly wearing a baseball hat emblazoned with the words "Third Marine Division" and "Vietnam Veterans Against the War," offered up the comment that he had witnessed torture in Vietnam.

He began to tell us how his platoon had been bivouacked in the jungle about 100 yards away from a unit of South Vietnamese soldiers. He said they had a captured Viet Cong soldier and were torturing him. As he spoke, his voice cracked and he began sobbing. It was hard for him to get out the rest of his story, but he managed to say, word by painful word, that he had heard the screaming all through that night, and that he still "cannot get those screams" out of his head, some 35 years later.

At that point he got up and, using two canes, hobbled out of the room to hide his embarrassment at his tears. He needn't have bothered; everyone else in the room had wet cheeks at that point anyway.

It was a powerful lesson, for those of us who have not been there, of the horror of torture. I can't count how many times I have read comments, or even heard them in person, from jingoistic Americans who have said they aren't bothered at all by the idea of American troops or CIA agents torturing "terrorists" or other captives. They typically will say that the victims of the torture are evil people intent on killing Americans, and so who cares?

In fact, however, aside from the fact that torture is illegal under international law, and that it is illegal in the U.S. as a signatory of the Geneva Conventions, since the torture is being conducted upon captives who have never had their cases examined to determine if they are indeed terrorists or legitimate combatants or just innocents picked up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is inevitable that many of those who are being tortured with the president's approval and in our names are simply innocents. Some of those innocents have died at the hands of their tormentors. Others have been driven insane.

What this still haunted veteran demonstrated, by opening a window into his experiences and the demons of war that still plague him, is a dose of reality—an honest look at what torture really is. Some advocates of impeachment argue that the case against George Bush should focus on those crimes and abuses of power—like his use of signing statements to render inoperative over 850 acts of Congress or his illegal, warrantless spying on thousands of American citizens—which are likely to win Republican and independent as well as Democratic support. I agree that this is a good strategy, but I think we simply cannot allow crimes like the authorization and encouragement of torture to go unchallenged.

Some Democrats, like Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) have been active supporters of many of Bush's crimes, including the advocacy of torture. Others have cowered, afraid of being branded "soft on terrorism," and have been unwilling to challenge the president. Such timidity and such complicity are no longer possible.

With Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress after January 3, a failure to put an immediate halt to torture, and a failure to impeach the president for his ongoing crime of promoting and approving a policy of torture, would make Democrats as a party fully guilty of the crime along with the president. It would also make us, the voters who put those Democrats into office, accomplices to the crime.

Furthermore, with most Americans now recognizing the war in Iraq to have been a disaster based upon lies and political expediency, and with many recognizing that the so-called "war" on terror itself has been a fraud, no member of Congress need fear such reckless accusations as “supporter of terrorists” or “lack of patriotism,” or whatever. The majority of Americans now recognize these charges as the garbage that they are, and as acts of desperation by those whose time has passed.

Torture has no place in American military policy. As the Vietnam vet at my impeachment event Sunday told us, torture hurts not just those who are tortured, but those who are the torturers, it makes the enemy fight more desperately, and in the end it can be turned on our own captured soldiers in a horrible tit-for-tat.

It must be ended immediately, and those who promoted it must be called to account.

A German prosecutor is currently drawing up an indictment for torture against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for his role in promoting torture, because U.S. prosecutors have refused to do so. The ACLU has filed a civil suit in federal court accusing Rumsfeld of torture, on behalf of some of Rumsfeld’s victims. Indictments and civil suits for torture should also be filed against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney.

But more importantly, now it is Congress’s turn, for the ringleader of this monstrous crime—the President—is protected from indictment as long as he remains in office.

It is, after all, Rumsfeld's boss, Commander in Chief George W. Bush, who is ultimately responsible for the torture policy that has blackened America's name.

He must be impeached for this crime, whether or not Republicans will join in doing so.




Knowledgeable people regard the Keane/Kagan "surge" plan as a proposal designed to continue for a while longer the blood profits of the US military-industrial complex and to advance Israel's interests by spreading Sunni-Shi'ite conflict throughout the Middle East.
OOn January 2 the BBC reported a leak from a "senior administration source" that President George W. Bush is going to give a speech, whose "central theme will be sacrifice," announcing an increase in US troops in Iraq for security purposes. Speculation abounds whether the leak is designed to block Bush's insane policy with protests or to soften its controversial edge when announced. The BBC reports that "already one senior Republican senator has called it Alice in Wonderland."

Bush's proposal, if he makes it, is the work of retired army general Jack Keane and Frederic W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. AEI is the second most important Israeli lobby in Washington after AIPAC.

Keane and Kagan profess to believe that 30,000 more US troops can bring security to Iraq. Keane and Kagan argue that more US troops would permit the US military to retain control of an area after they had cleared it of insurgents. They ignore that Iraq has progressed from insurgency into civil war. There can be no Iraqi army independent of the sectarian conflict. The military problem for the Americans is no longer a small insurgency drawn from a minority of the population, but sectarian strife involving all of Iraq. Today the only choice for US forces is to ally with one side or the other in the civil war or to depart Iraq.

Knowledgeable people regard the Keane/Kagan plan as a proposal designed to continue for a while longer the blood profits of the US military-industrial complex and to advance Israel's interests by spreading Sunni-Shi'ite conflict throughout the Middle East.

The neoconservatives' original plan was to give Israel hegemony in the Middle East by using the US military to overthrow Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The failure of US forces to subdue Iraq has led to a new neoconservative plan to give Israel supremacy by spreading sectarian conflict among Muslims throughout the region. No Arab state would be stable, and Israel could proceed with its seizure of Palestine.

If Bush adopts the Keane/Kagan "plan," he should be impeached for putting two special interests--the military-industrial complex and Israeli Zionist settlers--ahead of America's interests and the interests of peace in the Middle East. The crimes of the Bush regime already stand at a horrendous level. There is no support for the Keane/Kagan "plan" in the American political establishment, among Middle East experts and the American public, or within the Bush administration itself.

The American electorate, or stolen elections, have put in the presidency an ignorant and moronic person who is guided not by sense and reason but by an enormous ego that can admit no mistake. In the name of a concocted "war on terror," the American public has permitted Bush an endless stream of mistakes. These mistakes are destroying any prospect for peace in the Middle East, committing America to endless and pointless conflict, destroying America's soft power while demonstrating the limits of its military power, creating a domestic police state, and endangering the US dollar. There is no imaginable gain from the Middle Eastern conflict that Bush has initiated that could possibly offset these costs to Americans.

President George W. Bush is destroying America. Will Congress stop him?
The US electorate attempted to rein in Bush in the November election by giving Democrats control of Congress. But Bush refuses to listen to the electorate as he prepares, instead, to mire America deeper in illegitimate conflict that does not serve America's interests.

President George W. Bush is destroying America. Will Congress stop him?



Our task is to convince a bunch of political whores that they must act like the founding fathers intended, and as their oaths of office require, or the 110th Congress will be their last.


140,000 American troops are stuck in the mess that a lying and endlessly deceitful president has made in Iraq, over half a million innocent Iraqis have been killed since the politically-motivated 2003 US invasion, a group of very Establishment, middle-of-the-road politicians of both parties has declared the war an unmitigated disaster and called for a pullout of troops, the president has nixed their call for withdrawal and regional negotiations, and what is Congress doing about it?

The House just voted by an overwhelming 368-31 (that’s only 36 abstentions), not to impeach the president, not to cut off funding for the war, not even to endorse the findings of the Iraq Study Group, condemn the naming of a street in France after Pennsylvania death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal!

This craven rush to line up and be counted in the condemnation of a man who has never had a fair trial to establish his guilt in the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was joined in even by most liberal Democrats in the House. It was primarily only black members of Congress who had the courage to vote no on the resolution that was submitted by Michael Fitzpatrick, a lame-duck Republican congressman from the Philadelphia area (Fitzpatrick was defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy).

Ironically, as this group of political hucksters and moral cowards were casting their votes of allegedly righteous condemnation at the naming of a minor street in France, Abu-Jamal’s case was heading for a dramatic hearing in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, where judges with a better understanding of law and constitution had recently agreed to hear three separate arguments by Abu-Jamal on claims that his 1982 trial had been unconstitutionally compromised--among them that the prosecutor told jurors they didn’t need to worry about proof of guilt being "beyond a reasonable doubt" because there would be "appeal after appeal," that the same prosecutor deliberately removed 11 qualified black jurors from the jury pool because of their race despite their having confirmed they could vote for a death penalty, and that the trial judge had been overheard, on the first day of the trial, telling his clerk that he would "help them fry the nigger."

So where is the indignation of these leaders when it comes to a president who lied to them repeatedly about alleged grave and looming threats posed by non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, about non-existent "links" between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and terror leader Osama Bin Laden? About a fraudulent allegation that Saddam was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger?

Where is the righteous indignation over the deliberate exposing by Bush and Cheney of the identity of a key undercover CIA agent whose outing destroyed a U.S. intelligence network monitoring weapons activities in Iran, and almost certainly led to the suffering and deaths of some of her sources in Iran and elsewhere?

Where is the outrage over Bush's flagrant violation of the law in having the National Security Agency spy on Americans without first obtaining a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court?

Where is the outrage about the president's assertion of the right to ignore acts (850 and counting) passed by the Congress? Where is the righteous indignation over this president's authorization of torture of U.S. captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, kidnapped from around the globe, and even picked up here in the U.S.--American citizens included?

Where is the disgust at word that Commander in Chief Bush oversaw the detention in Guantanamo of children from Afghanistan as young as seven and eight years old--some of whom remain in detention there to this day (and one of whom committed suicide last June after spending his teenage years in detention).

Where is the outrage that this president allowed some 2000 Americans to die in stagnant, toxic water in New Orleans while he played around on vacation in Texas?

Maybe more relevant to the current resolution, where is the outrage over military policies under Commander in Chief Bush that have made the killing of Iraqi boys as young as 12 part of the "rules of engagement," that permit the collective punishment of entire towns and cities--most famously the flattened city of Fallujah--and that permit the use of banned weapons like napalm and white phosphorus, and the use of horrific, indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, such as cluster bombs?

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the incoming speaker of a new Democratic-run House, has called for a new civility and bi-partisanship in Congress, but it seems her idea of civility and bi-partisanship is signing on to rabid, lame-duck, right-wing Republican resolutions, while ducking the heavy responsibility of calling a criminal president to account for his six-year assault on the Constitution, and for dragging the nation into a pointless, bloody and costly war.

Luckily for Abu-Jamal, his long battle for a fair trial will be fought not in the wretched and soiled halls of Congress, where any concern for justice and defense of constitutional rights and freedoms long ago vanished, but in an appellate courtroom, where some vestige of such lofty concerns may yet exist.

Unluckily for the rest of us, who thought we were taking a stand for freedom, the Constitution, and a restoration of national sanity when we voted last month, the struggle to revive the Bill of Rights and the concept of tripartite government, and to impeach a president run amok with mad dreams of imperial power, will have to be fought in those wretched, soiled halls--and in the streets.

Our task is to convince a bunch of political whores that they must act like the founding fathers intended, and as their oaths of office require, or the 110th Congress will be their last.



Ending the occupation will reduce violence, immediately save more than $100 billion and respect the wishes of the American people. Why is Washington, DC ignoring the obvious?


If the U.S. withdraws troops, and instead funds a non-U.S. stabilization force in Iraq and strengthens the Iraqi economy by underwriting training and developing jobs, it will be fiscally way ahead.

If the election results did not make the message clear, polls since the election have done so. Support for sending additional troops to Iraq is at 11% according a December 15-17 poll by CNN. The same poll found that 54% of Americans want the troops home by the end of 2007 and 67% oppose the war. Yet in the Capitol there is talk of adding new troops and almost no talk of getting out of Iraq. Representative government is failing to represent the voters.

Why is the leadership of both parties in Washington, DC failing to discuss getting out of Iraq—rapidly? They say a U.S. exit will lead to an escalation of violence, a blood bath or civil war. But the truth is we can design a rapid exit from Iraq that reduces the risk of violence. How?

First, it is important to look at the real violence. While sectarian violence gets all the attention in the U.S. media, the November 2006 DoD report called “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq” found that more than 80% of violence is directed at the U.S. military or at the Iraqi military. “Coalition forces attracted the majority (68%) of attacks.” said the report. Attacks on Iraqi Security Forces are the next-largest category, with attacks on civilians being the smallest group. Thus, the real war is between Iraqis fighting the U.S. and its Iraqi allies. Of course, civilians account for the most casualties, as they are unprotected when attacks occur.

Dahr Jamail, a top reporter on Iraq, reports on December 28, in an article entitled “More Troops but Less Control in Iraq,” that “Through the occupation, each time the U.S. has increased troop levels, there has been a corresponding increase in attacks on the forces, and consequently an increase in civilian casualties.” Thus, rather than learning from past experience, the Bush administration, with a compliant Congress, is likely to repeat past mistakes.

On December 6, James Baker, the co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, even admitted to Anderson Cooper on CNN that removal of U.S. troops may reduce the violence.

COOPER: And is it possible that getting the U.S. troops out will actually lessen that violence, that it will at least take away the motivation of nationalist insurgents?

BAKER: Many people have argued that to us. Many people in Iraq made that case.

COOPER: Do you buy it?

BAKER: Yes, I think there is some validity to it, absolutely. Then we are no longer seen to be the occupiers.

Despite the fact that a U.S. withdrawal is likely to reduce the violence, Baker concluded: “We're still going to have a very robust—forced presence in Iraq and in the region for quite a number of years after this thing sorts itself out whichever way it sorts itself out. We have to do that because we cannot—we have vital national interests in that region.”

William Polk, a former Harvard and University of Chicago professor who has served in various foreign policy posts in the U.S. government, is in the process of writing about twelve insurgencies throughout history. His review finds that one common denominator of insurgencies is “when the occupiers leave the violence ends, as the insurgency loses support.”

While merely leaving Iraq is likely to reduce the violence because Main Street Iraqis will realize they are getting their country back and will no longer have to resist U.S. occupation, there are additional steps the U.S. can take to make a reduction in violence even more likely. William Polk and George McGovern, co-authors of Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now, put forward a detailed strategy for leaving in a way that is likely to reduce the violence.

They recommend two broad areas: (1) strengthen the government by funding civil works projects to rebuild the country, creating jobs for Iraqis and encouraging hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to return home; (2) underwrite a stabilization force that will engage in bringing basic security and policing to Iraq—a force that will not include U.S. soldiers. The cost of these two steps is a fraction of the cost of the Iraq occupation, and would save the U.S. more than $100 billion immediately.

Regarding funding the rebuilding of Iraq, it is important to remember that Iraq was able to rebuild its country after the first Gulf War. They have the capability to rebuild. Rebuilding efforts by Halliburton, Bechtel and other U.S. contractors have failed; worse, because they employed a foreign workforce, the result has been very high unemployment in Iraq, reportedly over 50%. As an Iraqi businessman told The Washington Post , "The longer this [unemployment] goes on, we are asking for trouble because we are breeding more and more insurgents. Unemployment is exactly what the terrorists want.”

Indeed, the U.S. military recognizes that high unemployment may be a major source of the insurgency. As reported:

’Most of the folks that are out there are not ideologues,’ Air Force Gen. Lance Smith, who heads U.S. Joint Forces Command, told Inside the Pentagon last week in a telephone interview. ‘They’re people that don’t have jobs that [do] have a choice: You can go make 10 or 20 dollars a month picking up trash....You can make—you pick the number—50 or 100 dollars to be a policeman, or 50 or 100 dollars to be a soldier [in the new Iraqi army]. Or you can get $200 to go pick up an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] and go shoot at the next camouflage-desert vehicle that goes by.’”

The November 20 DoD report on stability in Iraq noted that unemployment “has been an issue that has had a significant effect on the security environment.” Combined with underemployment—estimated by one Iraqi government agency at 34%—unemployment “may make financial incentives for participating in insurgent or sectarian violence more appealing to military-age males,” says the Pentagon assessment.

Polk and McGovern include in their list of costs: rebuilding funding for the reconstruction of Iraq by Iraqis; removing landmines and depleted uranium; dismantling blast walls and wire barriers; restoring archaeological sites; training lawyers, judges, journalists, and social workers in Iraq; bringing back professional Iraqis who emigrated; rebuilding Iraq's public health system; compensating the families of civilians killed and tortured and training an Iraqi police force.

In addition to this, there would be a need to fund a stabilization force; a force that would not include U.S. soldiers because we cannot bring security to Iraq. They describe this as a group “hired” by the Iraqis, not to fight the insurgency, but to provide order on the roads, at schools, banks, hospitals and other key locations. This force would preferably include Arabs and Muslims from non-contiguous countries acting under UN auspices, or a regional authority like the Arab League. Polk and McGovern estimate such a force would cost $6 billion for two years.

McGovern and Polk estimate the cost of rebuilding Iraq to be $13.2 billion. David Swanson of makes a higher estimate totaling $22.05 billion, based primarily on the number of Iraqis killed or injured as he used the Lancet study that came out after their book was written. Swanson points out, “That's the cost of twelve and a half weeks of occupying Iraq.” The Congress has already approved $70 billion for Iraq for 2007 expenditures, and will be considering another $100 billion in a supplemental appropriation proposal this February. Thus, the U.S. will immediately save $148 billion—that’s billions the U.S. will not have to borrow from China and other countries, as the U.S. is already spending more than we have.

It is also $148 billion that could be spent on basic needs at home. For example, we could restore, and add to, the nearly $2 billion annually cut from veterans benefits last year. Further, the U.S. could invest in the most important step the United States could take to protect its security: slow global warming, protect the environment and build a 21st Century economy by investing in evolving from a fossil fuel-based economy to a clean, sustainable-energy economy. Then the U.S. would no longer have the need to engage in oil wars. We’d even have money left over for a middle class tax cut!

Ending the occupation of Iraq is consistent with the views of the majority of Americans, will save tens of billions of dollars, allow investment in urgent needs at home and put our economy on a more secure footing. Yet the leadership in Congress is not even debating it. They seem to put their desire for military bases in Iraq, control of Iraq and Middle East oil, and protection of Israel ahead of the views of the voters. Is our democracy working?



Iraqi police commandos that Blair and Bush have empowered, paid and heavily armed have raided the offices of the Iraqi Red Crescent Agency again and again, rounding up more of the few remaining relief workers who attend to the suffering.

Less than a mile from where British Prime Minister Tony Blair was gripping and grinning during a surprise visit to Baghdad on Sunday, agents of the extremist factions that he and George W. Bush have empowered, paid and heavily armed were raiding the offices of the Iraqi Red Crescent Agency and rounding up some of the few remaining relief workers in the country who attend to the suffering of all sides. This bold, broad-daylight assault came less than 48 hours after top Red Crescent officials publicly accused U.S. military forces of conducting a series of attacks on the agency's offices around the country during the course of the war.

As the New York Times reports, the Sunday raid followed a grim pattern that is by now well-established in the bloodsoaked capital, and is likely to have the same grim conclusion. The usual "armed men dressed in police commando uniforms" descended on the Red Crescent office just outside the Coalition's Green Zone island of virtual reality and methodically went through the building and seized all the male employees. Seven men were later released, while the rest were taken off to an unknown location.

The "armed men in police commando uniforms" were, of course, police commandos, in this case almost certainly under the control of the Interior Ministry, one of the Shiite enclaves in the sectarian-riddled government. As the NYT notes, "control of the district, in the heart of Baghdad, was given to the Iraqi police in November."

The Interior and Defense Ministries, which control the bulk of Iraq's security forces, are in the hands of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the militant Shiite party whose leader, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, was given a warm White House welcome by Bush earlier this month. SCIRI was formed in Iran by Iraqi exiles and touts Khomeini-style clerical rule. Yet because of its long-time willingness to wheel and deal with America's "security organs," it has been a favorite of the invaders throughout the occupation.

In a recent article, Robert Dreyfuss provides this concise summary of the violent extremist's present position in Iraq: "Today al-Hakim controls the SCIRI militia, the Badr Brigade, the Iraqi interior ministry and many of Iraq’s feared death squads. Not to put too fine a point on it, Hakim is a mass murderer."

The Red Crescent raid was a leisurely affair, carried out by dozens of men who arrived in two police cars and about 20 other vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reports. In order to reach the normally quiet area where the Red Crescent offices are located, the raiders had to pass through several checkpoints controlled by SCIRI's "official" government security forces. Once in, the attackers fanned out to warn local shopkeepers to stay inside, then entered the building and began a room-by-room search. They were evidently not worried about interference from local law enforcement officials.

Female employees of the agency said the raiders were apparently looking for Sunnis; they asked for family names (one of the quickest ways to discern Shiite from Sunni) and tribal identifications. One woman said the men told her: "You work with bad people." Again, the excellent NYT article by Sabrina Tavernise gives the background: "The Red Crescent, part of the International Red Cross movement, is well known in Iraq for its activity in Sunni Arab areas. It is one of the few aid organizations that provide relief in Anbar province, and it recently assisted Sunnis driven out of Hurriya in Baghdad."

Seven men were later released unharmed; the NYT reported that at least one of these was a Shiite. The rest of the captives were taken to an unknown location. As in previous such raids, it is likely that the Shiite militia/policemen will release any other Shiites and non-Sunnis they find among the captives, then torture and kill any Sunnis, dumping their bodies elsewhere in the city later.

These quasi-official death squads – who receive most of their training, money and weapons from the United States and Britain – have been increasingly brazen in carrying out a broad-based ethnic cleansing campaign in Baghdad. Their Sunni equivalents – with less official backing – are carrying out a similar if smaller-scale consolidation in the areas they control.

Just as Sunnis were the apparent target of Sunday's raid, the fact that the Red Crescent does relief work for Sunnis has also been the main impetus behind the American attacks on its offices. In fact, Jamal al Karbouli, Red Crescent vice president, said that U.S. forces had attacked the agency's Baghdad headquarters – site of Sunday's raid by U.S.-backed Iraqi police commandos – several times since the 2003 invasion, Reuters reports.

The building is often ransacked by American troops, employees are detained or taken away, and other materials destroyed, he said. Such incidents have occurred throughout the country, most recently in Fallujah, where earlier this month American forces raided the agency's Fallujah office, detained volunteers and staff, and "burned the cars and even the building which belongs to us," Karbouli said.

The raids are apparently based on false information accusing the agency of collaboration with Sunni insurgents, Karbouli said. "Four to five times they have attacked the headquarters, they break doors and windows, just to see. And they didn't find anything and they left. We don't know the reason behind it, is it to scare us or decrease our work or another reason, as they mention, fear of terrorists? We don't know.

The Iraqi Red Crescent is the only Iraqi body working all over Iraq. Because of this, they are suspicious," he told Reuters. American officials said that U.S. forces don't "attack" the agency's offices, but carry out careful and respectful investigations of credible intelligence reports.L The American-trained extremist militias embedded in Iraq's official security forces obviously don't feel bound by such legal niceties.


The juxtaposition of Sunday's events was deeply revelatory of the split between the reality of Iraq today and the meaningless and literally murderous blather being offered up by the pious chieftains of the occupying "Coalition." In his brief visit – just two days after he'd become the first sitting UK Prime Minister to be questioned in a criminal investigation for allegedly selling peerages in exchange for underhanded campaign cash from fat cats – Blair doled out the usual weedy echo of Bush's usual codswollop: "British troops will remain until the job is done and that job is building up the Iraqi capability."

Blair, vowing never to "cut and run," emphasized the need for increased US-UK training and funding of "Iraq's security forces" – in other words, the same groups that carried out Sunday's raid and have been summarily executing thousands of Iraqis in the past year.
Later, when asked about the Red Crescent attack and the rising violence in Iraq, Blair skittered away into that inner Green Zone of fortified fantasy where the war's backers increasingly dwell. "There is innocent blood being spilled, but it's not being spilled by the Iraqi government," he told the NYT.

Yet it beggars belief to imagine that Blair and Bush (or at least the latter's chief advisers) do not know that they have helped form many of the very militias they now rail against daily, and that their much-trumpeted support for Iraq's "security forces" is in fact one of the main engines driving the sectarian civil war. One can only conclude from this that Bush and Blair have decided that the sectarian war should be played to their own advantage, and pushed toward the only result that now offers even the slightest chance of "success" from their war of aggression: the triumph of a Shiite extremist faction willing to cut an acceptable deal on the all-important "oil law" and perhaps allow a continued U.S. military presence in the country, if only a few "lily-pad" skeleton bases.

These have always been the main goals of the Bush Faction's warmongers, even before the Administration took power in the 2000 judicial coup: to open Iraq's oil fields to cronies of the conquerors, and to plant a U.S. "military footprint" in this strategic heart of the Middle East. They have hewed toward these goals with a remarkable, ruthless focus. This is one key reason why the occupation of Iraq has been such a slap-dash affair; its authors didn't really care what sort of regime sprang up in the wake of the invasion, or how it got cobbled together, as long as it played ball on oil and military bases. (A third main goal of the operation – war profiteering on an unprecedented, almost unfathomable scale – has already been accomplished.)

They would have done better to pay more attention to "side issues" like the security of the Iraqi people and the provision of essential services, of course. But the Bush-led warmongers are, after all, a collection of stunted intellects, stupified by greed and primitive ideologies. Now, facing the imminent ruin of their reckless and misbegotten enterprise, they are down to their last card: the wheelers and dealers of SCIRI.

In these past weeks following the November elections, Bush and Blair have set about trying to build a new coalition around Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is dependent for his political power on the support of hardline Shiite cleric and fierce nationalist Motqada al-Sadr and his mass "Mahdi Army," which already controls several areas of the country, including large swathes of Baghdad. Sadr, who along with his martyred family stayed in Iraq and fought Saddam's repression, has long been at odds with Hakim and SCIRI, who fled to Iran and whose forces even fought for Iran against their fellow Iraqis in the 1980s Iran-Iraq War.

This conflict has often flared into violent battles, especially in the last year, forming yet another front in Iraq's multi-sided civil war. Sadr, whose army has already led two uprising against American forces, will never accept a continued U.S. presence in the country. Nor is anyone with his nationalist beliefs to be trusted to do right by Bush's oil patrons.

Thus it seems increasingly clear that Bush and Blair have decided to wage all-out war on Sadr, with the help of the "surge" troops now being put together. This will be the "New Way Forward" that Bush's mouthpieces have been talking about. American soldiers will fight for SCIRI and its allies, and for any other faction that seems likely to acquiesce in some measure to the Coalition's twin war aims.

The fact that this will be yet another strategic mistake of horrendous proportions will not stop the stunted intellects from giving it a try. Sadr, who commands the fanatical devotion of millions of Iraqis – millions of armed Iraqis – cannot be defeated militarily without a bloodbath that would make even the utter hell of present-day Iraq look mild by comparison.

Sunday's attack on the Red Crescent is a harbinger of what's to come, and a microcosm of the great atrocity that is the war itself: a vicious assault by torturers and murderers on innocent people while self-proclaimed liberators look on, mouthing pieties, talking tough, and daintily cleansing their hands of blood.



The first two or three months of 2007 represent a dangerous opening for an escalation of war in the Middle East, as George W. Bush will be tempted to “double-down” his gamble in Iraq by joining with Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to strike at Syria and Iran, intelligence sources say.

President Bush’s goal would be to transcend the bloody quagmire bogging down U.S. forces in Iraq by achieving “regime change” in Syria and by destroying nuclear facilities in Iran, two blows intended to weaken Islamic militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army and air force would carry the brunt of any new fighting albeit with the support of beefed-up U.S. ground and naval forces in the Middle East, the sources said. Bush is now considering a “surge” in U.S. troop levels in Iraq from about 140,000 to as many as 170,000. He also has dispatched a second aircraft carrier group to the coast of Iran.

So far, however, Bush has confronted stiff opposition from the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to the plan for raising troop levels in Iraq, partly because the generals don’t think it makes sense to commit more troops without a specific military mission.

But it’s unclear how much the generals know about the expanded-war option which has been discussed sometimes in one-on-one meetings among the principals – Bush, Olmert and Blair – according to intelligence sources.

Since the Nov. 7 congressional elections, the three leaders have conducted a round-robin of meetings that on the surface seem to have little purpose. Olmert met privately with Bush on Nov. 13; Blair visited the White House on Dec. 7; and Blair conferred with Olmert in Israel on Dec. 18.

A “Hail Mary” strategy: Bush, Olmert and Blair could salvage their reputations if a wider war broke out in the Middle East and then broke in their favor.
All three leaders could salvage their reputations if a wider war broke out in the Middle East and then broke in their favor.

Bush and Blair spearheaded the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that has since turned into a disastrous occupation. In summer 2006, Olmert launched offensives against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, drawing international condemnation for the deaths of hundreds of civilians and domestic criticism for his poorly designed war plans.

The three leaders also find themselves cornered by political opponents. Bush’s Republican Party lost control of both the House and Senate on Nov. 7; Blair succumbed to pressure from his own Labour Party and agreed to step down in spring 2007; and Olmert is suffering from widespread public disgust over the failed Lebanese war.

Yet, despite these reversals, the three leaders have rebuffed advice from more moderate advisers that they adopt less confrontational strategies and consider unconditional negotiations with their Muslim adversaries.

Most dramatically, Bush spurned a bipartisan Iraq Study Group plan that was co-authored by the Bush Family’s long-time counselor, former Secretary of State James Baker.

Instead of heeding Baker’s advice to begin a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and start talks with Iran and Syria, Bush rejected the notion of a “graceful exit” and then set unacceptable preconditions for talks with Iran and Syria.

In other words, Baker tossed a life preserver to Bush who threw it back.


Bush has continued to insist on “victory” in Iraq and has again ratcheted up his rhetoric. He now talks about waging a long war against Islamic “radicals and extremists,” not just the original goal of defeating “terrorists with global reach.”

At his news conference on Dec. 20, Bush cast this wider struggle against Islamists as a test of American manhood and perseverance by demonstrating to the enemy that “they can’t run us out of the Middle East, that they can’t intimidate America.”

Bush suggested, too, that painful decisions lay ahead in the New Year.

“I’m not going to make predictions about what 2007 will look like in Iraq, except that it’s going to require difficult choices and additional sacrifices, because the enemy is merciless and violent,” Bush said.

Rather than scale back his neoconservative dream of transforming the Middle East, Bush argued for an expanded U.S. military to wage this long war.

“We must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the fight for a long period of time,” Bush said. “I’m not predicting any particular theater, but I am predicting that it’s going to take a while for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of hate. ...

“We’re in the beginning of a conflict between competing ideologies – a conflict that will determine whether or not your children can live in a peace. A failure in the Middle East, for example, or failure in Iraq, or isolationism, will condemn a generation of young Americans to permanent threat from overseas.”

So, rather than looking for a way out of the Iraq quagmire, Bush – now waist deep in the muck – is determined to press on.

Bush’s dilemma, however, is that time is working against him. Not only are the American people increasingly angry about U.S. troops caught in the middle of a sectarian civil war in Iraq, but Bush’s domestic and international political bases continue to erode.

Blair, who is widely derided in the United Kingdom as “Bush’s poodle,” is nearing the end of his tenure, and Bush’s Republican Party is worried about Election 2008 if American soldiers are still dying in Iraq in two years.

Plus, few military analysts believe a temporary troop “surge” alone will stop the steady deterioration in Iraq. Bush acknowledged as much at his news conference.

“In order to do so [‘the surge’], there must be a specific mission that can be accomplished with more troops,” Bush said. “That’s precisely what our commanders have said, as well as people who know a lot about military operations. And I agree with them that there’s got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy.”

Though not making much sense as a way to quell the civil strife in Iraq, a U.S. military buildup could help protect American interests in Iraq if Israeli attacks on Syria and Iran touch off retaliation against U.S. and British targets.


For Bush, this idea of expanding the war outside Iraq also is not new.

Since spring 2006, Bush reportedly has been weighing military options for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, but he has encountered resistance from senior U.S. military officers.

As investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker, a number of senior U.S. officers were troubled by administration war planners who believed “bunker-busting” tactical nuclear weapons, known as B61-11s, were the only way to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities buried deep underground.

A former senior intelligence official told Hersh that the White House refused to remove the nuclear option from the plans despite objections from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Whenever anybody tries to get it out, they’re shouted down,” the ex-official said. [New Yorker, April 17, 2006]

By late April 2006, however, the Joint Chiefs finally got the White House to agree that using nuclear weapons to destroy Iran’s uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, less than 200 miles south of Tehran, was politically unacceptable, Hersh reported. “Bush and [Vice President Dick] Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning,” one former senior intelligence official said. But – even with the nuclear option off the table – senior U.S. military officials worried about the political and economic fallout from a massive bombing campaign against Iran. Hersh wrote:

“Inside the Pentagon, senior commanders have increasingly challenged the President’s plans, according to active-duty and retired officers and officials. The generals and admirals have told the Administration that the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. They have also warned that an attack could lead to serious economic, political, and military consequences for the United States.”
Hersh quoted a retired four-star general as saying, “The system is starting to sense the end of the road, and they don’t want to be condemned by history. They want to be able to say, ‘We stood up.’ ” [New Yorker, July 10, 2006]

Beyond the dangers from Iran’s nuclear program, the Bush administration views the growing Shiite crescent across the Middle East as a threat to U.S. influence.

Washington Post foreign policy analyst Robin Wright wrote that U.S. officials told her that “for the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East.” [Washington Post, July 16, 2006]

By summer 2006, Israeli sources were describing Bush’s interest in finding a pretext to hit back at Syria and Iran. That opening came when border tensions with Hamas in Gaza and with Hezbollah in Lebanon led to the capture of three Israeli soldiers and a rapid Israeli escalation of the conflict into an air-and-ground campaign against Lebanon.

Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the Israeli-Lebanese conflict as an opportunity to expand the fighting into Syria and achieve the long-sought “regime change” in Damascus, Israeli sources said.

One Israeli source told me that Bush’s interest in spreading the war to Syria was considered “nuts” by some senior Israeli officials, although Prime Minister Olmert generally shared Bush’s hard-line strategy against Islamic militants. [See’s “Bush Wants Wider War.”]

In an article on July 30, 2006. the Jerusalem Post also hinted at the Israeli rejection of Bush’s suggestion of a wider war into Syria. “Defense officials told the Post ... that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria,” the newspaper reported.

In August 2006, the Inter-Press Service provided additional details, reporting that the message was passed to Israel by Bush’s deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, who had been a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.

“In a meeting with a very senior Israeli official, Abrams indicated that Washington would have no objection if Israel chose to extend the war beyond to its other northern neighbor, leaving the interlocutor in no doubt that the intended target was Syria,” a source told the Inter-Press Service.

In December 2006, Meyray Wurmser, a leading U.S. neoconservative whose spouse is a Middle East adviser to Vice President Cheney, confirmed that neocons in and outside the Bush administration had hoped Israel would attack Syria as a means of undermining the insurgents in Iraq.

“If Syria had been defeated, the rebellion in Iraq would have ended,” Wurmser said in an interview with Yitzhak Benhorin of the Ynet Web site. “A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hezbollah. ... If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened it and (changed) the strategic map in the Middle East.”

In early 2007, the revival of this neoconservative strategy of using the Israeli military to oust the Syrian government and to inflict damage on Iran’s nuclear program may represent a last-ditch – and high-risk – gamble by Bush and the neocons to salvage their historic legacy.

If that is the case, then Bush will approve “the surge” in U.S. forces into Iraq, which likely will be followed by some provocation that can be blamed on Syria or Iran, thus justifying the expanded war.

Betting the lives of American soldiers and countless civilians across the Middle East, Bush will follow the age-old adage of gambling addicts: in for a dime, in for a dollar.

Susan Jones
Senior Editor
( - "Say No to Iraq Escalation!" That's what riled-up liberals will be shouting in Washington on Friday, outside the think tank where Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will deliver speeches endorsing President Bush's reported plan to order extra troops to Iraq."Our plan is to rally outside and say, 'No' to escalation," said in a message to supporters. The liberal advocacy group insists that the new Democrat-controlled Congress was elected with a grassroots mandate to get American troops out of Iraq.President Bush is expected to announce next week that he will send more U.S. troops (15,000 to 20,000, according to some press reports) to calm the sectarian violence in Baghdad.
MoveOn's "peaceful picket" outside the American Enterprise Institute is talking place at noon, and the group promised that "colorful signs will be provided." "It is important that while these senators (McCain and Lieberman) endorse escalation, there is a visible demonstration of public opposition to escalation," the news release said. "We have to send a signal that escalation should be off the table. This event will accomplish that -- and it will mark the beginning of a revived MoveOn campaign to end the war."And finally this: "Media are coming, so the more people who attend the better."Anti-war, anti-Bush activist Cindy Sheehan has led noisy protests against congressional Democrats for the past two days in Washington.She and other anti-warriors insist they won't give Democrats a "free pass" when it comes to bringing the troops home now. They want the new Congress to stop funding for the war -- and they are demanding the impeachment of President Bush.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. peace groups pledged on Sunday to start the new year with protests and vigils to mark the death of the 3,000th U.S. soldier in Iraq and to press their call for an end to the war.

"We must bear witness to this tragic milestone, even though many people are already beginning their celebrations of the new year," the group United for Peace and Justice said on its Web site.

A soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on Saturday became the 3,000th American to die in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to the Web site

A group of U.S. veterans that sets up crosses on a Santa Monica, California, beach every Sunday to remember American soldiers killed in Iraq added candles to mark the 3,000 milestone.

"We decided to do a special candlelight vigil tonight, partially because it's New Year's Eve but also because we don't want people to forget the cost of this war," said Chuck Nixon, of the group Veterans for Peace. "Three thousand families have lost a son or daughter.

"Sometimes, people call this a protest. We don't believe it's a protest. We believe it's a memorial honoring these soldiers."

United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1,300 U.S. peace groups, urged demonstrators to wear black armbands or ribbons with the number 3,000 in white print and to phone radio stations and write letters to newspapers to call attention to the death toll.

The American Friends Service Committee put out a call for anti-war activists to rally across the country on New Year's Day to mourn American and Iraqi casualties in the war.
Group members in Dallas planned to ring a bell to mark the deaths in their demonstration in front of City Hall.

"We're not pretending to appropriately honor those who have died," said organizer Bill Betzen. "It's just impossible."

In Pittsburgh, peace activists were to gather at a military recruitment center on Monday to mark the 3,000 milestone.

"These occasions can be important and take on tangible meaning if they provide a chance for personal reflection or spur people to take action that alters the future," the Pittsburgh Organizing Group said on its Web site.

Another candlelight vigil was set for Tuesday near Philadelphia's City Hall with participants planning to read names of both U.S. military personnel and Iraqis killed.

Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization founded by prominent anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan after her son was killed in Iraq, is planning a rally in Washington on January 3-4 to press for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, as well as the impeachment of President George W. Bush.

United for Peace and Justice will stage a march in Washington on January 27 and urged supporters to arrange meetings with members of the new Congress on January 29 so they can lobby for an end to the war.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 3 (OneWorld) - Peace groups across the United States marked the 3,000th U.S. military death in Iraq with protests and vigils this weekend and promised to continue to press to end the war.

We're very saddened at the death, but we feel it's very important that not one more dollar be spent on this war in Iraq," Janis Shields of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) told OneWorld.

The Quaker group put out a call for anti-war activists to rally across the country on New Year's Day to mourn American and Iraqi casualties in the war. A study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, puts the number of Iraqi casualties at more than 600,000.

The Web site for AFSC lists 335 vigils in 46 states--from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Tacoma, Washington.

The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq passed 3,000 on New Year's Eve. By Monday the death toll had reached 3,004--31 more than died in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the


The Veterans Administration (VA) reports more than 150,000 veterans of the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are receiving disability benefits. Approximately 70,000 are using the VA's mental health services.

"We had no idea the war would go on this long or kill so many people," said Chuck Nixon, who helps co-ordinate a weekly memorial in Santa Monica, California known as Arlington West. "When we started doing our project of making a memorial there were just 400 crosses. That was back in February '04. By Mother's Day it had gone up to 800."

The memorial is sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of Veterans for Peace, which sets up crosses every Sunday on Santa Monica's beach to remember American soldiers killed in Iraq. The group added candles to mark the 3,000th death.

In addition to this week's commemorations, peace groups have planned two major demonstrations for Washington this month, timed to coincide with Congress' transition to Democratic leadership.

Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization founded by prominent anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan after her son was killed in Iraq, is planning a rally in Washington on January 3-4 to press for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, as well as the impeachment of President George W. Bush.

United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1,300 U.S. peace groups, will stage a march in Washington on January 27 and urged supporters to arrange meetings with members of the new Congress on January 29 so they can lobby for an end to the war.

As for Nixon, he plans to press on with the Santa Monica memorial. "It's just a sad thing that there are 3,000 people who were sons, daughters, husbands, or fathers. That's 3,000 families that are not having a very happy New Year."

The response to the memorial has been overwhelmingly positive, Nixon added. "On New Year's Eve when we reached 3,000 deaths there were two active duty marines that came up to me--one had just come back from Iraq and the other was in training. They personally thanked us for setting up the memorial. They said they thought it was very nice that somebody cared enough to do that."

Nixon hopes when the war is over his group will be able to set up a permanent memorial to the war's dead on the west coast. Some 306 California soldiers have died in Iraq, the most of any state in the country.

"It wouldn't be as large as the Vietnam memorial," he said. "But it would be the same idea. It would have granite walls and names engraved. A permanent memorial would be nice for the families who live here. They'd have a place to visit and remember their loved ones."


John King, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, December 10, 2006

(12-10) 13:48 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- As Democrats prepare to take control of Congress, a small but spirited rally in San Francisco called on the future speaker of the House of Representatives, the city's Rep. Nancy Pelosi, to move impeachment to the top of the legislative agenda.

"We need Nancy Pelosi to serve and represent her people. We need her to stand up and say I'm going to do what's right," said Norah Foster, one of the organizers of the rally at United Nations Plaza near San Francisco's City Hall and Civic Center.

"If she puts impeachment back on the table, I'm confident Bush and Cheney will resign within four months," Foster said during the rally.

The protest -- organized by Bay Area anti-war groups -- was held on the 60th International Human Rights Day. Similar rallies were scheduled in other large American cities.

The turnout was a far cry from the street-filling protests held in opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The listeners at U.N. Plaza barely outnumbered the two dozen or so organizers, who were wearing orange jumpsuits, windbreakers and T-shirts.

But neither the small turnout -- nor intermittent rain -- dampened the speakers' ardor.

( - Impeachment may be "off the table" for the Democrats' incoming congressional leadership, but left-wing activists will rally across the nation Sunday calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for what they consider to be human rights abuses and war crimes.
More than 50 demonstrations are planned from Connecticut to New Mexico on Sunday, the anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed Dec. 10, 1948. The anniversary has been dubbed "Human Rights Day."Protesters will lobby their elected officials in Congress for investigations and impeachment and will encourage their local officials to pass resolutions in support of impeachment, organizers said.
According to ImpeachPAC, the left-wing group organizing the protests, at least 28 city and town councils have passed resolutions in support of impeachment, although no statewide legislatures have done so.The group gave $32,100 to seven candidates in 2006. None of them won. In fact, only one of a total of 21 candidates the group endorsed won - Democrat Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who will become the first Muslim in Congress.Supporters of impeachment argue that Bush and Cheney, along with other key figures such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, engaged in a conspiracy to deceive the American people to justify the Iraq war.Some of the rallies will feature long-time anti-war activists like Col. Ann Wright, a former State Department official who resigned amid the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Cindy Sheehan, who began protesting the war after her son, Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.Impeachment advocates face an uphill battle, even with the newly elected Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has the authority to impeach the president.In interviews before the election, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was "off the table," because it was "a waste of time." She said a Democratic impeachment of Bush and Cheney would give Republicans something to rally around.Dani Doane, director of congressional relations at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Friday Pelosi would be "getting pressure from all sides" of the liberal spectrum to enact various agendas. It would be up to her "to find the middle ground from all of this."Several liberal groups have already launched efforts to get their legislative agenda pushed through Congress. Through a coalition called Change America Now (CAN), 31 liberal interest groups from labor unions to environmentalists are urging Democrats to keep the promises they made to those groups leading up to the elections.CAN will press House and Senate Democrats to pass legislation implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, raise the minimum wage, reform health care and repeal tax cuts.Doane said liberal activists have "salivated at the idea of a Democratic Congress for 12 years" - since Democrats last controlled the legislature - and that all groups will be seeking victories.But she was skeptical of whether Pelosi's bipartisan image would play out in the legislation the Democratic Congress produces.While Pelosi had pledged not to impeach Bush and Cheney, Doane said, Democrats were "still going to do investigations.""If they happen to find something during their good-government-making-sure-everybody's-working-for-the-good-of-the-people investigations," they would be happy to seek impeachment, she predicted.

A small but spirited rally in San Francisco on Sunday called on Rep. Nancy Pelosi to put impeachment at the top of the next Congress' legislative agenda.

Pelosi, who next month will become the first Californian and the first female speaker of the House, has said legislative efforts to remove President Bush from office are "off the table," even though Democrats will control the House for the first time since 1994. But members of a loose coalition of anti-war groups gathered at U.N. Plaza to demand that she reverse her stand.

"We need Nancy Pelosi to serve and represent her people," said Norah Foster, an organizer of the rally.

Foster reminded the crowd that San Francisco and Berkeley voters approved advisory measures last month calling for impeachment hearings to be held against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney because of their actions related to the invasion of Iraq and civil liberties issues.

"If she puts impeachment back on the table, I'm confident Bush and Cheney will resign within four months," Foster said.

The turnout was a far cry from the street-filling protests held in opposition to the Iraq conflict in 2003. Sunday's crowd numbered about 100 at its peak, including two dozen or so organizers who could be identified by orange T-shirts, windbreakers or jumpsuits -- a visual reminder of the garb worn by Iraqi prisoners at the U.S. Army-run Abu Ghraib prison.

Neither the small turnout nor intermittent rain dampened the speakers' ardor. Two went on at length, alleging vote-rigging in the 2004 presidential election. Another decried the state of human rights in Turkey.

Some speakers voiced scorn for the entire political scene in Washington, as well as for Bush and Cheney. "The leaders and vast majority of both parties are invested in the same imperialistic foreign policy goals," said Silvio Rodrigues of ANSWER -- Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. "It's our job to build an independent mass movement."

Foster's mood was defiantly upbeat despite the scant turnout.

"We should recall Pelosi if she opposes the will of her constituents," Foster said.

Published on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by the Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)
Cate Lecuyer

WINDHAM COUNTY - The push to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney is once again gathering momentum, and this time it's coupled with a resolution to bring our troops home from Iraq.

Five percent of the voters in 40 towns across Vermont have signed a petition that would place both questions on ballots as nonbinding resolutions at town meeting in March.

It goes hand in hand with a separate resolution to bring troops home from Iraq.

The state is also gearing up for a Washington D.C. rally against the war through United for Peace and Justice, an international organization. Vermont has a number of local chapters.

So far organizers around the state have contracted five buses, and are scrambling to get more, to transport Vermonters to D.C. on Jan. 27 for the rally.

The effort for both the rally and the resolutions is being led, in part, by Newfane Selectman Dan DeWalt. At last year's town meeting, DeWalt drafted the article to impeach Bush for misleading the American people about the Iraq war. Newfane residents were the first in the country to pass such a resolution, which put the small village on the national radar and encouraged the towns of Brattleboro, Marlboro, Dummerston, Putney and Rockingham to follow suit.

Now, with support from 40 towns in addition to last year's six, DeWalt hopes the new energy will spill over into the Legislature. In Windham County, DeWalt said, there are petitions from the towns of Jamaica, Windham, Brookline, Westminster and Guilford.

People should make it a point to talk to their representatives, said state Rep. Daryl Pillsbury. He said he is in full support of the resolution, but "the problem is going to be getting the leadership to do something with it," he said.

State representatives are preparing for the next legislative session, and have a full plate.

Mike Mrowicki, D-Putney, said he doesn't support what the president has done, but passing the resolution is not a top priority.

"There are too many other things that have to do with the lives of everyday Vermonters," he said.

DeWalt said he is still working out the language to present the resolution to the 40 towns. They include Jamaica, Windham, Brookline, Westminster, Guilford, West Pawlet, Marshfield, Calais, Montpelier, Johnson, Jericho, Underhill, Fayston, Wilmington, Craftsbury, Springfield, Londonderry, Moretown, Warren, Townshend, Underhill, Clarendon, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Ludlow, Ripton, Cornwall, Weybridge, Shoreham, Salisbury, Plymouth, Newbury, Bradford, Manchester Center, Manchester Village, Dorset, Rupert, Shrewsbury, Wallingford and Middlebury
"This is very real and very serious," DeWalt said Tuesday. "The idea of a Democratic takeover of Congress was also a pipe dream last June."

Once people understand impeaching the president doesn't mean kicking him out of office, but instead calls for an investigation to see if he broke any laws, and then seeing if there's enough evidence to go to trial, they tend to support it. It makes sense, DeWalt said.

"People are not shy about holding our leaders accountable," he said.

And Vermont is setting an example. The state is like a little ping on the nation's conscience, and the discussion of the resolutions during town meeting will drive that point home, he said.

"That's a day when the state is involved civically in talking about what matters to the heart of this nation," he said.

© 2006 Brattleboro Reformer

President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people," Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney explained in remarks prepared to accompany her submission on Friday of articles of impeachment against Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

McKinney, in her last legislative act before leaving the House at the end of her current term, represented not merely a final thrust by the Georgia Democrat against the Bush administration that she has so consistently opposed but a challenge to the new House Democratic leadership to pay more than lip service to its Constitutionally-mandated duty to check and balance the executive branch.

"With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us," continued McKinney, according to a copy of her remarks distributed by the Atlanta Progressive News network. "To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy.

I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake. Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship. I am not willing to put any political party before my principles. This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded."

There will be many who dismiss McKinney's filing of articles of impeachment against the president and members of his administration as an act of little consequence. The congresswoman has been a controversial figure during six terms in the House, often placing herself well to the left of her own caucus, particularly on issues of presidential accountability.

And her impending departure from the chamber means that her resolution will only be a factor in the next Congress if another member takes it up. With incoming-Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling fellow Democrats that they must keep impeachment "off the table," that may not happen in the short term.

But McKinney's move ought not be casually discounted. As a legislative veteran whose service at the state and federal levels goes back almost 20 years, she well understands that the coming investigations of administration wrongdoing could well put impeachment back on the table.

McKinney knows that speaks for a great many House Democrats who, while they may currently be honoring their leadership's calls for caution on the issue, fully recognize that the president and vice president need to be held to account for their disregard of the rule of law and their Constitutionally-defined responsibilities.

Remember that McKinney, who lost a primary runoff earlier this year, was just one of 38 members of the House who cosponsored a resolution submitted last year by Congressman John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who will take charge of the Judiciary Committee in January, to create "a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."

McKinney speaks, as well, for the 51 percent of Americans who, according to a Newsweek Poll conducted on the eve of the November 7 election, expressed support for impeachment of the president. In that poll, 47 percent of Democrats said that impeachment should be a "top priority" of their party if it took control of the House, as did an intriguing 5 percent of Republicans.

A measure of the pro-impeachment sentiment will be on display this weekend, as activists rally in dozens of communities across the country to express support for sanctioning the president with the Constitutional remedy provided by the founders.

McKinney's impeachment resolution, the last legislation she will introduce as a House member, echoes the concerns that have underpinned the movement to impeach the president and members of his administration: allegations that the White House manipulated intelligence to convince members of Congress and the American people to support going to war in

Iraq, the president's approval of an illegal warrantless wiretapping program, seizure of powers and failures to cooperate with Congressional investigations.

Perhaps more importantly, McKinney made clear in the statement she prtepared for the Congressional Record that she was concerned not only with presidential wrongdoing but with congressional inaction.

A failure to uphold the delicate system of checks and balances that was put in place by the founders does not occur in isolation. Just as the executive branch pushes the envelope in exceeding its authority, so the Congress must at least to some extent allow the envelope to be pushed.

As a departing member of Congress, McKinney is perhaps freer than most to criticize the House as a whole, and she is doing so with appropriate sternness.

"We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high," read the congresswoman's prepared remarks, which will appear in the Congressional Record next week. "No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable, what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?"

McKinney's answer is an appeal to the people who Thomas Jefferson correctly identified as "the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government."

"To my fellow Americans," declared McKinney, "as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone."

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by author Gore Vidal as "essential reading for patriots." David Swanson, co-founder of the coalition, says: "With The Genius of Impeachment, John Nichols has produced a masterpiece that should be required reading in every high school and college in the United States."


The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at*http:/


EDITORIAL We can all stop hoping and pretending now: the facts are in. No matter what anyone right, left, or center says, no matter what the truth is on the ground, no matter how clear and powerful public opinion has become, President George W. Bush isn't going to change anything about the war in Iraq.

That's what we saw from the president's press conference with British prime minister Tony Blair on Dec. 7 and from his statements since. He's not going to start withdrawing troops, and he's not going to negotiate with other regional powers.

The Iraq Study Group report has its flaws. It talks about diplomatic discussions with Iran and Syria, but it stops short of describing the real reason the United States is bogged down in the Middle East (the lack of a coherent energy policy that doesn't rely on foreign oil). It suggests that the United States should leave the job of rebuilding Iraq to Iraqis but fails to state that the country responsible for all the problems should play a role in paying for its solutions. And it would leave thousands of US soldiers in Iraq as advisers for the long term, putting them in serious jeopardy.

Still, it's at least a dose of badly needed reality. The report acknowledges that the Bush administration's current policies have made an awful mess of Iraq, that the situation is deteriorating, and that continuing the current path isn't an acceptable option. And it recommends that all combat forces leave Iraq by 2008.

That such a broad-based, bipartisan panel would reach that conclusion unanimously isn't really that much of a surprise. Everyone with any sense in Washington and around the world these days agrees that the United States needs to set a timetable for withdrawal. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who initially supported the war and has long argued that some good could still come out of it, wrote Dec. 8 that the group's recommendations "will only have a chance of being effective if we go one notch further and set a fixed date — now — for Americans to leave Iraq." Even conservative syndicated columnist George Will noted the same day that "the deterioration is beyond much remediation."

As long as the United States retains combat troops in Iraq, they will be the target of sectarian violence and the focus of that war. When they leave, the Iraqis will have no obvious villain, and there might be an actual hope for a long-term resolution.

The notion of an all-out Kurd versus Shiite versus Sunni civil war isn't going to make anyone in Damascus or Tehran happy, since those two governments will be caught in the middle. And a clear statement from the United States that American troops will be leaving on a specific date not too far in the future is, the majority of experts agree, the only way to bring all the parties to the table for a serious and meaningful discussion.

And yet Bush and Dick Cheney remain alone, aloof, refusing to acknowledge that military victory in Iraq is utterly impossible and that the old mission ... of establishing a US client state in the Middle East will never be accomplished.

The death toll for US troops is approaching 3,000. The cost is running at $250 million a day. This simply can't be allowed to continue. If Bush and Cheney refuse to begin a withdrawal program, then Congress needs to act decisively on two fronts.

The first is to inform the president that under the Constitution, Congress has the sole power to declare war and this Congress will no longer pay for Bush's military adventure in Iraq.

But there's a larger problem here. Bush and Cheney have lied to the American people, taken us into war on the basis of fraudulent information, and violated their oaths of office. Back in January we called on Congress to begin debating articles of impeachment; the GOP-controlled House wasn't about to do that. But things are different now. The voters have made it very clear that they don't like the president's war, and the Democrats have a clear mandate for change.

Impeachment is serious business, but Bush has left us no alternative. We can't simply allow the war to continue as it has been, year after bloody year, until Bush's term expires.

The only thing holding up impeachment hearings is the word of the incoming speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said during the campaign that option was "not on the table." Well, it ought to be on the table now. Pelosi should publicly inform Democratic leaders in the House who support impeachment that she won't block an impeachment effort. And her constituents in San Francisco need to keep the pressure on her to allow Congress to move forward on its most important responsibility in decades.

This isn't going to be easy. Even the San Francisco Chronicle now acknowledges that Pelosi is governing like a moderate. It will take a reenergized peace movement and a huge new national mobilization to put pressure on her and every member of Congress. But the stakes are too high to wait. It's time to start, today. SFBG



Like many Americans, Phillip Smith was galvanized by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He said he changed from being nonchalant about the world around him to wanting to become involved
In the past weeks, the 25-year-old air conditioning repairman has been distributing hundreds of fliers in downtown St. Petersburg, inviting people to a Human Rights Day gathering today in Williams Park.

The event, a joint effort of activist groups in the Tampa Bay area, will call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Speakers will include Samm Simpson, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young, in the 10th Congressional District; Charles McKenzie, head of the Florida Rainbow Push Coalition;, and homeless advocate the Rev. Bruce Wright. Smith said groups participating in today's program will include Tampa Bay 9-11 Truth, St. Pete for Peace, Veterans for Peace and Code Pink Tampa Bay.

Those who attend the Williams Park gathering will be invited to participate in what is being billed as the "Do It Yourself Impeachment Project."

"It's a little bit more than a petition," said Smith, adding that the process involves a rarely used clause in the rules of the House of Representatives.

The "impeachment" document will be sent to Washington, he said.

Smith said he distributed about 1,000 fliers about the event in St. Petersburg and sent additional copies to other Pinellas County cities as well as to Pasco and Citrus counties.
He said car pools are being organized for those who attend the St. Petersburg rally for travel to Tampa for a peaceful sidewalk protest at the corner of Columbus and Dale Mabry.

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Guns Of Love - Michael Caruso
Masters of War - Villaincognito
Mesopotamian Blues - Staggerlee
Why Oh Why - Rick Bone
For Christ's Sake - John Stowers
Former President Bush - Lach
George Bush Can Kiss My Tush - Ian Butler
Guantanamo - Harley String Band
I Believe in Stephen Colbert - Karmen Aster
I Could Say Donald Rumsfeld is... - Rogers Godvane
If I Had The Power - Onefishtufsh
Red Black & Blue - Danny Kelly
Red White & Blue - Gary Gates
Secret War - Kluso T
Tearin At The Heart Of Me - My Record Player
Bin Laden - Immortal Technique
Clear View of Evil - Art Edwards
Come On Over - The Fabulous Yellow Roman Candles
Convention Hall - Jonathan Bright
Food - brian QTN
Impeach The President - A MysterE
Misanthrope - Lo's Music Page
Once I Had A Homeland - Barbara Jarrell
Soldiers Of Peace - Michael Bonanno
Wish I Was Gold - Matt Keating & Emily Spray
(at least I) Ain't No Republican - Rootless Cosmopolitans
A Christmas Wish From Iraq - Bill Laing
America Is A Miracle - Hypertonics
Black Water - Charlie Musslewhite
Burning Bush - Pain Reliever
Bush Bombs And Bin Laden - Green Man
Dear John Mellancamp - Kit Malone
Democracy At The Point Of A Gun - Jason Luckett
Eve of Destruction - Bob Maus
Go On - Jen Chapin
Homeland Security - Dan Reich
How Many Soldiers Have To Die - Bearfoot Wayne
I Am Not At War With Anyone - Luka Bloom
I Shot Tom Joad - The Wells
I Wouldn't Lie To You - Sherry Austin
It's Nuclear George - David LaFleur
Soldier's Lullabye - Todd Michaelsen
Soldiers Speak Out - Orlando Morales
The War Song - John Molyneux
There Is Something Wrong Here - Steven Knechtges
Wake Up Call - Dan Connor
Wal-Mart - Barry Fitzgerald
When War Starts - Barry Bliss
All The Same - Jay Nash
Bullets To Ballots - Roots Rock Rebel
Gather Round The Stone - Ben Harper
Life Must Go On - Lane Steinberg
Little Black Cloud - Marty Atkinson
Never Ending War - John Parker Compton
Not Too Late - Cinnamon Girl
Ride Ride Ride - The Fence Bells
Soldier's Lament - Mike McLaren
Something Scary - Joe Gould's Secret
The Clowns - Colin James Gibson
The Size Of Infinity - Hillel Arnold
Hidden Thieves - Miss Flag
Scary-Go-Round - Bolder Monkey
American Refugee - Nate Wallace
A Prisoner Of Conscience - Janet Bates
Bodies In Bodybags - Siobhan O'Brien
Hey Dude Where's My Oil - Blues LSD
America 2006 - Leigh MacCallum
Let Them Eat War - Bad Religion
America - nowhere
Drunk On Election Night - Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males
Get Up Off Your F*** Ass - Pru Clearwater
Out of Zion - Dave Stein Bubhub
Squash The Resistance - Mokus
Troubled Ground - Gary Ward
Clusterbombs (of peace and love) - Jim Casper
Dictator - The Decliners
Bagdhad Blues - Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
Call It America - Joe Travers
In This America - Arjay Sutton
It's Not A War - Arm and the Hammers
People Tell Me - Hypocrite Hippies
The Fog Of War - Matt Turk
Corporate Wars - Small World
Cut And Run - The Billionaires
God Bless America - James McMurtry
Halliburton Boardroom Massacre - David Rovics
Humm-V - Robby Roberson
I Hope Your God Has Mercy on Mine - Matthew Ryan
Impeachable - The Impeachables
Stay The Course - Kieran & the Plague
Tired of Waiting Around - Moldie Locks
Wheels Of The Pentagon - Pat Flanakin
Apocalypso - Exploding Head
Atomic Bomb Babies - Ken Post
Bagdad - Scavanger
Basic Cable Blues - Walter Mann
Digest and Waste - Remo
Freedom - Earthbound Hero
Ghosts Of What I've Done - Bob Wynne and Dave Pheifer
Killing Machine - Fred Gillen Jr.
No Dishonor - J. J. Hayes
Shine A Light - Jenny Yates
Something To Believe In - R-Three
Take This World - Carl Beaupre
Willing To Die - James C
You Got Away With It - Todd Snider
Agent Orange - Mountain Mirrors
Ahmed - Ting
Battle In Baghdad - Josie Crosby
Did You REALLY Think There Were WMDs - Lonesome Swordfish
Final Call Before Armageddon - Truth Told
Gonna Take It Back - Raspberry Addiction
Letter Home - John MacLean
Nothing Good About War - Project Tru
Ode To A Leader - Lester Norton
(It's a) Bush War - New World Odor
Drugs Against War - Flow
Get It Right This Time - Spida
The Other Nine - Todd Mathis
Torture v3 - Stuart Walker
J.P.M.F.Y.F. - Tim Easton
Back In The USA Feelin Blue - Steve Slocum
Rocket - Clay Rooster
Eddie's Song - Tom Begich
Peace In The World - The Winnerys
Taking My Business Elsewhere - BrothertonSoundWorks
Freedom - Amos Lee
Led Into War - Ded book
Blood On Our Hands - Sean Schenker
No Ticker Tape Parade - Kenny Roby
Stay Human - Spearhead/Michael Franti
America The Beautiful: Four New Verses - Frank Gillen Jr
Ballad Of Fred Sanders - Steve Barger And The Altruists
Hatred My Son - Paul Vidito
Land Of The Free - Hobo Chili
U.S. Marine Corp. - Kasey Rausch
Walmartville - Father Time
Whatcha Gonna Do - Elmer Creek Conspiracy
Can't Have Peace - Terry Prong
Code Orange - Crayon Resist
Hero - Fat Glass
Our Own Kind - Nora Callahan
Study War No More - Django & Skippy
The War On Peace - Deathstar Orchestra
Cut 'Em Down - Balkey & Byrd
Hope For a Handgun - Mute June
Jet Pilot - Son Volt
Land Of The Free - Totem Soul
Headlines - 12 Gauge Sweethearts
Hypnotized - Aquarian Age
I Lie - Will Kimbrough
Missing Man - Bunny Brown
Small Man of History - Crow Greenspun
Who's to Blame? - Op-Critical
Sept. 11 - Geoff Burgess
Walk On Water - Ross Ryan
Mornin' Light - Wayne Whittaker
I'm Against The War - Pieter Tak
Emma Lee - Herschel Lee Brown
Impeach Bush - Iron Sheik
Josh Hisle - Sound Of My Regret
The President's Song - Steve Park
Red Mud - Fred Kinbom
God Coulda Told Him - John Sieger
Heaven's Gate - George Wirth
Lightning And Thunder - Nic Tredwell
Stop the Wars - Mike Stout
American Lament - Thomas Floyd Band
Anti War Demonstration - Gregory Page
In Gods We Trust - Ditheramb
Inquisition - Ed Perrone
Love Is The Answer (For World Peace) - Lipbone Redding
New Wall - Daniel J. Kiely
Revolution - Dead River
Two Bush Blues - George Scherer
War Is Peace - Richard Hinrichsen
Chains Of Freedom - Nick Pilmeyer
Doing The Eggshell Walk - Jiguma
George W Blues - Dick Aven
God Don't Like It - Ancient Cracked Voice
High School Army Recruiter - Howard Iceberg and the Titanics
Tim Ryan Runs The Voodoo Down - Norton Antivirus
Daddy Did It - Stony Point
Human - Eric Ginsberg
The World's A Strange Place - Mousebones
Under One God - George D. Lesche
All in Our Name - The Buzzards
American Dream - Seabone
Apocalypse Cow - David Hahn
Peace - Heliotroupe
The Time We Killed - Fast Product
They Spun Us Another War Ma - Michael Jensen
Cash Back - Franz Pusch
Tired - Drew Brody
Anti Mother Earth - Michael Sims
Minister Of Defence - Bhi Bhiman
The American Way - Brian Griffin
You Took The Money - Bossa Nova Beatniks
Arlington - Uncle Wade
Soldiers Heart - Jeff Deppa
Can't Change The World - Jeff Sheppard
Dark Star - The Norton Folgate Sound
Name on the Wall - Doug Spartz
American Trainwreck - Phil Drum
Homeland Insecurity - Jiguma
Jesus Freak President - Derek Bush
When It Comes Down - Jeff Smith
Before He Went To War - Patty Ann Smith
Road to Baghdad - Tony Khalfe
Whisper Of War - Jim Maxon
America The Blues - Alicia Bay Laurel
Let's Be Friends - Don Sealer
The Bell - Stephan Smith
The Wait - Mardi Gras
All Nice And Legal - Moe Shinola
Regime Change - Grid Stalker
Emerald City Tigers - Crayon Resist
Happy And Free - Selters
Mansions - The Turpentine Treacle Traveling Medicine Show
Small Man - Of The Red Sea
What You See Is Real - So long problems
Who's Foolin Who? - Smokin Socks
Peace - dots will echo
Rumdum Daddy - JPT Scare Band
A Traitor's Death - Josh Hisle
Fresh Paint - Lila Nelson
Camouflage - Poorman's Tonic
Please Mr President - Jen Cass
Be My TV - Clay Rooster
Georgie Is A Liar - Dave McMann
Double-You - Zero Charisma
Golden Calf - bloodriver
Wasteland - Josh Hisle
Drink It Down - Fendahlene
Just Another Warsong - Lazy Sunday Dream
A Thousand Children - Silas
My Dear Friend - Dusty Onyx
Hey Soldier - Stewart Guthrie
Dance on Graves - Old No. 8
Dear Mr President - Christene LeDoux
Echoes of War - Francesco Lucarelli
In The Service Of The King - Mark Ferguson Wait
That There War - Tomthefolksinger
War Is Not For - Marc Pedraza
Dont Obey - Scott Ainslie
Pax Americana - Etown
Republican Guard - Paul K Strother
We Are Going To War - Lookwood
War For Peace - The Posers
Won't Die For You - Bonecrusher
11-Sep - The Remedies
Baghdad Road - Peacesong
Caught In The Middle - Three Fifths
Peace Through War - Mike Delaney
The Ballad of Curious George - Russ Chapman
The Rise And The Fall - Bright Lights
They Called Her America - Jenny Yates
My Rev - Zero Charisma
OrDinAry TrAsH - Zen Thesis
Down With The Government - Toby Goodshank
Love & Medicine - Phillip Flathead
Sexy Lilliputians - Brand New Vietnam
Dustbowl - North of Summer
I Don't Wanna See - Dale Murray
Hero - Victoria Bouffard
Please Stop Celebrating - Jon Epworth and the Improvements
3 Years/3 Pov's - M B Conn
My Dog God - Mars Arizona
Rectify - Amber Norgaard
The Covenant - James Lee Stanley
God Guns and Glory - The Gaslights
How Long - Kenny White
Blinded - The Known Unknowns
Crime In The Air - Central Park
For Peace - Clare Gabriel
MoJoBand Needn't Worry Now - Son Vo
Oil Pipe Lie - The Purple Organ
Paranoid Wartime Blues - Peter Nevins
The Volunteer - Freeze Out
Until The End - Rick Ray Bank
War Song - Bill deRome
This World - Dominick Pages
The Irrational Anthem - The Sons of Emperor Norton
The Advisory - KnotPineBox
No One Can Govern The Sun - Volker Doormann
This Town - Brendan Earley
Patriot Problem - Knotpinebox
The Stand (for Paul Wellstone) - Debra Barbre
Submerged Terrain Homesick Blues - Tiny Man Inside
Join The Army - Marty Pruce
Ballad of Don Quijote - Mike Gluck
21 Guns - Derek Bush
Foxes and Coyotes 'n the Bushes - Escander
Heros of America - August Bullock
I Can't Wake Up - The Pits
National Anthem Revisited - AMBIII and The Real News
Full Bloom - John Shain
Caged Bird - Matthew Ryan
Dreams and Logic - Remember the Wolf
Fires Keep Burning - Tony Lowe
ICBM - Analog Jetpack
No More War Blues - Al Willard Peterson
Texas Dope - Jack Mullins
Walk On - Craig Gilden
You Lie Like A Rug - Will Kouf
America Want To Be - Patricia Eyre
Cocaine Kid - Jonathan Byrd
Election Day - Jen Chapin
Hell No - Ted Blackwell
Hello Mama - Yikes McGee
Sibel Edmonds - Gary Hood and The Last Show Ever
The Call - Pete Webb
What Am I Fighting For - carleko
Yelling For War - Sue Jeffers
The Cowboy - Jim Savarino
Goin' Back To Crawford - 0Dark30
Pointless - Head Of State
Watching the Show - Francesco Lucarelli
George Dubya - Michal Hasek
Our New Country - Heba Saab
Checks and Balances - Jaik Willis
Daniel Said - Uncle Sam Band
The Land of the Free - Franz Pusch
There's Always One More - Strummer
Fallujah Lullaby - Elmer Creek Conspiracy
Loose Lips - Kimya Dawson
Mr. Rove - Willywagga
My Strange Nation - Susan Werner
The W Song - Ted Blackwell
A Song For Peace - Teresa Healy
Bring Back the Draft - Elmer Creek Conspiracy
Homeland Security - Forrest Whitlow
Is There Any Real Peace Anymore? - Alimar
Peace - Kevin Reeves
Power Corrupts - Rob Getzschman
Sad Song - Tex Hexman
Snowing In Jerusalem - George Wirth
The War Is Going Well - Goucho Gill
White Man Killing Black Man Killing Red Man Killing Yellow - New Rain
1984 - Eric Lynn
A Crying Shame - The Steeds
Burning Bush - Steve Rangel
Die Jugend Marschiert - Propagandhi
Flag Day - Ross James
Streets of Baghdad - Greg Madden
The Wrongness of Righteousness - Gerard Daley
It's Not Right - Norm Harris
Out Here - Florida Street
Peace Now - Gaia Consort
The Other People On The Plane - Paul Solecki
Un 514 - Austin Brady
No Evasion - Craig Greenberg
Call To Arms - Leo Haszard and Lori
Heck General - Eaglehead
Serfs Are On Their Way - Billy Reid
The Eye Song - The Eye
Coventry Cross - Vincent Leeds
GiAnt FaDe - Zen Thesis
Big Brother is Here - edison freeman and the color of fire
Peacetime Peacetime - PHair music
Revolution or Suicide - Luke Tan
Cocktails And Machine Guns - Forrest Whitlow
My Country - Teddy Kumpel
Occulture - Keith Haman
Take Me Away - The Distant Moons
Auntie War - Ultronz
Evolve - Andonymous
The Bomb Song - Large Red Wilgglers
Airplanes - Dead Guitars
Big Brother - Green Leaf
Disgraced - Cary Kemp and the Cosmic Left
Earthmover - Forrest Whitlow
God Coulda Said - Phil Lee
Used To It - The Ultronz
Who's Flying Our Plane - Playing In Traffic
1000 Miles - Jennifer Matthews
America - Gery Tinkelenberg
John Wayne - Sonny Mone
You And Me - karl
Eyes Like Knives - Holcombe Waller
False Flag - Tex Hexman
Starting Over - Adam Sweeney
The Same Sky - James Hollingsworth
The War - Samuel Anthony Ettaro
What is War Live - Silverwood Studio
It's A Wonderful War - The Black Veils
War in Oklahoma - Dark Edge Music
M16 - Jefferson Pepper
Dream Me - Deborah Crooks
I Wanna Change It - Otis Gibbs
Something In The Air - Chris Chandler
Lady At The Well - The Seers
A Hero's Father - Mike Strasser
Casey's Song - Michael Bonanno
Disappearing - Kerry Rutherford Band
Hurricanes - Robin Galante
Sound of Missle - Jon Braun
Goodriddance - Fritz Fiedler
The Sky Is Falling - Kimrea & Dreamdogs
Got War - MD Dunn
Illegal - The Cucumbers
It's A Free Country - Nathan Perry
Mascot - J.D. Nash
Sincere Deception - Gery Tinkelenberg
Apathesia - Sonny Flaharty
Body Bags - Blowback
Christmas in Fallujah - Jefferson Pepper
Fall From Grace - Kerry Rutherford Band
Frame Of Mind Rag - Shaun Ellis
I've Had Enough - Ken Adler
Let All The Votes Be Counted - Jeff Smith
Young American Dreamer - Jason White
Ask Your Money - David Prill
Imposter - Suzanne Benorden
I've Got Issues - Matt Connelly
Just One American - The Chillum Brothers
Moment of Love - Brian Dondo
Our Grief Is Not A Cry For War - Laurie Childers
Protest Song - Lunamarys
Break the Cycle - Days Drive
Can't Ride The Bomb Anymore - Cem and Clem
Corporate State of America - Mike Strasser
Everywhere - Greg Trooper
Hold Me Down - Clarence Clark
I Wanna Change It - Otis Gibbs
Impeach - Tom Chelston
New Clear Vision - Aardvark Gingo
Orange Alert - The Briefs
Say You Will - Hop On Pop
The Way Of Domination - Music For Pets
Stop the War - Markis
The Wasted Generation - Andersonian
Watermarks - Dream Kitchen
Where Is The Rage - Pat Scanlon
Blue White and RED - Evan Raymond
Church Street - Osonics
New Sworn Enemy - Lance Reegan-Diehl
The Big Picture - Temple 8
Dubya MD's - The Quiet
I Did Not Enlist For This - Laura Katherine Meyer
Seeds of Peace - Mark Erelli
Taco Curtain - Annie and the Vets
Don't Forget War - Terry Hubbard
God Didn't Tell You - Snowdragon
Hard To Be A Hero - Todd Butler
Never Wonder - Viola Formica
When It Rains - Niklas Lindkvist
A Snake Under Every Stone - Kyle Bronsdon
Beruit - Civil Defence
Justify This - Peter Greenstone
Stars and Banners - Music From the Big White
Beautiful Bombshelters - Roadside Prophets
Don't Let It Rain - Ronson
Fighting For - Coppermine
Foolish Pride - CJ Roselle
Love In A Time Of War - Walter Egan
My America - Mark Scott LaMountain And The Blue Thunder Band
The Beat Goes On - DJ Lou
The Election Song - Jason Messer
The Robots - Civil Defence
These Colors Are Mine - American Hawk
Uniforms - Walter Mann
Wake Up - No Origin
War is Not a Game - Durston/Kamm/MacDonald
Black Doves - Amelia White
Black Heart Cold Steel - Jimi Poscius
Don't Mess With My God - Dan Reich
Have You Had Enough - Rotflmao
If We All Pull Together - Crystal Blue
No Allegiance - Large Red Wilgglers
Peaceful Lives - Eurogliders
When - Dadai/Snowdragon
Wings Take Dream - Looking For London
Built For The War - Mark Hewer
Terrified - Trevor Childs
Eagle - Annie and the Vets
Wake Up - Mike Grutka
Cost - The Dealers
Freakshow Colab - Annalia
The Choice - David Morgan & Mitchel Delevie
Night Of Warfare - The Seers
Flyin High - Harold R. Luper
Government Hates - Lookwood
U Super Usurper - Gordon Michael Borsa
Eternal War - Joel Moore
I'll Decide - Dr. L
Liberator - World Shelter
Hollow Ones - Richard Schletty
Storm Is Raging - Richard Schletty
Don't Say You Know - Graham Craig
Without Pride - Hayo Van Reek
On Our Sleeve - Stephen Taylor
Shadow Of The Blade - Don Michael Sampson
Hail Planet! - Tomas Walter
No One - Spring Clock Wonder
Freedom - FAM
Unforgettable Soweto - Jay Lou Ava
All Over But The Shoutin' - James Hooker
Big Fat Nothing - Stevel
In The Rain - Stephen DiJoseph
The Ballad of Junior - Dennis Goza
I Decree - Eric Myers
Random Acts - Alien Headspace
March on WDC - Vinnie James
Warsong - Vinnie James
Here In America - Kit Malone
Shadowrung - Seconds On End
Banquet of Evil - Neal Golden
Anthem - Sandy Ross
Head'em Off At The Pass - Wolf Krakowski
The Fall and Impact - The Conductor
WWIII - Larree
What Would They Tell? - Larree
Mighty Jehovah - A. J. Roach
This Is Rome - Ethereal
Awareness - Adam Clarke and Alannah Richards
Drop Out - Joan
War's Lost Night - Dadai
Ugly Things - Kelli King & Jim Bouchard
The Free & the Brave - The Fritters
Rollin' the Miles - Dave Stein Bubhub
Toy Soldiers - Lenny Laks
This Mistake - Mike Masse
Criminal King - Debristream
Follow The Leader - Peter Kronowitt
Terror Bound - AMBIII and The Real News
Bloody Moon - Black Market Babies
The Hero - Greg Madden
Mutual Destruction - Soul Shaker
No More Fighting - Thomekk & Mona
Sweet Peace - The Conductor
Hard Hard Times - Rob Rarus
Get By - The Grip Weeds
Peaceful Warriors - Twinflame
Everyday War - Mike Younger
Devils Blood - Mad Buffalo
Fool Stand - Mad Buffalo
The Recruiter - Ed Fleck
Sure Shot - David Aaron
On the Bright Side - Hugo Race and the True Spirit
Baghdad - Ed Pettersen
Gather the Family Round - Ed Pettersen
You Tell Me - Jimi Pocius
Bored of Memory - Holcombe Waller
Deeplight - Todd Edwards
Silly Putty - Mike Nicolai
As Blossoms Fall - Iwori
One More - Jeff A Deppa
Hayo - Jeb Stuart
Lay Down - Mathew Joseph
Pouring Rain - Mike Grutka
Resolution - Granati Brothers
Party Anthem - Eric Rudiak
Hero And A Brave - Michael Vatter
The War To End All Wars - Kevy Nova
On Sacred Ground - Bobby Lee and John Reese
Bushed - Todd Butler
Politician Blues - Thornton Creek
Stain On The Flag - Tiny Man Inside
Freedom - Hippi Steve and The Kush
Old News - 3KStatic
Big World - Harry The Hipster
Homeland Security - Randy Baugh
Ain't No Reason - Brett Dennen
Take Me Home - Geoffrey Rutledge
Save The World - George D. Lesche
World Is Fallin' - Jody Aaron
One Mother Earth - Pacific Fists
Operation American Freedom 1 - et-cetera
Against World Wide War - Azzura Piccinni
Blind Trinity - Laura Thomas
Fire Red This World - Vic Homan
The Wimp Factor - KingAlcohol
Step Down - Derek See
Iraq Blues no 2 - Asa Dale Lewis
Lets Make An Atomic Bomb - Oddbods Finger
We're All Dissenters Of The War - Ben Face
W - John Lilly
One Church Town - Christopher Radcliffe
Warmongers - Stuart Walker
Untitled - Eden Roe
God Is Great - Frank Gayer Martin
Where Are You - Chris Pollard
Patriot - Sam Turton
Empires Fall - Sam Turton
Culture of Life - Citizen O'Kane
The Ballad of the Roses - Val Zudell
lower expectations - Ironsheik
Falsely Accused - Jay Fraser
6500 Times - Terry Prong
No More Parades - Jennifer Friedman
Blood & Bone - Jennifer Friedman
2003 - The Flood
Put Him In Uniform - Glenn Thorpe
With Us/Against Us - Doug Robinson
Counting The Days - Victoria Woods & Ray Palagy
You'd Shoot... - Steve Bevis
Might Be - Pete Miser
Home Soon - Orlando Luckey
Priority - Mary Gatahell
16 Words - Margo Guryan
Prisoners of War - The Blairs
On Worthless Ground - Moorlandt
In Baghdad Tonight - John Terzino
Pray For Peace - Joe Paquin
Thunder Run - Corneilous
Anti Mother Earth Craze - Music For Pets
3 Da Skips - Steven Jay
I Saw The Right - John and Rich Green
Head Trip - Jason Rubero
Political Coverup - Old Chicano
9 Votes Counted - Robert Bobby
War Games - Stephen Folds
Blue World Order - Greg Lawrence
As It Was Ending - Brian Franklin
Flagpole - Michelle Malone
Byrd From West Virginia - I See Hawks In L.A.
I Am Who I Am - Elliot Sokolov
No Peace For The Wicked Man - Reg Meuross
He Lived For His Country - Reg Meuross
Santa Fe - Manny Ytuarte
Dream Darkly - Doug Kolmar
A Flower Down The Barrel Of A Gun - Daniel Gannaway
In This World - Kurt Mahoney
antiwar freestyle - Saul Williams
When The War Is Over - irthling
Earth Shatter - Sound Proof
Blasted Back - Jason Durham
Cynical Dreamers - The Mountain Men
Get Critical - Electric Mojo
Safe Tonight - Melissa Ziemer
What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth - Project Overseer Productions & Prash
Pax Mundi - Sue Keller
Sad Story Afghanistan 2001 - Central Park
Putrid Minds - The Sons of Emperor Norton
Peace Rant - Hope Machine
Massive Action - Mors Ontologica
Anzio - Chris P Cauley
What On Earth - Hoagie Hill
Freedom Dies - Debristream
Dhamma Rock - Matthew Dewey
Lunatics In Dressing Gowns - Rob Draper
Revolutionary Mind - Rogue State
Save Jerusalem - The Lighted Way
Society of Fear - The Hideaways
Declaration - Merlin
What Can Be Done? - The Icon Band
Come Home - Riotfolk
Clearcut - Riotfolk
Clean House - Fubar
Thirteen - The Well
Amerika - Complex Numbers
Lap Of Luxury - Complex Numbers
My Son - High Ceiling
Heroes In Our Midst - Dick Eastman
Bender - Leroy Justice
Daddy Walks That Way - Scott Paterson
Second Fall Of Rome - Scott Paterson
Field's Last Thoughts - Green Man
This Land - Hot Heels Records
Whisper - Austin Brady
Where Does It End - The House Popes
The Rules Don't Apply To You - Relaxed Willy
911 Jump From The Fire - Vic Genna Gemini Pact
Where's The Government At - Dark Poetz
Terror Rainbow - Mike Delaney
Clear Across The World - Louie Ludwig
For Just One Day - Ron Vanzo
We Stood - Greg Forest
Military Coup - Michael Guthrie
George Bush Ain't No Poor Man's Friend - Mike Meltzer
The Age Of Man - Peter Chapman
The Hidden Hand - K-Gi
Hope Street Blues - Paul Groover
Southern Town - Randy Grant
Gonzo - Allen Cote
Wayward King - J P Compton
We Believe In Peace - Paul Kaplan
One Man One Vote - Robert Ross Band
Hypocrite - The Smith & Jones
Light Of The Sun - Mudhouse
They Lied - Jay Mankita
Free Me - Leo Clarke
Birthday (Everlasting) - Rich Russom
We The People - Jeff Shad
Ethopia - OHO
Anthem for Someone's Child - Alan Morrison
What Have You Lost - 9/1/01
In This Tower - Kalichi
Whites Of Your Eyes - DVoB
The Titan Now Must Fall - The Standards
Garden of Stone - SqurlyMurly
Every Little Dog - Dan Raza
On The Side Of The Road - Bruce Mahin
The Lottery - The Hobbyists
Go Cheney Yourself - Dennis Mitcheltree
You Have The Right 2 Remain Silent - Los Big Heads
Roll Over - Stephanie Rearick
The Coma Savants - Eating Machine
American Blood - Tan Sleeve
Ground Zero - The Blister Tones
All You Need To Know - The Stragglyrs
War President - The Stragglyrs
Consnaguinity Paradise - Tom RootHooft
Bush Dynasty - Geckos Against Bush
Soldier Pony - La Clase Obrera
Equals Zero - Henpecker
Let's Go Play Soldier - Moe Shinola
Down With The King - Chiefly
Big Time Guy - Strummer
Beyond & Back - 13six
Shoot The Angels Down - Delmark Goldfarb
mrpresident - Stefan Eiberger
Lie lie lie - Steve Goodie
Saddam'll be my target - Steve Goodie
If God Only Knew - Deidre McCalla
September 12th - Lance Romance
WMD - Blow Up Hollywood
Charge - Blow Up Hollywood
The Clones - Matt Singer
Iraq Opportunities - George Shrubb
Why Don't I Believe You - Bill Langsdorf with Checkered Past
Jones 4 War - Dege Legg
The Future Lies Ahead - The Zed Jones Unit
One Way Love - Kristy Jackson
Justice - Marni Sheehan
Jesus Don't You Care? - Gregory Baker
Empty Pages - Travlin Dan
Save This Town - Upstart
State Of Emergency - Katfish Karr
Bait And Switch - Tom Batchelor Band
Indivisible - Tom Batchelor Band
Glory Of War - The Redwalls
Wake Up - Peggy Atwood
Be That As It May - Patti DeRosa
I Love The CIA - Rand McCullough
Suicidal War - Artytou
My Country - Lori B
Can We Just Get Along - Napoleon X
Calling for You - Janet Bates
Foreign Fighters - Sue Jeffers
Wake Up America - The Shimbos
Citizen's Lament - Tim Cluff
It's Raining Fire - Alex Timbell
War Is Over - Dufus
Land of the Free - Robin More
Bound For Glory - Nate Mezmer
Bad Stuff - Pat Flanakin
Tellin' Lies - Martha Lipton
Fatima - Brotherhood
No More War - Joe Melloy
Flying My Flag - Joe Melloy
Peace And Love - Don Schiewer
Whatever - Paul Reiners
Bush - ka-klick
Over and Done - ka-klick
We Ain't No One To Talk - Dennis Pearne
Ghosts Of What I've Done - - Bob Wynne and Dave Pheifer
the score - John Elliott
Ross Falzone - Gotta Get Even
The Meaning Of War - Cindy Lucas and Frank J. LaRosa
Good News - Paul Aaron
Easy - sewerdovesmusic
God's Left Hand - Jake Berry
Devil's Playground - Chris Colepaugh And The Cosmic Crew
Fear - Op-Critical
March Steady - Emma Dean
Hollow Man - Andre Nobels
Score - Pairadeux
You Don't Speak For Me - Griff Bear
Will There Be Tomorrow - Avalanche
Razzle Dazzle Man - Blues Matters
Bushton - Johnny Rhino
Bullet - Diablo Dulce
Silver Stars - Al McKegg
Just By Being Born - Wes Hamil
Just Me - Voice
Corporate Nation - Johnny Rhino
Vanilla Waltz - Death of a Contemporary
Here In America - The Whale
New World Order - The Whale
Quiet Rebellion - Rawly Punt
Viva La Revolucion - Satch Kerans
The Ballad Of Timothy Leary - Phillip Flathead
Desert Rain - Larry Jensen
Could It Be Him - The Stairwell Sisters
Katrina and George - Dan Scanlan
A Place In The Sun - Joe Figgiani
Shoot'em in the Head - Dick Philpot
Peace Medley - Don DeBar
Rachel Corrie - Hilary Sloan and Aunt
Bert Pectol - Shock and Awe of Bush
Battlefield - Hans Frommer
A Good Day For The ... - Allied Radio
Don't Believe Me - John Hartmann
The Bug - The Interiors
I'm So Happy - The Interiors
World Of My Own - BHB
Die Young - Enerchy
War Monger - SMiley
Hypocrite - MotoSapien
The Neo-Conservative Blues - Mark DeCerbo and Tom Carroll
Are You Human - John Anaya
Impeach Bush Now - Kevin Conway
Tough Cowboy - Justin Robert James
Reap What You Sow - Pat 'the Hat'
Kill My Love - Tom Parker
Journey To War - The Rusticators
It's Not My Fault - JPT Scare Band
Beat The Bushes - Paul McMahon
Don't Think Twice - The John Kasper Band
Conspiracy Of Silence - The John Kasper Band
Those Here Among Us - Harris Bierhoff
43 - Harris Bierhoff
Top Ten Stories - Kemp Jones
Hell No - McCrea Adams and Robert McClenaghan
Wonder - Tim Turner
Hey Osama - Michael Everitt
911 - Laughing Cavalier
Linden To L.A. - Joe Whyte
A Soldier's Song - Mark Iannace (Dr. Bellows)
Peace Is A Shining Jewel - Brook
Everything Calls Me To Act - Brook
Ancient Lights - Peter Wakefield Sault
First Victim - Daisy Haze
Think For Yourself - Anthony Longo
Talkin' Bush - Adam Balbo
To Give Us Peace - Jan Seides
Global America - Hank Wedel and Open Kitchen
Red, Gold And Green - Big Green
Do you have a protest or topical song available on the web? Send us a link for possible listing here.Send your song link to:
Let's impeach the president for lyingAnd leading our country into warAbusing all the power that we gave himAnd shipping all our money out the doorHe's the man who hired all the criminalsThe White House shadows who hide behind closed doorsAnd bend the facts to fit with their new storiesOf why we have to send our men to warLet's impeach the president for spyingOn citizens inside their own homesBreaking every law in the countryBy tapping our computers and telephonesWhat if Al Qaeda blew up the leveesWould New Orleans have been safer that waySheltered by our government's protectionOr was someone just not home that day?Let's impeach the presidentFor hijacking our religion and using it to get electedDividing our country into colorsAnd still leaving black people neglectedThank god he's cracking down on steroidsSince he sold his old baseball teamThere's lot of people looking at big troubleBut of course the president is cleanThank God


Treasury: Telephone tax refund for everyone
Treasury Dept. concedes a Spanish-American War tax on long-distance service is antiquated and consumers are entitled to a refund.
May 25, 2006: 4:03 PM EDT
NEW YORK ( - After losing several court battles, the U.S. Treasury on Thursday said it would provide refunds to consumers for a federal excise "luxury" tax on long-distance service, the origins of which date back to 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War.

The refund will apply to the 3 percent excise tax billed to them on long-distance service since Feb. 28, 2003 and will include interest. Consumers will be able to claim it on their 2006 tax returns, which they will file in 2007.

"Today is a good day for American taxpayers; it marks the beginning of the end of an outdated , antiquated tax that has survived a century beyond its original purpose, and by now should have been ancient history," said Treasury Secretary John Snow in a statement. I GUESS EVERYONE JUST FORGOT ABOUT IT..HUH?

"The Federal Appeals courts have spoken across the board. It's time to 'disconnect' this tax and put it on the permanent 'do not call' list," Snow added.

The tax was passed in 1898, when there was no federal income tax and telephone service was something that only the rich had access to. It was designed as a luxury tax to help the government during a time of high military spending.


An excise tax is also levied on local service, but that will not be refunded. However, both Snow and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday they would like lawmakers to abolish the excise tax in its entirety.

(See more on the battle to eliminate the Spanish-American War phone tax.)


The IRS has had a rough time defending a 3 percent tax on long-distance calls that dates from the Spanish-American War. Oh really?

By Rob Kelley, staff writer
April 20, 2006: 5:38 PM EDT
NEW YORK ( - It's down in an obscure part of your phone bill, and it's been on the books forever, but the telephone excise tax has made a lot of enemies over the years.

Although the 3 percent tax on long-distance calls seems like a typical service charge, it's actually an outdated war tax that was passed in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American war, say critics.

Major corporations like HP (Research), OfficeMax (Research) and Radio Shack (Research) -- united only by the fact that they have big long-distance bills -- are the latest opponents to take on the tax, arguing in federal court that the tax is only supposed to apply to charges based on the distance and time of the call - and not to modern flat-rate plans, notes a report from Tax Analysts.

Unless the IRS can win a circuit court case and a Supreme Court appeal, it's looking like this old tax is on its last legs.

And with three class-action suits before various courts, there's the possibility that consumers could soon be eligible for a refund from the IRS. Taxpayers could be due a refund, but that refund would only be for the past three years, which is the statute of limitations on taxes.

The IRS has had a rough time defending the tax - its record is a painful one lower-court win and 10 losses, three of them in circuit courts and seven in lower courts. But when would the tax actually be taken off the books? Experts say they can't predict.

"Usually the government gives up after two or three circuit court losses," said Tom Sykes, a tax lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery who's covered the telephone excise tax. "Here the IRS has been standing firm and hoping to win one of the active cases it has pending in other circuits so it can go before the Supreme Court."

Big moneymaker


The tax was passed in 1898, when there was no federal income tax and telephone service was something that only the rich had access to. It was designed as a luxury tax to help the government during a time of high military spending.

After that, every war in the 20th century was used as an excuse to raise or extend the telephone excise tax, according to Stephen Entin, president of the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, in a paper for the Tax Foundation, a think tank which advocates for lower taxation. An excise tax is any charge on an event - as opposed to property - and includes income and sales taxes.

Congress passed a bill nixing the tax in 2000 when the federal budget was running a surplus, but former President Clinton vetoed the bill over lost revenue concerns.

The Treasury Department has confirmed that it's in discussion with the IRS and Department of Justice about the future of the tax, but it would not say what the discussions concerned nor when a decision was expected.

Hitting home

The excise tax shows up on a line buried in your phone bill, usually under the label "access fee" or "federal line charge." If you average, say, a $20 monthly long-distance bill, the tax would be 60 cents a month, or about $22 over three years.

If the law is ruled invalid, could you soon be seeing a check in the mail?

"Tax refunds happen all the time, but perhaps not on this scale. Every taxpayer that buys landline long-distance has a potential refund claim against IRS," said Sykes. "The problem for ordinary phone subscribers is that they can only reach back three years, and their claim is probably something like $16. Who's going to sit down with their old phone bills and fill out IRS forms for $16?"

He said that corporate customers with larger phone bills stood to gain the most from a refund.

1 comment:

Causal said...

Well, our chance to convince Nancy Pelosi to Impeach Bush/Cheney is this Monday Jan. 15th..

Pelosi most likely said impeachment was "off the table" to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment.

What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she is forced to join the impeachment movement in the future.

Sacks and sacks of mail are about to arrive in Nancy Pelosi's office initiating impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules this Monday January 15th. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635).

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the "Jefferson Manual" in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.That's where we come in. In addition to a House Resolution (635), or the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.

You can initiate the impeachment process and simultaneously help to convince Pelosi to follow through with the process. Do-It-Yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.

Impeach Bush Now