|Progressive Calendar 01.08.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 14:31:58 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.08.07 1. MnSOAWatch 1.08 6pm 2. Arabic classes 1.08 6pm 3. Peace church 1.08 6:30pm 4. Internet/find 1.08 6:30pm 5. Labor vs war 1.08 7pm 6. Spirit progs 1.08 7pm 7. Steger/Iraq 1.08 7pm 8. SPNN/Rovics 1.09 5pm 9. Global warming 1.09 5:15pm 10. Immigration 1.09 6pm 11. Palestine/film 1.09 6:30pm 12. Nerd club 1.09 7pm 13. Schade/Zeese - Has the new Congress already failed the test? 14. Joshua Frank - A new Congress? Not when it comes to Iran 15. Dave Lindorff - Meet the Democrats: party of invertebrates 16. Sunsara Taylor - Same as it ever was: the Democrats' first day 17. PC Roberts - Nuking Iran 18. ed - Off the table (poem) --------1 of 18-------- From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at] circlevision.org> Subject: MnSOAWatch 1.08 6pm Usually our meetings are on the FIRST MONDAY of the month - BUT for January we will have our meeting on the second Monday, January 8 at 6pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E. 31st St Mpls. Enter the east doors, we are upstairs, please join us. MnSOAWatch meeting Mon Jan, 8 6 pm Holy Trinity Lutheran Church --------2 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Arabic classes 1.08 6pm Mondays, 1/8 to 4/23, 6 to 7:30 pm, beginning Arabic classes, $250, Mizna, 2205 California St NE #109A, Mpls. www.mizna.org/classes/index.html --------3 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Peace church 1.08 6:30pm Monday, 1/8, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Every Church a Peace Church potluck and program "The Right to Refuse to Kill," Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave, Mpls. rolsen6376 [at] visi.com --------4 of 18-------- From: Rosa Maria de la Cueva Peterson <rmdelacp [at] umn.edu> Subject: Internet/find 1.08 6:30pm We are about to begin the new round of workshops incorporating some of what we have learned from the fall. Please note that St. Paul E-Democracy involvement at Rondo Library is now on MONDAYS. MONDAY - January 8 6:30-8:30 -How to Find Things on the Internet In this "hands on" workshop, St. Paul E-Democracy volunteers will show you how to use search engines and other online resources to find important information. WORKSHOP LEADERS: Cathi Lyman-Onkka, Gary Thompson, Michelle Fure TABLE 3- 5:30: Tim Erickson - Rosa Maria de la Cueva Peterson As St. Paul E-Democracy chair, I would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of the following SPIF members who were workshop leaders or assisted library patrons while "tabling" during the Fall 2006: Tim Erickson, Mike Fratto, Michelle Fure, Kao Lee, Cathi Lymna-Onka, Kevin Marshall, Brady Onkka, Chip Peterson, Sara Reller, Bonnie Schumacher, and Marc Trimble. Thanks as well to Anne Carroll and Mike Wassenaar for their support and advice, and to Rondo library staff, Alice Neve, Ginny Brodeen, Katy Schulz, Amy Horst who are always there for us. Hope that some of you can attend the workshops, and/or let others know about them. Drop by on Mondays at Rondo, even if you have not signed up. --------5 of 18-------- From: coreymattson [at] maydaybookstore.org Subject: Labor vs war 1.08 7pm Minnesota Labor Against the War (MNLAW) You are invited to our monthly membership meeting on Monday, January 8th, 2007 7 PM @ Merriam Park Library, Saint Paul 1831 Marshall Ave. (at the corner of Marshall and Fairview) PROPOSED AGENDA For our January membership meeting, some of the proposed agenda items include: 1) building labor contingents at anti-war demonstrations. We need to discuss the a) upcoming D.C. mobilization happening January 27th and the local rally being organized in south Minneapolis, b) tabling at the Cindy Sheehan event late January, and c) the March 18th rally being organized in the Twin Cities. 2) working on anti-war education efforts in our locals 3) continuing support for the Central High students in St. Paul in their efforts to put limits on the recruitment tactics of military recruiters in their school 4) Minneapolis Alliance of Peacemakers requirements 5) other items TBA Together, let's stop the war in 2007! In solidarity, Corey Mattson Minnesota Labor Against the War St. Paul Federation of Teachers, Local 28, AFT/NEA Contact Info coreymattson [at] maydaybookstore.org 612-298-0920 --------6 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Spirit progs 1.08 7pm Monday, 1/8 (and each month's 2nd Monday), 7 pm (socialize 6:30), Network of Spiritual Progressives meeting, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet, Mpls. brucelissem [at] aol.com or www.nspmn.org --------7 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Steger/Iraq 1.08 7pm Monday, 1/8, 7 to 9 pm, Phil Steger presents Intensive Iraq Training, Friends for a Nonviolent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul. info [at] fnvw.org (Charles Underwood Note: I guarantee you will learn more than 100 hours of NPR or PBS.) --------8 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: SPNN/Rovics 1.09 5pm Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15. Below are the scheduled shows through Jan. 17. 1/9 and 1/10 "David Rovics in Concert: Haliburton Boardroom Massacre Tour" (Part 1). The musical voice of Democracy Now! 1/16 and 1/17 "David Rovics in Concert: Haliburton Boardroom Massacre Tour" (Part 2). Concert plus post-concert interview. Announcement: "Our World In Depth" will begin airing weekly in Minneapolis on MTN. The first Minneapolis show will be Sat, Jan 20 at 10pm. "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. (PS It might be better than PBS.) --------9 of 18-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Global warming 1.09 5:15pm Tuesday, January 9: American Association of University Women, Minneapolis Branch 5 PM - Social. 5:15 PM - Film Discussion, An Inconvenient Truth. 6 PM - Dinner. 7 PM Program: Weather, Climate and Global Warming. 612/870-1661 for more information. www.aaus_galemansion.com. --------10 of 18-------- From: Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice <justiceformaria [at] gmail.com> Subject: Immigration 1.09 6pm Commissioner Ortega's proposal that Ramsey County Jail discontinue accepting ICE detainees in the wake of Maria Inamagua's death and the Worthngton Raids and the United States' broke immingration laws comes back to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, January 23, 2007. The Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice (MICfJ) will meet to decide its actions and coordinate with other groups responding to Commisisoner Ortega's proposal, including MIRAc, ISAIAH, SEIU, MN Immigration Freedom Network, and AFFIRM. Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice Planning Meeting Tuesday, January 9, 2007 6PM 1304 East Lake Street - 2nd Floor (Offices of the Ecuadorian Civic Committee) Minneapolis, MN If you consider yourself a member or supporter of the Campaign, or if you are part of a group that would like to coordinate activities with the Campaign on this issue, please be encouraged to attend. --------11 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Palestine/film 1.09 6:30pm TUES NIGHT SALONS @ MAD HATTER CAFE, St. Paul Tuesday, January 9, will feature a documentary called "Deir Yassin Remembered". It is the story of Deir Yassin, a village in Palestine and the massacre that took place there on April 9, 1948, and the attempt by Palestinians and some Israelis to remember this event so that healing can take place. It is a profound and relevant remembrance that is symbolic of what is happening today in Palestine. Next Tuesday, January 16 , will be a presentation by Mounds Park Academy students on IRV (instant runoff voting) and the attempt to garner support for it in St Paul. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------12 of 18i-------- From: Kiera Coonan <kieracoonan [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Nerd club 1.09 7pm Arise! Bookstore to Host Winter Film Series Minneapolis, MN: Following up their summer events series, Arise! Bookstore is hosting a weekly Winter Film Series to take place every Tuesday night from January 2, 2006 through April 10, 2007. The collection of films to be featured in the series has been selected by volunteers and consists of films about music, politics, books, and fun. Every second and fourth Tuesday, Arise will feature the Book Nerd/Film Nerd book club as a part of the series: anyone can come get the featured book, watch the movie based on the book, and hang out afterwards to discuss. All films start at 7:00 P.M and the event is free. Free popcorn will be provided to all who attend. Arise! is a collectively-run progressive bookstore and resource center located in Uptown Minneapolis at 2441 Lyndale Ave S. 55404. For further information, please go to www.arisebookstore.org or contact Kiera Coonan at 651.399.6058 1/9 BOOK NERD/FILM NERD BOOK CLUB PRESENTS: The Yes Men --------13 of 18-------- Has the New Congress Already Failed the Test? Americans Voted for Peace By LINDA SCHADE and KEVIN ZEESE Counter Punch January 5, 2007 The message on November 7 was clear. Voters threw out pro-war politicians and sent Democrats to Congress demanding an end to the Iraq war. Since then, voter opposition to the costly US occupation has grown sharper as polls show growing opposition to the war from across the political spectrum 62% among Republicans and 88% of Democrats. Even a majority of Military Times readers oppose the war. Yet, it took only a few weeks for the Democratic leadership to betray the majority of Americans by quickly pledging to keep the war money flowing. In doing so, Congress is in danger of once again abrogating its responsibility by not using its Constitutional "power of the purse" to control the president's war-making. This further undermines the checks and balances system of our government. If an overwhelming referendum by voters against the war is not enough to force a change in policy, what is left to voters in this democracy? If Americans marshal time, money and votes in support of winning candidates come away empty handed, what utility remains in the ballot box? If candidates, once elected, take office and spend vast sums of money against the explicit wishes of the voting public, what does that say of our democracy? Perhaps we must return to the methods of the Boston Tea Party because surely this is Appropriation Without Representation. Bush, elected under controversial circumstances, is now calling on Congress - and thus the American public - to shoulder an additional $97.7 billion or more in war debt on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007 and $320 billion already spent. Instead, Bush has whiplashed in the opposite direction foolishly rejecting the moderate Iraq Study Group recommendations to withdraw half of US troops by 2008 and to join Iran and Syria to the negotiating table. After six weeks of deliberation, he now talks of sending an additional 20,000 troops or more. Support for a 'troop surge' is at a puny 11%. This viewpoint is supported by Sen. John McCain, the leading likely Republican candidate for President; it is also supported by Sen. Hillary Clinton, the leading likely Democratic candidate, 'if it has a purpose.' If the war is the defining issue of our time, then there need not be talk of political parties. Rather we can talk of the Kucinich-Hagel wing of the Congress and the Clinton-McCain wing. While some Democratic presidential candidates express opposition to the handling of the war, and call for beginning withdrawal in 2007, only one candidate (announced or likely) has actually called for complete withdrawal, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is treated by the media and his party as a marginal candidate. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who has called for troops out within six months, could be the second if he decides to run. Now that Peace is the clear political center, Congress should ask, "What do anti-war voters want?" The answer is: end the war. Even James Baker acknowledged on CNN the 'validity of the argument' that withdrawing U.S. troops will lessen the violence because the U.S. will "no longer be seen as occupiers." In fact, the Pentagon reports that the vast majority of attacks in Iraq - over 80% - are directed at the U.S. and the Iraqi military, more than the highly publicized sectarian violence. And, if we exit responsibly as suggested by Rep. McGovern (D-MA) and put forward by former Senator George McGovern and Dr. William Polk in "Out of Iraq," we will fund the reconstruction of Iraq by Iraqis and underwrite a peace keeping or stabilization force with an Arab face. This will reduce Iraqi unemployment (estimated at over 50%), and let Iraqis know they are getting their country back, including their oil. All of this will do more to reduce the violence, then the escalation of violence inherent in a stay the course strategy. And, this plan will immediately save the American taxpayer more than $100 billion - money it will not have to borrow from China or other countries. For voters, this is a call to action. Elected officials must be told that they ignore the American voter at their peril. Voters need to let elected officials know that being pro-war - against the will of the voters - risks losing contributions and elections. It is time for peace voters to get more organized. If you want the war to end show Congress you are serious by signing the voters pledge at VotersForPeace.US that you will not support any candidate who does not support a speedy end to the war in Iraq. Both the 'troop surge' and the upcoming debate on the $97 billion 'supplemental' appropriation will be important litmus tests for the health of our democracy. If the will of American voters is trampled again, the peace issue will have transformed into a democracy issue. We need to put the 'representative' back in our 'democracy' and demand that elected officials do what voters expect regarding Iraq. And if they won't, patriotic Americans might be looking to our nation's early years for instruction on how to throw Parties to which the current King George and his loyalists will not be invited. Linda Schade is executive director of VotersForPeace.US and Kevin Zeese is a co-founder of VotersForPeace.US and Director of DemocracyRising. --------14 of 18-------- A New Congress? Not When It Comes to Iran by Joshua Frank www.dissidentvoice.org January 8, 2007 Now that the Democrats are back in power, the American public can finally exhale. Bush is doomed. Cheney is on the ropes. Condi is updating her resume while Rove prepares his exodus. Well, such an optimistic outlook is boldly misguided. The Democrats may have regained control of both houses of government after twelve long years, yet small changes are all we're likely to see come out of the 110th United States Congress. On the surface things look like they are moving in the right direction. Democrats are enthused to increase the minimum wage and roll back subsidies to the oil cartels. They want the Fed to work with Big Pharma to give Americans access to cheaper prescription drugs. Democrats also want to lower interest rates on student loans. Not bad for the first 100 hours in office. But not all that wonderful either. Most of what Democratic leaders are proposing are minor, long-overdue reforms, not the type of progressive restructuring we really need. As Ralph Nader recently warned, "Early and troubling signals from Capitol Hill indicate that the Democrats are not going to move to remove the brazen Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, are not going to go after the huge waste and redundancy in military weapons contracts . . . are not going to end massive corporate welfare . . . and are not going to propose a serious crackdown on widespread corporate crime, fraud and abuse." Perhaps even more alarming than Nader's prescient omen is that our Middle East foreign policy isn't on the road to recovery. Israel will continue to have an affable government in the U.S. that funds the occupation of Palestine and supports Israel's bullying of Iran. As The Times in the UK recently revealed; Israel may be planning a nuclear strike on Iran to destroy the country's uranium enrichment facilities, something Israel denies. All contradictions aside, the Democrats in Washington overwhelmingly back such an attack. Following these reports, the new House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Jerusalem Post that Democrats wouldn't rule out using force on Iran to block Tehran's nuclear aspirations. In the past, similar remarks had been made by Democratic leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, along with presidential hopeful John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Even superman Barack Obama won't challenge the Bush administration's erroneous Iran approach. As Obama told the Chicago Tribune in September of 2004, "[T]he big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures [to stop its nuclear program], including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do not cooperate, at what point ... if any, are we going to take military action? ... [L]aunching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in" given the ongoing war in Iraq. "On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse." Some other Democrats seem to have come to their senses, and many plan on objecting to Bush's push for more troops in Iraq, a commonsense position that we should hardly congratulate them for taking. Sen. Harry Reid had initially supported such a surge, but later back-peddled after realizing he'd see repercussions from the antiwar wing of his party. Similarly, if we want the Democrats to change their tune on Israel and Iran, we've got to hold their feet to the fire. If left to their own devices Democrats will continue to mimic the neocon's strategy for the Middle East, not alter it. Joshua Frank is Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, and the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush. He edits BrickBurner.org, the official blog of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: joshua [at] dissidentvoice.org. --------15 of 18-------- Reversion to Form Meet the Democrats: Party of Invertebrates By DAVE LINDORFF CounterPunch January 8, 2007 Reverting to form, Democrats in Congress are cautiously trying to have it both ways so as to avoid having to take a stand on any of the issues that matter. Faced with President Bush's own disastrous decision to go "double or nothing" on his losing Iraq War by adding another 20,000 or more troops to the front, House leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid chose towrite a letter to the White House "urging" the president not to go that route. The idea seems to be that if he goes ahead and sends the additional troops into the cauldron and things go from bad to worse, Pelosi and Reid will be able to say that they opposed the idea, while they will be immune from right-wing charges that they undermined the commander in chief, since they didn't do anything concrete to block his insane plan. The truth is that Democrats could, if they had any principle and if they honored the wishes of the electorate, bring U.S. involvement in the Iraq War to a screeching halt. How? They could vote to cut off all funding for the Iraq War except for the costs of safely withdrawing all troops from the country. Nobody could accuse them, were they to do this, with putting American troops at risk. But they would have to face those who would accuse them of "cutting and running." Democrats also have the votes to put an end to Bush's serial trashing of cherished civil liberties. Instead of grumbling about violations of the First and Fourth Amendment, as Democrats have been doing so ineffectively now for five years, they could simply vote to revoke the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved almost without objection by both houses of Congress back in September 2001 (there is no veto for resolutions). It is that resolution which Bush and his mob attorneys in the White House and "Justice" Department have been citing as justification for the president's assumption of dictatorial powers, such as the power to revoke habeas corpus rights of American citizens, the power to authorize torture and detention without trial, the power to kidnap and render people, the power to declare American citizens to be "unlawful combatants" devoid of citizenship rights, the power to invalidate duly passed acts of Congress, and the power to ignore federal laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Revoke the 2001 AUMF and the president would have no grounds, fraudulent and unconstitutional as they in any case are, to claim that the nation is in a state of war and that he, as commander in chief, is no longer constrained by the Constitution. We don't hear any calls in Congress to revoke the AUMF though, because that would require taking a concrete and resolute stand on principle in defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and taking the heat from right wing cranks who would accuse them of being "soft on terror." And of course there is impeachment. On Jan. 3 and 4, most members of Congress took their oath of office for the 110th Congress. That oath pledges them to "support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic." If they were to take those words to heart, it's pretty clear that - given the president's blatant abuses of power and willful violation of both law and Constitution - they constitute a call to action. This is, after all, not a simply matter of lying about a blowjob; the president has already been found by a federal district judge to have violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - a felony. Moreover, a majority of the Supreme Court justices also declared last June that the president had violated both the Third Geneva Convention and the U.S. Criminal Code in authorizing and failing to prevent rampant torture of captives in the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War and the so-called "war" on terror. The members of the House and Senate know full well that the president lied to them and to the American people about the reasons for the Iraq invasion, just as they are lying now about the reasons for a future war on Iran. All of these things - and the list runs much longer (check out my book, "The Case for Impeachment") - are serious threats to the Constitution, and call for impeachment. In fact, the escalation in Iraq, with the addition of 20,000 more troops, will itself be a clear impeachable violation of the War Powers Act unless the president first obtains the approval of both houses of Congress. As constitutional attorney Francis Boyle points out, the Section 4(a)(3) of the War Powers Act states unambiguously that the act is triggered "in the absence of a declaration of war [and there has been no declaration of war in the case of the Iraq invasion], in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introducedin numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation." So where are the bills for impeachment? The party's Grande Dame, Nancy Pelosi, still insists that "impeachment is off the table," and John Conyers, the new House Judiciary Committee chair, who knows better and who even has a new book out that outlines many of the president's Constitutional crimes, has so far buckled under to pressure from Pelosi and the rest of the party leadership, even echoing her words about impeachment being "off the table." The Democrats, so far, are proving yet again that they have become a party devoid of principle, without spine and without conscience. One thing is certain: If the Democrats, having control of both House and Senate, fail to act on these three critical issues - ending the war, revoking the president's claim to dictatorial powers, and initiating impeachment proceedings - they will have sealed their fate come 2008 as an anachronism, not a party, and will deserve to be abandoned by all thinking voters. Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com --------16 of 18-------- Same As It Ever Was The Democrats' First Day By SUNSARA TAYLOR Counterpunch January 8, 2007 The triumph of the new Democratic Congress on their first day and their promises of a "new direction" offered all the refreshment of Lysol dressing up the stench of rotting homes of New Orleans' Ninth Ward, of human waste and blood in the secret C.I.A. torture dungeons, and of the mangled bodies that are being chewed by dogs in the streets of of Baghdad. Nancy Pelosi's much touted agenda for the first 100 hours of the new Congress made no mention of ending the war on Iraq, repealing the Military Commissions Act which legalizes torture and rips up habeas corpus, rebuilding New Orleans, or - for all the talk of her chairmanship as a "great advance" for women - taking on the assault on women's reproductive rights and basic equality. Throughout their painstakingly choreographed first day in Congress, the horrors that the Democrats are working with the Bush Regime to push out of the public eye and the deep and widespread disgust of millions with these horrors kept bubbling up. On January 4th, millions of readers woke up to articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post and elsewhere with the exhilarating news of Cindy Sheehan seizing the microphone after Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel fled the disruption of his press conference by anti-war protesters. Emmanuel's smug arrogance about his "success" in turning the Democratic Party into one that is even less distinguishable from the Republicans - by recruiting pro-war, anti-abortion, anti-gay candidates - was challenged before his new Congress was even sworn in. At noon, just as Nancy "impeachment-off-the-table" Pelosi was being sworn in, hundreds gathered near the Capital beneath a banner that read: "Impeach George Bush for War Crimes." Several dozen people crouched in the bright orange jumpsuits that are the signature of Guantanamo detainees with black hoods over their heads. They were a living portrayal of some of the Bush Regimes' crimes against humanity: the illegal detention and torture that this regime has institutionalized and that this Congress won't even speak about. People of all ages had traveled from Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, New York and elsewhere, some abandoning at the last minute their plans to see their congresspeople get sworn in - choosing instead to protest for impeachment. An active duty Marine blended into the crowd in his street clothes to prevent being arrested. While most people had come out of opposition to the war, it was striking how strongly the crowd responded when people from the stage spoke against the Bush regime's handling of Hurricane Katrina as well as the brutal killing of Sean Bell by the New York Police Departments' 50 shots, particularly the fists of anger and defiance that shot up from among the Black folks in the crowd. Military mother Elaine Brower, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Green Party co-chair Steve Cramer, Paul Magno of the Torture Abolition Coalition, Kevin Zeese of Democracy Rising and others took turns at the mic. Some expressed their hope that the new Congress will listen and respond to the demands of the people to get out of the brutal war in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan was greeted with enthusiasm spoke movingly about the cost of the Iraq war in the lives of Iraqi people and the need for people to hold the new Congress' feet to the fire to impeach Bush and end the war in Iraq. Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus delivered a stirring challenge to the audience to cross traditional color lines and bring together the streams of outrage around US immigration policy, against the treatment of people in New Orleans, and against the war into a unified movement against a regime that is endangering us all. I spoke for World Can't Wait, focusing on the complicity of the Democrats in accepting and promoting the whole logic of Bush's so-called "War on Terror" and the need for people to rise up in massive political upheaval to bring this whole direction to a halt. As the rally came to a close, a recording of Pink's scathing "Dear Mr. President" filled the air. And protesters in Guantanamo orange jumpsuits lined up on the street each with a four-foot-tall letter spelling out "The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime!" and then marched towards the capital, drawing support from many people on the street who raised concerns ranging from stem cell research to the discarding of the Geneva Conventions. Meanwhile, the Senate building was being redecorated with immense, truth-telling banners. One that hung 30 by 10 feet proclaimed: "War, Lies, Torture - We Will Not Be Silent," was flashed on several major news programs. Senators came out with their eyes wide and jaws open while federal workers gathered to admire and appreciate this message. That evening, 300 people crowded in to the National Press Club to listen to Michael Ratner, Cindy Sheehan, John Nichols, Daniel Ellsberg, myself and a video message from Gore Vidal in a program emceed by David Swanson of After Downing Street. Together we laid out the crimes of the Bush regime, from the war of aggression against Iraq and legalization of torture which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the frontal assault on women's reproductive rights and the rights of gay people, the danger to the environment, the suppression of science and critical thought, the official promotion of Christian fundamentalism, and the criminal response to Hurricane Katrina. An Historical Challenge As the Call for the World Can't Wait states, "The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come." This was not changed or even challenged in the 2006 elections. A sobering sign of the political climate is that even with a Democratic majority, even John Conyers - one of the most liberal members of Congress who has done as much to expose the impeachable offenses of George Bush as almost anyone and who has worked with World Can't Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime - has come out and argued against impeachment, insisting it is unrealistic because it would require bipartisan support. What this is really saying is that the only people who can set political terms in this country are George Bush's neo-cons and Christian fascists and that everyone else has to find their place within these terms. But this must not be accepted. Just as it did during Nixon's day, it will take political struggle breaking free of these terms and coming up from below to create a situation where those in power are compelled to change their position and impeachment is put back on the table and carried out or some other means is found to politically drive out this regime. If we fail, everything that Bush has done will remain legitimate, no matter who becomes the next president and the people of the world and future generations will judge us harshly. Subhead: O'Reilly's Threats. . . and Their Fear of Mass Action That night, The O'Reilly Factor aired an exchange between me and O'Reilly where he repeatedly called me a lunatic and actually threatened me, while I stayed focused on how George Bush has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and must be stopped. One very interesting thing about this program was the discussion that followed my appearance. O'Reilly's next guest, Dick Morris, a high level bourgeois political operative, challenged how O'Reilly dismissed me and the protesters as just a small group. "It's huge, it's not 50 or 60, its tens of millions," Morris said, "Just as in the 1960's the Vietnam movement was critical of its own Democratic Party for supporting the war and for not opposing it vigorously enough, you're going to see the Howard Dean element of the Democratic Party increasingly breaking away from the Pelosi mainstream of the Party... The Democrats are determined to stay away from the two issues that got them elected: opposing the tax cuts and the Iraq war... There's a fissure happening... and that lunatic, as you called her... is not alone." O'Reilly tried again insisting that we are merely "a pressure group." He said, "They're not wide, they can't mobilize a lot of people because people understand that the United States would be much better off if we did win in Iraq." And Morris replied, "I'll bet they could put two million people in the streets of Washington." The truth of how widespread opposition to the Bush program was apparent in the response our protests got all day long. It was even apparent when I stepped into the car that Fox News had provided for me. The driver, after hearing about my appearance, blurted out, "Bill O'Reilly is the lunatic! And George Bush doesn't need to be impeached. He needs to be thrown in jail!" Will the resisters who sprung up all over D.C. and who represent the will and the interests of millions of people in this country and more around the world persevere and step up their challenge to this regime - and also challenge all those who would sit back and be complicit in the tremendous crimes being committed? Will all this gain in momentum and determination to create a situation where the refusal of those in power to reverse this direction is responded to by greater outbreaks of political struggle rather than passive acceptance and demoralization? Or will the people be lulled by the false sense of victory that comes from this reactionary Democratic Congress? Will people's hopes, energies, resources and principles be sucked into the killing confines of the 2008 elections which have already kicked into gear and are not challenging in any fundamental way the whole direction and package of the Bush regime? There is a huge choice and challenge before us - and what we do, and win others to do, will matter immensely. Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory Board of The World Can't Wait Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be reached at: sunsarasworld [at] yahoo.com --------17 of 18-------- Nuking Iran Are Bush's Wars Winding Down or Heating Up? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch January 8, 2007 Most Americans believe that Bush's Iraqi misadventure is over. The occupation has lost the support of the electorate, the Congress, the generals and the troops. The Democrats are sitting back waiting for Bush to come to terms with reality. They don't want to be accused of losing the war by forcing Bush out of Iraq. There are no more troops to commit, and when the "surge" fails, Bush will have no recourse but to withdraw. A little longer, everyone figures, and the senseless killing will be over. Recent news reports indicate that this conclusion could be an even bigger miscalculation than the original invasion. On January 7 the London Times reported that it has learned from "several Israeli military sources" that "Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons." The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report. The Times reports that "Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack." In other news reports Israeli General Oded Tira is quoted as follows: "President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure." General Tira gives the Israel Lobby the following tasks: (1) "turn to Hilary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran," (2) exert influence on European countries so that "Bush will not be isolated in the international arena again," and (3) "clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabis so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran." Israel's part, General Tira says, is to "prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of air bases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran." British commentators report that "the British media appears to be softening us up for an attack on Iran." Robert Fox writing in The First Post (January 6) says, "Suddenly the smell of Britons being prepared for an attack on Iran is all pervasive." On January 7 the Jerusalem Post reported that Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Israeli newspaper that "iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable" and that "the use of force against Teheran remained an option." The Jerusalem Post notes that "Hoyer is considered close to the Jewish community and many Israeli supporters have hailed his elevation in the House." Hoyer was the Israel Lobby's first victory over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who preferred Rep. John Murtha for the post. Murtha was the first important Democrat to call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. On November 20 the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that President Bush said he would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran. Bush showed that he was in Israel's pocket when he blocked the world's attempt to stop Israel's bombing of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure. Many commentators believe that the failure of the neoconservatives' "cakewalk war" has destroyed their influence. This is a mistaken conclusion. The neoconservatives are long time allies of Israel's right-wing Likud Party and are part of the Israel Lobby in the US. The Israel Lobby represents the views of only a minority of American Jews but nevertheless essentially owns both political parties and most of the US media. As the neoconservatives are an important part of this powerful lobby, they remain extremely influential. The Lobby works to increase the neoconservatives' influence. To appreciate the Lobby's influence, try to find columnists in the major print media and TV commentators who are not apologists for Israel, who do not favor attacking Iran, and who support withdrawing from Iraq. Recently, Billy "One-Note" Kristol, a rabid propagandist for war against Muslims, was given a column in Time magazine. Why would Time think its readers want to read a war propagandist? Could the reason be that the Israel Lobby arranged for Time to receive lucrative advertising contracts in exchange for a column for Kristol? Neoconservatives have called for World War IV against Islam. In Commentary magazine Norman Podhoretz called for the cultural genocide of Islamic peoples. The war is already opened on four fronts: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iran. The Bush administration has used its Ethiopian proxies to overthrow the Somalian Muslims who overthrew the warlords who drove the US from Somalia. The US Navy and US intelligence are actively engaged with the Ethiopian troops in efforts to hunt down and capture or kill the Somalian Muslims. US Embasy spokesman Robert Kerr in Nairobi said that the US has the right to pursue Somalia's Islamists as part of the war on terror. For at least a year the Bush administration has been fomenting and financing terrorist groups within Iran. Seymour Hersh and former CIA officials have exposed the Bush administration's support of ethnic-minority groups within Iran that are on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations. Last April US Representative Dennis Kucinich wrote a detailed letter to President Bush about US interference in Iran's internal affairs. He received no reply. The Israeli/neoconservative plan, of which Bush may be a part or simply be a manipulated element, is to provoke a crisis with Iran in which the US Congress will have to support Israel. Both the Israeli government and the American neoconservatives are fanatical. It is a mistake to believe that either will be guided by reason or any appreciation of the potentially catastrophic consequences of an attack on Iran. US aircraft carriers sitting off Iran's coast are sitting ducks for Iran's Russian missiles. The neoconservatives would welcome another "new Pearl Harbor." The US media is totally unreliable. It cannot go against Israel, and it will wrap itself in the flag just as it did for the invasion of Iraq. The American public has been deceived (again) and believes that Iran is on the verge of possessing nuclear armaments to be used to wipe Israel off the map. The fact that Americans are such saps for propaganda makes effective opposition to the neoconsevatives' plan for WW IV practically impossible. Large percentages of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attack. Recent polls show that 32% still believe that Iraq gave substantial support to al-Qaeda, and 18% believe that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attack. WXIA-TV in Atlanta posted viewers comments about Hussein's execution on its web site. Atlantan Janet Wesselhoft was confident that Saddam Hussein is "the one who started terrorism in this country, he needs to be put to rest." Even the London Times is in the grip of Israeli propaganda. In its report of Israel's plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, the Times says that Iranian president "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that 'Israel must be wiped off the map.'" It has been shown by a number of credible experts that this quote is a made-up concoction taken completely out of context. Ahmadinejad said no such thing. In a world ruled by propaganda, lies become truths. The power of the Israel Lobby is so great that it has turned former President Jimmy Carter, probably the most decent man ever to occupy the Oval Office and certainly the president who did the most in behalf of peace in the Middle East, into an anti-semite, an enemy of Israel. The American media, from its "conservative" end to its "liberal" end did its best to turn Carter into a pariah for telling a few truths about Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians in his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. If truth be known, there is nothing to stop the Israeli/neoconservative cabal from widening the war in the Middle East. As I previously reported, the neoconservatives believe that the use of nuclear weapons against Iran would force Muslims to realize that they have no recourse but to submit to the Isreali/US will. The use of nuclear weapons is being rationalized as necessary to destroy Iran's underground facilities, but the real purpose is to terrorize Islam and to bring it to heel. Until the US finds the courage to acquire a Middle East policy of its own, Americans will continue to reap the evil sowed by the Israel Lobby. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts [at] yahoo.com --------18 of 18-------- What many need is "off the table;" it groans with goodies for the few. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments For life on earth to survive the ruling class must perish
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