Progressive Calendar 01.08.07
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.


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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
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