Progressive Calendar 08.11.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2007 17:51:04 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     08.11.07

1. KFAI/Indian    8.12 7pm

2. Feingold/speak 8.13 6pm
3. Sprogs         8.13 6:30pm
4. Labor v war    8.13 7pm
5. HennSoilWater  8.13 7pm
6. Climate crisis 8.13 7:30pm
7. Peta/book      8.13 7:30pm

8. NaziGermany/US 8.14 8am
9. Battered women 8.14 12noon
10. Impeach4Peace 8.14 7pm

11. CCHT/housing  8.15 7:30am
12. Race/picnic   8.15 2pm Bemidji MN

13. Mizna art grants
14. Ben Tripp           - On fleeing the country
15. Daniel Ellsberg     - A vision for Cindy Sheehan's campaign
16. Francis A Boyle     - Fighting the Democrats' complicity with Bush
17. Sgt Kevin Benderman - Freedom or totalitarianism?
18. Gabriel Kolko       - American foreign policy at point zero

--------1 of 18--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian  8.12 7pm

KFAIšs Indian uprising for August 12, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT

WOMEN OF NATIONS (WON) was founded in 1982 by four women from the Native
American Community. They began as a Community Advocacy Program - providing
training, community education, legal advocacy, a 24-hour crisis line, and
culturally appropriate support for members of the Native American
community suffering domestic violence.

Today, WON is one of Minnesotašs largest shelters providing a haven for
battered women and their children. Many who come to us arrive with only
the clothes on their backs. Each year our Eaglesš Nest Shelter is a safe
haven for about 560 women and 370 children - and serves more than that
many out in the community. Their programs are inclusive and holistic,
providing culturally responsive services to all who come to us.

Women of Nations supports Native American and other battered women, their
children, and family members through services including crisis
intervention, advocacy, and safe, confidential shelter and advocating for
them and educating the public on domestic abuse issues.

WONšs mission is, "Rooted in American Indian culture, Women of Nations
welcomes and honors 'All Our Relations' as together we inspire hope and
healing to embrace a vision of peace and justice."

"Rekindle my spirit, cradle my soul, for I may be your Daughter, your
Sister, your Auntie, your Grandma, your Mother, your Niece, your
Neighbor... Be my strength when I am weak, be my voice when I can't speak,
pick me up when I canšt reach... I am everything because you love and
believe in me...˛ - Women of Nations Daily Reminder

Carla Thompson-Kurtz (Lower Brule Sioux), President, Board of Directors
Grace Smith (Yupšik elder, Pitkašs Point, Alaska), Board of Directors Rick
Bernardo (Sicilian-Anglo), Development & Communications Manager

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by
Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI
90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer
Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside
Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144.

For internet listening, go to <> and for
live listening, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for later listening via the
archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM.  Programs
are archived for two weeks.

--------2 of 18--------

From: Wanda Brown <wbrown [at]>
Subject: Feingold/speak 8.13 6pm

[Feingold, not really a progressive. More DP leading us down the primrose
path. Go tell him what's what. -ed]

A reminder and invitation to meet U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, at an event
we are organizing, Monday, August 13, at 6:00 pm. There will be live music
and picnic provided at the beautiful Great River Road Visitor Center at
Freedom Park, overlooking the St. Croix/Mississippi confluence in Prescott,

--------3 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Sprogs 8.13 6:30pm

Monday, 8/13, 6:30 pm affinity groups meet, 7:30 chapter meeting, monthly
meeting for MN Network for Spiritual Progressives with peace activist Phil
Steger talking about his own spiritual journey into peace activism and the
current Iraq situation, Plymouth Church, 1900 Nicollett Ave, Mpls.

--------4 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Labor v war 8.13 7pm

Monday, 8/13 (and every second Monday of the month), 7 pm, US Labor Against
War,, Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marchall Ave, St Paul.  Thomas Dooley at

--------5 of 18-------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: HennSoilWater 8.13 7pm

Hennepin Conservation District Meeting (Soil and Water Board)

Monday, August 13, 7:00 p.m. Hennepin Environmental Services (HES)
Building, 417 North 5th Street, Minneapolis. Join others in protesting the
state of Hennepin County (and adjoining counties) rivers and lakes. Bring
evidence of plants and wildlife being affected by the current state of the
rivers, lakes, etc. Open to the public. FFI: Visit

--------6 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Climate crisis 8.13 7:30pm

Regular meeting of the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC).
EVERY 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:30 pm.  The Freight House Dunn Brothers,
201 3rd Ave S, next door to the Milwaukee Road Depot, Downtown
Minneapolis.  Stop global warming, save Earth!

--------7 of 18--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Peta/book 8.13 7:30pm

MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Dan Mathews,
long-time PETA vice-president, discusses his new book, COMMITTED: A
RABBLE-ROUSER'S MEMOIR (Atria Books/Simon and Schuster) 7:30 pm Monday,
August 11 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Dan Mathews is the irreverent force responsible for making PETA one of the
most enduring, powerful and annoying pressure groups in the world, with
over 1.2 million members. Mathews' colorful crusades often land him behind
bars - or enlisting stars - and in the process he has made animal rights
the "it" cause, with provocative campaigns such as "I'd Rather Go Naked
Than Wear Fur." To the multitudes who like to see the status quo
challenged, he is an inspiration - not just for redefining activism and
making it relevant for today's escapist society, but for his lifelong
devotion and his frank, funny and fearless style. Genre named him "one of
the most influential gays of the new millennium."

Now, Mathews offers the complete story of his remarkable life and
outrageous career in COMMITTED: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir (Atria Books;
April 17, 2007; $24.00; Hardcover, ISBN: 0-7432-9187-5). Mathews, who
began at PETA in 1985 as the then-fledgling organization's receptionist
and worked his way up to Vice President, tells of his unorthodox
coming-of-age and his spectacular rise to become one of today's most
famous firebrands. Recounting the most hilarious and horrific experiences
of both his personal and professional life, Mathews delivers a witty, bold
and passionate memoir that reveals how one man's unyielding devotion to
animals has helped change the world.

Mathews begins by chronicling his tumultuous childhood as one of three
boys being raised by a struggling single mother who didn't always have
enough cash to pay rent or the electric bill - but never skimped when
sending protest telegrams to elected officials. He also writes of growing
up gay - and being a punk rocker - in conservative Orange County,
California, long before being gay or punk was stylish. Dan was the target
of such intense hostility that after one bloody fight bullies
spray-painted his school's entrance with the message "Dan Mathews We Will
Kill You." Mathews also explains how he developed his passion for animal
rights: first by taking in alley cats who were pulverized by the same
thugs who intimidated him, and then on a fishing trip with his dad, where,
after yanking a struggling flounder out of the water, he vowed to never
kill again and became a vegetarian. "I was naively confident that
everybody would grasp this simple, noble logic and adopt the same basic
regard for fish and chickens that they had for dogs, cats, and all other
animals with a heart, brain, and nervous system," Mathews writes. "Most
people ridiculed me for proposing such a far-fetched idea. This was 1978
and from that day on I've been on a mission to promote the very same idea.
Thankfully, it's not considered far-fetched anymore."

Years before he became infamous for disrupting fur fashion shows, Mathews
was a catwalk model himself, in Italy, where he supported himself doing
runway work, commercials, and even a spaghetti western, while earning a
degree in ancient history. Inspired by the forceful pro-vegetarian
writings of philosophers Pythagoras and Plutarch, Mathews decided to
become a full-time crusader, moving to Washington, DC and taking a job
with a young organization named PETA.

At PETA, Mathews deepened his knowledge of animal issues and within a few
years developed creative and controversial campaigns which grabbed
attention and achieved results. Mathews stopped GM's crash tests on
animals after taking over the company's float in the Rose Parade dressed
as a rabbit; he stopped Gillette's animal tests after impersonating a
janitor and wheeling a television into the executive cafeteria to show
videos of the gruesome experiments; and he impersonated a priest to gain
entry into a fur designer's fashion show in Milan, taking over the runway
with a banner reading, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

In COMMITTED, Mathews reveals the planning, chaos, and consequences of his
most daring protests. He discusses how he dressed up as a carrot to talk
to school kids about vegetarianism - and was pelted with bologna by angry
farmers; how he was arrested just before a speaking engagement at Harvard
for indecent exposure (he hosted a public "bed-in" with pillows bearing
the message "fur-out, love-in"); incited a riot at a Kentucky Fried
Chicken restaurant in Paris to protest the company's live-scalding of
birds in defeathering tanks; and laid siege to the offices of Calvin Klein
in New York where he personally convinced Klein to abandon his fur line.
"I think more about Dan's concerns than his tactics," Calvin told
reporters afterward. "I'm sympathetic, and we've become friends." Although
not everyone has befriended Mathews (such as fur targets Jennifer Lopez
and Anna Wintour of Vogue), Mathews has drawn the admiration of public
personalities as diverse as Martha Stewart and Rev Al Sharpton - both of
whom he persuaded to narrate PETA anti-cruelty videos - and Sir Paul
McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Pink, Chrissie Hynde, and Pamela Anderson, all of
whom he develops campaigns for.

His most famous campaign - "I'd Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur" - redefined
the concept of cause ads, by using sex to sell the message. Writes
Mathews: "For many years I pushed campaigns which appealed to people's
intellect and compassion, but as society became hungrier for entertainment
than education we had to dream up flashier ways to vie for people's
attention. Of course, in doing so we often have to make ourselves look
quite silly, but I've easily adjusted because I am, at heart, a very silly

Illuminating and engaging, COMMITTED tells the remarkable story of an
equally remarkable man who has lived life on his own terms. "When I wake
up each morning, my first thought isn't, I want to help animals, but I
want to have fun," Mathews writes. "But where is it written that just
because you have devoted your life to fighting for a serious cause,

Publisher contacts:
Kimberlycurtin [at]
Emilydobosz [at]

For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611
davidu [at]

--------8 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: NaziGermany/US 8.14 8am

Dear Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am.  Households with basic cable can watch!

8/11 9pm and 8/14 8am "Wartime in Germany and the U.S."  Interview of Dr.
Sigrid Bachman, who was raised in Germany during the rise of Hitler and
WWII and is now living in Minnesota during the rise of US militarism.
Hosted by Eric Angell.

Revered St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and
Wednesday mornings.  All households with basic cable can watch!

8/14 5pm and midnight and 8/15 10am "Wartime in Germany and the U.S."
Interview of Dr. Sigrid Bachman, who was raised in Germany during the rise
of Hitler and WWII and is now living in Minnesota during the rise of US
militarism.  Hosted by Eric Angell.

--------9 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Battered women 8.14 12noon

Tuesday, August 14: Women's Human Rights Program at Minnesota Advocates
for Human Rights, "Ethical Considerations in Working with Advocates When
Representing Battered Women with Rana SA Fuller, Esq. of the Battered
Women's Legal Advocacy Project. 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in the  Briggs and
Morgan, Minnesota Room, 2200 IDS Center, 80 S. 8th St., Minneapolis.

--------10 of 18--------

From: Impeach <lists [at]>
Subject: Impeach for peace 8.14 7pm

Impeach for Peace
We meet Tuesdays at 7pm at Joe's Garage (Restaurant along Loring Park)
1610 Harmon Pl Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612) 904-1163

--------11 of 18--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT/housing 8.15 7:30am

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the affordable
housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building
Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Session: August 15 at 7:30a

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237

Central Community Housing Trust 1625 Park Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612)

--------12 of 18--------

From: audrey thayer <athayer [at]>
Subject: Race/picnic 8.15 2pm Bemidji MN

Along with partnering non-profits
The Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project-ACLU-MN
Invite you to

"The Cultural Connection" Community Cook-out & Picnic
Wednesday August 15

2-7pm (Speakers/Music from 4-6pm)

UpNorth Marina 303 Railroad Street Bemidji, MN
(Behind the warehouse)

Food, Beverages, Pontoon Boat Rides and Door Prizes!
Please call 218-444-2285 for more information

*Regional Public Defense Corporation, Bemidji Area Indian Center Northwest
Indian OIC, American Indian Resource Center Family Advocacy Center-NCRH,
Peoples Church, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Anishinabe Legal

--------13 of 18--------

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at]>
Subject: Mizna art grants

Mizna Granting Program
$1000 to be awarded to 6 artists
Deadline: August 15, 2007


Mizna, a forum for Arab American art, is proud to announce its second
installment of LATITUDES - a program designed to facilitate and support
creative, original artistic work created by members of the community whose
cultural, geographic or ethnic identity is in the Arab and Muslim world,
and who are emerging artists.

Latitudes is designed to support artists who work in the following
mediums: visual art, music, performance art, theater, dance, creative
writing, storytelling, film or traditional folk arts and who are able to
participate in a series of workshops designed to create a final group
project in Spring of 2008 in the seven county metropolitan Twin Cities
area with Mizna.

Six artists will be selected, and each will receive a stipend of one
thousand dollars for their participation. This work will be presented in a
final show with Mizna in the spring of 2008. New artists are encouraged to
apply. If you received a Latitudes grant in 2006-07, you are not eligible
to apply for this round.

Project Guidelines: Artists must be available for one meeting per month
(time to be decided with participating artists) Each artist must be from
the community as defined above Artists must be available to participate in
final show in Spring 2008

Submission Information: Please submit a one page answer to the following
question: What motivates you as an artist? Submit a work sample which
shows your past work (for creative writers, no more than 10 pages of
written material, please. Filmmakers and other Video Documentation - no
more than 15 minutes, Visual artists - maximum 5 pieces of art) Submit
the names and telephone numbers of two references who can speak to your
work Send a resume

Submissions can be received via email or postal mail. Email to
Mizna [at] Please write LATITUDES in the subject heading. Mail
applications to Mizna/2205 California Street NE #109A, Minneapolis,
Minnesota 55418

This activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through a grant from the McKnight
Foundation and an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.

Mizna 2205 California Street NE Suite 109A Minneapolis, MN 55418

Mizna is a forum promoting Arab culture that values diversity in the
Arabic community. We are committed to giving voice to Arab Americans on
the local, national and international level through literature, speakers
and community events.

Visit our website at

--------14 of 18--------

The Three Vices
On Fleeing the Country
August 11 / 12, 2007

Fleeing the country is taking longer than I thought it would. I've been
planning my escape for several years now: the tunnel is dug, the papers
forged, I stitched up an SS greatcoat out of old burlap sacks, made a pair
of jackboots out of prosciutto nicked from the canteen, and I've memorized
a few phrases of the kind of German they now speak in Washington ("Karl
Rove ist ein Zionen mit einem Vorhaut"). Yet I'm still here, and I can't
quite say why. It's not like I'm having the time of my life waiting for
Homeland Security goons to show up at the house and shove an electric
fucknozzle up my botty. The only obvious reasons to stick around, besides
some atavistic sense of patrie, are bile, cowardice, and sloth, my three
primary virtues if you exclude man tits.

Four years ago when I first started crafting a hang glider out of
newspaper and broom handles, powered by a lawnmower engine with just
enough gas to get me over the Mexican border, the cave-trolls of the
radical Right were ascendant. It was an election year and Bush was handing
Kerry a plateful of his own windsurfing ass.

Evangelical Christians, baby-eating Libertarian cranks, Neoconservatives,
Paleoconservatives, and me-first, you-next authoritarian assholes of every
stripe roamed the American scene like werewolves in a neonatal ward. If
ever there was a good time to split, it was then. As in Daniel 5:1-13,
Belshazzar's Feast was winding down, the writing was on the wall, and the
going was good. It seemed urgent at the time to get out of the country
while the passport system was still valid. Yet I stuck around. And things
got worse. The bilious response was first, probably: a self-destructive
desire to be here in the States when things finally reach their nadir,
just so I can get in the old "I told you so" on the way to the Wal-Mart
Detention Center. But cannot the lesser but still pungent thrill of
schadenfreude, or relishing the misfortune of others, be enjoyed from a
distance, such as Southern France? No, that's cowardice speaking, which is
my next topic. To enjoy a disaster, it must be complete and absolute; no
disaster is complete and absolute unless one is personally there. Which
leads quite naturally to cowardice.

I am afraid to leave. It was either Mahatma Gandhi or Scary Spice that
said, "Boy, you gotta pack your shit and get the hell out". This is sage
advice until you see the mountain of shit I have to pack. My blushing
fiance's family left Ireland a few decades ago. This required little more
than to pack a hamper and walk away; the family heirlooms at the time
consisted of a busted fiddle and a delft macaroon plate. They didn't even
have to cancel the electricity or the phone, because there wasn't any. For
an American of the average type (and I am barely even that), moving
overseas is a matter of organizing some half-million books, three quarters
of a ton of old shirts, an exercise machine in unused condition resembling
the superstructure of the USS Tripoli, numerous defunct automobiles, a box
of obsolete cordless telephones, eleven antique chairs from Mother's
great-aunt's place in Boston, a tub of vintage Viewmaster reels of travel
and religious subjects, plus viewer; a beaver hat, my brother's kung fu
equipment that he left behind when he expatriated to China, enough DVDs to
pave the Piazza San Marco in Venice (which would make them campi movies,
hahaha), a stuffed hyena, a birthday candle in the shape of the number
"4", and a cracked chamberpot - plus the fiddle and the plate. Then
there's the useless stuff. Were I to move all this lumber to Ireland, for
example, the place might sink into the ocean. It would cost me as much to
ship it all overseas as it would to live overseas without it for six
years. Which is clearly what my brother figured out. But I'm not only
afraid of having to uproot my material goods and abandon my little
comforts, however daunting that may be. There's also the pelf question.

Man cannot live on bread alone, but it beats eating locusts. How much does
it cost to move to another country? Nothing, compared to how much it
subsequently costs to be out of work in Denmark for three years, consume
my entire life savings (enough to purchase some fruit), and finally end up
following an hitherto undiscovered gleam as a mucker-out of futbol stadium
latrines. I cannot say, however, that I am more afraid of the unknown
(destitution in a foreign land) than I am of the known (death and taxes,
in that order). It's not as if I'm holding out for some Great White Hope
(Barack Obama, for example) to come along and save what's left of the
country I thought I knew. "But," you inquire in a hypothetical epiplexis,
"Aren't we making progress against the forces of Sauron?" After all, since
the last elections we've finally made some big changes. We're putting the
progress back in progressive! The anti-war, pro-environment, future-first
movement has caught on. The so-called Left is on fire, blogging away like
crazy, making frontal assaults on the congressional switchboards at all
hours of the night and day. We've gotten Democrats elected back into
positions of power, Republicans are dropping like flies (just exactly like
flies), and a woman is Speaker of the House, no less. Is that not
something to love, to keep fighting for?

No. Even as the Left rushes into the corridors of power, pitchforks and
torches aloft, we discover the government has vacated the premises. A
million people march on Washington, and nobody in the popular press
reports on it. Nobody in power pays it no mind. The majority of Americans
want to end the occupation of Iraq, and the least popular president in
modern history simply says, "no", and that's that. The global climate is
in crisis and politicians are talking about coal plants. The Democrats
(whores of a different color) have moved into the ideological spectrum
formerly occupied by Ronald Reagan, the Republicans are squatting in
Mussolini's old office, and anybody that isn't preaching Biblical End
Times is pissing up a rope. It was all well and good to decry the antics
of the Government when there was still a chance of transformation within
the bastions of Washington, and thus a return to the country 'tis of thee
I used to sing about.

What I didn't know at the time was that the notion of "my country" was
conditional. It's not just a place, it's a sense of being. Voltaire put it

"Where then is the fatherland? Is it not a good field, whose owner, lodged
in a well-kept house, can say: "This field that I till, this house that I
have built, are mine; I live there protected by laws which no tyrant can
infringe. When those who, like me, possess fields and houses, meet in
their common interest, I have my voice in the assembly; I am a part of
everything, a part of the community, a part of the dominion; there is my

Read that again with special attention to the "no tyrant can infringe",
"common interest", and "voice in the assembly" bits. For the right sum I
can arrange to get you a hang glider. As for myself, the only reason I'm
still here is sloth, but that would take too much effort to explain.

Ben Tripp is an independent filmmaker and all-around swine. His book is
Square In The Nuts. Mr. Tripp may be reached at credel [at]


i One could say, were one a Biblical scholar, this was no time for Parsin
our words.

ii Voltaire, "The Philosophical Dictionary", 1752

--------15 of 18--------

It's About More Than Getting into Congress
A Vision for Cindy Sheehan's Campaign
August 10, 2007

I don't speak for Cindy Sheehan - whom I admire unreservedly - or for her
campaign.  When I say "we" in what follows, I'm really just giving my own
perspective on this campaign, as one of her supporters.

I see this campaign as aiming much higher than putting Cindy Sheehan in
Congress in 2009.   Well before that time, we aim to help restore our
Constitution, to end a war and avert starting a new one, and to remove
from power two officials - George W. Bush and Richard Cheney - who block
those objectives before they can do more harm in their remaining months in

That's an ambitious project; but there's a clear path to achieving it.  We
will work to change public awareness and, as a result, Nancy Pelosi's
policies as Speaker of the House well before the election, by revealing to
the public real alternatives to the courses she and the Democrats have
followed so far, and demonstrating the breadth and strength of public
support for those alternatives.

The truth is that Democrats, and even Republicans, can do much better than
they have been doing, under Pelosi's leadership in the House, to protect
our freedoms and our security. In this campaign we will publicize
specifics of what can and should be done, and let the public tell the
politicians which approach they want.

One essential demand is for Pelosi to encourage, rather than to block,
Congressional investigations of past and ongoing administration deception,
unwisdom,  illegality and unconstitutionality in pursuing an aggressive
war and in curtailing our rights.  Such investigations, calling forth
testimony under oath of current and former officials many of whom are
eager to tell the truth at last, as well as demonstrating continued
administration stonewalling, will almost surely lead to what does not yet
exist: irresistible pressure from a belatedly-informed public for the
impeachment and removal of Bush and Cheney.

Further, we need Pelosi's leadership in rescinding the unconstitutional
parts - which will not leave much - of the Patriot Acts, the Military
Commisions Act and the recent, outrageous legislation purporting to
legalize warrantless wiretaps and data mining.  And - absolutely essential
to ending our war in Iraq, ever - public pressure is needed to demand that
Congress defund our indefinite occupation, providing funds only for the
orderly, safe withdrawal of all our troops, contractors and bases on an
announced time-table.

If this campaign can help bring about even the first of these, it will
also, almost incidentally, put Cindy Sheehan within reach of success in
the election.  This is, in fact, a historic campaign opportunity,
exploiting an opening unique in American politics.  At this moment, Cindy
appears to face insuperable odds, opposing without party support a
powerful, heavily-funded incumbent.  But we aim to change that.  All we
are asking is for Nancy Pelosi to do what she should: to uphold her oath
of office, which is not to obey a Commander-in-Chief or to enlarge a
Democratic majority but to uphold and defend the Constitution.

If we can induce her to do that, then a year from now Cindy Sheehan should
be running for an open seat, or against a brand-new incumbent appointed by
our Republican governor.   Nancy Pelosi, third in line for succession when
Bush and Cheney are impeached and removed, will be in the White House.
That will, as it happens, leave an open field for Cindy.

So you see, it's nothing personal for us.  After all, as representatives
of big business go, Nancy Pelosi is better than most.  We don't aim to
kick her out of politics, we aim to kick her upstairs. And there's a
bonus: President Pelosi as a write-in candidate in November.  She's far
from ideal, from the point of view of members of this campaign, but for a
Democrats we could do a lot worse.  Off the record, some of us see this as
the best strategy for keeping Hillary out of the White House without
letting a Republican in.

So there it is: a vision for 2009 that can evoke some real enthusiasm:
Cindy in the House, Pelosi in the White House, the US out of Iraq.  Our
Constitution back, and Bush and Cheney under criminal indictment.

[Remarks of Daniel Ellsberg at a press conference August 9, 2007 at which
Cindy Sheehan announced her independent candidacy for the 8th
Congressional District of California, an office now held by Nancy Pelosi,
Speaker of the House.]

Daniel Ellsburg is the author of Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the
Pentagon Papers.

--------16 of 18--------

Fighting the Democrats' Complicity with Bush
by Francis A. Boyle
August 10th, 2007

Despite the massive, overwhelming repudiation of the Iraq war and the Bush
Jr. administration by the American people in the November 2006 national
elections conjoined with their consequent installation of a Congress
controlled by the Democratic Party with a mandate to terminate the Iraq
war, since its ascent to power in January 2007 the Democrats in Congress
have taken no effective steps to stop, impede, or thwart the Bush Jr.
administration's wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or
anywhere else, including their long-standing threatened war against Iran.
To the contrary, the new Democrat-controlled Congress decisively
facilitated these serial Nuremberg crimes against peace on May 24, 2007 by
enacting a $95 billion supplemental appropriation to fund war operations
through September 30, 2007.

In the spring of 2007 all the Congressional Democrats had to do was
nothing. They could have sat upon the supplemental appropriation request
for war operations by the Bush Jr. administration and thus failed to enact
it into law. At that point, the money for war operations would have
gradually run out, and the Bush Jr. administration would have been forced
to have gradually withdrawn U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Instead of so doing, the Congressional Democrats knowingly prolonged these
wars of aggression and thus in the process became aiders and abettors to
these Nuremberg crimes against peace.

Under the terms of the United States Constitution, the President cannot
spend a dime unless the money has somehow been appropriated by the United
States Congress. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States
Constitution expressly provides: "No money shall be drawn from the
treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law". Furthermore,
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 of the Constitution also provides that
"Congress shall have power . . . To raise and support armies, but no
appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two
years . . . "

America's Founders and Framers deliberately strove to keep America's
prospective military establishment on a financial short-leash tightly held
by the hands of Congress precisely because of their well-founded fear that
a standing army would constitute a dire threat to the continued existence
of the Republic based upon their recent experience confronting and
defeating King George III's standing army. As the American July 4, 1776
Declaration of Independence stated their objections in part: "[H]e has
kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of
our Legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of
and superior to the Civil Power . . . For quartering large Bodies of Armed
Troops among us."

Congress must use its constitutional power of the purse to terminate the
Bush Jr. administration's wars of aggression immediately. Those
Congressional incumbents of either political party who refuse to do so
must be replaced by men and women of good faith and good will of any or no
political party who will do their constitutional duty to terminate ongoing
Nuremberg crimes against peace. To the contrary, the current leadership of
the Democratic Party (though, to be sure, not all Democrats), let alone
most of the Republicans, have been complicit with all the atrocities that
the Bush Jr. administration has inflicted upon international law,
international organizations, human rights, the United States Constitution,
civil rights, civil liberties, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere
since September 11, 2001.

Further confirmation of this proposition can be found in the fact that
when the self-described Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan went on July 23, 2007 with
200 protesters to speak with Democratic Congressman John Conyers - Chair
of the House Judiciary Committee that has supervisory jurisdiction over
bills of impeachment - about starting impeachment proceedings against
President Bush Jr., at the end of an hour Congressman Conyers ordered her
and 45 others arrested for disorderly conduct when they refused to leave
his office. In other words, one of the leaders of the Democratic Party
arrested one of the leaders of the American Peace Movement for insisting
that he and his congressional colleagues perform their
constitutionally-mandated duties. Nothing could be more symptomatic of the
constitutional, moral, and political bankruptcy of the so-called two-party
system of politics in the United States of America: Republicans versus
Democrats, Tweedle Dum versus Tweedle Dee.

Since the Democrats' Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy
Pelosi had already ruled arbitrarily that President Bush's impeachment was
"off the table," Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan announced her intention to run
against Pelosi in the 2008 national elections. Once again Mrs. Sheehan's
instincts, principles, judgment, and strategy are directly on target. The
American people must oppose, defeat, and replace all members of the United
States Congress of any political party who will not impeach President Bush
and Vice President Cheney in order to terminate their needlessly -
inflicted death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia as soon
as possible. The so-called leaderships of both political parties have left
the American people with no alternative. Even more urgently, the
Neo-Conservative cabal known as the Bush Jr. administration are still
threatening, planning, preparing, and conspiring to attack Iran, which
could very well set-off World War III. Just recently they added
nuclear-armed Pakistan to their publicly proclaimed list of targets.

Meanwhile, the Bush Jr. administration's "surge" of 30,000 troops into
Iraq announced in January of 2007 has marched on to its inexorable
bloodbath for the Iraqi people and U.S. armed forces. There is more than
enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that the underlying strategy of
the Bush Jr. administration is nothing more than to postpone their
inevitable defeat in Iraq until after their departure from office in
January 2009 no matter what the cost in lives to Iraqis and Americans. But
the world cannot wait until January of 2009 for America to start to end
these wars and their related war crimes, as well as to prevent more
threatened wars, especially against Iran or Pakistan, which could prove
catastrophic for humankind.

The United States Congress must immediately and simultaneously proceed to
exercise both its constitutional power of the purse and its constitutional
power of impeachment toward that end. That is the bilateral strategy which
the U.S. Congress pursued a generation ago in order to terminate the Nixon
administration's criminal wars of aggression against Vietnam, Cambodia,
and Laos. That must be the bilateral strategy by which the U.S. Congress
today terminates the Bush Jr. administration.s criminal wars of aggression
against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and otherwise perhaps soon Iran or
Pakistan. Despite Pelosi's disingenuous protestations to the contrary, the
Nixon/Vietnam precedent proves that Congressional impeachment and
cutting-off funds for wars are mutually reinforcing strategies. They might
even win the 2008 U.S. Presidential and Congressional elections for those
who embrace them.

Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois, is author of
Foundations of World Order, Duke University Press, The Criminality of
Nuclear Deterrence, and Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, by
Clarity Press. He can be reached at: FBOYLE [at] LAW.UIUC.EDU Read other
articles by Francis A..

This article was posted on Friday, August 10th, 2007 at 5:00 am and is
filed under Anti-War, Iraq, Democrats, Activism and "Third" Party. Send to
a friend.

--------17 of 18--------

The Choice is Yours America
Freedom or Totalitarianism?
August 10, 2007

The apathetic American public needs to pull their heads out of the
comfortable little hole in the sand where it has been for far too long and
do something about the way our country is being stolen from us by an
administration that has its well-being and only its well-being in mind.
Our congressional representatives have no spine when it comes to doing
what needs to be done to stop the war that the Project for the New
American Century has pushed down the throats of the American public. This
group has hi-jacked the country out from under us and we are standing by
and letting them get away with it.

I remember my father watching the Watergate trials of the Nixon White
House and I remember the nation having the spine to go after them with a
vengeance for something that is much less worse than what the current
White House is doing. The Nixon White House wanted to know what the
opposition party was doing to get elected to the presidency and they
staged the break-in of the opposition headquarters to get that

President Nixon was nearly impeached for this, yet now we sit back and let
a so-called President violate the United States Constitution, The Geneva
Convention, and the Nuremberg Tribunals by starting a war in Iraq. This is
a country that has been proven time and time again to have nothing to do
with the September, 11th 2001 attacks on our country. The "interrogation"
methods used and authorized by this administration very specifically
violate our constitution because our constitution states that any treaty
we sign and ratify becomes the law of the land. We signed and ratified the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 which made it a law of America.

"Article. VI.- Debts, Supremacy, Oaths"

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made
in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under
the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;
and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the
Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Below is the date the United States congress signed and ratified the
Geneva Convention into United States law.

Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.

United States of America. Signed 12 August 1949 and 2 August 1955.

We have been bound by law and the United States Constitution to adhere to
the Geneva Convention since August 2, 1955 but we have allowed this
administration to waltz into office and break our laws as we do nothing
about it. Yet we bitch and moan about our freedoms being taken from us,
well, America, as long as you let them be taken from you they will be.

America, we are forgetting who we are and who we are supposed to be,
which, is a people who do the right thing no matter what, and yet we set
by and let this group of demagogues destroy our country and constitution.

More people in this country are worried about the latest gossip about
Hollywood than things that really matter. I can't believe I went to jail
for trying to defend my constitution from this group of
anti-constitutionalists while the country just sits back and watches while
it takes place. I also cannot believe the people who put those magnets on
their car and then think that absolves them of any responsibility to do
anything more substantial than this. If this is the best you can do to
support the "troops", then don't bother yourself.

Never mind that soldiers are dying every damn day in Iraq.

I was told by many groups that I would have their un-ending support for
taking a principled stand against this, but as I sat in military prison
waiting to see some justice from the people who should come up with a
sound and reasoned argument that would put and end to this madness, I
watched those same groups go their merry way.

For those who did support me as much as they could I am very grateful, but
for those who went and bought pink shirts and paid for balloons to put on
the mall in Washington, thanks for nothing. These actions have done
nothing to hold this administration to account for starting this war, as a
matter of fact; these actions have hindered those of us who are working on
a serious plan to provide some real assistance to the service members that
continue to die in this war of choice (of choice for a select few).

So to the ones who made the promises to me about continuing to support the
stand I took and the promises to help me set up a program of grass roots
solutions to help with the problems returning service members and our
communities face, I am waiting to see if you meant what you said or if you
are like the politicians you claim to want to set straight; all talk and
no action.

Sgt. Kevin Benderman is a ten year Army veteran who served a combat tour
in Iraq at the time of the initial invasion. He returned to file a
conscientious objector application as his legal show of refusal to further
participate in a military action he knew to be wrong. He served over a
year in prison for his actions. Please visit to
learn more.

You may write to Kevin at info [at]

--------18 of 18--------

Mechanistic Destruction: American Foreign Policy at Point Zero
by Gabriel Kolko
August 11, 2007

The United States has rarely lost any conventional military battle since
at least 1950. Nor has it, at the same time, ever won a war. It has
successfully overthrown governments through interventions or subversion
but the political results of all its efforts - as in Afghanistan in the
1980s and Iran in 1953 - have often made its subsequent geopolitical
position far, far more tenuous. In a word, in international affairs it
bumbles very badly and it has made an already highly unstable world far
more precarious than it otherwise would be if only the U.S. had left the
world alone. No less important, Americans would be far better off thereby.
Because - to repeat a critical point - it has failed to attain victory in
any of the real wars it has fought since Korea. Its adversaries learned as
long ago as the Korean War that decentralization would stymie America's
overwhelming firepower, which was designed for concentrated armies, and
provided a successful antidote for massive, expensive technology.

All this is very well known. The real issue is why the U.S. makes the
identical mistakes over and over again and never learns from its errors.

At the present time it is losing two wars and creating a vast arc of
profound strategic and political instability from the Mediterranean Sea to
South Asia, it has resumed the arms race in Europe, and it is making
Russia an enemy when it could easily have been friendly. Economically, it
has run up the biggest deficits in American history, brought on the
decline of the dollar, and wherever one turns this administration has been
at least as bad as any in two centuries of American history - perhaps even
the worst. We now have an unprecedented disaster in the conduct of
American power, both overseas and at home, in part because of the people
who now rule - ambitious men and women who calculate only what is best for
their careers - but also because the imperatives and inexorable logic of
past policies and conventional wisdom have brought us to this critical
juncture. All the old mistakes have been repeated; nothing had been
learned from the past, and official myopia is timeless.

A large part of the United States' problem, whether Republicans or
Democrats are in power, is that it believes it has the right and
obligation to intervene everywhere, in whatever forms they choose, and
that its interests are global. Interventionism - so the consensus among
Republicans and Democrats goes - is the cost of its global interests and
mission, because it has been convinced for almost a century that it was
preordained to remedy the world's many wrongs - and to do so by whatever
means it chooses. There is nothing whatever that is unique in this regard
in the present Bush Administration. This pretension, which first began
during the 19th century and which Woodrow Wilson articulated, is simply
not functional and it has led it into countless morasses, bad for the U.S.
and far worse for the countries it has interfered with. The fact is that
no nation has ever been able to assume such an international role, and
those that have attempted to do so came to no good end - they exhausted
their resources and passions and follies.

Political conflicts are not solved by military interventions, and that
they are often incapable of being resolved by political or peaceful means
does not alter the fact that force is dysfunctional. This is truer today
than ever with the spread of weapons technology. The U.S. is not exempt
from the facts that have guided international affairs for centuries.

The U.S. has already lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the very
same reasons it lost all of its earlier conflicts. It has the manpower and
firepower advantage, as always, but these are ultimately irrelevant in the
medium- and long-run. They were irrelevant in many contexts in which the
U.S. was not involved, and they explain the outcome of many armed
struggles over the past century regardless of who was in them, for they
are usually decided by the socio-economic and political strength of the
various sides - China after 1947 and Vietnam after 1972 are two examples
but scarcely the only ones. It is a transcendent truism of global politics
that wars are more determined by socio-economic and political factors than
any other, and this was true long before the U.S. attempted to regulate
the world's affairs.

But Why?

But all this still begs the issue of why the U.S. repeatedly makes the
same drastic errors. Are there vested interests in preparing for war? Are
illusions based on them, or ideologies - or both?

In part, expensive equipment and incredibly inflated military budget is
premised on the traditional assumption that owning complex weapons gives
America power, which is determined by arms in hand rather than what
happens in a nation's politics and society. In fact, the reverse is often
the case, especially when enemies find the weaknesses in this sort of
technology and exploit it - as they increasingly have done over the past
decades. Then the cost of fighting wars becomes a liability - and
America's technological military an immense weakness when the government
has huge deficits or lacks funds to repair its aging public infrastructure
- a fact that was highlighted when the collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis
earlier this month led to the striking revelation that 70,000 bridges in
the U.S. are rated deficient. The Vietnam War should have resolved the
issue of the relevance of technology to the America's military ambitions,
but it did not. The real question is: why?

To a critical but scarcely exclusive sense, the Pentagon's penchant for
military toys makes an ambitious, aggressive foreign policy essential.
Without enemies and conflicts, real or potential, there is no reason to
spend money, and this reality often colored its definition of Soviet goals
after 1947 - despite the objections of senior CIA analysts. But the
Defense Department, and national security establishments in general, are
immense and all kinds of constituencies exist in them: there are
procurement experts who draw up budgets and go after equipment mindlessly,
people who have always dominated its actions, but thinkers too. Each does
their own thing and they are often very different. It has always had these

But that those who run military establishment have technological
illusions, which many ordinary people share in this and other domains of
human existence, keeps immense sums of money flowing to arms manufacturers
and their minions. There is a very profound consensus between the two
parties on arms spending, which began under the Democrats a half-century
ago and it will not go away - no matter how neglected the bridges and
infrastructure, health, or the like. Arms lobbies are not only very
powerful in Washington but create crucial jobs in most states and military
spending keeps the economy afloat. Weapons producers make money regardless
of whether the Pentagon wins or loses its wars - and making money is their
only objective. It is surely a key causal factor even if it is far from
being the sole explanation of why the U.S. intervenes where it shouldn't.

It is close to impossible to assign some weight or priority to the arms
industry but it must be taken into account that the arms manufacturers
have power, strategic lobbies in Washington, contribute heavily to
politicians who need campaign funding, and gain financially whether
America wins or loses it wars. They are the "x-factor" in the equation but
scarcely the sole one. But, at the least, they are very important even
when not decisive.

Another explanation is ambitious politicians, who will say and do whatever
is required to stay in power or gain it. This factor is so familiar that
it scarcely requires repeating, but the cynical ways politicians treat
polls and American public opinion is a crucial aspect of this question.
There are indeed problems with the public but it invariably senses
realities and its constraints well before the politicians - who use the
public and then ignore it. The party out of office will cater to mass
opinion but usually forgets it once it comes to power - as the recent
Democratic Party trajectory shows. This is usually the rule but public
opinion is an element that cannot be merely gainsaid, and the Korean and
Vietnam wars proved, it could play a decisive role. An increasing majority
of the people think the war in Iraq is not worth fighting, and the
President is among the most unpopular in history. The public may be
impotent or far too passive for its own good, and generally is, but it is
far less brainwashed than the advocates of "manufactured consent" concede.
How, when, or if its role becomes more crucial is a matter of conjecture.
Its influence is usually negligible and takes far too much time to have an
impact. Follies are committed long after the public condones them. But
that it eventually becomes critical is a fact of life which one cannot
make too much of, or too little.

Consensus on ideology and goals is crucial also but that policies fail to
work and are increasingly dangerous as a guide to action has been true for
a long time and is more obvious as years elapse. The Bush Administration
encapsulates it but the basic problem has existed for many decades. What
the Bush coterie has seen is the culmination of a logic that is much
older. It presides over a catastrophe that began many years ago.

But all in all, these factors have delivered us to our present mess, which
may very well exceed any in American history.

Some of the most acute criticisms made of the gross simplisms which have
guided interventionist policies were produced within the military,
especially after the Vietnam experience traumatized it. My history of the
Vietnam War was purchased by many base libraries, and the military
journals treated it in detail and very respectfully. The statement at the
end of July by the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral
Michael G. Mullen, that "no amount of troops in no amount of time will
make much of a difference" if Iraqi politics fails to change drastically
reflects a current of realism that has existed among military thinkers for
some decades (whether he acts on this assumption is another matter and
depends greatly on considerations outside of his control). Like the CIA,
the military has acute strategic thinkers, and the monographs of the U.S.
Army's Strategic Studies Institute - to name one of many - are often very
insightful and critical. Academics tend to be irrelevant and dull by

The problem, of course, is that few (if any) at the decisive levels pays
any attention to the critical ruminations that the military and CIA
consistently produce. There is no shortage of insight among U.S. official
analysts - the problem that policy is rarely formulated with objective
knowledge is a constraint on it. Ambitious people, who exist in ample
quantity, say what their superiors wish to hear and rarely, if ever,
contradict them. Iraq is but an example, for the entire mess there was
predicted. If reason and clarity prevailed, America's role in the world
would be utterly different.

Those in power simply ignore the critical military's insights, and the
vast bulk of officers obey orders. Many of them know better. They have
learned the hard way - experience. Neocon intellectuals and scribblers
utterly lack it.

We are at point zero in the application of American power in the world:
the U.S. cannot win its extremely expensive adventures nor will it abstain
from policies which increasingly lead to disasters for the nations in
which it intervenes and for itself as well. All the factors I have
mentioned - its myopia regarding technology, the policy consensus that
binds ambitious politicians and often makes public opinion irrelevant, the
arms makers and their local interests, or the limits of rational inputs -
have all combined to deliver us to this impasse. It is difficult not to be
pessimistic when - as it should be - realism rather than illusions guide
our political assessments. But realism is the only way to avoid cynicism.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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