|Progressive Calendar 09.01.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 23:11:02 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.01.07 1. pReNC 9.01 12noon 2. KFAI/Indian 9.02 7pm 3. Girls who toil 9.03 11am 4. WC press conf 9.03 11:30am 5. New 35W ramp? 9.04 5pm 6. Iraq/art 9.04 5:30pm 7. Colombia 9.04 6pm 8. Talk talk talk 9.04 6:30pm 9. uhcan-mn 9.04 7pm 10. Peter Vevang - Major incident at Critical Mass bike rally 11. Cavlan/Inymedia - Cops attack Critical Mass; arrest 10+ cyclists 12. PC Roberts - Executive rampage: war criminal in the living room 13. Jeff Gibbs - It's time to stop messing around 14. Ray McGovern - Now or never to stop war with Iran 15. ed - Lesser evil night crawler (poem) --------1 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: pReNC 9.01 12noon Next year this time, the 2008 Republican National Convention will be days away. To help prepare, the pReNC is happening THIS L(a)bor Day weekend: Friday, August 31st - Monday, September 3rd. Stuff is going on all over the Twin Cities. The Jack Pine Community Center (2815 Lake Street E, Mpls) is a starting point. Check out the video trailer some folks put together (have your sound on): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmtIIVNXV7Q Excited? I am! The pReNC is four days of skill-sharing, idea-sharing, friend-making, & logistical dry-runs. Here's a summary schedule (a much more detailed schedule is available at http://www.nornc.org/prenc-labor-day-2007): FRIDAY: -12-5 Check-in at the Jack Pine (2815 Lake Street) -5:30 Critical Mass, followed by free dinner at the Jack Pine & evening events SATURDAY: -10:00 Brunch, including RNC Welcoiming Committee presentations -12-7 All sorts of workshops (see nornc.org for specifics) -9:00 Poker and night games SUNDAY: -11-6 Strategizing sessions (PLEASE NOTE in order to ensure unhampered discussion this require preregistration at Saturday's bunch. We're trying very hard to make the process easy, un-elitist, and transparent, while maintaining a safe level of security culture. See the pReNC page on nornc.org for more information.) MONDAY: -12-3:30 Closing picnic/celebration in downtown Saint Paul. The pReNC is the work of the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group of anarchists / anti-authoritarians preparing for the 2008 Convention. Our website, http://www.nornc.org, has more information on what we're about and how to get involved with the group. The Republicans are coming, but we are already here :) --------2 of 15-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 9.02 7pm KFAI¹s Indian uprising for Sept. 2nd, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #229 TOWING THEIR HOME FROM RIGHT UNDER THEM: An interview by Clara NiiSka (Ahnishinahbaeotjibway of the Bear Dodem at Red Lake, MN). She is completing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Previously, NiiSka was a managing editor of the Native American Press newspaper. Leota Hardy and Leroy Whitebird built a house for their family on her grandmother's allotment on Leech Lake Indian Reservation, using a contractor recommended by the reservation housing authority. As they watched their house being built - and investigated what appeared to be irregularities - they discovered that the contractor was double-billing for materials, as well as doing an extremely shoddy job in the construction. They did their best to get the contractor to correct the problems, including cracked walls and poor drainage leading to black mold. The contractor and the tribe were unresponsive. Eventually, they stopped making payments 'until the problems were corrected.' The tribe's response was to tow away their home, along with all their belongings (including their children's school clothes, eagle feathers, and other irreplaceable personal possessions). Acting as her own attorney, Hardy has spent years trying to get a hearing in federal court. Note: NiiSka's interview is an independent production and not an assignment for Indian Uprising. * * * * 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 www.kfai.org 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. -------3 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Girls who toil 9.03 11am Among Girls Who Toil: Eva Valesh and Women Workers in Minneapolis Mill City Museum, downtown Minneapolis MN Sept. 3, 2007 11am-4pm Fee: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, $4 for children ages 6-17, free for children age 5 and under and MHS members. To celebrate the debut of Mill City Museum's latest History Player, Eva Valesh, the museum offers a day of family programming and activities, including performances by actor Winifred Froelich, who portrays Valesh. Eva Valesh was a labor writer and orator who was also known as Eva Gay for her series of labor exposes about women workers, which appeared in the Saint Paul Daily Globe in 1888 and 1889. Visitors can enjoy a rousing 15 minute performance once per hour. Family activities will begin at noon, including photo opportunities with a 1950s mill girl, making a paper hat like the ones worn by 1919 flour packers and a museum scavenger hunt. --------4 of 15-------- From: RNC Welcoming Committee <rnc08 [at] riseup.net> Subject: WC press conf 9.03 11:30am A reminder that the RNC Welcoming Committee will be holding a press conference after this weekend's pReNC, on Monday September 3, at 11:30 am. The press conference will be held on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. Note that the time is at 11:30 am NOT 11:00 am. More information: http://www.nornc.org --------5 of 15-------- From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com> Subject: New 35W ramp? 9.04 5pm Greetings, all - As many of you are aware, there are discussions going on between the Minnesota DOT and the City of Minneapolis regarding placing a freeway exit ramp from 35W S on Lincoln or Buchanan streets. IN will be hosting a neighborhood meeting for residents and businesses to discuss this issue on Tuesday, September 4th from 5-7 PM. Both MNDOT and representatives from Minneapolis Public Works will be there. If interested, you are all invited to attend this meeting. It will be held behind the curtain in the cafe area. Thanks! David Nelson Intelligent Nutrients 612.617.2072 (Phone) 612.617.2005 (Fax) --------6 of 15-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iraq/art 9.04 5:30pm "Inside Iraq: Rhythms of Daily Life" Watercolors and Oils September 4 to October 1 (Opening: Friday September 7, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.) Dunn Bros Coffee Shop, 3348 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis. Paintings by current artists from Najaf and Karbala, Iraq on display. Sale proceeds divided between the artists and Muslim Peacekeeper Teams in Iraq. Co-sponsored by: WAMM and Iraq-MN Art Project. FFI: Call Kathy McKay, 952-545-9981 or email <mlopez5935 [at] aol.com>. --------7 of 15-------- From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Colombia 9.04 6pm Dear MnSOAWatch members~ You are invited to hear Nils Dybvig (MnSOAWatch committee member) and Michele Braley share about their work on a Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) in Colombia this past year. Tuesday September 4th 6 pm at the home of Jennie and Patrick Downey 1235 Vincent Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55411 612.529.3551 --------8 of 15-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Talk talk talk 9.04 6:30pm Conversational Salon Tuesday Sept 4, the salons will start again. It will be Open Discussion. Let's see - Gonzales resigning, anniversary of Katrina, what else? 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. --------9 of 15-------- From: Stefanie Levi <stefalala [at] yahoo.com> Subject: uhcan-mn 9.04 7pm September meeting. Here is a proposed agenda for that meeting, scheduled for next week, Tuesday, 4 September, from 7:00-9:00 p. m., in the basement of Walker Methodist Church, at the corner of 16th Avenue South and 31st Street. AGENDA Welcome/Introductions Budget Report Legislative Update "SICKO" Follow-ups--Actions/T-shirt sales/Flyering General Strike Against the War 21 September Conyers/Ellison Single Payer Forum 23 September UHCAN Table @ Springboard for the Arts 3 November Status of Single Payer Coalition in MN Old Business: e.g. t-shirt sales, education,etc. New Business: planning for upcoming events, etc. Adjourn This is just a proposed agenda. I did not include times for each agenda item. If anyone has feedback/suggestions/other agenda items, please e-mail or call me or Joel Albers. Stefanie Levi 612-822-2974 stefalala [at] yahoo.com Joel Albers 612-375-0188 joel [at] uhcan-mn.org Peace Solidarity Laughter Revolution! Stefanie --------10 of 15-------- From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Major Incident at Critical Mass bike rally I just spoke with my brother via cell phone, apparently there has been a major incident at the Critical Mass bike rally, where a large group of bike riders, 100 to 200 strong, rides the city streets. This incident seems to have been sparked when a biker strayed across the yellow line and the police arrested him. I don't know the details yet, but there were dozens of police involved, people were maced, cuffed, and force was used to subdue individuals, and there were apparently several arrests. It seems there were some anarchists in the crowd, and the police may have been provoked, and there was a large overreaction in both the crowd and by the police. This is extremely unfortunate. I think the city government needs to react to this immediately. Up until now Critical Mass has largely been free of incidents and has gone on for many years peacefully. I have only been a bystander to these events and always found them amusing, and good natured as the bikers take an equal footing to automobiles on our city streets. These types of events happen frequently in the biking community, and there is the potential for long term escalation if steps are not taken to diffuse the situation due to the nature of the incident. If there are policy makers reading this, or members of the Peace Community, now would be a good time to step in and try to defuse the situation. At the next critical mass event, it would be good to see members of the peace community there, as well as people who can negotiate with the police in order to deal with disturbances, and to avoid misunderstandings. The last thing Minneapolis needs at this point is a Seattle style riot in the lead up to the GOP convention, and this has all the earmarks for creating an environment that is going to bring out a severe backlash. Also our police are overworked, working 60 hour weeks in some cases. We don't need to waste our resources on this. Peter Vevang NE, Minneapolis --------11 of 15-------- Cavlan/Inymedia http://twincities.indymedia.org/newswire/display/31148 The following Article has been sent to you by ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net. The sender writes: This is the non-corporate media account of the event. Not that we don't trust those stalwart representatives of truth known as the editorial staff and corporate owners of the media to report on what actually happened at the Critical Mass event tonight. Yeah right. Apparently it was not the police that were provoked but the Crit Massers who were provoked by the Minneapolis PD. However, since the local corporate media are doing such a fine job, reporting to the public on the numerous allegations of brutality by members of the police in Minneapolis, the public shall believe the Crit Massers in the courtroom. Please note the sarcasm. Could this be a taste to come on how they shall operate during the Republican National Convention? Michael Cavlan Powderhorn ------------------------------------------------------------ Police attack Critical Mass and arrest at least 10 cyclists. ------------------------------------------------------------ Friday, 31 August 2007 Summary: Police attack critical mass and arrest many people using mace and force on crowd of cyclists after they provoke the crowd by running into the back. A strong critical mass of around 400 or more cyclists were attacked by the police at the corners of LaSalle and Grand as the tail end of the Mass went under the bridge. "They just drove into the crowd and nearly hit me, it was totally unprovoked" proclaimed a cyclist who was in the last 5 bikes. Afterwards the mass returned to the corner and chanted "Let them go" at the police. This resulted in police threatening the crowd with mace and calling for reinforcements, soon the cruisers were joined by a paddy wagon and cruiser coming down LaSalle and then joined by another cruiser and a SUV cruiser and more. What ensued was arrests and then posturing as many onlookers and massers were unsure what happened. At a certain point most of the mass started to ride as a older policeman with a white moustache and a large canister of mace stepped out of his cruiser. What transpired resulted in the arrest of bystanders, the creation of a riot style line of police that arrested a cyclist who made the mistake of falling behind them. According to an eyewitness as she attempted to move from behind the police line to join her friends she was told "Get of your bike and get on the ground." At this point 10 people are believed to be arrested as the police force of Minneapolis flexes its brutality in the midsts of the PreNC anarchist and anti-authoritarian planning happening during this weekend. Jail solidarity should ensure after more information is gathered. Check the IMC for more details and photos. Minneapolis / St. Paul IMC: http://twincities.indymedia.org/ --------12 of 15-------- Executive Rampage The War Criminal in the Living Room By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch August 31, 2007 The media is silent, Congress is absent, and Americans are distracted as George W. Bush openly prepares aggression against Iran. US Navy aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran. US Air Force jets and missile systems are deployed in bases in countries bordering or near to Iran. US B-2 stealth bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound "bunker buster" bombs. The US government is financing terrorist and separatist groups within Iran. US Special Forces teams are conducting terrorist operations inside Iran. US war doctrine has been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack on Iran and other non-nuclear countries. Bush's war threats against Iran have intensified during the course of this year. The American people are being fed a repeat of the lies used to justify naked aggression against Iraq. Bush is too self-righteous to see the dark humor in his denunciations of Iran for threatening "the security of nations everywhere" and of the Iraqi resistance for "a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the pursuit of political power." Those are precisely the words that most of the world applies to Bush and his Brownshirt administration. The Pew Foundation's world polls show that despite all the American and Israeli propaganda against Iran, the US and Israel are regarded as no less threats to world stability than demonized Iran. Bush has discarded habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, justified torture and secret trials, damned critics as anti-American, and is responsible, according to Information Clearing House, for over one million deaths of Iraqi civilians, which puts Bush high on the list of mass murderers of all time. The vast majority of "kills" by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are civilians. Now Bush wants to murder more. We have to kill Iranians "over there," Bush says, "before they come over here." There is no possibility that Iranians or any Muslims who have no air force, no navy, no modern military technology are going to "come over here," and no indication that they plan to do so. The Muslims are disunited and have been for centuries. That is what makes them vulnerable to colonial rule. If Muslims were united, the US would already have lost its army in Iraq. Indeed, it would not have been able to put an army in Iraq. Meanwhile the US media focuses on whether Republican Senator Larry Craig is a homosexual or has offended gays by denying to be one of them. The run-up for the public's attention is why a South Carolina beauty queen cannot answer a simple question about why her generation is unable to find the United States on a map. The war criminal is in the living room, and no official notice is taken of the fact. Lacking US troops with which to invade Iran, the Bush administration has decided to bomb Iran "back into the stone age." Punishing air and missile attacks have been designed not merely to destroy Iran's nuclear energy projects, but also to destroy the public infrastructure, the economy, and the ability of the government to function. Encouraged by the indifference of both the American media and public to the massive casualties inflicted on Iraqi civilians, the Bush administration will not be deterred by the prospect of its air attacks inflicting massive casualties on Iranian civilians. Last summer the Bush administration demonstrated to the entire world its total disdain for Muslim life when Bush supported Israel's month-long air attack on Lebanese civilian infrastructure and civilian residences. President Bush blocked the attempt by the rest of the world to halt the gratuitous murder of Lebanese civilians and infrastructure destruction. Clearly, turning the Muslim Middle East into a wasteland is the Bush policy. For Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony uber alles. The Bush administration has made its war plans for attacking Iraq and positioned its forces without any prior approval from Congress. The "unitary executive" obviously doesn't believe that an attack on Iran requires the approval of Congress. By its absence and quietude, Congress seems to agree that it has no role in the decision. In the improbable event that Congress were to make any fuss about Bush's decision to attack yet another country, the State Department has devised legalistic cover: simply declare Iran's military to be a "terrorist organization" and go to war under the cover of the existing resolution. The "Iran issue" has been created by the Bush administration, not by Iran. Iran, like many other countries, has a nuclear energy program to which it is entitled as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran. The Bush administration has brushed away this fact, which should be determining, just as the Bush administration brushed away the fact that weapons inspectors reported, prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Bush administration managed to disrupt the work of the pesky IAEA weapons inspectors in Iran. Iran has been working successfully with the IAEA and has achieved what a senior IAEA official recently described as a milestone agreement. The Bush administration instantly went to work to discredit the agreement and unleashed its new lapdog, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to threaten "the bombing of Iran." The Bush administration's position is legally untenable and is really nothing but a contrived excuse to start another war. Bush claims that Iran, alone among all the signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, must be denied its right under the pact to develop nuclear energy, because Iran, along among all the other signatories, will be the only country able to deceive the IAEA inspectors and develop nuclear weapons. Therefore, Iran must be denied its rights under the agreement. Bush's position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is as legally untenable as his position on every other issue - the Geneva Conventions, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, habeas corpus, the constitutional separation of powers, and presidential signing statements that he cavalierly attaches to new laws. Bush's position is that the meaning of laws and treaties varies with his needs of the moment. Bush has declared himself to be the "decider." The "decider" decides whether Americans have any rights under the Constitution and whether Iran has any rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the "decider" has decided that Iran has no such rights, the "decider" decides whether to attack Iran. No one else has any say about it. The people's representatives are just so much chaff in the wind. Whatever form of government Bush is operating under, it is far outside an accountable constitutional democratic government. Bush has transitioned America to caesarism, and even if Bush leaves office in January 2009, the powers he has accumulated in the executive will remain. Unless Bush and Cheney are impeached and convicted, there is no prospect of the US Congress and federal judiciary ever again being co-equal branches of government. 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 --------13 of 15-------- It's Time to Stop Messing Around Why I Am Not Going to the Protest By JEFF GIBBS CounterPunch August 31, 2007 I am not going to the protest. I am tired of protests: they don't stop wars. Not protests that are mostly about sign waving and hooking up with friends and strangers and feeling the solidarity and then going back to work or school on Monday. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Sure it FEELS rebellious, these government-permitted, media-ignored, totally predictable rituals - but come on, going to an anti-war protest hasn't been rebellious since Abbie Hoffman coughed up a fur ball at one in 1968. And in the context of the war on our civil liberties envisioned by Clinton/Reno and executed by your nemesis George W. Bush, they are very, very happy to have you protest and take your name and number. Or force you into a field, or a waiting pen to be locked away until they decide to let you out. Personally I am tired of marching alongside people wearing masks and carrying signs about stupid Bush when we and everyone we know put together have not been smart enough to stop him. And the Bush bashing only makes the whole parade, err, protest look juvenile to the rest of the world. Here is what I propose: let's stop messing around. No more anti-war. Let's stop the war. No more protest, unless it is part of some huge thing that doesn't involve business as usual the next day. How do you stop the war? Shut 'er down. No more business as usual. The target audience: the Democrats, and the presidential candidates who can't fall over each other fast enough rattling their little Democrat saberettes. ("Bomb Iran? I can top that, let's bomb PAKISTAN! Take THAT, cowboy!") Being anti-war is a fashion statement, a political position, not a movement. I talked to a fellow yesterday who was anti-poison but still used them on HIS lake to fight HIS weeds - weeds outta control because he and his neighbors dump tons of fertilizer on their beach hugging lawns. I personally am anti-junk food but I still eat it, anti-logging but I still use wood products, anti-fossil fuels but my work and fun still depend on them. I am anti-aging but I still age. I am against, rape, animal cruelty, torture, genetically modified food, child abuse but what am I doing to stop it? Well, being against it. In other words, nothing. "Anti-" is easy - stopping is hard. And stop it we must. We cannot wait 'til our hand is forced. Morally, it will mean we failed. Already the deaths of ten, or maybe hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is on our hands. Yours and mine. Mothers incinerated as they hold their children. Young men who looked like trouble. Shopkeepers standing where Saddam "might" have been. By some accounts two million refugees that we refuse to take in. Every day, more die because we are there. Sure it's a mess - so was Vietnam and the killing only stopped when we left. (Read the actual history, Mr. Bush, not the pretend history.) We are not welcome in Iraq by the people we are allegedly liberating. Most people don't appreciate being killed to be freed and surprise! EIGHTY PERCENT of the citizens of Iraq want us gone. In fact a lot of them are so overjoyed with us "liberating" them to celebrate they are killing as many young Americans as possible. They long for the good old days before we "liberated" them, and coincidentally, their oil. Why are we not gone? It's our economy, stupid. Let's get a grip: the U.S. does not have enough of it's own oil, or natural gas, and soon coal, and no time soon - maybe never - are we going to be rid of our addiction to fossil fuels until it runs out and our cold, dead hands will at last let loose of the gas pump. Without access to Middle East energy YOU would not be flying to Ohio to see your grandma or to Europe for that meeting. YOU would not be driving your Subaru up the mountainside. And I would probably not be making movies by traipsing around the countryside in van. It's not about the SUV or Ford F-150 driver - he or she probably uses less fuel in a year than you and I do flying to Hawaii or Paris one time. It's about all of us, we Americans. WE are not complaining about HDTV's and ipods and cheap prices on Travelocity or even aware of the irony of liking, no loving a show about a mobster family that kills, maims and extorts its way to wealth. The grim reality is we don't have enough energy in the U.S. to feed economies and lifestyles going. Losing control of the region - and an Iraq ruled by Iran means the oil (and perhaps even more importantly the natural gas) is controlled by people who don't kowtow to us - and might not cough up the oil & gas. The Chinese have contracts; we have ARMIES! Feel safer? So why don't we have A STOP THE WAR plan? That might require pain and sacrifice, something we're told we don't have to engage in as Americans - not even to save the planet. So for Christ's sake if changing light bulbs and buying a hybrid can save the entire planet, I mean what do we have to do to save little puny country like Iraq? Squint? Give up the lime in limon? Buy some green light bulbs? Now make no mistake, I like many of all of you reading, felt like I was giving it my all from time to time. The big protest in February of 2003 was part of that - millions turned out, we all felt heartened. Though it was scarcely reported by the media, friends of mine blockaded a military deployment for a few hours while I and others served as a support team. I was part of making an anti-war movie you may have heard of - "Fahrenheit 9/11." But I repeat, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting the same result, and hundreds of protests and anti-war films and four years later we have NOT stopped, nor slowed the war at all. Maybe we have helped galvanize public opinion. If so good. Maybe we thought supporting the democrats in '06 would do it. It didn't. No longer can I live with myself by saying, well, I did my part. I don't care whether the polls are for or against us. I don't care whether or not the political process is working - it isn't. It is immoral and a crime against humanity for us to continue to occupy Iraq and kill civilians. (Anywhere for that matter. May I digress for a moment? When did it become okay to bomb civilians because Saddam or a terrorist or a bad guy MIGHT be present among them? That's a sin and those responsible should be held accountable. Would you be wiling to sacrifice YOUR family because someone wanted to take out a nearby bad guy? When did we lose our moral compass so badly that we don't even need to pretend to be against killing civilians, or torture, or occupying a nation that wants us the hell out?) I can no longer give myself a pass because MY deal, my family, my work, my ease, is more important. It's not. Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, even if the comfortable are ourselves. We should be ashamed that we are leaving the heavy lifting the Cindy Sheehan, to me the lone voice who has failed to be cowed into submission or giving up among us. Let's come together not as activist or organizers but as citizens to make a plan. People associated with peace and justice groups could attend as individuals. Why? Because, 1) our "grassroots" groups, as good of people and as great a service as they provide, are really NOT grassroots groups, they are individuals self-appointed, and 2) organizations tend to merely want more of what they are good at, the usual protests, T-shirts and ad hoc causes glommed on to this one. Only one cause here: stop the war. Only citizens allowed. Speaking of citizens, where is Al Gore? Or Bill Clinton? Jimmy Carter, we need you! Where are the heavy hitters? Time to weigh in, past time. Time like Martin Luther King or Gandhi to lead the walk-out, lead the shut-down, get out in front. What would stopping the war look like? How about democrats: start to bring the troops home by thus such day, or we're going to have NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL DAY. Pick a day, draw a line in the sand for a national strike, or slow down, or work stoppage, or walk-out, maybe a day when college students are getting bored, maybe in striking distance of the holiday shopping binge. But it should here is the message: "Democrats, end the war now. Bring the troops home now. Business will NOT go on as usual until you do this." No shopping. No going to work. No movies released. No concerts. No TV shows produced. No schools open - the students have walked out. No buying of cars, plane tickets, gasoline. Hundreds of people driving the speed limit every rush hour - every major city will be shut down. Campus walkouts and non-violent strikes; maybe occupations. I don't know how to do this, but I know we must do it, or something like. Do you have a better idea? Their blood is in our name. Yours and mine. They want us gone. The killing does not have a chance of ending until we're gone. We must admit we were wrong, we are wrong, apologize, ask what we can do to make amends. Sending young men and women to kill or be killed, young men and women with bombs, guns, napalm, artillery is the way to breed tens of thousands of Osamas, not the way to peace. Let's stop the war. Let's pick a day and come together to plan this, how to stop, not oppose the war. You know the constitution gave us liberties not merely to be happy, but to rise up when our leaders have taken the power from the people. The president doesn't have the power to wage war: only the people do. The second amendment wasn't meant to safeguard your right to horde sub-machine guns in your basement, it was meant to reserve the right to rebel, to fight for what is right, for the people, in the event their government has gotten out of control. History will not judge George W. Bush. It will judge us. He did not send the troops there; we did. Only one congresswoman and NO senators voted against this war. We can bring them home, but first the democrats must fear the wrath of the people. And right now they fear us far us far too little. If the planning happens around the protest, then I will be there. If the protest is not an event, but is a reality-changing, world-changing first step in a real plan to stop the war; if everyone promises to not get back on the bus, on the plane, or in their cars having wasted a bunch of fossil fuel on a parade, I will be there. And if we do have a slow-down, shut-down, buy nothing, consume nothing, use no fuels thing going for a time maybe we can have a parade on our bikes, get to know our families and neighbors, and begin the real work of stopping global warming and global wars and terrorism the only real way possible: by ending our role as the world's chief glutton and bullies. Jeff Gibbs is a filmmaker from Flint, Michigan. He was a producer on "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" and is currently working on an environmental documentary and one on radical activism. He can be reached at jeffgibbstc [at] aol.com. --------14 of 15-------- Now or Never Do We Have the Courage to Stop War with Iran? By RAY McGOVERN Former CIA Analyst CounterPunch August 31, 2007 Why do I feel like the proverbial skunk at a Labor Day picnic? Sorry; but I thought you might want to know that this time next year there will probably be more skunks than we can handle. I fear our country is likely to be at war with Iran - and with the thousands of real terrorists Iran can field around the globe. It is going to happen, folks, unless we put our lawn chairs away on Tuesday, take part in some serious grass-roots organizing, and take action to prevent a wider war - while we still can. President George W. Bush's speech Tuesday lays out the Bush/Cheney plan to attack Iran and how the intelligence is being "fixed around the policy," as was the case before the attack on Iraq. It's not about putative Iranian "weapons of mass destruction" - not even ostensibly. It is about the requirement for a scapegoat for U.S. reverses in Iraq, and the White House's felt need to create a casus belli by provoking Iran in such a way as to "justify" armed retaliation - eventually including air strikes on its nuclear-related facilities. Bush's Aug. 28 speech to the American Legion comes five years after a very similar presentation by Vice President Dick Cheney. Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 26, 2002, Cheney set the meretricious terms of reference for war on Iraq. Sitting on the same stage that evening was former CENTCOM commander Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who was being honored at the VFW convention. Zinni later said he was shocked to hear a depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew. Although Zinni had retired two years before, his role as consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings. "There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD...I heard a case being made to go to war," Zinni told Meet the Press three and a half years later. (Zinni is a straight shooter with considerable courage, and so the question lingers: why did he not go public? It is all too familiar a conundrum at senior levels; top officials can seldom find their voices. My hunch is that Zinni regrets letting himself be guided by a misplaced professional courtesy and/or slavish adherence to classification restrictions, when he might have prevented our country from starting the kind of war of aggression branded at Nuremberg the "supreme international crime.") Cheney: Dean of Preemption Zinni was not the only one taken aback by Cheney's words. Then-CIA director George Tenet says Cheney's speech took him completely by surprise. In his memoir Tenet wrote, "I had the impression that the president wasn't any more aware than we were of what his number-two was going to say to the VFW until he said it." Yet, it could have been anticipated. Just five weeks before, Tenet himself had told his British counterpart that the president had decided to make war on Iraq for regime change and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." When Bush's senior advisers came back to town after Labor Day, 2002, the next five weeks (and by now, the next five years) were devoted to selling a new product - war on Iraq. The actual decision to attack Iraq, we now know, was made several months earlier but, as then-White House chief of staff Andy Card explained, no sensible salesperson would launch a major new product during the month of August-Cheney's preemptive strike notwithstanding. Yes, that's what Card called the coming war; a "new product." After assuring themselves that Tenet was a reliable salesman, Cheney and then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld dispatched him and the pliant Powell at State to play supporting roles in the advertising campaign: bogus yellowcake uranium from Niger, aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment, and mobile trailers for manufacturing biological warfare agent - the whole nine yards. The objective was to scare or intimidate Congress into voting for war, and, thanks largely to a robust cheering section in the corporate-controlled media, Congress did so on October 10 and 11, 2002. This past week saw the president himself, with that same kind of support, pushing a new product - war with Iran. And in the process, he made clear how intelligence is being fixed to "justify" war this time around. The case is too clever by half, but it will be hard for Americans to understand that. Indeed, the Bush/Cheney team expects that the product will sell easily-the more so, since the administration has been able once again to enlist the usual cheerleaders in the media to "catapult the propaganda," as Bush once put it. Iran's Nuclear Plans It has been like waiting for Godot...the endless wait for the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear plans. That NIE turns out to be the quintessential dog that didn't bark. The most recent published NIE on the subject was issued two and a half years ago and concluded that Iran could not have a nuclear weapon until "early- to mid-next decade." That estimate followed a string of NIEs dating back to 1995, which kept predicting, with embarrassing consistency, that Iran was "within five years" of having a nuclear weapon. The most recent NIE, published in early 2005, extended the timeline and provided still more margin for error. Basically, the timeline was moved 10 years out to 2015 but, in a fit of caution, the drafters settled on the words "early-to-mid next decade." On Feb. 27, 2007 at his confirmation hearings to be Director of National Intelligence, Michael McConnell repeated that formula verbatim. A "final" draft of the follow-up NIE mentioned above had been completed in Feb. 2007, and McConnell no doubt was briefed on its findings prior to his testimony. The fact that this draft has been sent back for revision every other month since February speaks volumes. Judging from McConnell's testimony, the conclusions of the NIE draft of February are probably not alarmist enough for Vice President Dick Cheney. (Shades of Iraq.) According to one recent report, the target date for publication has now slipped to late fall. How these endless delays can be tolerated is testimony to the fecklessness of the "watchdog" intelligence committees in House and Senate. As for Iran's motivation if it plans to go down the path of producing nuclear weapons, newly appointed defense secretary Robert Gates was asked about that at his confirmation hearing in December. Just called from the wings to replace Donald Rumsfeld, Gates apparently had not yet read the relevant memo from Cheney's office. It is a safe bet that the avuncular Cheney took Gates to the woodshed, after the nominee suggested that Iran's motivation could be, "in the first instance," deterrence:" "While they [the Iranians] are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for a nuclear capability, I think they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent. They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to the east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west, and us in the Persian Gulf." Unwelcome News (to the White House) There they go again - those bureaucrats at the International Atomic Energy Agency. On August 28, the very day Bush was playing up the dangers from Iran, the IAEA released a note of understanding between the IAEA and Iran on the key issue of inspection. The IAEA announced: "The agency has been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear materials at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use." The IAEA deputy director said the plan just agreed to by the IAEA and Iran will enable the two to reach closure by December on the nuclear issues that the IAEA began investigating in 2003. Other IAEA officials now express confidence that they will be able to detect any military diversion or any uranium enrichment above a low grade, as long as the Iran-IAEA safeguard agreement remains intact. Shades of the preliminary findings of the U.N. inspections - unprecedented in their intrusiveness - that were conducted in Iraq in early 2003 before the U.S. abruptly warned the U.N. in mid-March to pull out its inspectors, lest they find themselves among those to be shocked-and-awed. Vice President Cheney can claim, as he did three days before the attack on Iraq, that the IAEA is simply "wrong." But Cheney's credibility has sunk to prehistoric levels; witness the fact that the president was told that this time he would have to take the lead in playing up various threats from Iran. And they gave him new words. The President's New Formulation As I watched the president speak on Aug. 28, I was struck by the care he took in reading the exact words of a new, subjunctive-mood formulation regarding Iran's nuclear intentions. He never looked up; this is what he said: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust." The cautious wording suggests to me that the White House finally has concluded that the "nuclear threat" from Iran is "a dog that won't hunt," as Lyndon Johnson would have put it. While, initial press reporting focused on the "nuclear holocaust" rhetorical flourish, the earlier part of the sentence is more significant, in my view. It is quite different from earlier Bush rhetoric charging categorically that Iran is "pursuing nuclear weapons," including the following (erroneous) comment at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in early August: "This [Iran] is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon." The latest news from the IAEA is, for the White House, an unwelcome extra hurdle. And the president's advisers presumably were aware of it well before Bush's speech was finalized; it will be hard to spin. Administration officials would also worry about the possibility that some patriotic truth teller might make the press aware of the key judgments of the languishing draft of the latest NIE on Iran's nuclear capability-or that a courageous officer or official of Gen. Anthony Zinni's stature might feel conscience bound to try to head off another unnecessary war, by providing a more accurate, less alarmist assessment of the nuclear threat from Iran. It is just too much of a stretch to suggest that Iran could be a nuclear threat to the United States within the next 17 months, and that's all the time Bush and Cheney have got to honor their open pledge to our "ally" Israel to eliminate Iran's nuclear potential. Besides, some American Jewish groups have become increasingly concerned over the likelihood of serious backlash if young Americans are seen to be fighting and dying to eliminate perceived threats to Israel (but not to the U.S.). Some of these groups have been quietly urging the White House to back off the nuclear-threat rationale for war on Iran. The (Very) Bad News Bush and Cheney have clearly decided to use alleged Iranian interference in Iraq as the preferred casus belli. And the charges, whether they have merit or not, have become much more bellicose. Thus, Bush on Aug. 28: "Iran's leaders...cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces...The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops. I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities." How convenient: two birds with one stone. Someone to blame for U.S. reverses in Iraq, and "justification" to confront the ostensible source of the problem-"deadeners" having been changed to Iran. Vice President Cheney has reportedly been pushing for military retaliation against Iran if the U.S. finds hard evidence of Iranian complicity in supporting the "insurgents" in Iraq. President Bush obliged on Aug. 28: "Recently, coalition forces seized 240-millimeter rockets that had been manufactured in Iran this year and that had been provided to Iraqi extremist groups by Iranian agents. The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased in the last few months..." QED Recent U.S. actions, like arresting Iranian officials in Iraq-eight were abruptly kidnapped and held briefly in Baghdad on Aug. 28, the day Bush addressed the American Legion - suggest an intention to provoke Iran into some kind of action that would justify U.S. "retaliation." The evolving rhetoric suggests that the most likely immediate targets at this point would be training facilities inside Iran - some twenty targets that are within range of U.S. cruise missiles already in place. Iranian retaliation would be inevitable, and escalation very likely. It strikes me as shamelessly ironic that the likes of our current ambassador at the U.N., Zalmay Khalilizad, one of the architects of U.S. policy toward the area, are now warning publicly that the current upheaval in the Middle East could bring another world war. The Public Buildup Col. Pat Lang (USA, ret.), as usual, puts it succinctly: "Careful attention to the content of the chatter on the 24/7 news channels reveals a willingness to accept the idea that it is not possible to resolve differences with Iran through diplomacy. Network anchors are increasingly accepting or voicing such views. Are we supposed to believe that this is serendipitous?" And not only that. It is as if Scooter Libby were back writing lead editorials for the Washington Post, the Pravda of this administration. The Post's lead editorial on Aug. 21 regurgitated the allegations that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is "supplying the weapons that are killing a growing number of American soldiers in Iraq;" that it is "waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible." Designating Iran a "specially designated global terrorist" organization, said the Post, "seems to be the least the United States should be doing, giving the soaring number of Iranian-sponsored bomb attacks in Iraq." As for the news side of the Post, which is widely perceived as a bit freer from White House influence, its writers are hardly immune. For example, they know how many times the draft National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear program has been sent back for redrafting...and they know why. Have they been told not to write the story? For good measure, the indomitable arch-neocon James Woolsey has again entered the fray. He was trotted out on August 14 to tell Lou Dobbs that the US may have no choice but to bomb Iran in order to halt its nuclear weapons program. Woolsey, who has described himself as the "anchor of the Presbyterian wing of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs," knows what will scare. To Dobbs: "I'm afraid within, well, at worst, a few months; at best, a few years; they [Iran] could have the bomb." As for what Bush is telling his counterparts among our allies, reporting on his recent meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy are disquieting, to say the least. Reports circulating in European foreign ministries indicate that Sarkozy came away convinced that Bush "is serious about bombing Iran's secret nuclear facilities," according to well-connected journalist Arnauld De Borchgrave. It Is Up To US Air strikes on Iran seem inevitable, unless grassroots America can arrange a backbone transplant for Congress. The House needs to begin impeachment proceedings without delay. Why? Well, there's the Constitution of the United States, for one thing. For another, the initiation of impeachment proceedings might well give our senior military leaders pause. Do they really want to precipitate a wider war and risk destroying much of what is left of our armed forces for the likes of Bush and Cheney? Is another star on the shoulder worth THAT? The deterioration of the U.S. position in Iraq; the perceived need for a scapegoat; the knee-jerk deference given to Israel's myopic and ultimately self-defeating security policy; and the fact that time is running out for the Bush/Cheney administration to end Iran's nuclear program - together make for a very volatile mix. So, on Tuesday let's put away the lawn chairs and roll up our sleeves. Let's remember all that has already happened since Labor Day five years ago. There is very little time to exercise our rights as citizens and stop this madness. At a similarly critical juncture, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was typically direct. I find his words a challenge to us today: "There is such a thing as being too late.... Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with lost opportunity.... Over the bleached bones of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: 'Too late.'" Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and Robert Gates' branch chief in the early 1970s. McGovern now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a contributor to Imperial Crusades, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. He can be reached at: rrmcgovern [at] aol.com A shorter version of this article appeared originally on Consortiumnews.com --------15 of 15-------- Lesser evil night crawler To get to the small dying tree you crawl through the vast dark Dachau woods. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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