Progressive Calendar 09.01.07
From: David Shove (
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]>
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):

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

-12-5 Check-in at the Jack Pine (2815 Lake Street)
-5:30 Critical Mass, followed by free dinner at the Jack Pine & evening

-10:00 Brunch, including RNC Welcoiming Committee presentations
-12-7 All sorts of workshops (see for specifics)
-9:00 Poker and night games

-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 for more information.)

-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,, 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]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 9.02 7pm

KFAI¹s Indian uprising for Sept. 2nd, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #229

(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 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]>
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

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]>
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
Note that the time is at 11:30 am NOT 11:00 am.
More information:

--------5 of 15--------

From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at]>
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]" <wamm [at]>
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]>.

--------7 of 15--------

From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at]>
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]>
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 ( ) 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]>
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

   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.

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]
Joel Albers   612-375-0188   joel [at]
Peace Solidarity Laughter Revolution!

--------10 of 15--------

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
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--------

The following Article has been sent to you by ollamhfaery [at]

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:

--------12 of 15--------

Executive Rampage
The War Criminal in the Living Room
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

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

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]

--------13 of 15--------

It's Time to Stop Messing Around
Why I Am Not Going to the Protest
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

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

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

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

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]

--------14 of 15--------

Now or Never
Do We Have the Courage to Stop War with Iran?
Former CIA Analyst
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

"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

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

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

"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

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


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

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

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]

A shorter version of this article appeared originally on

--------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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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