Progressive Calendar 09.12.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 14:46:51 -0700 (PDT)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.12.07

1. Wages not war   9.12 5pm
2. Kevin Powell    9.12 6pm
3. Free classes    9.12 7pm
4. Vets4Peace      9.12 7pm RedWing MN
5. Steger/Iraq     9.12 7pm StJoseph MN
6. AI StPaul       9.12 7:30pm

7. UoMStrikeRally  9.13 12noon
8. NWN4P New Hope  9.13 4:30pm
9. Eagan vigil     9.13 4:30pm
10. NorthtownVigil 9.13 5pm
11. Global warming 9.13 5pm
12. Food forum     9.13 6:30pm
13. Philippines    9.13 7pm
14. Safer? Freer?  9.13 7:30pm

15. Green Party MN - UofM strike support statement
16. Cindy Sheehan  - Pigs of war
17. Gabriel Kolko  - 'The US will lose war regardless what it does'
18. Anon           - Outsource the presidency

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

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: Wages not war 9.12 5pm

Let's show some serious support and solidarity for the U of M strikers!

TODAY Wednesday, September 12, 5:00 - 6:00pm

The weekly anti-war vigil at the Lake St. / Marshall Ave. bridge across
the Mississippi is being dedicated to the strikers.  "Wages, Not War" is
the theme.  Come for the bridge vigil; after that, at 6:00, we will go the
short distance to Eastcliff, the home of U President Robert Bruininks, for
a rally there.


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

From: isis <isis [at] isisspeaks.com>
Subject: Kevin Powell 9.12 6pm

An Evening with Kevin Powell
Wed., Sept. 12, 2007
6 - 8 p.m.
NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center 1313 Penn Avenue North Minneapolis

Presented by the African American Men Project and African American Read-In
For more info: 612.302.4695

Kevin Powell is widely considered one of America's most important voices
in these early years of the 21st century. Legendary feminist Gloria
Steinem proclaims that "as a charismatic speaker, leader, and a very good
writer, Kevin Powell has the courage...to be fully human, and this will
bring the deepest revolution of all." Powell is a political activist,
poet, journalist, essayist, hiphop historian, public speaker, and
entrepreneur.

A product of extreme poverty, welfare, fatherlessness, and a single
mother-led household, he is a native of Jersey City, New Jersey and was
educated at New Jersey's Rutgers University. Powell is a longtime resident
of Brooklyn, New York, and it is from his base in New York City that he
has published 7 books, including his current title, Someday We'll All Be
Free (Soft Skull Press). This new book is a collection of provocative
essays on freedom, democracy, justice, and race in America, as inspired by
Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 presidential election, and September 11th.

Powell is presently at work on a new collection of essays, Letters to A
Young American (2008), and his second volume of poetry, No Sleep 'Til
Brooklyn (2008). Additionally, Powell is at work on his childhood memoir,
homeboy alone, slated for 2010, and The Kevin Powell Anthology (2011),
which will highlight the first twenty-five years of his literary career.
Indeed, Powell has also written numerous essays, articles, and reviews
through the years for publications such as Esquire, Newsweek, The
Washington Post, Essence, Rolling Stone, Ebony, The Amsterdam News, and
Vibe, where he was a founding staff member and served as a senior writer,
interviewing and profiling, among many others, Colin Powell, and the late
Tupac Shakur.

At present, Powell is a Writing Fellow for the Joint Center for Political
and Economic Studies, a Phelps Stokes Fund Senior Fellow and a 2008
candidate for the United State Congress in Brooklyn, New York.


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

From: David Boehnke <dboehnke [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Free classes 9.12 7pm

EXCO Offers Free Classes, Come to the Infosession this Wednesday at 7pm

Want to take free classes on amazing subjects that fit your schedule? Want
to join an educational community committed to developing an alternative
model to the current hierarchies and inequities of our educational system?
Want to teach a class on anything?

Check out the Twin Cities Experimental College, www.EXCOtc.org. We are
offering 22 classes this Fall, beginning the week of the 17th of
September, on topics ranging from experimental film making to peacemaking
and anarchism, shape note singing to poetry in Spanish.

You can register online, by contacting the teachers, coming to the first
day of class or - by attending the EXCO Infosession, THIS Wednesday
September 12th at 7pm in JBD Lecture Hall at 1600 Grand Ave in St. Paul
MN. Hear from teachers about their classes, ask them questions, talk to
organizers, join our community!

Questions? Advice? Ideas? Want to teach a class next Spring? Contact
dboehnke [at] gmail.com or call David with a cell phone at 651-212-0727.


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Vets4Peace 9.12 7pm RedWing MN

Wednesday, 9/12, 7 to 8:30, Red Wing Vets for Peace meeting at home of
Charles Nicolosi, Red Wing.  tuvecino [at] redwing.org


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Steger/Iraq 9.12 7pm StJoseph MN

Wednesday, 9/12, 7 pm, Phil Steger speaks on "Leaving Iraq Now: Why It's
the Best Chance for Peace and Why September Is Our Best Chance to Make It
Happen," College of St Benedict, St Joseph.  www.peaceintheprecincts.org


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

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl StP 9.12 7:30pm

AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, September 12th, at 7:30 p.m.
Mad Hatter Teahouse, 943 West 7th Street, Saint Paul.


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

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: UoM strike rally 9.13 12noon

Let's show some serious support and solidarity for the U of M strikers!

Thursday, September 13, Student Day of Strike Support Action.

Rally at noon at Coffman Union (on Washington Ave., near river, on East
Bank campus).  After the rally... Kick it on the picket!  Join striking
workers on the picket lines. Bring food, drinks, and other nice things!
Also at 3pm at Coffman - join the "Pedal Powered Picket Line" on a bicycle
tour de resistance.  Sponsored by the Student Solidarity Committee


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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P New Hope 9.14 4:30pm

NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:30 to 6 PM at the corner of
Winnetka and 42nd.  You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near
McDonalds; we will be on all four corners.  Bring your own or use our
signs.


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

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.13 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


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

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.13 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Global warming 9.13 5pm

Thursday, September 13th
The Launch Workshop for the Upper Midwest
<http://www.macalester.edu/leadership/
59pm
Macalester College 1600 Grand Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105

This month, E-magazine captures the ambitious spirit of Focus the Nation
organizing teams across the country! We need that spirit to build this
event into a true national dialogue, engaging millions of students and
citizens directly with political leaders.

Many educators (including myself) have used chapters from Bjiorn Lomborg?s
Skeptical Environmentalist to help spark discussion about Julian
Simon-style technological optimism. Lomborg is back with a new book called
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist?s Guide to Global Warming. I had
the opportunity to review it for Salon, out today. Incredibly, Lomborg
predicates the entire discussion in his book on a single, lower-range
warming scenario, so Cool It misses the central point of the debate. As
such, the book really fails as an articulate defense of inaction.


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

From: foodforum <foodforum [at] eastsidefood.coop>
Subject: Food forum 9.13 6:30pm

Eastside Food Co-op's September Food Forum and Potluck
Thursday, September 13th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Rogue Buddha Gallery http://www.roguebuddha.com/ 357 13th AVE in lovely
lower Northeast Minneapolis

Meg Moynihan, Organic and Diversification Specialist with the Minnesota
Department of Agriculture and Todd Lein with Thousand Hills Cattle Company
http://www.thousandhillscattleco.com/

Its a great local beef producer and a great public servant swinging for
sustainable, local and organic foods and farms at our own MN Dept of AG!
What is the difference in the cheap, feedlot raised meats that you can buy
and local pasture raised choices? Come find out about the great innovative
things that our MN Department of AG is doing on the behalf for local,
sustainable and organic farms and the folks that depend on their products.

The recent floods in SE MN have impacted not just farmers fields, homes,
machinery and livestock but on top of all that some of the organic farms
certification could be in jeopardy.  Meg will let us know what is
happening and what we can do to support these farmers. We will be able to
have delicious tastes of Thousand Hills hamburgers and their fabulous all
beef hot dogs.  Attempts will be made to make the finest prepared hot dog
on this green earth, so come help us do that! Come ask questions (there
are NO stupid ones) and make that connection from our forks to the fields
and farmers that raise our food.

Nothing builds community like breaking bread together so some people think
of these evenings as potluck affairs and YOU CAN TOO! Just bring something
you would like to share, any serving and eating utensils you may need and a
plate AND of course your ideas and fixings for the best dang hot dog EVER.

Please feel free to spread the word by forwarding this on to anyone that may
be interested, wants to learn about local food from sustainable family
farms, the challenges involved and anybody you know that eats.

Questions? Call the East Side Food Co-op - 612-788-0950.
http://www.eastsidefood.coop/


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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Philippines 9.13 7pm

Program change for Thursday the 13th, 7 PM. Gary King will be out of town
and so Dr. Paul Bloom will be speaking at the NWN4P program on "Human
Rights in the Philippines" at the Parish Community of St. Joseph,
8701-36th Avenue. N, New Hope.

Dr. Bloom is a professor at the University of Minnesota in Soil Chemistry
and has been a visiting scientist at the International Rice Research
Institute in the Philippines. His wife is from the Philippines and he is a
founding member of the Philippine Study Group and Board member of the
Philippine Scholars, an organization that helps poor children in the
Philippines to stay in school. Since 1994 he has been active in trying to
get the US to take responsibility for the pollution remaining at the
former US Air and Naval Bases in the Philippines. Come and learn.  Free
and open to the public.


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

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Less Safe/Free 9.13 7:30pm

David Cole discusses his new book, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is
Losing the War on Terror (co-written with Jules Lobel), 7:30pm Thursday,
September 13 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

"If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too
long."--President Bush, defending the preemptive war strategy, at a
commencement speech at West Point, June 1, 2002

"A resounding argument contra administration policy." -Kirkus Reviews

ARE WE SAFER?  NEW BOOK SHOWS THAT WAR ON TERROR HAS BACKFIRED

In Steven Spielberg's science fiction thriller Minority Report, the
Justice Department uses psychic visionaries to predict and prevent future
crimes. President Bush has no psychic visionaries, but in fighting the war
on terrorism his administration has nonetheless adopted a sweeping new
"preemptive" strategy, which turns on the ability to predict the future.

At home and abroad, the administration has cut corners on fundamental
commitments of the rule of law in the name of preventing future
attacks - from "waterboarding" detainees, to disappearing suspects into
secret CIA prisons, to attacking Iraq against the wishes of the UN
Security Council and most of the world when it posed no imminent threat of
attacking us.

In this brilliantly conceived critique, two of the country's preeminent
constitutional scholars argue that the great irony is that these
sacrifices in the rule of law, adopted in the name of prevention, have in
fact made us more susceptible to future terrorist attacks. They
conclusively debunk the administration's claim that it is winning the war
on terror and offer an alternative strategy in which the rule of law is an
asset, not an obstacle, in the struggle to keep us both safe and free.

The Bush administration is fond of reminding us that no terrorist attacks
have occurred on domestic soil since 9/11. But has the administration's
"war on terror" actually made us safer? According to the July 2007
National Intelligence Estimate, al Qaeda has fully reconstituted itself in
Pakistan's border region.  Worldwide terrorist attacks have grown
dramatically since 2001.  And most experts agree that independent
terrorist groups, from al Qaeda in Iraq to the individuals who bombed
subways and buses in London and Madrid, have multiplied since 9/11.

In their timely new book, Less Safe, Less Free constitutional scholars
David Cole and Jules Lobel argue that the problem lies in the particularly
aggressive "preventive paradigm" that the Bush administration adopted in
the wake of 9/11.  In the first comprehensive review of the
administration's record, Cole and Lobel show how preemptive coercion has
not only compromised our most basic values, but has little to show for
itself in terms of captured terrorists, disrupted terrorist plots, or
increased security.

Cole and Lobel calculate, for example, that the administration's record in
its anti-terrorism immigration initiatives after 9/11 is 0 for 93,000.
These sweeping measures unearthed not a single convicted terrorist.  The
administration's record in criminal "terrorism" cases is not much better,
as it has lost far more cases than it has won, and has brought almost no
actual terrorists to justice.  Similarly, by the government's own account,
only about 5 percent of those it has held at Guantanamo were fighters for
al Qaeda or the Taliban. And the administration's preventive war in Iraq
has also made the United States more vulnerable to terrorism, not less.

While the "preventive paradigm" can point to few gains in our security, it
has come at great cost to our ideals.  In the name of preemptive security,
the administration has undertaken torture; indefinite detention without
trial; extraordinary renditions; disappearances into CIA "black sites";
warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, and an illegal and
disastrous war in Iraq.  Cole and Lobel show that these measures, which
constitute the core of the "preventive paradigm," have compromised the
most basic commitments of the rule of law.  And by doing so they have
limited our long-term options for security, sparked anti-American
resentment and terrorist recruitment, and undermined relations even with
our closest allies. In short, Less Safe, Less Free unearths a record of
profound failure.

Cole and Lobel do not stop at critique, but offer an alternative vision
for keeping America safe and free: prevention that favors noncoercive
measures and multilateral cooperation, relies on the "soft power" of
foreign relations rather than military might, and recognizes that where
coercion is necessary and appropriate, it must adhere to basic legal
rules, treating the rule of law as an asset, not an obstacle, in the
struggle to keep us safe and free.

David Cole is a professor of law at Georgetown University, the legal
affairs correspondent for The Nation, and the author, most recently, of
the American Book Award-winning Enemy Aliens. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Jules Lobel is a professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh and a
constitutional lawyer and expert on emergency powers and the laws
governing war. He lives in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania.


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

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 08:45:33 -0500
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: Uo M strike support statement

The Green Party of Minnesota has issued a statement in solidarity with the
striking AFSCME workers at the University of Minnesota.  It was felt that
this is an important strike, and one clearly justified by the continuing
refusal by the University to provide wages that keep up with the cost of
living.

The statement has been posted on the strike support website, at:
http://uworkers.org/node/64
I'll also copy the statement below.
It should also be on the mngreens.org website soon.

The University is the largest employer in the state, so this strike is
important for all workers due to the precedent it will set.  It is also
important state-wide because it affects all the campuses throughout the
state:  Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Rochester, Morris, Crookston, plus
over a dozen other facilities throughout the state.

Also, because the University is a public institution, this is a matter of
public policy.  The University's Board of Regents is, at least
theoretically, accountable to the public in a way that a private
corporation's board of directors is not.  The public, including the Green
Party, should make its voice heard.

I would like to encourage all our members to support the strike in
whatever way you can.  You can donate, sign their petition, help on the
picket lines, or attend rallies.  Information on how to help is at the
strike support website:  http://uworkers.org/ There is also information
at:  http://afscme3800.org/

I intend to send another email soon, with more specific information about
how to help.

For further background on the strike and the issues, there is an excellent
City Pages article at:
http://citypages.com/databank/28/1395/article15805.asp
Dave Bicking

Here is the press release:
----------

For immediate release                 Green Party of Minnesota
September 8, 2007                      Dave Bicking, Spokesperson
                                                  612-276-1213

GREEN PARTY SUPPORTS STRIKE BY U OF M WORKERS

The Green Party of Minnesota stands in solidarity with the striking AFSCME
workers at the University of Minnesota.  They deserve to achieve their
goal: a fair wage that, at the very least, keeps up with the cost of
living.

The U of M reflects the conditions in our larger society - an obscene, and
growing, disparity in wealth and incomes.  While University austerity
programs have led to a decrease in the real wages of its lowest-paid
workers, money has been found for large increases in the salaries of the
President and top administrators.  President Bruininks is paid over
$400,000 and the football coach receives over $1 million per year.  The
Green Party is united in its stand for economic justice, and we recognize
that labor solidarity is a critical part of that struggle.

The University is a public institution and its Board of Regents must be
held accountable to the public.  We believe that the public supports fair
wages.  Large and growing support for the strike is an indication of
public opinion.  For the benefit of students, faculty, and AFSCME workers,
we call upon the Board of Regents to end the strike immediately by
granting the workers' demands.

We encourage our Green Party members to participate in strike support
activities at University campuses throughout the state.  The University is
the largest employer in the state and the success of this strike is
important to us all.  We congratulate the members of AFSCME for taking the
risks and bearing the sacrifices to stand up not only for themselves, but
for all workers.


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

Pigs of War
by Cindy Sheehan
September 11th, 2007

"I believe it is imperative that we never lose our voice of dissent,
regardless of political pressure. As Martin Luther King, Jr said: 'there
comes a time when silence is betrayal". However, it is unforgivable that
Congress has been unwilling to examine these matters or take action to
prevent these circumstances [executive branch crimes] from occurring
again".
- Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Introduction to Constitution in Crisis
(2006)

Pigs of War come in both political colors of red and blue. We are all
unfortunately very familiar with the red pigs. The pigs of war who
manipulated, cherry-picked, stove-piped and manufactured intelligence to
suggest to the world that Saddam had mushroom cloud producing WMD and
something to do with the tragic events of 9-11 that occurred six years ago
now.

Many blue politicians are pigs of war and they willingly went along with
the deceptions and even parroted red pig talking points whenever they got
a chance but now claim that the "fiendishly clever" George fooled them
into believing the nearly unbelievable. I don't know about you, but I take
small comfort in that excuse. When we have a system of government where
our supposed public servants can profit off of war along with the
corporations that pad their bank accounts both blue and red pigs benefit
and young people needlessly lose their lives sometimes killing other
humans in the process.

Our troops and the people of Iraq are the ones getting trapped between our
pusillanimous politicians. These dear human beings become ciphers in
purely political calculations from Congress and only an exercise in
abstraction from pundits, poets, publishers and the majority of the
average American who has not been personally touched by this excremental
occupation. In Iraq, every citizen has been personally touched and the
American occupation is a living, fire-breathing, palpable entity that has
intruded its imperialistic self into every aspect of their daily lives.

How do I know that Congress is playing politics with human hearts? All one
has to do is observe the lack of action on the part of the red and blue
pigs to come to this sad but inevitable conclusion. Apparently, MAJORITY
Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) has spent more time over his summer recess
trying to convince red pigs to go against George's war plan than he spent
trying to coalesce his blue caucus into something that would not resemble
the red pigs so closely that the blur becomes purple. He and Speaker
Pelosi (D-CA) have already decided that they do not have enough votes to
end the occupation just as they decided that impeachment was "off the
table" even before they were elected! So they will happily hand over to
George more of your tax money and China's money to continue the killing
fields in Iraq. Why are they so miserly with democracy, but generous with
our treasury and with our dear human treasure?

I got two very overt answers to this question one day in Congress this
past spring when I was on the Hill. In one of my meetings with Congressman
Conyers, he told me that it was more important to put a Democrat back in
the White House in '08 than it was to "end the war". After I recovered
from my shock, I knew it was confirmed that partisan politics is exactly
what is killing our children and the innocent civilians in Iraq. My next
stop was in a Congresswoman's office who has always been 100% correct
about the war. She is a lovely woman with a lovely heart and does not in
anyway qualify (and there are a few dozen others who do not) as a blue
pig. She had tears in her eyes when she told me: "Cindy, when I go to
Speaker's meetings and we talk about the war, all the talk is about
politics and not one of them mentions the heartbreak that will occur if we
don't pull our troops out, now". People are dying for two diverse but
equally deadly political agendas. The red pigs want to keep the war going
because they feed out of the trough of carnage and the blue pigs want to
keep it going for votes! Either way is reprehensible.

There is a lot of chatter about the Petraeus (written and produced by the
White House ) report. Will the general recommend drawing down troops -
even if he does, three-five thousand doesn't even bring the number down to
pre-surge levels - and the report says, in direct contradiction to the GAO
report on the surge, that sectarian violence in Iraq is down 75%, without
saying that the red pigs have re-defined the term "sectarian violence".
All I know is that the report will paint a rosier picture than what really
exists on the ground in Iraq and like Ron Paul said the other day in the
Fox News "Leader of the Red Pigs Wannabe" debate: "How can anyone believe
anything they say?"

The blue pigs won't believe the report, but they will expediently go along
with the red pig request to further fund the disaster because they believe
that it will mean political victory in '08.

It is up to we the people to care more about humanity and democracy than
either the reds or the blues and it is mandatory that we mount campaigns
to defeat the pigs and their masters: the war machine.

Twenty-one families here in America and dozens more in Iraq have felt the
sting of the lethal politics of war just since the beginning of September,
and the beat goes on.

What if instead of pigs of war in our government, we had elected officials
who put humanity before politics and people before profits? Maybe the
horrible twin tragedies of the Bush Regime and 9-11 would have never
occurred within our borders and the rest of the world could look up to the
USA with respect as a true leader in world peace instead of glaring at our
shocking and awful quest for empire off the backs of the many who benefit
the pocketbooks of the few? It's not to late, but we are getting there.

Silence is betrayal and the silence of a host of blue pigs is the biggest
betrayal of all.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's
war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold
Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other
articles by Cindy.

This article was posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 12:00 pm and
is filed under Anti-War, Iraq, Democrats and Activism. Send to a friend.


--------17 of --------

'The US Will Lose War Regardless What it Does'
by Gabriel Kolko
September 11, 2007
Spiegel

SPIEGEL: The long awaited results of the "surge" are now in. Has the surge
succeeded? Is there reason for optimism in Iraq?

KOLKO: Both United States General David H. Petraeus and US Ambassador Ryan
C. Crocker will deliver "progress" reports to Congress on Monday, but the
skeptics far outnumber those who believe Bush's strategy in Iraq is
succeeding. They will say that Shiite attacks on Sunnis in Baghdad have
fallen but they will not add that Baghdad has been largely purged in many
areas of Sunni inhabitants and their flight much earlier - and not the
increase in Americans - is the reason "success" can be reported to

Congress. Indeed, most of the administration's statistics have been met
with a wave of skepticism.

The Iraq military but especially the political 'benchmarks' that this
administration thought so crucial - and used to justify its 'surge' of
28,500 additional troops - have, in the opinion of Congress' Government
Accountability Office (GAO) report issued at the end of August, not been
attained (there are now 168,000 American troops in Iraq, plus roughly half
as many civilians). In its unexpurgated, original form, the GAO claimed
that only three of the 18 Congressionally mandated "benchmarks" had been
reached: violence was as high as ever; reconstruction was plagued by
corruption on both the Iraqi and American sides; the Shiites and Sunnis
were as disunited as ever, murdering each other; crucial laws, especially
on oil, have not been enacted yet; and probably many political changes
will never occur, and the like. Of its nine security goals, only two had
been met. White House and Pentagon efforts to soften GAO criticisms
failed.

SPIEGEL: Who has benefited from the mess?

KOLKO: The situation is worse than ever and the artificial nation -
created after World War I in a capricious manner - is breaking up. The
surge, as one Iraqi is quoted, "is isolating areas from each other ... and
putting up permanent checkpoints. That is what I call a failure." The
civilian death toll last August was higher than in February.
Geopolitically, as Bush senior feared after the first Gulf war in 1990-91,
Iran is emerging more powerful than ever, increasingly dominant in the
region. The many official Israeli warnings before the war that this would
be the outcome of war against Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein from
power have come true.

SPIEGEL: How would you describe the situation of the Bush White House
today? What options does it have?

KOLKO: The Bush Administration suffers from a fatal dilemma. Its Iraq
adventure is getting steadily worse, the American people very likely will
vote the Republicans out of office because of it, and the war is extremely
expensive at a time that the economy is beginning to present it with a
major problem. The president's poll ratings are now the worst since 2001.
Only 33 percent of the American public approve of his leadership and 58
percent want to decrease the number of American troops immediately or
quickly. Fifty-five percent want legislation to set a withdrawal deadline.
In Afghanistan, as well, the war against the Taliban is going badly, and
the Bush Administration's dismal effort to use massive American military
power to remake the world in a vague, inconsistent way is failing. The US
has managed to increasingly alienate its former friends, who now fear its
confusion and unpredictability. Above all, the American public is less
ready than ever to tolerate Bush's idiosyncrasies.

SPIEGEL: What went wrong? Was the war doomed from the very beginning? How
can the US military and the US government which is spending $3 billion per
week in Iraq be losing the war?

KOLKO: The US is losing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the very same
reasons it lost all of its earlier conflicts. It has the manpower and
firepower advantage, as always, but these are ultimately irrelevant in the
medium- and long-run. They were irrelevant in many contexts in which the
US was not involved, and they explain the outcome of many armed struggles
over the past century regardless of who was in them, for they are usually
decided by the socio-economic and political strength of the various sides
- China after 1947 and Vietnam after 1972 are two examples but scarcely
the only ones. Wars are more determined by socio-economic and political
factors than any other, and this was true long before the US attempted to
regulate the world's affairs. Political conflicts are not solved by
military interventions, and that they are often incapable of being
resolved by political or peaceful means does not alter the fact that force
is dysfunctional. This is truer today than ever with the spread of weapons
technology. Washington refuses to heed this lesson of modern history.

SPIEGEL: What is the position of the US military? Are its forces united
behind the war?

KOLKO: Some of the most acute criticisms made of the gross simplisms which
have guided interventionist policies were produced within the American
military, especially after the Vietnam experience traumatized it. My
history of the Vietnam War was purchased by many base libraries, and the
military journals treated it in detail and very respectfully. The
statement at the end of July by the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, that "no amount of troops in no amount
of time will make much of a difference" if Iraqi politics fails to change
drastically reflects a current of realism that has existed among military
thinkers for some decades (whether he acts on this assumption is another
matter and depends greatly on considerations outside of his control). But
the senior military remains extremely disunited on this war, and many
officers regard Gen. Petraeus - the top military commander in Iraq - as
a political opportunist who ultimately will do as Bush commands.

Admiral William J. Fallon, who commands American forces in the region and
is Petraeus' superior, is publicly skeptical of his endorsement of the
president's policies in Iraq. The Army, especially, does not have the
manpower for a protracted war and if the US maintains its troop levels
after spring 2008, it will face a crisis. It will have to break its pledge
not to leave soldiers in Iraq longer than 15 months, accelerate the use of
National Guard units, and the like - and it will lose the war regardless
of what it does.

SPIEGEL: But if there are critical voices in the military, why are they
ignored?

KOLKO: Like the CIA, the military has some acute strategic thinkers who
have learned from bitter experiences. The analyses of the US Army's
Strategic Studies Institute - to name one of many - are often very
insightful and critical.

The problem, of course, is that few (if any) at the decisive levels pay
any attention to the critical ruminations that the military and CIA
consistently produce. There is no shortage of insight among US official
analysts - the problem that policy is rarely formulated with objective
knowledge is a constraint on it. Ambitious people, who exist in ample
quantity, say what their superiors wish to hear and rarely, if ever,
contradict them. Former CIA head George Tenet is the supreme example of
that, and what the CIA emphasized for the president or Donald Rumsfeld was
essentially what they wanted to hear. While he admits the CIA knew far
less regarding Iraq than it should have, Tenet's recent memoir is a good
example of desire leading reporting objectively. The men and women who
rise to the top are finely tuned to the relationship between ambition and
readiness to contradict their superiors with facts. The entire mess in
Iraq, to cite just one example, was predicted. If reason and clarity
prevailed, America's role in the world would be utterly different.

SPIEGEL: But what about the Iraqi security forces? Are they able to take
over from the Americans?

KOLKO: The Iraqi army and police that are to replace the Americans is
heavily infiltrated by Shiites loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and others -
estimates vary, but at least a quarter is wholly unreliable. When Paul
Bremer was sent as proconsul to Iraq in May 2003, he decided unilaterally
to purge the military completely of Saddam's officers and loyalists -
Bush still wanted, vaguely, to keep the existing army intact - but the
task of reconstructing it proved far too difficult for his successors. The
American administration is now using the very Sunni tribes that Saddam had
worked with, mainly by purchasing their loyalty. It is very significant
that Bush during his visit to Iraq a few days ago went to Anbar province
rather than Baghdad, reflecting the realization that Nouri al-Maliki's
government is no longer the chosen vehicle for attaining America's goals.

SPIEGEL: How does Washington plan to go about the business of ending the
war?

KOLKO: There is utter confusion in Washington about how to end this
morass. Goals are similar but the means to attain them are increasingly
changing, confused, and as victory becomes more elusive so too does this
administration look pathetic. The 'surge' in the opinion of a majority of
quite conservative Establishment foreign policy experts (80 percent of
whom had once served in government) was failing; the administration's
handling of the war, in their view, was dismal. In fact, it is disastrous.

Interview conducted by John Goetz.


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

OUTSOURCE THE PRESIDENCY

Washington, DC (AP) -- Congress today announced that the office of
President of the United States of America will be out-sourced to India as
of August 1, 2007.

The move is being made in order to save the President's $500,000 yearly
salary, and also a record $521 trillion in deficit expenditures and
related overhead the office has incurred during the last 6 years.

"We believe this is a wise move financially. The cost savings should be
significant," stated Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R-WA). "We cannot expect
to remain competitive on the world stage with the current level of cash
outlay,"  Reynolds noted.

Mr. Bush was informed by e-mail this morning of his replacement time.
Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India will be assuming the
office of President as of July 1, 2007.

Mr. Singh was born in the United States while his Indian parents were
vacationing at Niagara Falls, thus making him eligible for the position.
He will receive a salary of $320 (USD) a month but with no health coverage
or other benefits.

It is believed that Mr. Singh will be able to handle his job
responsibilities without a support staff. Due to the time difference
between the US and India, he will be working primarily at night, when few
offices of the US Government will be open.

"Working nights will allow me to keep my day job at the Dell computer call
center," stated Mr. Singh in an exclusive interview.  "I am excited about
this position. I always hoped I would be President."

A Congressional spokesperson noted that while Mr. Singh may not be fully
aware of all the issues involved in the office of President, this should
not be a problem as President Bush was not familiar with the issues
either.

Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable him to respond
effectively to most topics of concern. Using these canned responses, he
can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying
issue at all. "We know these scripting tools work," stated the
spokesperson. "President Bush has used them successfully for years."

Bush will receive health coverage, expenses, and salary until his final
day of employment. Following a two week waiting period, he will be
eligible for $140 a week unemployment for 13 weeks.

Unfortunately he will not be eligible for Medicaid, as his unemployment
benefits will exceed the allowed limit. Mr. Bush has been provided the
outplacement services of Manpower, Inc. to help him write a resume and
prepare for his upcoming job transition. According to Manpower, Mr. Bush
may have difficulties in securing a new position due to limited practical
or successful work experience.  A Greeter position at Wal-Mart was
suggested due to Bush's extensive experience shaking hands, as well as his
goofy smile.


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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