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Dear Taoiseach...

category dublin | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Wednesday March 16, 2005 19:38author by redjade Report this post to the editors

Kelly Dougherty writes a letter to the Taoiseach

Kelly Dougherty
US Army National Guard,
Co-founder Iraq Veterans Against the War

Dublin
14 March 2005

Dear Taoiseach,


Photo Series:
Pitstop Ploughshares supporters March from the Four Courts to Dáil Éireann after trial collapses.
Delivering Kelly's Letter to Bertie...
''You should be proud of where you're from. There's been a lot of damage to the idealism that the US is supposed to be all about: freedom and optimism and democracy. That image is really being ruined by the Bush administration.''
- An Interview with Kelly Dougherty...

As an American citizen and a former US army sergeant, I implore you to withdraw the Republic of Ireland’s support for the US war on Iraq by no longer allowing US military planes to land or refuel in Ireland.

During my year of service in Iraq I witnessed first-hand the destruction, poverty and violence that the US occupation is causing. The lies used to justify the invasion of Iraq have long been exposed, and yet the occupation continues and the casualties mount. A recent study conducted by The Lancet has estimated that close to 100,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed since the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq. More than 1,550 of my fellow American men and women, and dozens of foreign soldiers and civilians, have lost their lives in this illegal, immoral war. Added to these gruesome figures are the tens of thousands of people returning from Iraq physically wounded and emotionally shattered.

More than 350,000 US troops have passed through Shannon Airport in recent years, including 158,000 just in 2004. Many of those soldiers were en route to Iraq, where they were being sent to fight, kill and die for a war based on lies. Taoiseach, I ask you to help end the US-led occupation of Iraq by no longer allowing the US military to use Shannon Airport as a stopping point on the way to Iraq.

There has been a strong friendship and connection between Ireland and the United States. My own ancestors emigrated to the US from Ireland. As an Irish-American I ask you to demonstrate the Republic of Ireland’s commitment to peace and to its policy of neutrality by ending Irish participation in this illegal war. I also request that Ireland offer safe refuge to US service members seeking asylum as a means to avoid participating in the illegal occupation of Iraq....


As a US citizen and army veteran of the Iraq war, I make these requests out of a desire to protect the lives of both my fellow Americans and the Iraqi people. The deception used first to justify the war and now to continue the occupation of Iraq is not only a disgrace to service women and men, but also an attack on the sanctity of human life as a whole. I call on you, Taoiseach, to lead the Irish people in their stand for compassion and peace.

With much respect,

Kelly Dougherty

US Army National Guard,
Co-founder Iraq Veterans Against the War ( http://www.ivaw.net )
909 Cheyenne Boulevard,
Colorado Springs, CO
80906 USA

author by redjadepublication date Mon Mar 14, 2005 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

{ photo by redjade } (c)

http://www.WarOnTrial.com
http://www.IVAW.net

Kelly Dougherty
Kelly Dougherty

author by redjadepublication date Wed Mar 16, 2005 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When Kelly was here to told us how her unit was assigned to protect Halliburton/KBR petrol fuel trucks travelling north from Kuwait - when the truck broke down, they had to protect it as potentially hostile local Iraqis surrounded the truck. She and her fellow soldiers' job was to protect Dick Cheney's old company.

Then they got a call from KBR instructing them to burn the truck and burn off all the fuel so the locals couldn't use it and leave the wreck behind.

She and others risked their lives and the lives of others for nothing.

Now this....

-- -- --

Odd Economics
http://www.the-hamster.com/mtype/archives/2005/03/odd_economics.html

Iraq needed fuel. Halliburton Co. was ordered to get it there — quick. So the Houston-based contractor charged the Pentagon $27.5 million to ship $82,100 worth of cooking and heating fuel.

[....]

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the figures were taken out of context.

"The implication is definitely misleading," Hall said. "Transporting fuel into Iraq was a mission fraught with danger, which increased the prices that firms were willing to offer for transportation.

author by jeffpublication date Wed Mar 16, 2005 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She risked her life in Iraq, and yet is still strong enough to maintain both her sanity and her resolve. No doubt some right wing troll from Sir Tony and co. will try paint her as some subversive deviant who hates Iraqis, democracy, freedom or whatever it is humane people like Kelly are supposed to 'hate'.

author by Michelle Clarke - No to use of Shannon by US troopspublication date Thu Mar 17, 2005 00:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We need more Whistleblowers to make those with power Think morally as well as economicaly.

It is a woman called Kate Millett that wrote a book on the Politics of Cruelty. As people in Ireland and England choose to read less and less, maybe it is time to encourage books and the wisdom contained therein.

Iraq represents to me the Politics of Cruelty and it goes against my core grain to know that economic greed and fear form the core of the motivation factors for invasion. The imperialist power this time is the US with the UK as cohort. Ireland alas provides 'safe passage' and who knows what else.

What about the Rule of Law? The Rule of Law is one of the reasons cited to exclude Sinn Fein from the Global Irish St. Patrick's Day in New York.

What about our Geneva Convention? What is the position of the European Union? It is looking like the Italians will withdraw their troops from Iraq.

Then what about Syria? What about the Lebanon? Is it about 'product', Opec submission and supply and control and money at any cost., yet no one has curtailed expenditure on this product. The cars in Ireland are getting bigger and bigger as are the houses. The word Environmental is blighted by the prospect of Nuclear Waste Incinerators and Mayo scenery and wildlife forfeited to Corporate Greed .....

There are no weapons of mass destruction and an eminent nuclear expert, Dr. Kelly, was questioned without mercy by committees and politicians in England and of course by the media. He paid the price with his life. Personally, I believe his suicide was his only way of making apathetic people think about the human costs of war. Let his death not be in vain.

Kelley, you are young and you have witnessed. I commend you for writing to our Taoiseach who is presently celebrating St. Patrick's Day with President Bush etc. while our own Irish Peace Process has been cast to the wind.

The vacuum that exists and extends is not helped by certain people celebrating and others pondering!!! It has taken ten hard years of ceasefire to get as far as here.....Why such negligence at a political level?

Personally, I had hoped for Peace, for a pro-type that could pave the way for others;

Kelley, here is a quote for you.

'Johnathan Swift' Dean of Trinity University circa 16th century said these profound words

'Give vision to the visionless'....We need this now more than ever.

You have had the opportunity of vision, I hope now your courage remains with you and you go forward.

Kate Millett wrote about The Politics of Cruelty. She set our her theory of politics and provides a harrowing view of the modern state based on the practice of torture....and deals with the fact that it is used as a method of rule...She holds that this is a conscious policy. She refers to a word used by the French for this kind of writing:

''they call it temoignage, the literature of the witness; the one who has been there, seen it, knows. It crosses genres, can be autobiographical, reportage, even narrative fiction. But its basis is factual, fact passionately lived and put into writing by a moral imperative rooted like a flower amid carnage with an imperishable optimism,

a hope that those who will hear will care, will even Take Action.

All I can say is that there are a number of committed people to the cause of Iraw; the withdrawal of rights to Shannon etc. Sometime let's hope the message gets through to those with power to make the change and embrace difference.

Yes, Ireland should become a sanctuary to people who choose to take a flight of Iraq and arrive in Shannon......people who choose not to continue at war ought to have sanctuary.

I wish you luck and others to. I also hope that the Irish Peace Process gets a kick start to lead it to conclusion.

Michelle Clarke

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Thu Mar 17, 2005 04:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As more and more military personnel speak out about what they've seen and why they don't want to be part of it, then the chances that we can avoid more Iraqi and US people loosing their lives and limbs increases.

The Bush administration is running scared about the troop casualties and the actual graphic awfulness of this war. Even more than with the Iraqi deaths they're being very careful to cover up the wounded, injured and maimed US forces, like the poor bastards in the link below:

José Martinez - US serviceman wounded in Iraq
José Martinez - US serviceman wounded in Iraq

Related Link: http://thememoryhole.org/war/wounded/gallery.htm
author by just?publication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Went to another country to brutalise them - got what they deserved. No sympathy for murderers.

author by Bilderberg trustpublication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Talking about stopping the war by getting army vets to speak out against it, i dont know, sure as hell didnt stop the Vietnam war (or any other war i can think of).
Im not being over cynical -just realistic.
anyway fair play to Kelly Dougherty....

although ..it always makes me think -when you see these ex-army veterans turned peacenick, i mean what in gods name were they thinking joining the US army anyway?

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethics - Pleasepublication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I note your comment about ex Veterans becoming Peaceniks.

I also note your question as to why join the army.....

Hopefully, the answer is pursuit of Justice but with the proviso that a change of mind is always possible.

This Gandhi quotation sums it up:

'Live as if you are going to die tomorrow but learn as if you are going to learn for the rest of your life'

We need ex. Veterans like Kelley to enable us to see and grasp what is being activated on our behalf.


Michelle Clarke

author by redjadepublication date Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'They can't train you for the reality of Iraq. You can't have a mass grave with dogs eating the people in it'
- Two years after the war began, a growing number of US troops are refusing to return to Iraq

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1441273,00.html

At the same time that Kevin Benderman's unit was called up for a second tour in Iraq with the Third Infantry Division, two soldiers tried to kill themselves and another had a relative shoot him in the leg. Seventeen went awol or ran off to Canada, and Sergeant Benderman, whose family has sent a son to every war since the American revolution, defied his genes and nine years of military training and followed his conscience.

[....]

They may not be part of any organised anti-war movement, but the conscientious objectors, runaways, and other irregular protesters suggest that, two years on, the war is taking a heavy toll. "They can't train you for the reality. You can't have a mass grave with dogs eating the people in it," Sgt Benderman told the Guardian. "It's not like practising for a football game, or cramming for a test in college. You can go out there and train, but until you actually experience war first hand you don't know what it's like."

[....]

Recruitment and re-enlistment rates are down - especially for African-Americans, a 40% drop in the past five years - increasing the strain on the Pentagon.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 military personnel are in Iraq despite serious medical conditions that should have ruled them out of combat, according to the National Gulf War Resource Centre. The GI Rights Hotline, which counsels troops, says it fielded 32,000 calls last year from soldiers seeking an exit from the military, or suffering from post-combat stress.

Others vote with their feet. Last year the Pentagon admitted that 5,500 of its forces had gone awol, although it claims many returned to their units after resolving personal crises. Some abandoned the country altogether - like Chris Cornell,....

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1441273,00.html
author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Sat Mar 19, 2005 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Redjade

A most interesting contribution on the day that people are protesting against the War in Iraq. I note from the news tonight that people in Turkey came out to vote against the war in Iraq. Yes, power to the people.

Veterans are speaking out. And as you state people are voting with their feet.....The Pentagon have had to report that 5,500 US Army went AWOL last year.

What about those who have taken the suicide route? Are there any figures? Are the bodies of these victims of war being facilitated by the Irish government and Shannon Airport.

Mass graves left unattended, dogs on the prowl in the midst of human devastation is too high a price for this War.

The US government ought to alert themselves to the fall-off in recruitment and re-enlistment (especially African Americans). 40% in four years is too high. Is this war worth the possibility of leaving the US vulnerable to other outcomes of War. Would people really consider the War in Iraq worth it, if conscription had to be enforced?

Bad propaganda (as one can witness presently in the handling of Sinn Fein position in the Good Friday Agreement/Peace Process) can ultimately create an apathy and destroy positive moves forward.

For Ireland, we need to grasp that one can always embrace change. It is within the scope of Government to prioritise the Iraq War position and the hideous fact that we make available our airport at Shannon.

There is a Rule of Law. There is a Geneva Convention. Italy almost lost a reporter and so many un-named reporters provide scope to those of us concerned with humanitarian issues to ensure that our respective countries do not facilitate the US and UK in this war.

Quotation:

'Reason can wrestle terror and overthrow it at last'
Euphrides (Greek civilisation, I think!!)

Michelle

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Sun Mar 20, 2005 19:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: "I was looking to go to university, but I didn't know how I was going to pay for it; I was looking at scholarships, but it didn't seem it would cover it, so I was looking for a way to pay for school.

My stepfather's son is in the National Guard and he said, you should go talk to a recruiter: the National Guard will pay for your school and all you have to do is drink coffee once a month and sit around."

So, there you have it. Like a huge number of people that "volunteer" for the military they're looking for economic opportunities that don't otherwise exist. The "join the reserves and go to college" angle is pushed heavily by recruiters. The fact that only about 10% of those recruited ever get to take up any of that money (because they're the only ones that are able to actually _get into_ any college) is not something that's publicised.

As for the "they deserved it" comment about the wounded army personnel, well maybe some of them did, but it's likely that most of them didn't.

The people that really "deserve it" (if anyone does, which I really question) are the cowardly profiteers in congress and the Senate and the people that vote for them that will never go to war or have their kids go to war.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69030
author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethics - Pleasepublication date Mon Mar 21, 2005 01:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pugh

Your comment makes me think.

To attend college in the US is about funds. For the majority of people it is about loans and payback. The market is competitive driven and Congress do not endorse a free education system as we can avail of here in the South of Ireland.

Fair dues to you to consider the avenue of the military as a source of funding. You have taken the same route as many before you. We had students after the second World War in Ireland who were former GI Blues. They entered professions like medicine and brought with them a wealth of experience.

I commend you. I endorse the 'right to change your mind' and to be supported in this choice by your own Government.

I endorse further education as a right; I have benefitted and although I don't fit into the 'Box', I have a better understanding of why I don't give into the life events of the past 12 years......

Quotation:

Dostoievsky in his Diary of a Writer (quoted in Madness and Civilization; Foucalt):

'It is not by confining one's neighbour that one is convinced of one's own sanity'

Michelle (I can easy relate to this as a Bipolar person).....

author by redjadepublication date Mon Mar 21, 2005 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The loud, clear voice of Iraq war's wounded vets
By Norman Solomon
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2002211043&zsection_id=268883724&slug=wounded18&date=20050318

This month, the Defense Department released data showing that the official number of U.S. troops "wounded in action" in Iraq has gone over the 11,000 mark. Notably, 95 percent of those Americans were wounded after May 1, 2003.

In a bizarre echo of President Bush's top-gun aircraft-carrier speech on that day, the Pentagon still asserts that the U.S. casualties since then have occurred "after the end of major combat operations." Although the media routinely find space for reports on American deaths in Iraq, news outlets rarely convey the magnitude of injuries.

[....]

The human toll among veterans, extending well beyond those who were physically harmed, includes common chronic symptoms of post-traumatic-stress disorder, such as: extreme anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, panic attacks, displaced rage and survivor's guilt. Families and relationships are at heightened risk of falling apart.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Mar 25, 2005 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

kelly dougherty
MP3 audio - 1.6megs
http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/kelly_dougherty-raw64.mp3

----

Download the other speeches at....

Real Support for the Troops- Bring them Home Now
http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2005/03/4150.php

March 19th, 2005 - on the 2 year anniversary of the launching of the attack on Iraq a massive anti-war, anti-occupation, pro-serviceperson rally was held in Fayettville NC. Here's audio clips of the first 80 minutes of the speakers.

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethics - Pleasepublication date Sun Mar 27, 2005 03:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is Easter. It is the time for Hope. Yet US troops and British troops are in Iraq.....

Time for Change of Attitude. Time to take heed from the words of Jonathan Swift 16 century (Dean St. Patrick's Cathedral) and seek 'Vision for the visionless'.

Today, as the Pope ails; a man with mental health problems has had to be encouraged down from the top of the Basilica.

He asked a simple question of the Pope; he asked for provision for orphans...


Happy Easter


Michelle

author by c allahan - peacepublication date Sun Mar 27, 2005 03:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you are inspiring!!!

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethics - Pleasepublication date Mon Mar 28, 2005 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, I absolutely agree with your comment on this site.

It is inspiring!!!! Hopefully, people will learn to listen, read, and reflect....

The cost of War is just too high.

Could there be an increasing interest in Spirituality and is it about a reaction to over-reliance on material goods for happiness...

A quotation for reflection:
Bill Moyers, an astute observer of the American scene, suggests (in 1990)

'I think at the heart of such restlessness of the day is a Spiritual Vacuum. There is a yearning for meaningful lives, a yearning for values we can commonly embrace. I hear an almost inaudible but pervasive discontent with the price we pay for our current materialism. And I hear a fluttering a fluttering of Hope that there might be more to life than bread and circuses'

Taken from book written by Edward C. Sellner. Mentoring. The Ministry of Spiritual Kinship.

Hope born out of reflection is still but a seed!!!


Michelle Easter 2005

author by redjadepublication date Wed May 04, 2005 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Redacting Reality
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/outrage?pid=2365
After years of pushing for expanded secrecy, last week the Pentagon was forced to release hundreds of photographs of fallen American soldiers in flag-draped coffins. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by University of Delaware Professor and former CNN reporter Ralph Begleiter in October 2004, the Pentagon made public more than 700 images of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken by military photographers between 2001 and 2004.

In a maddening twist, however, the DoD heavily censored the images by blacking out ("redacting") the faces, uniform insignia and name tags of the soldiers carrying the coffins in color-guard ceremonies. They say it's only a matter of privacy protection. Yet the Pentagon provides photos of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Can you imagine the DoD asking combat troops in Ramadi for privacy waivers?

-- -- --

Return of the Fallen
PENTAGON RELEASES HUNDREDS MORE
WAR CASUALTY HOMECOMING IMAGES
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB152/
Although some of the newly released images include dates, locations and other information, the Pentagon censored that information from most of the released images. Some of the censorship, or, as the Pentagon prefers to call it, "redaction," blacks out faces, identifying features on equipment, and uniform styles. In one case, for example, a clergyman's identity is censored, while in another image, a different clergyman remains unredacted.

-- -- --

Go see the images...
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB152/

Censored Soldiers
Censored Soldiers

author by eeekkkkpublication date Wed May 04, 2005 14:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Isn't it curious that the most dangerous and notorious road on the planet at present is named after this country and the mainstream media has never mentioned it.

There are whole chapters titled 'Route Irish' in the reports being issued by the US and Italy at present over the killing of secret service agent form italy who had just secured release of female italian journalist from kidnapping.

Very Very Strange Indeedy. And definitely of public interest.

Ring the RTE newsroom and the Times newsdesk and ask them why it is never mentioned.

one of the reports concerned is available at this link - http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69678

author by redjadepublication date Wed May 04, 2005 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Google the entire RTE website for "route irish" and you find NOTHING.

check out this link:
http://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.rte.ie%20%22Route%20Irish%22

Would be good to collect the stories of people calling RTE to ask why this is.

author by eeekkkkkpublication date Wed May 04, 2005 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

someone with an Irish Times subscription search the archive there!

I'll search Unison.ie and examiner.ie

author by Irish Timespublication date Wed May 04, 2005 15:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.ireland.com/focus/uselection2004/analysis/1096684861775.htm

http://www.ireland.com/focus/uselection2004/analysis/1091051929377.htm

http://www.ireland.com/focus/iraq/road/powell.htm
There plenty of reports on the elections and and Colin Powell by reporters Cleary and Humphreys.

author by eeekkkpublication date Wed May 04, 2005 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

or am i missing something? Search I think is finding 'route' together with 'irish times'

author by redjadepublication date Wed May 04, 2005 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish Times (Ireland.com) has a really crappy search engine, but I tried goggle and then logging-in to ireland.com to do an internal search.

BOTH resulted in nothing regarding the "Route Irish" we are looking for - some about routes in Iraq, but no Route Irish.

→ Results from Ireland.com:
→ "Route Irish" http://tinyurl.com/bv8ux

→"Route Irish" iraq http://tinyurl.com/dgava

I'm starting to believe my own conspiracy theories!

author by redjadepublication date Wed May 04, 2005 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

→ 4 mentions in the New York Times
http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=%22Route%20Irish%22&date_select=full&srchst=nyt

→ 3 mentions in the Washingon Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/Search?keywords=%22Route%20Irish%22

→ 2 mentions in the Boston Globe
http://tinyurl.com/aaul9

→ None relevant at the BBC
http://newssearch.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/search/results.pl?scope=newsukfs&tab=news&q=%22Route+Irish%22&go.x=32&go.y=12

→ 1 from the Washington Times (
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050503-061630-7288r.htm
'"It is a road filled with dangers that can kill, maim, and injure Soldiers and civilians," the Army report said.

Between Nov. 1, 2004, and March 12, 2005, there were 135 attacks or hostile incidents on the road, referred to by the military as Route Irish.'

→ Currently there are 15 pages of Google News results (many repeats as UPI/AP/etc newswires are republished in smaller US newspapers....
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&filter=0&q=%22Route+Irish%22&btnG=Search+News

author by eeekkkkkpublication date Wed May 04, 2005 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I Declare it officially redacted - Off to hit the phones now. This is ALL there was:


'Route Irish' Blog - International Anti-War - Indymedia Ireland
... an Indymedia.ie blog of media references to 'Route Irish'. 'Route Irish' is
what the Pentagon and US Troops call the road from Baghdad Airport... ...
www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=68521 - 42k - Cached - Similar pages


A Different Kind Of 'Route Irish' - International Anti-War ...
... by 'Route Irish' to Sanctuary Project Wednesday, Feb 9 2005, 5:30pm ...
leave Shannon Airport and land in Baghdad Airport and drive down 'Route Irish' ...
www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=68544 - 102k - Cached - Similar pages

author by eeekkkkpublication date Wed May 04, 2005 18:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

739 for "Route Irish". (0.80 seconds) 

majority are about the road.

A little birdie told me just there now that VB mentioned it once that she heard on the radio. Does not count imho as listenership is tiny and strictly for obsessives and outside the current affairs /news dept of rte. Anyone else seen it mentioned anywhere?

author by redjadepublication date Mon May 30, 2005 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May 30, 2005
Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.

[.....]

In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.

[....]

As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths -- the most since January -- comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice. But let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam. Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever make this mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious.

Related Link: http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/5427823.html
author by redjadepublication date Tue May 31, 2005 13:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

LET'S CLEAR AWAY the propaganda and concentrate on the meaning of Memorial Day. Since the Civil War, it has been a day to remember those who died in action. They are the heroes we celebrate this day, and more than 1,800 have joined the memorial rolls since the outbreak of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. A nation mourns their loss and honors their memory.

They were men and women serving on the treacherous front lines and working the dangerous supply routes. They were 19-year-olds out of high school and "weekend warriors" old enough to be their fathers.

They died for America and Americans. That they were ill-served and exploited by the government that sent them into action has nothing to do with their sacrifice.

Except this - a government that was either smarter or more honest would not have squandered so many lives. The war in Iraq could have been avoided. Or, once launched, enough troops could have been deployed to ensure a successful occupation.

http://tinyurl.com/ah9g4
username: bugmenot90@mailinator.com
password: bugmenot

author by redjadepublication date Tue May 31, 2005 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Downing Street Memo
May 27, 2005
Dear Friend:

As many of you are aware, a classified memo was recently disclosed in Great Britain that I believe has serious ramifications for the integrity of the United States Government. Dubbed the “Downing Street Memo,” but actually comprising the minutes of a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and other top British government officials, the memo casts serious doubt on many of the contentions of the Bush Administration in the lead up to the Iraq war. With over 1,600 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen killed in Iraq, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and over $200 billion in taxpayer funds going to this war effort, we cannot afford to stand by any longer.

Along with 88 of my colleagues, I wrote to the President requesting answers about this grave matter. Thus far, our search for the truth has been stonewalled and I need your help. I believe the American people deserve answers about this matter and should demand directly that the President tell the truth about the memo. To that end, I am asking you to sign on to a letter to the President requesting he answer the questions posed to him by 89 Members of Congress.

I will personally insure that this letter is delivered to the White House.

-- --

Letter to Pres Bush Concerning "Downing Street Memo"

As a result of these concerns, we would ask that you respond to the following questions:
1)Do you or anyone in your administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?
2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization to go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?
3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?
4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?
5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

http://www.johnconyers.campaignoffice.com/index.asp?Type=SUPERFORMS&SEC={0F1B03E0-080B-4100-B143-36A5985EF1E3}

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http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/

author by after downing streetpublication date Tue May 31, 2005 14:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups announced a campaign today to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0527-24.htm

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...a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war....

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

author by redjadepublication date Fri Jun 17, 2005 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mother of dead soldier vilifies Bush over war
http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/local/11888623.htm

[Cindy ] Sheehan ridiculed Bush for saying that it's "hard work" comforting the widow of a soldier who's been killed in Iraq.

"Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again. Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby. Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big (brother) into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both," she said.

Since her son's death, Sheehan has made opposition to the Bush administration a full-time job.

"We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," she said, quoting a letter she sent to the White House. "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ... ," she said, as the audience of 200 people cheered.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jun 30, 2005 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

June 30, 2005
The war against veterans
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050630/OPINION02/50630004

PRESIDENT Bush gives plenty of lip service to men and women in uniform. Now it’s time for the President to put his money where his mouth is and fully fund veterans’ benefits.

An official of the Department of Veterans Affairs admitted last week that it is short $1 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, but giving short shrift to those who have served their country is nothing new for this administration.

For several years now, the Bush bean counters have been slashing funds for veterans’ medical care. Playing cheap with those who have put their lives on the line would be a concern any time. Coming as the shortfall does as soldiers return home daily from war in Afghanistan and Iraq with horrific injuries, it’s a scandal.

read more...
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050630/OPINION02/50630004

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jul 30, 2005 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Democratic candidates tout Iraq war experience
USA TODAY

No Iraq combat veterans have succeeded in politics. Ashe and two others — Democrat Steve Brozak in New Jersey and Republican Gerald Boyle Jr. in Wisconsin — lost House bids in 2004. Iraq veterans also face the fact that President Bush defeated a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was critical of the administration's record in Iraq last year — Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

Max Cleland, a former Democratic senator from Georgia who lost both legs and part of an arm in Vietnam, says Hackett and other Democratic vets could fare better now because of polls showing rising concern about the Iraq war.

A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken last weekend showed 53% saying they don't believe the United States will win the war in Iraq.

"I think the country is maturing when it comes to Iraq, and the Iraqi veterans are also maturing," says Cleland, who campaigned with Hackett last week. "These guys are the best and brightest of their generation."

Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth, a non-partisan advocacy group for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, says he expects "droves" of Iraq veterans to run in coming years from both parties. "The Republicans got us into the war, and the Democrats appear to have no plan to get us out," he says. "I think guys will go both ways."

Hackett, 43, a lawyer and former Milford city councilman, faces long odds. He's running in a largely rural and conservative district that hasn't elected a Democrat in nearly 40 years and where voter backlash over his harsh criticism of Bush is possible.

[....]

Hackett is unapologetic. "I've said that I don't like the son-of-a-b—— that lives in the White House but I'd put my life on the line for him," he says.

He re-enlisted in the Marines last year and led a civil affairs unit in Iraq that saw duty in the insurgent hotbed of Fallujah.

Hackett had even more pointed criticism of Bush for saying of Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. troops in July 2003: "Bring them on."

"That's the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the United States make," Hackett says. "He cheered on the enemy."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-07-27-dems-iraq-vets_x.htm

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•US Republican Response?.....

'we decided to bury him.'

Money pouring into race
- Cincinnati Enquirer
http://blog.dccc.org/mt/archives/003237.html

In a sign that the 2nd Congressional District race might be tight, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped more than $500,000 into a TV ad campaign attacking Democrat Paul Hackett.

[....]

What prompted the committee's entry into the Schmidt-Hackett race was a comment made by Hackett in a USA Today article published Thursday. Hackett, talking about his service as a marine in Iraq, is quoted as saying, "I've said I don't like the son-of-a-b--- that lives in the White House. But I'd put my life on the line for him."

Because Hackett said that, Forti said, "we decided to bury him."

------
Paul Hackett Website
http://www.hackettforcongress.com/

Marine Maj. Paul Hackett took part in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq.
Marine Maj. Paul Hackett took part in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq.

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