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March 9, 2006


From Tomdispatch today: Michael Schwartz, "A Government with No Military and No Territory, Iraq's Sovereignty Vacuum (Part 1)"

In one of the understatements of our moment, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad offered the following summary of the situation in Iraq in an LA Times interview, "Right now there's a vacuum of authority, and there's a lot of distrust." He should know. He's the one in Baghdad's Green Zone scuttling between near-warring parties in the vague hope that "once a national unity government is formed, the effort to provoke a civil war will face a huge obstacle."

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Zangana, a former prisoner under the Baathist regime in Iraq, speaks out against the occupation and increasing violence in Iraq. She also warns that hundreds of Iraqi academics have been assassinated since the war began.

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By William E. Odom, Nieman Watchdog

Those who say Iraq is nothing like Vietnam have another guess coming, says retired Gen. William Odom. He lists striking similarities and asserts that only after it pulls out of Iraq can the U.S. hope for international support to deal with anti-Western forces.

The Vietnam War experience can't tell us anything about the war in Iraq - or so it is said. If you believe that, trying looking through this lens, and you may change your mind.

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By Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Mary Tillman has been a model of patience and fortitude as she doggedly pursues the facts concerning her son Pat's death in Afghanistan two years ago. In that spirit, she welcomed as positive the news that the Pentagonís inspector general has asked the Army to launch an investigation into whether criminal negligence was involved in the "friendly fire" incident that resulted in the death of her football-star son who turned soldier.

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By Rupert Cornwell, The Independent UK

It has taken more than three years, tens of thousands of Iraqi and American lives, and $200bn (£115bn) of treasure - all to achieve a chaos verging on open civil war. But, finally, the neo-conservatives who sold the United States on this disastrous war are starting to utter three small words. We were wrong.

The second thoughts have spread across the conservative spectrum, from William Buckley, venerable editor of The National Review to Andrew Sullivan, once editor of the New Republic, now an influential commentator and blogmeister. The patrician conservative columnist George Will was gently sceptical from the outset. He now glumly concludes that all three members of the original "axis of evil" - not only Iran and North Korea but also Iraq - "are more dangerous than when that term was coined in 2002".

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By Associated Press

Seattle - Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the war in Iraq on Wednesday, urging a troop drawdown as the United States enters its fourth year of conflict in Iraq.

"It was a completely unnecessary war. It was an unjust war," said Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "It was initiated on the basis of false pretenses. All of those are true, but we can't just pre-emptively withdraw."

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VISTA ---- A San Diego County woman is suing her former employer, accusing her manager of firing her on the spot when she saw the woman's car had a bumper sticker advertising a progressive talk radio station.

The suit also alleges that, after seeing the sticker, the employer commented that the woman could be a member of al-Qaida.

In a civil suit filed at the county courthouse in Vista, Linda Laroca is targeting both her former manager, Beverly Fath, and the company she briefly worked for last year, Advantage Sales and Marketing, Inc.

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Rally for Impeachment wrapup
By Jake Thorn,

Thursday’s Rally for Impeachment went great! We had over 200 people show up for speeches, music, and activism. We also got media coverage in the Nexus (who also printed pro-impeachment opinion articles on Thursday and Monday) and the Santa Barbara News-Press. The band was great, it didn’t rain, and we distributed a lot of information. We gathered around 80 signatures for our petition to Senator Feinstein. We also took pictures of people holding signs that said things like “Get a warrant, Mr. President. Warrantless wiretaps are illegal” and “I oppose warrantless wiretaps.” We will send those pictures (80 or 90 total) to members of Congress this week. We also collected about 60 signatures on a large banner that read “Warrantless wiretaps are unconstitutional.” We hope to present the banner to Representative Capps sometime in the near future.

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WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce and Homeland Security Committees and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a member of the Government Reform Committee, today introduced the "Paul Revere Freedom to Warn Act," a comprehensive bill to provide protections to government and private sector employees who are retaliated against for reporting flaws in national or homeland security, public health and safety, or waste, fraud and mismanagement of public funds. The protections offered in the legislation are modeled upon those provided by Congress in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to employees of companies who report accounting fraud.

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By Niranjan Ramakrishnan,

Consider these news items from the past month:

Thousands of people took part in huge and emotional demonstrations in various Arab countries, and others with large Muslim populations, from Morocco to Indonesia, to protest the cartoons in a Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, and sundry European publications.

Huge protests greeted President George W. Bush during his visit to India, People marched in New Delhi and Hyderabad, cities he visited, but also in other major cities including Madras, Calcutta, Bombay and Bangalore.

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By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing a Republican mutiny in Congress, the White House said Thursday that President Bush is open to compromise but would not retreat from a threatened veto of legislation that would block a Dubai-owned company from taking control of some U.S. port operations.

By a 62-2 margin, the GOP-dominated House Appropriations Committee voted to bar DP World, which is run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at U.S. ports. In the Senate, Democrats demanded a vote to stop the transaction.

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By Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Washington, D.C. - March 8 - Two activists were arrested today after
disrupting the hearing of the House Appropriations Committee. The
Committee is considering approving nearly $65 billion in supplemental
spending to fund the war in Iraq. The two activists were arrested
after they read the names of Iraqi citizens and U.S. soldiers who have
died in this war. The action was part of the "Winter of Our

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March 9 -12, 2006
Memphis, TN: The Southern Republican Leadership Conference will take
place at The Peabody Hotel. []

Thursday, March 9, 2006
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC: POTUS participates in signing of H.R.
3199, USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005
at 2:40 PM. [White House Press Release]

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Antiwar Students Who Heckled Former President Clinton at Pace University Might Be Expelled

Two students were detained and questioned by Secret Service for almost
an hour after calling former President Clinton a war criminal during
his recent visit to speak at Pace University in New York City. In
addition, police also questioned several other antiwar students and
collected their I.D.'s. The two students who were detained are

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February 21, 2006


By Dennis Rahkonen, Online Journal
Maybe we’ve forgotten. Or perhaps we just weren’t paying attention in the first place.
But, before 9/11, the Bush administration itself denied the existence of WMD in Iraq:

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Here's an inspirational video that actually inspires.

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By Ken Werner, Trinity Plaza Tenants Association (TPTA)‚ Feb. 21‚ 2006
Correction: In the previous articles I noted that Supervisor Chris Daly’s proposed Resolution to Investigate/Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney would follow the 30-day rule before it could be heard in committee. My apologies for the confusion.

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By Douglas Belkin, Boston Globe
Fitness, education, age criteria change.
Chicopee - Generation XL is having a hard time squeezing into its military fatigues. Just ask Kyle Kimball.
The 18-year-old dreamed of following in his father's footsteps and serving with the Marines. But between his sophomore and senior years at Haverhill High School, Kimball packed on 80 pounds, ballooning up to 250. The cutoff for a 5-foot-10 Marine recruit: 215."There was just no way I was ever going to see that again," said Kimball, who works for his father's scrap-metal business.

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By Associated Press
A car bomb exploded Tuesday at an outdoor market in a Shiite area of southwestern Baghdad, killing 22 people and injuring 28, police said. It appeared to be the deadliest car bombing against civilians in the capital in weeks.

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