The Peacemakers

~ ~ ~

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they shall be called the children of God.

– Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 5:9                           


 Sightings from The Catbird Seat

~ o ~ 

Paying the price for peace (Video)

 An eye-opening expose on the American War Machine.

An eye-opening expose on the American War Machine. (
Hunt Henion Practical Spirituality Examiner

September 2, 2013

S. Brian Willson has logged more than 65,000 miles on his “hand cycle” in the last 26 years – after a Navy train ran over his legs. The train was filled with ammunition and Brian was peacefully protesting by sitting in a lotus position on the tracks as two other veterans were crouched on their feet next to him. His friends could move out of the way at the last minute, but Brian couldn't.

Mr. Willson stated to me that "We had provided plenty of notice in writing and on the phone about exactly where we would be and what we were going to do. The train at Concord Naval Weapons Station was protected by 350 armed Marines. The large metal sign near our vigil noted the penalty for interfering with federal munitions trains: one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. We were prepared in advance to do prison time."

Brian continued: "The routine protocol in these civil disobedience actions at that very site was to have the local police remove persons on the tracks before letting the 5 mph trains thru. It was a shock, of course, to learn that the commander of the train crew ordered the train NOT to stop that day, in violation of regulations, routine protocol, and the law. The train was accelerating at 17 mph at the point of impact, more than three times the legal speed limit for the train."

Brian's deep moral commitment began shortly after grad school when he was drafted. He served in the Air Force from 1966 until 1970. Brian stated that, "I was on the ground assessing the success or failure of newly trained pilots who were bombing designated targets when I discovered the targets were inhabited, undefended fishing villages. Virtually everyone present in the villages at the time of the bombings was killed (murdered). I was shocked, and the experiences led to my quickly becoming anti-war -- (or at least) that I was on the wrong side."

When his military obligation was complete, he became a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace . Then, upon completion of Law School at American University in Washington, D.C., he became a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

However, Brian found his legal acumen of little use in slowing down America's war machine. So he resorted to peaceful activism in defense of his humanitarian goals. September 1, 2013 marks the anniversary of that tragic day that left Brian with a plate in his skull and only two prostheses to call legs. He was 46 at the time.

Today at 73, he's still going strong and continuing the good fight. The email update he sent out on September 1, the 26th anniversary of the Navy's calloused attempted murder of him points out that that the US has engaged in “560 military interventions with troops since 1798, and bombed 28 countries since 1945; Syria will be 29.” On that date, he and his wife Becky also cycled to a rally against the bombing of Syria, about which he says, “We were inspired as we met many Syrians and other young people who totally get the lie.”

His book, Blood on the Tracks, tells his story, as does the 9 minute video trailer above: "PAYING THE PRICE FOR PEACE: The Story of S. Brian Willson & The Peace Movement"

Continued at:





August 31, 2013

Protesters Opposing Action in Syria Rally in Times Square

Protesters Opposing Action in Syria Rally in Times Square


Opponents of U.S. military action in Syria demonstrate in Times Square.

Anti-war protesters rallied in Times Square on Saturday as President Barack Obama announced he would ask Congress to authorize a military strike on Syria.

About 200 people opposed to U.S. military intervention staged a noisy but orderly demonstration in the tourist-packed theater district.

Many chanted, "No war on Syria!"

The rally began around noon and continued as the president said in a televised address that he favored a military strike to punish Syria's government for chemical weapons attack on civilians but would ask for congressional approval.

That didn't mollify protesters like Benjamin Koatz, a 19-year-old Brown University student.

"I'm glad he's following the Constitution," he said. "But even if Congress approves it, I think it will be a disastrous decision for the U.S., the world and Syria."

Some demonstrators saw an attack as inevitable, no matter what Congress says.

"At the end of the day, I don't think it really means anything," said New Yorker Noor Hasan, whose parents were born in Syria.

"He's going to do whatever he wants to do," she said of Obama...

June 15, 2013

Moscow unconvinced by US evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use


Aside from the hypocrisy of the whole thing, what makes no sense is the miniscule number of fatalities alleged to have been caused by multiple uses. Chemical weapons are area weapons, you don't target a handful of civilians in a couple of huts or a squad of soldiers. If you do not have a sizeable target and the right winds, you don't use them. That in itself makes me think the whole thing is yet another fraud. Recall when the Iraqi general nick-named "chemical Ali" used them down there (or supposedly did, I do not recall), something in the order of 20,000 casualties were reported. But 150??? That would be like saying someone used artillery against protesters a dozen times and got the same result. Lies, lies, lies, says Dr. Alan Sabrosky [Ph.D, University of Michigan, is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College.]

Russia TV:

Russia is not convinced by the evidence which the US provided alleging that the government of Syria’s President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebel forces.

“The Americans tried to present us with information on the use of chemical weapons by the regime, but frankly we thought that it was not convincing,” said presidential aide Yury Ushakov on Friday. 

“We wouldn’t like to invoke references to the famous lab tube that [former US] Secretary of State [Colin] Powell showed, but the facts don’t look convincing in our eyes,” he added.

Powell brought a model vial, which he said looked like Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s weaponized anthrax, in a bid to convince members of the UN Security Council that they should agree to invade Iraq. The alleged weapons of mass destruction program proved to be non-existent after the US conquered the country in 2003.

Ushakov was commenting on the US decision to allow military aid to Syrian rebels after coming to the conclusion that Assad’s government had used its chemical weapons stockpile in the conflict. 

Ushakov said Moscow sees difficulties with organizing a proper investigation into the alleged cases of chemical weapon attacks in Syrian territory, which would provide more conclusive evidence on the issue.

“We have tried on several occasions to organize it, including those occasions when information arrived that rebels were using chemical weapons. Let’s see how the situation develops,” he said.

The UN probe into the use of chemical weapons in Syria did not travel to the sites of the alleged attacks because Damascus barred the experts from going there. Syrian officials cited concerns for the safety of the experts and voiced doubts about their impartiality, since neither China nor Russia were allowed to participate.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned that additional supplies to Syrian rebels will not contribute to the peace process, but on the contrary will plunge the country into chaos....


January 24, 2013

From Facebook:

A simple question I had for Sen. John Kerry today: “I believe in candidate Barack Obama who said in 2007 that the president doesn’t have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack. I’d like to know if you agree with me and candidate Barack Obama, or if you agree with President Barack Obama who took us to war in Libya without Congressional authority unilaterally?”...

Veterans and supporters of Bradley Manning demonstrate at gates of Fort Meade hearing

December 16, 2011

Reinforcements Arrive from Occupy Wall Street

FORT MEADE, MARYLAND — Eighteen months after he was first accused of revealing information to WikiLeaks, PFC Bradley Manning appeared before an Article 32 investigating officer this morning. Supporters began gathering outside the gates of Fort Meade to call for Manning’s freedom and denounce the proceedings as unjust. Inside the tightly-controlled military court room, lead defense counsel David Coombs challenged the investigating officer, Army Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, to recuse himself due to conflicts of interest.

“Military officials have begun conducting their star chamber prosecution after abusing Bradley Manning of his rights for eighteen months,” said Jeff Paterson, an organizer with the Bradley Manning Support Network, who was speaking from the vigil at Fort Meade. “The investigating officer is not only biased to produce an outcome that is favorable to his employer at the Justice Department — he’s under pressure from his Commander-in-Chief, who has already inappropriately weighed-in on this case.”

Supporters have long argued that PFC Manning could not receive a fair hearing due to unlawful command influence from President Obama, who publicly declared in April that the former Army intelligence analyst “broke the law.”

A bus carrying over 50 supporters from Occupy Wall Street arrived shortly after 9:00 AM as the media blackout began inside the courtroom. Former Army linguist Lt. Dan Choi, who was a prominent activist in the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” greeted the new arrivals and spoke out in support of Manning.

“We must have the truth to achieve justice — and without justice we will never see true peace,” said Lt. Choi as he spoke to reporters. “Despite the best efforts of President Obama, troops are coming from Iraq this year because of information about the cover-up of war crimes that Bradley Manning is accused of revealing to the public.”

The Obama administration had sought to extend the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq well beyond the expiration of the current Status of Forces Agreement at the end of this year. Cables released via WikiLeaks in September showed that American military and diplomatic officials had covered up an atrocity that involved the execution of Iraqi civilians. The Iraqi parliament was forced by the ensuing public outrage to withdraw legal immunity from any future U.S. military presence in Iraq — a stipulation that the U.S. Defense Department would not accept.

Hundreds of supporters are planning to rally and march again tomorrow outside the gates of Fort Meade to mark Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday.

December 15, 2011

Military marks end to nearly nine bloody years in Iraq

By Missy Ryan and Patrick Markey | Reuters1 hr 0 mins ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces formally ended almost nine years of war in Iraq on Thursday with a modest flag-lowering ceremony in Baghdad, while to the north flickering violence highlighted ethnic and sectarian strains threatening the country in years ahead.

"After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the ceremony at Baghdad's still heavily-fortified airport.

Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in the war that began with a "Shock and Awe" campaign of missiles pounding Baghdad and descended into sectarian strife and a surge in U.S. troop numbers.

U.S. soldiers lowered the flag of American forces in Iraq and slipped it into a camouflage-colored sleeve in a brief outdoor ceremony, symbolically ending the most unpopular U.S. military venture since the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 70s.

The remaining 4,000 American troops will leave by the end of the year....


December 15, 2011

Bachmann, Paul hit Gingrich for 'influence peddling'

By Kim Geiger
Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul put front-runner Newt Gingrich on defense early into Thursday night's Republican presidential debate, attacking him for, as Bachmann put it, "influence peddling" when he received $1.6 million in consulting fees from mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

The exchange forced Gingrich to do something that's unlikely to endear him to the more conservative of Republican primary voters: He defended government programs and said he advocated for "more regulations" for the government-sponsored mortgage companies.

"There are a lot of government-sponsored enterprises that are awfully important and do an awfully good job," Gingrich said, naming credit unions and programs like Habitat for Humanity.

But despite mounting a defense that acknowledged that Freddie Mac is a quasi-governmental entity, Gingrich insisted that his consulting work was purely private.

"I was a private citizen, engaged in a business like any other business," Gingrich said.

That irritated Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

"He has a different definition of the private sector than I have," Paul said, then went on to argue that government-sponsored enterprises are dangerous.

Gingrich accused Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann of making "wild accusations" when she said, "We know he cashed paychecks from Freddie Mac; that's the best evidence you could have" that he was lobbying for the mortgage giant.

"I never lobbied under any circumstance," Gingrich said.

Bachmann fired back: "You don't need to be within the technical definition of a lobbyist to still be influence peddling."

March 10, 2011

UK soldier, loyal dog, make final journey together

AP – FILE -- In this undated image made available in London by the Ministry of Defence, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker…

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press

LONDON – Liam and Theo were a team, fast friends doing a dangerous job — searching out roadside bombs laid by insurgents in Afghanistan.

The jovial British soldier and his irrepressible dog worked and played together for months, and died on the same day. On Thursday they came home, flown back to Britain in a somber repatriation ceremony for the soldier remembered for his empathy with animals and the companion he loved.

Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province on March 1 as he searched for explosives with Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel mix. The dog suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress.

Military officials won't go so far as to say Theo died of a broken heart — but that may not be far from the truth.

"I think we often underestimate the grieving process in dogs," said Elaine Pendlebury, a senior veterinarian with animal charity PDSA. "Some dogs react very severely to their partner's loss."...



Obama makes Veterans Day pledge

President Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns

President Barack Obama has praised the US armed forces past and present and promised he will "do right by them".

Mr Obama was speaking at Arlington National Cemetery as events were held around the world to mark the 91st anniversary of the end of World War I.

His comments came as he prepared to meet his security officials to discuss sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Earlier, Angela Merkel joined Armistice Day commemorations in Paris, becoming the first German chancellor to do so.

[The US president] is called here, somewhat tritely, "healer in chief"
Mark Mardell

Mr Obama laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington military cemetery.

"To the veterans, the fallen and their families there is no tribute, no commemoration, no praise that can truly match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice," he said.

Mr Obama said there were times when America had "betrayed that sacred trust" between the army and the nation.

"Our Vietnam veterans served with great honour but often came home greeted not with gratitude and support but with condemnation and neglect," he said, but pledged that would "never happen again".

"As long as I am Commander in Chief, I am going to do right by them. American will not let you down, we will take care of our own," he said.

He also honoured those soldiers still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying they already deserve "a place alongside previous generations for the courage they have shown and the sacrifices they have made".

Following the speech, he walked among the section of the cemetery reserved for those who had died fighting in the two conflicts.

Mr Obama is due to meet members of his security team later to discuss a new strategy for US involvement in Afghanistan.

The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Washington says a decision is expected within weeks, and is almost certain to involve sending tens of thousands more US troops to the country to tackle the Taliban insurgency.

World remembers

At Armistice Day events in Paris, Mrs Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy rekindled the flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe.

28 Jul 1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
1914-17: Major world powers enter war, stalemate of trench warfare on Western front
11 Nov 1918: Germany signs armistice with Allies
More than 16 million people killed

The two leaders also observed a silence, flanked by soldiers from a Franco-German brigade and officers from both countries' armed forces.

Mr Sarkozy told Mrs Merkel her presence was "a gesture of exceptional friendship" while Mrs Merkel said she thanked history for bringing the two former enemies together.

In London, the Queen led the United Kingdom in observing a two-minute silence at 1100 GMT for the "passing of a generation".

The service in Westminster Abbey followed the deaths this year of the final three veterans of World War I living in the UK.

In the Belgian town of Ypres, poppy petals - the symbol of Armistice Day - were dropped from the Menin Gate, on which the names of 55,000 missing WWI soldiers are engraved.

Australia's east coast, which is 11 hours ahead of GMT, was one of the first places to commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the time the guns of WWI fell silent.

The names of five Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since Remembrance Day last year were being added to the roll of honour at the Australian War Memorial in the capital, Canberra, Australian television reported.

May 25, 2009

Obama heads to Arlington cemetery

for Memorial Day

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama sought to dodge racial controversy on Memorial Day, sending wreaths to a monument for Confederate soldiers and other flowers to a memorial honoring more than 200,000 African-Americans who fought for the Union during the Civil War.

Obama, the nation's first black president, planned to continue tradition and have aides leave a wreath at the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, the 600-acre site that once was Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's estate. But the White House also will send a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington's historically black U Street neighborhood.

Presidents traditionally visit Arlington to personally leave a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a marble structure housing the remains of unidentified U.S. military members who died during war. Presidents then have aides deliver wreaths to other memorials or monuments, generally including the Confederate memorial.

But a group of about 60 professors last week sent a petition to the White House asking Obama to avoid a memorial for Confederate military members who died during the war between the North and the South.

"The Arlington Confederate Monument is a denial of the wrong committed against African-Americans by slave owners, Confederates and neo-Confederates, through the monument's denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes," the petition said. "This implies that the humanity of Africans and African-Americans is of no significance."

Among the professors who signed the letter is 1960s radical William Ayers, a University of Chicago education professor who helped found the radical group the Weather Underground that carried out bombings at the Pentagon and the Capitol. Republicans tried to link Obama with Ayers during the presidential campaign; the two lived in the same neighborhood and served on a charity board together.

The African American Civil War Memorial had been discussed as a compromise in recent days.

"President Obama, why not send two wreaths?" Kirk Savage, an art history professor at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. "One to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery and another to the African American Civil War Memorial in the District, which commemorates the 200,000 black soldiers who fought for liberation from slavery in the Union armed forces."

The White House hoped to sidestep the distraction and spend Obama's first Memorial Day as president speaking in honor of the nation's veterans and their families. He scheduled a private breakfast at the White House with family members who had lost loved ones in war.

In person, Obama planned to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and then speak about the nation's military members who died in battle.

"This is not only a time for celebration, it is also a time to reflect on what this holiday is all about; to pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world," Obama said during his weekly radio and Internet address ahead of the holiday.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, have made veterans and military families a priority during his young administration. Obama's budget proposed the largest single-year funding increase in the last three decades to revamp the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Our fighting men and women — and the military families who love them — embody what is best in America. And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us," Obama said during his radio address.

"And yet, all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve. That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear — and all who have worn — the proud uniform of our country."

The president also plans to send flowers to the USS Maine Memorial and the Spanish American War Memorial.

Yahoo News





President-Elect Barack Obama Observes Veterans Day In Chicago

President-Elect Barack Obama Observes

Veterans Day In Chicago

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 11: (AFP OUT) U.S. President-elect Barack Obama (L) and Gulf War veteran Tammy Duckworth both their heads after placing a wreath to honor America's veterans on Veterans Day at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial November 11, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, The national holiday, held on the anniversary of the end of World War I, honors all those who have served their country in the military.

In this photo: Tammy Duckworth, Barack Obama

Photo: Pool/Getty Images

 November 10, 2008

Every year, VFP Chapters are denied entry into Veterans Day Parades, this year the following VFP Chapters were not allowed to march:

Chapter 157 - North Carolina Triangle (Raleigh) - read more

Chapter 136 - Central Florida

Chapter 009 - Eastern Mass, Smedley Butler Chapter

Chapter102 - Milwaukee, WI

For Immediate Release

VETERANS' DAY: Keeping faith with the original intent of Armistice Day > read more

This page first appeared in The Catbird Seat on March 30, 2003

The Catbird Seat Archives

May 1, 2003



May 1, 2008

US Port Workers Strike in Anti-War Protest

By Voice Of America News

Workers at ports on the west coast of the United States staged a one-day strike Thursday to call for an end to the war in Iraq, five years after President George Bush stood underneath a banner that declared "Mission Accomplished."

On May 1, 2003, the president visited a U.S. aircraft carriers the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq and call it a victory in the war on terrorism.

West coast dockworkers marked the anniversary with a brief strike that halted loading and unloading of ships from southern California to Washington state. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said at least 10 thousand workers stayed home.

The White House says the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the aircraft carrier's completion of its 10-month mission at sea, not the military completing its mission in Iraq.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Thursday the Bush Administration is looking forward to helping the Iraqi government take greater responsibility for its own security.

Fratto also said President Bush is ignoring a new poll that shows the president's approval rating has dropped to just 27 percent. The poll indicates 73 percent of voters believe the country is on the wrong track.

The poll was conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC news between April 28 to April 28.

Democrats have repeatedly criticized the president for his Iraq policy and the mounting casualties there. The war is a major issue in the presidential campaign.

On Wednesday, a White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, told reporters that President Bush is well aware that the "Mission Accomplished" banner should have been more specific.

Since the war started, more than 4,000 members of the U.S. military have been killed, along with thousands of Iraqi civilians.


May 2, 2008

West Coast ports shut down as workers protest Iraq war

Stoppage anticipated, so few
major disruptions reported


Dole Fresh Fruit Co.'s San Diego operation reported a loss of $316,000 because of a work stoppage yesterday by West Coast dockworkers protesting the Iraq war.

Dole's report of losses, mostly in bananas, was the only one disclosed by local companies in the daylong protest, which involved thousands of workers at 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle.

The work stoppage had a larger effect on ports in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle, which are the primary gateways for container shipments from the Far East and other foreign ports....

The protest occurred as contract negotiations between the union and the Pacific Maritime Association are reaching a crucial point. The association saw the protest as a warning shot that more job actions could occur if a new contract is not signed before the current six-year pact expires July 1.

The association said the union defied the ruling of an independent arbitrator, who said last week that the union should fulfill its contract and report to work on May Day. Union heads said workers had the right to skip work to protest the war.

“Shutting down the ports in defiance of the contract and the arbitrator's order in no way benefits an already fragile U.S. economy,” said association spokesman Steve Getzug. “We have a lot of serious issues to resolve at the bargaining table, and the nation cannot afford uncertainty about the reliability of the West Coast ports.”

William Silva, president of Local 29 in San Diego, said the job action was about stopping the war – not getting a new contract.

“Today's action is not about leveraging negotiations at all,” Silva said. “We're supporting our soldiers in the Iraq war – period.”

May 3, 2008

Iraq War protesters to gather
outside Sunrise Mall


Long Island peace activists are set to gather in front of the Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa at 2 p.m. Saturday to call for an end to the Iraq War, honor the fallen and continue their protest of the arrest in March of an 80-year-old activist.

The protesters will be wearing white T-shirts that read "4000 Troops 1 million Iraqis dead," on the front and "Enough!" on the back.

Donald Zirkel, of Bethpage, a member of Pax Christi Long Island, the Catholic peace movement, was wearing the same anti-war T-shirt when he was arrested in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove March 29, after security officers asked him to take off the shirt or leave. Zirkel, a church deacon, was removed in a wheelchair by Suffolk Police.

Mall management charged Zirkel with handing out leaflets in the food court, a charge he has denied. Nancy Dwyer, 74, of Valley Stream, one of three other Pax Christi seniors with Zirkel in the mall, testified recently before the public safety committee of the Suffolk Legislature that "at no time did any one of the four of us hand out or have in our possession any leaflets." The four were eating and chatting when they were surrounded by security officers, Dwyer said.

Zirkel is due to be arraigned on the matter May 22 in District Court in Central Islip.

Janet Egan of Huntington, a member of the Suffolk Peace Network, said the count of Iraqi war dead is now at 4065, including 33 from Long Island. During the protest, members will display photos of Long Islanders killed in Iraq, Egan said. "People need to be reminded of the human cost of this war."

The demonstration, jointly sponsored by two coalitions of local peace groups, the Suffolk Peace Network and the Nassau-based Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, will convene on Sunrise Highway and Carmans Road outside Wal-Mart at the Westfield Sunrise Mall entrance.

 April 25, 2008

Protest in Rural CT
Takes on Bush, Kissinger

by lao hong han

I just got a phone report from my friend Dody about today's demonstration in moneyed Kent, CT, where war criminal Henry Kissinger and his wife Nancy were hosting a Republican fundraising lunch (actually at the $1000 a plate level, it's probably a "luncheon"). The bash starred another Nuremberg Trial prospect, George W. Bush himself, as diaried here on Sunday.

Folks who've been working on the Iraq Moratorium in Cornwall, CT, the somewhat less posh rural town to Kent's immediate north, were part of a demonstration that they estimated at 60 or 70 at the start, when they tried to get close to the Kissinger residence. An arranged system of shuttles was to take folks inside the State Trooper blockade to protest, but when passengers on the first shuttle were bumrushed by the law when they tried to get out, plans were quickly adjusted.

Protesters, both locals and those organized by COW (Connecticut Opposed to the War) and mobilized through the statewide My Left Nutmeg website, wound up forming up a very slow car caravan, 45 vehicles strong, which drove through the area. The lead car towed a larger-than-life Bush effigy atop a missile mockup. The caravan then parked in the Kent town center where an improvised march down the main drag was held, numbering up to 200 by this point.

Dody was jazzed by the range of participants--a solid turnout from the Iraq Moratorium: Cornwall Edition and other neighbors, and also one of Connecticut's Iraq Veterans Against the War members, high school students from Torrington, a gritty declining industrial city nearby, and anti-war activists from around the state.

I've checked in with several participants by now, and all report very favorable responses overall from Kent residents and Route 7 motorists.

There's a bunch of great photos by Glenn from the Cornwall Moratorium crew here, like the one below. Looking at the pix, it's striking how many young folk were at this protest. And heartening.


September 16, 2007

More Than 190 
War Protesters Arrested


WASHINGTON (Sept. 15) - Several thousand anti-war demonstrators marched through downtown Washington on Saturday, clashing with police at the foot of the Capitol steps where more than 190 protesters were arrested.

The group marched from the White House to the Capitol to demand an end to the Iraq war. Their numbers stretched for blocks along Pennsylvania Avenue, and they held banners and signs and chanted, "What do we want? Troops out. When do we want it? Now."

Army veteran Justin Cliburn, 25, of Lawton, Okla., was among a contingent of Iraq veterans in attendance.

"We're occupying a people who do not want us there," Cliburn said of Iraq. "We're here to show that it isn't just a bunch of old hippies from the 60s who are against this war."

Counterprotesters lined the sidewalks behind metal barricades. There were some heated shouting matches between the two sides.

The arrests came after protesters lay down on the Capitol lawn in what they called a "die in" – with signs on top of their bodies to represent soldiers killed in Iraq. When police took no action, some of the protesters started climbing over a barricade at the foot of the Capitol steps.

Many were arrested without a struggle after they jumped over the waist-high barrier. But some grew angry as police with shields and riot gear attempted to push them back. At least two people were showered with chemical spray. Protesters responded by throwing signs and chanting: "Shame on you."

The number of arrests by Capitol Police on Saturday was much higher than previous anti-war rallies in Washington this year. Five people were arrested at a protest outside the Pentagon in March when they walked onto a bridge that had been closed off to accommodate the demonstration, then refused to leave. And at a rally in January, about 50 demonstrators blocked a street near the Capitol, but they were dispersed without arrests.

The protesters gathered earlier Saturday near the White House in Lafayette Park with signs saying "End the war now" and calling for President Bush 's impeachment. The rally was organized by the ANSWER Coalition and other groups.

Organizers estimated that nearly 100,000 people attended the rally and march. That number could not be confirmed; police did not give their own estimate. A permit for the march obtained in advance by the ANSWER Coalition had projected 10,000.

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan told the crowd is was time to be assertive.

"It's time to lay our bodies on the line and say we've had enough," she said. "It's time to shut this city down." ...
AOL News Story


May 29, 2007

Sheehan resigns as war protest leader

Mother of fallen soldier drained by
biting criticism, partisan politics

The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush’s ranch, says she’s done being the public face of the movement.

“I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,” Sheehan told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

“I’m going home for awhile to try and be normal,” she said.

In what she described as a “resignation letter,” Sheehan wrote in her online diary on the “Daily Kos” blog: “Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

“It’s up to you now.”

Sheehan began a grassroots peace movement in August 2005 when she set up camp outside the Bush ranch for 26 days, asking to talk with the president about the death of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad.

Protests grew in size

Cindy Sheehan started her protest small, but it quickly drew national attention. Over the following two years, she drew huge crowds as she spoke at protest events, but she also drew a great deal of criticism.

“I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement,” Sheehan wrote in the diary.

Kristinn Taylor, spokesman for, which has held pro-troop rallies and counter-protests of anti-war demonstrations, said dwindling crowds at Sheehan's Crawford protests since her initial vigil may have led to her decision. But he also said he hopes she will now be able to heal.

"Her politics have hurt a lot of people, including the troops and their families, but most of us who support the war on terror understand she is hurt very deeply," Taylor said Tuesday. "Those she got involved with in the anti-war movement realize it was to their benefit to keep her in that stage of anger."

Heartbreaking conclusions

On Memorial Day, she came to some “heartbreaking conclusions,” she wrote.

When she had first taken on Bush, Sheehan was a darling of the liberal left. “However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used,” she wrote.

“I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of 'right or left', but 'right and wrong,'” the diary says.

Sheehan criticized “blind party loyalty” as a danger, no matter which side it involved, and said the current two-party system is “corrupt” and “rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland.”

Harsh national assessment

Sheehan said she had sacrificed a 29-year marriage and endured threats to put all her energy into stopping the war. What she found, she wrote, was a movement “that often puts personal egos above peace and human life.”

But she said the most devastating conclusion she had reached “was that Casey did indeed die for nothing ... killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think.”

“Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives,” she wrote. “It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.”

“I am going to take whatever I have left and go home,” Sheehan wrote. “Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas?”

Sheehan told the AP that she had considered leaving the peace movement since last summer while recovering from surgery.

She said she was returning to California on Tuesday because it was Casey’s birthday. He would have been 28.

“We’ve accomplished as much here as we’re going to,” Sheehan told the AP. “When we come back, it definitely won’t be with the peace movement with marches, with rallies and with protests. It will be more humanitarian efforts.”

~ ~ ~

For more of the story, GO TO > > >


Photo of Washington DC Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour by Trolley Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour


And the work of righteousness shall be peace...

– ISAIAH 32:16                                                           

I was born in Illinois, the “Land of Lincoln,” and I’ve been studying our sixteenth president all my life. For me, he was the wisest and most spiritual of our presidents. He was also one of only a few who have been in office when acts of war brought death and destruction to American soil.

Carved in the marble walls of the Lincoln Memorial are these eloquent words from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address:

With malice toward none; with charity for all; and with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

Our family explored what it means to seek peace when we invited a young Muslim student to dinner in our home a few months after September 11, 2001. As the meal progressed, one of our sons asked our guest haw she came to be in America.

“My father came here on a work visa,” she replied. “‘when the trouble came, he told us to pack to return home, because he was afraid of how Americans might treat us. Then, a few nights before we were to leave, he was watching the news on television. There was a group of people outside the White House, protesting American military action. A large, hostile crowd watched the protesters, and between the two groups were dozens and dozens of police.

“My father watched for a long time and then turned to the family and said, ‘Go unpack your bags. We are staying. Nowhere else in the world would the police protect the protesters. This is the freest land on earth, and we will make it our home’.”

Lord, as I remember Abraham Lincoln, let me remember the blessings of freedom we share with all who come to our shores.

- Eric Fellman, Daily Guideposts 2003

 December 17, 2006

Vermont grandmother facing second trial over anti-war protest

By John Curran, Associated Press Writer

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Meet the anti-war movement's newest folk hero: She's a 69-year-old grandmother whose disorderly persons arrest has made her a cause celebre.

Arrested in a 2003 anti-war protest, Rosemarie Jackowski was found guilty -- only to have the state's highest court throw out the conviction last month.

Now, a prosecutor's plan to try her again is turning the feisty 4-foot-10 inch former schoolteacher into a darling of the dove crowd, with bloggers rallying behind her, peaceniks deluging her with messages of support and advocates establishing a defense fund.

"She's not a loony toon by any means," said Andrew Schoerke, 73, a retired U.S. Navy captain who was arrested with her. "She's a very down to earth, sensible, caring person with some very strong convictions."

Jackowski was one of a dozen protesters arrested at the March 20, 2003 protest, staged within hours of the start of the United States' "shock and awe" bombing campaign in Iraq. Carrying a sign that read "Impeach Bush" on one side and listed U.S. "war crimes" on the other, Jackowski refused police orders to get out of the street and was arrested for blocking traffic.

"It was really hard for me to stand there and just hold my sign," she said in an interview. "I came from a strict ethnic, religious background. I was taught to never ever be disobedient to anyone -- teacher, parent, policeman. That was my very first act of disobedience to anyone."

Asked during booking whether she had any aliases, she replied: "Yes, I do. `Mom.'"

To police, it was no laughing matter.

The protest clogged traffic in this southern Vermont town's busiest intersection, delaying at least one hospital-bound ambulance and infuriating truck drivers and others.

"It wasn't about the war in Iraq," said police Lt. Paul Doucette, who ordered the arrests at the scene. "It was public safety at risk. This whole scene could've turned very ugly very quickly. So we did what was best. Now all of them have paid the price, except this one."

The other members of the so-called "Bennington 12" pleaded guilty and were accepted into a court-ordered program for first-time offenders. Jackowski refused, saying she did nothing wrong. After a one-day trial, a jury took less than 15 minutes to find her guilty.

She appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court, her attorney insisting that the disorderly persons charge could only stick if it were proven she intended to disrupt traffic.

On Nov. 22, the justices threw out her conviction, saying trial Judge David Suntag erred in telling jurors they could convict her if they believed she was "practically certain" her conduct would cause public disruption.

Last week, Bennington County State's Attorney William Wright said he would seek to try her again.

"At this juncture, we are going forward with the case," he told the Bennington Banner newspaper. "We think that the evidence was overwhelming in our view, and we think that the jury should have another opportunity to decide Ms. Jackowski's guilt or innocence."

Wright, who lost his re-election and will be leaving office next month, did not return several calls seeking comment.

"It's time for everybody to just walk away from this case," said Stephen Saltonstall, her attorney. "This is an elderly woman who did something out of conscience. I believe she has been punished enough."

For her part, Jackowski -- a youthful-looking woman who gives her grandchildren "Give peace a chance" T-shirts and collects peace signs in her modest home -- insists that the bombing of Iraqi civilians during the war is grounds enough for her actions. She has no intention of pleading guilty or admitting she was wrong.

"I will never say I'm sorry for what I did," she said Wednesday. "I don't care if they want to lock me up for life."

She could get 60 days if convicted. First, she needs an attorney for the re-trial, although no date has been set.

Saltonstall has asked to withdraw as her lawyer because the prosecutor who handled the first trial has since joined his firm. She's been contacted by others, but money is an object. Jackowski, who lives alone, subsists on social security checks and says she can't afford high-priced counsel.

"I'm just a little old grandmother who has been really, really affected by the fact that my government is bombing children in Iraq. I can't tell you how deeply I feel about this," she said.

Doucette, the police lieutenant, doesn't buy it.

"What upsets me personally is `Oh, they're going to send a grandmother to jail.' This isn't about being a grandmother, it isn't about being 70 years old. It's about `You broke the law and now you have to suffer the consequences.' She could've gone to diversion, done some community service and apologized. But to her, it's all about what talk show she can get on and bash George Bush or the war," he said.

© Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

See also: The Freedom To Sing

 Date:  Sun, 04 Jul 2004 00:22:50 -0400

From: "James Finkelstein for U.S. Senate from Georgia"


Subject:        Investigation of Lockheed Martin re: James Finkelstein for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Dear "Catbird"

I would very much appreciate it if you would respond to let me know if you have any further information by from or about the "Lone Engineer" report about Lockheed that you posted- specifically whether this is real or bogus, and whether any investigation has been launched by any official U.S. government agency or Congressional committee.

I am a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia for Zell Miller's soon to be vacated seat. The Senate primary is July 20, 2004, and there are two upcoming televised debates. Lockheed Martin has contributed thousands of dollars to two candidates in this race, both Representatives in Congress, and I have raised the issue of conflicts of interest in their taking this contributions from defense contractors. Obviously, any information you have may be of help.

Also, I have a brief message about my campaign which will give you some insight on who I am and why I am running in this race. If you think my campaign has merit, please pass it along or post it, as you will. Thank you!

Jim Finkelstein

Message to cut and paste:


In March of 2003, when this country sent over a hundred thousand Marines and soldiers based in Kuwait to war in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of parents, spouses, and children back home had to endure indescribable emotions for weeks on end, waiting to hear any word from their loved ones- and dreading a knock on the door. I was one of those parents. When the combat phase of the war ended and I finally heard from my son Ben, a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and found out he was safe, I can’t tell you how grateful I felt. Last August Ben and the members of his unit came home, and if you want to see how he looked at his homecoming at LeJeune, go to

But over 5,000 wounded American soldiers and Marines didn’t come home safe, and over 800 more were flown back in flag draped coffins. I decided when my son came home last summer that if this war was still going on, if American lives were still being lost, that I would take a stand- not as a politician, but as a parent. I have no overwhelming desire to be a politician- my life is fulfilled. But I do have an obligation- a duty- to those who didn’t return in one piece, to the soldiers and Marines who are there now or who will be sent there soon, and to their parents, spouses, children, and other loved ones. That duty is to be a voice for them. At the very least, I will be a choice for Georgia voters on July 20th, for those who want to wrap up our mission in Iraq within the next six months and bring the troops home safe. We can accomplish this while leaving the Iraqis the means to retain their newly found freedom under the rule of law. To see how I propose doing this, go to

I also believe that at this moment in time, it is important to the United States of America and to the State of Georgia to have a person running for a national office who recognizes that the phrase “support our troops” means more than lip service. For that reason, I have discussed at debates and candidate forums the equipment, materials, and provisions for the families left behind that the troops in the field have been lacking. I have not hesitated to publicly embarrass three sitting members of the House of Representatives who are running for this Senate seat by revealing that they voted to provide billions of dollars to the defense contractors who funded their campaigns while sending our troops to war in canvas covered humvees that can't stop a rock, let alone a bullet or RPG, vests without the ceramic inserts that make the body armor work, the wrong boots for desert warfare, inadequate eye protection from the desert sand and wind, the wrong rifles for urban combat (M-16's instead of M-4's), and poor or nonexistent communications equipment for individual soldiers and Marines. In addition, they failed to provide for the families of reservists and national guardsmen who were left without medical insurance or other essential benefits.

I am not a “one note” or “one issue” candidate. If you click on "MY PLATFORM" at the website, you will see some proposals that I think would make this a better country and a better state. These include my "litmus test" for approving federal judges and Supreme Court justices, which is a profound respect for the Constitution of the United States, and, most importantly an understanding and appreciation for the Bill of Rights and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. These also include proposals to provide catastrophic health insurance for American families, to use corporate profits from outsourcing jobs to educate, retrain, and if necessary employ laid off workers, and to provide a system that will eliminate all medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors while fairly compensating injured patients without regard to fault.

If you want to read the Coastal Courier's June 18, 2004, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution's June 25, 2004, feature articles on this campaign, click on:

For those who want to see and hear the U.S. Senate candidates, there will be two televised debates: July 11, 2004 at 4:00 P.M. on WSB TV 2 in Atlanta and July 18, 2004, 7:00 P.M. on GPTV. I hope that my presence in this campaign will mean that the debate will focus on issues of importance to this nation and to the State of Georgia.


Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate



Campaign Headquarters: 606 Baldwin Drive ~ Albany, Georgia 31707

PHONE: (229) 436-7824; Toll Free: (888) 436-8445; Home: (229) 435-0533; Cell: (229) 894-0376; Fax: (229) 436-5657

* * *

April 4, 2003


PARIS – French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said yesterday the United States erred morally, politically and strategically by going to war with Iraq.

“It should be said, there was an alternative to war,” Raffarin said in a television interview. Going to war was a moral error, the said, when “one can disarm in other ways.”

Raffarin spoke a day before the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Germany – the three countries most vocal in their opposition to the war – were to meet in Paris.

* * *

April 4, 2003


TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s reformist president warned yesterday that terrorists would view the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as a “green light” to attack U.S. interests and called on Americans to “wake up” and stop the war.

“Those who drop bombs and missiles on Iraq will harvest nothing other than destruction and people’s hatred,” state-run Tehran television quoted President Mohammad Khatami as saying.

“If this war is not contained, its consequences for the world and the region will be many times more dangerous than the Vietnam tragedy.”

* * *

March 31, 2003


The Courier-Journal

CAIRO, Egypt – Egyptian university students called for holy war against allied “aggression” in Iraq, and Indonesians accused America of terrorism as hundreds of thousands around the world staged more rallies yesterday denouncing the war.

In Alexandria, Egypt, more than 15,000 students burned U.S. and British flags, demanded boycotts of goods from both countries and called for jihador holy war“to deter the oppressive American aggression.”

In Spain, protesters condemned their government for allowing coalition forces to use Spanish air space and bases for refueling.

One of the largest rallies was in Jakarta, Indonesia, where more than 100,000 people chanted “America imperialist, No. 1 terrorist!” and peacefully marched a mile from the British Embassy to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta.

* * *

February 16, 2003


Estimated 750,000 gather in London to show opposition

By Glenn Frankel, The Washington Post

LONDON - Several million demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and the rest of the world yesterday in a vast wave of protest against the prospect of a U.S.-led war against Iraq.

The largest rallies were in London, Rome, Berlin and Paris – the heart of Western Europe – where the generally peaceful demonstrations illustrated the breadth of opposition to U.S. policies among traditional allies. But there were also protests in dozens of other cities on five continents in an extraordinary display of global coordination.

In London, a sea of protesters estimated by police at more than 750,000 flooded into Hyde Park and clogged streets for several miles in what observers and organizers said was probably the largest political demonstration in British history. It was aimed not just at President Bush but also at Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, who has been Bush’s staunchest ally in the campaign against Iraq but who is besieged by opposition at home from virtually every part of the political spectrum....

Nearly 1 million people turned out in Rome, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also supported the U.S. position. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, at the largest rally since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. About 100,000 demonstrators poured through the streets of Paris. Germany and France have emerged as the most vocal opponents of military action against Iraq.

In Brussels, tens of thousands of protesters braved freezing temperatures and fierce winds. Many residents placed white handkerchiefs in windows of homes, stores and pubs as an expression of support.

Patricia Tarabelsi, 23, an American student, said she couldn’t help but feel uneasy as anti-American sentiment has intensified in Europe. “It makes you feel like your country’s a target,” she said, “and I don’t really think Americans back home realize just how angry the world is at us right now.”

There were also demonstrations in Ukraine, Bosnia, Cyprus, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Greee, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Japan, India, Bangladesh, Hungary, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand....

In Baghdad, tens of thousands of Iraqis, some carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles, demonstrated in support of Saddam Hussein. “Our swords are out of their sheaths, ready for battle,” read one of the hundreds of banners....

In Damascus, Syria, protesters chanted anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans as they marched to the People’s Assembly building.

About 2,000 anti-war protesters, both Jews and Palestinians, marched in a peaceful procession in central Tel Aviv that lasted about 90 minutes.

Many waved Israeli and Palestinian flags and carried pictures of gas masks and placards reading:

“Drop Bush not Bombs.”

* * *

February 16, 2003


Associated Press

NEW YORK - Thousands of anti-war demonstrators packed more than 20 blocks near the United Nations headquarters yesterday, the largest of an estimated 150 peace rallies across the nation that filled city streets with banners, chanting and people from all walks of life.

“Just because you have the biggest gun does not mean you must use it,” Martin Luther King III told demonstrators in New York as he stood before an enormous banner reading: “The World Says No To War.”

Protests were held across the nation, from Maine to Hawaii, and from Texas to Minnesota.

And around the world – including many in the capitals of America’s traditional allies - similar rallies drew well over a million people in protest of possible U.S. military action against Iraq.

“Peace! Peace! Peace!” Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said as he walked from a church service to a meeting with Kofi Annan at the United Nations.

“Let America listen to the rest of the world – and the rest of the world is saying, ‘Give the inspectors time.’”

Organizers of the New York rally estimated the crowd at anywhere from 375,000 to 500,000. New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said about 100,000 people were in the crowd....

Other demonstrators, including about 1,000 in Manhattan, supported the possibility of U.S. military action.

“I want him to defeat the evil in Iraq, no matter what it takes,” said Gerry Timler, 72, who carried a sign reading, “God Bless America and President Bush.”

* * *


Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice

Through Non-violence.


Wage Peace!


Veterans for Peace, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war. VFP was founded in 1985 by ex-service members committed to sharing the horrors they experienced.

We know the consequences of American foreign policy because once, at a time in our lives, many of us carried it out. We find it sad that war seems do delightful, so often, to those who have no knowledge of it. We will proudly, and patriotically, continue to denounce war despite whatever misguided sense of euphoria supports it.

Wage Peace!

March 30, 2003

Pope Makes Fresh Appeal for End to Iraq War

New York Times On-Line

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul, making a fresh appeal for an end to the war in Iraq, said on Sunday the conflict was undermining humanity's hope for a better future.

The 82-year-old Roman Catholic leader, who is firmly opposed to the conflict, asked for prayers for peace during his weekly address to pilgrims and tourists in St Peter's Square.

Speaking from his window overlooking the square, the pope said “painful armed conflicts are ensnaring the hope of humanity for a better future.”

He appealed for prayers “for the victims of the ongoing conflict.”

On Saturday the pope said he hoped the human tragedy of the war in Iraq would not set Christians and Muslims against each other and spark “a religious catastrophe.”

The pope led the Vatican in a diplomatic campaign to try to avert the war. Before it started, he sent envoys to both President Bush and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The Iraq conflict has put the Vatican on a collision course with Washington because the pope has refused to bless the conflict as a “just war.”

The Vatican is very concerned that the war could cause problems for Christians living in mainly Muslim countries....


Effects of Sanctions

From Iraq Water Project

“What we are doing is destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that.”

– By Denis Halliday (former UN coordinator of the Oil-for-Food Program and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)

The lack of clean water is the biggest killer of children, the sick, and the elderly. The majority of patients in Iraq’s hospitals are stricken with amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases. The effect of the 1990 Persian Gulf War was the destruction of much of the water delivery and sewage treatment infrastructure.

The U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War ended....

Hundred thousands of Iraqi people died as a consequence of military attacks and sanctions against the country. And still they are dying every day because of simplest diseases. Mostly those who can least resist the combined pressures of malnutrition, infections and diseases – the elderly and young children, women during pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps the most tragic causes have been the unavailability of clean water and medicine....

For more, GO TO > > > Iraq Water Project

September 21, 2003


By Tim Premore

The writer is on active duty with the
101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq

FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS, I have participated in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, and throughout the battle in Afghanistan, the groundwork was being laid for the invasion of Iraq. “Shock and awe” was the term used to describe the display of power the world was to view upon the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be a dramatic show of strength and advanced technology from within the arsenals of the American and British militaries.

But as a soldier preparing to take part in the invasion of Iraq, the words “shock and awe” rang deep within my psyche. Even as we prepared to depart, it seemed that these two great superpowers were about to break the very rules they demanded that others obey. Without the consent of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their own citizens, the United States and Britain invaded Iraq.

“Shock and Awe?” Yes, the words correctly described the emotional impact I felt as we embarked on an act not of justice but of hypocrisy.

From the moment the first shot was fired in this so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy reigned. After the broadcasting of recorded images of captured and dead U.S. soldiers over Arab television, American and British leaders vowed revenge while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of Saddam Hussein’s two sons, the U.S. released horrific photographs of the two dead brothers for the world to view. Again, a “Do as we say and not as we do” scenario.

As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our purpose here is to help the people of Iraq by providing them the necessary assistance militarily as well as in humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity was in the recent Stars and Stripes account of two children taken to a U.S. military camp by their mother, in search of medical care. The children had been unknowingly playing with explosive ordinance they had found and as a result were severely burned. The account tells how they, after an hour-long wait, were denied care by two U.S. military doctors. A soldier described the incident as one of many “atrocities” he had witnessed on the part of the U.S. military.

Thankfully, I have not been a personal witness to any atrocities, unless of course you consider, as I do, this war to be the ultimate atrocity.

So then, what is our purpose here?

Was this invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we so often have heard? If so, where are they?

Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the proof?

Or is it that our incursion is a result of our own economic advantage? Iraq’s oil can be refined at the lowest cost of any in the world. Coincidence?

This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination, but a crusade to control another nation’s natural resource. At least to me, oil seems to be the reason for our presence.

There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying. There are 10 to 14 attacks on our servicemen and women daily in Iraq, and it would appear that there is no end in sight. I once believed that I served for a cause: “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Now I no longer believe that, I have lost my conviction, as well as my determination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies.

With age come wisdom, and at 36 years old I am no longer so blindly led as to believe without question. From my arrival at Ft. Campbell, Ky., last November, talk of deployment was heard, and as that talk turned to actual preparation my heart sank and my doubts grew. My doubts have never faded, instead my resolve and commitment have.

My time is almost done, as well as that of many others with whom I serve. We have all faced death in Iraq without reason or justification.

How many more must die?

How many more tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them rather than their leader’s interest?

– Special to the Los Angeles Times

* * * * *


The last
bird in the world
sits sadly on a broken branch
and sweetly sings a song to the
blue moon.

– James VanHise, Fragments

 * * * * *


From: Undisclosed
To: "V.K. Durham"
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 8:28 PM

Subject: Some words about me - Re: Rainbow

Dear VK,

(You can call me XXXX, I have seen your photo and I suppose you are very younger than me - I am 45 year old)

I would like to tell you something about me:

I started to be a whistleblower in 1999, during the war in the Balkans, denouncing the NATO crazy use of uranium in the weapons there.

Well, I started before: in 1997 I unveiled a network of stay-behind officers here in Italy - they were the Italians of the Operation Gladio. Some of them encountered a death like your husband - mostly they were 'suicided' like Raul Gardini, Cagliari, etc. etc.

The August 13, 2006, at 8:30 P.M., an Hercules C130 aircraft cargo (Lockheed Martin) crashed in Piacenza, Italy, killing all abroad. This C130 was embedded with depleted uranium balance weights, which (uranium) is used in the US also to make depleted uranium (DU) kinetic penetrators, i.e. weapons to be used in humanitarian wars.

It was me who adviced the firefighters and other police forces last week to be aware of the uranium at Piacenza and to use precautions: they were not aware. Italy and US are ally, but regarding the DU issue... the Pentagram didn't told us very much about the real uranium dangers...

In 1999 I knew an Italian operative of the Mossad, Alberto Lanzi, who used DU weapons back in 1973 (Yom Kippur war). He assured to me: no danger! He died from cancer in 2004, at 53.

Now the history can go on, the latest sad thing is the death of my associate Sherman Skolnick from Chicago... (last week another: Giacinto Auriti, but he was 84)

I don't want to be annoying to you, so I stop here.

But I was able to find documents about Rainbow in 2001, in the Internet: those documents are not there anymore. (it was something involving BIO-RAD and a journalist writing a book entitled Octopus...)

Don't be angry with me for my amateurishly kind of enquiring.

Kind regards,

xxxx xxxx

~ ~ ~

For more, GO TO > > > An Octopus Named Wackenhut


Iraq says U.S.-British Air Strike
Kills 23; Allies Deny Charge

by Aleksandar Vasovic, Associated Press

June 21, 2001 (AP) - Iraq’s state-run television claimed yesterday that a U.S.-British air strike killed 23 people during a soccer game and showed children reportedly injured in the attack.

U.S. officials blamed a malfunctioning Iraqi anti-aircraft missile.

The Iraqi News Agency said allied planes attacked Tall Afar, 275 miles northwest of Baghdad. The victims were said to be buried yesterday.

Eleven others were injured, the agency said....

# # #



By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons inspector of the U.N. has said, ‘The fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself. Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction.’...

“We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran, and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who died in the attacks of September the 11th....

“Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time. If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.”...

– George W. Bush, October 7, 2000







t t t t t


National Priorities Project - Cost of War

$ $ $ $ $



A Timeline of Oil and Violence in Iraq

t t t t t




The Dixie Chicks: “I Hope”








The Freedom to Sing 

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t t t t t








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March 30, 2003: Originally posted on

March 13, 2007: The U.S. Dept of Justice gets Order to shut down website

July 27, 2009: Latest update on

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The Catbird Seat Archives: 2000-2002

The Catbird Seat Archives: 2002-2007

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