Harry Taylor: A First Amendment Moment Last week, President Bush visited Charlotte, North Carolina for one of his "open forums." Harry Taylor, 61, a commercial real estate broker who has recently become an activist, calmly and eloquently told Bush what was on the minds of people around the country:
"You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen
to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to
arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing
clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman,
you’d like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf.
What I wanted to say to you is that I — in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate. And I would hope — I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I’m saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about."
Take Action: Express your thoughts on Harry Taylor's words at a new web site: Thank You, Harry Taylor. You can leave a message for Harry (almost 10,000 have been left in just a few days) and there are links to news coverage and the video.
Journalist Greg Palast looks at it from another angle, that the bigger crime is that "Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized."
In related news, Michael Smith, the journalist who broke the story about the Downing Street Memos, names two employees of the Niger embassy in Rome as the forgers of the documents claiming Saddam Hussein attempted to purchase uranium in an article on The Times. You can also read entries on the subject his blog.
Take Action: On the Working for Change web site, you can send a letter to Bush with copies to your representatives in the House and the Senate asking the president to come clean and explain to the American people his role in leaking classified information to discredit critics of the rush to war. Also, vote to impeach Bush. Over 700,000 have already voted in this people's referendum.
The Israel Lobby Two respected scholars, Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, published a paper on the Israel lobby, in particular AIPAC, and its influence on U.S. foreign policy. You can read the full 83 page paper or an edited version on the London Review of Books.
The paper has, as expected, been attacked by the lobby itself causing Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (KSG) to remove its logo and making more prominent a disclaimer stating that the views expressed belong only to the authors. An article by William Pfaff talks about the lack of coverage in the U.S. press.
And on Ha'aretz, an article by Shlomo Shamir, talks about a new Christian pro-Israel lobby that aims to be even stronger than AIPAC.
Noam Chomski and Robert Fisk on Democracy Now! Last week Democracy Now! had two exceptional interviews. Noam Chomski spoke in a two part interview. The first on his new book, "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy" and the second on Iraq troop withdrawal, Haiti, democracy in Latin America and the Israeli
occupation of Palestine. And Robert Fisk spoke about about Iraq, Palestinian and Israeli elections, the corporate media and much more. You can watch the video or read the transcript for both online.
Thoughts On the Anti-War Movement Scott Ritter, former Chief UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq, wrote an article on Alternet in which he describes the anti-war movement as a "poorly organized, chaotic, and indeed often anarchic conglomeration of egos, pet projects and idealism" and "on the verge of complete collapse". Ritter suggests a "warrior" style approach to winning the battle for peace.
Cindy Sheehan responds to this analysis with her own article in which she agrees the movement is close to collapse but for a very different reason, that "the two-thirds of Americans who philosophically agree that the war is wrong, BushCo lied, and the troops should come home, will not get off of their collective, complacent, and comfortable behinds to demonstrate their dissent with our government."
E-Voting 2006: The Approaching Trainwreck John Gideon of VotersUnite.org wrote a guest article on BradBlog of the state of elections in the U.S., which he describes as a "national disaster in the making."
And Mark Crispin Miller, author of "Fooled Again", appeared on The Digital Age last week to talk about electronic voting. See the video.
Voters for Peace On the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a new organization, Voters for Peace, was launched and "is seeking to educate, organize and activate voters to end the
occupation of Iraq and prevent future wars of aggression. We seek to do so by
providing voters with the information and tools they need to be effective
Take Action: Read about their approach and sign the pledge: "I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does
not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of
aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."
Upcoming Events in the U.S. Easter in Crawford, Texas - April 13-16
Speakers include Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, members of Iraq Veterans Against War, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, as well as Katrina survivors.
Peace and Justice March, New York City, April 29
National anti-war march organized by United for Peace and Justice,
National Organization for Women,
Friends of the Earth,
U.S. Labor Against the War,
Climate Crisis Coalition,
People's Hurricane Relief Fund,
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition,
Veterans For Peace.
Take Action: Tell your friends and family in the U.S.
If you know of additional news items that should be listed, send them via email.
Join the USC4P&J mailing list to stay informed on events and initiatives.
Our Film Series is on vacation. It will start up again on October 12th with "I am Not Your Negro"
Also, read about our Film Committee meetings to decide programming:
Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force.
Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.
Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:
Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand.
Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"