Week of April 17 2006
The Iran Plans (continued)
The drumbeats for an attack on Iran continue despite numerous policy experts repeating there are no good military options. Read articles by William Hartung of the World Policy Institute, "No Military Solution" and Joseph Cirincione of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "Fool Me Twice." See Cirincione make his case on C-Span (RealMedia file). AfterDowningStreet also has a complete collection of articles on Iran, including many on what the mainstream media is missing, as does ThinkProgress.
Take Action: Read talking points by David Keppel of Traprock Peace Center and sign the petition, to be delivered to the White House: Don't Attack Iran. Sign the CodePink letter to Kofi Annan. Read a letter by Normon Solomon to MoveOn about their failure to oppose bombing Iran and their reply. If you are a member of MoveOn, let them know what you think.
Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation
In the past month, a number of recently retired generals, some with very recent experience in top level positions in Iraq, have spoken out against the war and called for Rumsfeld's resignation. Read Retired Generals Rising Up Against Iraq War by Erin Solaro and The Generals' Revolt by Katrina vanden Heuvel.
Giving even more reason to call for his resignation, recently release documents demonstrate that Rumsfeld "closely monitored the late 2002 interrogation of a key Guantanamo Bay prison detainee at the same time that the prisoner was subjected to treatment that a military investigator later called degrading and abusive.'" Read the article on the Boston Globe.
Fallout Over the Israel Lobby Paper
As reported last week, two respected scholars published a paper on the Israel lobby, in particular AIPAC, and its influence on U.S. foreign policy. Outrage over the assertions in the paper continues. Read about the reaction in the U.S. media, The Lobby and the Bulldozer: Mearsheimer, Walt and Corrie by Norman Solomon and AIPAC's Complaint by Eric Alterman.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports on increased arms sales from the U.K. to Israel, nearly doubling in one year. Read "Huge jump in arms sales to Israel."
Take Action: Send a message of support to the authors of the paper and let them know you appreciate their courage to open up the debate. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.
No More Money for Iraq War
In a move of breath-taking financial dishonesty, Bush has hidden from the American people the staggering cost of the war in Iraq in the form of an emergency supplemental request to Congress. In just a few weeks, the Senate will be voting on appropriating $106.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding, which will largely go to continuing the quagmire in Iraq.
Last year not one member of the Senate voted against the supplemental, but just a few weeks ago, a record 71 Members of Congress voted against the supplemental in the House (up from 43 against the previous Iraq supplemental!), showing the growing concerns in Congress about the costs and direction of the war. See the roll call vote.
Take Action: Contact your Senators and urge them oppose new funds for war in Iraq. Use the form on the Peace Action web site or call them directly (much more effective!) See contact info on the Senate web site.
Good Leak, Bad Leak
First, the Washington Post published an editorial entitled A Good Leak, defending the President's decision to declassify parts of a National Intelligence Estimate. The New York Times responded with its own editorial, A Bad Leak, which asserts " this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes." (for login data for the New York Times, see BugMeNot)
Take Action: Read an analysis of the Washington Post editorial by FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and send your thoughts to the newspaper's editor and ombudsman.
US Building Massive Embassy in Baghdad
Read the AP article on the "new fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River " comprising "21 buildings on 104 acres" and described as "the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water."
Taxes and Military Spending
This is the time of year when U.S. citizens pay their taxes, and more of it every year goes to the military, now comprising nearly half of all federal outlays. See analysis of the budget from the War Resisters League. On the National Priorities web site you can use interactive tools to compare the cost of the war in Iraq to that of fighting world hunger or aids, hiring teachers in the U.S. or college scholarships.
For a fun look at the federal budget, see the True Majority Oreo Cookies Analysis.
Take Action: Urge your representative to support the Common Sense Budget Act. Use the form on the WAND web site or call them directly (much more effective!) See contact info on the House web site.
Immigrant Protests in U.S.
Massive protests have taken place recently in the U.S., with millions marching for immigrant rights. Democracy Now! dedicates an entire one-hour show to the protests. Watch the video, listen to the audio or read the transcript.
This massive outpouring should be an example to us all. Read a tongue in cheek editorial on the Los Angeles Times entitled "Real Americans Pout, Don't Protest: One More Job for Immigrants."
Easter in Crawford, Mother's Day in DC
Over the Easter holidays, activists including Cindy Sheehan gathered outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas calling for troop withdrawal and opposing any military action against Iran. Read reports and see video on Truthout.
CodePink is making plans for Mother's Day with a Call for Peace 24 hour vigil Washington, D.C., May 13-14.
Take Action: Tell your friends and family in the U.S. See the CodePink web site for details on how to participate from afar, including a letter writing campaign to Laura Bush.
If you know of additional news items that should be listed, send them via email.