- Silent Peace Vigils on
Friday Afternoons 5 - 5:30pm
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your silence be heard!
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messages only, please.
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- Join those who share
your concerns and take a stand for your
- Signs are provided.
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the Post Office on College Street in Macon, Georgia
article calling for impeachment
Why I Believe Bush Must Go
in The Sunday Washington Post
Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are
By George McGovern
Sunday, January 6, 2008; B01
As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have
belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me
is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.
After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach
President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I
thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an
expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated
Today I have made a different choice.
Of course, there seems to be little bipartisan support for impeachment.
The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial
partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and
statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians. So the
chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising.
But what are the facts?
Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses.
They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed
national and international law. They have lied to the American people
time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced
our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the
world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the
From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team's assumption of power was the
product of questionable elections that probably should have been
officially challenged -- perhaps even by a congressional investigation.
In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed
throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the
administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against
Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans,
left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed
the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful
October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United
States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of
$1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others
as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion -- by far the
highest in our national history.
All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress
that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter
and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life
and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by
the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct
violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon
administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far
stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T.
Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and
productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any
administration in our national history been so damaging as the
How could a once-admired, great nation fall into such a quagmire of
killing, immorality and lawlessness?
It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived
Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein
had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an
"imminent threat" to the United States. The administration also led the
public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks -- another
blatant falsehood. Many times in recent years, I have recalled
Jefferson's observation: "Indeed I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just."
The basic strategy of the administration has been to encourage a
climate of fear, letting it exploit the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks not only
to justify the invasion of Iraq but also to excuse such dangerous
misbehavior as the illegal tapping of our telephones by government
agents. The same fear-mongering has led government spokesmen and
cooperative members of the press to imply that we are at war with the
entire Arab and Muslim world -- more than a billion people.
Another shocking perversion has been the shipping of prisoners scooped
off the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other
countries without benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus.
Although the president was advised by the intelligence agencies last
August that Iran had no program to develop nuclear weapons, he
continued to lie to the country and the world. This is the same
strategy of deception that brought us into war in the Arabian Desert
and could lead us into an unjustified invasion of Iran. I can say with
some professional knowledge and experience that if Bush invades yet
another Muslim oil state, it would mark the end of U.S. influence in
the crucial Middle East for decades.
Ironically, while Bush and Cheney made counterterrorism the battle cry
of their administration, their policies -- especially the war in Iraq
-- have increased the terrorist threat and reduced the security of the
United States. Consider the difference between the policies of the
first President Bush and those of his son. When the Iraqi army marched
into Kuwait in August 1990, President George H.W. Bush gathered the
support of the entire world, including the United Nations, the European
Union and most of the Arab League, to quickly expel Iraqi forces from
Kuwait. The Saudis and Japanese paid most of the cost. Instead of
getting bogged down in a costly occupation, the administration
established a policy of containing the Baathist regime with
international arms inspectors, no-fly zones and economic sanctions.
Iraq was left as a stable country with little or no capacity to
Today, after five years of clumsy, mistaken policies and U.S. military
occupation, Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorism and bloody
civil strife. It is no secret that former president Bush, his secretary
of state, James A. Baker III, and his national security adviser, Gen.
Brent Scowcroft, all opposed the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.
In addition to the shocking breakdown of presidential legal and moral
responsibility, there is the scandalous neglect and mishandling of the
Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The veteran CNN commentator Jack
Cafferty condenses it to a sentence: "I have never ever seen anything
as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans."
Any impeachment proceeding must include a careful and critical look at
the collapse of presidential leadership in response to perhaps the
worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
Impeachment is unlikely, of course. But we must still urge Congress to
act. Impeachment, quite simply, is the procedure written into the
Constitution to deal with presidents who violate the Constitution and
the laws of the land. It is also a way to signal to the American people
and the world that some of us feel strongly enough about the present
drift of our country to support the impeachment of the false prophets
who have led us astray. This, I believe, is the rightful course for an
As former representative Elizabeth Holtzman, who played a key role in
the Nixon impeachment proceedings, wrote two years ago, "it wasn't
until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the
wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation
of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- and argued that,
as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interests of national
security to override our country's laws -- that I felt the same sinking
feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate. . . . A President, any
President, who maintains that he is above the law -- and repeatedly
violates the law -- thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors."
I believe we have a chance to heal the wounds the nation has suffered
in the opening decade of the 21st century. This recovery may take a
generation and will depend on the election of a series of rational
presidents and Congresses. At age 85, I won't be around to witness the
completion of the difficult rebuilding of our sorely damaged country,
but I'd like to hold on long enough to see the healing begin.
There has never been a day in my adult life when I would not have
sacrificed that life to save the United States from genuine danger,
such as the ones we faced when I served as a bomber pilot in World War
II. We must be a great nation because from time to time, we make
gigantic blunders, but so far, we have survived and recovered.
Iraq and Climate Change
What does the Iraq
War have to do with Climate Change? (here)
Surge of More Lies:
A Surge of More Lies
by Congressman Robert Wexler
A new troubling myth has taken hold in Washington and it is critical
that the record is set straight. According to the mainstream media,
Republicans, and unfortunately even some Democrats, the President's
surge in Iraq has been a resounding success. In
fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
This assertion is disingenuous, factually incorrect, and negatively
impacts America's national security. The Surge had a clear and defined
objective - to create stability and security - enabling the Iraqi
government to enact lasting political solutions and foster genuine
reconciliation and cooperation between Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds.
This has not happened.
There has been negligible political
progress in Iraq, and we are no closer to solving the complex problems
- including a power sharing government, oil revenue agreement and new
constitution - than we were before the Administration upped the ante
and sent 30,000 more troops to Iraq.
Too many Democrats in Congress are again surrendering to General
Petraeus and have failed to challenge the Bush Administration's claims
that the surge has been successful. In fact -- it is just
The reduction in violence in Iraq has exposed the continuing failure of
Iraqi officials to solve their substantial political rifts. By
President Bush's own stated goal of political progress, the Surge has
Of course raising troop levels has increased security - a strategy the
Bush administration ignored when presented by General Shinseki before
the war in Iraq began - but the fundamental internal Iraqi problems
remain and the factors that were accelerating the civil war in 2007
have simply been put on hold.
The military progress is a testament to the patience and dedication of
our brave troops - even in the face of 15 month-long deployments
followed by insufficient Veteran's health services when they return
home. They have performed brilliantly - despite the insult of having
President Bush recently veto a military spending bill that enhanced
funding and benefits, and increased care.
Despite the efforts of American soldiers, the surge alone cannot bring
about the political solutions needed to end centuries of sectarian
As it stands, little on the ground supports the assertion that Iraqis
are ready to stand up and govern themselves. Too few Iraqi troops are
trained, equipped and combat ready, and they cannot yet provide
adequate security. Loyalty is also an issue in the Iraqi army as Al
Queda and Sunni insurgents infliltrate their defense forces. The
consequences turned deadly just recently when an Iraqi soldier
purposely killed two U.S. troops.
On the streets of Baghdad and Mosul, the Sunni and Shia factions have
paused their fighting, awaiting guarantees and protections that have
not yet been delivered. As Iraqi refugees return, there is no mechanism
to help them rebuild their lives, nor recover their now-occupied homes.
Neighborhoods once mixed are now segregated.
In Northern Iraq, Kurdish terrorists conducting nefarious operations
across the border into Turkey have compelled our NATO ally to strike at
bases, inflaming tensions between Baghdad and Ankara.
The surge is working? We suffered more U.S. casualties in 2007 than in
any other year of the war. We can't
afford any more of this type of success.
How can we create the situation that is most likely to deliver
political progress in Iraq? Not by continuing the surge and occupation.
Our best chance (there is no guarantee) is by putting real pressure on
the Iraqi government to force action. Telling the national and local
Iraqi leaders that we are withdrawing our troops can help accomplish
this goal. Today, the majority Iraqi Shia government led by Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki has little incentive to act when American
troops remain in the country to provide security and stability.
Based on the Administration's plan, John
McCain's proposal of a 100-year US occupation could be a reality!
The Democratic Congress must act aggressively to first cut off funding
for the surge and then the entire war. Many of my colleagues avoided a
showdown with the administration because they mistakenly believed such
a fight would endanger the safety of the troops.
In fact, we must accept that every soldier killed or injured in the
coming months should have already been home. Every billion dollars of
war-appropriations we spend from here on should have been spent on
genuine priorities here at home such as children's heath care.
Enough is enough: While the Administration over-commits American forces
in Iraq, we see Al Qaeda-regrouping and Osama Bin Laden still at large.
We remain seriously bogged down in Afghanistan, and are witnessing a
crisis in Pakistan that has left a nuclear country on the brink of a
meltdown. America's resources and attention are desperately needed
elsewhere and our soldiers must no longer be needlessly sacrificed as
we wait for Iraqis to stand up.
The Surge has failed. If my
colleagues gullibly accept the moving rationale for the Surge, just as
so many have for the war itself, we will have failed as well.
***To contact me or for more information, go to www.wexlerforcongress.com .
The United States Institute of Peace (usip.org)
is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and
funded by Congress.
Shoot (Iraq) first, then ask questions...
Reasoning is flawed
I would like to
dispute the reasoning of Rinda Wilson on President Bush's ideology of
when to go to war and when not to.
a veteran of foreign wars, have the same mentality of some level-headed
Republicans and Democrats, ex-veterans of foreign wars also, who spent
years on national defense committees including the last president (a
draft dodger) whom I respect because his policy was simply to trust
after you verify. (Simple enough.)
Some members of the
committee include Sen. John Warner, a Republican from Virginia, (gone
after this term), Sen. Chuck Hagle, a Republican from Nebraska (gone
after this term), Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and
on and on who had the same mentality.
is like that of an 18th-and-19th-century cow poke when some of his
cattle were stolen (shoot first and ask questions later).
obviously lacks credibility in the 20th and 21st century. Ask Tony
Blair what this mentality cost him.
I notice Ms. Wilson
kept calling him a certain unspeakable name, but I have a problem using
any other name.
the two executive members in the White House leave to go back to their
western states, I hope to sing "happy trails to you and hoping we never
R. F. Richardson
Posted on Sun, Dec. 23, 2007
The scars of torture
who oppose the war in Iraq, as I do, aren't the ones wringing our hands
over whether waterboarding is torture. We know it is. History, the Army
field manual and past actions by our very own federal government and
many others have long documented that it is. We tried and convicted
Japanese after WWII for waterboarding.
The scars from such
torture aren't always visible. In fact, I would proffer that the very
worst scars are those which are not visable. I remember the WWII
veteran from Fort Deposit, Ala., featured in Ken Burns' "The War"
series shown recently on PBS. In the very last segment, discussing his
return and adjustment to civilian life, he talked of his inability to
sleep because of nightmares and his overriding hatred for his Japanese
captors and of how he knew he had to find a way to get past all that in
an era when going to see a psychiatrist pretty much rendered a person
Those in the administration and those who support
it are the ones doing the handwringing and twisting themselves into
pretzels trying to make a case for "maybe it is and maybe it isn't,"
because to admit that waterboarding is torture is to condone torture
The very fact that such illogical arguments are being
provided an ongoing public platform is, in my mind, a testament to how
out-of-whack the national discourse has become in the last seven-plus
years. Before the end of 2008 we may very well be arguing about whether
up is indeed up, and down is down. If the laws of the land are no
longer the law, then who's to say that the laws of physics aren't also
Posted on Tue, Dec. 18, 2007
Freedom of speech
writer from Macon whose letter was published Dec. 9 stating Democrats
should shut up until the 2008 election, is forgetting that we still
have freedom of speech as one of the rights under what's left o the
Constitution after the Bush administration continues to re-write it to
suit their every whim in their rush to out-Nixon Nixon. Nixon's was the
most corrupt administration in this country's history.
I am not afraid to point out the obstinate stupidity
Bush expresses every day of his life.
uncalled for war is one of the biggest blunders imaginable. While he's
wasting billions in Iraq, they're kicking people out of temporary
housing in New Orleans.
There are so many things that have gone
wrong with this country since the corruption in the Florida election
that put Bush in office, it boggles the mind!
newspapers, listen to NPR, watch the news on TV, other than Fox, and
you will get an over-all picture of what's going on.
not without blame. It was afraid of being called unpatriotic for not
going along with Bush's actions. Now, it's OK to torture people until
they say whatever Bush wants to hear. Now, Bush has Gates in his pocket
as well on the Iran issue.
Posted on Sun, Dec. 16, 2007
... about Truth"
Posted on Thu, Dec. 13,
We wonder, we
wonder, we wonder. . .
Telegraph's recent editorial about the tarnished image of some of our
national political leaders struck a raw nerve. Maybe we should have a
national day or mourning for their violations of some of our most
We have signed the U.N. Charter and the Geneva
Conventions, both of which we have recently violated. We wonder how
many of us realize that foreign treaties which we have signed have the
same power as the U.S. Constitution legally. Any violation of an
international treaty by us is also a violation of our Constitution.
in the last few years many of our national political leaders have acted
as if they have no respect for foreign treaties or the U.S.
Neither have they respected the principles
established by the Nuremberg war crimes trials held after World War II.
By these trials Nazis were imprisoned and put to death for violations
of the Geneva Conventions. Yet we now violate these Conventions as
though we have forgotten that the United States was instrumental in
helping carry out the Nuremberg trials.
Probably the most serious
recent violation of the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Charter is the
participation in the Iraq war by the United States. Both these
documents forbid the invasion of any nation by another nation unless
the invaded nation is a military threat to the invading nation. Iraq
was not a military threat to the United States.
There are those
who argue that President Bush and many of our members of Congress
thought Iraq was a military threat to the United States at the time we
started the war. Perhaps that is true. However, they know now that Iraq
is no military threat to the United States, and all evidence suggests
that it never has been.
We wonder if any of our generals knew
Iraq had no missiles that would shoot more than 200 miles, and that
Iraq had no known way of delivering nuclear missiles to the United
States. We also wonder why President Bush continued to claim that Iran
threatened to make nuclear weapons for several weeks after the National
Intelligence Estimate announced that such activity had stopped in 2003.
Needless to say, all such estimates are never a certainty. But we
wonder if President Bush thinks he has better intelligence estimates
than individuals who spend their lives studying intelligence.
wonder how long a war will go on which was started for a false reason.
We wonder if we are morally bound to support such a war. We wonder
whether the future of the United States will involve one false war
after another indefinitely.
We wonder if we will be in a war in
which weapons of mass destruction are used, and what the Earth will be
like after such a war. We wonder whether making false accusations
against other nations regarding the intended use of weapons of mass
destructions serves the best interest of us or anyone else.
Sam Marshall is a resident of Milledgevlle.
War a lucrative
engagements, aka "war," is the most lucrative business known to humans.
A very few people, many of them politicians that accept bribes from
companies that operate war profiteering enterprises, make obscene
amounts of money. These few that make this money only do so because of
the death, displacement or maiming for life of millions of others.
us send these "war" profiteers and politicians, who enable these
profiteers, to these combat zones after we pull the troops out. This
would be the perfect example of supporting the troops, taking them out
of harm's way while at the same time giving politicians and profiteers
a chance to show their "loyalty" to America and their "support" of the
Also a request, especially to the news media: Stop
calling this illegal military invasion of Iraq a "war." Describe this
political decision for what it is, an illegal military invasion and
occupation decided by corrupt politicians energized by greed. The last
war America was involved in ended in 1945.
Support the troops, not greedy politicians and "war"
Posted on Mon, Dec. 10, 2007
Posted on Fri, Nov. 23, 2007
SOA protesters neither ignorant nor stupid
to Sloan Oliver's opinion, the annual protesters of the School of the
Americas (that trains Latin American soldiers) at Fort Benning, are far
from ignorant or stupid. They are led by dozens of ordained clergy of
many denominations, religious sisters, military veterans, and many
other educated, patriotic Americans who hold our government and our
military to high moral standards.
Oliver naively believes our
military would never do wrong; while it is to be honored for its
service, military personnel sometimes do bad things, such as at Abu
Ghraib prison in Iraq were they humiliated and tortured foreign
At SOA/WHISC, the Army has admitted that the military
training manuals did include tactics such as torture. Only within the
last 10 years did the Army revise these teaching manuals. Too late for
the four American religious women murdered in 1980 in Central America
by graduates of SOA. Too late for Archbishop Oscar Romero, shot at the
altar in church by SOA graduates. Too late for six Jesuit priests,
their housekeeper and her daughter, at the University in San Salvador,
attacked at home in the middle of the night and murdered by SOA
None of these victims was armed or a military threat
to the dictators in government. The fact is that a large percentage of
the graduates of SOA/WHISC have been identified in murders and
human-rights violations when they returned home to Latin America.
Unless Latin leaders sent only military thugs to be trained at
SOA/WHISC, the percentage of those who returned south to bully and kill
anti-government citizens is quite telling.
Why is our government
in the business of training Latin American soldiers at Fort Benning? In
the interests of our "national security?" If that is the reason, then
for many decades our national security has depended on U.S. support of
dictators, fascists and military coups of democratically elected
leaders. And we preach to the world, so self righteously, how the U.S.
is the champion of human rights.
David B. Connor is a resident of Macon.
Posted on Wed, Nov. 21,
Oliver's assertion that the U.S. Army School of the Americas did not
teach torture is simply untrue. In the past, the SOA has been accused
of training members of governments guilty of serious human rights
abuses and of advocating techniques that violate accepted international
standards, particularly the Geneva Conventions.
In 1996, the
Pentagon admitted torture, execution, false imprisonment, extortion and
other techniques were included in training manuals used at the SOA and
by mobile training units in Latin America until 1991. This admission
triggered an investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general.
his final report, the inspector general said "mistakes" led to the
inclusion of "objectionable" information in manuals used to train Latin
American soldiers and officers at Fort Benning.
This was one
reason the SOA lost it's legal authorization in 2001 and the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation was established. The new
curriculum does offer optional human rights training.
It seems to
me protesting the use of torture is isn't really a liberal or
Democratic issue. Perhaps it's the Christian, and more important, the
moral thing to do.
Posted on Sun, Nov. 18,
How could this be?
incident in Iraq involving the private security firm Blackwater USA was
yanked from public scrutiny faster than a speeding politician going
through the construction area around Hartley Bridge here in the good
ol' USA. Why was a private security firm providing security for any
member of our armed forces? Am I stupid? The logic behind this stinks
to the highest level.
Ask your congressman or senator a few
questions the next time he or she dares show their face back home. How
much of the $50 or so billion currently under consideration
by Congress is earmarked for "private security"? This amount is bound
to go up faster than a Saturn rocket and the public outcry should make
an atomic bomb look like a firecracker.
Private security for our military "heroes."
January 14, 1940 -
Last week our
community lost a real treasure with the passing
of Ron Richards. Ron was a gentle soul who touched the lives of all
those around him with kindness and love.
On a cold,
blustery afternoon in late February 2003, Ron stood at the
corner of Pio Nono and Vineville avenues holding aloft a sign
protesting America's imminent invasion of Iraq. Some of the drivers
passing by gave Ron a thumbs-up or honked their horns, while many
others made obscene gestures toward him.
Last Friday, the
weekly gathering to protest the war drew a much larger
crowd than would have been possible four years ago. Those who honked in
solidarity with the demonstrators far outnumbered those who directed
obscene gestures. It seems that many have finally realized what Ron
tried to tell us years four ago: That the invasion of Iraq was a tragic
mistake, a fiasco of the first order, an immoral waste of human life
and valuable resources, and a testimony to national arrogance and
We will miss you,
Ron, but we will always remember the example you set
for us, and we will try to keep faith.
Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007
Georgians for "Bringing
Them Home" - Now!...
The job of a Citizen is to Speak-Out (Mouths Wide Open)
- Please join us -
THIRD FRIDAY of every month
weekends. Dec. 21-23; Jan. 18-20.
Sisters Lee A. Johnson
of Macon, left, and Peggy Johnson, a Navy veteran of Lexington Okla.
attend a peace rally at the Pentagon in Washington, DC