It is better to "... talk, talk, talk ..." for 10,000 years, than to waste even One Life for an Unjust and Unnecessary War.
Peace Vigils

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Macon-Peace 2008

40 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and this nation lost one of the greatest leaders for peace and justice that we have ever known. Here is a sampling of his quotes and speechesówords that, decades later, still inspire new generations of folks to action. His words are as important today as they were 40 years ago. 

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

"The time is always right to do what is right."  - MLK.



  - Silent Peace Vigils on Friday Afternoons 5 - 5:30pm
- Rain or Shine, let your silence be heard! 
- Pro-peace or Anti-war messages only, please.
- No personal nor political bashing.
- Join those who share your concerns and take a stand for your convictions. 
- Signs are provided.
-
Meet across the street from the Post Office on College Street in Macon, Georgia

 Rand Knight (running against Saxby) is
www.knightforsenate.com



A new study by the Center for Public Integrity documents 935 public lies by leading members of the Bush clique in the two years after 9/11/2001 to mislead Americans into supporting their aggression against Iraq.
 
935 Lies by the Bush clique:
http://www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/
 
2-minute video on how the billions wasted on war COULD HAVE BEEN SPENT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnq6cD5jk1Q



Fed up to the gills - Stupid Iraq War - ...

Each day I grow more and more cynical about the course of events in this country what with the mounting casualties in the stupid Iraqi war. Also, we have the poorest selection of presidential candidates in 60 years. Then there is that do-nothing obstructionist Congress whose only interest is getting re-elected and not addressing a multiplicity of crucial national issues; Bernanke and the Fed seem hapless in dealing with this volatile economy. Our omniscient, officious Supreme Court continues it's reckless intrusion into political and social thickets .....
. . . .

Jack McKinley
Cordele
http://www.macon.com/209/story/307320.html

Posted on Sun, Mar. 30, 2008


God doesn't order jihad

I have some concerns about the recent letter to the editor asserting that the Iraq war is actually a "mandate from God."

First, since God is omnipotent (all-knowing), shouldn't he have clued President Bush in to the fact that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction?

Next, I really don't believe that God is in the business of ordering Christian jihad (holy war).

Finally, if I am guilty of "blasphemous comments" by criticizing Bush's handling of the Iraq war, I will gladly stand in judgment for those beliefs before my maker.

Daryl J. Morton
Macon
http://www.macon.com/209/story/307215.html

Posted on Fri, Mar. 28, 2008



God is not an American

If ever there were a near-blasphemous statement about the Bush administration's attack on Iraq, it is Dwain Penn's saying it was "a mandate from God." Last time I checked - I have a graduate degree in Bible and theology - the Holy Trinity does not consist of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Like you and me, they are sinful human beings; we need to pray not only for daily bread, but for daily forgiveness and a closer walk with God (Jesus for Christians) in order to grow in love and service of others.

Let us pray for our elected leaders in this light. By the way, God is not a Republican, not even an American. God loves every person, whether in America (North and South), Africa, Asia, etc. Do we? Something else to pray for if we want to be more like our Father.

David B. Conner, M. Divinity
Macon

Mandate from God?

So, who took that phone call? Unfortunately, by using this logic the writer has just endorsed every Islamic extremist out there. Their God told them to do it, too. May I suggest that we all need to drag our Bibles/Korans out and do some reading before we drag God into the conversation.

First, pick a testament - if you are going to quote the Old Testament, then live the Old Testament. If you want guidance, seek out some Jewish people because the Old Testament is how they live their lives.

If you reference the New Testament, I think you will find it difficult to say that anyone mandated anything like war. WWJD? Bomb someone? Really? Yes, we have a social conscience to protect our people, our country, etc., but we should be looking at things from a higher perspective instead of the basest of human experience.

It is interesting that we are reacting more like Cain and Abel and less like Jesus thousands of years after his death.

James Rumage
Warner Robins
http://www.macon.com/209/story/305224.html

Posted on Thu, Mar. 27, 2008



A mandate from God

Earlier this year at a local church breakfast, I overheard someone say, "the Iraq war is a farce." As a Republican, the assessment offended me, and as a Christian, I was surprised this person did not fully understand why President Bush went to war in Iraq - a mandate from God.

Actually, Mr. Bush was cleaning up a mess left by President Clinton. Saddam Hussein was a thorn in the paw of the world. Even the most liberal media dubbed Saddam as the madman of the Middle East, the bad man of Baghdad. His saber rattling about his military power concerned world leaders.

When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, in response to 9/11, we had no conflict with the government of Afghanistan except perhaps their opium production. We were after al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds there.

With military resources already in the area, it was only a prudent and wise decision to invade Iraq. In bowling, they call it a one-ten split. The report, later to be revealed was wrong, that Saddam had purchased radioactive materials from Niger was from a government agency with a half-century legacy of accuracy.

Why is Iraq dubbed "Bush's War?" The press will stop at nothing to put a Democrat back in the White House. Before voicing disparaging remarks about something that has such strong ties with God, one should pause and ask for spiritual insight. Otherwise one may be guilty of blasphemous comments.

Dwain W. Penn
Meansville
http://www.macon.com/209/story/304170.html

Posted on Wed, Mar. 26, 2008



Faulty comparison

In Tuesday's Viewpoints, someone compared Sen. Barack Obama's "change" to Mao and Lenin. For this poor illiterate's information, Mao killed more people than anyone in the history of the world (80 million) and Lenin's change was not an intelligent passive political or economic change; he was a murderer, a liar and a psycho.

Mr. Obama is advising the voters of America that if they vote for him, he will do everything in his power to correct the mistakes and idiocies of the guy I once voted for. Mr. Bush will probably go down as America's most inept president as well as putting young men and women in harm's way in Iraq.

The world is full of dictators: Wouldn't it have made more sense to blame 9/11 on Saudi Arabia where 15 of the culprits were born, educated and trained, than Sadaam's Iraq who had absolutely nothing to do with the attack?

Obama is a terrifically intelligent person who will take the reins of the presidency and do as well as anyone can do, given the mess that Mr. Bush will hand over to him. As to the Rev. Wright's negative remarks concerning America, I think Obama should be judged to be very brave in not turning his back on this person. It would have been much easier for him to say "I reject this person and am appalled at his remarks," but instead he reminded us all that we have sat in a church, synagogue or temple and at times listened to the sermon and not agreed with the preacher, be he a priest, pastor or rabbi.

Robert L. Schwartz
Atlanta
http://www.macon.com/209/story/298268.html

Posted on Wed, Mar. 19, 2008




From: "ImpeachBush.org" <ImpeachBush@VoteToImpeach.org>


Major article calling for impeachment
in The Sunday Washington Post


Why I Believe Bush Must Go
Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse.

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 me.

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 constitutional standard.

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 Bush-Cheney era?

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 threaten others.

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 American patriot.

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.

http://www.impeachbush.org



 
  Iraq and Climate Change 
What does the Iraq War have to do with Climate Change? (here)  




  "Surge?"
A 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 opposite.

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 failed.

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 divide.

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.

I, 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 defense 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.

President Bush's 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).

This mentality 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.

When 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 meet again."

R. F. Richardson
Macon
Posted on Sun, Dec. 23, 2007

http://www.macon.com/209/story/219441.html

The scars of torture

Those 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 unemployable.

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 itself.

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 mutable?

Donna Williams
Macon

http://www.macon.com/209/story/215644.html
Posted on Tue, Dec. 18, 2007


Freedom of speech

The 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.

Bush's 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!

Read the 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.

Congress is 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.

Christopher Huttoe
Dublin

http://www.macon.com/209/story/213301.html
Posted on Sun, Dec. 16, 2007

 "Wondering ... about Truth"
Posted on Thu, Dec. 13, 2007

We wonder, we wonder, we wonder. . .

The 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 sacred values.

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.

Yet 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. Constitution.

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.

We 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.
http://www.macon.com/209/story/211240.html



 

War a lucrative business

Military 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.

Let 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 troops.

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" profiteers.

Jon Phillips
Warner Robins

http://www.macon.com/209/story/207057.html
Posted on Mon, Dec. 10, 2007




 http://www.macon.com/209/story/193088.html
Posted on Fri, Nov. 23, 2007

SOA protesters neither ignorant nor stupid

Contrary 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 prisoners.

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 graduates.

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, 2007
http://www.macon.com/209/story/192022.html

Simply untrue

Sloan 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.

In 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.

John Planchon
Warner Robins


Posted on Sun, Nov. 18, 2007
http://www.macon.com/209/story/188739.html

How could this be?

The 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."

Balderdash!

Ken Brown
Byron




Ron Richards
January 14, 1940 -  October 05, 2007
Video Requiem on YouTube
Ron
(page)

Setting an example

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 vanity.

We will miss you, Ron, but we will always remember the example you set for us, and we will try to keep faith.

Randy Harshbarger
Macon

Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007
http://www.macon.com


Georgians for "Bringing Them Home" - Now!...
The job of a Citizen is to Speak-Out (Mouths Wide Open)
Peace Storm over Macon 9-14-07

 - Please join us -

The THIRD FRIDAY of every month 

 IRAQ-Moratorium!!

Moratorium weekends. Dec. 21-23; Jan. 18-20. 

Lee and Peggy
Sisters Lee A. Johnson of Macon, left, and Peggy Johnson, a Navy veteran of Lexington Okla. right,
 attend a peace rally at the Pentagon in Washington, DC







  http://www.answercoalition.org





 







Military members join the movement ---
 Appeal For Redress .org
and
Vote Vets.org



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APRIL 25, 2007: "Buying the War"

Intro:
BILL MOYERS:
Four years ago this spring the Bush administration took leave of reality and plunged our country into a war so poorly planned it soon turned into a disaster. The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on.

Since then thousands of people have died, and many are dying to this day. Yet the story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television. As the war rages into its fifth year, we look back at those months leading up to the invasion, when our press largely surrendered its independence and skepticism to join with our government in marching to war.

Summation:
The American number of troops killed in Iraq now exceeds the number of victims on 9/11. We have been fighting there longer than it took us to defeat the Nazis in World War II. The costs of the war are reckoned at one trillion dollars and counting. The number of Iraqis killed -- over thirty-five thousand last year alone-- is hard to pin down. The country is in chaos...

 Read the entire transcript:

<http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/transcript1.html>


"The Big Lie" 
Posted on Thu, Aug. 30, 2007

Continuing 'The Big Lie'

There have been four new TV political ads airing for a little more than a week across the U.S. that use wounded veterans or relatives of slain soldiers to explain what a tragedy it would be for Congress "for political reasons" to withdraw from the war in Iraq.

These are part of a $15 million, privately supported effort by a group of powerful Republicans who have strong ties to President Bush. It is the latest effort to shore up crumbling support in Congress for a war that has fallen out of favor with more than 70 percent of Americans.

These 30-second spots are being broadcast in 20 selected states and in more than five dozen congressional districts, preceding the report Gen. David Petraeus is to give to Congress concerning the success or failure of the U.S. surge effort in Iraq.

The campaign is spearheaded by Freedoms Watch, (online, Freedoms Watch.com) whose spokesman, according to The New York Times, is Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President Bush and a member of the group's board.

Fleischer told The Times particular states were targeted because "Anyone who is considering switching their vote is somebody we care about."

And McClatchy newspapers reported that Freedoms Watch president, Bradley A. Blakeman, is a former senior assistant to President Bush. He says the mission "is to get out the message that surrender is not an option in Iraq - to stiffen the back of Congress to do the right thing and not to switch votes for political reasons."

Lucky us, Georgia is one of the states that the President's Men feel members of Congress need that extra spinal support to keep the war humming.

While one might disagree with the sentiment in the ads because they are deceptive in the way they are presented, everyone has a right to lobby for political causes, even bad ones. It would be nice, however, if the campaign were based on truth.

That's not the case here. These ads are disingenuous; three of the four TV spots are based on a continuation of The Big Lie, that there really is a connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attack by Islamic terrorists.

Well I'm sorry, but that just isn't so, and anybody capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time should know this by now.

There is absolutely no evidence that Saddam Hussein, a genuinely nasty piece of work, played any role in 9/11. When America unleashed its "shock and awe" attack on Iraq, it didn't target the Saudi Arabians who co-opted our jetliners and used them as flying bombs.

The U.S. went to war with Iraq supposedly to unseat Saddam because Mr. Bush and Congress mistakenly thought Iraq had those infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction and was a threat to the United States.

But here's the storyline of the first ad broadcast; the others follow the general tone. A injured veteran, in a home-like setting, says:

"Congress was right to vote to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. I re-enlisted after 9/11 because I don't want my sons to see what I saw.

"I want to be free and safe. I know what I have lost.

"I also know that if we pull out now everything that I've given up and sacrificed will mean nothing.

"They attacked us, and they will again. They won't stop with Iraq.

"We are winning on the ground, and we are making real progress. It's no time to quit.

"It's no time for politics."

The ad shows the twin towers of the world trade center with smoke billowing from gaping holes where the airliners hit.

A later ad has a mother of a veteran who tell us that "we've already had one 9/11, we don't need another one."

These ads are slick - and sick. They make their point through deception while twisting reality. Incidentally, the phone number the ads give to call your congressional representative - 1-877-222-8001 - isn't Congress. It's a number at Freedoms Watch, and they are only looking for messages of support.

To call Congress direct, to give whatever message you might wish, the Senate's number is (202) 225-3121 and the House is (202) 225-3121.

Phil Dodson can be reached at 744-4239 or at pdodson@macontel.com.


  Christian vigils:
 
www.christianpeacewitness.org  

Jews, Christians, Moslems :
Old Testament links US All under One Law

Moses brought new laws and new regulations for his people. Moses (peace be upon him) not only gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, but a very comprehensive ceremonial law for the guidance of his people.

As regards to Jesus (peace be upon him) he took a strong stand to assure the Jews that he had not come with a new religion or new regulations different from what Moses brought to the world. Jesus was quoted in the gospel of Matthew 5:17-18 saying "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

Mohammad (peace be upon him) took the pains to assure what Jesus had assured before him to the world. Mohammad also came to fulfill not to deny or destroy what Moses had established and what Jesus confirmed.

You can read in the Holy Quran chapter 2 verse 62 "Those who believe in the Quran, and those who follow the Jewish scriptures and the Christians and the Sabians, and any who believe in God and the last day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."

Muslims have been warned many times in the Quran not to discriminate against any previous laws or scriptures that were revealed upon Abraham, Moses and Jesus and all must be believed in and must be admitted throughout Muslim behavior. The Quran stated in chapter 2, verse 136 "Say you: We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmail, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them, and we bow to God in peace."

That is why there has never been quoted any statement by a Muslim against the person of Abraham, Moses or Jesus. It always has and always will be, one law and one message from the Lord of Universe to the mankind.

Ahmed Yousef is a resident of Macon.
http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/editorial/letters/17002920.htm
Posted on Mon, Apr. 02, 2007

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   30 Minutes of Silence Can Say a Lot!