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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September 2008

Jon Soltz:  Deployed Troops Donate to Obama  6-1 Over McCain


Macon-Peace 2008

Over 2 years - Every Week - Patriots for Peace

This nation was born out of a longing for freedom from domination by the British empire. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison all warned that the invasion and occupation of other lands would turn America into precisely the sort of occupying force they had rebelled against. "If there be one principle more deeply written than any other in the mind of every American," said Thomas Jefferson in 1791, "it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest."

Our founding fathers who fought against empire and foreign entanglements would be horrified that
right before leaving for the July 4 break, Congress passed the largest funding bill ever--$165 billion--for the continued occupation of Iraq. They would also be horrified that instead of applying the diplomatic lessons of North Korea to the case of Iran, Congress and the Administration seem hell-bent on dragging us into another war.
 - - - - - - - - - -
http://www.codepinkalert.org/
Code Pink Alert

 - Alert - IRAN - Alert -



If the drumbeat for war against Iran sounds vaguely familiar
, that's because it's coming from the same playbook the Bush-Cheney clique used to whip up war fever against Iraq, complete with a fabricated nuclear threat.
 
If you aren't aware how totally bogus all this Iran-bashing is, here is a good fact sheet covering all aspects of the US/Israeli case for another unprovoked preemptive aggression against yet another Muslim nation.  As you can see from the title, the fact sheet is kinda long. So if you don't want to read the whole thing, I have listed the 20 points below.  Then if you want more info on any of them, you can go to that number in the document.
 
20 Reasons Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran:
 
***********************************************
 
Iran's Nuclear Program:  Facts and Lies:
1.    There is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.
2.    Iran's need for nuclear power generation is real.
3.    The "crisis" over Iran's nuclear program lacks the urgency claimed by Washington.
4.    Iran has met its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (in contrast to the US and Israel, who are both in violation of theirs).
5.    Iran has given unprecedented concessions on its nuclear program.
6.    Enrichment of uranium for a civilian nuclear program is Iran's inalienable right.
7.    The Western alliance has not tried true diplomacy and relies instead on threats.
 
Western Hypocrisy:
8.    The UN resolutions against Iran, in contrast to the treatment of US allies South Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel, smack of double standards.
9.    Iran has not threatened Israel or attacked another country (in sharp contrast to US and Israeli verbal and material threats against Iran).
10.    The US "democratization" program in Iran is a hoax.
 
UN Security Council Involvement Totally Unjustified:
11.    There are no legal bases for Iran's referral to the UN Security Council.
 
Sanctions Not a Good Idea:
12.    Dr. El-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said that more sanctions are counter-productive.
13.    Sanctions are not better than war; they can be exploited as a diplomatic veneer and a provocative prelude to military attack, as they were in Iraq.
14.    A US attack on Iran is imminent.
 
Illegality of a Military Attack:
15.    Foreign state interference in Iran violates the UN charter.
16.    Reports of nuclear attack scenarios against Iran can raise the public's tolerance for an act of aggression with conventional military means.
 
Unintended Consequences of an Attack on Iran:
17.    Bombing cannot end Iran's nuclear program.
18.    An attack on Iran will unite Iranians against the US and its allies.
19.    A nuclear attack on Iran would fuel a new nuclear arms race and ruin the NPT.
20.    The cause of democracy in Iran will suffer gravely if the country is attacked.
 







Mandala in Milledgeville:
PeaceVigil20080523Mandala2.jpg

Click for larger image -
Amitayus mandala for compassion and healing of the environment and living beings and for world peace.
:
PeaceVigil20080523Mandala2.jpg




40 years ago on April 4th, 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.

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



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Contact us - E-Mail

  - 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


Next president will have to work hard to restore what has been lost

Dwight Poole's letter published Monday was like many which extol the virtues of the right while ridiculing Barack Obama supporters' zeal as somehow "indifferent." For him, "a revival of Christian morals and values" will occur if we only "look to the right."

It is troubling that some who call themselves conservatives remain in denial despite years replete with deceit and incompetence. How can intelligent people ignore the extraordinary failures of a Republican administration rubber- stamped by a Republican Congress and urge us to vote for four more years?

It would be morally responsible to reflect on a Christian president's long reliance on a scoundrel like Karl Rove and how we were deceived about the reasons for the Iraq war, the firing of federal prosecutors disloyal to Bush, the revenge-motivated outing of a CIA operative, warrantless wiretapping, no-bid contracts and more. It would just be plain good sense to review how cronyism has led to shameful incompetence in the top-level management of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (the real one) and our nation's embarrassing response to Katrina.

Without a of sense of shame, some eagerly sweep aside the tragic blunders of this administration and shout tired slogans such as "tax-and-spend Democrats." It has hardly been prudent or conservative to raise our national debt to nearly $10 trillion. What does one call such reckless spending? Who will pay the debt owed to the Chinese?

Some may wish to ignore the way such poor leadership has led to cynicism across our great nation and utter disbelief throughout the world. This foolish waste of our resources, this degradation of our moral character and standing in the world is why we cannot speak with any force to the Russians.

Our having veered so far from the principles which make America great is the very reason people insist on change. It is the reason our next president will have to work so hard to restore what has been lost.

Roby M. Kerr is a resident of Macon

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008





Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008


He told it like it is

I would like to thank Roby Kerr for an outstanding letter in Wednesday's Opinion section.

Being neither a conservative or a liberal, but a concerned American, I am ashamed the course my country has taken under a president whose administration in the last eight years has destroyed our economy, our national image and the lives of those who have lost loved ones in a war waged for profit.

He put into words the thoughts many of us have yearned to shout. Remember that this failed president inherited a manageable budget that was reducing our national debt, but our children and their children will have to pay a $10 trillion debt his presidency borrowed to support his immoral policies.

Yes, immoral. Tell it as it is. How else can you describe a war for profit, the torture of prisoners he has allowed and the constant loss of civil rights he has pursued? One wonders why the World Court has not indicted him as a war criminal.

John O'Shaughnessy
Bibb County


Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008

May be 'ignorant,' but ...

One of the frequent contributors to Viewpoints seems to delight in calling those who disagree with his ideas "ignorant." Certainly, this is impolite if not subtle bigotry. His last letter referred to those who do not support the political right.

We have just experienced five and a half years of one of his favorite right-wingers - President George W. Bush. I did not vote for this man, who even if he talks to his God every day, has violated almost all the principles of the creed I hold so dear. The right to life is not exclusive to the unborn, and this writer's champion initiated an immoral war that caused the deaths of more than 4,000 of America's finest citizens along with ,by most estimates worldwide, more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children.

Where are the right-to-lifers condemning this war crime? I might be one of the "ignorant" 63 percent of American citizens, who, in a July countrywide poll, support Roe vs. Wade. I may be one of the "ignorants" who finds Mr. Bush's infliction of torture on prisoners who have been denied one of the most basic human rights, that of legal representation by counsel, to be reprehensible.

Oh, and by the way, morality did not start with Christianity, as espoused by this writer. I refer to the Code of Hammurabi, written 1,760 years before the Christian Era which held that some laws are so fundamental as to be beyond the ability of even a king to change, hence to be morally prime.

Bill P. Northenor
Warner Robins



A shameful charade/fiasco called the Iraq War

I could not agree more with Steve Hull's letter, "Faces of the fallen." His opinions of our national and state politicians regarding the shameful charade/fiasco called the Iraq War are sorely accurate and deserve our strongest protest.

More than 4,000 of our sons and daughters are dead in a war that was not necessary, poorly planned and executed, and motivated only by the ego of the worst president in our nation's history and the profit potential seen by Dick Cheney and the military/industrial and oil corporations. While these men and women are giving their lives, the rest of the country goes to the malls, gripes about the rising prices and gives only passing, if any notice to the daily KIA announcements.

Why? Because they think it doesn't involve them. Wrong. This fiasco has cost so much and increased the national debt so greatly that the U.S. dollar is a hollow shell of what it should be. There is no draft because if there were, the streets would be filled with protesters. There is no rationing because it would beg questions of these politicians.

How can George Bush, Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, etc., sleep knowing they caused these deaths with their lies? This fiasco has lasted almost eight years with no end in sight. Its my opinion that they deserve an Exxon/Mobil " Employee of the Month" medal.

They earned it. How can those who supported their lies not come forward and denounce them? We have politicians not leaders. We are sorely in need of leaders today.

John O'Shaughnessy
Bibb County
http://www.macon.com/209/story/374938.html

Posted on Wed, Jun. 11, 2008




Send them Warmongers to prison

The outrages perpetrated by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on our Constitution and the balance of power structured therein are legion. The war in Iraq breaks international law because it was unprovoked, though some Americans are still uneducated enough to believe that if any Muslim people are guilty of attacking us, that is an excuse to attack any and all Muslim countries.

Torture has now become fashionable for so-called "enlightened" countries. Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have blatantly disregarded Congress and the many subpoenas they and their subordinates have received on various issues ranging from the outing of Valerie Plame to the firing of U.S. attorneys for purely political motives.

They have shown over and over again that they don't believe in the "democracy" they claim to want to export to other countries, and indeed, it is becoming more and more apparent that their motives in beginning the war in Iraq were nefarious. People say there is no point in impeaching them because their eight years of gross mismanagement and corruption are nearly over. I say we should not let them get away with their high crimes and misdemeanors. Impeach them now and let them leave the White House for the prison they belong in.

Janet Davis
Milledgeville
http://www.macon.com/209/story/377579.html

Posted on Fri, Jun. 13, 200


Vets seeking peace on Memorial Day


When General John Logan issued an order in May 1868 to place flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery - the first official step toward the holiday we know as Memorial Day - he was following a practice that had originated with women of the Confederacy.

By 1890 every northern state recognized the date of May 30 as a holiday. Following World War I, southern states finally joined them as the holiday began honoring not just Civil War dead, but Americans killed in any war.

As a Navy corpsman, I tended the physical and mental wounds of hundreds of soldiers returning from Vietnam. It eventually became clear to me that war is not the answer. Coming to that realization is as much a spiritual journey as a political one. That is why I joined Veterans For Peace, because as a veteran, I know the true cost of war, both human and financial.

Of the many veterans' organizations that mark Memorial Day in the U.S., Veterans For Peace explicitly works to stop producing any more war dead, any more tombstones in Arlington Cemetery, any more garlands for their graves.

Our president, Elliott Adams, a former Army paratrooper and Vietnam combat vet, is heartfelt when he says, "Our statement of purpose is clear and direct. It says we intend to 'abolish war as an instrument of national policy.' We want this generation of veterans to be the last."

VFP members choose different ways to walk the road of peace. In 2004, VFP Chapter 31 in Philadelphia started talking with a handful of young Iraq war veterans who came back questioning what the government had sent them to do. Eventually, Iraq Veterans Against the War became a VFP-sponsored project, grew to more than 1,000 members, and today is off on its own.

The "Arlington West" project in California, originated by the Santa Barbara chapter, has inspired several similar memorials around the nation, each emotionally powerful with their precise rows of crosses or headstones for each soldier killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Truth in Recruiting campaigns that give high school students the facts military recruiters leave out, are conducted by several units including chapters in Santa Fe and Philadelphia.

A chapter in upstate New York marked Veterans Day last year by taking out a full page ad in the Watertown Daily Times to run an "Open Letter to the Soldiers of Fort Drum," who are among the most frequently deployed to Iraq. The letter ended with a question certain to stir soldiers' thinking. "How much longer must we support a mistake (and) send more and more members of our military to their early graves…to justify the mistakes of the politicians in Washington?"

"It is certainly fitting to place flowers on the graves of young men and women killed in our nation's wars," Adams said, "but better still to place our hand over our heart and pledge there will be no more."

Indeed, many VFP members will acknowledge that making peace in one's own heart can seem as daunting as making peace in the world, but that is where it must begin.

Mike Ferner is a national board member of Veterans For Peace and author of "Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq."

http://www.macon.com/203/story/359648.html

Posted on Sat, May. 24, 2008



Remember our soldiers

It does not matter whether or not one agrees with the war in Iraq, just remember the sacrifices that our young men and women are making daily. A popular quote from a T-shirt that I saw recently: "All Gave Some, Some Gave All."

Where would we be if not for our gallant armed forces, during World War II they were part of what has been called "The Greatest Generation," and certainly this is a fitting description. Memorial Day is approaching, so please take time to remember the service and sacrifices made and being made for all of us. If you have a loved one in harm's way, I know that you are praying for them, if you do not, pray for someone else's loved one. May God bless America.

Harold Lemley
Macon

http://www.macon.com/209/story/345643.html
Posted on Fri, May. 09, 2008

America stands at the precipice of disaster

What do George Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton have in common? As I woke up the morning after staying up to see the end of the Indiana vote, I was reflecting on the faces and demeanor of Hillary, Chelsea and Bill Clinton during her victory speech and thought to myself that surely the madness of continuing the campaign must have finally sunk in.

So I was surprised to hear later that day that Clinton's campaign, after borrowing $5 million just a few weeks ago and an additional $6.4 million to get through North Carolina and Indiana, would be borrowing more millions to go into West Virginia and Kentucky.

What part of " all over" don't they seem to understand?

So to answer the introductory question. Bush wants to continue to borrow billions of dollars to keep a losing war going in Iraq, while the economy, national debt, infrastructure, gas prices and individual income spiral out of control. McCain wants to follow Bush's idiotic lead by allowing that we may have to stay in Iraq for 50 years or more, borrowing more billions, I presume.

Clinton wants to continue a totally lost campaign, borrowing more money and driven by some psychotic delusion that she can still win. At least Bush will be gone in January; now the question for all Americans must be, "Do I want either one of these other people in charge of the American economy for four years?"

The destruction of the Soviet empire came about as a result of the brilliance of the Reagan administration and the disastrous war in Afghanistan. America stands at the precipice of a similar destruction unless the Bush madness is stopped, McCain's desire to continue it is thwarted, and Clinton is stopped now and forever.

Bill P. Northenor is a resident of Warner Robins.




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





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.


 

 "Wondering ... about Truth"
 

  







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





 














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!