The Iraq War PTSD Epidemic: Experts Say the DOD and VA Not Prepared to Meet Needs

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos: "Early studies of the emotional ravages of the Iraq war on combat soldiers have spurred some veterans's health advocates to question whether Americans and the U.S. government are truly prepared for the devastating and far-reaching mental health effects of war. 'We are not prepared for the body count we are seeing, mental health or otherwise,' said Sue Bailey, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. 'America's mood is not prepared for this...the VA is not geared up and the DOD is not geared up,' said Rick Weidman, spokesman for Vietnam Veterans of America. 'That's why some of us have been talking, and you are going to see a major front of veterans saying we need this fixed and we need this fixed now.' the VA has met with 10,262 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that number, 4,314 came to them through local VA centers, and of that number, 25 percent had symptoms of PTSD."

Pentagon's New 'Way Cool' War Games Are Dangerous Failures

Times of India: "Full Spectrum Warrior featuring a virtual Baghdad with virtual soldiers and virtual enemies sniping at them from alleyways...is the latest video game innovation from the American military, ostensibly to hone its soldiers' skills at the art of warfare. The soldiers in the game are programmed to respond as real soldiers would... But, let us not lose sight of the fact that this is, in reality, just a video game. As the Iraq situation shows, there is nothing predictable about war and computer-simulated games can in no way prepare a soldier to deal with the complexities of combat in an alien territory. In fact, all such games do is to impart a false sense of bravado and detract from the pain and trauma of war." Worse, a version of the game is now available to the public (gotta scoop up those bucks) - which means it's also available to terrorists.

Democrat.Com's 'Troop News' for Aug. 21

As a thank you to US troops around the world for your ongoing sacrifices and hard work, we will be presenting a special "news log" for our troops and their families, which will appear on Saturdays, hopefully in a regular manner. Sections include: "White Knights" (military heroes of the week), "Officers and Leaders Behaving Badly," "Bits m'Pieces" and "Humor."

Bush Pullout of European Troops Could Hurt Alliances, Result in More Troop-Family Separations

Detnews.com: "The decision to withdraw large numbers of combat troops, including two Army divisions of about 15,000 troops each from Germany, could affect those relationships in unexpected ways. Gary Smith, of the American Academy in Berlin, warns that troop reductions would mean fewer contacts between the US and Germany, which, despite recent tensions over the war in Iraq, have been close allies for five decades. "Germany and America will drift apart unless there are great efforts to collaborate," Smith says." In addition,"Under the new plan, service members would be away from their families during months-long training rotations....The new plan could have much more far-reaching consequences. Though it could force the Europeans and South Koreans to take on a larger share of their defense burden, that could erode the leadership position the United States has long held with its NATO and Asian allies. "

Democrats.Com's 'Troop News'

As a thank you to US troops around the world for your ongoing sacrifices and hard work, we will be presenting a special "news log" for our troops and their families, which will appear on Saturdays, hopefully in a regular manner. Sections include: "White Knights" (military heroes of the week), "Officers and Leaders Behaving Badly," "Bits m'Pieces" and "Humor."

The Heartbreaking Plight of Families of Soldiers on Extended Iraq Duty in Iraq

Boston.com: "The financial stress of extended deployment can be severe for military families: 3 in 10 report that in the past year, they and their family have had trouble paying bills. 'More than one in five... have to get food stamps or Women, Infants, and Children program aid from the government. (Even 6% of families of officers say they receive food stamps or WIC.) When asked about the families in their spouse's unit, half report that marital problems are very common; 40% cite depression as... common; 27% report alcohol or drug abuse problems in the unit; and 16% say domestic violence is very common. In addition, half of the spouses of soldiers on extended deployment report having had difficulty sending or receiving communications with their husband or wife." This situation is a national disgrace - our soldiers and their families deserve far, far better!

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Bush's Military Shell Game Places South Korea in Danger

In order to defend the oil fields of Iraq with a military stretched far too thin and deployed in an inefficient manner, Bush is now playing the "rob Peter to pay Paul" game. BBC reports:" The United States has proposed withdrawing 12,500 of its 37,000 troops stationed in South Korea by 2006. This would include 3,600 troops which Washington has already earmarked for redeployment to Iraq. The US has said it needs to modernise its forces[the official excuse for gross mismanagement], but the proposed speed and scale of the move may leave the South feeling vulnerable to North Korea." In addition, "the US also wants to move the main US army headquarters from its current location in central Seoul to free up money for better military technology and infrastructure [i.e. free up more money to give defense contractors like Halliburton]."

In Bush's Military, Officers behind Desks Win Bronze Stars, while Soldiers in Field Often Ignored

This is a corporate regime, no doubt about it, even for the military. Just as in a corporation, in the Bush military, having a title, taking no risks, and being a yes man is winning more recognition than being a courageous soldier out in the field saving lives. Bronze stars are being handed out to officers who may never leave their offices (but who probably all vote Republican; there is a disproportionately high percentage of high-ranking Repugs in the military) while the guys in the line of fire are ignored. "I feel you have to do something exceptional to earn an award, going above and beyond your job," said Sgt. Dain Miskamen of Auburn, who served with the Sacramento-based California National Guard 270th Military Police Company in Iraq. "But now we've got individuals who put themselves in for a Bronze Star just because they can. We've got one kid who saved two lives and actually got nothing," Miskamen said." Whaddya bet he was a Democrat?

Due to Poor Planning By Bush Cartel, US Troops are Running Out of Bullets

This sounds like a joke story that we made up to lampoon Bush's colossal failure to plan for the war in Iraq. But, alas, it is true: The US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan is running out of bullets. Two things have led to this sad state of affairs: first, the Pentagon's failure to restock its supplies (you'd think that would have occurred to them back in, say, 2002!). Second, all of the army's small-calibre ammo is produced by a single factory in MO that produces just 1.2 million bullets/yr (the current need is 300-500 million/yr. Just a small discrepancy, eh? Third, the rearguard and supply units have been thinly-stretched throughout the [Afghan/Iraq] countryside, occasionally without active duty combat soldiers to protect them. "We're using so much ammunition in Iraq there isn't enough capacity around," said Eric Hugel, a defence industry analyst at Sephens Inc.

Army 'Mistake' Results in Sharp Increase in Reserve Enlistments

Thousands of recent U.S. Army veterans nationwide were told to choose by Monday a new assignment in the Army Reserve or National Guard -- meaning a potential return to active duty -- or the military would decide for them. The consequence of the error appears to be a sharp increase in enlistments in Oregon and elsewhere by reservists who feared being assigned a unit without their consent. They face possible deployment to the Middle East. The Army now says the order was a mistake. Whether soldiers who had signed up under the mistaken deadline would be released from their commitment was unclear. Isn't it strange that this "mistake" creates a sharp increase in Reserve enlistments just when people are saying openly that we can't sustain military preparedness without reinstating the draft. If this was a "mistake", then Donald Rumsfeld is a pacifist.

Frankensteins in the Pentagon: Iraqis are Not the Only Victims of Rumsfeld's Schemes

Cheryl Seal writes: "Rumsfeld's new corporate Pentagon is going for efficiency above all else. In addition to seeking more efficient interrogations thru torture, it is working on a 'human performance enhancement' scheme in which soldiers will be turned into a cross between guinea pigs and cyborgs.' Sample programs: Persistence in Combat' is a bizarre self-treatment scheme in which pain-killers and blood stopping devices could be used to allow soldiers to fight on, even when seriously wounded! The 'Continuous Assisted Perfomance' program will use implants, metabolic manipulation, etc to push exhausted soldiers on without loss of performance for up to seven days without sleep. Figures - Rummy and Bush have already done away with the limits for a tour of duty!"

Hastert Brags about House Passage of Bill to Force Colleges to Allow Military Recruiters to Prey on Students

Gloats chickenhawk Dennis Hastert: "Today, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 3966, the ROTC and Military Recruiters Equal Access to Campus Act by a vote of 343-81. This legislation will amend both the Homeland Security Act and the so-called 'Solomon Law' -- which terminates funding from the Department of Defense to colleges who deny access to military recruiters. H.R. 3966 goes one step further in demanding that military recruiters are given the same access to students as other employers." In other words, to keep a steady stream of warm bodies to ship off to the Bush oil wars, colleges are forced to allow recruiters to stalk young people. Call your senator and DEMAND that this bill be voted down when it comes to the senate: http://www.senate.gov

Donated Bodies Blown Up by Army

"When Tulane University found itself with a temporary oversupply of cadavers that had been donated to science a few years ago, the school did what it usually does: It called a cadaver broker. Tulane said it assumed the broker would ship the bodies to other universities, where medical students would dissect them. Instead, the broker sold the bodies to the Army, and the Army blew them up in land-mine experiments."

Wounded US Soldiers 'Treated Like Dogs,' Wait Months for Proper Treatment in Appalling Conditions

Combat soldiers wounded in Iraq are being subjected to abysmal treatment, a situation the Bush administration continues to brush off by promising to do better in the future. Adding insult to injury, Bush appointee Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. James B. Peake told the House panel that he "was not aware" that last fall soldiers were waiting for medical care at U.S. bases and under substandard living conditions. One officer summed up the woundeds' care:, "They're being treated like dogs." Last summer, hundreds of National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers at Fort Stewart in GA who had served in Iraq waited weeks or months in "medical hold" to be seen by doctors in hot concrete barracks with no air-conditioning or running water." A heartwrenching MUST READ article.

Wars are 'Useful', says US Army Chief

"General Schoomaker said the attacks on America in September 2001 and subsequent events had given the US army a rare opportunity to change. 'There is a huge silver lining in this cloud,' he said. 'War is a tremendous focus... Now we have this focusing opportunity, and we have the fact that [terrorists] have actually attacked our homeland, which gives it some oomph.' He said it was no use having an army that did nothing but train. 'There's got to be a certain appetite for what the hell we exist for,' he said." We thought that was defending America from attack - not conquering foreign nations!

Bush Breaks Clinton's Superb Military

Throughout the Clinton years, rightwingers attacked Clinton for weakening our military. But this was a Big Lie, since Clinton significantly increased military spending. And Clinton's military did a superb job in defeating opposing forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. But after 3 years of Bush: "There is no question that the force is stretched too thin," said David Segal, director of the Centre for Research on Military Organisation at the University of Maryland. "We have stopped treating the reserves as a force in reserve. Our volunteer army is closer to being broken today than ever before in its 30-year history."

Jeb Bush Lets Florida Become Giant Bombing Range for the Pentagon

Unbelievable!! Here's yet another story you never heard from FOX, NBC, or any of the other sorry excuses for news sources - aside from a small piece in CNN online. On November 17, a 30-foot long, 21,700-pound bomb- the largest nonnuclear bomb in the US arsenal - more destructive than a Daisy Cutter - was tested in northwestern Florida. The bomb created a plume over 10,000 feet high that could be seen for over 40 miles, with a deafening sound that traumatized area residents for miles around. "It looked like a big mushroom cloud filled with flames as it grew and grew and grew. It was one of the most awesome spectacles I've seen." said one observer. How nice for G.W. that brother Jeb has allowed the state of Florida to used as a bombing range.

Boeing Chief Forced Out, Replaced with Foul-mouthed Rightwinger who Promotes Space Wars Technology

Boeing's CEO Phil Condit was suddenly forced out of the company on 12/01, a move designed to manipulatively draw attention to Boeing's military contracts scandal in which the company is accused of colluding with the Pentagon for contracts. Condit has been replaced with Harry Stonecipher, a classic corporazi with a foul mouth and personality very similar to Donald Rumsfeld. This is the same guy who condemned the EU's decision to block the merger of General Electric and Honeywell and blasted Jacques Chirac for objecting to Bush's National Missile Defence Shield. This whole Boeing scenario reeks of Bush administration: first, the company colludes with the Pentagon, next, it makes a huge show of distancing itself from the Pentagon...all while hammering out a deal with NASA and the Pentagon to work on a space warfare program ("Orbital Space Program" - office opened on 11/4). see baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/5576/index.php

Outrage at Bush and Rumsfeld as Troops are Used as 'On the Cheap' Killing Machines

From Traveling Soldier: "Donald Rumsfeld...is pushing for the 'transformation' of the military into a swift moving, micro-chipped, killing machine, where electronics turn night into day, satellites and laser-guided weapons destroy enemy armor and artillery, and where labor costs are kept to an absolute minimum. Anything that doesn't help the military kill is an extra - schools for military children, health care for veterans, combat pay for troops, and even bullet-proof vests! Rumsfeld is abusing the Army, Army Reserves and National Guard by increasing the number missions while holding the number of troops down. From World War I to Gulf War I - 75 years - the Reserves and Guard were called up nine times. In the past 12 years they have been mobilized 10 times. And they are serving in combat zones for a full year - the same as active-duty troops. The thinking behind all this is simple math: Reserve and Guard troops are much cheaper than regular troops."

While America Looks the Other Way, Bush Pentagon Plans to Orbit the Monstrous X-37 Space Bomber

Cheryl Seal reports, "On 11/17 'Space News International' revealed that NASA [in cahoots with the Pentagon] is reviving the X-37 space 'plane,' which it will now send into orbit for 270 days. This trial period was 'originally set by the US Air Force as a way to begin proving the feasibility of orbiting Earth with camera- and bomb-laden space planes for months at a time' and as part of 'a proposed space warfare strategy of global strike' that has been pushed hard since Bush took office. This scheme, a colossally arrogant, power-drunk bid for total global dominance, will create a fleet of unpiloted space planes that will circle the planet with bombs and spy cameras. These monsters would carry smaller 'reenetry vehicles' that carry up to 10 500-pound bombs each. 'Targets would be struck quickly nearly anywhere around the globe without having to position aircraft to forward positions,' reports SNI." Have you had enough, America? Impeach Bush Now!

Army Creates $10 Million Computer Game to Recruit Next Generation of Clueless Iraq Occupiers

America's best soldiers are bailing out of the military in droves, thanks to Bush's LIES. So how will Bush's Perpetual War Machine replace them? "Three million people worldwide have joined America's Army -- online. The popular Internet video game of the same name, which can be legally downloaded for free at www.aaohq.com, has young adults around the world scrambling to join and train like a real U.S. Army soldier and act out combat scenarios in online teams... The army has spent $10-million over four years developing the game and has just released a new version based on Special Forces operations. In the past week, more than 200,000 people have joined to play the new scenarios." Is it any wonder that our young soldiers in Iraq have no idea how to relate to the Iraqi people? From childhood, they have been raised to simply "point and shoot" - and ask questions later, if ever. Just like their Commander-in-Thief.

Bush Pentagon is Screwing Iraq/Afghanistan Guardsmen Out of Months of Pay, Denying Many Medical Care

"Army National Guard soldiers activated to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are plagued with pay-and-benefits problems and even denial of medical care to those wounded, auditors reported. Investigators from the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm, tracked Guardsmen who weren't paid in months, were told to repay debts they hadn't incurred or told they didn't qualify for medical care, according to a report released Thursday titled 'Military Pay: Army National Guard Personnel Mobilized to Active Duty Experienced Significant Pay Problems.' This is not just a 'significant' rate of error; it's a virtual system meltdown of a critical support function,' Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., vice chairman of House Government Reform Committee said during a news conference, held in lieu of a congressional hearing, he said." Stars and Stripes

Guardsman Have No Friends in AWOL Bush and the Republicans

From an Army Times editorial: "'You not only have a former Guardsman in the White House, you have a friend,' ...Bush declared during a 2001 visit to an Air National Guard base. But for 120,000 Guard and reserve members employed by the federal government, friendship seems to have its limits. The Bush administration last week persuaded Republican lawmakers to vote down a provision in the $87 billion supplemental funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan operations that would have given financial relief to federally employed reservists called to active duty. The provision, sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., would have reimbursed those federal employees for any pay cut they suffer when mobilized. It was defeated on a party-line vote Oct. 28 during a House-Senate conference'... Yet again, Bush administration officials and Republican leaders in Congress have shown how cheap talk can be." What d'ya expect from Bush and his fellow GOP chickenhawks? Bush went AWOL from the Guard, after all!

The Troop Support Report: A Guide for the Military and Their Families - Compiled by TV News Lies

"TvNewsLies.org questions the frivolous use of the term 'Support the Troops.' TvNewsLies would like to point out that there is more to supporting the troops than simply saying 'I support the troops.' Hanging a flag on everything that stands still long enough for you to do so, tying a yellow ribbon around your child's baby carriage or dressing up in red white and blue, while doing no harm, do nothing to support the troops. It is our opinion that the way to support the troops is to stay informed about the issues that affect the troops. These issues are not discussed on our TV news networks. Instead the TV news networks drape their daily broadcasts with images of waving flags while they report trivial stories that have no impact on our nation, like the Scott/Laci Peterson saga or the never ending conjoined twins Sagas. CNN's Anderson Cooper is airing a week long report on conjoined twins yet he has not reported once about the numerous budget cuts being made to the military."

Since 1997, More Than 22,000 People Have Deserted the US Army

"My Freedom of Information Act request regarding deserters yielded the following documents from the US Army. First is a PowerPoint presentation using data from fiscal year 1997 to May 2003. The two-page document is here, or you can view both pages as images below. Second is an Army information paper regarding deserters. It's available as the original Word document here, and as text at the bottom of this page. The official numbers: FY 1997: 2,218; FY 1998: 2,520; FY 1999: 2,966; FY 2000: 3,949; FY 2001: 4,597; FY 2002: 4,021; FY 2003 (to May 2003): 2,096 - TOTAL: 22,367" Gee, we wonder if the deserter count for 1972 includes AWOL Lt. George W. Bush?

Wounded Troops Shouldn't Be Billed for Hospital Meals

European Stars and Stripes reports: "Talk about adding insult to injury, said one U.S. Congressman. Troops wounded in combat in the nation's war on terrorism are being handed more than just discharge papers when they leave military hospitals -- some also are getting a bill. At a daily rate of $8.10, hospitalized troops, including those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, are being charged for their meals. 'I was amazed. I couldn't believe it when I heard it,' said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, who has introduced a bill to repeal what he calls an 'offensive' law. 'Some things don't meet the common-sense test, and this is one of them,' said a soldier injured in Iraq in June, and who has received two meal bills, one for $24.30 from the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and a second for more than $300 from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio."

Frankensteins in the Pentagon: DARPA Presses Ahead with 'Human Enhancing Technologies' that Will Turn Soldiers into Cyborgs

Cheryl Seal writes, "What is truly chilling is that these technologies, in essence, are seeking to turn our soldiers into human fighting machines, sacrificing their autonomy and, very likely, long-term quality of life for short term military savings -savings that will go right into the pockets of the government's beloved defense contractors. There is no way these technologies can be benign -the whole concept is totally against what America stands for and against any other reasonable code of ethics, for that matter. In addition, with the way they are being rushed through the research gamut, there is no way they can be proven safe, especially long-term. I can just imagine the residual tissue damage, cancers, post-traumatic stress disorders, etc, that DARPA-style 'human enhancement' will inflict on our guys and gals in uniform. Remember Agent Orange? Remember aboveground nuke testing? "

Tax Cuts for Rich, Benefits Cuts for Military

You know it is just so very despicable. At the very moment the troops were shipping out, the Bushco Republicans were cutting benefits to their families, cutting VA funding, cutting medical services. And while the soldiers are on the line, they are working to cut hazard-duty pay and decrease the already pitiful payment given to survivors of those killed. How do the Bushco Republicans look at themselves in the mirror each morning?

Are Soldiers Growing Weary of Bush and His Inability to Tell War from Peace and Liberation from Occupation?

The Army Times poll for this past week asked this question: "Do you think the US should send peacekeepers into Liberia." As of Sunday, about 6:00 PM EDT, the results show that 65% say no, while just 26% say yes. We doubt seriously that this would have been the response if the army folks actually believed that the role of soldiers sent to Liberia would truly be "peacekeepers." After all, the role of "peacekeeping" troops in Iraq is as defensive soldiers in an increasingly bloody guerilla war.

'Pre-emptive' Strikes Anywhere, Anytime: Pentagon Wants US-Based Missiles with Global Reach

"The Pentagon is planning a new generation of weapons, including huge hypersonic drones and bombs dropped from space, that will allow the US to strike its enemies at lightning speed from its own territory. Over the next 25 years, the new technology would free the US from dependence on forward bases and the cooperation of regional allies... The new weapons are being developed under a programme codenamed Falcon (Force Application and Launch from the Continental US)... The ultimate goal would be a 'reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle (HCV) ... capable of taking off from a conventional military runway and striking targets 9,000 nautical miles distant in less than two hours'... Over the next seven years, meanwhile, the US air force and Darpa will develop a cheaper 'global reach' weapons system relying on expendable rocket boosters, known as small launch vehicles (SLV) that would take a warhead into space and drop it over its target... the warhead is known as a Common Aero Vehicle (Cav)."

Appointed to Head Investigation into Air Force Academy Sexual Assaults, Anita Blair Opposes Co-ed Training

The Denver Post reports: "The Bush administration official who will run day-to-day operations of the Pentagon's investigation into Air Force Academy sex assaults is a prominent conservative who opposes coed training in the military. Anita K. Blair, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, helped found the conservative [Richard Mellon Scaife financed] Independent Women's Forum to fend off feminist attacks on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and serve as a counterpoint to the National Organization for Women. She later opposed admitting women to Virginia Military Institute in 1997. Her selection to be executive director of the independent review panel has angered feminist groups, who fear it's a quiet move by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to give the panel a right-wing tilt."

Tommy Franks Retires -- Despite Rumsfeld Offering Him Army Chief of Staff Position

"Rumsfeld announced Thursday that Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, will retire from active duty this summer... Earlier this month, Rumsfeld offered Franks, 57, the post of Army chief of staff -- the highest job in the Army. But Franks turned it down... sources said Franks' decision was less about money than a lack of enthusiasm for the internecine battles in the Pentagon bureaucracy... Officials close to Rumsfeld said he has been unhappy with the pace of transformation in the Army, and last month fired the civilian in charge, Army Secretary Thomas [Enron] White... Sources said Rumsfeld is also unhappy with [Army Chief of Staff Eric] Shinseki, who drew the Pentagon's ire before the Iraq war by suggesting it would likely take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to secure the peace." Shinseki was right -- Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz grossly underestimated the number of troops required. As a result, there has been chaos and looting in postwar Iraq.

Bush Chooses New Army, Navy Secretaries

"Bush has chosen New Mexico oilman Colin R. McMillan to be the secretary of the Navy and Air Force Secretary James Roche to replace the dismissed secretary of the Army, Thomas White. The White House announced Bush's picks Wednesday. White was dismissed April 25 by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and is due to leave office Friday. Both Roche and McMillan were Rumsfeld's recommendations, defense officials said. McMillan, 67, of Roswell, N.M., runs Permian Exploration Corp. [a member of the Bushes' Permian basin clique?], and was chairman of Bush's New Mexico presidential campaign in 2000... and was an assistant defense secretary in the early 1990s when... Cheney was the defense secretary... Roche has been Air Force secretary since June 1, 2001. A former senior executive at defense industry giant Northrop Grumman Corp., he has gained a reputation in the Pentagon as a strong leader and advocate for the kinds of business reforms and military modernization favored by Rumsfeld."

Was the Excessive Violence of US Troops in Iraq Fueled by Pentagon-Funded Computer Games?

Cheryl Seal writes: "The barrage of glory and guts movies, military sims, network bravado (everything reported about the action is 'daring' and 'heroic') are all designed to suck in the vulnerable young soldier and the public, which has never had a war fought on its soil in its lifetime. Consequences are never discussed, much less considered seriously. And, in this war, unlike Korea and Vietnam, there were no psychologists available for the soldiers to talk to when needed (remember Sidney in M.A.S.H.?). There has never been, in history, a crop of young soldiers who were so pre-stuffed on so much realistic-but-not-real war-like-but-not-war material. I think it is extremely significant that British and Australian soldiers were not reported as engaging in the excesses of violence that the US troops committed during this war: Unlike the US, these countries militaries do not make computer games such a key part of training and recruiting."

National Guard Deserter Bush Exhorts the Military While Proposing Funding Cuts for their Children's Schools

Bob Herbert writes: "You might think that with the country gearing up for war this would be the wrong time - absolutely the worst time - to cut federal school aid for the children of men and women in the armed forces. Nobody would do that, right? Right? Alas. Undeterred by the anxiety and hardships faced by youngsters whose parents may be heading overseas, and perhaps into combat, Resident Bush has proposed substantial cuts in the government's Impact Aid program, which provides badly needed funds to school districts that have a significant number of students from military families...Just last week a gung-ho Resident Bush stood before thousands of sailors at a naval station near Jacksonville, Fla., and declared, 'In this challenging period, great tasks lie ahead for the Navy and for our entire military.' If that's so, how do you then turn around and tell your military personnel: oh, by the way, we're going to cut the financial support we've been providing for your kids in school?"

US Has Vast Arsenal of 'Unaccounted' Chemical Weapons

Monthly Review writes, "It is useful to compare the number of alleged Iraqi chemical weapons to the same weapons possessed by the US... at present more than a million munitions armed with mustard agents, mostly artillery shells stockpiled in eight states and Johnston Atoll... The US has more than 31,000 tons of chemical weapons material in millions of munitions at these nine sites... The US has vast, not fully accounted for, quantities of what is termed 'non-stockpile chemical material,' which encompasses a wide variety of chemical warfare material not included in the 'unitary stockpile'... This material has been identified, or is believed to exist, at 99 locations in 38 states and U.S. territories... The closer one looks at the question of suspected Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, in the context of the existence of such weapons in other countries, the more the Iraqi threat to world peace diminishes by comparison, while the threat represented by the US looms ever larger."

Last July, Bush Signed a Secret Order for Cyber-Warfare

"Bush has signed a secret directive ordering the government to develop national-level guidance for determining when and how the United States would launch cyber-attacks against enemy computer networks... The Pentagon has stepped up development of cyber-weapons, envisioning a day when electrons might substitute for bombs... Military planners imagine soldiers at computer terminals silently invading foreign networks to shut down radars, disable electrical facilities and disrupt phone services... 'There's a lot of inhibition over doing it,' said Harvey M. Sapolsky. 'A lot of institutions and people are worried about becoming subject to the same kinds of attack in reverse.' 'There are questions about collateral damage,' Richard Clarke said... A computer attack on an electric power grid, intended to pull the plug on military facilities, might end up turning off electricity to hospitals... Do you ever want to do it? Do you want to legitimize that kind of weaponry?' Clarke added."

Mrs. Tommy Franks Illegally Sat In on Classified Briefings - Will Franks be Punished?

WashPost reports, "Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who is slated to command U.S. forces if there is a war with Iraq, is being investigated by the Pentagon's inspector general for possible abuse of his office, and investigators tentatively have concluded that the Central Command chief likely violated some restrictions involving his wife... Franks allowed his wife to sit in on briefings involving highly classified material at which attendees are permitted only on a 'need to know basis.'[And] a female soldier allegedly was assigned to assist Franks's wife on an almost full-time basis and performed personal errands for her, such as filling prescriptions. Finally, Franks has been accused of assigning a military bodyguard to protect his wife, a perk to which she is not entitled... Investigators also were probing whether the government was properly reimbursed for all of Mrs. Franks's travel aboard military aircraft." Bill Clinton was impeached for lesser offenses!

Speed Kills... Canadian Soldiers

NY Times reports, "A military hearing into the deaths of four Canadians in an airstrike by two American pilots in Afghanistan has focused attention on the military's long-held but little-known practice of using drugs to keep its weary forces awake and alert - or to help them sleep off the stress of combat. Amphetamines and tranquilizers - 'go pills' and 'no-go pills' - are considered a useful tool for a modern American military that likes to fight at night, given its technological superiority in finding targets in the dark, and to an Air Force that must order its pilots to fly longer missions from fewer overseas bases. Scientists are researching ever more potent pills, including some that may keep combat forces alert for 40 hours or more... Lawyers for the pilots... said that the men had felt compelled to take the amphetamine Dexedrine or be scrubbed from their mission, and that the drug may have clouded their judgment on that clear night last April."

Pentagon Conducting Bizarre Medical Experiments to Create an 'Extended Performance Fighter'

Charles Laurence writes for the Telegraph: "The Pentagon has launched a series of remarkable medical experiments to find a way to keep its soldiers and pilots awake and alert for up to five days at a time. The mission to create an Extended Performance War Fighter, as the project is known, took on added urgency last week as the military's use of amphetamine stimulants - 'go pills' as they are called - was plunged into deep controversy. Defence lawyers for two American pilots [threatened with court martial] who accidentally killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last April said they would argue that the forcible use of the drug dexamphetamine as Dexedrine - or the 'go pills' - was to blame... The Pentagon's search for an Extended Performance War Fighter concentrates on employing advanced genetics and neurological science...One of its plans for keeping warriors awake is to 'zap' their brains with an electro-magnetic energy called TMS."

Rumsfeld and Feith Turn Pentagon into the 'Worst Policy Shop' Experts Have Ever Seen

Donald Rumsfeld's response to all woes is to snow disjointed, nasty memos on workers. Pentagon Policy Chief Douglas Feith's way of dealing with crises, even decisions of critical urgency, is to delay directives for sometimes a day or two while he obsesses over grammatical errors. Meanwhile, competent Pentagon folks have been leaving their jobs in a steady stream. A huge percentage of those remaining despise both Rummy and Feith. "I think the policy shop is completely broken," a former Pentagon official said. Lisa Bronson, a respected career specialist in weapons proliferation issues is more blunt: "This is the worst-run policy shop I've ever seen." Yet this is the Pentagon that plans to lead us into war?

Inside America's Bomb Factory

CNN National Correspondent Gary Tuchman spoke to the workers assembling bombs at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma. Here's a portion of the interview. "Right now they're making an average of 200 bombs a day here at this Army ammunition plant, a total of about 74,000 bombs a year. What they like to say here is if it doesn't come out of a gun, it's very likely that they make it here in McAlester, Oklahoma. The bombs they make range from 20-millimeter tank rounds to 5,000-pound bombs....Tuchman: How does it make you feel knowing that the bombs that we see here will -- could ultimately be dropped during a battle, during wartime, and possibly kill people? Pete: We feel great about it. You know what they done to us in New York and stuff, we feel good about it." Unfortunately, his logic falls apart - many (if not most) of the victims of these bombs are civilians who never had anything to do with acts of aggression against the US.

Beating the Drum While Screwing the Troops

While beating the war drum, the repug chickenhawks work hard to screw our troops. Here are some ways: Outsourcing of base-support work to the benefit of Cheney's Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root--while sidelining service personnel who could do the job cheaper and with more dedication; Army Secretary Thomas "Enron" White's proposal to greatly expand "unaccompanied tours"--meaning that spouses and children have to stay stateside ("family values"). White House undermining of "concurrent receipt", a move to deny retired disabled vets benefits for their service-related injuries, underfunded base daycare facilities, bureaucratic discouragement of the use of the VA health system, extending a soldier's enlistment involuntarily. Re-enlistment bonuses have been slashed. The list goes on and on.

John Allen Muhammad: Was Gulf War Syndrome a Factor?

MSNBC.com reports: "The alleged Washington sniper, John Allen Muhammad, may have been exposed to chemical weapons that have been linked to Gulf War Syndrome, an illness which experts said can result in unexplained bouts of intense violence. Muhammad, arrested early Thursday as a prime suspect in the Washington area shootings, served with the Army's 84th Engineer Company during the Persian Gulf War, military officers said. That unit, attached to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, helped inspect, catalog and destroy extensive stockpiles of Iraqi chemical weapons at a depot near Khamisiyah, Iraq, in March 1991 following the cease-fire March 3, Pentagon records show....There is no doubt that a small but significant number of Gulf War veterans become homicidal because of Gulf War Syndrome, said Baumzweiger, until recently a staff psychiatrist and neurologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is a leading expert on Gulf War Syndrome."

Congress Sends Your Children Into W-ar, But Offers Only 5 of Their Progeny!

Mark Shields writes: "Of the 58,152 Americans killed in the Vietnam War, three out of four were between the ages of 17 and 22, and three out of four were under the rank of staff sergeant -- corporals and privates. Today, there are 1,182,412 enlisted men and women on active duty in the United States military. It is from their ranks that the vast majority of all American combat casualties in the next war will come....If you need further proof of the complete separation of the people in power in Washington from the people at peril in the Persian Gulf, just consider this: Not one of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives has a son or a daughter on active duty in the enlisted ranks of this nation's military...The all-volunteer force all but ensured that the children of the elites -- political, social and economic -- would not be found in the military and would be almost totally missing from the enlisted ranks, those who do most of the fighting and the dying."

Pentagon Relies on Mercenaries for W-ar, with Halliburton a Leading War Profiteer

"Motivated as much by profits as politics, these companies -- about 35 all told in the United States--need the government's permission to be in business. A few are somewhat familiar names, like Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of the Halliburton Company that operates for the government in Cuba and Central Asia. Others have more cryptic names, like DynCorp; Vinnell, a subsidiary of TRW; SAIC; ICI of Oregon; and Logicon, a unit of Northrop Grumman...MPRI, boasts of having 'more generals per square foot than in the Pentagon'....For that, MPRI is paid well. Its revenue exceeds $100 million a year, mainly from Pentagon and State Department contracts. Retired military personnel working for MPRI receive two to three times their Pentagon salaries, in addition to their retirement benefits and corporate benefits like stock options and 401(k) plans....Within the military, the use of contractors is Defense Department policy for filling the gaps as the number of troops falls."

Regime Change at the Pentagon? Rumsfeld's Dictatorial Rule at the Pentagon is 'Courting a Rebellion' Among Senior Officers

Washington Post.com reports: "(There is) a pronounced civilian-military divide at the Pentagon under Rumsfeld's leadership. Numerous officers complain bitterly that their best advice is being disregarded by someone who has spent most of the last 25 years away from the military.....Many senior officers on the Joint Staff and in all branches of the military describe Rumsfeld as frequently abusive and indecisive, trusting only a tiny circle of close advisers, seemingly eager to slap down officers with decades of distinguished service. The unhappiness is so pervasive that all three service secretaries are said to be deeply frustrated by a lack of autonomy and contemplating leaving by the end of the year....'Things are more fouled up [at the Pentagon] than I've ever seen them,' said one former defense official sympathetic to Rumsfeld. 'The depth of disaffection is really quite striking,' added one defense consultant. 'I think Rumsfeld is courting a rebellion.'"

Operation Mountain Sweep, Reported as 'Success' in Fudged Report was in Fact a Resounding Disaster

Here at Democrats.com, we ran an article by Lt. Col Ralf W. Zimmerman (http://democrats.com/view.cfm?id=9601)detailing the outrageous way the military routinely rigs the results of military game operations to make the higher ups look good. This practice trains soldier in the art of fudging reports, but NOT how to be effective soldiers in a real war zone. Well, here's proof of what Zimmerman was saying. Operation Mountain Sweep, reported as a resounding success, was in fact a resounding disaster. But the troops submitted a fudged report, which was, of course, reported in the clueless mainstream media. Now a factual report submitted by Special Forces teams reveal the truth. How many other reports of success have been fudged? And how, without war correspondants allowed on the scene, will we ever know?

How the Pentagon Rigs War Games - Leaving Our Troops Unprepared for the Real Thing

Here is an expose of just how war games are routinely rigged to insure success - or, more to the point, to insure that the commanding officers (not to mention Rumsfeld and Bush) look good. But this sham could have deadly consequences for men and women in the field in a real war, who have only been taught how to fudge results, not how to achieve them with the actual means at hand. The multiple debacles that occurred in Afghanistan - from fatal accidents to improper bombings, to embarrassing escapes - reflect this unpreparedness. But what is more frightening is that the field of rag-tag warriors on horseback that confronted our troops in Afghanistan could be considered easy going compared to what they may confront in Iraq.

In Persian Gulf War Exercise, the Pentagon Lost - So They Rigged the War

Bushfeld has not expressed the slightest doubt that US forces would defeat Iraq - even though Iraq would be defending its own soil, which military strategists regard as a decisive advantage in any war. In August, the Pentagon conducted a $250 million, 3-week long exercise called Millennium Challenge 2002. "The simulation centered on a Persian Gulf conflict involving a rogue commander. Blue forces suffered unexpected losses early in the fight when a sneak Red attack using cruise missiles sank Blue's ships, but U.S. forces eventually emerged victorious" - because the exercise was rigged. What is the Pentagon's justification? Gen. William F. Kernan "drew a distinction between an 'exercise,' which tests actual capabilities and existing doctrine, and an 'experiment,' which in this case was meant to test broad combat concepts." In other words, the Pentagon spent $250 million of OUR tax dollars on Bushit - we demand a refund!

Going AWOL from Military Encroachment

Is it possible to be a deserter when you're not even in the service? If so, then count me in. With its "war on terror" the US military industrial complex seems to be steadily taking over the last vestiges of civilian life. Just recently, the US Navy was granted approval to deploy ships using low-frequency sonar, despite knowledge the system injures whales and other mammals. Then Air Force General Ralph E Eberhart started pushing for changes to laws restricting the military's ability to participate in domestic law enforcement. Recently we've been treated to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearings on attacking Iraq. Rather than inviting voices of experience and reason (such as Denis Halliday, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq or Scott Ritter, the former Chief Inspector of the United Nations Special Commission to Disarm Iraq) to testify, the hearings became a forum for hawks pushing for all-out war.

Fort Bragg Wife Murders are Linked to Army's Malaria Drug

The Moonie UPI reports, "Friends of the three Fort Bragg soldiers suspected of killing their wives this summer say the men exhibited unusual anger and incoherence after returning from Afghanistan where they were given an anti-malaria drug associated with aggression and mental problems... Soldiers at Fort Bragg said they are well aware of mental problems linked to the anti-malaria drug Lariam, which include aggression, depression, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal thinking, even as official military spokesmen dismiss a connection between the drug and the events around Fayetteville this summer which have drawn national attention." The Pentagon has a dismal record of experimenting with the health of soldiers - dating back to tests of the effect of witnessing above-ground atomic blasts - and then covering up the harmful effects.

Marine War Games Commander: Faulty Conclusions Based on Rigged War Games Put American Troops At-Risk

ArmyTimes.com reports: "The most elaborate war game the U.S. military has ever held was rigged so it appeared to validate the modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts it was supposed to be testing, according to the retired Marine lieutenant general who commanded the game's Opposing Force. (General Paul Van Riper)...worries the United States will send troops into combat using doctrine and weapons systems based on false conclusions from the recently concluded Millennium Challenge 02. He was so frustrated with the rigged exercise that he said he quit midway through the game. He said that rather than test forces against an unpredictable enemy, the exercise 'was almost entirely scripted to ensure a [U.S. military] 'win.'…officials denied him the opportunity to use his own tactics and ideas against Blue, and on several occasions directed the Opposing Force not to use certain weapons systems against Blue. It even ordered him to reveal the location of Red units," General Van Riper said.

Morale at Pentagon Worst in 15 Years Under a Slave-Driving, Arrogant Rumsfeld

Sun Myung Moon's right-wing Washington Times reports, "Morale has collapsed at the Pentagon division that churns out pivotal policy papers to run the war on terrorism, Defense Department employees say. Some complained of extra-long workdays, little feedback on their efforts, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith's management style and a stream of white papers (dubbed "snowflakes") from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's sharp pen that must be answered swiftly. One woman stood up [at a recent gripe session] and told Feith this was the worst she had seen things in 15 years." Add to that a new low in miltary recruitment, growing isolation from global allies, and a sliding Bush approval rating and Bush's "War on Terror," is looking less like a "trifecta" and more like a row of lemons.

The Largest Military Operation in U.S. History Is the Best Kept Secret Since the Cheney Task Force List

So, when exactly did the Bush administration plan to inform the nation that the U.S. armed forces are now engaged in the largest military operation in American history? Next week? Next month? Next year? Or never? Even though the massive Millennium Challenge 2002 kicked off July 24 and will last through August 15 and take a staggering chunk out of the budget at a time of fiscal crisis, not one word will you find about it in the major newspapers, including the LA Times (and much of the operation is occurring in California). And, if you do a google search of "Millennium Challenge," you will find a whitehouse.gov link - but only as a reference to a project to aid the world's poor (the Bush administration has made this type of name game smokescreen something of a trademark). Pretty damn sad day in American affairs when the first you are likely to hear of the largest military operation in history is in a Chinese newspaper. (See also http://www.jfcom.mil/about/experiments/mc02.htm)

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Gore Vidal talks about the American Empire, and how we have had over 200 military involvements since WWII, many of them to promote bid'ness interests or depose democratic governments in favor of despots. Then we wonder why the world hates us. Even now we are planning to invade Iraq, although the men, the money, and the inspiration for Sept 11 all came from our so-called friends, the Saudis. Vidal is, as usual, brilliant, and this is one of the clearest expositions of how we got here.

Rumsfield Thumbs Nose at International Law, Reinforcing America's Shameful Unilateralism

"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today warned that American forces may not join future peacekeeping missions without a grant of blanket immunity from the jurisdiction of the new International Criminal Court...The policy says much about how the last, lone superpower will project force abroad. When added to the emerging policy of pre-emptive military action against nations or shadowy terrorist cells armed with weapons of mass destruction, the United States is saying boldly that American power will be exercised unilaterally and, if exercised in alliance with others, on Washington's terms...'The existence of this International Criminal Court, which came into effect yesterday, July 1, is a threat to civilian, military, individuals from the United States of America, regardless of whether they're doing peacekeeping or warfighting'", said Rumsfield.

Watch Our Military in Action - Live on Your Satellite!

In the Public I, Duncan Campbell reports: "For more than six months, live pictures from U.S. aerial spy missions have been broadcast in real time to viewers throughout Europe and the Balkans. The broadcasts are not encrypted, meaning that anyone in the region with a normal satellite TV receiver can spy on U.S. surveillance operations as they happen. NATO, whose forces in former Yugoslavia depend on the U.S. missions for intelligence, first expressed disbelief. After inquiring, a NATO spokesman confirmed that 'we're aware that this imagery is put on a communications satellite … The distribution of this material is handled by the United States and we're content that they're following appropriate levels of security.' The Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment." Looks like they will need to declare another terror emergency to keep this embarrassing story out of the papers...

With Military Recruitment Lagging, the Pentagon Exploits Non-Citizens

Unknown to most Americans, about 47,500 U.S. military personnel are non-citizens. This is 4% of the total, and the Pentagon is seeking to swell the ranks of non-citizen soldiers even more in coming months. Pentagon PR folks are trying to wrap this practice in the flag: "We recruit everywhere. We like to look like America," says Pentagon salesman Jim Cassella. But, once again, non-citizens are merely being exploited. Serving America may make you "look like America," but it won't make you a citizen. After serving in the U.S. military for years, many non-citizens discover they are no closer to citizenship than they were to begin with. "If people serve two years honorably in the military, certainly they should be able to become citizens," says Rep. Martin Frost(D-TX). Meanwhile, the hurdles U.S. citizens must clear to be accepted by the military are being raised.

U.S. Military Proposes Illegal Bioweapons Research!

Russ Kick writes in the Village Voice, "According to documents unearthed by a nonprofit government watchdog, the United States military has proposed the development of biological weapons that would violate international treaties and federal law. In fact, they may have already developed some of these illegal, treaty-busting bioweapons. Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Sunshine Project has recently pried loose some damning documents from the Marine Corps, which seems to be overseeing this area of research... The military scientists take great care to point out that the germs they want to create would be 'nonlethal.' But this doesn't matter. The international Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention treaty absolutely bans member nations from possessing or developing microbes, toxins, or any other biological agents for use in battle or other hostile situations."

'Defend America' is an Official Propaganda Vehicle for Rumsfeld and Bush

The title of this official government web site - built with OUR tax dollars - should be "Defend Bush and Rumsfeld." The headlining articles are all about Rumsfeld and Bush policies and all seem designed to tell the reader - mostly military folk - what they should think. Meanwhile, a story about fallen soldiers "We Remember Their Sacrifice" is pushed to the bottom of the page and into a sidebar. There's one story, though, we can all get behind - at the top right-hand corner of the page is a link to a site that will let you send a "virtual thanks" to our troops overseas. These courageous Americans should not be confused with their cowardly leaders back in Washington! Show our guys and gals you know the difference and send your support!

As the Pentagon Turns -- a Soap Opera about Bush Family Values

David Corn writes in the Nation, "It's a Bush family melodrama, a story of personal connections, possible backstabbing and multiple intrigues, a Washington soap opera. And it's all about an 80-ton mobile artillery system dubbed the Crusader. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in something of a sneak attack, announced he wanted to cancel the $11 billion program... Immediately after Rumsfeld targeted the Crusader, the Army initiated a rearguard operation against Rumsfeld by lobbying members of Congress to save the Crusader... This is a financially significant matter for the company that enriches both [Bush's] father and the man who engineered his crucial triumph in the Florida post-election battle [James Baker]... But it is clear no matter what direction this story takes, it can only end one way: Thomas White getting a job at the Carlyle Group." This week, White finally signed on with Rumsfeld in a joint announcement that the Crusader program will be scrapped.

Like Harry Truman, We Should Investigate the Pentagon

Gary Ferdman and Myriam Miedzian write in Common Dreams that "During WWII, then Senator Harry Truman dedicated himself to rooting out waste, mismanagement, and fraud in the military buildup. His Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (known as the Truman Committee) continued its work throughout the war. It saved the nation hundreds of billions of dollars and catapulted Truman to the Vice Presidency in 1944 and the White House a year later. Conclusion: Any Democrat who chooses to follow in Truman's footsteps would save our nation billions in Pentagon waste... The Democrat willing to emulate Truman would win the overwhelming admiration of voters and pave his or her way to the White House."

100 Congressional Democrats Vow to Fight Bush's Military Assault on Endangered Species

With today's computerized simulation systems and high-tech weapons testing protocols, bombing exercises are nearing obsolescence. At best, they are now an adjunct to training and not required for pilot training (read through the past few years of Aviation Week & Space Technology). But Bush's Pentagon and House GOPers claim bombing the hell out of islands and beaches where migratory birds and endangered species are clinging to a toehold on life is necessary to "protect our troops." They are lying through their teeth. Rumor has it they want the land for future development. Land where environmental laws have been eased and endangered species have already been wiped out is very attractive to developers. And consider their concern for our guys and gals in uniform. While voting for billions to contractors, the GOP House voted a pathetic 4% pay increase- for military personnel, that barely covers inflation.

U.S. Military Is the Nation's Top Toxic Polluter, But Rumsfeld Wants MORE Power to Pollute

Here is a sorry record: "The Department of Defense is the nation's largest toxic polluter. By the DOD's own admission, there are over 11,000 toxic 'hot spots' on 1,855 military facilities. More than 100 Department of Defense (DOD) installations are on, or proposed for inclusion on, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund list of the most poisoned pieces of real estate in the U.S. [Bush, of course, wants to let them off the hook]. Since 1989, 91 U.S. bases with over 1,600 active toxic cleanup sites have been slated for closure. In addition to its own bases, the Pentagon is listed as a Potentially Responsible Party in poisoning 53 privately-owned Superfund sites, including dumps, properties formerly operated by the military, and contractor-owned weapons plants." So reports the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice.

Does Rumsfeld Want to Ease Environmental Rules on Military Land for 'Security' - or to Let Developers in the Back Door?

Rumsfeld is pushing hard to ease environmental restrictions on all land owned by the military. As with all excesses demanded by the Bush admainistration, Rumsfeld claims the exemptions are required for "national security." But there's another reason this administration may have its eye on military land, and that's commercial development. Take Camp Pendleton - home to 15 endangered species and one of the last large undeveloped swaths of coast left in California. Under Clinton, the Marines engaged in conservation efforts. Now, under Bush, the military is lobbying to overturn wildlife protections on the land. But the underlying motives have less to do with "security" and more to do with "corporate possibilities." Read paragraph four of this piece! Is this a 2-step plan? - ease environmental restrictions, then later declare big chunks of military land part of a "base cutback package" and auction them off to Bush buddies in development and energy industries?

Military Makes Being Right-Wing and Religious a Prerequisite to Advancement

"I was already in SEA by the time I was old enough to vote for or against Nixon in '72. By 1980 our leaders were heavily 'implying' that we vote for Reagan. They kept it up, voting Conservative Republican, right along with pushing Religion on us. As a Senior NCO (just an E-7) I was expected to attend not only the Dining Ins and Outs (with Defense Contractors Reps often present and handing out Plaques etc), but Wing Prayer Breakfasts. In fact before I retired in 1989 in order to make E-8, and I didn't for a variety of reasons, it was almost mandatory to not just be a member of a church, on base or off; but to be a High Deacon or even a preacher/minister/youth leader." So writes Chris., Retired MSgt. USAF.

Military Reform....or Frightening Intensification of Bush's Push toward a Fascist Regime?

First Terrorists (Negroponte, Reich) are named to key diplomatic posts. Now the military is being "reformed" in a way that is setting off warning buzzers and bells for rational observers. Now tell us this line from the Washington Post isn't ominous:"Rumsfeld has selected people [for top command posts] who stand out among the current top brass as unconventional thinkers who are likely to be supportive of his drive to 'transform' the military to better address terrorism and other new challenges." I.e., "nonconformists" who don't find anything wrong with torture, military tribunals, covert drives to overturn other governments.....or just about anything else the "Bush Reich" finds just dandy. After all, on Newshour Rummy did cite Hitler's army as an example of the militaristic efficiency he admires.

America's War Incorporated: Weapons and Wars 'R' US

"Eisenhower's feared military industrial complex has been swept aside by the U.S. War Corporation. It took just 42 years for the War Corporation to eliminate the dividing line between the U.S. military and U.S. industry and eradicate the troublesome provisions of Posse Comitatus—an 1878 law that forbids military involvement in most domestic affairs, including law enforcement. The War Corporation has its tentacles in every element of the American political, military, economic and cultural milieu, and it affects the lives of every citizen in every country on the planet. It operates in the heavens, has claimed the Earth's moon and, perhaps, through the U.S. Air Force's Planetary Defense operation, has some Strangelovian designs for Mars." So write John Stanton and Wayne Madsen in Online Journal.

Democrats Challenge Uncontrolled Military Spending

"Congressional Democrats took aim yesterday at the Pentagon's $379 billion budget request and its open-ended war on terrorism, voicing their strongest criticism of military operations and a proposed $48 billion increase in defense spending since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), chair of the Appropriations Committee, grilled top defense officials at a budget hearing about the lack of an 'exit strategy' in Afghanistan, their failure to capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and a widening global campaign against terrorists that seems to have 'no end in sight...' In the House, Democrats took advantage of a hearing with the head of the Pentagon's missile defense program to mount fresh attacks not only on its $7.8 billion price tag but also on a recent administration move to exempt the program from traditional Defense Department oversight controls." So reports the Washington Post.

Where's the Outrage, Republican Hypocrites? Bush and Powell Agree to Put US Troops under Foreign Command in the Philippines!

Jody Holder wrote us: "It is amazing that President Clinton was accused repeatedly of 'considering' placing US troops under foreign command during our actions in the Balkans. The Republicans were vehemently opposed. Now the Bush administration has actually done it. Where is the outcry from the same people? This is the news story from the Manila Times reporting on this agreement. So now we will send our men and women to go fight in another country as mercenaries, commanded by local military commanders of that country, for the first time in our history. Risking their lives for what? I am outraged!!" From the Manila Times article: "The US military was reportedly not happy with the inclusion of provisions in the document giving Philippine commanders authority over American forces in the field. One such provision reads: 'Nothing shall infringe on the AFP Unit Commander's authority.'"

The World Asks: Why Is the Most Powerful Nation on Earth in an Arms Race With Itself?

"The puzzle about the latest rise in defence spending is that America at the beginning of the 21st century is already not so much a superpower as a behemoth on the world stage. Economically dominant, it enjoys military and cultural power unrivalled since the days of the Roman emperors, as the American author Robert D. Kaplan reminds us in his new book, Warrior Politics. Typically, it has been left to the French, traditionally suspicious of US global hegemony, to find the best words to describe it. Gigantisme militaire they call it, in a phrase that describes both the scale of America's ambitions and also a pathological condition: an organism grown so large it is sick. The question the rest of the world is asking itself is: Who is the enemy America is arming itself so against? And why?" So write Peter Beaumont and Ed Vulliamy in the Observer.

Republicans Seek Massive Increase in Weapons Spending, While Democrats Postpone Star Wars Debate

War fever has taken over Congress, and Republicans are using it to pour as much money into weapons as possible. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) wants to add $40 billion to the $33 billion increase proposed earlier this year. This would increase defense spending from by $73 billion, from $311 billion to $384 billion, an increase of nearly 24%. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were forced to put off a debate on Star Wars. "There will be an appropriate time to bring this up for debate, but this week is not the appropriate time," Daschle's spokeswoman, Anita Dunn, said Monday.

Vieques Appeal from Edward James Olmos

"I sit in the federal prison in San Juan, Puerto Rico serving 20 days. Others of us are serving 30, 40, 60, 90 and up to 120, days for a class B misdemeanor. Most of us are first-time offenders in violating any kind of laws in our lifetimes. We¹ve tried to peacefully bring awareness and the stoppage of the bombings on the island of Vieques. Today I have read an article printed in the Dallas Morning News by G. Robert Hillman quoting a political analyst, Charles Cook, stating "What do Mexican-American voters care whether the Navy bombs the hell out of a beach in Puerto Rico? The answer is, not in the least." That statement leads me to believe that Mr. Cook thinks that Mexican-Americans and other cultures on our planet don¹t care about innocent children dying at a 40% higher mortality rate because of the mistaken use of depleted uranium bombs along with other deadly chemical pollutants which derive from the bombings of the small inhabited island... Please help resolve this situation by running my short statement and the information below."

At The Expense Of Our Soldiers, Nominee To Head Joint Chiefs Will Support Dr. Strangelove's Zany Star Wars Dream – And The BushCheney Payback To The Defense Industry

"Air Force Gen. Richard Myers…shares much with his commander in chief: a commitment to the bottom line and an eye toward the sky as America's best chance for defense." They certainly have nothing in common when it comes to their military records -- Bush was AWOL from the National Guard for up to two years (See our expose' at smokingjet.com). "Unsettled by fierce Pentagon resistance to his plans to substitute space-based missile defenses for the 'two-war' capability, Bush [actually Rumsfeld and Cheney] has found a like thinker in Myers. The Air Force chief suggested to reporters earlier this month that he supports Bush's plans to reduce forces in order to invest in a space-based defense system. He acknowledged that most military leaders felt otherwise." Indeed, the heads of the Armed Forces are vehemently opposed to Rumsfeld's plans to slash military employment. But with a Star Wars champion to back up Rumsfeld, the Bush gang can break another campaign promise – the one to our soldiers.

Nuke? What Nuke?

"A nuclear bomb, 100 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, is lying 10km off the east coast of the United States. Until now one of the most closely guarded secrets in US military history, its existence has been confirmed in newly declassified documents which reveal how it was dumped in the sea after a mid-air collision more than 40 years ago." The bomb is somewhere near Tybee Island, near the mouth of the Savannah River in Georgia, in water 20' deep, below 15' of sand. The Pentagon refuses to look for it, but Georgians are demanding action.

Rumsfeld and His Stormtroopers Take Over Pentagon in Bizarre and Frightening Internal Coup d'Etat

An inside source has revealed to the Guardian that Donald Rumsfeld -- determined to ram through Bush's military agenda -- is forcibly taking over the Pentagon. Rummy is pushing aside those rightfully in command of various offices and setting up his own "command central, stuffed with rightwingers, including one Andrew Marshall - few in the Pentagon have ever heard of him!" Yet this unknown is now charged with conducting a sweeping review of the entire US military! He has also set up a "Crisis Coordination Center" (i.e., an office that will decide what crises to create and prosecute, using OUR military) that is answerable ONLY to Rumsfeld and Cheney. Do you remember a national referendum giving Cheney control of the entire military? Yet Rumsfeld and Cheney are pushing through dangerous and outrageously costly tests. Scarier yet, there's evidence they're changing established rules as they go. There are eerie parallels to how Hitler's henchmen operated before starting WWII.

Bush Is Quietly Killing Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

"Bush has resolved to let the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty languish in the Senate, where its supporters concede they do not have the votes to revive it. The decision puts the test ban in the same category as the Kyoto Protocol on global warming: by informing the pact's allies that it has no chance of ratification, Mr. Bush is essentially forcing his main European partners to find alternatives more to the administration's liking...In the absence of a treaty, nations are free to conduct nuclear tests, although a nonbinding moratorium is in place... 'Continued U.S. failure to follow through on its C.T.B.T. commitments leaves the door open to a global chain reaction of nuclear testing, instability and confrontation in the future,' said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers."

Rumsfeld Writes Script for 'Pearl Harbor 2'

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld must have really liked "Pearl Harbor" - so much so that he wants to have a sequel. According to the Washington (Moonie) Times, the Defense Department has decided "to stop requiring that U.S. forces be able to fight and win two major wars at once... the centerpiece of American security strategy for the past decade." Funny how the announcement coincides with the formation of the new "Shanghai Pact" between China, Russia, and several former Soviet Republics. Taking a cue from the French before WWII, it looks like Rumsfeld wants America's defense to be a fantasyland Maginot Line in the sky.

Pentagon Accused of Suppressing Key Adverse Data on Missile Defense Program

Rep. John Tierney, D-MA has demanded that Donald Rumsfeld explain why the Pentagon refuses to release last August's National Missile Defense Deployment Readiness Review to the public. The report was an expert evaluation of the NMD. Among the hazards pointed out in the report is the very real possibility that interceptors could be erroneously launched, then interpreted by an adversary as a hostile first strike, thereby provoking an undefended return attack. Tierney says if Shrub plans to have the system in place in 3 years, as he is pushing to do, he'd best begin allowing such flaws in the scheme to be investigated NOW.

Navy Mutinies Against Bush on Vieques

According to far-right NewsMax columnist John LeBoutillier, a uniformed admiral appeared on CBS News to publicly challenge Bush's decision to stop bombing in Vieques. The admiral said "he could no longer report that the ships and planes and troops under his command were combat ready without the Vieques training. The Navy has decided to take the dangerous and risky strategy of defying the Bush White House – publicly!... The military brass has assessed Bush and decided that their best course of action is public insubordination. We now have to see Bush's reaction to this near-mutiny." We're watching...

Feeling the Heat, Bush Throws Residents of Vieques a Politically-Expedient Bone

When his Spanish-speaking PR stunt fell flat, Shrub knew he'd better act fast to shore up his slipping Hispanic voter support. So he tried a new angle: announcing that he will stop using Vieques Island as a Navy bombing range... in three years. Like all "great deals" from Shrub, this is no deal at all, it's just his shopworn "delay, then don't deliver" tactic. But Bush is clearly feeling the heat, and the Navy's abusive treatment of high-ranking elected officials is certain to increase pressure to stop the bombing quickly.

Chairman Biden Will Expose Missile Defense Hoax

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) could have chosen to chair the Judiciary Committee, but instead chose the Foreign Relations Committee, where he will replace Jesse Helms (R-NC). Biden's top priority will be to expose the utter foolishness of Bush's missile defense scheme. Biden said, "The decisions we will make on this one issue alone promises to be the most important national security debate and decision in our lifetime. It will have profound consequences for our children and generations to come." According to his aides, Biden "believes that the United States faces greater risks than the possibility of an attack by intercontinental missiles, namely, terrorist attacks relying on simple technology." No doubt defense executives are drinking arsenic today.

'Paranoiac' Conducting Strategic Review For Dr. Strangelove

"Whatever the outcome, much of the credit, or blame, is likely to be laid at the doorstep of one man: Andrew Marshall. He was handpicked by Mr. Rumsfeld to guide the strategic review. Yet Mr. Marshall and his views remain enigmatic...A RAND Corporation nuclear expert beginning in 1949, he was brought by Henry Kissinger onto the National Security Council then appointed by President Nixon to direct the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. Insiders say Mr. Marshall was behind some of the key strategic decisions of the Reagan years. His strategy for a protracted nuclear war — based on weapons modernization, protection of governmental leaders from a first strike and an early version of Star Wars — effectively beggared the Soviet war machine." Again, the myth of Reagan spending the Soviets out of existence is reinforced. But at least there is the following insight. "Supporters call Mr. Marshall 'iconoclastic' and 'delphic'; his detractors prefer 'paranoiac' or worse."

Uncle Sam Wants You - To Fight For Enron, General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman

Bush has nominated as secretaries of the armed forces executives of corporations that were among his biggest backers. During their confirmation hearings, the conflict of interest issue was raised over their corporate backgrounds. Bush's choice for Navy Secretary is Gordon England, the executive vice president of General Dynamics. For Air Force Secretary, he has picked James G. Roche, the corporate vice president of Northrop Grumman Corp. Most troubling, a vice-chairman from Enron, Thomas E. White has been nominated as Army secretary. Enron has been Bush's number one backer throughout his political career. Said Marcy Woodman, a Democratic policy analyst based in Washington: "This is just more of the president [sic] filling posts with big business buddies who, without question, will make sure that the nation's contracts benefit their mutual friends. Even if they recuse themselves, their underlings will know which company they better award a contract to."

The George Dubya 'Grimmer Scenario' Statement

"I am pleased to announce the formation of a new American post-nuclear Faustian pact. Under the terms of the Chtonian Treaty, our nuclear response strike capability will not only annihilate the lives of our enemies, but will now incinerate their souls for eternity in the fiery pit of hell."

Despite Protests, Navy Resumes Shelling Of Vieques Island In Puerto Rico

"The US Navy resumed ship-to-shore shelling of Vieques island Monday, after holding its fire for day while Puerto Ricans celebrated the beatification of one of their own by Pope John Paul II, navy officials said. The guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg opened fire with non-explosive shells to begin a day of exercises on the island off Puerto Rico that also was scheduled to include aerial bombing by fighter aircraft from the carrier USS Enterprise said a Navy spokesman. But the exercises had to be suspended for three hours so that Navy security guards could carry out a brush-to-brush search for protesters hiding out in the target range on Camp Garcia. Five more people were detained, including Puerto Rican Independence Party leader Ruben Berrios, who reportedly had been hiding out on the range since last week. The total number of people arrested grew to 144, said Navy spokesman Bob Nelson."

Such a Deal! Bush Wants to Unload Antique Destroyers with Little Defensive Value on Taiwan

First Bush wanted to sell the Taiwanese subs he can't get. Now, seems the other part of his blue light deal is a group of Kidd-class destroyers built originally for the Shah of Iran using Vietnam War era technology. In today's Navy, technology that old is one step away from the "Antiques Roadshow!" The ships are considered most effective as backups to Aegis destroyers - which Bush refuses to include in the deal. In fact, the only solid recommendation we could find for these babies was that they have "excellent airconditioning." Well, at least the crew will die cool, eh?

Bush's Navy Closes Greeneville Case Without Investigating Joyride Program

Despite taking shortcuts that cost 9 Japanese lives, Commander Scott Waddle, 41, will retire at his full rank and with his full pension. This left the victims' families outraged. "The punishment is absolutely not one that the families can accept," Moriuki Kato, governor of Ehime prefecture, said. "I had hoped they would give him the utmost, strictest reprimand." And the submarine joyride program remains unscathed. "The Greeneville had canceled plans for a training cruise and instead sent several crewmen to a special computerized training course. But the Navy had also scheduled a tour aboard a submarine for 16 civilians under the visitors program. Most of the group had been involved in supporting a golf tournament here to raise money for the battleship Missouri museum [chaired by George H.W. Bush]. The Greeneville went to sea that day simply to take out the civilians, which was against the rules." When it comes to the Navy's precious joyride program, rules are meant to be broken.

Navy Desperately Protects Civilian Joyrides from Greeneville Scrutiny

Even though the Greeneville's crew blames civilian distraction in part for their collision with the Japanese fishing boat, Naval brass refuses to fully investigate the matter. "The Navy, I think, is collectively desperately concerned not to give up the distinguished visitor program," said Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice in DC. "They don't even want to talk about this. This is a real big deal to the Navy. It absolutely has to dow ith funding, weapons prorams," he said.

Physicians for Social Responsibility Decry Bush's Reversal of Nuclear Nonproliferation

While Bush keeps the media and environmental activists focused on a veritable smorgasbord of high-profile bad moves, he is pushing the nation quietly but steadily toward a new Cold War era. His budget has made nuclear weapons a frighteningly high priority. "It is a tragedy that the Bush Administration adopts such warped priorities," says PSR exec. director Robert K. Musil. "Genuine security and health needs are sacrificed in a rush to build bombs, protect polluters, and retreat from the global battle the prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction."

Stop John 'Armageddon' Bolton

"Bush has nominated John R. Bolton to be Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, the number three position in the State Department. Bolton owes his political career to the patronage of Senator Jesse Helms. Helms has repeatedly linked Bolton to Armageddon, inspiring The Boston Globe to label Bolton, 'the Armageddon Nominee.' We are concerned Bolton's that temperament and his views on nuclear weapons policy and Sino-American relations will make nuclear war more likely. Bolton is hostile to arms control treaties, the United Nations and multilateral engagement. He is the wrong person for this job. It is time for moderate and progressive Senators to stand up to the parade of ideological extremists nominated by Bush. Please contact your U.S. Senators and demand they oppose Bolton's confirmation."

Bolton Denies His Pro-Taiwan History Would Influence His Duties

"John R. Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, was paid $30,000 over three years in the mid-1990s by Taiwan's government for research papers on U.N. membership issues involving Taiwan. A senior vice president at the American Enterprise Institute [a New Right think tank financed by Scaife, Coors et al.], Bolton has long supported U.S. recognition of Taiwan as a separate nation and its return to the United Nations. These positions…have raised questions among some Democratic lawmakers as to whether he could objectively handle Taiwan issues that come before him, including U.S. arms sales to that country." Like John Ashcroft, Bolton played "Mr. Impartial" during his hearings. Bolton said, "It's not my function to advocate diplomatic recognition for Taiwan, and it would be inappropriate for me to [do so]". Sounds like John Kerry nailed it earlier when he remarked that Bolton had undergone a "confirmation conversion."

Lieberman: "Our Soldiers May Pay For Tax Cut "

Writes Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT): "The tax plan that Mr. Bush first proposed 15 months ago in the New Hampshire presidential primary remains the same, despite the fact that it is now impossible for him to keep his promises to the military...The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan anti-deficit group, says the president's tax plan could cost $2.3 trillion over 10 years. The Senate voted yesterday for a somewhat smaller tax cut, but the president remains wedded to his original proposal. That means the budget doesn't add up today or leave enough money for our military needs tomorrow...On Wednesday, Mary Landrieu and several other Democratic senators proposed reducing President Bush's tax cut to allow us to increase defense spending. We wanted to add a total of $100 billion — a sensible sum for defense over the next decade. Regrettably, the amendment lost 52-47, with 49 Republicans and Democrats voting against it. Voting for it were 46 Democrats and John McCain."

Submarine Joyrides Resume to Maintain Bloated Pentagon Budgets

"On Monday, a group of freshmen lawmakers from the U.S. House will climb aboard a sub in Florida's Port Everglades for eight hours of instruction and excitement - just the sort of thing that had been planned for visitors on the sub Greeneville before its deadly Feb. 9 collision. The Distinguished Visitors Program has quietly come back because--bad publicity or no--it's simply too important to the military to give up."

Admiral Defends Civilian Joyrides

Rear. Adm. Albert H. Konetzni Jr., commander of the Navy's Pacific submarine fleet, is a vigorous advocate of the Navy's program to take "distinguished visitors" aboard its fighting vessels. And while he objected to joyride-only joyrides, he strongly defended training-disguised joyrides in his testimony before the court of inquiry. "Since we have been an all-volunteer military for 25 years, it's very, very critical that we, as a military, educate America" he said. In other words, Americans realize that in the post-Cold War era, we don't need to spend astronomical sums on weapons. But that's unacceptable to the Navy, so they need to build support for their bloated budgets through civilian joyrides for GOP donors and other key civilians.

'I Trust the Weapons,' Says Rumsfeld

Bush's campaign mantra was "I trust the people." But during the Florida recount, that changed to "I trust the machines." Now Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is conducting a top-secret review of America's defense strategy, and his conclusion is "I trust the weapons." No need for people in Bush's future military, which will consist of "pilotless drones that can bomb or spy, small, missile-packed ships, satellites and miniature sensors that detect the enemy will dominate the battle space of the future." Bush had better think twice about this soldier-less strategy - without military ballots, Katherine Harris could not have crowned him as commander-in-thief.

Navy Scapegoats Submarine Crew to Protect the Brass

The Navy is trying to blame the USS Greeneville's captain and crew for an accident that was caused by the Pentagon and the Pacific fleet. The Greeneville had no reason to leave port, except to give a joyride to Texas oil executives and donors to the Republican Party and George H. W. Bush's USS Missouri Restoration Association. Taxpayer funds should NOT be spent to help the Navy lobby for an ever-larger budget. It's time for investigators to turn the periscope around and examine the Navy brass and civilians who sent the Greeneville out on its expensive - and deadly - joyride.

Anti-Landmine Activists Protest at White House

Landmine opponents from around the world gathered opposite the White House on Saturday to urge Bush to sign an international treaty to ban mines. The rally, organized by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, featured activists and landmine survivors from the United States and nearly 90 other countries. The group, led by Nobel prize winner, Jody Williams, presented 250,000 petition signatures.

Military Contractors Divide Up Armed Services

Bush has picked Gordon R. England, 63, who retired recently from General Dynamics, to be Navy secretary. General Dynamics builds the multi-billion dollar submarines which specialize in joyrides to Republican donors. It also milked the taxpayers $3 billion for the A-12 stealth fighter, not one of which was ever delivered. Bush has picked James G. Roche, 61, a vice president at Northrop Grumman, to head the Air Force. Northron Grumman builds most of the planes flown by the Air Force. These appointments will complete the corporate takeover of the American government, which no longer works for the people - but instead for the profiteers. When Bush asks your children to fight in his next war, keep that fact in mind.

9 Japanese Students Died for a Bigger Navy Budget

The shocking truth is beginning to come out. The USS Greeneville's training exercise had been cancelled, and the only reason it left port on February 9 was to give a joy ride to 16 "influencers" who could help the Navy get a bigger budget. Under the Navy's "distinguished visitor" program, 1,287 civilians got submarine joy rides in 2000, costing taxpayers untold millions. If our submarines don't have real missions to perform, then they should be decommissioned. Instead, the Navy wants billions to build new submarines.

Hey Bush - Quit Bombing Puerto Rico!

The first woman Governor of Puerto Rico, Sila Calderon, met with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at the Pentagon to tell Pres. Bush to put "an immediate and permanent end" to Navy bombing practice on the island of Vieques. where the mortality rate is 40% higher than the rest of Puerto Rico. Coincidence? We think not.

National Missile Defense in One Easy Lesson

Why is Bush determined to waste $100 BILLION of our tax dollars on the Son of Star Wars? To line the pocket books of major corporations and increase the power of the Republicans. This ain't rocket science.

Blair Caves to Bush on Star Wars

British Prime Minister Tony Blair buckled under to pressure from the Bush administration and signaled his support for the monumentally wasteful Star Wars program. Hey Tony, why don't you pick up the tab? Let's hope he gets an earful from progressive members of the Labour Party.

Update: GI Joe Will Have to Wait until October for a 3% Raise

While Bush's Republican buddies in Congress are adding RETROACTIVE tax cuts to Bush's "feed the wealthy" plan, Bush has announced that he will give our military a whopping 3% pay increase - but not until next October! Bush also failed to specify if this is an across-the-board - or an average - raise. Bush is so concerned about the working conditions of our military that he won't issue any emergency spending until after Defense Secretary Rumsfeld does a review. Translation: Rumsfeld will have to figure out how much can be scrounged after pumping billions to Bush's defense industry backers. Joe Lieberman, the man who should be our Vice President, had this to say: "I support such a review, but the reality is that we don't need the results of a strategic study to know that there are some pressing problems in our military that demand our attention and our assistance now." Lieberman added that Bush's massive tax giveaway will "leave nothing but fiscal leftovers for national security." Real Vice President Lieberman means real national security, not goofy "Star Wars" gizmos.

Sorry G.I. Joe -- Millionaires and Defense Contractors Come First

Remember how candidate Bush chastised Gore because military personnel were on food stamps, even though that number had been greatly cut by the Clinton-Gore administration? Now that Bush is going full steam ahead with his $1.6 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, he says there will be no increase to the military budget. Instead, Bush wants to abandon current weapons programs so he can give billions to his defense industry backers to develop new gizmos -- including the foolhardy NMD (aka Son of "Star Wars") defense program. Isn't it curious that the Bush team has made little or no mention of military personnel pay increases. But what did you expect from a "Comander-in-Chief" who went AWOL - real concern for his soldiers?

Europe Caves on Star Wars, but Russia and China are Pissed

Got a few trillion to spare? That's what our Commander-in-Thief wants to steal from our pockets to line those of the insatiable defense contractors who are building the Star Wars system. It's Reaganomics all over again - huge tax cuts for the wealthy, huge defense spending increases, and guess what - an ENORMOUS hole in the budget that will cost us and our children trillions in interest payments. The worst part is that the stupid system doesn't work now, and never will. Dear Barbara, would you please tell that idiot son of yours to stop acting like a cowboy and put an end to this pissing contest before he gets us all blown up?!?

Hey Rumsfeld, Can You Take a Hint?

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, despite objections from our European allies, Russia, and other nations, has confirmed plans to implement a new missile defense system. Sergei Ivanov, his Russian counterpart, told defense delegates at a delegates meeting in Munich that "the plan would undermine world stability". He then offered to talk about substantial arms cuts if the US abandons this plan.

A Clear And Present Danger

No, this isn't a review of a Tom Clancy novel. This is an all-out plea to Bush to reduce the danger of accidental nuclear war by working with the Russians to get all nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert. Join Martin Sheen, Michael Douglas, Paul Newman, and others, on National Call-In Days in doing whatever it takes to avert a nuclear disaster. Sign the petition.