American Heroes- The Names of Those Killed Defending Our Country.

Here is the list of the Fallen Heroes from Operation Iraqi Freedom that you won't see on the television news.

The Real Fog of War: American Indifference and Ignorance

Cheryl Seal writes: "Americans just don't want to see the blood, the tears, the orphaned children, the maimed old men, or flag-draped coffins. We don't want to hear the screams of the wounded and dying, the soul-shattering pounding of bombs and mortars. We just want a smartly dressed, reassuringly gray-haired general to stand up in front of the news cameras and tell us that we're making progress. And after all, those 'insurgents' have been asking for it -our patience only goes so far! And then we go back to our dinners or settle back into our armchairs in our war-free towns and cities. Alas, the complacence of Americans runs through the entire US society, making the nation an easy target for determined fanatics with an agenda."

Orange County Democrats Pass Resolution Supporting Department of Peace

The Orange County Democratic Party passed a resolution calling on all members of Congress the support the Department of Peace, HB 1673. This is a bill that has fifty co-sponsors and that is designed to change the focus both domestically and internationally from war and violence to peace and safety.

Blix Warns Against Preemptive Wars Based on 'Intelligence' [sic]

AFP reports: "Countries should be wary about authorizing military force based on intelligence reports, outgoing chief UN weapons inspector for Iraq Hans Blix told a French newspaper. 'Launching preemptive strikes on the basis of intelligence gathered by secret services is something to which we should pay careful attention,' Blix told Le Monde, in a veiled criticism of the US-British invasion of Iraq. 'It's not the first time that force has been used on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be erroneous,' he added Thursday. Blix was referring to claims by Washington and London that Baghdad was harboring weapons of mass destruction, their main justification for the war to topple Saddam Hussein. To date, no such weapons have been found... 'It raises the question: on what basis can a war be launched?' Blix asked."

The Real Casualty Rate from America's Iraq Wars

"There are serious unintended consequences to our most recent 'no contact' or 'painless dentistry' wars that contradict the Pentagon's claims of low casualties...During 1990 and 1991, some 696,778 individuals served in the Persian Gulf...Of these 148 were killed in battle, 467 were wounded in action, and 145 were killed in accidents, producing a total of 760 casualties... However, as of May 2002, the VA reported that an additional 8,306 soldiers had died and 159,705 were injured or ill as a result of service-connected 'exposures' suffered during the war. Even more alarmingly, the VA revealed that 206,861 veterans had filed claims for medical care, compensation, and pension benefits based on injuries and illnesses caused by combat in 1991. After reviewing the cases, the agency has classified 168,011 applicants as 'disabled veterans.' In light of these deaths and disabilities, the casualty rate for the first Gulf War is actually a staggering 29.3%."

'It Is Time for Us to Realize Wars Are Not Video Games'

"Under the rubble of the twin towers were buried people of many colors, races, religions and nationalities. They are a great symbol of the bond that unites humanity and a prime example of our cultural diversity. Surely the victims of the towers would want us to defeat terrorism, but do not want us to wage wars and kill innocent civilians in their names. Terrorism will not be defeated with drones, F-16s and smart weapons. It will be defeated with justice, humility, honesty, truth, compassion, friendships, trust, respect for cultural diversity, reverence for world faiths and love for humanity and international law. Our knowledge and our experience should be a torch lighting the way in the long dark tunnel which the world entered on Sept. 11, 2001." - Dr. Ibtissam Al-Bassam, UNESCO

The UN Can Stop Bush by 'Uniting for Peace'

Jeremy Brecher writes, "If the US attacks Iraq without support of the UN Security Council, will the world be powerless to stop it? The answer is no. Under a procedure called 'Uniting for Peace,' the UN General Assembly can demand an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal. The global peace movement should consider demanding such an action. When Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt and began advancing on the Suez Canal. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded that the invasion stop. Resolutions in the UN Security Council called for a cease-fire - but Britain and France vetoed them. Then the United States appealed to the General Assembly and proposed a resolution calling for a cease-fire and a withdrawal of forces. The General Assembly held an emergency session and passed the resolution. Britain and France withdrew from Egypt within a week."

It's Time to Hold the Merchants of Death Accountable

Paul Rockwell writes, "Arms traffic is expanding under the administration of George W. Bush. The administration recently lifted the embargo on arms sales to contending nuclear powers - India and Pakistan - where riots, massacres, religious uprisings and border showdowns take place routinely... George Orwell's brilliant essay on empire and nationalism applies directly to the mendacity of the Bush administration: 'Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage - torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians - which does not change its moral color when it is committed by 'our' side... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.' It is time to measure human rights by one yardstick - to hold the suppliers, not just the purchasers, of death accountable for their handiwork."

Depleted Uranium (New and Old) will Produce More Gulf War Syndrome Victims

Globe and Mail reports, "'If they wish to launch Gulf War II, they had better be prepared to lose many of their soldiers to Gulf War Syndrome II,' said Dr. Mona al-Jibowei, dean of the science faculty at Baghdad University. 'The allied soldiers went home after being exposed to depleted uranium. Iraq has lived with its devastating effects for the past 12 years.'... [When tank-destroying] shells coated with depleted uranium punch through layers of hardened steel, they ignite on impact, creating a fiery burst of radioactive particles inside an enemy armoured vehicle. It is this 'aerosol' that most experts believe causes the variety of long-term health problems associated with gulf war syndrome... 'If the Americans do attack us, they will inherit a hostile environment of radioactive toxicity,' said Dr. al-Jibowei. 'They will face the same tragedy that Iraq is already suffering. Everyone will end up buried in Iraq.'"

W-ar Is Only Possible Because the Corporate Propaganda Machine Scrubs the Images of Death

Robert Fisk writes, "Today, when I listen to the threats of George Bush against Iraq and the shrill moralistic warnings of Tony Blair, I wonder what they know of this terrible reality. Does George, who declined to serve his county in Vietnam, have any idea what these corpses smell like? Does Tony have the slightest conception of what the flies are like, the big bluebottles that feed on the dead of the Middle East, and then come to settle on our faces and our notepads? Soldiers know. I remember one British officer asking to use the BBC's satellite phone just after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. He was talking to his family in England and I watched him carefully. 'I have seen some terrible things,' he said. And then he broke down, weeping and shaking and holding the phone dangling in his hand over the transmission set. Did his family have the slightest idea what he was talking about? They would not have understood by watching television."

W-ar Drums Beat Louder After Dems Whooped

Deborah Orin writes: "GOP gains in Congress put Bush in a stronger position, and show the world that America is united behind him, as he heads toward a showdown with Saddam Hussein, aides say. 'It demonstrates to the world that Bush is being supported by the American people,' said a senior official. 'It helps us at the U.N. Security Council, though to some extent that depends on the country. But clearly Mr. Bush expended political capital - invested it well given the election's outcome - and that demonstrates the resolve of the American people to deal with this threat.'...Bush aides say America's election vote of confidence...a clear signal to reluctant allies like France and Russia that he has support at home to bypass the United Nations if it balks at getting tough on Saddam. U.S. officials say the best argument to convince Russia and France to back the get-tough approach is to convince them that Bush will act with them or without them."

Madison's Ghost on The Intoxicated Presidency and Its Corporate Support Group

Thom Hartmann writes: "Terrorism...is not an enemy: it's a tactic. Unless you want to have a perpetual war, you must declare war against an enemy, not a behavior....James Madison, who had just helped shepherd through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and would become President of the United States in the following decade, wrote, 'Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation,' he concluded, 'could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.'...Military spending is the least effective way to help, stimulate, or sustain an economy for a very simple identified: military products are used once and destroyed."

'You're Either With Us, Or You're Whacko'

Maureen Farrell writes: "'I was talking to a Congressional office,' Bob Novak reported on Crossfire. 'They told me that the phone calls coming in were 571 against the war, 3 for the war. You got that? [The unnamed congressman] is going 100 percent for George Bush, not saying a word of criticism, because he knows it's the nuts calling in and that the real people are supporting the resolution.' As one of the 'nuts calling in,' I was taken aback. Did a congressman actually say that? Is that how America's representatives feel? Given the arrogance of the congressman's assertion, it seems some of us need to hightail it to the Land of Leahy and Jeffords to get the representation our taxation is rumored to buy. A couple days later, on Resolution Day, my senses were similarly assaulted; this time, via e-mail from MSNBC's Hardball. 'Of course Byrd went on another tirade this morning,' it read, and I wondered how Byrd's 'tirade' could possibly be an annoyance, considering what's at stake."

New Poll Shows Growing Opposition to Invading Iraq

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, only a third of the American people approve of the U.S. acting alone against Iraq; and the percentage of people who would approve if the U.S. were part of a coalition is also dropping. Only 25% favor an invasion if it would result in U.S. casualties (and when was there ever a war without casualties?). Call your members of Congress today and make sure they know how unpopular Bush's W-ar is.

Rudyard Kipling's Haunting Epitaph for Soldiers Lost in Imperialist Wars

Conn Hallinan writes: "Every time I hear the likes of... Dick Cheney or... Donald Rumsfeld go on about war with Iraq, it reminds me of a tiny church in the lovely Devon countryside. A sudden rainstorm had driven my family inside, and waiting it out, we wandered through the chapels reading the names of those buried in the walls and floors: Sgt. Brown, killed in the explosion of the arsenal at Dum Dum during the Indian Sepoy Rebellion of 1857; a corporal who died in Iraq; a young lieutenant shipped home in a box from the Boer War; a wall given over to Flanders and the Somme. It was a history lesson Congress should keep in mind when it begins its debate over Iraq: wars are built on the bones of the young, and they always come home... Sgt. Brown, the corporal and the lieutenant were blinded by the myth of empire, and they paid for it with their lives. Rudyard Kipling's epitaph for them still resonates today: 'If any question why we died/Tell them because our fathers lied.'"

Imagine the Newscast: 'The US Today Conducted a Peaceful Attack' Under Bush's 'First Strike Nuclear Policy'

In March, 2002, the Washington Post reported: "The Bush administration is working to codify the evolution of U.S. strategic nuclear doctrine from the Cold War policy of massive retaliation against the Soviet Union to a more flexible system that warns of a preemptive strike against hostile countries that threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. The policy would give U.S. presidents the option of conducting a preemptive strike with precision-guided conventional bombs or nuclear weapons. This system, which Pentagon planners call 'offensive deterrence,' would put an official end to the practice of assigning a set of fixed targets for the U.S. nuclear force, the vast majority of them in the former Soviet Union. It would replace it with a more flexible targeting scheme in which weapons could be aimed at states that threaten or use chemical, nuclear or biological arms against the United States or its allies."

War is a Political Disaster - But Will the Politicians Listen?

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) writes: "Contrary to conventional wisdom, war is never politically beneficial... for two reasons: innocent people die, and the economy is always damaged. These two things, after the dust settles from the hype and the propaganda, always make the people unhappy.... Since no one wants to hear anymore of morality, constitutionality and justice, possibly some will listen to the politics of war, since that is what drives so many. A token victory at the polls this fall by using a vote on the war as a lever will be to little avail. It may not even work in the short run. Surely, history shows that war is never a winner, especially when the people who have to pay, fight, and die for it come to realize that the war was not even necessary and had nothing to do with national security or fighting for freedom, but was promoted by special interests who stood to gain from taking over a sovereign country." Maybe if toesucker Dick Morris said this, politicians would listen.

America v. the World

Adbusters writes, Here is your assignment: "List direct American military intervention on other nations' soil from World War II to the present day. Do not include: indirect military involvement such as arms sales, however significant (e.g. Israel); nuclear threats or nuclear testing (e.g. Marshall Islands); establishment of controversial bases or defense systems (e.g. Western Europe, Saudi Arabia); humanitarian missions that did not involve combat; or the geopolitical impacts of military treaty development, acceptance or rejection. Discuss." You'll never guess how many wars we've had - just since WWII.

Who Benefits If We Go To W-ar?

Brought to you courtesy of our ever so succinct compatriots, Blah.com. Can you help speed this around the net?

Looking for the Two-Thirds Who Support War - and Not Finding Them

The polls say two-thirds of the American people support Bush's war plans. Who are those people? A New York Times reporter went looking for them, but discovered they're harder to find than an honest Enron executive.

An Open Letter to Bruce Springsteen about the War on Terrorism

Gary Leupp writes: "Dear Bruce, First of all, let me express my deep love and respect for you. I've been a fan of yours since the 1970s, when as a grad student in Hawaii I heard 'Factory' over my car radio. Yes! I thought, this is the music we need. My roommate had the 'Born to Run' LP, and I played it so much he finally just gave it to me. I still have it; it skips in places, but of course I've now had the CD for years so I just show that LP--and all those other Springsteen LPs, right next to the Beatles and Dylan LPs--to my kids, as lovely museum pieces. I went to Japan to study, in 1981. I bought the Japanese issue of 'Born to Run,' with katakana all over the cover and a detailed Japanese-language commentary and lyrics translation inside--even before I bought a stereo for my apartment. Just wanted to have it there, in that little space without furniture, linking my worlds of Japanese studies and my American roots; I studied the Japanese lyrics..."

'Den of Thieves': Musical Vanguard Against the Oil War and Bush Fascism

American patriots are rising up in protest of Bush's fascism (Webster: "a political regimeā€¦that exalts nation ["you're with us or against us"] and race [anti-Arab, anti-Muslim rhetoric] above the individual [United We Stand] and that stands for centralized autocratic government [Homeland Security reorganization] headed by a dictatorial leader ["If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier" GWB], severe economic [tax cut welfare for the wealthy, defunding programs] and social regimentation [TIPS snitch program], and forcible suppression of opposition ['enemy combatants,' PATRIOT Act]"). Listen to the American Stranger's first cut from the upcoming CD, Den of Thieves. "Desperate times call for artists to speak out against the threat of world war, loss of freedom and creeping fascism. Den Of Thieves is music for our times - and a warning to the powers that be that we will not surrender any of our rights without a fight. Evil is real, and it must be called what it is."

Masters of War Bush and Blair Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Harald T. Nesvik, a right-wing Norwegian Member of Parliament, has nominated Tony Blair and George W. Bush for the Nobel Peace Prize for their "decisive action against terrorism, something I believe in the future will be the greatest threat to peace." By definition, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." But Tony Blair has ordered more military actions than any U.K. leader since World War II, and George W. Bush has urged massive increases to the size and funding of the U.S. military. They have initiated an undefined, open-ended "War on Terrorism" which they threaten to expand to other nations... Cheney told the Washington Post that the campaign of warfare the President was launching "may never end. At least, not in our lifetimes." Use this page to e-mail your opposition!

It's Time for a Department of Peace - Sign the Petition

"We suggest the establishment of the Department of Peace, as proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and the immediate appointment of Bill Clinton to head it. Not only is President Clinton's peacemaking ability a proven quality, but his popularity throughout Europe would be a great asset in building true alliances, not faulty ones that last only when they are bought. Our people deserve this. Our nation is threatened from within and without, and such dangers should forbid our playing politics or looking for personal gain during such times. We feel that the hearts of our founding fathers would be broken by the turn of events in the past year. We believe that history would be grateful to the Bush Administration for putting these life-determining issues into capable hands." Sign the Petition!

Instead of a Call to Arms, Dennis Kucinich Issues a Call to Peace

As Shrub leads us into a new dangerous era of embracing war and "bunker busting" nuclear weapons, House Progressive Caucus chair Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) calls for clearer-thinking heads to speak out for peace. "We have reached a moment in our country's history where it is urgent that people everywhere speak out... to protect the peace of the nation and world within and without. We should speak out and caution leaders who generate fear through talk of the endless war or the final conflict... Because when one person thinks: fight! he or she finds a fight. One faction thinks: war! and starts a war. One nation thinks: nuclear! and approaches the abyss. And what of one nation which thinks peace, and seeks peace?" Write your representatives today and urge them to support Kucinich's bill, HR 2459, to create a Department of Peace.

Mark Twain's 'Prayer' from 100 Years Ago Is Disturbingly Poignant Today

Exactly 100 years ago, the United States concluded its savagely blood war against the Philippines, which left 4,600 Americans and 272,000 Filippinos dead. One of America's most beloved authors, Mark Twain, was bitterly disillusioned by his nation's involvement in such a mismatched and pointless conflict. In a powerful effort to open the eyes of his fellow countryment, he wrote an essay called "A Prayer." Now, thanks to the Bush administration, Twain's "Prayer" is more poignant and meaningful than ever.

In Bush World, As in Conflict-Driven Kashmir, War is Business

Kashmir is the scene of what smug Americans might call a "Third World conflict." But the situation there bears a startling similarity to the warmongering trend in our own "Third World America" under the Bush regime. In Kashmir, they have found that war PAYS, and big time to willing vultures. Scott Baldauf of the "Christian Science Monitor" writes "The list of those who have been indicted for kickbacks, bribe-taking, and war profiteering reads like a who's who of Kashmiri high society - including Kashmiri separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Abdul Ghani Lone, Indian businessman S.K. Jain, and even a few top state bureaucrats and politicians, such as Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani." Sounds like Bushworld to us - just change the scale of the conflict and put in new names: Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kissinger (whoops! he's still supposed to be "secret"), and dozens of other corporate sleazoids who have made a fortune helping to blow countries up, then rebuild them.