Thursday, January 12, 2006

Indymedia roundup focus on the war

Yesterday Mr. Bush warned U.S. citizens of more violence in Iraq…again.
He called it the "price of progress" as Iraq "moves toward democracy."
In the shady, smoke and mirror filled world of Mr. Bush where violence is progress and Iraq inches ever closer to their elusive "democracy," truth remains ever distant from the rhetoric of his speech writers.
Mr. Bush referred to "a good deal of political turmoil" in Iraq as "freedom in action."
If only reality matched his hallucinatory projections…
If only Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, the most influential politician in Iraq and leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, hadn't issued a not-so-veiled warning yesterday to Sunni Arab Iraqis that the ruling Shiites would not allow significant amendments to the country's new constitution…
If only…
The commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, speaking to members of Veterans of Foreign Wars also stated yesterday, "We will continue to hand over territory to the Iraqis so they can defend their democracy, so they can do the hard work, and our troops will be able to come home with the honor they have earned."
Like Brandon Bare from North Carolina.
The 19 year-old soldier returned from Iraq last April, wounded with cuts and other injuries from a grenade attack. Three months after his return home young Brandon Bare found it necessary to kill his 18 year-old wife by stabbing her 71 times. He was obviously traumatized by his time in Iraq which found him engaged in combat in both Mosul and Fallujah.
"Pacified" Fallujah, the "City of Hope," as FOX "News" likes to call it, where three more U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday when their Humvee was destroyed by a roadside bomb…and a fourth soldier, like Brandon Bare, was wounded in action.
Yet, the land of hallucinations is a nice place to be for someone like Mr. Bush, who also said yesterday that most Iraqis are upbeat about their future.
Despite rampant kidnappings, unemployment soaring to well over 50%, little electricity, no potable water and violence continuing unabated, Bush said, "The vast majority of Iraqis prefer freedom with intermittent power to life in the permanent darkness of tyranny and terror."
The security is so bad in Baghdad now that many people now don't leave their homes unless it is absolutely necessary. Rampant abductions of Iraqis are symptomatic of the escalating lawlessness in Iraq which is of course aggravated by the political turmoil that has engulfed the country since the December 15 polls.
Iraqi officials say as many as 30 Iraqis a day are reported kidnapped in Baghdad. The abductions are part of the rising lawlessness accompanying the country's political turmoil/"freedom in action."

The above is from Dahr Jamail's "Freedom in action" (Iraq Dispatches) and was noted by Mia.
It's Thursday, time for indymedia roundup and this entry focuses on the invasion/occupation of Iraq. There are two activism highlights as well as another report on Iraq.

Protest Against Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Continuous Funding of the War in Iraq
Saturday January 14, 2006
Marina Middle School Auditorium
3500 Fillmore Street (between Bay and Chestnut) San Francisco, CA
Stand with us as we say, "Nancy, Stop Funding War!"
Nancy Pelosi will hold a Town Hall meeting the morning of Saturday January 14th to discuss National Security, meanwhile we'll be outside protesting her continuous support for a military war chest. While she has personally supported Rep. John Murtha's call for withdrawal from the ground war, she explicitly refuses to use her power as house minority leader to move the Democratic Party Caucus towards supporting even Murtha's resolution; she will not support HR 4232, the bill introduced by Representative James McGovern, to prohibit the use of funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq. Nancy Pelosi consistently votes to spend billions of dollars per year on the war in Iraq while vital public services are being cut at home!

That's a call to action noted by Brenda, CODEPINK's "Protest Against Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Continuous Funding of the War in Iraq" (San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia).

Second call to action is noted by Heath, "A Call to Conscience for the U.S. Congress" (Oklahoma Independent Media Center):

A campaign of nonviolent action to compel our elected representatives in Congress to meet the demands of justice and peace
Despite the voices and actions of millions of Americans, it is clear that President Bush has neither the desire nor the wisdom to end the war in Iraq - a war based on lies from its inception.As the death toll in this war continues to mount - having taken the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqis - and as the monetary cost of the Iraq war closes in on a staggering half trillion dollars, nonviolent activists must take the next step and demand that our Representatives and Senators in Congress who approved the beginning of this war now bring it to an end. There is neither victory nor stability to be had in our continued military occupation of a foreign country - only more death, more destruction, more fear and more hatred.

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance - which organized the "Remember and Resist" September 26th mass action at the White House and the November 18th "National Stand Down Day" actions at recruiting centers across the country - is organizing "A Call to Conscience for the U.S. Congress." Starting during the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birth, and continuing through the third commemoration of the beginning of the Iraq War, we ask that concerned activists across the country join us in a campaign of nonviolent sit-ins and related actions at Congressional offices, demanding that they vote and act to bring the war and U.S. military occupation to an end..
As we recognize the great risks and danger that civilians and soldiers are exposed to in Iraq every day, so it is our moral responsibility to assume risks, through nonviolent action, that might expose the injustice of this war and help bring it to an end. Our willingness to engage in these actions is grounded in the spirit of nonviolence and love, with compassion and respect for all we encounter. But our nonviolence will not be mistaken for lack of resolve. We will stand up, and speak out, and sit-in, as needed, until our elected leaders in Congress take action.
More materials will be produced shortly for the campaign. We understand that some groups have well-developed, ongoing campaigns involving nonviolent direct action at congressional offices, while for others this is fairly new. We will share information and resources, including success stories from groups who have organized effective actions, to help those just getting started to plan their actions, and to figure out their political demands of their Congresspeople, and/or their message to the media. We do urge your organization to get started as soon as possible, though, by asking your Representative or Senator for a meeting - the House, at least, is in recess for all of January, so your Representatives should be available in their district offices.
We look forward to working with hundreds of groups across the nation to build a powerful campaign of nonviolent resistance against the war in Iraq - please join us! For more information and to join the campaign, please contact us at or
Read further:

Doug's highlight takes us back to Iraq, Brian Conley and Isam Rashid's "Another Raid Brings Further Alienation" (IPS):

BAGHDAD, Jan 12 (IPS) - The Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni organisation that was created in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, was again targeted by the United States military last Sunday. The raid on its mosque served only to alienate Sunnis further. The Association of Muslim Scholars, now considered the highest Sunni authority in Iraq, has been working to support those who have lost their families, or the unemployed.

It is also a strong critic of the United States occupation. Its stand has provoked several raids by the U.S. army and continuing conflict with the Shia-dominated interim government. This most recent raid appears to have been related to the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll. No one has yet claimed responsibility for her abduction.
The Association of Muslim Scholars has been accused of links with resistance groups in the past, but there is no known connection between the organisation and such groups, or with the abduction of Jill Carroll. The U.S. forces apparently acted on a tip-off from one Iraqi.
The U.S. forces raided the Umm Al Qura Mosque in the early morning, just two days before Eid al Adha, which concludes the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. The Association offices are based at this mosque.
"At 3:30am the U.S. troops and the Iraqi army raided the mosque," Akram Ahmed, a guard at the mosque told IPS. "Some of the U.S. troops came down from helicopters. They arrested seven guards and Sheikh Yunis Al Ugaidi."
The Sheikh is a Sunni religious leader. U.S. troops were evidently looking for Jill Carroll.
"They were looking for secret places in the mosque, and they asked about the American journalist," Ahmed said. "But they didn't find anything about that."
It is difficult to understand why the United States would single out the Association of Muslim Scholars as an initial target in the investigation of Jill Carroll's abduction. The organisation has condemned the taking of hostages in Iraq. It has opposed the political process under the occupation, but has continued to call for peace.

Melinda advises us about the lead up to next week's tribunal on Bully Boy (Riverside Church, NYC, Friday and Saturday, Columbia University on Sunday -- see Ruth's entry for more information) via her highlight, mjb's "International citizen's commission attempts to serve indictments at White House" (DC Indymedia):

Activists representing the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed By the Bush Administration tried to deliver an indictment against George W. Bush today at the White House. While the papers -- carried to the gate by former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern -- were ultimately not accepted, about two dozen participants and supporters attracted the attention of media, tourists, and the secret service as they held a press conference and then approached the White House's Northwest Appointment Gate.
Larry Everest, author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda, described the Commission as a project that evolved out of the
Not In Our Name Statement of Conscience. He said that "when people of conscience suspect that crimes against humanity have happened they have a responsibility to look into them," nearly quoting the commision's charter. "It considers itself international because "we invite the participation of people around the world." Everest also said that he believes "this country has an enormous impact" on the rest of the world in areas of "pollution, arms control, human rights, women's health." Everest continued, "We are carrying out our work with a sense of responsibility internationally."
On Pennsylvania Avenue today Everest gathered with Ray McGovern, Ruby Dee, former State Department employee and journalist William Blum, and representatives of Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy Rising, the World Can't Wait organization, Code Pink and others. They denounced the Bush White House for "Wars of Aggression," "Torture and Indefinite Detention," "Destruction of the Planet," "Attacks on Public Health," and "Criminal Neglect after [Hurricane] Katrina."
Kevin Zeese of Democracy Rising, and a candidate from Maryland for the U.S. Senate, said that based on these allegations and other overt violations of civil liberties "we have the most impeachable president" in history. William Blum replied to the broad question of "how can they can get away with this" with admonishment not to give leaders "credit for having good intentions" and to stop "assuming they're bumblers," alluding to a history of stated motivations and intentions not being supported by actions or results.

Lastly, Doug asked that we try to note MLK each day in the lead up to the 16th. Members have taken up the challenge. A number of you e-mailed with event schedules and news articles on events. I worked every one of those into my column for the gina & krista round-robin that gets sent out tomorrow. So please check to see if there are events in your areas.

Dallas found a highlight that provides audio and video. "Honor The Memory of Martin Luther King - Get Active." We've offered various text highlights or I wouldn't be providing a link that has no text basis. I know that some members are on older and/or slower computers (and that some, either due to using a public computer or not having a sound card) aren't able to watch or listen online. If we weren't providing something each day to note MLK, I probably wouldn't provide the link because I know it won't be available to all members. But since there have been many highlights (and we've got some more coming), I'm going to offer this one. If this is a problem, please let me know. I don't intend to offer any link that isn't potentially available to all members in the future. I can't imagine doing that unless we were highlighting a theme daily. If my decision has upset anyone, I apologize to you. Blame it on my being tired, very tired, and enjoying the link myself. The link takes you to audio and video "brought to you by" CODEPINK, Global Exchange and Black Voices for Peace.

The e-mail address for this site (fingers crossed) is (And members can return to using the members' e-mail address as well.)