Monday, October 30, 2006

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For our children, our grandchildren and the world, it is imperative to put our bodies on the line for peace and accountability.
The time for fear is over; the time for courage has begun.
Show BushCo that we are not afraid of them anymore and that we want our country back and our troops home from Iraq. Our state has not only become "lawless," it thinks it is above the law.
Show the irresponsible Congress that, no matter if they call themselves Republican or Democrat; we are holding them responsible for this nation's troubles, too.
Come to DC and "
Sit-Down for Change, and Stand-Up for Peace."
We will be waiting for you and your grandchildren will thank you.

The above, noted by Eddie, is from Cindy Sheehan's "Sit-Down for Change and Stand-Up for Peace" (BuzzFlash). The sit-down is in DC and scheduled to run from November 6th to 9th. On November 9th Military Families Speak Out begins the following:

On November 9, 2006, Military Families Speak Out members, along with Iraq veterans and veterans of other wars, will be delivering a petition to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and to Congress calling for an end to the Back Door Draft and for all of our troops to be brought home now! On November 11, Veterans Day, we will be honoring the fallen in Washington, DC, with a display of flags representing U.S. troops who have died in the war and photographs of Iraqi children, women and men whose lives have been lost. We need your help! Click here to sponsor a flag and sign our petition online.

On Saturday, from Pakistan's The News-International:

LOS ANGELES: Thousands of protesters marched against the Iraq war and the government of President George W. Bush in Los Angeles and San Francisco, just days ahead of crucial congressional elections.
In Los Angeles, some 2,000 demonstrators rallied in Hollywood chanting anti-war slogans such as "Give peace a chance" and "The war is over if you want it," in references to hit protest songs by the late Beatle John Lennon. More standard chants included "US out of Iraq" and "Endless war means endless profits."
Speakers at the event included anti-war activists Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, and Ron Kovic, a Vietnam war veteran whose story was immortalized on the screen by actor Tom Cruise in the movie "Born on the Fourth of July."

Also on the march (marches also too place in San Francisco and Chicago, among other sites), from North County Times:

About 1,200 people, including vocal anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and a handful of celebrities, marched to CNN's Hollywood bureau Saturday calling for an end to the war in Iraq."To stop the war in Iraq, to bring the troops home, that is the major point," said Carlos Alvarez, a member of a student-based group that makes up part of the A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition.
They chose to march to CNN because they believe the network's coverage is too pro-war and too pro-President Bush, Alvarez said. CNN used yellow tape to block protesters from the their entrance. They did not answer phone calls and their voice mail was full.
The protest march, hosted by the Coalition, kicked off at noon with a rally at Hollywood and Vine, followed by the march to the CNN office at Cahuenga and Sunset Blvd. At the CNN building, protestors participated in a mock tribunal.

In Iraq today, the chaos and violence continues. Christopher Bodeen (AP) notes:

A bomb tore through food stalls and kiosks in a sprawling Shiite slum Monday, killing at least 31 people, while the U.S. military announced the death of the 100th servicemember in
Iraq this month.

The 6:15 a.m. explosion in Sadr City targeted poor Shiites who gather there each morning hoping to be hired as construction workers. At least 51 people were wounded, said police Maj. Hashim al-Yasiri.

And for a story on some trying to cope and live in the violence and chaose, from Michael Luo's "On Dangerous Footing in Iraq, Where Dancing Is a Courageous Act" (New York Times):

The members of the national dance troupe of Iraq are performers without an audience. They rehearse daily, but hardly ever put on a show.
Yet each turn of the hip and dip at the waist in their choreographed pieces has become weighted with a dangerous new reality, even as they wait for the chaos around them to subside so they can perform again. In today's Iraq, with conservative religious parties and radical militias exerting growing influence over every aspect of life, even dancing is an act of bravery.
"Society is overwhelmed by these religious ideologies," said Tariq Ibrahim, a male dancer in the Baghdad troupe, the Iraqi National Folklore Group. "Now a woman on the street without a head scarf attracts attention. What about a woman onstage dancing?"
Together they are a band of 10 women and 15 men from varied religious backgrounds. Once they toured the world together. Today they are simply trying to survive, hoping one day to thrive again as a troupe. But the religiosity sweeping Iraq does not bode well for their future.

We'll close with Seth's highlight, from Linda McQuaig's "The Real Problem is That it is Illegal for One Country to Invade Another Country" (Toronto Star via Common Dreams):

Much has changed in the way the mainstream media deal with the war in Iraq. Most commentators now acknowledge the war is a disaster and will hurt the Republicans badly in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.
But one thing hasn't changed -- the willingness to believe that the motives for war, however misguided, were basically honourable.
So the criticism centres instead on the Bush administration's inept handling of the war.
Canada's own Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leadership front-runner, tries to slough off his former enthusiastic support for the war by now saying he hadn't "anticipated how incompetent the Americans would be."
But incompetence is a side issue. The real problem is, and always has been, that it is illegal -- not to mention immoral -- for a country to invade another country, in other words, to wage a war of aggression.

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