Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Petraeus says Bye-Bye-Bye

Thom Shanker and Stephen Farrell's "Gates Praise Petraeus On Eve of Duty Transfer" (New York Times, A13) covers US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' trip to Iraq yesterday to "preside over Tuesday's change-of-command ceremony" (Petraeus to Odierno) and notes "at least 32 people" died yesterday in violence across Iraq and Gates' 'joke' that US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Gen David Petraeus have alternated playing "good cop, bad cop" in Iraq. The reporters fail to inform how many (if any) Iraqis laughed at the 'joke.' Leila Fadel offers "Petraeus, credited with Iraq progress, recalls agonizing day in '07" (McClatchy Newspapers):

Major legislation -- such as an oil revenue-sharing law, constitutional amendments and a provincial elections law -- is still on hold as sectarian political blocs quabble. The fate of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk -- which Kurds want to absorb into the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region while most Arab Iraqis oppose the move -- could be explosive. Basic services such as electricity and water, hampered by shoddy infrastructure -- further damaged by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent violence -- still aren't being delivered.
Petraeus said he was hopeful that the successes credited to him would continue under his successor, the former Number 2 commander in Iraq.
"I truly believe that General Odierno is exactly the right man for the job," he said. "His experience, his intellect, his ability and his leadership qualities, all of that, all of those elements are ideal. . . . I have complete confidence in him, and will endeavor as the Central Command commander to help him in Iraq, and Ambassador Crocker, in every way that we can." He was referring to Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
Now Petraeus moves on to challenges at the U.S. Central Command.

From Julian E. Barnes and Tina Susman's "U.S. officials warn against leaving Iraq forces on their own too soon" (Los Angeles Times):

Monday's carnage, including the worst bombing in Baghdad in weeks, showed the unpredictable nature of Iraq's security situation. Police said two car bombs timed to go off minutes apart along the same busy Baghdad street killed at least 13 people and injured 35.
Hours later, a woman walked into a party at a police officer's home in Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad, and blew herself up. Police said 22 people were killed.

And Robert H. Reid (AP) reports that the handover from Petraeus to Odierno has already taken place today, "With Defense Secretary Robert Gates presiding at the ceremony in a cavernous rotunda of a former Saddam Hussein palace outside Baghdad, Petraeus handed over the flag of his command, known as Multi-National Force Iraq, to Odierno and then bade farewell."
Meanwhile, Derek Kravitz' "Ex-White House Aide: 'Surge' Wasn't Just About More Troops" (Washington Post) noted yesterday:

Meghan O'Sullivan, the former national security adviser to the Bush administration and a chief architect of the president's surge strategy for the Iraq War, says it is a mistaken notion that the reason for the surge's success was simply that it sent more U.S. troops to Iraq.
"Perhaps more important than the insertion of additional U.S. troops into Iraq was the change in the mission these troops were given," she said in an online chat today with Post readers.

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate. This was e-mailed to the public account "Greens compare McKinney/Clemente and Obama/Biden on US war policies, impeachement, environment, and energy"


For Immediate Release:
Monday, September 1, 2008

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Greens promote 'Peace Slate' and call Obama/Biden the 'faux antiwar' ticket, citing Obama's record and warhawk positions on military funding, US troops in Afghanistan, threats against Iran; McKinney speaks out on Dems' complicity in Bush-Cheney hijacking of the US

Video: Cindy Sheehan endorses Cynthia McKinney for President
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOZlpLmL7wk
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRNA6nnT2OY

Video: Cynthia McKinney discusses major issues

Ms. McKinney on the Democratic Party:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Calling the Obama/Biden ticket the "faux antiwar" candidates, Green Party leaders urged national support and votes for the Green Party nominees, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, and for the party's 'Peace Slate' of candidates for Congress and other offices.

Greens challenged the belief among many pro-Obama voters that his candidacy opposed the warhawk actions of the Bush-Cheney White House, and noted that the Democrat-led Congress elected in 2006 -- including Sen. Obama -- endorsed most of the Bush Administration's legislative agenda.

Green leaders also noted that the Democratic leadership, including Sen. Obama, failed to hold the President and Vice President accountable for a host of crimes and abuses of power and rejected motions for impeachment. In 2006, Cynthia McKinney, as Georgia Representative to the US House, introduced the first impeachment motion. (See below for a comparison of McKinney/Clemente and Obama/Biden on military and foreign policy, energy and the environment, and impeachment.)

In a sharply worded speech delivered in Denver on August 24, Ms. McKinney discussed the complicity of the Democratic Party in the Bush Administration's 'hijacking' of America:

"When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties.... The Democratic Party's national leadership gave us the Iran Naval Blockade bill, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and telecom immunity. They continue to fund war and occupation to the tune of $720 million a day while our children graduate from college tens -- or even hundreds -- of thousands of dollars in debt. Entire cities are going into receivership while the Democratic leadership in Congress gives the Pentagon one half trillion dollars annually with no accountability, no strings attached. That's over and above spending for war."

Ms. McKinney noted that "[t]he Democratic Party's national leadership didn't even mention Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the first 100 days."
Video of speech: Speech in Denver, August 24: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPxgcjOjUEc
Text of speech: http://votetruth08.com/

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

  • call for US troops to be brought home safe and sound, with an immediate and orderly withdrawal of all US military and contracted personnel from Iraq. The Green Party and Green candidates opposed the invasion and occupation since the Bush Administration announced its intention to wage war on Iraq.

  • have urged Congress to cut off funding for the war.

  • would hold the Bush Administration responsible for deceiving the public with false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, posed a threat to the US and to Iraq's own neighbors, had conspired with al Qaeda, and played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

  • have opposed 'benchmarks' that would allow US and UK corporations to take control over most Iraqi oil resources.

  • support an end to the US occupation of Afghanistan.

Video: Cynthia McKinney speaks on economics and war spending http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOFb_I6xpzI
Rep. McKinney grills Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld on the FY 2006 defense budget (May 2005) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eootfzAhAoU

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

  • offer a delayed timetable for partial troop withdrawal, and would leave private US military personnel and tens of thousands of troops in Iraq to protect "American interests"(Iraqi oil resources), as well as expand US combat forces in surrounding nations. The Democratic Party leadership supported the Iraq War from the beginning, believing Bush Administration deceptions, and voted with Republicans to surrender Congress's war power to the White House.

  • continued to vote for President Bush's requests for more war funding. Democrats, including Mr. Obama, approved all war funding bills after gaining control of Congress in 2006, despite their claim of opposition to the Iraq War.

  • have supported 'benchmarks' giving US and UK corporations control over Iraqi oil, which would require continued US troop presence in Iraq to protect corporate interests. In recent campaign ads, Mr. Obama's language about US access to Iraqi oil confirms the Democrats' occupation-for-oil agenda.

  • support continued US occupation and war on Afghanistan: Mr. Obama called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

Foreign and Military Policy

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

  • would slash the US military budget, reducing it to the amount needed for defense of US, and redirect the savings to human needs.

  • strongly oppose President Bush's threats to attack Iran.

  • support cutoff of military aid to Israel, and demand US pressure on Israel to end the brutal occupation of Palestine and suppression of Palestinian and Israeli Arab human rights, in accord with international law and UN directives.

  • oppose manipulation by the Bush Administration and NATO of the Russia-Georgia conflict in order to isolate Russia and jump-start a new Cold War, citing White House approval and assistance for Georgia's invasion of Ossetia.

  • seek an end to the US embargo of Cuba

  • favor nonviolent solutions to international conflict.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

  • support a huge military budget, voted for increases in military funding.

  • have signed on to President Bush's threat to attack Iran, repeating White House misinformation about Iran's nuclear capabilities and embracing Bush-Cheney doctrine of preemptive warfare.

  • avoid criticizing Israel and dismiss international law and UN directives on Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinian lands; would maintain a foreign policy that conforms to Israel's regional military objectives.

  • endorse most of the Bush Administration line on the Russia-Georgia conflict.

  • favor a continued US embargo of Cuba.

Global Warming, Energy, and the Environment

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

  • call for far-reaching short-term and long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and favor major conservation programs to cut US energy consumption

  • seek widespread economic reorganization and millions of new jobs in conservation and conversion to safe, clean energy sources.

  • oppose nuclear energy, which creates huge amounts of toxic waste and multiple security risks, and off-shore drilling, and favor a ban on new coal fired-power plants and all mountaintop coal removal.

  • oppose widespread conversion to biofuels that require agricultural land needed for food production.

Video: Ms. McKinney on health, the environment, and economics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVNTOa8owQQ
Press release: http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=86

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

  • favor modest long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and ineffective corporate polluter-friendly carbon emissions trading schemes ('cap and trade').

  • don't talk about cuts in consumption.

  • support nuclear energy, biofuel production, and 'clean coal', and have dropped opposition to off-shore drilling: Sen. Obama receives major campaign contributions from nuclear and ethanol industries and supports their goals.

Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

  • endorse impeachment of Bush and Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors: deception and manipulation of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq; cover-ups of information about impending 9/11 attacks; use of torture; denial of habeas corpus and due process; warrantless surveillance of US citizens; hundreds of 'signing statements' to exempt the President from executing over 1,000 federal laws; censoring and tampering with scientific research to conceal the seriousness of global warming; responsibility for the deaths of as many as one million Iraqi civilians and over 4,000 US servicemembers. Ms. McKinney was the first member of Congress to introduce a motion for impeachment, in 2006.

  • opposed the 'telecomm immunity' bill blocking prosecution of telecommunications companies that allowed warrantless spying on US citizens.

  • call for a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

  • support establishment of an International Criminal Court to prosecute war crimes.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

  • oppose motions for impeachment, despite Bush Administration's numerous crimes and abuses of power. The Democratic Party leadership has blocked efforts to pursue impeachment.

  • voted for the telecomm immunity bill.

  • do not support a new, independent investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

  • are silent on establishing an International Criminal Court.


Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml

Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml

Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers

Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections

Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 'Power to the People' Campaign for the White House

"How the Democrats Helped Bush Hijack the Country"
By Cynthia McKinney, CounterPunch, August 27, 2008

Cynthia McKinney on video
Speech in Denver, August 24: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPxgcjOjUEc
Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx1NPlQjkqo

2008 Green National Convention, July 10-13 in Chicago, Illinois

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

the new york times

mcclatchy newspapers

 the los angeles times
 tina susman

the washington post