Monday, July 23, 2007

Democratic or Republican ... the U.S. has no intention to really withdraw from Iraq!

a project of the Nation Institute

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Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Democratic Doublespeak on Iraq

Start with the simplest, most basic fudge. Newspapers and the TV news constantly report on various plans for the "withdrawal of American troops" from Iraq, when what's being proposed is the withdrawal of American "combat troops" or "combat brigades."

This isn't a matter of splitting hairs; it's the difference between a plan for full-scale withdrawal and a plan to remain in Iraq in a different military form for the long term.

American combat brigades only add up to
perhaps half of the troops we presently have in that country.

There is, in fact, quite a gap between withdrawal from that embattled land and the withdrawal of some American troops, while many of the rest hunker down on the enormous,
all-but-permanent military bases the Pentagon has built there over the last four years -- while defending the largest embassy on the planet, now nearing completion (amid the normal woes that seem to go with American construction and "reconstruction") in Baghdad's heavily fortified but distinctly insecure Green Zone.

And yet, thanks to the carefully worded statements of leading Democratic (and Republican) politicians now criticizing the Bush administration, as well as generally terrible reporting in the mainstream media, most Americans who don't make it to the fine print or who don't wander widely on the political Internet, would have no way of knowing that withdrawal isn't withdrawal at all.

Ira Chernus, Tomdispatch regular and author of Monsters To Destroy, takes a careful look at the leading Democratic candidates for president and raises a few crucial, if largely unasked, questions about the nature of the positions they are taking on the Iraq War. - Tom

The Democrats' Iraqi Dilemma

Questions Unasked, Answers Never Volunteered

By Ira Chernus

Pity the poor Democratic candidates for president, caught between Iraq and a hard place. Every day, more and more voters decide that we must end the war and set a date to start withdrawing our troops from Iraq. Most who will vote in the Democratic primaries concluded long ago that we must leave Iraq, and they are unlikely to let anyone who disagrees with them have the party's nomination in 2008.

But what does it mean to "leave Iraq"? Here's where most of the Democratic candidates come smack up against that hard place. There is a longstanding bipartisan consensus in the foreign-policy establishment that the U.S. must control every strategically valuable region of the world -- and none more so than the oil heartlands of the planet. That's been a hard-and-fast rule of the elite for some six decades now. No matter how hard the task may be, they demand that presidents be rock-hard enough to get the job done.

So whatever "leave Iraq" might mean, no candidate of either party likely to enter the White House on January 20, 2009 can think it means letting Iraqis determine their own national policies or fate.

The powers that be just wouldn't stand for that.

They see themselves as the guardians of world "order." They feel a sacred obligation to maintain "stability" throughout the imperial domains, which now means most of planet Earth -- regardless of what voters may think.

The Democratic front-runners know that "order" and "stability" are code words for American hegemony. They also know that voters, especially Democratic ones, see the price of hegemony in Iraq and just don't want to pay it anymore.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.
Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia,
speaks for withdrawal from Iraq

"The situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate with more loss of lives, with even more hardship to Iraqi civilians.

The serious divisions within Iraq, unleashed by the war itself, have not been reduced. The Iraqi government has made no significant steps towards reconciliation and accommodation between the warring parties.

This is a situation that cannot be controlled by military force.

The troop surge, such as it was, failed.

There were over half a million Americans in Vietnam. They failed. With only a fraction of that number in Iraq it should be no surprise that continued reliance on military means is not succeeding.

More and more Americans are coming to accept that withdrawal must take place.

Senior and highly respected Republican Senators are deserting President Bush on this issue. The original objectives are almost entirely forgotten. There is no talk of Iraq establishing a benign, American style democracy that will spread to the rest of the Middle East.

Our withdrawal must be carefully planned, as a precipitous withdrawal in a week or a month would add to the chaos. And as the Baker-Hamilton Committee reported to Congress, all regional players, including Iran and Syria, must be drawn into discussions before we leave. Diplomacy now offers the only chance of a withdrawal accompanied by relative calm and peace.

One of the things we should say to the Americans, quite simply, is that if the United States is not prepared to involve itself in high level diplomacy concerning Iraq and other Middle East questions, our forces will be withdrawn before Christmas.

I encourage you to support GetUp's campaign for a change in policy.

Add your voice below to the thousands who have spoken already.
If enough speak, the Government has to listen."

Malcolm Fraser AC CH
Former Prime Minister of Australia

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


An urgent appeal from Len Aldis!
Seeking Justice for the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange !
The worst chemical warfare in history!
Millions of innocent people still affected, into the 3rd generation already!

Dear Friends,

Recently I was videoed on the issue of Agent Orange.

You can view the video by going to:

Although short, it is an important video and part of our campaign seeking Justice for the Victims of Agent Orange. When you have finished viewing there are a few actions I would like you to take.

1/ Please make a comment on what you have seen, this is very easy to do and due to the issue of Agent Orange extremely important. The more comments people make, the longer the video will be on view.

2/ Please circulate the site’s address to all your friends and contacts asking them to view it. If you or your friends have a website, please ask them to put a link to the Video.

3/ Please sign and again ask your friends to sign the online petition:

Finally, let’s get the message on the Video across to people all over the world.
We can, with your help, win Justice for the Victims of Agent Orange.

Len Aldis

PS. Now, as they say, a word from the director of the video Jeremy Smith:

“I want to thank each and every one of you who does make a comment, as we really want this video to get noticed and they way that happens on our site is when people comment.” - Jeremy.

Len Aldis.
Secretary Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society
Flat 2, 26 Tomlins Grove
London E3 4NX
Tel & Fax: 0208 980 7146
Mobile: 0779 657 1017

Please help the victims of Agent Orange by signing the petition at: