View from the Loft 

war and peace, politics, books, rants, the passing parade ...


Thursday, October 17, 2002

As the UN Security Council begins debate on a new resolution pertaining to military action against Iraq, it's time to e-mail or fax specific Council members. Scroll down on the site for suggestions on what to say.

Woo-hoo! MoveOnPAC reports that 25,000 individuals have donated nearly $900,000 to campaigns in which Democratic senatorial candidates are in tight races! Their new goal is to try for a cool million. If you haven't already made a contribution, go to the contribution page to do so.

Update on the peace march in D.C. and San Francisco: There are now buses traveling from over 120 cities in 35 states to be in Washington DC and San Francisco on October 26. Groups are traveling from as far South as Texas and Florida, as far north as North Dakota, Minnesota and Maine, and from every state on the East Coast. We have heard from groups of people in every U.S. state who are traveling to Washington DC or San Francisco. Hundreds of buses, vans and car caravans will be arriving in DC and SF.

Thinking of attending the march? Worried about baton-wielding, tear-gassing cops, a la World Bank protests? Fear not! Street medics are on the job.

American support of an invasion of Iraq rests partly on the idea that it will be a "clean war," like the one we supposedly conducted in Operation Desert Storm--"clean" meaning that relatively few civilians were killed, supposedly under 9,000. If you're like me, you've doubted that low figure all along. Former President Jimmy Carter has stated publicly that possibly 150,000 civilians were killed. Colin Powell, who directed Desert Storm as the head of America's armed forces, "finds the whole matter of civilian casualties simply inconvenient. 'That's not really a number I'm terribly interested in,' he said." Read about a trip to Baghdad undertaken after Desert Storm by a weapons systems analyst out to discover the truth.

Speculations about what the US will do in Iraq once it effects the "regime change" include a scenario whereby the US puts into place a system modeled on that of Gen. MacArthur in Japan following WWII. The fact that this is even being considered, says a former national security advisor, shows "a dangerous intoxication with American power" among the top members of the administration.

Could a draft be in our future? Last year a bill was introduced to reinstate the draft; fortunately, at this time it languishes in the House. But if the government has plans to remain in Iraq for five years or more, as some reports suggest, with an occupying force of 75,000 to 100,000 soldiers there--in addition to troops needed for the expanded military role the Bush administration is hell-bent on establishing--then perhaps a draft could become a reality. It's time to think about conscientious objection.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Yesterday I posted a link here that would allow you to contribute to the coffers of senators fighting for their lives in the upcoming elections. Good news! MoveOn reports that "in just 24 hours, ten thousand of us have given more than $400,000 for our four heroes in Congress. That's $180,000 to Senator Wellstone's campaign alone. The campaigns are ecstatic. One campaign manager said, 'You have no idea what this means to us.'" This is the last day of the last reporting period before the election. MoveOnPAC's goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of today, and, if possible, put $250,000 into Wellstone's campaign to counter the ugly TV ads the Republicans have been running against him. Go to MoveOn's contribution page for a fast, easy way to contribute to a good cause that may make a difference.

The high point of the evening for Jim, Ethan, and me was the interview with Harry Belafonte on Larry King last night. Wow! As Ethan said, "I've never seen a more articulate defense of views." In case you've been under a rock, Belafonte compared Colin Powell to a house slave--a slave that has to behave himself in the house of the master, the master being, as Belafonte made sure to say at the very end of the piece, the president. Read a summary or the full transcript (you'll have to scroll down past the stuff about the sniper to reach Harry's part).

Southern California Americans for Democratic Action has called for the resignation of Richard Gephardt as House minority leader after his "abject surrender to President Bush's political goals" in voting for the resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq.

How the Internet helped organize against war in Iraq.

Are hawks trying to derail the UN process and clear the way for a speedy invasion of Iraq? Would we be surprised?

Bush uses the Bali bombing to whip up support for war on Baghdad, claiming that "we know" Saddam and al Qaeda are linked. There is no proof to this at all, and most experts on the Middle East are highly skeptical of the claim.

What form might the attack on Iraq take? Michael Klare, writing for The Nation, speculates.

What the generals have to say about invading Iraq.

We always knew: the "vast majority" of UN resolution violations are by governments closely allied to the United States." The worst violator is, of course, Israel.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

The vote is over, the outcome no surprise to anyone. If there's any consolation to be found, it's in the fact that Bush didn't get the votes he hoped for. I intend to keep posting news about what I hope will be a building anti-war movement, so please keep checking the site and passing the URL on to your like-minded friends--or even those who may need convincing.

Find out how the Senate and the House voted. Telephone numbers are listed so you can thank the brave souls who voted against the resolution.

It's time to put our money where our mouths are. The Republicans are running vicious ads against Senators like Paul Wellstone, who voted against the resolution despite the fact that he's in a very tight race. As MoveOn's Eli Pariser writes, "After Thursday's unexpectedly divided House vote, the President must be fuming. His political allies will do everything they can to take revenge on the dissenters. If he can demonstrate that Representatives and Senators who ask the hard questions don't get re-elected, Congress will be even more equivocal when faced with hard choices in the future." Let's not forget how crucial it is for the Dems to retain control of the Senate! Go here to make a contribution to a candidate who can help stop the madness in Washington.

Anti-war activists say their movement is growing. See The Nation's report on this "nascent U.S. peace movement."

Anti-war activists rush the stage at an MTV show.

Rumsfeld asks the military to plan for short notice on attacking Iraq.

Have you heard about the Iraqi vice-president's idea for solving the conflict between Iraq and the U.S.? Give dueling a chance! Yes, let's get Dubya and Saddam out there along with Ramadan and Cheney. This is the answer, folks!

Jimmy Carter's choice as Nobel Peace Prize recipient was intended, according to committee chair Gunnar Berge, "as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken.”

My husband is convinced that VP Cheney is the man behind the curtain, but we'd all better pay attention to him. He seems to be the man with the influence when it comes to the administration's foreign policy.

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