Amy Goodman and David Goodman on the lies of the Times as well as Billie on the attacks from The Dallas Morning News

Elaine back with you again. I did speak to Rebecca today. She's going to try to help out The Third Estate Sunday Review tomorrow night but she said she's enjoying her break. She's needed a long break since last summer so I hope everyone understands that.

Today, Democracy Now! devoted the entire broadcast to our using nukes on Japan.

"Hiroshima Cover-up: Stripping the War Department's Timesman of His Pulitzer" (Democracy Now!)
Amy Goodman and her brother, fellow journalist David Goodman, have co-authored an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun today called Hiroshima Cover-up, challenging the New York Times coverage of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago.
They are filing an official request with the Pulitzer committee to strip New York Times correspondent William Laurence of the Pulitzer he was awarded for his reporting on the atomic bomb. Laurence was not just a reporter for the Times, he was also on the payroll of the US government. He wrote military press releases and statements for President Harry S. Truman and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, all the while faithfully parroting the line of the US government in the pages of the New York Times. His reporting was crucial in launching a half century of silence about the deadly lingering effects of the bomb. It is high time, the Goodmans say, for the Pulitzer board to strip Hiroshima's apologist, William Laurence, and his newspaper, the New York Times of their undeserved prize.

[. . .]
DAVID GOODMAN: Sure. William Laurence was -- had immigrated to the United States from Lithuania in the 1930s, at a time when actually The New York Times was laying off reporters, due to the Great Depression. They asked Laurence to become both the newspaper's and the nation's first dedicated science reporter. Laurence was -- became fascinated with atomic power and atomic weapons and was an ardent supporter of atomic power in the articles that he wrote throughout the 1930s, and into the early 1940s. This is probably what caught the attention of the War Department.
In the spring of 1945, a remarkable meeting took place secretly at the headquarters of The New York Times in Times Square in New York City. General Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, which was the name of the program that was developing atomic bombs for the U.S. military, came to Times Square to The New York Times and met secretly with Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, the Editor-in-Chief of The New York Times, and William Laurence. At that meeting, he asked Laurence if he would become a paid publicist, essentially, for the Manhattan Project. So, while simultaneously working as a newspaper reporter for The New York Times, he would also be writing essentially propaganda for the War Department. Officially he was asked to put in layman's terms the benefits of atomic weapons and the development of atomic power. Other New York Times reporters were unaware of this arrangement, this dual arrangement where he was being paid by both the government and the newspaper and, in fact, were somewhat mystified when Laurence began taking long leaves of absence.
Well, the government's investment in Laurence paid off in spades because he was rewarded for his loyalty. He was also writing -- ended up writing statements for Secretary of War Stimson and for President Truman himself. He was rewarded by being given a seat in the squadron of planes that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. I'll read to you a little excerpt of Laurence's dispatch. In general, his writing -- well, these days journalists would call it purple prose, but it was often imbued with these messianic themes about the potential and power of atomic weapons.
Here's what he had to say in describing the bombing of Nagasaki. This bombing is thought to have taken about 70,000 to 100,000 lives. Laurence recounted, quote, "Being close to it and watching it as it was being fashioned," he's speaking here of the atomic bomb, "into a living thing so exquisitely shaped that any sculptor would be proud to have created it, one felt oneself in the presence of the supernatural."
Now, Laurence went on to write a series of ten articles about the development of the atomic bomb. This is -- this and his reporting about the Nagasaki bombing won him the 1946 Pulitzer Prize in reporting. He seems to have been completely unashamed and unrepentant of what was clearly an egregious conflict of interest by any of the most basic canons of journalism ethics. Laurence later wrote in his memoirs about his experience as a paid publicist for the War Department. He wrote, quote, "Mine has been the honor, unique in the history of journalism, of preparing the War Department's official press release for worldwide distribution. No greater honor could have come to any newspaperman, or anyone else for that matter."

That's not uncommon today. Like C.I., I despise the "award winning" reporting by Dexter Filkins (New York Times) on Falluja. A tragedy took place in November of 2004 but to read Filkins "award winning" reporting, was to gain a very simplified, very superficial report that made no effort to report on actual events and results, so determined was Filkins to stamp the whole thing with a smiley face.

I have never felt C.I. should "drop" the issue of Filkins and was surprised to read in a roundtable at The Third Estate Sunday Review that some thought the topic should be dropped. It turns out those were largely visitors.

But if anyone doesn't get why it's important, Billie wrote a lengthy e-mail after hearing Democracy Now! today. In her area, Filkin's "award winning" reporting, even after smarter minds should know better, still appears to carry weight.

Which is why Steve Blow (I'm not making that name up nor is Billie, I checked) can rave over Falluja last month and reveal himself to be a "bigger dope" (Billie's term) "than when he accused peace activists at a local gathering of being treasonous." Billie notes that Blow later did another column where he wondered if maybe treason wasn't a bit harsh.

The paper of record has a lot to answer for. I've not weighed in Judith Miller here and don't intend to because I think it's a complex issue that goes beyond my area and scope (of course if Miller had testified, we might know what happened). But as reports from the unit attest, Miller bullied those guys over in Iraq. She wasn't hiding out in the Green Zone. She was basically overriding the squad she was stationed with and bound and determined to find WMD. Of course she didn't. It didn't exist. But when you read remarks on her actions (a mild term) when she was commandeering the unit, it suggests to me that she honestly believed the "facts" that the administration was feeding her.

Dexter Filkins was in Falluja. He actually left the Green Zone to be there. With his own eyes, he saw what was going on. But it didn't make his article. His much delayed article, as C.I. has noted, which would suggest that either his obsession with nailing down every "fact" was so great that it took him days and days to write up his report or it suggests that before it made it into the paper, it had been cleared and approved by the military.

Billie has a hilarious e-mail. The reality is sad but she's got a great sense of humor. She explains how Blow and the other "local columnists" (who are supposed to cover the DFW area) never missed an opportunity to beat up on Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks and assorted others. Billie says it's hard to believe the whole thing wasn't handed down by management (the paper is the Dallas Morning News) so "on message" was everyone. Including trashing Sheryl Crow in what was supposed to be a discussion of the Grammys. But it even infected the sports pages of the paper. Tim Cowlinshaw (again, I'm not making these names up) wrote a "sports" column in March of 2003 that Billie steered me to. I ended up reading several columns. It was interested to see Cowlinshaw condemn, among others, Steve Nash for speaking out against the war and using Thomas Friedman (of all people, no offense to Betty) who isn't, according to Cowlinshaw, "exactly" a tool of the right. (Cowlinshaw may be correct, but Friedman is certainly a tool.)
As for Nash and the other athletes who were voicing their opposition to the war, Cowlinshaw didn't feel they had that right since there wasn't a draft.

It's amazing how on target, from the "local" columnists (covering Michael Moore) to the sports page how "on message" the Dallas Morning News was. I really want to thank Billie for bringing the coverage to my attention because, a point C.I.'s made, one person didn't push this war in the press. There are a lot of guilty parties.

As for Jaqueline Floyd, I agree with you Billie, to have a hair style one must have some sense of style. I'm not sure if she suffers from dandruff, but I agree with you that it's a hideous photo.
Perhaps her attack on Moore and the Oscars was her way of saying she's not a "glamor gal." (Her hair conveys that message.) Obviously she's not a "freedom of speech gal" either.

And in the Democracy Now! story today, one thing to remember is that the reporter lying for the Times didn't just do that by himself. His Pulitzer should be stripped. But people chose to follow his reporting and echo it. He's far from the only guilty party.

With one paper in her area, Billie is able to pinpoint all the war cheerleaders who attacked people who spoke out against the war. I'm pretty sure many of you would find that in your own papers.
That's been the point C.I.'s made repeatedly about Judith Miller. She didn't anchor the news on a network (which has a larger audience than the New York Times). Hold her accountable, but don't do so in a way that lets others off the hook.

Floyd, Blow, Cowlinshaw and others should be held accountable by the readers of the Dallas Morning News. You can be sure that when lies about Hiroshima were being printed in the Times, all over the country fools elected to run with them. I hope the people Billie wrote about were fools. It seems like there's a pattern and that suggests that the topics and stances didn't "just happen." But I'll leave the second guessing to others. (Except with regard to Floyd's hair "style." It's hair. It's not style. And don't they get any sun in Texas?)

All across the country, events will be going on to raise awareness of what happened when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed and to stand for peace. If you're interested in participating an event, I'll provide the following.

"August 6-9: No Nukes! No Wars! Defend Democracy! National Days of Remembrance and Action 1945-2005 July 12th, 2005" (United For Peace and Justice)
August 6 and 9, 2005 mark the 60th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. Join with tens of thousands of people at four central US nuclear weapons sites to call for an end to the development and production of nuclear bombs.
Join UFPJ member groups and the global majority to say NO! to militarism, war and oppression, and YES! to democracy nonviolence, justice and a more secure world for all. On May 1, 40,000 people marched to the United Nations to demand global disarmament. While the Bush Administration stymied global attempts to move toward nuclear disarmament, our voices reinforced the critical need for nuclear abolition to remain a part of the agenda.

In Iraq, they never found nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, yet the daily reality of death and destruction continues, sparked by the Bush administration's invasion and fueled by the ongoing U.S. military occupation. A majority of people in this nation now oppose the war, but the White House and most members of Congress are resisting the only solution to the crisis: bring the troops home immediately.

This year, the 60th anniversaries of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on August 3, 2005. Ensuring our basic voting and civil rights is at the heart of keeping our democracy alive and healthy. A vibrant democracy with open public debate is essential to keep US power in check. Given that US power is directly expressed and projected through its possession and threat to use nuclear weapons, the links between democracy, power and nuclear weapons becomes clear. Click here to read a
statement drafted by US nuclear abolitions in February 1999 that addresses these crucial links.

Join UFPJ member groups as we send our message loud and clear to decision-makers and the public at large: End the war in Iraq; End the threat of nuclear annihilation; Ensure a democratic future for all!

We found the missing weapons of mass destruction. On August 6, we will take our voices to the active nuclear weapons sites across the country. We demand an end to US nuclear weapons development, production and testing. We demand an end to wars of empire and an end to nuclear excuses for war.

*UFPJ Nuclear Disarmament Campaign*

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Hannah Arendt, 20th-century German political philosopher and author


14 Marines Killed in Deadliest Roadside Bombing of the War (Democracy Now!)

Elaine with you again while Rebecca's on vacation.

First, on a light hearted note, my friend Debbie phoned me a little while ago screaming, "Turn on the TV!" Thinking some breaking news was happening, I did and went to CNN. Debbie was saying, "NO THE WB!" So I flip over and a program's starting. Debbie and I watched and laughed throughout, it was Smallville. Debbie had Ava and C.I.'s review of this episode ("TV: Super Stripper or Super Chicken, we weigh in on Smallville") and she'd say, "Oh look this is where Daddy Lex checks out Clark's package!" Sure enough he did. A long look down the pants. I love Ava and C.I.'s reviews. They're funny, it's a feminist critique which means gender is an issue as are social issues (check out their review of CSI Miami for instance) but I read them as a non-TV watcher. When I'm home, I either have on the news (radio) or music. If you hit the eject button on my DVD player right now, you'd either find The Dreamers or Tout Va Bien. (I'm not sure which I watched last.)

So it was a real joy to watch a program that I'd read one of Ava and C.I.'s reviews of. I'd say that they nailed the episode perfectly. We were laughing so hard, Debbie and I, when Ma Kent says to the shirtless Clark that he's all dressed up. We were gasping for breath when he was pressing his body and face against her in the "standing lap dance" as Ava and C.I. called it. So thank you, Debbie, for calling and staying on the phone to laugh with me at the show.

And I'll say thank you to everyone who wrote with kind words about last night's post. I've read them all but still have a few to reply to. (Remember, I don't have Rebecca's password to the e-mail account, so if you want to contact me, e-mail care of common_ills@yahoo.com and C.I. will forward them to me. Or Jess or Ava will forward them.) Morey had a problem with the post and felt that I shouldn't say that Paul Hackett isn't eligable for office because he's served in the military. The thing is, Morey, I didn't say that. If you go back to the post, you'll see that I say that military service shouldn't be a requirement for running for office nor should it be a liability to running for office. And that's as close to a reply as Morey's getting.

Rebecca's commented here many times about the kind of threats that can come in and I was aware of them also from conversations with her. That still didn't prepare me for Morey's very specific threats. Jess had asked before forwarding if I wanted to see everything and I said "Sure." I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with me and it doesn't bother me greatly if they do so strongly or in strong language. But for Morey and anyone else, I've advised Jess, Ava and C.I. that if they read over it and it's a threat just delete it.

I'm not interested in them.

It didn't scare me. I was in my office. I never thought, "Oh my God! What if he's here!" But I don't have time for that kind of nonsense. I also took it to mean that Morey was himself very threatened by the thought that we might actually address the issue of the war. Not how to fine tune it, but address whether we should have gone over or not.

There's a lot of talk, among pundits and politicians, that we're over there now so we don't need to address the issue. I deal with patients all day who are in the midst of something. That doesn't mean I don't explore the root cause with them.

This is a discussion we need to be having. When we refuse to have it, it takes pressure off our elected officials. They can focus on fine tuning and not deal with the reality of the damage the administration continues to do, the harm, the costs of the occupation. Not focusing allows us to make a sad face and shrug when we hear the horrible news that more have died. It also allows us to be unconcerned with the deaths of Iraqis because "we're there now." So we dismiss the death toll as "the costs of war."

We can, for instance, see this news on Democracy Now! and just shrug:

14 Marines Killed in Deadliest Roadside Bombing Of War
In Iraq, Pentagon officials have concluded it was a massive bomb that killed 14 Marines on Wednesday in the western city of Haditha. The Marines were driving in a 25-ton lightly-armored amphibious troop carrier that was not designed for coming under such attacks. It was the deadliest roadside bombing since the war began. In the past two weeks, at least 31 U.S. soldiers and Marines have died in roadside bombings. According to the Knight Ridder news agency, bombs killed more coalition troops in July than in any previous month of the war. U.S. officials admitted on Wednesday that troops are now being targeted with more powerful and more effective bombs. The 14 Marines were all members of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, based in Brook Park, Ohio. Six more Marines from that Batallion died on Monday.

What can we do but shrug and make a sad face if we don't want to address the issue of the war?
Those fourteen died. Their deaths didn't just happen. They were sent over there. Asking why they were sent over there goes to the heart of democracy.

I think C.I. made excellent points in "Impunity leads to further silence" and I'm guessing that all of you coming here, or most of you, have already read that. But if you haven't, please make a point to read it.

It's continue to avoid the issues and walk around saying, "Well these things happen," or it's asking the tough questions. Avoidance doesn't address the problems.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Helen Keller


Casualties continue to mount and the Democratic Party needs to find some ideas and a platform that's not "more of the same"

Elaine back again while Rebecca's on vacation. For those who missed it, there's a roundtable up at The Common Ills that's worth reading for a number of reasons but Rebecca participated in it so check it out.

Mike asked me to note this from Democracy Now!

21 Marines Die in Iraq Over Two-Day Period
Fourteen Marines and a civilian interpreter were killed early today in western Iraq making it one of the deadliest days for U.S. forces in months. Seven more Marines died on Monday.

I can remember when the invasion started in 2003. It was probably a week in and someone noted that it wasn't a "big deal," that it wasn't like the casualities in Vietnam. In that first month, 65 American soldiers died. One month of losses didn't seem to matter to this woman because it didn't compare with the years and years of the Vietnam conflict.

We're at 1822 right now. And we've got Donald Rumsfeld saying we could be over there for ten more years. You've got too many Democratics elected in Congress who don't want to address the problem and now Bully Boy's doing the Nixon dance of "I have a plan" as the next election cycle approaches. The plan is a Vietnam retread and it's not much of a plan.

So where does that leave us? Paul Hackett ran for Congress in a special election yesterday and he did pretty well. But there's something that bothered me about the way the election was pushed by Democrats.

Vote Hackett because he's a war hero. Vote him because he's been over there.

There were probably many reasons to vote for Hackett. And he did pretty well. He lost, but he did pretty well.

But the thing that bothered me was the fact that we're still trying to do the 2004 election. Hackett wasn't for bringing the troops home now. He was going to fight a smarter war. Does that sound familiar? He was a war hero.

At some point Democrats are going to have to be able to offer a true alternative.

Bully Boy received no mandate. (Lizz Winstead would say "Mandate my ass!") But when you tried to point out a) how high turnout was, b) how many votes Kerry got, the "thinkers" would dismiss that. They would say only the results matter.

Now the talk isn't that it only mattered who won.

I don't think winning is the only thing matters and I certainly don't believe that we only learn based on who's declared the winner. But it's interesting that we're operating under a different principle now.

I also think it's interesting that we're still not presenting alternatives.

As a people, we're in favor of bringing the troops home. It's only our elected officials, with few brave exceptions, that won't enter that dialogue.

What's more worrisome is that we seem to be resorting, repeatedly, to the idea that only war heroes are worthy of office. We need ideas from our leaders. And the Democratic Party needs to offer some.

Military service is not a requirement for public office. It shouldn't be a liability either.

But it's not a platform. Jingoistic cheerleading, and we heard that as Hackett was pushed, doesn't take the place of ideas.

The party needs to get it together between now and 2006. That means offering plans and being an alternative to more of the same.

Hackett didn't have a platform and if you have trouble accepting that, listen, watch or read his interview with Amy Goodman today:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, it's hard to say congratulations on your defeat, but it has astounded many. Can you talk about what happened and the platform that you ran on?
PAUL HACKETT: Well, I mean, I had first confessed that I did not sit around and (quote/unquote) "come up with a platform." There are many issues that I believe in, and believe very passionately in, and those issues, as they came up in the campaign, I shared with the citizens of the Second District. So, it's funny, when I hear the term "platform," I sort of think as though that there was a committee that sat around and said, 'Okay, this is what we believe on this.' I mean, I just felt that in this district there had not been a choice. There had not been an alternative, and that many like me were not being represented, our voices were not being represented regarding many issues in the U.S. government, foreign policy to name a big one that was certainly spoken a lot about in the election campaign, and so forth. And then many social issues, as well. I mean, I just -- I'm just not happy with the state of politics in southern Ohio and, frankly, across the nation.

He feels that the district hadn't had a choice. He didn't offer them any choices in terms of ideas or inspiration. He speaks of having no idea what a platform is. Now the anti-government faction might like that or some factions might see it as "keeping it real," but in terms of a strategy for the Democratic Party, a platform's pretty important.

Also from the interview, he speaks of the importance of dissent but then goes on to offer this:

And the only criticism that I have heard about my comments regarding this administration are usually of those who have never served in the military. And a very, very small percentage of people have come up to me and said, "I was in the military. That wasn't right." And usually then, when I then ask them, "Have you ever been in combat?" the answer is "no." I have yet, and, you know, I am not asking -- this is not an invitation, but I have yet to have somebody say, "Hey, you know, I was in combat, and what you said was wrong." That I have not heard. Almost unanimously the word from the veterans that have contacted me by email, by telephone, and come to work with us in person have been overwhelmingly supportive, and so --

Those who disagreed hadn't served in the military. So Hackett doesn't value their opinion. Is that a Democratic message? More importantly, as he did throughout the campaign, he then goes further. Not seconds later, he's saying that actually some did serve and their opinion doesn't matter because they didn't see combat.

The message behind those statements was never examined. No one can disagree with Hackett if they didn't serve and if they didn't serve in a combat zone. Statements like that came out of his mouth constantly. I didn't note it because I didn't want to blow his chances.

But the election's over now. And people need to look at what went down because he didn't have a platform and his public statements often contradicted statements made moments before.

But what's really bothersome is the fact that there's this attitude that was pushed by others and by him which is only those who served in the military can weigh in. That's not democracy.

Back to the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: So, you would return to fight a war that you think is unjust?
PAUL HACKETT: Well, I've not said it's unjust. I have said that it's been mismanaged by the administration. I have said it was a poor use of our military. I'm not quite sure the implication of the label of unjust, so I'm uncomfortable using that. I have been critical of it up and down, but to me, that's not inconsistent with my desire to want to serve and my desire to want to lead marines and be with them in the field.

He's not sure whether it's a just war or an unjust war. He ran for office. He ran on his military record. But he can't weigh in on a very obvious question, one raised by the Pope in 2003. Amy Goodman wasn't bringing up an obscure theory and the election was over. But we can't get an answer on that question from him.

He has "no empathy or sympathy" for Camilo Mejia and that's bothersome. Mejia made a moral choice. And Hackett doesn't want do the work to determine whether the war is just or unjust.
But he's perfectly happy to talk about consequences. Whose consquences?

Mejia has to take consequences for his actions, according to Hackett, but he won't weigh in on the consequences of the war itself.

What is Hackett's plan?

From the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think that the U.S. should get out of Iraq?
PAUL HACKETT: I'm not there yet. I think that -- let me step back and say, when you say, 'Should the U.S. get out of Iraq?' Yes. Eventually, yes. The question is, are we going to do it tomorrow, or are we going to accomplish the bare minimum and allow the Iraqis to survive within their defined government and social structure? And right now, I don't think that any form of security force in Iraq is capable of providing that for the people. And, while it may seem difficult to comprehend on this side of the world, at this point, I believe that Iraq will spiral out of control. And even though it's in a terrible condition today as a result of the insurgency phasing into civil war, perhaps, I don't think it's currently today as bad as it will be if we were to pull out tomorrow. I think that the administration has got to permit the American military over there to fight that fight and train the I.S.F., the Iraqi Security Forces, in a manner acceptable to our military, which I argue they're not -- the administration is not allowing that, so that the I.S.F. can be up to speed and we can get out of there. I think that, as a citizen of the United States, setting aside, you know, my uniform and so forth, I think we need to turn up the heat on the administration and demand some sort of oversight, as citizens, as to what successes the administration is having in training the Iraqi Security Forces.

There is nothing inspiring about that and nothing you couldn't read in a Thomas Friedman column. Or, for that matter, in a William Safire column if Safire was still writing op-eds. This was a campaign based on "We're not pulling out now. At some point we'll leave, but not yet." That's the Bully Boy's plan.

A lot of people, including Hackett, invested time and energy on his run for office but there was no real campaign. There was no plan, no proposal. Instead it all came down to "He served in Iraq!" Democrats need to find a way to offer proposals, plans and alternatives.

If this was a try out for the 2006 races, Democrats need to realize that we need real voices, with real ideas and real plans. We didn't get that from Hackett and the cheerleading and the applause that greeted his constant use of the term "chickenhawk" didn't provide any solutions or alternatives.

If the party wants to seriously try to win some elections, they're going to have to do better than presenting poster boys and thinking that a chorus of rah-rah cheers replaces real ideas and real thoughts. (Thanks as always to C.I. for acting as a sounding board and offering encouragement.)

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence.
Joan Baez


Aidan Delgado's truth telling

Rebecca called today and says she'll be gone at least one more week. In case anyone's showing up late to this party, Rebecca's on vacation. I'm her friend Elaine who's never blogged before Rebecca asked me to cover for her so if I do something wrong, don't be surprised.

You can e-mail me at common_ills@yahoo.com and C.I. will forward it. Rebecca's address is sexandpoliticsandscreeds@yahoo.com but she's not reading e-mails while she's on vacation and I don't have the password to it.

C.I. forwarded a batch of e-mails Sunday and a lot of people were wondering what it was like to help out The Third Estate Sunday Review. I'm not sure that I had much to offer but I did enjoy myself. It wasn't one of their usual all nighters so I can't speak to that. They wrapped up very early for them, according to what Ty was saying. They work very had but they have a lot of fun doing it. I was honored to be asked and hope I didn't mess things up too much.

Now I want to note something from Democracy Now! today.

Jimmy Carter: Iraq War Was "Unnecessary and Unjust"
Former President Jimmy Carter has called the Iraq war "unnecessary and unjust" and criticized the Bush administration for its handling of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Speaking at an international Baptist convention in Britain, Carter said, "I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A." He went on to say "I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts."

And Mike asked me to note a thing Rebecca wrote about The Common Ills awhile back.

Which leads me into the next thing. C.I. and I were on the phone and there's an article that I wasn't aware of. Lisa Sousa's "A Different Duty" from In These Times and here's a small piece of it:

"I don't like doing this. It's not something I want to do," says Aidan Delgado of his public presentations. "I feel like I have to do it."
A veteran of the Iraq war, Delgado, 23, has spoken to students, churches and peace groups across the country. "The media's not giving the full picture," he says. "Nobody's seeing the ugly side, the underside of the war, and it's something that I've seen, so I feel like I have to share it with people."
In March, Delgado participated in a daylong teach-in on military recruitment at Berkeley High School in California. Students and concerned teachers organized the event in response to the increased presence of recruiters, who are able to target high school students like never before, thanks to Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act. "There's a lot about being in the army that recruiters are not going to tell you," Delgado says.

It's a really important article so I hope you'll make some time to read it (online or in print).

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger that its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.
Marian Anderson