Thursday, September 22, 2005



Where is the media?

That time has come again.

There will be a march on Washington this Saturday, a ritual rallying of the anti-war faithful who will come by the busload as they have twice a year, once in the fall, once in the spring, for decades, on issue after issue.

This mobilization promises to be a big one. The war has lost public support, with only a minority of Americans now endorsing it. The outrages we saw on television after the Katrina catastrophe have stirred even more anger.

Anti War Movement Moves

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Peggy Smith, a retired legal secretary from Terre Haute, Indiana, is coming to Washington for her first anti-war march this weekend. She has one question: ``You think they'll put a 61-year-old lady in jail?''

``I've never been to jail before,'' said Smith, who has been taking classes in non-violent civil disobedience. ``I was married to a lawyer for 31 years. I'm a peaceful person.''

War or Hurricane?

Sep. 22, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina and its wrenching aftermath have turned public attention and already-dwindling support away from President Bush's Iraq policy. And that was before Hurricane Rita took aim at Texas.

The devastating storms are increasing pressure around the country and in Congress for an Iraq exit strategy and prompting calls for reining in spending on an increasingly unpopular war, one which could bedevil Republicans in the 2006 midterm congressional elections.

"It's a tangled picture" that will get even more complicated as those elections near, said Stephen Cimbala, a political scientist at Pennsylvania State University. "It's like Osama bin Laden's running the weather," he added, referring to the fugitive al-Qaida terror leader.

No Telling How Much This Costs

The Pentagon has no accurate knowledge of the cost of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or the fight against terrorism, limiting Congress's ability to oversee spending, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a report released yesterday.

The Defense Department has reported spending $191 billion to fight terrorism from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks through May 2005, with the annual sum ballooning from $11 billion in fiscal 2002 to a projected $71 billion in fiscal 2005. But the GAO investigation found many inaccuracies totaling billions of dollars.

Southern Iraq Is Already A Rightwing Iranian Style Theocracy

BASRA, Iraq -- While the United States battles Sunni extremists in northern Iraq, different but potentially more enduring Islamic radicals - many with close ties to Iran - have been allowed to take root in the South.

This was painfully evident Monday, when the British Army attacked the Iraqi police force they had trained for two years, only to find the police had handed two British soldiers over to the most hardline Shia militia.

War Not Interesting Anymore

NEW YORK--Sectarian civil war, long predicted by yours truly and other antiwar types, has arrived in U.S.-occupied Iraq. Sunni bombs killing a hundred people a day, spurred on by Al Qaeda and a declaration of "all-out war" in retaliation for the Shiites' refusal to allow Sunni representation in the next government, have become routine. Kurds and Arabs are assassinating each other over oil rights. A year ago these developments would have sparked accusations, counterarguments and fierce debates in the U.S. over what to do next. Now no one cares.

Passions that burned hot during the build-up towards and immediate aftermath of the spring 2003 invasion have cooled and hardened into bitter, silent, mutual disdain. Supporters of the war, their ranks dwindled to a hardcore 44 percent in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, remain true believers regardless of its $2,000-a-second price tag, intentionally unquantified carnage among Iraqis, and continued failure to locate weapons of mass destruction. For those opposed to America's adventure in nation-building, neither Saddam's reported confessions nor any number of "things are better in Iraq than the media says" reports (in the media, natch) can change their minds.

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »
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