Progressive Calendar 01.23.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 22:16:22 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    01.23.07

1. Advocacy training  1.24 9am
2. GOP convention     1.24 12noon
3. Telecom policy     1.24 4pm
4. Marty/health       1.24 5:30pm
5. Transrace/adopt    1.24 6pm
6. StPaul IRV         1.24 6:30pm
7. Katherine Lanpher  1.24 7:30pm
8. Darfur/Guthrie     1.24 ??

9. CCHT/housing       1.25 7:30am
10. Support janitors  1.25 10:30am
11. Dual use/security 1.25 12:15pm
12. Eagan peace vigil 1.25 4:30pm
13. Northtown vigil   1.25 5pm
14. GLBT host home    1.25 5pm
15. NE farmers market 1.25 6pm
16. Moyers/green God  1.25 6pm
17. Free classes/Mac  1.25 6pm
18. Iraq war/film     1.25 7pm
19. Marty/health      1.25 7pm

20. James Carroll - Sigh for America
21. Ahmed Amr     - America's narcissists indifferent to Iraqi casualties

--------1 of 21--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Advocacy training 1.24 9am

More on January 24: MOAPPP - SEFL. Member Meeting - Advocacy Training
Workshop. 9 AM-11 AM. Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave South, Minneapolis.
To RSVP to this free event, please contact Lorie at 651/644-1447, ext 12.

--------2 of 21--------

From: Jana Kooren <jkooren [at]>
Subject: GOP convention 1.24 12noon

Hello & Happy New Year -
I had contacted you a while ago about scheduling a meeting to talk about
the 2008 GOP Convention and what the ACLU is thinking and what to hear
what you all were thinking about doing.

We have picked a meeting date of Jan 24th at Noon.

The meeting will take place here at the ACLU office - which is located at
the Bigelow Building in St. Paul
The address is  450 N Syndicate, Saint Paul
The Room location is TBA.

Please block off two hours for the meeting, although it might not take
that long.

We will provide lunch - if this time does not work for you please let me
know and we can pick another time, but we hope to have the meeting on the
24th. [So, best to call to confirm this date - ed]

At this meeting we want to hear from you on what you have been planning
and we will let you know what the ACLU has been planning.

Please pass this along to anyone you know of who may be interested in
attending, we want to bring as many people as possible to the table who
will be either protesting or be affected by the GOP Convention in '08. If
you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. I am looking
forward to meeting all of you. Thanks~

Jana Kooren Public Education Coordinator ACLU-MN 450 N Syndicate Suite 230
St. Paul, MN 55104 651.645.4097 x123

--------3 of 21--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Telecom policy 1.24 4pm

Telecommunications & Information Society Policy Forum
HHH Institute of Public Affairs, Roy Wilkins Room (215)
301 19th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN.
January 24, 2007, 4:00 to 5:30 pm

Special Presentation: Minnesota's Master Plan
Mr. Gopal Khanna
Director, Office of Enterprise Technology
State of Minnesota

Comments by former Sen. Steve Kelley, Minnesota Senate and Milda K.
Hedblom, TISP Forum Director

The idea behind the Forum is simple and essential: purposeful exchange on
key issues with engaged stakeholders to create a better information

--------4 of 21--------

From: Betsy Brock <bb [at]>
Subject: Marty/health 1.24 5:30pm

Community Forum: Public Health and Policymakers!

State Senator John Marty, State Representative Mindy Greiling, and Ramsey
County Commissioner Jan Parker will meet with a coalition of health and
community groups for a lively discussion about public health.  Former
Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Jan Malcolm, will moderate.  The elected
officials will brief the community on public health issues that will be
important in 2007 and community members will have an opportunity to
question their representatives on other public health topics.  Come out
and help represent your issue and your community!

January 24, 2007
Roseville City Council Chambers, 2660 Civic Center Drive, Roseville
5:30 pm to 7 pm
Contact: Betsy Brock at brock093 [at] with questions.

Sponsors include: American Heart Association, Take Action Minnesota, 4th
District MN Nurses Association, Smoke-Free Ramsey, Health Partners, MN
Public Health Association, and Allina Hospitals and Clinics

More info:

--------5 of 21--------

From: Rainbow Families <connect [at]>
Subject: Transrace/adopt 1.24 6pm

-"Outsiders Within" Book Reading and Discussion with Ami Inja Nafzger
Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 6-8pm, Burroughs Community School, 1601 W.
50th Street, Minneapolis - Books will be available for purchase at the

"Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption" is a newly released
anthology. Ami Inja Nafzger, book contributor, was adopted from South
Korea in 1975 and grew up in Wisconsin.

Moving beyond personal narrative, several transracially adopted writers
from around the world tackle difficult questions about how to survive the
racist and ethnocentric worlds they inhabit, what connects the countries
relinquishing their children to the countries importing them, why poor
families of color have their children removed rather than supported -
about who, ultimately, they are. In their inquiry, they unseat
conventional understandings of adoption politics, ultimately reframing the
controversy as a debate that encompasses human rights, peace, and
reproductive justice.

This discussion will be valuable for all parents of children adopted from
different cultures and races.

--------6 of 21--------

From: Kathleen Murphy <mkathleenmurphy [at]>
Subject: StPaul IRV 1.24 6:30pm

Hi all -- We will be having our 2nd St. Paul IRV meeting this coming
Wednesday, Jan. 24th at 6:30 pm at the St. Clair Broiler (SW corner of
Snelling and St. Clair).

Agenda to include reporting back on the attitude of councilmembers,
candidates and legislators on IRV for city elections, Charter Commission
information, creating a flyer to help us in educating people about IRV,
finances & fundraising, getting house parties started to offer a way to
show people how it works (dessert elections), and developing a realistic
timeline for organizing supporters, resolutions & petitions for the
precinct caucuses.  If anyone has additional agenda items, please feel
free to add.

Again, please feel free to forward this invitation to others interested.
And please RSVP if possible so I can give the restaurant an estimated
count for reservations.

Thank you. Kathleen Murphy Ward 4 / SD66 612-709-6350

--------7 of 21--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Katherine Lanpher 1.24 7:30pm

Katherine Lanpher will read from, talk about, and sign copies of her new
book Leap Days, Wednesday January 24, 7:30pm at Magers and Quinn 3038
Hennepin Avenue South. Lanpher was a journalist with the Pioneer Press and
hosted MPR's mid-morning before moving to New York to co-host Air
America's Al Franken Show. The book is about the move to New York and her
decision to remain there after Franken moved self and show to the Twin
Cities. Magers and Quinn is a locally-owned independent bookstore. Support
independent media and independent media distribution venues.

For further info:David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at]

--------8 of 21--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Darfur/Guthrie 1.24 ??

JAN.24-28: DARFUR @ Guthrie T  [Some sources say 26-28, so best check -ed]

In Darfur by Winter Miller, directed by Joanna Settle - originally co-
commissioned by the Guthrie and The Playwrights' Center - will headline
the series.

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) The Guthrie announced today it will present public
play readings, discussions and an acclaimed photo exhibit on the
humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan from January 24 through January 28,
2007 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. The series, which will be headlined by
readings of In Darfur, a new play by Winter Miller, directed by Joanna
Settle, will include post-play discussions featuring journalists,
advocates and experts on the crisis, and a digitally projected photo
exhibit by internationally acclaimed photojournalists titled

Tickets for the reading are $15 Admission to the post-play discussions and
photo exhibit is FREE. On sale beginning Friday, December 22 through the
Guthrie Box Office at 612-377-2224, toll-free 1-877-44-STAGE and online at <> .

--------9 of 21--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT/housing 1.25 7:30am

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the
affordable housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a
1-hour Building Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Sessions: Jan 25 at 7:30a; Feb 6 at 4:30p; Feb 22 at 7:30a
St. Paul Sessions: Jan 31 at 7:30a; Feb 28 at 4:30p

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237

Central Community Housing Trust 1625 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 341-3148

--------10 of 21--------

From: Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council <betsy [at]>
Subject: Support janitors 1.25 10:30am

On Thursday, January 25 at 10:30 a.m., SEIU Local 26 will be holding a
press conference at Minneapolis City Hall, where community, political and
union leaders will express their support for the Twin Cities Janitors.

Union members and friends who are able - please join us in support of the
janitors, who on Saturday voted overwhelmingly to authorize their
negotiating committee to call for a strike over lack of access to
affordable health care. The vote means that SEIU Local 26, representing
4,200 Twin Cities Janitors, could call for a metro-wide strike at any

In addition to attending the press conference, we are hoping that the
community will work with SEIU Local 26 to figure out how best to support a
strike by strategically honoring picket lines. Local 26 will be
circulating a list of worksites where the janitors will be stopping work
and the key targets for visible picket lines. With your help, building
owners will truly understand the strength of the labor movement when they
think about the impact that all of us could have together on their

We appreciate all the support you have given SEIU members so far and hope
we can continue to work together until we make real gains for the janitors
and their families. Thank you.

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

--------11 of 21--------

From: lawvalue <lawvalue [at]>
Subject: Dual use/security 1.25 12:15pm

2006-07 Lunch Series on the Societal Implications of the Life Sciences
Prof. David Relman, MD
Stanford University, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

"Dual Use & National Security"
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Theater, Coffman Memorial Union Theater

We are excited to announce that Prof. Relman is scheduled to appear on
Minnesota Public Radio's Midmorning Show at 10am on Thursday, January 25.
Tune to FM 91.1 to hear his interview in the Twin Cities or go to to listen online.

Life science researchers are manipulating microorganisms and their hosts
in an effort to understand how microbes cause disease and to develop
better preventive and therapeutic measures against infectious disease.
While this new knowledge and technological advancement holds enormous
potential to improve public health and agriculture, as well as strengthen
national economies, it also has the potential to be exploited for
nefarious purposes that could threaten public health and national
security.  Dr. Relman will discuss current policy efforts and activities
at the federal, state, institutional, and international level to balance
progress in the life sciences against possibilities of misuse of this
research information.

Continuing education credit is offered (see below).  The event is
sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Consortium on Law and Values in
Health, Environment, & the Life Sciences (
<file:///C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\aboyle\Kammen\www.lifesci.consortium.> ) and Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, & the Life Sciences

This event is free and open to the public.  Reservations are strongly
encouraged. Lunches are provided to those who RSVP by January 19, 2007 to
lawvalue [at] or 612-625-0055 (please indicate if vegetarian/vegan).
Registration is required if you wish to receive continuing education
credits (CLE, CME, CNE). Those without reservations are welcome to attend,
but should bring a lunch.  Coffman Union parking is available in the East
River Road Garage on Delaware Street behind Coffman Union. Maps may be
found at  The theater is located
on the 1st floor of Coffman Union.

About Prof. Relman:
David Relman, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, and of Microbiology
and Immunology at Stanford University. He is also Chief of the Infectious
Diseases Section at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  Following
postdoctoral clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in
Internal Medicine and in Infectious Diseases, Prof. Relman served as a
postdoctoral research fellow in microbiology at Stanford University before
joining the factulty.  Prof. Relman received the Squibb Award from the
Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Senior Scholar Award in
Global Infectious Diseases from the Ellison Medical Foundation.  He is a
member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and was named
Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2003.  Prof. Relman
currently serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and on the Board of
Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and has been
co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Advances in
Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation
Biowarfare. He has been appointed to a four-year term on the National
Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and advises several U.S.
Government Departments and agencies on matters related to microbial
pathogen detection and future biological threats. He received his MD
degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Medical School.

Continuing Education Information:

This lecture is intended for students, faculty, researchers, scientists,
policymakers, and interested community members.  Following this lecture,
participants should be able to:

* Describe types of dual use research and development in the life sciences
that raise national security concerns.
* Discuss current U.S. efforts to prevent the misuse.

Application for CME and CNE Credits filed with the University of Minnesota
Office of Continuing Medical Education.  Determination of credit is pending.
Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys will be requested (1.0

This event has been designated by the University of Minnesota's Office of
the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion
component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing
education requirement.

It is the policy of the University of Minnesota's Office of Continuing
Medical Education to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and
scientific rigor in all its sponsored educational activities.  All faculty
participating in sponsored programs are expected to disclose to the
program audience any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the
content of their presentation.

This is the third lecture in the 2006-07 Lunch Series.  This year's Lunch
Series focuses on "Science and Politics:  Controversies in Regulation and
National Security."  For more information on upcoming events, visit

Thanks to the Consortium's Associate Director of Research & Education,
Jordan Paradise, for taking the lead in planning this year's series.

--------12 of 21--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 1.25 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------13 of 21--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 1.25 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------14 of 21--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: GLBT host home 1.25 5pm

GLBT Host Home Program, a national model, is back.

MN State Senator Scott Dibble hosts a January 25, 2007 House Party to
celebrate its re-launch Re-launch event information: Thursday, January 25,
2007, 5:00pm - 7:00 pm. Grant Park Fireplace Room at the Grant Park
Apartments, 500 E Grant Street in downtown Minneapolis.

After a three year hiatus, the GLBT Host Home Program will again start
matching homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth with adult
community volunteers who will provide a roof over their heads and the
support that comes from living together. Avenues for Homeless Youth, a
youth shelter in north Minneapolis, has taken on stewardship for this very
important community-based program. "This was an easy decision," explains
Wendi Heuermann, Executive Director of Avenues, "The GLBT Host Home
Program only strengthens our ability to provide housing for homeless young
people. It's an honor to be involved with this program."

Through community conversations in 1995-1996, a GLBT host home model was
identified as one of the potential responses to GLBT youth homelessness.
YouthLink, a nonprofit organization serving homeless and at-risk youth in
Minneapolis, led the way by creating and supporting the program from
1998-2003. During that time, 50 youth secured host homes throughout the
Twin Cities. For many of these young people, the GLBT Host Home Program
provided an opportunity to build healthy and nurturing relationships with
caring adults and to transition out of homelessness.

With the support of YouthLink and other community members, Avenues for
Homeless Youth has now become the new home of the GLBT Host Home Program.

On January 25, 2007, State Senator Scott Dibble will host a community
house party in support of the Program's re-launch. "We will be
celebrating a new beginning for this important effort," says Senator.
Dibble, "It is a vital component in our goal to end long term homelessness
in Minnesota." This community house party is for individuals interested in
learning more about the program - either as potential hosts, donors or
just as members of the caring public. From 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm,
individuals are invited to come to the Grant Park Fireplace Room at the
Grant Park Apartments, 500 E Grant Street in downtown Minneapolis.

The GLBT Host Home Program has long had a significant impact on those
involved with it. According to Michelle Chalmers, who together with her
partner welcomed several youth into their home, "Getting involved with
this program was one of the best things that ever happened to us.
Sometimes we had to look really hard, but we could see that we were making
a positive difference." Started in Minneapolis, it has also been a model
for organizations in other cities that want to create something similar,
such as the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, Michigan.

According to a new national report released by The Task Force, of the
estimated 1.6 million homeless American youth, 42 percent are GLBT. "If
you have an extra room in your house and an open heart, give us a call",
says Raquel Simões, GLBT Host Home Program Manager.

Contact information: Raquel (Rocki) Simões, hosthome [at],
612-522-1690, ext. 110

--------15 of 21--------

From: tom [at]
Subject: NE farmers mkt 1.25 6pm

Hello fan of the NE Farmers Market and/or lover of great local food,

Here we are in the depths of winter and NOW is time to discuss what we can
all do to make the NE Farmers Market the best that it can be. On THIS
Thursday, January 25th there is a meeting to discuss the future of the NE
Farmers Market and to establish an advisory board for it.

One of the items of discussion is the possible move of the Farmers Market.

The meeting will be in the Sheridan Room at the Pierre Bottineau Library
(55 NE Broadway, Broadway and Marshall in the old Grainbelt Brewery) on
Thursday, January 25th from 6 to 8:PM.

Come and bring your forward thinking caps and energy and please feel free
to make this te best Farmers Market that it can be. Please spread this
word to any and all interested folks. -Tom Taylor 612-788-4252

--------16 of 21--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Moyers/green God 1.25 6pm

Thursday, 1/25, free dinner at 6, movie at 6:30, Bill Moyers "Is God Green?"
on growing environmental movement among evangelical Christians, Dayton
Avenue Presbyterian Church, 217 Mackubin St (2 blocks n of Selby & Dale), St

--------17 of 21--------

From: David B. <dboehnke [at]>
Subject: Free classes/Mac 1.25 6pm

A Thursday's Event: Free Education Opportunity,
     Experimental College Infosession, Thursday, 6pm,
     Macalester's Campus Center

Please send out this awesome opportunity for free education, with teachers
ranging from Terry Janis of the American Indian Land Tenure Foundation to
Jesse Mortenson of the Green Party and more.

Free Education! Experimental College Infosession, Thursday Jan 25th at 6pm
at Macalester's Campus Center, 1600 Grand Ave in St. Paul

The Experimental College, where everyone can teach or teach classes for
free is offering 19 free courses which run from the end of January to
mid-April on topics from American Indians and their Lands, to Anarchist
theory, to Theater of the Oppressed, to Latino Organizing for Alternatives
to Globalization...and many more!

EXCO is committed to using education as a force for social equality,
justice, and community power. Classes are free and open to the public.
Most classes utilize space at Macalester (out of which EXCO is currently
organized) but are held as is preferred by the teachers. EXCO was started
in response to Macalester's cutting need-blind admissions and in the hopes
of creating a living alternative to the current inequitable and
unaccountable higher education system. The classes are as follows:

American Indians and their Lands (tjanis (at)

Basic Bicycle Maintenance (dteske (at)

Bike Feminism (cstoscheck (at) <mailto:cstoscheck*>)

Black Folk: Culture Defeats Holocaust (kalpulli (at)

Fundamentals of Jazz and Competition Dance (phiggs (at)

Fundamentals of Longform Improv (massivecreativity (at)

Global Warming and Energy: Renewing Our Future (tdenherder-thomas (at) <mailto:tdenherder-thomas*>)

Imagination and Social Liberation (ewd (at)

Immigration/Migration: Local, National, and Trans-National (trebert (at) <mailto:trebert*>)

Intro to Anarchist Theory (brogers (at)

Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed (cas_oya (at)

Latino Labor Rights Organizing for Alternatives to Globalization
(eduardocardenas (at) <mailto:eduardocardenas*>)

Leadership and Social Change (m_moua (at)

Political Campaigns 101: An Inside Look (davidwbenson (at)

Southern Studies (Don't F*ck the South) (asolberg (at)

The Great Law of Peace: Past, Present, and Future (kalpulli (at) <mailto:kalpulli*>)

The Social Responsibility of African American Music (Drprof2148 (at) <mailto:Drprof2148*>)

Urban Gardening Reading Group (wells (at)

Working for A Sustainable Saint Paul (teknoj (at)

To register for a class email the teacher, visit
<>, or come to the EXCO infosession on Thursday,
January 25th at 6pm in Macalester's Campus Center, 1600 Grand Ave, St.
Paul MN. Questions/suggestions can be sent to dboehnke (at) <mailto:dboehnke*>. Spread the word!

--------18 of 21--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: Iraq war/film 1.25 7pm

On January 25th, 7 PM, Northwest Neighbors for Peace will sponsor a free
screening of the dynamic film, "The Ground Truth" at the Brookdale Library
in Brooklyn Center.  This film is one of 15 finalists for an Academy Award
for Best Documentary and features the true stories of vets from the Iraq
War.  It is a "must see"  for anyone who knows someone in the service or
any citizen who simply wants to understand what our troops are
experiencing. A discussion, led by members of Military Families Speak Out,
will follow the film. All are welcome; totally free.  For more
information, Carole Rydberg, 763-546-5368 or carydberg [at]

--------19 of 21--------

From: John Sherman <jsherman [at]>
Subject: Marty/health 1.25 7pm

Here is a chance to speak with a good progressive friend about what
you want to see done by the new legislature.

Listening Session on what the legislature should be solving. Each person
will have 2 minutes to speak about what the legislature should be doing
for Minnesota's families and Minnesota's future.  This session is open to
interested individuals with Senator John Marty Chair, Senate Committee on
Health Housing and Family Security

On Thursday evening, January 25th from 7:00PM to 8:30PM
At North Como Presbyterian Church 965 Larpenteur Ave West Roseville
The church is on Larpenteur at Victoria between Dale St and Lexington
It is physically handicapped accessible

--------20 of 21--------

Sigh for America
by James Carroll
Published on Monday, January 22, 2007 by the Boston Globe

"The Pass of the Moor's Sigh" is the place on the outskirts of a city in
Spain where its last Moorish ruler, upon being expelled from Iberia,
stopped to weep. His companion rebuked him, as the writer Robert Grudin
recounts , for waiting until all was lost to express his feeling. Why did
he not manifest his devotion to his realm before, when a different outcome
was still possible?

The feeling many Americans have today is that, all but literally, we are
being driven out of our beloved country. President Bush will deliver his
State of the Union address tomorrow night , and once more an air of
unreality will hang over the nation.

The hubris of former such speeches may be absent, but the president,
predictably, will discuss Social Security, the economy, the problem of
dependency on foreign oil. The rhetoric of bipartisanship will be in
evidence, if inauthentically. The chastened Bush will have little or
nothing to add on the subject of his new "strategy" in Iraq, although it
shows signs of already failing.

Bush's latest rationale for this war is to act in support of "the Iraqi
military," but does any such entity exist? Does defending the openly
tribal government of Nouri al-Maliki mean that US soldiers are now an
adjunct to Shi'ite death squads, even while being their target? If Maliki
and Bush are allies, why do they talk past each other? Why should the
Sunni leaders of "moderate" Arab states not be alarmed by the tightening
US-Shi'a embrace? And when insanity rules, does the fact that an air
attack on Iran's nuclear facility would be insane any longer mean it will
not happen?

In other words, the "surge" in Iraq that matters is the movement from
disaster to catastrophe. A question: How can otherwise rational policy
makers and military leaders continue to cooperate in this madness?

That, obviously, is a question that goes to the US Constitution: What
happens when a president's dogged determination begins to show itself as
an obsessive irrationality? In numerous television appearances last week,
interviewers successfully drew Bush out, showing him to be a man in the
grip of an ide fixe: He is saving America. From what, now that all
explanations for the war have been debunked, he cannot say. But the
president's transcendent project of national redemption justifies his
isolated inflexibility. That his decisions so palpably undermine US
security and lead to unnecessary deaths means little to him because his
decisions are deemed correct not by outcomes, but by being his. He is the

How bad do things have to get before the co-equal branch of the US
government begins to act? The Congress, even with Americans overwhelmingly
against the war, has been stymied. This seems partly the result of
dreading to appear not to "support the troops," and partly of the
Democrats' reluctance to take actions that might lead to their sharing
responsibility for the debacle.

The president is famously the commander in chief, able to take autonomous
action in war. But ironically, by following the Baker-Hamilton report with
a stage-managed act of war-renewal, he has just sacrificed that autonomy,
opening up an unprecedented opportunity for a congressional intervention.
The administration's own orchestration requires a political response from
Capitol Hill.

Unlike the larger war, the Bush "plan" to escalate numbers of US soldiers,
which is necessarily implemented gradually, can be opposed without
complication. That is being reflected in several resolutions, put before
members last week, that cap troop levels. With growing popular revulsion,
the disenchantment of Republicans, and the frankly expressed skepticism of
many military commanders, there is political cover for stopping the
increase now by the appropriations process. No funds for a surge.

If the Congress derailed Bush's planned escalation of the war, the war
itself would then be squarely on the table of the political process. An
utter reversal of what is meant by "supporting the troops" would lead the
public to welcome shifts in military funding that began to bring them
home. The already expressed will of the American people would begin to be
followed. No funds for more war. All of this can start tomorrow night.

Or will the political leadership of the United States wait until it is too
late? Like the last Moor of Iberia, will Congress decline to express
itself when the crucial difference could be made? Who then will sympathize
with their regret, or care about their weeping? Much less vote for them
when they run for president?

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

--------21 of 21--------

America's Narcissists Indifferent to Iraqi Casualties
by Ahmed Amr
January 21, 2007

You can't make this stuff up. George Bush believes that "the Iraqi people
owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." On the other side of
the political divide, Presidential hopeful Joseph Biden -- a sponsor of
the anti-surge legislation pending before Congress -- maintains that we've
"done enough for the Iraqis."

What a strange war we're having Iraq. After four years of shifting
rationales, Americans remain clueless about why Bush opened this Pandora's
box. The cold math that led to this disastrous imperial project is just
too much for the pundits to own up to.

Far too many Americans trip over whatever happens to be the latest
rationale for sending half our army half way around the world to fight a
people that did us no harm. Even the anti-war camp is crowded with pundits
whose gripe de jour is that Bush is a messianic Samaritan idealist who
miscalculated the cost of exporting liberty to Iraqi ingrates.

Don't get me wrong. It's very gratifying to see the war party's
constituency dwindle to an irredentist thirty percent of the population.
It wasn't so long ago that opponents of the Iraq war were rewarded with
scarlet letters identifying them as subversive Al-Qaeda apologists.

But if Gerald Ford went to the great beyond believing that Bush's Iraqi
expedition was motivated by a desire to 'free people' -- we have a serious
problem on our hand. Because that was hardly the mission in Iraq.

We ended up getting into this Mesopotamian mess because a number of
constituencies -- represented by skillful political operatives and
lobbyists -- combined forces to promote this debacle of choice.

There's no denying the primary role of the neo-con think tanks and their
Likudnik mass media collaborators in orchestrating this war. But let's not
forget that the Gulf States rolled out the red carpet for the
Anglo-American invasion forces.  Down on Main Street, the Armageddon
worshipping dispensationalists fielded the jingoistic mobs that subscribe
to the notion that a little hellfire and damnation in the Middle East will
bring on the end of times. And, of course, there is that little detail
about Iraqi oil reserves. Did I fail to mention Halliburton and the
military industrial complex?

Yet for many Americans, launching this illegal war of aggression was just
a primal act of vengeance in retribution for the atrocities of 9/11. This
particular constituency enthusiastically lined up to join the war party --
without the slightest need for an elaborate WMD hoax.  They just wanted to
kill as many Arabs as possible. Did it matter that the secular Baathist
regime in Baghdad had nothing to do with Al Qaeda? Not a bit.

Just like Vietnam, support for this quagmire gradually eroded with the
escalating cost in American blood and American treasure. But even now --
after the official rationales for the war have been thoroughly debunked --
there continues to be few audible voices of contrition over Iraqi

Does it really matter how many of these unfortunate brown victims were
children or how many women cradling babies were snuffed by "smart bombs?"
Do American musicians regret the loss of gifted Iraqi musicians? Do
American soldiers empathize with the simple farmer whose only sin was that
he was drafted into Iraq's army? Have American academics taken a stand
against the systematic slaughter of their colleagues in Baghdad?

Imagine if we lined up the cadavers of every innocent Iraq civilians who
fell victim to Bush's Mesopotamian folly? What if we had a coast-to-coast
tour of the horrors we have inflicted on the natives of that distant land?
What if we could witness the blown out brains, the missing limbs and the
bloated disfigured bodies with obvious signs of pre-mortem torture
sessions?  What if we could sense the constant fear that blights every
Iraqi home?

Exactly how much gratitude should we expect from Iraqis? Should we bill
them for the cost of our 'noble' adventure? So far, this murderous venture
has killed half a million Iraqis at the cost of five hundred billion
dollars.  That works out to a million dollars for every 'kill.' Fire
bombing Fallujah and Tel Afar, committing war crimes at Abu Ghraib, mowing
down civilians at Haditha, recruiting Shia death squads into the Iraqi
police and army, igniting a civil war. None of that comes cheap. Shouldn't
the Iraqis set up collection plates to pay us back?

While there continues to be a great deal of controversy over the exact
number of Iraqis maimed and murdered in the killing fields of our newest
colonial acquisition -- you can be certain that Bush is indifferent to the
actual toll. It's not only the American government and media that keep a
lid on the number of casualties sustained by our colonial subjects.
Maliki's sectarian regime -- an entity that sponsors death squads fully
attired in police uniforms -- is openly hostile to any NGO that attempts
to tabulate credible statistics.

It stands to reason that any government with an infrastructure capable of
dispensing ration cards and registering eligible voters also has the
facility to count Iraq's dead and wounded. The high-tech army fielded by
Bush and Blair has more than enough talent and resources to set up
accurate data bases to record each and every victim, their age, sex and
cause of death.

You would think that the mass media moguls would find civilian casualties
to be an interesting 'angle' to the Iraq story. But then again -- they've
demonstrated only modest concerns about American casualties.

The most nauseating thing about the Iraq war debate is that -- even in the
peace camp -- the discussion revolves around what the war has done to us.
People are sincerely outraged that the Iraqis are 'not taking
responsibility' for the Mess on Potamia.  Welcome to America the

One and a half million Iraqi refugees lost their country to our invasion
-- but we refuse to take in all but a few thousand. Iraqi exiles are being
treated with the same cruelty visited on Vietnam's boat people. We spent
$500 billion tearing the place up and now we're going to charitably give
up one billion for a jobs program.

You can't really blame Joe six-pack for over-dosing on Rupert Murdoch's
racist crap. Joe doesn't vote and can tell you with absolute certainty
that Saddam was caught red-handed with a nuclear bomb in his vest pocket.

But what about the rest of us? Why are so many well-educated well-informed
Americans so indifferent to Iraq's sufferings?

This week, George Bush decided to escalate the war against the wishes of
seven out of ten Americans. The president continues to quench his thirst
for 'victory' at the Kool Aid factory owned and operated by the American
Enterprise Institute -- a quasi-academic storefront set up by the Israeli
Lobby. How many MSM articles will report that the authors of the 'surge'
are AEI operatives? Or that the architects of this 'new strategy' wear the
colors of the same old gang that that gave us Douglas Feith, Paul
Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Or that the AEI is financed by Irving
Moskowitz, an extremist Likudnik who operates bingo halls in Florida and
finances illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Enough of us are aware that the foreign policy machinery has been
expropriated by the most belligerent anti-Arab racists in the land -- the
Israel First crowd.  But few dare to hold these delusional Likudnik nuts
accountable for their role in corrupting WMD intelligence or abusing their
media power to drag the country into the worst strategic blunder in
American history. There's a word for that kind of timidity: cowardice.

Maybe the deceiver-in-chief and the Israeli Lobby know a few things about
the American public that few of us care to admit. Let's be blunt. The vast
majority of us don't give a damn about Iraqis anymore than George Bush

We need to put an end to the lie that we invaded Iraq with good
intentions. We didn't. Bush launched this war of aggression to mess up the
place, control a country that sits on 10% of the world's oil reserves,
prop up the dollar and redraw the map to suit Israel's real estate
fantasies. If the president actually believed for one minute that Saddam
had weapons of mass destruction, he would have backed off -- just like he
did with North Korea.

The only problem we have in Iraq is that it didn't turn out to be a
cakewalk because this gambling fool of a president underestimated the cost
in blood and treasure and discounted any potential uprising by our
colonial subjects. He now faces the very real prospect of ceding control
to indigenous forces loyal to Tehran.

If truth be told, the only mission left in Iraq is damage control. But how
can you begin to sort out this mess when the same individuals who dug this
hole have veto power over the parameters of the debate?

Bush isn't the only one living in denial. Americans need to stop wallowing
in self-pity about what the Iraq war has done to us. Only then can we
manage the essential task of impeaching Bush, rounding up the neo-con
culprits responsible for the war, identify the MSM hooligans who conspired
with the war party and initiate an expedited exit strategy that takes into
account the welfare of the Iraqi people. And let's be decent enough to
demonstrate a little guilt and contrition on the way out.

Ahmed Amr is the editor of He can be reached at:
Montraj [at]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
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