Thursday, August 25, 2005

Frank Rich: The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan

CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.

Link to NYTimes

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Robertson Suggests U.S. Kill Venezuela's Leader

Chavez assassination row erupts

President Hugo Chavez and his Cuban host Fidel Castro
A row has erupted over a call by US religious broadcaster Pat Robertson for the US to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Mr. Robertson said Monday on his show, "The 700 Club." "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Link to BBC (with video)
Link to NYTimes (with video)(free registration required)

Former CIA middle east specialist calls women's social rights "not critical to the evolution of democracy"

Reuel Marc Gerecht is the Director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century

MR. GERECHT: Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

Link to "Meet the Press" transcript

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Soldier 'instructed' to abuse Abu Ghraib prisoners

One of the US soldiers convicted of mistreating prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison says his superiors made it clear those incarcerated were to be abused.

Sergeant Javal Davis was sentenced to six months in jail after admitting to having deliberately stepped on the hands and feet of handcuffed prisoners.

In an interview aired on Channel 7, Sgt Davis said he was instructed to make life as unpleasant as possible for those he was guarding.

Link to ABC News, Australia

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Photo essay of nationwide vigils

The most extensive photo archive of Wednesday night's vigils.

Michael Berg, father of slain businessman Nick Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, holds a sign at Rodney square in downtown Wilmington, Del., in support of 'peace mom' Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005. Sheehan, whose soldier-son was killed in Iraq, has sparked the support of anti-war movements all over the country including a group from Wilmington, since Aug. 6, 2005 when she began a vigil near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Ron Soliman)


People line a street along Milwaukee's lake front during a candle light vigil in support of "peace mom" Cindy Sheehan Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash).

Link to (note: due to the high number of images load time is long, please be patient)

Dead Man's Family Criticize London Police

LONDON (AP) - London's police commissioner came under criticism Thursday for reportedly stalling an investigation into the fatal shooting of a Brazilian man mistaken for a bomber.
But a leaked report made by public by Britain's ITV television Tuesday into Menezes' death suggested the initial police statements about what happened that day were riddled with inaccuracies.

Link to The Guardian.

She reopened debate about war, and, boy, is she hearing about it

Vacaville resident Cindy Sheehan camped out near President Bush's vacation ranch in Crawford, Texas, in the hope of inspiring a national conversation about the war.

Her plea for Bush to explain what "noble cause" her son Casey died for in Iraq last year also has inspired a national conversation about Sheehan. And her name has become shorthand for what people think of the war.


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Link to San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff indicted

Link to CNN.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

IKEA goes organic

IKEA started their project by launching organic coffee, followed by strawberry/ orange jam and blue cheese. The coming winter IKEA will launch organic snaps (schnapps), and the meat sauce that will be served at the Ikea restaurants will also be certified organic.

Link to Øresund Food Excellence

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Secretive "guerrilla" artist Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

The nine paintings were created on the Palestinian side of the barrier.

One depicts a hole in the wall with an idyllic beach, while another shows a mountain landscape on the other side.

Banksy's spokeswoman Jo Brooks said: "The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him."

Link to BBC.

Banksy painting on Israel's security barrier

Mother of soldier who died in Iraq camping out to speak to Bush

Ms. Sheehan has vowed to camp out on the spot until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her, even if it means spending all of August under a broiling sun by the dusty road. Early on Sunday afternoon, 25 hours after she was turned back as she approached Mr. Bush's ranch, Prairie Chapel, Ms. Sheehan stood red-faced from the heat at the makeshift campsite that she says will be her home until the president relents or leaves to go back to Washington.

Link to New York Times.

Monday, August 08, 2005

CIA commander: U.S. let bin Laden slip away

[I]n a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. "He was there," Berntsen tells NEWSWEEK.

Link to Newsweek, via Slate.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bolton appointed US envoy to UN

US President George W Bush has formally appointed John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, without waiting for approval from the Senate.
John Bolton
Mr Bolton will be in his job for the opening of the General Assembly

Mr Bush called Mr Bolton a "talented and successful diplomat", who would help strengthen the organisation. He said Democrats had forced him to bypass Congress, using "shameful delaying tactics" to prevent a vote.

Link to BBC News