ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
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United for Peace and Justice is horrified by the senseless death and destruction caused by the bombings in London on July 7, 2005. Our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones and those who have been wounded, as well as the countless people whose lives have been forever shaken by these events. UFPJ opposes terrorism - acts of violence against innocent civilians - in all its forms: bombs on public transportation in London, planes flying into buildings in New York City, or the armies of the United States and Great Britain waging war on the people of Iraq.
As we write this statement, there is no certainty as to who who is responsible for the London bombings. UFPJ hopes that as those who committed criminal acts are brought to justice there is no rush to judgment or assumption of guilt. It is in these moments that smear campaigns against individuals and whole communities can easily take hold, often shaped by and feeding racist stereotypes. We must counter those who will claim that the bombings reflect the supposedly violent nature of Muslims or the religion of Islam.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's comments that this was an attack on our values and way of life echoed much of the language George W. Bush used to justify his war on Iraq. We were told by the Bush Administration that our nation had to go to war in Iraq in order to fight terrorism, to make us and the world safer. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, none of us is more secure since the Bush Administration launched its so-called war on terror. The war on Iraq and the military occupation of that nation has certainly not made the Iraqi people any safer, nor has it lessened the risk of future terror attacks elsewhere around the world. Instead of feeding the cycle of killing it is time for a new direction in our policies. It is time for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, time to end U.S. support for Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, time to stop supporting repressive regimes in the Middle East and other places, and time to remove U.S. military bases from oil-rich countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Just as we mourn the loss of life in London, we mourn the daily loss of life in Iraq. We use this occasion to re-commit ourselves to doing all that we can to end the war in Iraq, including building a massive anti-war march in Washington, DC on Sept. 24th. We will also be vigilant in ensuring that this new round of violence is not used by the Blair and Bush administrations as an excuse either for new military attacks in foreign lands or for domestic policies that scapegoat Muslims, immigrants and people of color.
The scapegoat line is perhaps questionable (and domestic policies that punish the poor and middle class? educational institutions? independent media and investigative journalism?) but otherwise not a bad statement. No match for Galloway, etc. but I suppose we'll take what we can get.
Of course simply withdrawing is not about to cure this wound either. The wealthiest Americans should be taxed severely in order to pay for state of the art infrastructure, schools, public transportation and teacher salaries in Iraq over the course of the next 50 years. If we have to postpone plans for a few interstellar missiles in order to pay for it as well that wouldn't break my heart.
Karl Rove – Sometimes The Cover-Up Is Worse Than The Crime
July 12, 2005
During yesterday’s daily briefing with White House reporters, Press Secretary Scott McClellan learned how difficult it can be to defend the indefensible. McClellan was given countless opportunities to clear up previous White House statements regarding the involvement of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove in the outing of an undercover CIA agent. McClellan instead dodged all questions regarding the scandal, frustrating the White House press corps and causing NBC White House news correspondent David Gregory to exclaim, “this is ridiculous.” It is indeed ridiculous that the White House is not being forthcoming about a possible breach of national security and criminal activity that involves one of its highest ranking staffers.
* McClellan’s excuse for his silence doesn’t hold up when compared to his past actions. During yesterday’s briefing McClellan noted 23 times that he could not comment because there was an “ongoing investigation.” That did not stop McClellan from previously talking about Karl Rove and his role in the scandal. On October 1, 2003, McClellan said, “There is an investigation going on ... you brought up Karl's name. Let's be very clear. I thought – I said it was a ridiculous suggestion, I said it's simply not true that he was involved in leaking classified information, and – nor, did he condone that kind of activity." So it was OK for McClellan to talk about Rove and the scandal in 2003 but not yesterday?
* With each “no comment,” the White House is losing credibility with the American people. Even if Rove is not found to have committed any crime, the fact that he leaked Plame’s identity to Time magazine when the White House previously denied any involvement is damaging to the White House and the president. The fact that the White House seems unwilling to even stand by bland assertions that the leak is a "serious matter" (which McClellan did not say yesterday) or that the White House wants to find out the "truth" (which also wasn't stated) indicates how this matter has become one of credibility for the Bush White House. The inability to stand behind those statements yields little confidence that Bush will hold to his pledge to fire anybody who leaked the agent's name.
* The president, known to speak up for his friends, has been noticeably silent on Karl Rove. When right-wing conservatives started attacking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales following Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement, President Bush was quick to come to his defense. Since it was revealed that Rove was Matt Cooper’s source, President Bush has not said a word about Rove’s involvement in Plamegate, nor has he issued a statement of support. President Bush knows he can put an end to all these questions by demanding that Karl Rove himself come forward and tell all that he knows.
My goodness, somebody get that guy from NBC a tissue.