Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Preview of New Issue: 9/11 - 9/28/08
Iran & Iraq: U.S. Approach to Both Countries Eerily Similar
The Center for Public Integrity has accused the Bush administration of telling 935 "false statements" about Iraq in the two years after September 11, 2001. The "false statements" included accusations that the Iraqi government had chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities, had ties with Al-Qaeda, and had been seeking yellow cake uranium in Niger.
Now it is five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq last estimated that there were 34,452 Iraqi civilian deaths and 36,685 wounded Iraqi civilians in 2006 alone. Since 2003, the U.S. military deaths in Iraq have exceeded 4,000. The outlook is not positive.
The administration is, yet again, feeling threatened by a second-rate military in a third world country with a shoddy civilian nuclear program. President Bush contends that Iran is a nuclear threat to its allies in the region. Strangely, his fears of a nuclear Iran contradict the key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released in December 2003, which reported, among other things, that "Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it's less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we had been judging since 2003... Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously."
Despite this report, last year the Bush administration requested to increase the budget for its covert operations in Iran. This apparent contradiction within the upper echelons of the U.S. government is an echo of polices that are 'so 2003,' the same policies that lead us into war in Iraq.
On the Rise
"On the Rise is everything a woman needs to get her identity back," one guest says. "They accept us as we are," another adds. I frantically scribble down their words, nodding. My visit to On the Rise is as comfortable as I've ever been and probably ever will be in a room full of strangers. On the Rise may be a social service provider, but it feels more like a house full of friends, sisters and mothers. "Coming here -- it's like going to your own house," one woman says.
Voices from the Street: 911: Hello, This is the USA Calling
Marc D. Goldfinger
This is the last September 11 that George W. Bush will be president. I still can't capitalize that title while he remains in office. I hope he's snorting cocaine and eating pretzels today. We've come a long way, baby.
It's seven years since the planes hit the Twin Towers, since people leapt from the building holding hands and screaming, since the buildings fell, killing firemen, police, and other innocents who just happened to work there.
Seven years later and the policies of George W. and Dick Cheney have isolated the U.S. from the rest of the world. We're lucky if many people from other countries know that the majority of us don't agree with these idiotic policies.
George used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq. This is now costing the U.S. more than $11 billion a month. The Iraq war needs to be cut off at the knees and all our men and women brought home immediately. No excuses. It's a disaster if we stay, and because we went, it's a disaster if we come home. That's the way it is, whether we like it or not. Even if all our soldiers are brought home immediately, the medical costs will continue. There's nothing we can do about that. But we can cut our losses and that's all.