Ann Wright, Watada, and the Iraq Report (19 Dec 06)
If you've been following the news, you won't be surprised by the findings of the The Iraq Study Group. You can download the entire report. This might be my vacation reading.
Their report certainly is a welcome change from Bush's "Stay the Course" or his "Mission Accomplished," but seems a far cry from an acceptance that our military should pull out ASAP since we are the ones causing the most disruption there.
I am a pacifist, but this war made no sense from any point of view from the start. I think the majority of Americans expressed the same thoughts in their last congressional vote.
It will be interesting to see how Bush, the Media, and the new Congress respond to the Report. There are some very important aspects there, such as how the Pentagon has been underreporting the number of deaths, and the amazing price tag of the war. The importance of resuming the Israel-Palestinian peace talks is also important. I've been amazed by Bush's stance on this, which has been a barrier to peace in the Middleast.
Although there are some bright spots in the report, such as the above, I am amazed that it suggests sending in even more soldiers to do training. I haven't read the report yet, but this seems patently absurd since that has supposedly been Bush's main objective to date, but every report says that the Iraqi military is far from reliable. There are also many reports human rights abuses by US-trained Iraqi soldiers. A panel on this morning's Democracy Now pointed out that the Committee only spent around 8 days in Iraq. No wonder why it does not deal with how the war and occupation has made life in Iraq so miserable.
I don't have time to write more, but needed to express that. More importantly, I wanted to remind you that the campaign is continuing against the brave servicepeople who said that this war was wrong such as Lt. Ehren Watada. It is important not to forget about them.
I won't be able to make it, but Ann Wright will be speaking on Tuesday, 19 December 19 at the Church of the Crossroads at 7pm. I received an e-mail reminding me that "Ann was a witness in Lt. Watada's hearing in August. She was arrested at the UN when Bush came to speak in October. And she's been speaking out against the illegal war in Iraq every minute in between (when she's not in court for her actions or the actions of her fellow resisters)."
I've also heard that Lt. Ehren Watada also received permission to come to Hawaii during this same time period even though he is forbidden from engaging in major speaking activities or media events during his visit.