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Why Rush to War? * Peace Shields * Standing Deer

25 January 2003

1) Why the Rush to War?
2) Rush to Attack Iraq (sic) Timetables
3) U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq
4) Support for War with Iraq Weakens
5) Human shields head for Iraq
6) NOT IN MY NAME - Vigil for PEACE
7) Standing Deer murdered in Houston

Editor's Notes:

Why rush to war? It is the ugly American not giving Peace a Chance. It is the heartless person to rob joy, peace, and life from innocent people for some weird self-serving mad agenda.

This Wednesday, the day after Bush's State of the Union address, people are taking leave from work to attend a peace vigil. See item 6 for details on how you can participate. Also, see this item for information on Kucinich on CNN this Monday, on the UN weapon inspectors' report.

Those serving as human peace shields truly honor humanity with their caring, courage, and sacrifice. What a contrast from the US considering engaging in tactical nuclear strikes. Who is the terrorist?

During these dark times for humanity, please also honor and take actions in the memory of Standing Deer, who passed into the spirit world 20 January 2003.

May the good path take you and find you within.

1) Why the Rush to War?

We ought not to tolerate a government that commits such acts in our name.

Why the Rush to War?
By Robert Higgs

In the face of worldwide opposition and growing domestic condemnation of the Bush administration's rush to war, the president has launched a new public relations offensive to convince the world abroad and the American people that nothing can stop the United States from carrying out its impending military conquest of Iraq. In public appearances, the commander in chief has displayed ever more impatience not only with the Iraqi regime's actions but also with anyone's even questioning his war policy. Merely repeating tired declarations that Saddam has brutalized his own people and "failed to disarm," President Bush has added nothing of substance to the administration's case for going to war. Instead, he has become petulant when asked to
explain, for example, why he is so angrily intent on military action against Iraq while he is so serenely content to let diplomacy continue indefinitely to resolve the more serious threat posed by North Korea's barbarous regime..

.. . In any event, the president's recently displayed impatience and undisguised hostility ill suit a leader who, thanks to congressional abdication, holds the power of war and peace in his own hands. War is too serious a matter to be decided by someone who lacks the keen intelligence and mature judgment to understand the situation fully and to weigh the pros and cons of alternative
policies wisely. George Bush is doing nothing to reassure the public that he has what it takes to be a responsible foreign policy maker.

Worse, he appears to be acting under the greatest sway of advisers—Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and their ilk—who have long been obsessed with attacking Iraq no matter what Saddam might do to placate them and who manifest a megalomania for remaking the Middle East in their preferred image. Their fantasies of transforming Iraq into a liberal democracy abide light years away from any realizable reality: Iraq lacks all the ingredients for baking that cake. If Americans allow themselves to become lodged in Iraq, ruling it directly or through a puppet regime, they will soon rue the day they plunged into that oil-rich but politically hopeless quagmire. If U.S. occupiers cannot deal successfully even with the rag-tag clans and warlords of Afghanistan, they won't stand a chance in the treacherous ethnic, religious, and political cauldron known as Iraq.

Ultimately, the most troubling aspect of the administration's present rush to war is its failure to treat the question of war and peace as the grave issue that it is. War consists of many horrors, most of them spilling onto wholly innocent parties. It ought never to be entered into lightly. Indeed, it ought always to be undertaken only after every decent alternative has been exhausted. We are far from having exhausted every good alternative. To allow more time for the inspections to proceed promises a far better ratio of benefits to costs than going straight to war.

That the United States already has positioned scores of thousands of troops near Iraq, ready to launch an attack, in no way justifies proceeding with that attack. Acting on a "use 'em or lose 'em" assumption makes no sense. Better to withdraw those forces than to commit them to a war that easily might have been avoided. The men and women in the U.S. armed forces certainly deserve to be kept out of harm's way unless a completely compelling reason exists to place their lives at risk. Nor do the countless Iraqi civilians who will suffer in any war deserve the harms that a U.S. attack will bring them. The ordinary Iraqi citizen is not the Iraqi regime. No defensible moral calculus can justify killing those hapless people—military conscripts as well as civilians—just because the Bush administration harbors an animus toward Saddam Hussein and his lieutenants.

Despite what President Bush insists, time is on our side, not Saddam's. We hold the upper hand in every way. It is no answer to catalog how under a host of conditions not yet realized and not likely to be realized soon, the Iraqi regime someday might seriously harm the American people here on our own territory. Justification of war requires that we face a definite, immediate, grave threat, and the administration has put forth no evidence that Iraq poses such a threat to us. In the present circumstances, then, a U.S. attack on Iraq would constitute a clear, utterly unjustified act of aggression. We ought not to tolerate a government that commits such acts in our name.

For the complete commentary, see:

* For Robert Higgs' bio, see:

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For a related piece, Senator John Kerry's remarks at Georgetown University:

"Mr. President, Do Not Rush To War"

2) Rush to Attack Iraq (sic) Timetables

The Message from the Bush Camp: 'It's War Within Weeks'

Friday, January 24, 2003

· Washington now concentrating on timing
· State of union address to 'turn up the heat'
· Blair faces nightmare scenario over war decision

by Julian Borger in Washington,
Ewen MacAskill and Simon Tisdall

President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London.

The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday.

"The pressure comes from President Bush and it is felt all the way down," a European official said. "They're talking about weeks, not months. Months is a banned word now."

Mr Bush wanted the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, to force the issue of military action by presenting evidence of Saddam Hussein's violations of UN resolutions immediately after weapons inspectors give their report to the UN on Monday. In Washington circles such an event is being referred to as the Adlai Stevenson moment.

The "Adlai Stevenson moment" has become Washington shorthand for the US presentation of its intelligence case. Stevenson was the US ambassador to the UN at the time of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, who dramatically confronted the Soviet envoy with vivid aerial photographs of nuclear missiles being unloaded in Cuba.

Downing Street was alarmed by the Bush administration's sudden haste in moving towards a climax. It was adamant that the decision to go to war should not be declared before Tony Blair flies to Camp David for talks with Mr Bush next Friday.

An informed source in Washington said: "Blair is a good guy. They won't want to do that to him. They want it to look like he played a part in the policy-making but the decision has been made."

A key moment will now be the state of the union address. According to a Washington source, the US administration remains divided along old fault lines about the precise timescale of war. The US secretary of state, Donald Rumsfeld, wants Mr Bush to set a clear and imminent deadline. But Mr Powell, is resisting, asking for a little more time for diplomatic coalition-building.

But both sides of the divide are making it increasingly clear that the end result will be military action, with or without UN backing.

The chief White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, yesterday brushed off mounting anti-war feeling across Europe, led by France. It was "entirely possible that France won't be on the line", he said, adding that Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain and "virtually all of the eastern European countries" would provide support.

Mr Powell echoed this, saying: "I don't think we will have to worry about going it alone."

The impatience within the White House for action against Iraq came on a day in which the cracks in the international coalition against Iraq widened. China and Russia joined France and Germany in warning the US against precipitate action and calling for Washington to work within the UN.

The German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, revealed the extent of European anger over the US position when he told Washington to "cool down". The Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, said: "Russia deems that there is no evidence that would justify a war in Iraq."

But Mr Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, ratcheted up the rhetoric by claiming that Iraqi scientists were at risk of death. "We know from multiple sources that Saddam has ordered that any scientists who cooperate during interviews will be killed, as well as their families," he said.

Britain believes it has won a short reprieve before the US presents its own intelligence evidence against Saddam Hussein, in effect a declaration of war, but only for a fortnight at most.

Mr Bush will lay out the broad case for toppling President Saddam next Tuesday but White House officials insist the speech, a year after the president coined the phrase, "axis of evil", will stop short of being a declaration of war. That will await a more detailed presentation of intelligence evidence in the next few weeks, after Mr Blair visits Camp David.

"We said that has to be a substantive consultation, not a fait accompli," one British official said. The British argument is that the longer the US waits before showing its hand, the better the case it will have to put before the UN security council, as the inspectors come across more Iraqi infringements.

The Foreign Office had initially sought to defuse the rising tension around next Monday's inspectors' report by denying that it represented a "moment of truth", but in recent days a source conceded: "That was never going to be realistic. Of course it's important."

At his meeting with Mr Powell yesterday, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, clung to the official line. "There are still ways that this can be resolved peacefully," he said. Mr Straw repeated that the British preference is for a second UN resolution before any further action against Iraq but Mr Powell, in a change of tack, refused to commit himself to seeking a second resolution.

One of the factors behind Washington's haste appears to be the annual rise in temperatures in the Iraqi desert over the next few months. In theory, US and some allied troops have the capacity to fight in any weather but the effectiveness of both soldiers and equipment diminishes rapidly when the temperature rises over 35C.

"The planes have been designed for the cold war. They start losing lift, carry lighter loads, and must make shorter runs when the temperature goes over 35," said one government official involved in Anglo-American debates over the timing of an attack.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003,2763,881215,00.html

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For a related article "From the Wilderness"

January 24, 2003, 1930 PST (FTW) - Serious international developments are indicating that the first stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq will begin unilaterally no later than next Wednesday and most likely as the President delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night.

..Only time will tell if they are correct.

For the full report, see:

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This following link is to an on January 25, 2003 in the Washington Post:

"Troop Deployment Timetables and Drive to Build Support Temper Bush's Desire to Act"

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, January 25, 2003; Page A17

While making clear it believes Iraq has already violated last November's U.N. Security Council resolution, the Bush administration will acquiesce to continued U.N. inspections there, at least for the next several weeks, according to U.S. and diplomatic sources.

There is no expectation that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will decide to cooperate more fully with weapons inspectors, and the administration is unlikely to announce any formal retreat as it strives to keep the pressure on Baghdad, sources said. But requests from Britain, the need to build more public and political support at home and abroad, and a military schedule that is a month or more away from full deployment have combined to temper thoughts of attempting an earlier inspection cutoff.

"Events will drive the timetable," one administration official said. Beginning with the inspectors' report to the council on Iraqi cooperation Monday, followed by a subsequent, less formal report now scheduled for Feb. 14, British and U.S. officials believe it will become increasingly apparent to a council majority that, even without the discovery of an Iraqi "smoking gun," continued inspections will serve no useful disarmament purpose.

A complete posting, see:

3) U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq

Los Angeles Times
Saturday, January 25, 2003 by the
U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq
by Paul Richter

WASHINGTON -- As the Pentagon continues a highly visible buildup of troops and weapons in the Persian Gulf, it is also quietly preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons in a war against Iraq, according to a report by a defense analyst.

Although they consider such a strike unlikely, military planners have been actively studying lists of potential targets and considering options, including the possible use of so-called bunker-buster nuclear weapons against deeply buried military targets, says analyst William M. Arkin, who writes a regular column on defense matters for The Times.

Military officials have been focusing their planning on the use of tactical nuclear arms in retaliation for a strike by the Iraqis with chemical or biological weapons, or to preempt one, Arkin says.

For a complete posting of this Los Angeles Times article, see:

4) Support for War with Iraq Weakens

Support for War with Iraq Weakens
Majority in Poll Critical of bush record on the economy

By Dana Milbank and Richard Morin
Washington Post
January 22, 2003

Seven in 10 Americans would give U.N. weapons inspectors months more to pursue their arms search in Iraq, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that found growing doubts about an attack on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

In addition to the public's skepticism about military action against Iraq, the poll found that a majority of Americans disapproved of President Bush's handling of the economy for the first time in his presidency. The number of Americans who regard the economy as healthy has not been lower in the past nine years, and fewer than half supported the tax cut plan Bush has proposed as a remedy.

The Post-ABC poll is based on telephone interviews with 1,133 randomly selected adults conducted from Jan. 16 to Jan. 20. Margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

For this complete report, see:

5) Human shields head for Iraq

Human shields head for Iraq
By Andrew Cawthorne

LONDON (Reuters) - Proclaiming they are prepared todie to stop war in Iraq, the first convoy of "human shield" volunteers has driven out of London on double-decker buses bound for Baghdad.

The roughly 50 volunteers, ranging from a 19-year-old factory worker to a 60-year-old former diplomat, formed the vanguard of a series of caravans organisers say will take hundreds, possibly thousands, of anti-war activists to Iraq.

Dismissing criticism by some that they are naively playing into Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's hands, the volunteers plan to fan out to heavily populated areas of Baghdad and other parts of the country as a deterrent to possible U.S.-led bombing.

"We're not a bunch of nutters. We have thought about this," Scottish businessman Stevan Allen, 31, told Reuters at the send-off on the banks of the Thames river. "I could die, but I'd rather live a short life achieving something useful than a long one doing nothing to change the terrible state of the world."

.."We have been inundated by volunteers. This is just the first wave. I am calling for 10,000 to get down there and stop this war," he told Reuters as he saw his first group off.


Saturday's convoy -- like others planned for early February -- will travel across Europe, picking up morepeople, loading provisions and stopping to promote their cause. The three buses were led by a white taxi with a huge peace flag on the top.

On board were volunteers from across Europe, Canada and the United States, plus one Norwegian-based Iraqi.

..In the Muslim world, the main rallying point for
would-be human shields is in Jordan. There, a campaign
led by leftist parties and civic bodies is seeking
100,000 volunteers.

The above was excerpted, for the complete article, see:

6) NOT IN MY NAME - Vigil for PEACE

NO WAR IN IRAQ - January 29, 2003 - NOT IN MY NAME -

In honor of Phil Berrigan, people are being encouraged to take a peace sign and/or stand in a silent vigil for peace for ONE hour. This is a grass roots action on the day after Bush's State of the Union address. The WORK STOPPAGE to CLAIM the war against Iraq is NOT IN MY NAME, begins at 2:00 P.M. EST, (9am HI) (10am AK) (11am PT) (noon Mt) (1pm Central)(2pm ET). Please, pass the word to help spread the effectiveness of this action!

NO WAR IN IRAQ - January 29, 2003 - nationally coordinated day of local protests at Federal buildings, the day following Bush's State of the Union address. Also, in solidarity with the European movement for mass anti-war demonstrations on February 15, there will be demonstrations in thousands of cities across the country and around the world. A.N.S.W.E.R. joins with UFPJ and hundreds of other organizations who will be mobilizing for the NYC action. The February 15 protest will be part of the Week of Anti-War Resistance from February 13 to February 21. For more information on these campaigns, visit and

SCOTT RITTER: The Case Against The U.S. War on Iraq - Join the campaign to see and share a historic anti-war speech by Scott Ritter at the Deerfield Academy on October 15, 2002. For related information on this video and subject, visit the following URL link:,83775,

The Global Network (GN), with support from activists in New Mexico and beyond, will be protesting in Albuquerque at the 20th Annual Symposium on Space Nuclear Power & Propulsion. NASA keeps insisting that nuclear power in space is only for civilian interplanetary exploration. For years the GN has been saying that nukes in space are really icebreakers -- sold to the public as civilian technologies but also intended for military purposes down the road. GN board member Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Physics at CUNY has long maintained that nuclear reactors are the only feasible way to provide the enormous power needed for laser weapons in space. On May 3, 2003, there will be protests at NASA's Launch of Mars Plutonium Mission at the Kennedy Space Center. For more information, visit the web site of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Draft Kucinich for President 2004 -
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich is a man of strength and conviction who understands that for every action there is a consequence in national policy. Whether that be a war on Iraq resulting in even more terrorism against the United States, or lessening regulations on corporate America resulting in high crimes against the people, or cutting health funding to communities which results in more people going without needed medical services. It is time to stand up for sanity and reclaim our democracy. Representative Kucinich for US President in 2004, visit:,43210,m"

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich will be appearing on CNN's "Wolf Blitzer Reports" this Monday 27 January 2003 - [Show airs between 5-6pm EST.] Kucinich will discuss the latest developments in Iraq and Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix's report to the United Nations.

These items are posted at with additional events, and updated, under "campaigns and actions"

7) Standing Deer murdered in Houston

Original Message Fri, 24 Jan 2003 101828 -0500
Subject[ActionGreens] Ex-pol. pris. Standing Deer murdered in Houston

From: Bob Lederer
For those who missed yesterday's Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News, Native American former political prisoner Standing Deer was stabbed to death on Monday in his home in Houston. During his 25-year sentence in federal prison, he became friends with Leonard Peltier after exposing a prison administration plot to kill Leonard. Since his release in 2001, Standing Deer had become active in the indigenous community of Houston, where he became a friend and colleague of restored KPFT Native American programmer Jacquelyn Battise. Jac told some of us on our last trip to Houston that she greatly valued the friendship and insights of this 70-year-old elder, and had him as a guest on her program several times. He had become a community adviser to the program and Jac looked forward to more joint work in the future. So this is a terrible blow for her as well.

Here's an excerpt from her email to me from Monday

There many people in grief and sorrow tonight over the death of Standing Deer. He is loved by many. He was a true warrior. In his death he put up a fight. He was devoted to freeing his dear friend Leonard Peltier. I know he would want us to carry on that struggle. Leonard has suffered a great loss in Standing Deer his trusted friend.

In my shock and horror to Standing Deer's death I asserted an assumption that this could be a political murder. As there is someone in custody for his Standing Deer's death, all the pieces are not yet known and there are many questions to be answered before anyone can say what exactly went down.

It has been a nightmare for many of us who loved him. Standing Deer knew what hell on earth was and he evolved from that hell. As an elder he had so much joy and spirit and love. I don't know the words to say what knowing him has been for me I can only hope to know something of the kind of strength and courage and love Standing Deer was.



P.S. (from Bob): What follows is a brief statement about Standing Deer's murder by the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, followed by a statement Standing Deer sent to an Ameican Indian Movement rally for Leonard Peltier last summer in Houston.


LPDC - On the Passing of Standing Deer

January 21, 2003

Dear Friends

Late yesterday afternoon the LPDC was informed of the death of Robert Standing Deer Wilson. As many of you know, Standing Deer was a close friend and brother to Leonard Peltier for the past 25 years.

He had long been a vocal supporter for Leonard, and in the past year assisted in organizing Houston events and radio programs dedicated to Leonard's freedom. More recently, Standing Deer joined the LPDC's Board of Directors and was an active member. The LPDC is saddened and greatly regrets his passing. More information will be forthcomingas details are released.

In Solidarity,



Sanding Deer's Message to the People June 26, 2002

Greetings to all my sisters and brothers, I pray you, your many relatives, and those you love are well and happy and enjoying all the blessings our Mother has to offer.

My name is Standing Deer. I've been locked away in supermax Iron Houses for the last quarter-of-a-century. Eight months ago they got weak and let me go, and while I'm happy to be out of
prison I'll never be free until my brother Leonard Peltier is free.

So as we approach another June 26 which marks the 27th anniversary of the firefight at Oglala, South Dakota, where Peltier was framed and lost his freedom we must remember this indomitable warrior who is being robbed of his very life because of the lies and injustice of the takers of the fat. Leonard has been a captive of the united states going on 27 years for a crime he didn't even commit. I've known him for 25 of those years and I've seen them force him to exist in a cage so small that had he been a dog the Humane Society would have closed the prison down. During these years his keepers have subjected him to hideous treatment in an effort to break his will and Spirit but he is protected by the Spirit of Crazy Horse and his warrior heart remains strong and unyielding serving as an inspiration to us all. Make no mistake about it - Peltier is an innocent man! He has committed no crime! He is the victim of a system of injustice which operates outside the moral boundaries that just people claim to live by.

Brothers and Sisters, Leonard Peltier is a Prisoner of War unjustly held captive in his own land by the descendants of the very sea pirates who murdered his great grandmothers & great grandfathers, decimated his People., and stole Mother Earth out from under their feet.

Peltier is the longest held Native Prisoner of War in this country and on June 26th People all across Turtle Island will be holding events to honor this courageous brother. In Houston we will be having a march dedicated to Leonard's freedom. You are all invited to attend. Houston will be the only city to have Leonard's grandson, Cyrus, to speak to us with a message directly from his grandfather in Leavenworth prison. Please come out for this June 26th celebration. We want you to be there!

[The event was sponsored by Houston A.I.M.]

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