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Morning Report 1/20/06 Hearing From the Wrong People


No word from the missing Christian Peacemakers, but plenty from the un-Christian warmakers

Missing in action: For updates on the Christian Peacemaker Team, go to the CPT site or

The Epiphany passed without George W. Bush‘s having one, but that wasn’t the fault of the Christian Peacemaker Team.

And the frustrating and frightening wait continues for further word from the creepy Swords of Righteousness (or Truth or Justice or whatever bullshit name the radical Islamist group calls itself), who proudly claimed in late November to have kidnapped four members — Tom Fox, Harmeet Singh Sooden, Norman Kember, and Jim Loney — of the CPT’s heroic Iraq squad.

CPT leaders can’t even get a word with Bush, despite a fast in front of the White House. Along with Cindy Sheehan, they’ve landed on the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal’s enemies list. Considering the public pressure that the Mennonite-based CPT has tried to put on the Bush regime — and the fact that the Pentagon considers a Quaker meeting a “threat,” that’s no surprise.

I mean, for Christ’s sake, now the state of Ohio — one of Bush’s key battleground states that voted for him — has passed a law giving its police the authority to throw citizens in jail merely for refusing to identify themselves.

Meanwhile, the people you don’t want to hear from are talking: Osama bin Laden, Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney — especially Cheney.

How many times do we have to answer Cheney’s challenge to throw words back in his face? This is a continuing chore, but the vise president‘s speech yesterday in the friendly confines of the Manhattan Institute demand it.

Back in April 2004, the CPT wrote preposterous pasha Jerry Bremer to protest the behavior of the “coalition.” As the British NGO Ekklesia reported back then, CPT was typically straightforward:

[CPT wrote:] “We are deeply troubled about the recent escalation in violence throughout Iraq. We hear of overwhelming civilian casualties in Fallujah and elsewhere, amid reports of numerous Coalition deaths. Our Iraqi friends in neighbourhoods throughout Baghdad report civilian causalities, as well as great fear of kidnappings and spiralling violence.”

“One friend witnessed helicopter fire spraying heavily populated streets in Sadr City. Another tells that his children are terrified by both Coalition and resistance munitions. Yet another, who welcomed the troops with joy last spring, now says, ‘I hate Muqtada al-Sadr, but now I can also say that I hate the Americans.’

CPT report that Iraqi people on the streets have told them repeatedly that the Coalition’s use of excessive force encourages greater resistance.

“Such use of force, rather than reducing terrorism, actually acts as fuel on the fire,” says CPT.

Almost two years later, Cheney is doggedly trying to rewrite history, almost as it happens. Yesterday, the de facto president said:

Some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein, we simply stirred up a hornet’s nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on September 11, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway.

How does one respond to that “fundamental fact”?

By pointing out that one of the hijackers was in Minnesota but that FBI officials in D.C. wouldn’t let their agents in the field go after him?

Or by noting that the hijackers were Saudis, not Iraqis, and that they were the progeny of the mujahideen movement in Afghanistan, which was funded by the CIA and our “allies” in Saudi Arabia (plus bin Laden’s family fortune) and nurtured by Pakistan’s spy service?

Or by recalling that, despite countless warnings and pleas, cabal operative Steve Hadley (and now the national security adviser) didn’t come up with a plan to focus on bin Laden until September 10, 2001?

Or by noting that the very next morning, while the hijackers were crashing planes into New York City and the Pentagon, Porter Goss (then the House Intelligence chair, now the CIA director) was having breakfast in D.C. with hijacker Mohammed Atta‘s bag man?

Cheney needs to get a grip, but so do we. Or did I simply squeeze Cheney’s head too hard?

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