So happy to see that the voice of freedom is up again, because the thought police are messing with me.
For over two years I have been standing out on South Main St. holding a ragged cardboard sign with the latest from the New York Times â€˜Names of the Deadâ€™ count every Saturday. I got hooked on the NYT after 9/11, because they ran a tribute to every person who died in the World Trade Towers. I sat in the White Electric coffee shop, reading and mourning, as each dayâ€™s paper reported what we had lost. So for everyone who wonders whether we peace freaks remember 9/11, the answer is â€˜yesâ€™. The same as I remember the assassination of JFK. Itâ€™s one of those violations that makes the world a worse place and since that day, many have died.
But what inspired me to put together a cardboard sign and hold it up on the street was this episode in the Bush adm., as the war gained momentumâ€“
Asked how many American troops have died in Iraq, the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian estimated Thursday the total was about 500 — more than 200 soldiers short.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was asked about the toll at a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. “It’s approximately 500, of which — I can get the exact numbers — approximately 350 are combat deaths,” he responded
“He misspoke,” spokesman Charley Cooper said later. “That’s all.”
That, of course, was early in the war, in 2004.
Today, the toll is close to 4,000. And Paul Wolfowitz, after making an ethics mess at the World Bank, is back in powerâ€”
WASHINGTON – Paul Wolfowitz, the former World Bank president and former deputy secretary of defense who was instrumental in the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003, has been named chairman of a panel that advises the State Department on arms-control issues.
Wolfowitz was among the senior US officials who warned of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction capabilities, a key justification for invading Iraq and toppling the late dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Disarming Iraq of its chemical and biological weapons and dismantling its nuclear weapons program is a crucial part of winning the war on terror,” Wolfowitz told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in January 2003, two months before the US-led invasion of Iraq.
A United Nations report in September 2004 found that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion.
A US-appointed fact-finding commission reached the same conclusion in March 2005.
Joseph Cirincione, a senior fellow and director for nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based policy research group, criticized Wolfowitz’s appointment.
“The advice given by Paul Wolfowitz over the past six years ranks among the worst provided by any defense official in history,” Cirincione said. “I have no idea why anyone would want more.”
My fellow Americans, I donâ€™t want any more of this. We had better turn this around by the vote in November, if we donâ€™t want our nation to fall to vandals, thieves and arsonists. I hear endlessly in the news that the economy is the first concern of Americans, and all our people in Iraq and Afghanistan are way on the back burner. I donâ€™t believe that, because that is not what I hear from the people, old and young, I talk to every day. As our troops come home, they find our nation poorer and more cynical. I donâ€™t have much faith in leaders, but when the people lead, the leaders will eventually follow.
More information is available on this issue at The Washington Post.