Author Archives: Lennart

Independent om situationen i Irak efter attacken inne i den Gröna Zonen

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Independent har en viktig artikel om situationen i Irak efter angreppet inne i den Gröna Zonen i Bagdad. Vad som är speciellt oroande med attacken är att bomberna som exploderade inne i den Gröna Zonen fördes in av guerillan rakt förbi en av världens mest hårdbevakade barrikader. Om guerillan verkligen kan fortsätta att inflitrera så hårt bevakade baser så är läger i Irak betyligt värre än de flesta trodde tidigare. Här är mer om den gröna zonen.

Amerikansk flygsäkerhet

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Ja här kommer ytterligare en personlig rapport. Några vänner till mig har just flugit hit från New Jersey. Inte så konstigt. Vi har fortfarande högsommar här. Men de missade planet och nu flyger de med ett senare plan till San Francisco medan deras baggage kommer till San Jose. Obs. Jag blev helt förbluffad. Idag skall detta vara omöjligt. Plan skak inte kunna flyga utan att varje väska matchas med en passagerare som också befinner sig på planet.
Men åtminståne i detta fall fanns det ett hål i systemet. Vännerna tappade sitt boarding card och kom därför inte med. Men som sagt, deras baggage kom med.

Israeliska krigsförbrytare

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Det är viktigt att vi inte glömmer namnen på de israeliska krigsförbrytare som i sinom tid måste stå till svars för de dagliga krigsförbrytelser som idag utförs mitt framför världens ögon.

Att den israeliska ockupationsarmen skjuter ihjäl skolflickor – oftast med specialapterade högexplosiva dumdum kulor – verkar de flesta idag acceptera som nödvändigt för Israels säkerhet. Men att de när de ser flickorna ligga blödande på marken helt kallt går fram och tömmer ett helt magasin kulor rakt in i hjärnan på tjejen – det kan jag helt enkelt inte acceptera. De som gjorde liknande saker under nazistregimen hängdes för sådana brott. Om inte den soldat som utförde den senaste krigsförbrytelsen också hängs så måste hans fall tas upp på något annat sätt.

Skrämmande nog stöds dessa krigsförbrytelser förbehållslöst av både Kerry och Bush.
Guardian rapporterar

The Israeli army yesterday suspended an officer who is accused of firing up to 20 bullets into a 13-year-old Palestinian as she lay on the ground after having been shot from an army outpost.

Another schoolgirl died yesterday after being shot while sitting at her school desk.

The deaths were in the southern Gaza Strip, some miles away from an ongoing army operation which have seen more than 100 Palestinians killed, including many civilians.

The Israeli army suspended the platoon commander when several soldiers threatened to refuse to serve under him if he was not removed. The soldiers told Israeli media that the officer ignored warnings that a person approaching an army outpost last week was a schoolgirl.

After she was shot, he approached Imam al Hamas, 13, as she lay on the ground and fired two bullets at her body before emptying the contents of his rifle magazine into her, the soldiers said.

Hjälp USAs svarta rösta!

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Guardian har en utomordentligt intressant artikel om hur alla europeer kan hjälpa John Kerry besegra George Bush i årets amerikansk presidentval. Som Guardian påpekar, årets val kommer att direkt beröra oss alla i världen, så vi måste alla göra allt vi någonsin kan för att besegra de allt mer radikala neokonservativa.

Och intressant nog så har vi betydligt fler möjligheter än vi någonsin skulle kunna tro.

Det finns absolut ingen som helst ursäkt att inte ställa upp och hjälpa USAs svarta – och oss själva. Det republikanska partiet gör allt det någonsin kan för att hindra de svarta i nyckelstaterna från att rösta, som de gjorde i Florida för fyra år sedan.

På 1960-talet började den nya tyska generationen fråga sina föräldrar, men varför släppte ni fram Hitler? De fick inga svar, bara axelryckningar. “Vi visste inte, vi vågade inte, vi kunde inte”. Skall vi i dagens generation ge samma svar till våra barn?

American law forbids foreigners from giving money to affect the outcome of a federal election – except that, on closer inspection, it doesn’t. You’re banned from donating to the campaigns themselves, or to many of the independent campaigning groups that fight explicitly on behalf of one candidate. So you need to identify officially non-partisan groups whose activities, none the less, have the practical effect of helping one candidate over the other. “Perhaps the most important way foreigners could help John Kerry would be to help out those organisations which have, as part of their mission, fostering African-American voter turnout,” says Nathaniel Persily, a Pennsylvania university expert on election law. “It’s quite clear that if there was 100% African-American turnout in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, John Kerry would win this election running away.” The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the most obvious choice here – an influential, well-organised, non-partisan body whose get-out-the-vote activities are extremely likely to end up helping the Democrats.

Vi kan också skriva direkt till amerikanska väljare.

The most powerful transatlantic connection is a personal one, so we have designed a system to match individual Guardian readers with individual voters in Clark County, in the crucial swing state of Ohio. To join in, visit www.guardian.co.uk/clarkcounty and enter your email address. You’ll receive, by email, the name and postal address of a Clark County voter. We have included only those voters who chose to list themselves as unaffiliated, instead of as Republican or Democrat: that is no guarantee that they are persuadable, of course, but it does increase the chances. The data on which our system is based is publicly available, but we have designed it to give out each address only once, so there is no danger of recipients getting deluged.

In formulating your letter, you will need to introduce yourself: no individual Clark County voter will have any reason to be expecting your communication. And in choosing your arguments, keep in mind the real risk of alienating your reader by coming across as interfering or offensive. You might want to handwrite your letter, for additional impact, and we strongly recommend including your own name and address – it lends far more credibility to your views, and you might get a reply.

Finally, post your letter soon. Letters sent by regular airmail from the UK to the US usually take five days to reach their recipient, and there is little time to waste. Postage costs 43p for a postcard, 47p for a letter weighing 10g or less, and 68p for a letter weighing up to 20g. You don’t have to visit a post office, but Royal Mail recommends writing “Par Avion – By Airmail” on the front of the envelope, and your return address on the back.

Rapport: Silicon Valleys strategiska intresse för Sverige

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Jan Sandred är en svensk journalist som jobbade på San Francisco Chronicle
och nu jobbar på Biotech Sweden
Han har skrivit en rapport om vad Sverige kan lära av Silicon Valley.
Eftersom Sverige nu satsar stort på att bli ett innovativt kunskapssamhälle så kan man lära sig mycket från Silicon Valley, som inte bara är världsledande inom IT utan också inom bioteknologi.

Det svenska initiativet heter Innovativa Sverige – en strategi för tillväxt genom förnyelse och den som vill lära sig mer om detta initiativ kan läsa originaldokumentet här.

Silicon Valley of strategic interest in Swedish Government strategy
Only a few years ago it was virtually impossible to talk about entrepreneurship in Sweden.
The Swedish economy has since the 1960s been designed for large multinational corporations.
Entrepreneurs were treated either as an absent-minded Gyro Gearloose (“Uppfinnarjockeâ€?) or
a greedy capitalist.

Times they are a-changin’. In recent years the Swedish Government has changed their mind
and attitude.

The recently published Swedish Government Official Report “Innovativa Sverige – en strategi
för tillväxt genom förnyelseâ€? is a strategy for how to make Sweden “Europe’s most
competitive, dynamic and knowledge-based economy,â€? and â€?one of the world’s most
attractive countries for investments�. The report is written in cooperation between the
Ministry for Education and Science and the Ministry of Industry, Employment and
Communication and signed by the ministers.

Silicon Valley A Strategic Market
The ministries want to “stimulate the international people flow between business and
academy, the public and privateâ€? to “catch the opportunities of globalization.â€?
The report mentions the “importance to promote the establishment of Swedish companies in
strategically important markets.�

You do not need to be a Kremlinologist to realize that they mean High-tech and Silicon
Valley (among some other important regions). This most certainly means more Swedish
activity in the Bay Area in the near future, promoted by the Swedish Government.
Start-ups vital for the Swedish economy

New business start-ups are today considered vital for the Swedish economy. Therefore the
Swedish Government is working to improve the business environment, by developing
favorable framework conditions not only for established companies, but also for new

One important aim of this new business development strategy is to promote sustainable
economic growth and higher employment through more enterprises. The new report covers
areas like business development, promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation development,
regulatory simplification, competition promotion, tourism promotion and issues related to
intellectual property law and the right of association.

Formula for Results Based on US Model
Interestingly one of the ideas suggested in the report is based on the US Small Business
Innovation Research, SBIR.
Small high-tech businesses are one of the biggest drivers of economic growth in the
industrialized economies. However, such small firms too often have difficulty finding funds
for start-up and early growth. The SBIR programme guarantees that a certain proportion of
federal research funding goes to small businesses. In 1982, the US Congress adopted an act
requiring all federal agencies with annual research budgets of over $100 million to set aside
2.5 percent of their funds for small firms.

“The focus was on small businesses, as these were seen as a fertile source of job creation. But
SBIR was also a way to bring new technologies into government missions,�says Charles
Wessner of the US National Research Council, who has led major evaluations of SBIR and is
also an expert advisor to the Swedish Government agency Vinnova.
SBIR has been very successful. For example, Symantec, one of the world’s leading producers
of virus protection software, was started in 1982 with SBIR funds from the National Science
Foundation (NSF).

Revolten mot de astronomiska medicinpriserna i USA

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The Nation har en bra artikel om den tilltagande revolten mot de astronomiska medicinpriserna i USA. USAs mycket ineffektiva privatiserade sjukvård har lett till medicinpriser som endast de allra rikaste har råd med. Alla andra får klara sig utan medicin om de blir sjuka. Konstigt nog finns det en del som inte tycker att detta är ett bra system.

Two weeks ago, a high-level dissident executive from Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, denounced the pharmaceutical industry for resisting legislation that would allow imports of low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. Just days later, the City Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, ironically the home of the FDA, added its name to a long list of cities and states that have defied federal law and passed legislation permitting citizens to buy medications in Canada. Moreover, eighteen state attorneys general have written the Bush Administration urging passage of legislation allowing prescription drugs to be imported.

USAs nya arbetarklass

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Washington Post har en bra artikel om USAs nya arbetarklass . För 100 år sedan fanns det en liknande arbetarklass i Sverige. Sedan kom socialdemokratin och mot högerns konsekventa motstånd byggdes efterkrigstidens välfärdsstat upp.

Idag är Sverige på väg att avskaffa välfärdsstaden och införa det som högern en gång strävade efter. Men innan vi ger Reinfeldt allt det som han vill ha, så är det klokt att titta litet på den modell som han vill införa i Sverige, för den finns redan införd i USA. Grundbulten i dagens amerikanska samhälle är de s.k. temparbetarna som jobbar för svältlöner och som saknar sjukförsäkring och semester. Innan mina moderata vänner protesterar så får vi komma ihåg att artiklar som denna står på förstasidorna av USAs motsvarighet till DN, knappast någon radikal vänstertidning.

Phillip Hicks had loaded his rusting pickup and was heading to work one afternoon last year when his tearful daughter called from a pay phone. She had been pulled over for speeding, she told her father, and worse, she was driving with a suspended license. The police had impounded her car and left her by the side of a dusty highway.

To most workers at the sprawling Toyota plant where Hicks works, the detour to pick up his daughter would be a headache, no doubt. To Hicks, 40, it was considerably more. He called his employer to say he would be late for the swing shift. But since Hicks is a temporary worker, his daughter’s brush with the law became a permanent blemish on an already shaky employment record. Temps are allowed only three days off a year, and Hicks was coming up against that.

“They told me I had an attendance problem,” he sighed wearily, his soft mountain accent revealing his roots in coal country to the east.

Hicks is among the ranks of what economists call the “contingent” workforce, the vast and growing pool of workers tenuously employed in jobs that once were stable enough to support a family. In a single generation, “contingent employment arrangements” have begun to transform the world of work, not only for temp workers, but also for those in traditional jobs who are competing with a tier of employees receiving lower pay and few, if any, benefits.

The rise of that workforce has become another factor undermining the type of middle-wage jobs, paying about the national average of $17 per hour and carrying health and retirement benefits, that have kept the nation’s middle-class standard of living so widely available.

Hicks has spent four years as a temp worker building cars for Toyota Motor Corp., making manifolds and dashboards for Camrys, Avalons and Solaras sold all over the United States. He works alongside full-fledged Toyota employees who earn twice his salary, plus health and retirement benefits.

High-tech jobben i Silicon Valley

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Sphere institute har en ypperlig rapport om high-tech jobben i Silicon Valley och Kalifornien i allmänhet.
Rapporten finns på näten, men kan summeras såhär:

Mer än hälften av alla som jobbade på teknologifirmor i Kalifornien i början av år 2000 hade övergivit teknologisektorn eller helt enkelt lämnat Kalifornien vid slutet av år 2003. Och över 40% av de som jobbade med högteknologi år 2000m har lägre lön idag. De som lyckades behålla sina jobb har dock klarat sig relativt bra och deras löner har också gått upp något under åren (i snitt 11%)

Amerikanska marinsoldater i Irak

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Washington Post har skakande artilel om hur amerikanska marinkårsoldater upplever Irak-ockupationen.

ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq — Scrawled on the helmet of Lance Cpl. Carlos Perez are the letters FDNY. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, the Pentagon and western Pennsylvania, Perez quit school, left his job as a firefighter in Long Island, N.Y., and joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

“To be honest, I just wanted to take revenge,” said Perez, 20.

Pfc. Kyle Maio, 19, spots Lance Cpl. Carlos Perez, 20. Maio said he thinks U.S. officials are not being candid about Iraq because of upcoming U.S. elections. (Steve Fainaru — The Washington Post)

Now, two months into a seven-month combat tour in Iraq, Perez said he sees little connection between the events of Sept. 11 and the war he is fighting. Instead, he said, he is increasingly disillusioned by a conflict whose origins remain unclear and frustrated by the timidity of U.S. forces against a mostly faceless enemy.

“Sometimes I see no reason why we’re here,” Perez said. “First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we’re looking for an enemy that’s not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here.”

Perez is hardly alone. In a dozen interviews, Marines from a platoon known as the “81s” expressed in blunt terms their frustrations with the way the war is being conducted and, in some cases, doubts about why it is being waged. The platoon, named for the size in millimeters of its mortar rounds, is part of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment based in Iskandariyah, 30 miles southwest of Baghdad.

The Marines offered their opinions openly to a reporter traveling with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines during operations last week in Babil province, then expanded upon them during interviews over three days in their barracks at Camp Iskandariyah, their forward operating base.

The Marines’ opinions have been shaped by their participation in hundreds of hours of operations over the past two months. Their assessments differ sharply from those of the interim Iraqi government and the Bush administration, which have said that Iraq is on a certain — if bumpy — course toward peaceful democracy.

“I feel we’re going to be here for years and years and years,” said Lance Cpl. Edward Elston, 22, of Hackettstown, N.J. “I don’t think anything is going to get better; I think it’s going to get a lot worse. It’s going to be like a Palestinian-type deal. We’re going to stop being a policing presence and then start being an occupying presence. . . . We’re always going to be here. We’re never going to leave.”

Jaques Derrida

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Le Monde har en artikel om den franske filosofen Jacques Derrida, som dog idag.

Derrida var viktig främst för sin teori om “dekonstruktion”, dvs hur man kan analysera språket “innifrån” i relation till andra språkkoncept. Dekonstruktion har blivit ett utomordentligt viktigt koncept inte bara inom filosofin, kanske speciellt i USA. Woody Allens film Deconstructing Harry är en indirekt hyllning till Derrida.

Här är Le Monde:

Le philosophe français le plus commenté et le plus traduit au monde ces dernières années, notamment aux Etats-Unis, Jacques Derrida, mort dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi à l’âge de 74 ans, était célèbre pour son concept de “déconstruction”.

Selon ses proches, Jacques Derrida, auteur de quelque 80 ouvrages, est décédé “sans souffrir” des suites d’un cancer du pancréas dans un hôpital parisien où il avait été admis voici environ trois semaines.

Il était le dernier survivant de ces penseurs des années 60, catalogués “penseurs de 68”, (Althusser, Lacan, Foucault, Barthes, Deleuze, etc..), grands pourfendeurs de la notion de “sujet”.

Né le 15 juillet 1930 à El Biar (Algérie) dans une famille juive, plutôt à gauche et pied-noir, il entre en 1950 à Normale Sup, devient assistant à Harvard (Etats-Unis), puis à la Sorbonne. Il est en 1965 professeur de philosophie à Normale Sup où il occupe la fonction de “caïman” (directeur d’études). Il partage ensuite son enseignement entre Paris et diverses universités américaines, parmi les plus prestigieuses.

En 1982, il est enfermé quelques jours dans une prison tchèque alors qu’il soutenait sur place les intellectuels dissidents de la Charte 77.


Il engage alors une vaste réflexion critique sur l’institution philosophique et l’enseignement de cette matière, créant en 1983 le Collège international de philosophie qu’il préside jusqu’en 1985. En 1988, il dirige, avec Jacques Bouveresse, la commission de philosophie, dans le cadre d’une réflexion générale sur les contenus de l’enseignement, à l’initiative du ministère de l’éducation.

Il a ensuite enseigné à nouveau aux Etats-Unis, puis à l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales à Paris.

“Je n’ai jamais fait de longs séjours aux Etats-Unis, le plus clair de mon temps ne se passe pas là-bas. Cela dit, la réception de mon travail y a été effectivement plus généreuse, plus attentive, j’y ai rencontré moins de censure, de barrages, de conflits qu’en France”, déclarait-il récemment au journal L’Humanité.

Parmi ses très nombreux livres, qui constituent un dialogue sans concession avec la métaphysique occidentale, L’écriture et la différence, La dissémination, Marges de la philosophie, Glas, La vérité en peinture, Pour Paul Célan, De l’esprit, Heidegger et la question, Inventions de l’autre, Du droit à la philosophie, Spectres de Marx, Apories ou Résistances de la psychanalyse.

Det gläder mig att Los Angeles Times och flera andra amerikanska tidningar också har förstasidesartiklar om honom. Derrida var gästprofessor bl.a. vid University of California at Irvine. Här är
LA Times runa

Provocative and as difficult to define as his favorite subject — deconstruction — Derrida was a leading intellectual for decades. He is considered the modern-day French thinker best known internationally.

“With him, France has given the world one of its greatest contemporary philosophers, one of the major figures of intellectual life of our time,” President Jacques Chirac said in a statement, calling Derrida a “citizen of the world.”

Born to a Jewish family on July 15, 1930, in El Biar, Algeria, then part of France, Derrida wrote hundreds of books and essays. His reputation was launched with two 1967 publications in which he laid out basic ideas, “Writing and Difference” and “Of Grammatology.” Among other works were the 1972 “Margins of Philosophy” and, more recently, “Specters of Marx” (1993).

Derrida was known as the father of deconstructionism, a branch of critical thought or analysis developed in the late 1960s and applied to literature, linguistics, philosophy, law and architecture.

Paul Bremers Irak-kritik

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Ingenting visar bättre hur allvarligt läget är i Irak idag än att Paul Bremer , USAs tidigare överståthållare i Irak nu öppet kritiserar Pentagons ockupationspolitik :

The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until the handover of political power on June 28, said he still supports the decision to intervene in Iraq but said a lack of adequate forces hampered the occupation and efforts to end the looting early on.

Portraits of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq since the beginning of the war.

“We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness,” he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. “We never had enough troops on the ground.”

Bremer’s comments were striking because they echoed contentions of many administration critics, including Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, who argue that the U.S. government failed to plan adequately to maintain security in Iraq after the invasion. Bremer has generally defended the U.S. approach in Iraq but in recent weeks has begun to criticize the administration for tactical and policy shortfalls.

In a Sept. 17 speech at DePauw University, Bremer said he frequently raised the issue within the administration and “should have been even more insistent” when his advice was spurned because the situation in Iraq might be different today. “The single most important change — the one thing that would have improved the situation — would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout” the occupation, Bremer said, according to the Banner-Graphic in Greencastle, Ind.

A Bremer aide said that his speeches were intended for private audiences and were supposed to have been off the record. Yesterday, however, excerpts of his remarks — given at the Greenbrier resort at an annual meeting sponsored by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers — were distributed in a news release by the conference organizers.

På väg till en datakonferens i San Francisco

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På väg till en datakonferens i San Francisco. Det blir ju ingen lång resa, bara litet över en timme på Caltrain. Ett lokaltåg från tidigt 50-tal som man långsamt håller på att renovera till tidigt 70-tal.

Men Caltrain är bara ett av de olika transportsystemsn som finns här. Vi har också

San Franciscos förträffliga Bay Area Rapid Transit BART

och San Joses lika förträffliga Light Rail

Tyvärr är de tre inte integrerade vilket betyder att man alltså inte kan åka Light Rail från San Jose till San Francisco eller Bart från San Francisco till San Jose.
Att åka CalTrain är bara att tänka på om man har förträffliga njurar. Tåger skakar nämligen som bara den.

Det riktiga USA, amerikansk gräsrotsdemokrati

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Trots att amerikanska presidentval har mycket litet med demokrati att göra, eftersom de är privatfinansierade och inte demokratiska majoritetsval, så har USA trots det en intensiv gräsrotsdemokrati av ett helt annat slag än det vi ser i Sverige. Det är viktigt att förstå att detta, detta traditionella demokratiska USA fortfarande finns kvar under ytan av det radikala vapenskramlande republikanska USA som vi sett på TV-skärmarna de senaste fyra åren.

Alternet har en mycket bra artikel om just en sådan demokratisk rörelse. Kolla också Indyvoter.org>, som också kallas League of Pissed Off Voters, alltså en organisation som försöker värva sådana ungdomar som helt har gett upp politiken. Alternet har också en bra artikel om hur progressiva aktivister värvar röster i Kentucky i den amerikanska södern.

Den här sortens gräsrotsdemokrati, intensiv, engagerad och landsomfattande, tror jag saknas i Sverige? Stämmer det? Eller var miljöpartiet och Junilistan exempel på det?

Upprop mot allmän värnplikt i USA

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Howard Dean har följande om Irak-kriget och allmän värnplikt i USA:

George Bush is not being straight with the American people about the draft. He promised in the first presidential debate to win the war on terror with “an all-volunteer army”. He has already violated that commitment.

The truth is that a draft has already begun — it just hasn’t affected most of our families yet. Active duty soldiers who finish their commitments are being forced to stay in. And the flagrant misuse of the National Guard and Reserves has ripped apart families by sending unprecedented numbers of them to occupy a foreign country.

Because of George Bush’s failure to lead the world, we are nearly alone in Iraq. If we “stay the course” with this president, he will face a choice: drastically reduce our commitments or reinstate the draft. Sign the petition demanding that he tell Americans which one he will choose:


George Bush chose to go to war without substantial help from our allies. He has badly over-committed our armed forces. One of the Joint Chiefs and his own administrator in Iraq have both said that we will need tens of thousands more troops to stabilize Iraq. Extreme measures are already being taken to meet the shortfall — and the president has an obligation to explain how he will meet our commitments without drafting young people into service.

Fathers from New York who joined the Reserves to guard America against another attack have been sent to Iraq. Teenagers in the Florida National Guard who expected to provide hurricane relief in their home state have been forced to fight halfway around the world.

George Bush has left our homeland unprotected. And his plans to move existing forces away from threats like North Korea put our interests and our allies in danger. This cannot continue. Sign this petition demanding honesty — we will deliver it to the White House:


Family friends helped a young George Bush dodge the draft. Dick Cheney didn’t fight because he had, in his words, “other priorities” — he got five deferments. We cannot afford to let them dodge the question of a draft now.

Will they force a new generation of young people to make the sacrifices they refused to make? Or will they leave us unprotected at home and in other dangerous parts of the world?

I have a son in college. My family and millions of other families could be affected by a draft. We deserve to know before we vote in November how George Bush and Dick Cheney plan to prevent one. Sign the petition now:


Just recently a frightened Congress voted down a bill calling for a draft. (After all, they need to get re-elected in a few weeks.) But the way they rejected the bill showed just how easy calling a draft would be — they suspended normal rules and voted with almost no warning. Authorizing a draft would be just as easy — it could be done in less than 48 hours.

We have been misled about this war from the beginning. They said Iraq had nuclear weapons — that was false. They said the whole war would cost a few billion dollars — in reality, we spend several billion dollars every month. They say things are getting better — but every month brings more casualties than the last.

Now they say we won’t need a draft. We cannot afford to take their word for it.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. Please forward this message to your friends. We will only get the truth if we all stand up and demand it.