Thursday, June 29, 2006

Plus and Minus concerns in buying the house

Identifying plus elements and problem issues when considering buying this house. We began our house-hunting in Aug 2002.

Plus

-- quiet neighborhood, quiet community, not even one store in the whole village!
-- attractive tiled tin roof (pacific nw rains = cost saver for roofing woes!)
-- upgrades give house old and new decor mix without compromising historical context
-- repetitious bay windows give light and let the outdoors inside
-- structurally sound, initial cost outlay for structurally improvements minimal
-- built on additions in kitchen and master bedroom provide spacious rooms for those areas
-- upstairs rooms haven't been upgraded much, historical feel to the rooms, throwback to early 1900's
-- yard is manageable with some mature focus specimen plantings
-- architecture of house w/ additions gives it unique look
-- wiring updated and up to code
-- plumbing is satisfactory
-- basement = spooky but Arthur finds it fascinating
-- price is right for our budget


Concerns


-- berber carpet on main floor rooms is beyond salvaging, so badly stained, unlikely can get cleaned = deal w/ flooring.
-- renovations seem structurally sound, little attention to finishing details however, gives it gerry-rigged appearance
-- renovations done in 1970's give seriously dated and tired look = stairs, upstairs flooring like glue down carpeting - 70's restaraunt era; brown shag on stairs -yuck!
-- heating; primary heat is a newly installed wood-burning furnace under the house w/ chimney that screams at me'unsafe'. secondary heating; registers installed in each room, inadequate in some rooms to heat the space.
-- decking on which addition has been builtwill need immediate attention, peeling rubber cement exposes wood to Pacific NW rains.
-- front of house; not welcome, functional, or practical entry. Needs a porch and front door re-do
-- back porch - enclosed and rusticly 'finished' also unwelcome and serves as main entrance to the house due to the impractical front entrance planning.
-- unclear once carpets pulled up, what lies beneath = prepare for cost outlay
-- kitchen could use an update, was updated to 1970's cosmetics, but is more than adequate for years until we have cost outlay $$


Generally speaking, there are about even number of drawbacks as there are positives that make this house worth considering. Biggest drawback is that house would benefit from renovations and improvements w/ cost outlay - not likely in our budget.

Thus, after carefully considering if I could live in the house 'as is' for perhaps years until we could get to renovations/improvements, I honestly wasn't sure and thought we should continue to keep looking. My dear husband is more of a handyman than he is into renovations or improvements, so unlikely we could knowledgeably take on too many diy projects. My husband became instantly enchanted with the house, and while I was also 'enchanted' by what I could see in my mind as what the house might look like 'someday', I was concerned about what it looks like present day and our capability w/ diy improvements. The diy upgrades and improvements made to the house look like diy .. sometimes gone wrong or unfinished.

We discussed, and discussed, while I fed my fears and Arthur tried to reassure my every concern. We decided to buy the house, inspections came back approved for wiring, plumbing, septic, structure and whatever else gets inspected in mortgage arrangements. Nov 2002 is when we moved into the house. If we had the resources to take care of some of the improvement projects before moving in, might have been a better way to go, but that is why it is an adventure and now in 2006, we both love living in this house!

entry by Lietta Ruger - the woman of the house!
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Found a Focus for this blog; Voluntary Simplistic Living

Three plus years ago, my focus was transitioning to a down-sized, more simplistic, more meaningful lifestyle, and we've been converting to a shift in our belief system ever since. Without realizing it, we already held the acorns of a belief system not clearly defined by us for ourselves. Over the past three years as we've undergone changes in our lifestyle focus, our belief system has indeed crystallized for us. Three years ago, I was reading what other people do when they decide to make a life change to voluntarily quest for more meaningful living through simplicity. It was a concept I was embracing.

And then ........

U.S. invasion into Iraq and two in our family are returning Iraq veterans. And I became a reluctant activist. This blog isn't about my three plus years as an activist, but the activities of being a military family speaking out activist have certainly gone a long way to helping us define for ourselves our own belief system and values. My daughter's family paid us a visit and she has begun her own quest for a change in dietary habits, which has placed her feet on a path to discover vegan. As she researches, explores, and adapts and thus being a wife, mother and hearth of the family, so does her family begin to adapt, I recognized the journey she has begun.
And I felt the shot of inspiration to revisit my own interest theme of simplistic living as a lifestyle. Well, quick review via google, and we are already there in our lifestyle.

It gives me pause to recognize that this blog, Wonderwander, one of my very first blogs, has been long orphaned and without direction, focus or form. I've gone on to create many other blogs, and connected with bloggers who share my interest and passion for ending Iraq occupation, bringing our troops home and taking care of them when they get home. But for this blog, which didn't quite fit, I wasn't ready to delete it, thinking some day, after helping to bring about end to Iraq war, I would return to my former life - what I call my life before the war. I had my own timeline that I carried in my head - one year and I'll give my undivided attention to help end it quickly. Okay two years then, and I'll give my undivided attention. Okay three years and I'll give my undivided attention. Now it is beyond three years and I still give my undivided attention with some idea I will return to my former life when this war is ended and our troops are out of there.

The recognition for me is that my life has changed exactly as a result of having become a reluctant activist. How does voluntary, simplistic living factor into activism? Oh, they are very much related, and what started for me three years ago as a concept has been considerably deepened by three years of activism, and a recognition of a lifestyle we already live - we being my husband and me. So, with that in mind, and as result of my daughter's visit this week, and her own exploration into life change to vegan, I had the inspiration this morning of what I wanted to do with this blog and where I want to take it. I'll be reworking it, but for now, this serves as my announcement for what direction Wonderwander will take....
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Found a Focus for this blog; Voluntary Simplistic Living

Three plus years ago, my focus was transitioning to a down-sized, more simplistic, more meaningful lifestyle, and we've been converting to a shift in our belief system ever since. Without realizing it, we already held the acorns of a belief system not clearly defined by us for ourselves. Over the past three years as we've undergone changes in our lifestyle focus, our belief system has indeed crystallized for us. Three years ago, I was reading what other people do when they decide to make a life change to voluntarily quest for more meaningful living through simplicity. It was a concept I was embracing.

And then ........

U.S. invasion into Iraq and two in our family are returning Iraq veterans. And I became a reluctant activist. This blog isn't about my three plus years as an activist, but the activities of being a military family speaking out activist have certainly gone a long way to helping us define for ourselves our own belief system and values. My daughter's family paid us a visit and she has begun her own quest for a change in dietary habits, which has placed her feet on a path to discover vegan. As she researches, explores, and adapts and thus being a wife, mother and hearth of the family, so does her family begin to adapt, I recognized the journey she has begun.
And I felt the shot of inspiration to revisit my own interest theme of simplistic living as a lifestyle. Well, quick review via google, and we are already there in our lifestyle.

It gives me pause to recognize that this blog, Wonderwander, one of my very first blogs, has been long orphaned and without direction, focus or form. I've gone on to create many other blogs, and connected with bloggers who share my interest and passion for ending Iraq occupation, bringing our troops home and taking care of them when they get home. But for this blog, which didn't quite fit, I wasn't ready to delete it, thinking some day, after helping to bring about end to Iraq war, I would return to my former life - what I call my life before the war. I had my own timeline that I carried in my head - one year and I'll give my undivided attention to help end it quickly. Okay two years then, and I'll give my undivided attention. Okay three years and I'll give my undivided attention. Now it is beyond three years and I still give my undivided attention with some idea I will return to my former life when this war is ended and our troops are out of there.

The recognition for me is that my life has changed exactly as a result of having become a reluctant activist. How does voluntary, simplistic living factor into activism? Oh, they are very much related, and what started for me three years ago as a concept has been considerably deepened by three years of activism, and a recognition of a lifestyle we already live - we being my husband and me. So, with that in mind, and as result of my daughter's visit this week, and her own exploration into life change to vegan, I had the inspiration this morning of what I wanted to do with this blog and where I want to take it. I'll be reworking it, but for now, this serves as my announcement for what direction Wonderwander will take....

posted by Lietta Ruger
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Monday, June 26, 2006

Proud to support Lt Watada; Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter

Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter stand in support of Lt. Ehren Watada.



U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, at podium, is applauded by supporters, including Lietta Ruger, right, of the group Military Families Speak Out, as he arrives to address the media and supporters, Wednesday, June 7, 2006, in Tacoma, Wash. Watada said he feels the Iraq war is illegal and immoral and that he is refusing to deploy when his Army brigade, stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., leaves for Iraq later this month. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren Published: Thursday, June 8, 2006




Military Families Speak Out- Washington State Chapter members, Jenny Keesey, Judy Linehan and Lietta Ruger, supporters Lt. Watada initial press conference,June 7, 2006, Tacoma, WA. Lt. Watada's message was broadcast since he was not allowed to attend the press conference in person.






More photos here






Judy Linehan, Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter. Sat, June 24, 2006. Today dozens of supporters of Lt. Watada gathered outside the gates of Fort Lewis, Washington in a small preview of the upcoming

Tuesday, June 27th, National Day of Action to Stand Up with Lt. Ehren Watada.



video; hear it from Lt. Watada


Across the country, friends of Lt. Watada are staging actions as a first step towards regional mobilizations leading up to a possible court martial in the fall.

Contact: Cindy Sousa 206 734-5054
David Solnit 510 967-7377


Cities currently planning rallies and events to “Stand with Lt. Watada” include:

Ft. Lewis, WA - 7am - Morning bannering on the Exit 119 (DuPont Rd.) bridge over Interstate 5.

Ft. Lewis, WA - 4pm - Bannering and support rally on the Exit 119 (DuPont) bridge over Interstate 5.

Atlanta, GA - 10:30am - Press Conference, The King Center, 450 Auburn Ave.

Atlanta, GA - Noon - Vigil, State Capitol

Charlotte, NC - 6:30pm - Speaker/"Sir No Sir" Film Showing, Public Library, Main Branch, Francis Auditorium

Cleveland, OH - 4:30pm - Rally, Federal Building

Corvallis, OR - 6pm - Rally, Benton County Courthouse

Evanston, IL - 5pm - Vigil and gathering, Fountain Square

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - 5pm - Support Rally, Military Recruitment Office, 1406 North SR 7

Harrisburg, PA - Noon - Vigil, 3rd and Walnut

Hilo, HI - 4pm - Support vigil, Kamehameha Ave. and Pauahi St.

Honolulu, HI - 4pm - Rally and bannering, Ft. Shafter, just before Moanalua Gardens

Medford, OR - 4pm - Vigil and support rally, corner of Riverside and Barnett

New York City, NY - 5pm - Rally at Chambers St Recruiting Station, Chambers between W Broadway and Greenwich

Oakland, CA - Noon - Vigil, Oakland Federal Building

Oklahoma City, OK - 10am - Rally, S. Plaza of State Capitol Bldg. (on Lincoln Ave)

Philadelphia, PA - Noon - Leafleting and support protest, National Constitution Visitor Center, Market St. between 5th & 6th St.

Pittsburgh, PA - Noon - Counter-recruitment picket, Army Recruiting Station, Market Square, Downtown

Seattle, WA - 5pm - Vigil and sign holding: (1) Westlake Park, 4th and Pine Streets; and (2) Greenlake, East Green Lake Way N and N 64th St.

San Diego, CA - Noon - Support rally, Federal Building, 880 Front St.

San Francisco, CA - 5:00pm - Support rally, Justin Herman Plaza (Market and Embarcadero)

Tacoma, WA - 7am - Bannering: (1) McKinley Way overpass above I-5; and (2) Pedestrian Bridge over Route 16 near Narrows Bridge.

Tacoma, WA - 4pm - Bannering: (1) McKinley Way overpass above I-5; and (2) Pedestrian Bridge over Route 16 near Narrows Bridge.

Toronto, Canada - 4:30pm - Support vigil, across from US Consulate, University Ave. & Armoury St.

Ventura, CA - 6pm - Support rally, Ventura County Government Center, Telephone Rd. & Victoria Ave.


see more at www.thankyoult.org

Contact: Cindy Sousa 206 734-5054
David Solnit 510 967-7377
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why Isn't the Media Talking About the Growing Resistance Within the Military to Bush Policy in Iraq?

Over and over when people ask me what I'm working on and I tell them about the collected stories of opposition, about the profiles in Mission Rejected, I hear comments like, "There are soldiers against the war? But it's a volunteer army..."

Civilians sometimes ask why these men and women join the military.

Not really. Too often we forget about the insidious and quiet though steady draft by default that comes from the endless ranks of the poor in the United States who are beguiled by the lure of a better life. Then there's stop loss. The true volunteers are not necessarily in lock step regarding policy. And more and more we see the result of this contention among the ranks: Soldiers are mustering out. They are joining groups like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans against the War. They are filing for conscientious objector status. They are going AWOL. They are deserting to Canada.

As the Democrats drift around searching for a viable policy vis-à-vis this disastrous war, they might want to start by supporting the men and women of our proud military who are standing up and saying, "No!" to orders they consider immoral and illegal. Democratic candidates have no right to wonder why they're not shoe-ins in the midterm elections, not so long as they meander around mumbling bland and evasive nothing statements engineered by committee to help them in the polls. Stand for something. Talk to many of these same lawmakers in private, and they sing a different tune--of course the war is wrong. Why the difference between public and private discourse? They're ruled by polls. The same cannot be said about our fighting men and women of the U.S. military. They are risking their freedom and their future careers by rejecting the mission--but they're doing it anyway because it's the right thing to do.

They deserve our immediate support. Right now Lt. Ehren Watada is atFt. Lewis, Washington. The lieutenant says he's ready to fight inAfghanistan, but that the Iraq War is illegal and he won't go. Army Specialist Suzanne Swift is another story all together, and one worth more discussion--however her situation is just as valid even if it speaks to a more specific problem in the military.

Here's something to do today: pick a handful of Democrats who are acting like they might be able to win a seat in the midterm elections and send them a barrage of email demanding that they support these two courageous soldiers, soldiers standing up to the monolith of the U.S. military and echoing their Vietnam-era elders acts of years ago: The echo is real. I was a Vietnam War resister. I've seen this before. We're heading in the same direction. It's time.


Peter Laufer
Fri Jun 23, 8:29 PM ET

Peter Laufer: Why Isn't the Media Talking About the Growing Resistance Within the Military to Bush Policy in Iraq?
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Fragging; American Sgt Arrested for Killing two of his Officers

Sergeant Is Charged In Deaths Of Officers
Enemy Attack Was Initially Blamed

By Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 17, 2005; A22

An Army staff sergeant has been charged with deliberately killing two officers whose deaths in Iraq last week were first reported to have been the result of an enemy mortar attack, the U.S. military announced yesterday.

Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, identified as a 37-year-old supply specialist with the 42nd Infantry Division, was charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

The officers killed were Martinez's company commander, Capt. Phillip T. Esposito, 30, of Suffern, N.Y., and the company's operations officer, 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa. On June 7, they had been conferring about the next day's missions in their headquarters building in Tikrit when an explosion occurred about 10 p.m., according to Army officials familiar with the case.

"The initial investigation by responders and military police indicated that a mortar round struck the window on the side of the building where Esposito and Allen were located at the time," said a statement issued late yesterday by the U.S. military command in Baghdad. "Upon further examination of the scene by explosive ordnance personnel, it was determined the blast pattern was inconsistent with a mortar attack."

Instead, investigators now say, the attack involved a mine or grenade or both.

Army spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad said they had no information on what may have motivated the attack. Martinez, whose home town is listed as Troy, N.Y., joined the 42nd Division -- a National Guard unit based in upstate New York -- 15 years ago.

read more at Washington Post.com Sergeant Is Charged In Deaths Of Officers
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Thursday, June 15, 2006

GOP Measure Forces House Debate on War

GOP Measure Forces House Debate on War:

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 15, 2006; Page A01

"'I can't help but feel through eyes of a combat-wounded Marine in Vietnam, if someone was shot, you tried to save his life. . . . While you were in combat, you had a sense of urgency to end the slaughter, and around here we don't have that sense of urgency,' said Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (Md.), a usually soft-spoken Republican who has urged his leaders to challenge the White House on Iraq. 'To me, the administration does not act like there's a war going on. The Congress certainly doesn't act like there's a war going on. If you're raising money to keep the majority, if you're thinking about gay marriage, if you're doing all this other peripheral stuff, what does that say to the guy who's about ready to drive over a land mine?'"

read more at
link
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lieutenant Watada's War Against the War

Lieut. Erich Watada announces his refusal to go to war

Lieutenant Watada's War Against the War

Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith examine the remarkable, media-savvy protest of First Lieut. Ehren Watada, who has refused orders to go to Iraq, claiming the war and the occupation violate the Constitution, international law and Army regulations.

at The Nation (online)

Lieutenant Watada's War Against the War

by JEREMY BRECHER & BRENDAN SMITH

[posted online on June 12, 2006]

In a remarkable protest from inside the ranks of the military, First Lieut. Ehren Watada has become the Army's first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to fight in Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal. The 28-year-old announced his decision not to obey orders to deploy to Iraq in a video press conference June 7, saying, "My participation would make me party to war crimes."

An artillery officer stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, Watada wore a business suit rather than his military uniform when making his statement. "It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law," he said. "Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order."

A native of Hawaii who enlisted in the Army after graduating from college in 2003, Watada differs from other military personnel who have sought conscientious-objector status to avoid deployment to Iraq.

Watada told Truthout's Sarah Olson that at first he gave the Bush Administration the benefit of the doubt as it built the case for war. But when he discovered he was being sent to Iraq, he began reading everything he could, such as James Bamford's Pretext for War. He concluded that the war was based on false pretenses, ranging from the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to the claim that Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda and 9/11 to the idea that the United States is in Iraq to promote democracy.

His investigation led him to question the very legality of the war. In an interview with Democracy Now!, he explained that as he read articles by experts on international and constitutional law, reports from governmental and nongovernmental agencies, revelations from independent journalists, writings by the Iraqi people and the words of soldiers coming home, "I came to the conclusion that the war and what we're doing over there is illegal."

First, he concluded that the war violates the Constitution and War Powers Act, which, he said, "limits the President in his role as commander in chief from using the armed forces in any way he sees fit." Watada also concluded that "my moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders."

Second, he claims the war is illegal under international law. He discovered that "the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg principles all bar wars of aggression." The Constitution makes such treaties part of American law as well.

These are not wild legal claims. Watada's conclusions are supported by mountains of evidence and experts, including the judgment of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who in 2004 declared that the US invasion was "not in conformity with the UN Charter, and from our point of view...was illegal."

Watada said he came to recognize that the military conduct of the occupation is also illegal: "If you look at the Army Field Manual, 27-10, which governs the laws of land warfare, it states certain responsibilities for the occupying power. As the occupying power, we have failed to follow a lot of those regulations." He told ABC News that the "wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people" is "a contradiction to the Army's own law of land warfare."

While ongoing media coverage of the protest debates whether Watada's action is one of cowardice or conscience, so far the seriousness of his legal claims have been largely ignored. Watada's position is different from that of conscientious objectors, who oppose all wars. "I'm not just against bearing arms or fighting people. I am against an unjustified war," he said.

Can such a claim be heard in a military court? In 2004, Petty Officer Pablo Paredes refused to board his Iraq-bound ship in San Diego Harbor, claiming to be a conscientious objector. At his court-martial, Paredes testified that he was convinced that the Iraq War was illegal. National Lawyers Guild president-elect Marjorie Cohn presented evidence to support his claim. The military judge, Lieut. Cmdr. Robert Klant, accepted Paredes's war-crimes defense and refused to send him to jail. The government prosecutor's case was so weak that Cohn, in a reportTruthout.org, noted that Klant declared ironically, "I believe the government has just successfully proved that any seaman recruit has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal." published on

One of Germany's highest courts heard a case last year regarding a German soldier who refused to participate in military activities as part of the US-led coalition in Iraq. The Federal Administrative Court issued a long and detailed decision in his favor, saying, "There were and still are serious legal objections to the war against Iraq...relating to the UN Charter's prohibition of the use of violence and other provisions of international law."

Watada's case comes amid a growing questioning of the Iraq War in all levels of the military. A February Zogby poll found that 72 percent of American troops serving in Iraq think the United States should leave the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the United States should leave immediately. While the "generals' revolt" against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld didn't challenge the legality of the war per se, many retired military leaders have strongly condemned the use of torture and other violations of international and military law.

According to USA Today, at least 8,000 service members have deserted since the Iraq War began. The Guardian reports that there are an estimated 400 Iraq War deserters in Canada, of whom at least twenty have applied for asylum. An Army spokesman says that ten other servicemen besides Watada have refused to go to Iraq.

Resistance in the military played a critical role in ending the French war in Algeria, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and the American war in Vietnam. Such resistance not only undermines the capacity of a government to conduct wars; it also challenges the moral claims that are used to justify them and inspires others to examine their own responsibilities.

Watada's action comes as the issue of US war crimes in Iraq is inexorably creeping into the public spotlight. Senator John Warner has promised to hold hearings on the alleged Haditha massacre. The UN Committee Against Torture has declared that the United States is engaging in illegal torture at Guant√°namo and elsewhere. An investigation by the European Union has found overwhelming evidence of the rendition of prisoners to other countries for torture.

Watada's highly publicized stand will no doubt lead others to ask what they are doing to halt such crimes. Unless the Army assigns him somewhere besides Iraq or permits him to resign his commission, he will now face court-martial for refusing to serve as ordered and possibly years in prison.

According to an ominous statement released by the Army commanders at Fort Lewis in response to Watada's press conference: "For a commissioned officer to publicly declare an apparent intent to violate military law by refusing to obey orders is a serious matter and could subject him to adverse action."

Watada's decision to hold a press conference and post his statements online puts him at serious risk. In theory, if the Army construes his public statements as an attempt to encourage other soldiers to resist, he could be charged with mutiny under Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which considers those who act "with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny." The conservative group Military Families Voice of Victory is already "demanding the Army prosecute Lt. Watada to the fullest extent under the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

Watada told Truthout's Olson that when he started to question the war, he he felt, like so many in and out of the military, that "there was nothing to be done, and this administration was just continually violating the law to serve their purpose, and there was nothing to stop them." But he realized that there was something he personally could do: "It is my duty not to follow unlawful orders and not to participate in things I find morally reprehensible."

"The one God-given freedom and right that we really have is freedom of choice," Watada says, echoing the profound message of Mohandas Gandhi. "I just want to tell everybody, especially people who doubt the war, that you do have that one freedom. And that's something that they can never take away. Yes, they will imprison you. They'll throw the book at you. They'll try to make an example out of you, but you do have that choice."

Even facing prison time, Watada is firm. "When you are looking your children in the eye in the future, or when you are at the end of your life, you want to look back on your life and know that at a very important moment, when I had the opportunity to make the right decisions, I did so, even knowing there were negative consequences."

Watada's recognition of his duty provides a challenge not only to those in the military but to all Americans: "We all have a duty as American citizens for civil disobedience, and to do anything we can within the law to stop an illegal war."

end of article



adding additional link: video
June 7, Tacoma, WA, 6 PM - hear Lt Watada answer media questions at press conference




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Friday, June 2, 2006

Pentagon: Iraq Insurgency Steady Until '07

Pentagon: Iraq Insurgency Steady Until '07

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


The Sunni Arab heart of the Iraqi insurgency seems likely to hold its strength the rest of the year, and some of its leaders are now collaborating with al-Qaida terrorists, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

In a report assessing the situation in Iraq, required quarterly by Congress, the Pentagon painted a mixed picture on a day when the U.S. military command in Baghdad said 1,500 more combat troops have arrived in the country. The extra troops are part of an intensified effort to wrest control of the provincial capital of Ramadi from insurgents.

The report to Congress offered a relatively dim picture of economic progress, with few gains in improving basic services like electricity, and it provided no promises of U.S. troop reductions anytime soon."

read more at Pentagon: Iraq Insurgency Steady Until '07:
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US Labor Against the War : 1,500 U.S. Troops in Kuwait Going to Iraq

US Labor Against the War : 1,500 U.S. Troops in Kuwait Going to Iraq: "1,500 U.S. Troops in Kuwait Going to Iraq

by LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press
May 30th, 2006

U.S. military commanders are moving about 1,500 troops from a reserve force in Kuwait into the volatile Anbar province in western Iraq to help local authorities establish order there. 'The United States stands ready to help the Iraqi democracy succeed,' President Bush said Tuesday.

The troop movement, announced earlier by military commanders, comes as Iraqi officials continue to struggle to set up their government, amid new spikes in violence.

... snipped ...

The 1st Armored Division has had a brigade stationed in Kuwait for several months serving as a reserve force that could be called upon to augment the troops in Iraq. One of the brigade's battalions was sent to the Baghdad area in March to bolster security until a new national government was seated.

The deployment comes at a time when the Bush administration is under heavy election-year pressure to begin drawing down the roughly 130,000 American troops in Iraq. The White House ceremony was aimed at countering negative news from the region."

more at US Labor Against the War : 1,500 U.S. Troops in Kuwait Going to Iraq: "
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