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Briefs

Bring the Troops Home

When it comes to American troops dying in Iraq, Sixth District U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, has had more than enough. Woolsey, one of those rare Democrats who actually voted against the Bush administration's preemptive strike doctrine, kicked off the New Year with an urgent and courageous plea to bring the troops home--now. "More than 1,300 Americans have given their lives for this senseless conflict, as have thousands of Iraqi civilians," she says. "At least 10,000 of our brave soldiers have been wounded and many are suffering mental trauma that they may live with the rest of their lives." From the false claims of WMD to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal to the bogus upcoming elections, the North Bay congresswoman insists that Bush's Iraqi adventure has been a total disaster. "How many more mistakes can we tolerate? How many more American soldiers and innocent Iraqis have to die before we put an end to this madness?" she asks.

Wave of Generosity

With estimates of the death toll from the Indian Ocean tsunami swelling toward 200,000, Bay Area residents are opening their wallets to provide much-needed aid to the region, donating more than half a million dollars so far, according to the Sonoma County chapter of the Red Cross. That amount includes $100,000 donated by Flamingo Resort Hotel owner Pierre Ehret and $25,000 from Medtronic. As of Jan. 3, the Sonoma and Mendocino County Red Cross chapters have raised $82,000; the Silverado-Napa County chapter has raised $125,355. More than $250,000 has been raised from the greater Bay Area. To donate, call 707.577.7600 or log on to www.sonomacounty.redcross.org.

Missing 'Museeba'

Museeba, Sonoma State University sociology professor Peter Phillips informs us, is the Iraqi word for disaster. With the civilian death toll in Iraq since the U.S. invasion estimated as high as 100,000, museeba certainly appears to be the right word for the ongoing occupation. Yet even as mainstream media flock to cover the Indonesian tsunami, the disaster unfolding in Iraq goes unremarked, notes Phillips, director of the university's Project Censored, which publishes a list of the Top 10 censored news stories each year. "It seems U.S. media concerns are for victims of natural disasters, while the man-made disasters, such as the deliberate invasion of another country by the U.S., are better left unreported," Phillips says.

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From the January 5-11, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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