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    World News
4/5/03 - 4/11/04


Sunday  4/11/04

In Haiti, Food Serves as Instrument of Control  4/11/04 LA Times 

Marines deal with Haitian gangs  4/11/04 Stars & Stripes 

US tactics condemned by British officers  4/11/04 Telegraph, UK: this is in a conservative UK paper - "One senior Army officer told The Telegraph that America's aggressive methods were causing friction among allied commanders and that there was a growing sense of "unease and frustration" among the British high command. The officer, who agreed to the interview on the condition of anonymity, said that part of the problem was that American troops viewed Iraqis as untermenschen - the Nazi expression for "sub-humans"… British rules of engagement only allow troops to open fire when attacked, using the minimum force necessary and only at identified targets. The American approach was markedly different: "When US troops are attacked with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area."

Haiti, main issue in NY meeting between UN and Caricom heads  4/11/04 Trinidad & Tobago Express 

Iraqi Battalion Refuses to 'Fight Iraqis'  4/11/04 Washington Post: "A battalion of the new Iraqi army refused to go to Fallujah earlier this week to support U.S. Marines battling for control of the city, senior U.S. Army officers here said, disclosing an incident that is casting new doubt on U.S. plans to transfer security matters to Iraqi forces. ...The refusal of the battalion to perform as U.S. officials had hoped poses a significant problem for the occupation. The cornerstone of the U.S. strategy in Iraq is to draw down its military presence and turn over security functions to Iraqis. Over the past two weeks, that approach has suffered a severe setback as Iraqi security forces have crumbled in some parts of the country. In recent days perhaps 20 percent to 25 percent of the Iraqi army, civil defense, police and other security forces have quit, changed sides, or otherwise failed to perform their duties, a senior Army officer said Saturday."


Saturday  4/10/04

topAljazeera targeted in Falluja  4/10/04 Al Jazeera: "Ambulances arriving from Baghdad to evacuate the seriously injured had difficulty in gaining access to the town. US soldiers opened fire, forcing six of the ambulances to retreat as they attempted to reach the Talib al-Janabi clinic."

Doctor reveals Falluja's horror toll  4/10/04 Al Jazeera: "At least 450 Iraqis have been killed and more than 1000 others wounded in fighting in the city of Falluja this week, says a doctor who runs the city's main hospital." Collective punishment.

U.S. Troops in Haiti Hampered by Mandate  4/10/04 AP: "Haitians accuse the Americans of being trigger-happy and note French troops have not once fired or been fired at. Also, Haiti is a former French colony and its Creole language is close to French. ...Also, the interim government installed with U.S. support is seen as an elite in a shady alliance with the ex-soldiers, including convicted human rights violators. U.S.-led coalition members helped police detain two top rebel figures last week — actions which may help dispel that perception. "It's hard to take seriously our efforts in Haiti given they (Marines) are working alongside ... known killers," said U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who supports Aristide."

US Troops Pull out of Major Centers as Iraqi Security Forces and Interim Government Buckle  4/10/04 Debka: a suprisingly comprehensive picture of the American defeat from an Israeli psyops site - "Day Six of the Shiite radical uprising - the tide turned in the Iraq war. US-led forces in Iraq were thrown back to the point they had reached exactly one year ago when Saddam Hussein’s colossal statue was toppled by joyous Iraqis. They were faced, according to DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources, with a row of devastating setbacks: ministers were quitting the provisional Iraqi Governing Council set up to hold the fort of government until the handover of sovereignty on June 30; large parts of the New Iraqi Army, police, border guard, protective units for oil installations and intelligence, trained and financed by Washington, were breaking down. Some Iraqi units were handing their weapons and surrendering to the nearest insurgent militias, whether the rebellions radical Shiite Mehdi Army or other guerrilla groups, including al Qaeda. The third element of the picture flowed from the first two: US troops were ordered to de-escalate military action and pull back from the major fronts of Baghdad’s sprawling northern Shiite slum known as Sadr City, the northern oil city of Mosul and Ar Ramadi at the western tip of the Sunni Triangle. They were told that further coalition troop advances were bound to cause an unacceptable level of civilian and troop casualties."

Army promises testing for depleted uranium  4/10/04 KESQ: "The Army now says it will test soldiers returning from Iraq who fear they might have been contaminated by depleted uranium. The action follows the health complaints of soldiers in the 442nd Military Police Company." But not the Iraquis…

Aristide no, Lavalas yes  4/10/04 Palm Beach Post 

Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004 - Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US  4/10/04 Washington Post: "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." Is this Bush's Reichstag fire?


Friday  4/9/04

topMarchers break through US roadblocks  4/9/04 AFP: "THOUSANDS of Sunni and Shiite Muslims forced their way through US military checkpoints Thursday to ferry food and medical supplies to the besieged Sunni bastion of Fallujah where US marines are trying to crush insurgents… "No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity," the marchers chanted. "We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country." They carried portaits of Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr, as well as pictures of Sunni icon, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian Hamas group who was assassinated in an Israeli air raid last month. "Our families in Fallujah, remember that our dead go to heaven and theirs to hell," read a banner held aloft by the crowd."

Iraq: Hostages put Tokyo in bind  4/9/04 Al Jazeera 

Chaos Erupts in Parts of Central Iraq  4/9/04 AP 

French, U.S. Troops Detain Haitian Rebels  4/9/04 AP: "Wilford Ferdinand, a former rebel commander who had been accused of kidnapping a Haitian police officer, was detained briefly on Wednesday by French troops and Haitian police, French military spokesman Maj. Xavier Pons said. Also, U.S. and French forces on April 3 helped Haitian police arrest Jean Robert, a rebel sympathizer and gang leader accused of terrorizing supporters of then-president Aristide in northeast Haiti." Detained briefly…

Brazil ready to take over Haiti mission in July  4/9/04 CNN 

U.S. Forces Want Al-Jazeera Out Of Fallujah  4/9/04 Islam On Line: "The United States asked al-Jazeera team to leave Fallujah as one of conditions for reaching a settlement to the bloody stand-off in the besieged western Baghdad town Friday, April 9. "American forces declared al-Jazeera must leave before any progress is made to settle the Fallujah stand-off," al-Jazeera director general Wadah Khanfar told IslamOnline.net, citing sources close to the Iraqi Governing Council… The correspondent in Fallujah said that even besieged local inhabitants of the town follow the latest developments in their bastion of resistance through al-Jazeera. Corpses are littered in the streets as U.S. warplanes hit the only hospital and other makeshift medical centers, he added. As Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of U.S. military operations in Iraq, was speaking by phone on al-Jazeera and insisting that American forces declared a unilateral ceasefire in Fallujah, the channel was airing live images of continued air raids by F16 fighter jets on residential neighborhoods of the town."

Two Reporters Forced To Erase Tapes Of Scalia's Speech  4/9/04 NBC: "The reporter initially resisted but later showed the deputy how to erase the tape after she took it from her. The deputy also made a reporter for The Hattiesburg American erase her tape. The exchange occurred in the front row of the auditorium while Scalia told his audience that the Constitution's true meaning must always be protected."

U.S. Finds $1.1 Million in Coke on Ship from Haiti  4/9/04 Reuters 

Haiti Does Not Need an Army, Powell Says  4/9/04 VOA 


Thursday  4/8/04

topScores dead as Falluja resists US onslaught  4/8/04 Al Jazeera: "American forces initially said those killed in Wednesday's attack on the mosque were fighters taking refuge. But a marine officer was later forced to admit that US forces had failed to find any bodies. "When we hit that building I thought we had killed all the bad guys, but when we went in they didn't find any bad guys in the building," Lieutenant Colonel Brennan Byrne told reporters."

Haiti: Armed groups still active  4/8/04 Amnesty International: "At the end of a 15-day mission to Haiti, Amnesty International is deeply concerned for the security of the civilian population. Despite the presence of the Multinational Interim Force (MIF), a large number of armed groups continue to be active throughout the country. These include both rebel forces and militias loyal to former President Aristide. Amnesty International is particularly concerned for the safety of judges, prosecutors, criminal investigators, victims, witnesses and human rights defenders involved in prosecutions relating to past human rights abuses. Judge Napela Saintil, the chief judge in the trial of those responsible for the 1994 Raboteau massacre, was severely beaten on 30 March by an armed man. The judge told Amnesty International delegates that his attacker had threatened him for the part he played in the conviction, in absentia, of Louis Jodel Chamblain, one of the participants in the massacre."

Experts, officials concerned about growing violence, unrest in Iraq  4/8/04 AP: "Milt Bearden, who retired after 30 years with the CIA's directorate of operations, notes that in the last 100 years any insurgency that has taken on a nationalist character -- for instance, a shared goal of getting rid of Americans -- has succeeded. Other former intelligence officials familiar with the region caution that outside Shiite groups, acting more covertly than the Sadr militia, could prove to be formidable problems. Bob Baer, a former CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East, said he met with Islamic fighters in Lebanon just before the U.S. invasion of Iraq who told him they were preparing to fight a long-term war with the West in Iraq. They included members of Hezbollah and Hamas, he said. Baer said the resistance groups warned then that a Shiite uprising in Iraq would come in April, and promised kidnappings and bombings in southern Iraq. Then, he dismissed the timing, but "it indeed happened in April." "

A Letter From Iraq  4/8/04 Beacon School: "Instead of a professional military outfit here we have a bunch of cowboys and vigilantes running wild in the streets. The ugly American has never been so evident. Someone in charge needs to drop the hammer on this lack of discipline, especially that which is being hown by the Special Forces, security contractors, and "other government agencies". We won the war but that doesn't mean we can treat the people of this couotry with contempt and disregard with no thought to the consequences."

Echoes of Vietnam - Phoenix, Assassination and Blowback in Iraq  4/8/04 Counterpunch 

The CIA's plan against Mexico  4/8/04 Progreso Weekly: "As reported in the Mexican press, a journalist who interviewed Castañeda in Miami attempted to ingratiate herself with the “future president” and unwittingly unveiled the essence of the plan. “For a project of this magnitude, you will surely need two things: the entrepreneurs and the press,” she said. A bit disconcerted, Castañeda replied: “And the people, the people.” But the journalist, naive though she may have seemed, was right. What you find in Miami is not the people but the entrepreneurs, the controlled press and the CIA."


Wednesday  4/7/04

topHaiti's former interior minister arrested on allegations he planned killings  4/7/04 AP 

Report from Baghdad - Opening the Gates of Hell by RAHUL MAHAJAN  4/7/04 Counterpunch: "Falluja, although heavily Sunni Arab, was hardly in Saddam's pocket. Its imams got into trouble for refusing to obey his orders to praise him personally during prayers. Many inhabitants were Salafists (Wahhabism is a subset of Salafism), a group singled out for political persecution by Saddam. In fact, during the war, Falluja was not a hotbed of resistance. Its turn to resistance started on April 28, when U.S. troops opened fire on a group of 100 to 200 peaceful protesters, killing 15. They claimed they were returning gunfire, but Human Rights Watch investigated and found that the bullet holes in the area were inconsistent with that story -- and, furthermore, every Iraqi witness maintained that the crowd was unarmed. Two days later, another three protesters were killed."

Shiite Radicals Join with Sunni Insurgents in Ramadi  4/7/04 Debka: Israeli psyops struggles with emerging realities. Note that their reference to Fallujah as "Sunni Baathist" does not square with other sources, such as the article above.

Uprising in Iraq could derail Bush  4/7/04 Guardian, UK: "But Republican senator John McCain said Mr Bush should avoid the mistakes of the Vietnam war: "We have to tell the American people that we are in this for the long haul. We cannot say, as we did in Vietnam, that the light is at the end of the tunnel." Other members of the president's party, raised the alarm over the emergence of the Shia militia and general unravelling of security. Senator Chuck Hagel, told the Washington Post the US was "dangerously close" to losing control in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, responded to calls for reinforcements by saying that the US military presence in Iraq was unusually high at 135,000."

Intense fighting continues across Iraq  4/7/04 Knight Ridder: "Marine engineers patrolling near Ramadi on Wednesday reported coming across a mass grave containing up to 350 bodies of Iraqis who appeared to have been killed in the fighting. It wasn't clear whether the bodies belonged to combatants, civilians or both."

U.S. Terrorism Policy Spawns Steady Staff Exodus  4/7/04 Reuters: "Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has faced a steady exodus of counterterrorism officials, many disappointed by a preoccupation with Iraq they said undermined the U.S. fight against terrorism. Former counterterrorism officials said at least half a dozen have left the White House Office for Combating Terrorism or related agencies in frustration in the 2 1/2 years since the attacks. Some also left because they felt President Bush had sidelined his counterterrorism experts and paid almost exclusive heed to the vice president, the defense secretary and other Cabinet members in planning the "war on terror," former counterterrorism officials said. "I'm kind of hoping for regime change," one official who quit told Reuters."

‘Haiti Coup: International Implications in the U.S. and Haiti’  4/7/04 SF Bay View: "Yet, despite all the money and economic embargoes and campaigns of misinformation, on Feb. 29, 1 million Aristide supporters showed up at the capital (in Port-au-Prince).” This, Lovinsky said, shook up the opposition which had strongholds in cities throughout the island. In one city, the mercenaries killed a police chief in an exchange of gunfire, while the huge barricade blocking the north and east entrance to the capital city, Port-au-Prince, also offered safety to President Aristide, because nothing could get through to the U.S. embassy, to anyone. President Aristide’s order to remove the barricade, Lovinsky felt was a bad idea; however, the people stayed mobilized as they followed the executive order and removed it “instead of building it higher.” The blockage returned after 6 p.m. daily. Then, on Feb. 28-29, a serious battle between the mercenaries and civilians took place. “The U.S. embassy saw that the mercenaries were going to fail even though they had heavy weapons. The shear numbers of people would have finished them off. So the U.S. dispatched 50 Marines to Port-au-Prince. It was a trick. No local embassy was threatened. There was no one in Port-au-Prince who thought in terms of the government failing or losing the battle for democracy,” Lovinsky said. If the U.S. hadn’t acted when it did, later that same day the legitimate Haitian police force would have had tear gas and other supplies to control the massive insurgence that threatened to consume their manpower. South Africa had responded to Aristide’s plea, and a plane with supplies sat in a Jamaica hanger the same day Artistide was flown to the Central African Republic, Feb. 29. Talk about ships passing in the night."

US seeks graft charges against Aristide  4/7/04 Sydney Morning Herald: "American judicial authorities are looking into prosecuting the former Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, on corruption charges, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said. "There are inquiries being made . . . to see if there is any evidence of wrongdoing on his part," Mr Powell said at a news conference with the new interim prime minister, Gerard Latortue, in Port-au-Prince on Monday. Mr Aristide went into exile in February after widespread violence and looting. A US indictment against him on drug trafficking or other international charges would further inflame political tensions between those who claim he was forced into exile by US troops and others, like Mr Powell, who say the Americans saved his life."

Witch Hunt in Haiti  4/7/04 The Dominion, Canada: “Right now there is a political climate in Haiti where anyone can get on the radio stations and accuse anyone else of a crime or with being associated with violent Lavalas gangs. It means that without proof they can say this about you and immediately you have to go into hiding, and immediately you have to be concerned with your own welfare; and immediately the death threats begin. That’s the political climate that you have in Haiti today.”

Muslim Rivals Unite In Baghdad Uprising  4/7/04 Washington Post: "The lines in Hassan's face deepened as he spoke bitterly of a year under occupation in a neighborhood long regarded by U.S. forces as hostile. The raids on private homes were the worst, Hassan said. He repeated familiar stories of American soldiers taking money and leaving only a receipt that proved impossible to redeem. He told of an old woman left behind when everyone else in her home was first arrested, then declared innocent after four months in detention. "So we will keep killing them!" he snapped, his eyes flashing. "We found our way, just now. We gather together now." "


Tuesday  4/6/04

topUS seeks arrest of Muqtada al-Sadr  4/6/04 Al Jazeera: "Another aide insisted al-Sadr would never be captured. "He will not be arrested, we will not allow his arrest, not by the Americans, not by the British and not by anyone else," Hazim al-Araji, director of al-Sadr's office in Kadhimiya, a Shia district of the capital, told AFP. "

Aristide Aide Accused of Killings Plot  4/6/04 AP: "Pierre Esperance, a human rights activist, said there were reports that more than 50 people were killed during mid-February in St. Marc. Reporters who were in the town at the time of the attacks reported seeing less than five bodies. Last year, a former city employee in the Aristide stronghold and seaside slum of Cite Soleil fled Haiti after claiming Privert had ordered gangs to kill Aristide opponents in Port-au-Prince. Privert denied the allegations at the time."

Reaping the Whirlwind - Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy  4/6/04 Counterpunch: By ROBERT FISK - "The grim truth, however, is that the occupying powers are now facing insurrection of various strengths in almost every big city in Iraq. Yet they are still not confronting that truth. For the past nine nights, for example, the main US base close to Baghdad airport--and the area around the terminals--has come under mortar fire. But the occupying powers have kept this secret. "Things are getting very bad and they're going to get worse," a special forces officer said close to the airport yesterday. "But no one is saying that--either because they don't know or because they don't want you to know." "

Aristide, Bush, Chávez, Kerry: When Presidents Collide - U.S. Political Campaign Plays With Latin American Fire  4/6/04 NarcoNews 

An Incendiary Cleric Braces His Militia for an Invasion  4/6/04 NYT 

U.S. considers prosecuting Aristide, Powell says in Haiti  4/6/04 NYT 

Former Iraqi enemies unite to fight U.S.  4/6/04 UPI: "Before last week the primary forces resisting the U.S. occupation were a combination of former Baath Party members and Sunni religious figures, but after fighting broke out between the coalition and a militia led by a young radical Shiite cleric, much of Iraq turned to complete chaos. There are also indications that the two groups have come to an agreement to join with an al-Qaida affiliated terrorist group thought to have conducted widespread terrorist attacks against U.S. and Iraqi targets alike… Inside the Sadr office building, which was defended by about 100 armed and 400 unarmed men and boys, was cordoned off by the U.S. military, three obviously Sunni clerics arrived with a letter for the leaders of the Mehdi Army. "We have come to see how our friends are doing," Sheikh Hudor al-Abari told United Press International. Abari said he was representing the tribal sheik of the Anbar Province of Iraq, which contains the Sunni towns of Fallujah and Ramadi… "The letter (to Moqtada Sadr) declares that we are the Army of Mohammed and all of Ramadi and Fallujah (offer) our army and people and souls and hearts and weapons under your command," he told UPI. "There is no more Shiite and Sunni, only Muslims and now we will fight each other no more and together fight the same enemy." "

Fear of losing control drives assault  4/6/04 USA Today: "Trainor said the current Marine battalion of about 1,000 will be reinforced with other U.S. and Iraqi forces to form "a pretty substantial capability" to secure their sectors of the city. After that, Marines and Special Forces units, operating off of "black lists" with names of possible enemies, will begin to capture or kill them, Trainor said." Project Phoenix.


Monday  4/5/04

top‘Sadr Uprising’ Gains Support Of Sunni Iraqis  4/5/04 Al Jazeera: "Iraqi Sunnis showed Monday, April 5, great support toward the uprising of followers of Shiite young leader Moqtada Sadr against the U.S.-led occupation forces. The enthusiasm triggered clashes in the Sunni Al-Aazamya neighborhood of Baghdad between Sunni young men – mostly teenagers – and occupation forces, according to Al-Jazeera."

Phase II of the Anti-Occupation Revolt Begins  4/5/04 AntiWar 

Kennedy Compares Bush to Richard Nixon  4/5/04 AP 

Powell Urges Haiti on Government Posts  4/5/04 AP: "Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday was urging Haiti's leaders to make sure government posts are not given to leaders of the February insurrection who are criminals or human rights violators."

Censorship Sparks Uprising - Bloodbath a Bad Omen for Bush  4/5/04 Counterpunch: By ROBERT FISK

The battle the US wants to provoke  4/5/04 Guardian: "On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on a demonstration here. As the protesters returned to their homes in the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, the US army followed with tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops, streets, even ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people were killed and many more injured. In Najaf, the day was also bloody: 20 demonstrators dead, more than 150 injured. In Sadr City yesterday, funeral marches passed by US military tanks and the hospitals were overflowing with the injured. By afternoon, clashes had resumed… Washington has given up on its plans to hand over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, and is creating the chaos it needs to declare the handover impossible. A continued occupation will be bad news for George Bush on the campaign trail, but not as bad as if the hand-over happens and the country erupts, an increasingly likely scenario given the widespread rejection of the legitimacy of the interim constitution and the US- appointed governing council. But by sending the new Iraqi army to fire on the people they are supposed to be protecting, Bremer has destroyed what slim hope they had of gaining credibility with an already highly mistrustful population. On Sunday, before storming the unarmed demonstrators, the soldiers could be seen pulling on ski masks, so they would not be recognised in their neighbourhoods later."

Muqtada Under Siege, US Helicopters Patrol Skies above East Baghdad  4/5/04 Juan Cole: "Ash-sharq al-Awsat also reports that the gunfire at Najaf broke out when demonstrators began throwing stones at Spanish-speaking troops and Iraqi police, and the latter replied by firing at the protesters. The Salvadoran troops that were involved probably had no training in crowd control, and the Salvadoran military has a poor human rights record, so the US decision to deploy them there may have been a big political miscalculation. If you want irony, and provocative irony, it turns out that the Plus Ultra base where the Sadrists protested was called "al-Andalus." That is a reference to Arab Spain, to which the Catholics of the Reconquista put a bloody end in 1492. Although much has been written about the Jews forcibly converted to Christianity in the aftermath, it is not realized that many more Muslims stayed and were forced to convert under the watchful eye of the Inquisition. For the Plus Ultra to call their base Andalus is in incredibly bad taste, and shows the sort of triumphalist mentality that has accompanied the Bush administration's rehabilitation of "empire." Unfortunately, naming things is not as easy as actually controlling imperial subjects." Si Señor!

THE OTHER WAR by SEYMOUR M. HERSH - Why Bush’s Afghanistan problem won’t go away.  4/5/04 New Yorker 

Sharon backs away from pledge not to harm Arafat  4/5/04 Reuters: "I am not vouching for his physical safety," Sharon said about Arafat, the Palestinian president Israel accuses of fomenting violence in three years of conflict. Arafat denies the allegations. "Whoever kills Jews or orders Jews and Israeli citizens to be killed... is a marked man," Sharon told Ynet, the website of Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper."

U.S. Helicopters Attack Targets in Baghdad  4/5/04 Reuters: "Fresh fighting between U.S. forces and Shi'ite militiamen erupted in a Baghdad neighborhood Monday, with two Apache helicopters firing on targets in the area, Reuters journalists at the scene said. A U.S. vehicle was also in flames in the area, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood. Sunday, fighting in another Shi'ite area of Baghdad, the impoverished Sadr City district, claimed the lives of at least 28 Iraqis and seven U.S. soldiers."

Commander Punished as Army Probes Detainee Treatment  4/5/04 Washington Post 


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes

Maps & Weather

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/

A number of maps here
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/afghanistan.html

http://www.weatherhub.com/

Estimates of the total number of Muslims range from 0.7 to 1.2 billion worldwide and 3 to 6 million in the U.S. About 20% of all people on earth follow Islam. The religion is in a period of rapid growth.

Christianity is currently the largest religion in the world. It is followed by about 33% of all people -- a percentage that has remaind stable for decades. It is expected that, if current trends continue, Islam will become the most popular religion sometime in the mid-21st century.

-- http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm

Death from America

Iraq news: Soaring death rates among Iraqi children, 1999 BBC, UNICEF 500,000 child deaths

Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq, 1/26/2000
1.5 million deaths

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