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    World News
3/22/03 - 3/28/04

Sunday  3/28/04

Clashes in oilfields kill 17 soldiers and guerrillas  3/28/04 ANNCOL 

French Return to Haiti After 200 Years  3/28/04 AP: "Haiti became the world's first free black republic after declaring independence on Jan. 1, 1804. But France did not recognize Haiti's independence until 1838 — after Haiti began paying France an agreed amount of 90 million gold francs to compensate former plantation owners. Speaking in November to honor the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Vertieres, which was fought just outside this colonial city, Aristide blamed Haiti's crushing poverty on having to pay off that debt. Payments continued into the 20th century."

Clarke fends off White House dirty tricks  3/28/04 Independent, UK: "By the end of April 2001 - only three months later - the first annual terrorism report issued by the Bush administration made scant mention of al-Qa'ida. A senior State Department official told CNN at the time that the Clinton administration "made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden". "

Kids have African-Israeli identity, but Ethiopian parents still foreigners  3/28/04 JTA: "But 20 years after the first major wave of immigration to the Jewish state from Ethiopia, there also are disproportionately high numbers of unemployed and high school dropouts among them. The youth and their parents are a community in transition, the euphoria of their arrival having long been replaced with the hard realities of making a life in modern Israel. “In recent years the economic situation in Israel has been very difficult, but the ones who have suffered most are the Ethiopians,” says Adisu Massala, a former Knesset member who now chairs the United Ethiopian Jewish Organization, an umbrella organization of Ethiopian groups. “They are new to country, have no inside connections when it comes to getting jobs, lack language” skills, he says. “This is a community that came here with nothing.” "

President Asked Aide to Explore Iraq Link to 9/11 Attacks  3/28/04 NYT: "The White House acknowledged Sunday that on the day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush pressed his top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, to find out whether Iraq was involved."

Venezuela's political struggle mustn't be turned racial  3/28/04 Vheadlines: "Afro-Venezuelan Network leader, Jesus Garcia has criticized Venezuelan print & broadcast media for showing tints of racism, citing one TV channel poking fun at Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe ... "One may have differences with President Hugo Chavez Frias or disagree with Confederation of Trade Unions (CTV) general secretary, Manuel Cova, to mention concrete cases, but the political struggle must not be racialized and that is what the media has done."

Saturday  3/27/04

topCaribbean group withholds recognition for Haiti  3/27/04 AP: "Trinidad's Prime Minister Patrick Manning said as he left a summit meeting of Caribbean leaders that discussions had been "quite tense" and that a final determination would be put off until leaders discuss the issue again at a summit in July in Grenada. He gave no other details, but another leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they could not recognize Haiti's government because it was installed by what he called an insurrection."

Why bin Laden has eluded capture  3/27/04 Daily Herald, Chicago: "Without human intelligence, this operation will be meaningless," says a senior Afghan intelligence officer, who requests anonymity. "Instead of catching Osama, the Americans will only create more opposition for themselves." ..."We're kind of losing there," says a senior U.S. official in Washington, with knowledge of intelligence operations. "I just think it's very, very difficult to do anything with 10,000 troops in some of the world's highest mountains in a place the size of Texas."

Caribbean Leaders Withhold Haiti Backing  3/27/04 Guardian 

U.S. Troops Kill Three-Year-Old Boy in Iraq--Police  3/27/04 Reuters: ""There was a family; four children, three women and their driver," an Iraqi police major said. "The U.S. forces fired on them and all of them were injured. One child was killed." "

Friday  3/26/04

topThe evangelical roots of US unilateralism  3/26/04 Asia Time 

Venezuela troops 'used torture'  3/26/04 BBC: "Venezuelan ombudsman German Mundarain has said security forces tortured some protesters who were detained during recent anti-government demonstrations."

Haitian Premier Shunned by Caribbean Neighbors  3/26/04 Black America Web: "According to CARICOM’s charter, only democratically elected governments can be members of the organization. In its rush to name Latortue Haiti’s prime minister, the committee of wise men violated Haiti’s constitution, which empowers the country’s president to appoint the prime minister. But instead of allowing the interim president who succeeded Aristide to pick a prime minister, the Bush administration put that decision in the hands of the committee of wise men, whose selection was heavily influenced by the Bush administration, which sent an occupation force of several thousand Marines into Haiti hours after Aristide departed the country. The U.S. may not be pulling all of Latortue’s strings, but there’s little doubt that he is their puppet."

The Haiti case demonstrates that media lies prevail  3/26/04 Granma 

Mbeki: Haiti inspires Africans  3/26/04 News 24, SA 

Activists to seek arrest of Haitian  3/26/04 Newsday: "Constant came to New York in 1995, fleeing Haiti after Aristide,a former Catholic priest with leftist policies, returned to power. Since then, human rights groups have been trying to get the United States to arrest and deport Constant. U.S. officials have refused, saying his safety could not be guaranteed in Haiti. Critics say the United States has been giving Constant special treatment because he was a self-acknowledged informant of the CIA in the early 1990s. Constant's mother, speaking in French and asking not to be further identified, said in a telephone interview that her son is innocent of crimes he is accused of, including involvement in the 1994 massacre of two dozen people in Raboteau, Haiti."

Thursday  3/25/04

topWyclef Shooting Video To Support Haiti By Nolan Strong  3/25/04 All Hip Hop: Jean supported the rebellion against Aristide.

Haiti's Troika of Terror - Thugs, a Buffon, the Pirates  3/25/04 Black Commentator: "General Coleman’s helicopters provided limo service for the Gonaives ghoul-fest – a macabre exercise in nation-building that could only have been hatched by minds utterly consumed by racism. This is what Black government looks like to George Bush… However, fascist-minded Haitian Americans are cyber-wise, too. Emboldened by the gangster’s return to power, U.S.-based thugsters have issued threats to Aristide supporters on American soil. According to Marguerite Laurent, Chairperson of Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, pro-gangster e-mailers are circulating detailed information on potential targets… In an interview with Democracy Now! on Tuesday, TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson, a close confidant of Aristide and resident of St. Kitts, ventured that Bush’s campaign to drive Aristide out of the Western Hemisphere “will collapse of its own weight, and it should, upon the idiots in the State Department and the White House who tried to implement such a fool hearty, callous plan.” Robinson praised Jamaican Prime Minister and current Caricom leader P.J. Patterson for distinguishing “himself in making a place for President Aristide in Jamaica, and he has met for that with threats by this administration directly from the White House.” "

Terror experts 'almost quit' in frustration with Bush  3/25/04 Independent: "The Bush administration's failure to prevent the 11 September attacks came under even fiercer scrutiny yesterday, when it emerged that two veteran CIA counter-terrorism experts were so frustrated in summer 2001 that they considered resigning and making public their fears about an imminent terrorist strike against US targets… But that explanation does not deal with another point of contention yesterday, the President's daily, top-secret, intelligence briefing from the CIA on 6 August 2001, which the White House has refused to release. It is known however that this "PDB" warned of the possibility of terrorists using airliners for an attack - leading to accusations of a cover-up."

Terror aides strangely keep turning on Bush  3/25/04 The Hill: "In August 2002, Rice tapped Beers as special assistant to the president for counterterrorism at the NSC — the senior terrorism hand on her staff. (In a sense, Rice put Beers in the role Clarke occupied before Sept. 11 — though so much in the org chart had changed by that point that no direct comparison is really possible.) Seven months later, just a couple days before the bombs started falling over Baghdad, he resigned. Two months after resigning his White House job, he signed up as Kerry’s lead adviser on foreign policy."

Why John Kerry Must Retract his Position on Venezuela  3/25/04 Venezuela Analysis: "During five years of Chavez’s presidency, there have been absolutely no political prisoners. Those detained during recent disturbances, whom the opposition claimed were political prisoners, were arrested lawfully on charges brought by a Public Prosecutor, and the majority of them have been released. Those who remain detained have been arrested on charges such as illegal possession of arms and, in many cases, for illegally carrying weapons of war. Trials for those arrested have not yet taken place. Kerry repeats the discourse of the Venezuelan opposition that refers to those arrested for carrying illegal arms as political prisoners, yet he has never declared that those arrested for protesting peacefully in front of the School of the Americas in Georgia are political prisoners."

Wednesday  3/24/04

topHaiti Update V: The Day after Tomorrow  3/24/04 Africana: "If Haiti's democracy has been placed in the grasping hands of these freedom fighters, then the vision of US-backed stability comes into sharper focus. Stability here appears to be synonymous with suppression of dissent and, in this case, suppression of Aristide's Lavalas Family party. This party, which still commands the loyalty of millions of Haiti's poor and disenfranchised, has been excluded from the rising thugocracy; there appears to be evidence that members of the party are in hiding, fearing for their lives. Regardless of the problems of Aristide's leadership, the Lavalas party continues to represent the hopes for democracy and empowerment of Haiti's impoverished majority. The US-backed government's attack on this party is an attack on the electorate. This is stability through tyranny."

An Open Letter to John Kerry - You Are Wrong on Venezuela, Senator  3/24/04 Counterpunch: "You also mention in your March 19th Statement that President Chavez has "repeatedly undermined democratic institutions using extra-legal means, including politically motivated incarcerations, to consolidate power". Honestly, Mr. Kerry, are you speaking of the same President Chavez who has been democratically governing Venezuela since 1998, has implemented one of the most progressive constitutions in the world in the area of human rights, has developed successful social programs that are benefiting millions of Venezuelans in the areas of health care, education, housing and jobs, and has brought more Venezuelans into the political process than any government in the nation's history? ...Prior to President Chavez' administration, there were hosts of political prisoners in Venezuela. Yet since Chavez has been in office, there have been no political prisoners. This is a fact documented by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and even the US State Department's Country Report on Venezuela."

An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security  3/24/04 Environmental Media: released in Oct, 2003 - A report commissioned by the U.S. Defense Department.

“Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999”  3/24/04 Global Research 

The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Rwanda: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa  3/24/04 Global Research: "At stake in these military operations in the Congo were the extensive mining resources of Eastern and Southern Zaire including strategic reserves of cobalt -- of crucial importance for the US defense industry. During the civil war several months before the downfall of Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila basedin Goma, Eastern Zaire had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields (AMF), a company headquartered in President Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope, Arkansas."

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us  3/24/04 Observer: printed 2/22/04 - "Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters. A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world. The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents… So dramatic are the report's scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush's stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign. The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry's cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment."

Tuesday  3/23/04

topSelf-Determining Haiti: The American Occupation  3/23/04 Africana: By James Weldon Johnson, first published in The Nation, Aug. 28, 1920.

Double Setback for Justice Seekers  3/23/04 BWT: "It was a double setback this week for Black Americans seeking justice. Last Friday, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2003 in which survivors and descendants of those killed in the Tulsa Riot in 1921 sought reparations for lost property. On Monday, in Cincinnati, police involved in the death of Nathaniel Jones were cleared of any criminal charges. Jones, 41, died last November after a fracas with several police officers who claimed he assaulted them when they tried to subdue him. A videotape of the incident, with the police repeatedly plummeting the 350-pound Jones with their night sticks, was reminiscent of the beating Rodney King endured."

In Yassin slaying, Arabs see US hand  3/23/04 CSM: "Virginia's Quandt notes that the assassination was carried out with US-supplied military hardware - equipment over whose use the US by law retains some measure of control. "If we had objections as to how it's being used, the administration should have informed Congress of that," he says. The lack of any such objections tells Sharon his equating of the Palestinian conflict with the broader US-led war on terror is a winning strategy, he says."

Haiti: Security Vacuum in the North  3/23/04 Human Rights Watch: "French military forces must work with the Haitian National Police to quickly retake control of the Haiti’s northern region, Human Rights Watch said today. A large number of journalists and government officials from the region have gone into hiding out of fear for their safety. Two Human Rights Watch representatives just returned from an assessment mission to the North of Haiti, during which they interviewed several journalists and government officials who described their lack of security. One former official, parliamentary deputy Gabriel Ducatel of Port-Margot, was being illegally detained in Cap Haïtien by the so-called Armed Forces of the North (Forces armées du Nord)… Human Rights Watch also interviewed a number of radio journalists in Cap Haïtien, including journalists with Radio Nationale, who had gone into hiding. They described the lack of security and their resulting fears for their safety. These journalists gave Human Rights Watch the names of another dozen journalists who were said to be in hiding too. The vast majority of political representatives from the Lavalas party are also in hiding: nearly all of the local mayors, CASEKs (a local post), and municipal officials linked to the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide."

Convicts Rule Haiti Town, Executions Plague Another  3/23/04 Reuters 

Al-Qaeda 'claims to have bought briefcase N-bombs'  3/23/04 The Straits Times 

Opposition to Haiti's PM attending Caricom meeting  3/23/04 Trinidad & Tobago Express: "The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves; St Lucia's Kenny Anthony; and Antigua and Barbuda's Lester Bird said yesterday they could not envisage any such meeting with Latortue in the absence of a repudiation of his public attack on Caricom… Prime Minister Gonsalves, who met with the ousted Haitian leader over the weekend in Jamaica where he is on a ten-week stay, told the Express yesterday: "Mr Latortue has shown tremendous insensitivity in first announcing the freezing of Haiti's membership in Caricom, then to travel to Gonaives on Saturday to hail known murderers and political thugs as 'liberators', and now wanting to meet with Community Heads of Government to discuss the Haitian situation. I am totally opposed to any such meeting with him at this time". Gonsalves, who chairs five-member Prime Ministerial Working Group on "Options for Governance" in Caricom, that also includes Prime Minister Patrick Manning, said he also "has a serious problem with an official of the Organisation of American States sharing a platform with Latortue at what was a political rally in Gonaives". This was a reference to the OAS representative, David Lee, who along with members of Latortue's recently appointed cabinet were flown with the interm Prime Minister on a United States military helicopter to Gonaives for the rally where he welcomed as "liberators" armed rebels who had fought for the overthrow of the Aristide presidency."

African-American Coalition Launches Humanitarian Assistance Campaign for  3/23/04 VOA 

Killing Of Sheikh Yassin - The Chilling Implications Of This State Killing  3/23/04 Znet: "Now all is changed utterly. Anyone who advocates violence is now on a death list. So who can be surprised if the rules are broken by the other side? With all their own security, Bush and Blair may be safe, but what about their ambassadors and fellow ministers? Leaders are fair game. We will not say this. If, or when, our own political leaders are gunned down or blown up, we shall vilify the killers and argue a new stage in "terrorism" has been reached. We shall forget that we are now encouraging this all- out assassination spree."

Monday  3/22/04

topAssassination sparks outrage  3/22/04 Al Jazeera: ""War is henceforth open with these murderers, these criminals and these terrorists," al-Rantissi said on a Gaza City street to a background of chants from hundreds of supporters calling for jihad. "They know it's opened, there will be no revenge, it's an open war," he added in English, warning the Israelis they would not enjoy peace."

Palestinian fury on the streets  3/22/04 BBC: "A sea of mourners followed the funeral procession with Sheikh Yassin's coffin draped in the green flag of Hamas. Across the West Bank and Gaza, thousands have taken to the streets in a spontaneous outpouring of grief and rage at his death. There are reports of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops near some Jewish settlements and rockets are reported to have been fired at the main crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Hamas says Israel has "opened the gates of hell" by killing Sheikh Yassin."

Right wins El Salvador election  3/22/04 BBC 

Iraq: The Beginning of Phase Three  3/22/04 Defense in the National Interest: "In the intelligence operations room at the 1st Armored Division’s headquarters (in Baghdad), wall-mounted charts identifying and linking insurgents depict the changing battlefield. Last fall the organizational chart of Baathist fighters and leaders stretched for 10 feet, while charts listing known Islamic radicals took up a few pieces of paper. Now, the chart of Iraqi religious extremists dominates the room, while the poster depicting Baathist activity has shrunk to half of its previous size." ...Finally, the way the war is fought will gradually change its character. Like the Baath, Fourth Generation forces will fight a guerilla war. But religious motivation will gradually introduce new elements. We have already seen one: suicide bombers. We will start to see others: women and children taking active roles, riots where the crowds force “coalition” forces to fire on the people and create massacres, treachery by Iraqis who we think are “friends” (we are already seeing that among the Iraqi police), and finally an Iraqi intifada, where everyone just piles on. That could happen as early as this summer, at the rate things seem to be going. If it does, American forces will have little choice but to get out of Iraq as best they can."

Hamas: Sharon has opened the gates of hell  3/22/04 Haaretz: ""The Zionists didn't carry out their operation without getting the consent of the terrorist American Administration, and it must take responsibility for this crime," Hamas said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press. "All the Muslims of the world will be honored to join in on the retaliation for this crime," the statement said. The threat against the United States would represent a change of tactics for the militant group, which has always said its fight was with Israel and not with the United States."

Yassin killing is part of disengagement plan  3/22/04 Haaretz, Israel 

Aristide's Bank Accounts  3/22/04 Haiti Web: the Opposition cries foul but where do they get their funds?

Six jeunes tués dans le quartier de Cité militaire  3/22/04 HPN: 6 youths executed by the police.

PAHO Says Haiti Needs 'Intensified Action for Health'  3/22/04 PAHO: " "Intensified action for health," restoration of water systems and quick repair of health facilities are all urgently needed to relieve the suffering of people in Haiti, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) experts said today."

"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

A number of maps here

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.


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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