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    World News
3/29/03 - 4/4/04

Sunday  4/4/04

US tanks deploy in Baghdad as Shiite radicals take to streets  4/4/04 AFP: "US tanks deployed in the Iraqi capital to stop hundreds of angry protestors marching on the coalition's city-centre headquarters as Shiite Muslim radicals took to the streets across central and southern Iraq. The protest in the capital turned violent as some supporters of radical leader Moqtada Sadr threw themselves at the US tanks and a police officer said at least two of the demonstrators had been crushed."

7 U.S. Troops Killed in Baghdad Fighting  4/4/04 AP: "Seven U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday in fighting with Shiite militiamen in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, the U.S. military said. At least 24 other American troops were wounded, the military said in a written statement."

Lugar Says U.S. May Need to Delay Iraq Handover  4/4/04 AP 

Protesters die in Iraq firefight  4/4/04 BBC: "At least 19 people have been killed and around 100 injured in clashes between Spanish-led troops and demonstrators in the Iraqi city of Najaf. Four soldiers from El Salvador and two from Iraq were reportedly killed in the firefight, which broke out when Iraqi protesters marched on their base. The crowd were protesting in support of firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr."

Fatah warns of heavy price if Israel assassinates Arafat  4/4/04 Haaretz 

Tipping point of terror  4/4/04 Observer: "Morocco has always prided itself on being the liberal face of Islam, but that was before the men in beards took control of the big city slums. And before the suicide bombing in Madrid. Andrew Hussey reports from Casablanca on the country's slide towards fundamentalism."

Venezuelan opposition committed genocide in 62 murders of rural leaders  4/4/04 Vheadlines 

Spread of Bin Laden Ideology Cited - Iraq Invasion Said To Alter Dynamics Of Local Militants  4/4/04 Washington Post: "The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has accelerated the spread of Osama bin Laden's anti-Americanism among once local Islamic militant movements, increasing danger to the United States as the al Qaeda network is becoming less able to mount attacks, according to senior intelligence officials at the CIA and State Department. At the same time, the Sunni Triangle has become a training ground for foreign Islamic jihadists who are slipping into Iraq to join former Saddam Hussein loyalists to test themselves against U.S. and coalition forces, these officials say. Islamic militant organizations in places such as North Africa and Southeast Asia, which were previously focused on changing their local country leadership, "have been caught by bin Laden's vision, and poisoned by it . . . they will now look at the U.S., Israel and the Saudis as targets," a senior intelligence official said last week."

Saturday  4/3/04

topFamilies Rage - The murder of a journalist in Iraq  4/3/04 Independent, UK 

Campaign 2004: Kerry taps Internet to raise $50 million in three months  4/3/04 NYT 

El diálogo de Chávez y John Kerry  4/3/04 Rebelion 

Iraqi Cleric Urges Action Against U.S.  4/3/04 Washington Post: "An influential Shiite Muslim cleric whose newspaper was shuttered for printing inflammatory articles called Friday for his followers to strike back at officials and appointees of the U.S.-led occupation authority. "I and my followers of the believers have come under attack from the occupiers, imperialism and the appointees," Moqtada Sadr said in a sermon in the southern town of Kufa, outside the holy city of Najaf. "Be on the utmost readiness, and strike them where you meet them." On Friday evening, clashes erupted in Kufa. Residents said that rocket-propelled grenades and mortars were fired but that it was unclear who was involved. At some point in the fighting, gunmen killed Kufa's police chief, Col. Saeed Tiryak, and a colleague, according to Iraqi police sources quoted by the Reuters news agency."

Friday  4/2/04

topPoll: More Now Believe Jews Killed Jesus  4/2/04 AP: "The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found 26 percent of respondents believe Jews were to blame for the Crucifixion, up from 19 percent in ABC News poll in 1997. The greatest increase was among young people and blacks. Thirty-four percent of those under age 30 now believe Jews were responsible, compared to 10 percent in 1997, the Pew Center said. And 42 percent of blacks hold that view, compared to 21 percent seven years ago. The poll was conducted amid controversy over Mel Gibson's epic "The Passion of the Christ." Some say the film unfairly portrays the role of Jews in Jesus' death, while Gibson and others insisted the movie is not anti-Semitic and is faithful to Gospel accounts."

US contractor recruits guards for Iraq in Chile  4/2/04 Guardian: published March 5th, cites the firm that just lost 4 employees in Fallujah - "The US is hiring mercenaries in Chile to replace its soldiers on security duty in Iraq. A Pentagon contractor has begun recruiting former commandos, other soldiers and seamen, paying them up to $4,000 (£2,193) a month to guard oil wells against attack by insurgents. Last month Blackwater USA flew a first group of about 60 former commandos, many of who had trained under the military government of Augusto Pinochet, from Santiago to a 2,400-acre (970-hectare) training camp in North Carolina."

Be careful what you say on campus  4/2/04 Seattle Post Intelligence: "The most ominous threat to academic freedom in decades looms in a seemingly innocuous Senate bill expected to come up for vote shortly. A short but critical clause would rob our society of the open exchange of ideas on college campuses that is vital to our democracy. House Resolution 3077 passed last fall. It included a provision to establish an advisory board to monitor campus international studies centers in order to ensure that they advance the national interest. While the law would apply to all federally funded institutes with an international focus, the target is clearly the nation's 17 centers for Middle East studies. The driving force behind this provision is the same group of conservative ideologues who have long promoted the war on Iraq and who support the extreme right-wing politics of the Sharon government in Israel. Their aim is to defend the foreign policy of this administration by stifling critical and informed discussion on U.S. campuses."

Haiti's Army Turns Back The Clock  4/2/04 Znet: "It didn't take long for the new order in Haiti to reveal itself. The day after President Aristide 'left' for exile, 34 union members at the Ouanaminthe garment assembly factory run by the Dominican Grupo M company, were fired. The next morning, when the 600-strong workforce decided to strike, a group of armed men launched a violent attack. Some unionists were handcuffed, many others were beaten up, and the workers were forced back inside the factory. The aggressors were members of the so-called rebel force, fresh from their victory over the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They said they had been called to the factory by management, to deal with workers "causing trouble"."

Thursday  4/1/04

topBlackwater aids military with armed support  4/1/04 CNN: ""With what's been going on in Iraq I'm not surprised at anything," 72-year-old Howard Forbes said while eating at a diner in Moyock. "But I was surprised at what they did to the bodies."" - the guy doing the dismembering said it was because the Americans killed his brother.

US urged to turn attention to oil-rich states in Africa  4/1/04 Financial Times: "The Centre for Strategic and International Studies' research, which was written by a committee drawn from government, the oil industry and pressure groups, says the US should make Africa a higher diplomatic priority… The CSIS research says proven oil reserves in west and central Africa doubled over the past decade to more than 60bn barrels, adding that a fifth of new world oil production between 2004 and 2010 is expected to come from the region."

'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'  4/1/04 Independent, UK: "A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened. She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie"."

Israel and the state of Democracy in Miami  4/1/04 Progreso Weekly: "It’s not even just the fact that the paper’s regular Op/Ed contributors include Israeli columnists while Palestinian columnists don’t appear in the paper even as occasional guest columnists. It’s also, and especially, the fact that the paper’s opinion columns lean heavily toward the harder line positions while almost invariably excluding critical voices in Israel and in the American Jewish community. On all the points above, the Herald’s editorial reaction to the assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, by the Israeli military is instructive. Or rather, the Herald’s lack of reaction; the newspaper that probably publishes more commentary about Israel than any other daily in the United States failed to take editorial notice of a very major event. Silence can be more significant than words. Would the Herald have been silent had this kind of extra-judicial execution been carried out by any another state?"

Bush vs. Kerry: Fascism takes on old fashioned imperialism  4/1/04 Radio Progresso 

German Elite Back Kerry Over Bush in U.S. Election  4/1/04 Reuters 

Jury convicts 3 Miami cops in gun-planting conspiracy  4/1/04 Sun Sentinel 

American dead butchered 'like sheep'  4/1/04 Telegraph, UK: ""I saw the people pull one of the dead bodies out of the car and pour [fuel oil] over it. Then they set the body ablaze," said Omar Khalil, an off-duty Iraqi police officer. "The people were praising God for their good fortune in killing Americans." The body was then dragged down the road by the feet. Another corpse was kicked and punched by an Iraqi who shouted: "The Americans killed my brother." The man then began dismembering the corpse with a shovel and body parts were strung by a wire from a telephone cable. At least two bodies were tied to cars and pulled through the streets, witnesses said."

Wednesday  3/31/04

topThe growth of radical Islam in Central Asia  3/31/04 Asia Times 

The Illegal Coup in Haiti - The Kidnapping of Aristide Violated US and International Law  3/31/04 Counterpunch 

U.S. trained Haitian armed opposition  3/31/04 Granma: "That statement is the provisional conclusion by the Haiti Investigation Committee made up of religious and legal representatives from several different countries and created in 1991 by former U.S. Justice Secretary Ramsey Clark. "Two hundred soldiers from the U.S. Special Forces arrived in the Dominican Republic with the authorization of President Hipólito Mejía as part of a military operation to train Haitian rebels," revealed the report that was circulated in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo… Speaking at a press conference, Barrios said that the committee possessed many reports confirming that the Haitian conspirators were armed and trained in Dominican military camps situated in the eastern region of San Isidro and the western areas of Haina and Neiba. "It is clear that Dominican territory was also used by the U.S. government for the purpose of providing support to the Haitian opposition," stated the priest who, along with other committee members, mentioned various incidents including the deaths of two Dominican soldiers involving armed members of the Haitian coup faction. The committee is due to present its definitive report to U.S. Congress, the Dominican Republic, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which last does not recognize the new regime in Haiti."

Foreigners Slain, Dragged In Iraq; 5 U.S. Troops Killed  3/31/04 NBC: "Some witnesses saw at least four bodies; others said there were six. Associated Press Television News footage showed a charred corpse lying near a burning car. Footage also showed one American passport near a body and a U.S. Department of Defense identification card. Afterward, mobs attacked the corpses. A resident said angry crowds of Iraqis dragged the bodies through the streets and dismembered them before hanging some of them on an old bridge "like slaughtered sheep." Two blackened bodies were seen hanging from a bridge. One body was dragged behind a car. One resident showed what appeared to be dog tags taken from one body."

U.N. Envoy Urges 20-Year Haiti Commitment  3/31/04 Newsday: "The international community must make a commitment of at least 20 years to bring peace to Haiti and raise living standards in the Western hemisphere's poorest nation, the special U.N. envoy said."

International Relations 101  3/31/04 NYT: "Osama bin Laden and other terrorists are on the brink of achieving an unanticipated victory, one that could have long-term consequences for the United States. Over the decades, millions of young people from other countries have come to America to study at our colleges and universities. Many have remained here to start companies, to keep us at the forefront of scientific and technological discovery, to teach in our schools and to enrich our culture. Many others have returned home to help build market economies and to lead political reform. After 9/11, for perfectly understandable reasons, the federal government made it much tougher to get a visa to come to the United States. Sadly, the unpredictability and delays that characterize the new system — and, too often, the indifference or hostility of those doing the processing — have resulted over the last year or so in a growing number of the world's brightest young people deciding to remain at home or go to other countries for their college or graduate education."

"That magnificent 'Gen'ral Moses' - Harriet Tubman" by Mumia Abu-Jamal  3/31/04 SF Bay View 

Aristide Must Be Restored to Power in Haiti  3/31/04 Znet: by Bill Fletcher Jr. - "The question facing pro-democracy forces is whether, in addition to demanding an investigation of the US role in the destabilization of President Aristide, and in addition to calling for the disarming of the thugs, that it is correct to call for the restoration of President Aristide to office. The arguments against making such a call seem to come down to the fact that President Aristide remains a lightning rod in Haiti and that there are many Haitian progressives on the ground in Haiti who oppose the president. Those who are against calling for the restoration of President Aristide are often concerned that supporting such a demand will color U.S. progressives as ‘pro-Aristide,' leaving us little room to reach out to the broad Haitian progressive movement."

Tuesday  3/30/04

top9/11 Commission Director: Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel  3/30/04 Anti War 

'Al-Qaeda has got it wrong'  3/30/04 Asia Time: " Al-Jama'ah doesn't take exception to al-Qaeda's motivations, but does to their methods and strategy, al Qaeda's giving "preference to the logic of defiance over the principle of calculations". The authors blame anti-US violence (including the Trade Center bombing) for casting Islam as "the green peril". They portray a shift in US perception as transpiring during the period when America was attempting to define its "new enemy" following the Cold War. Particularly singled out as evidence of this American development are the works of Francis Fukuyama The End of History and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations). However, the authors pointed out that even during this period, the US sought an accommodation with the Taliban, demonstrating "the supremacy of the US self-serving logic on US strategy". But concurrently the authors saw an al-Qaeda policy of confrontation lead to the foregoing of unique opportunities that may never recur."

Africa: Oil, al-Qaeda and the US military  3/30/04 Asia Times: "In a fall 2003 interview with Asia Times Online, noted US security analyst Michael Klare, author of Resource Wars, had warned of America's potential African involvement. When queried as to where the next oil flash point might be after Iraq, Klare replied: "I've been looking at Africa. It's heating up over there." "

Costa Rica throws out Chavez foe  3/30/04 BBC: "Union leader Carlos Ortega requested asylum last year, saying he faced persecution in Venezuela. Last week he reportedly told a meeting in Miami, Florida, that he would return to Venezuela to work clandestinely to remove the government of Hugo Chavez. Costa Rica said this speech violated the terms of Mr Ortega's asylum."

An Occurrence in Pakistan - The Battle That Wasn't  3/30/04 Counterpunch: "What does this failure mean? The Washington Post quoted a retired Pakistani Army general as saying, "The state has to win this battle or its credibility will be destroyed." I suspect the general is correct. In fact, I will go further: I think the failure of the Pakistani Army to win this battle marks the beginning of the end for Pakistan's current President, General Musharraf. The defensive victory of the tribal fighters will turn into an offensive victory, giving courage and a sense of inevitable victory to Musharraf's enemies while causing near-revolt in Musharraf's base, the army itself. Before the year is out, I suspect we will see General Musharraf's head impaled on a pike and surging Pashtun crowds proclaiming Osama as their leader."

Monday  3/29/04

topAFL-CIO in Venezuela - Deja Vu All Over Again  3/29/04 Counterpunch: "The AFL-CIO is once again on the scene, this time in Venezuela, just as it was in Chile in 1973. Once again, its operations in that country are being funded by the U.S. government. This time, the money is being laundered through the quasi-governmental National Endowment for Democracy, hidden from AFL-CIO members and the American public."

Crisis in the Caribbean - A Miasma Foretold  3/29/04 Counterpunch/Jamaica Observer: "The Bahamas put our position best: We simply have no choice but to deal with whatever Haitian regime is there. Of course, if we don't, the US might just find it necessary to issue a travel advisory about Bubonic Plague or Ebola fever in Nassau or Negril. Condoleezza Rice has apparently threatened Jamaica directly, telling Patterson to get rid of Aristide or face unspecified consequences."

Warfare propelled to new era  3/29/04 Financial Times: "Paul Beaver, a defence consultant with London-based Ashbourne Beaver Associates, said: "The X-43 has everything to do with defence and very little to do with civil aerospace. "But if this can be dressed up as a commercial aerospace programme it allows Nasa to access more sources of funding." If everything goes to plan - and that depends on securing billions of dollars from the US government - the first scramjet-powered aircraft would soar into the sky from a US airbase in the year 2025 carrying a much more deadly cargo than business travellers. Less than two hours later the Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle would re-enter the atmosphere over an unsuspecting adversary to drop 12,000lb of guided bombs on missile launch sites or command bunkers."

Haitian rebel leader will cede city to police  3/29/04 Globe & Mail: "A convicted assassin who commands a group of armed rebels held high-level talks Monday about surrendering power to police in Haiti's second city, even as he vowed to kill ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide if he returns from exile. The contradictory messages underscore difficulties facing an interim government criticized for praising the rebels and forming alliances with shadowy leaders like Louis-Jodel Chamblain, co-leader of a disbanded army death squad. Mr. Chamblain's rebels still control much of northern Haiti, manning police stations that they torched during the rebellion and patrolling armed through the same cities that French troops are protecting."

Call to Indict Sharon Ignites Political Storm  3/29/04 NYT: "Israel's state prosecutor cast a shadow over Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday when, the Israeli news media reported, she recommended that the attorney general indict him on charges of taking bribes from a developer. Officials close to Mr. Sharon said they had long expected such a recommendation, while adding that they also expected the attorney general, Menachem Mazuz, to impose a far higher standard of proof before proceeding with an indictment."

Colombia rebels not in cards  3/29/04 Washington Times: The biggest narcoterrorists are in the government and the paramilitaries…

"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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