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    World News
1/20/03 - 1/26/03

Sunday  1/26/03

Arrestado por estafa líder de manifestación antichavista de Miami  1/26/03 Aporrea: "Antonio Calatayud, miembro de los grupos Cubano-Americanos de Miami y organizador de la marcha contra el gobierno bolivariano que se realizó el 18 de enero en la calle 8 de Miami, fue arrestado el día sábado bajo el cargo de presunta estafa de más de 290 mil dólares contra el gobierno federal. La nota de prensa de la oficina del Fiscal General señala que "una auditoría extensa mostró que las cuentas de la farmacia al programa Medicaid fueron mucho más altas que sus facturas de compra. Los resultados de la auditoría revelaron claramente que Primera Farmacia Latina Inc., a través de su propietario, cometió un fraude contra el programa Medicaid del Estado de Florida por el orden de 290.944 dólares." Calatayud was secretary general of the Directorio Revolucionario Cubano back in the 70s. Check out the Florida Attorney General's site on his arrest.

Israeli helicopters fire missiles into Anglican hospital in Gaza  1/26/03 CBC: "Israeli attack helicopters fired 11 missiles at Gaza City early Friday, hitting a chapel in a hospital and several workshops as tanks rolled into the city, after a Palestinian ambush on the West Bank of the Jordan River left three Israeli soldiers dead. Witnesses said a missile scored a direct hit on an Anglican chapel in the Ahli Hospital compound in the centre of Gaza City, damaging the roof. Palestinians said the other missiles were aimed at workshops and six people were wounded."

US warns that bioterror attack is inevitable  1/26/03 Financial Times: "The US warned on Sunday night that a bioterrorist attack that could kill thousands was inevitable and urged industrial and developing nations to spend tens of billions of dollars more to gear up medical systems to cope with the threat. "There is going to be an attack. Whether it is in western Europe, the US, Africa, Asia or wherever, you have got to anticipate that there is going to be a bioterrorism attack and the only way to defend yourself is by getting prepared," said Tommy Thompson, health secretary."

Interview With Afghan's Hekmatyar On Jihad Against U.S.  1/26/03 Jihad Unspun: Hekmatyar was the CIA's main agent in the 80's, with the largest narcotrafficking network in Afghanistan. He has considerable skill and experience. "No organizational relationship exists between us and the Taliban and Al-Qa'ida. We think it is wrong to attribute the resistance in the Islamic countries and the opposition to the United States to the person of Osama bin Laden. American leaders made a mistake when they thought that killing bin Laden would end the resistance against their country because the resistance is just a reaction to the provocative, wrong and hostile policies of the United States against Islam. These policies have aroused the anger of the peoples." "The Americans can kill hundreds of figures like Osama bin Laden, but they cannot extinguish the fire of the resistance. We declare our support for every movement that works for Islam, struggles for the restoration of independence and helps the oppressed and persecuted in their wars against the occupiers."

"Yeah, and I'm Going to Help Them Fry the Nigger"  1/26/03 Memory Hole: “In 1982, a few months after I started working at the Court of Common Pleas, I was sent to a courtroom different than that I usually worked in because the judge I was assigned to was going to be doing 'VOP' [Violation of Probation] and post-verdict motion hearings there that day. I went through the anteroom on my way to that courtroom where Judge [Albert] Sabo and another person were engaged in conversation. Judge Sabo was discussing the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During the course of that conversation, I heard Judge Sabo say, 'Yeah, and I’m going to help them fry the nigger.' There were three people present when Judge Sabo made that remark, including myself.”

Anti-Americanism Spreads in Islamic World  1/26/03 Newhouse: "The findings of a major international public opinion poll conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and published last month highlight this churning frustration. According to the survey, which was based on interviews with 38,000 people in 44 countries, the image of the United States has suffered a major blow in the Middle East from a sense that Washington is ignoring the region's problems and targeting Muslim countries in the war on terrorism. Discontent with America has increased around the globe, but the Pew survey found that "true dislike, if not hatred, of America is concentrated in the Muslim nations of the Middle East and in Central Asia." This has been particularly true in two countries that have played important roles in the U.S.-led war on terrorism: Turkey, where the number of people offering a positive opinion of the United States has dropped by 22 percentage points in three years, and Pakistan, where it has fallen by 13 points. Among the Muslim countries surveyed, only the people of Mali and Uzbekistan supported the American war on terrorism. In Egypt and Jordan, two key U.S. allies, eight of 10 people surveyed opposed it."

Marchers' message: Give peace a chance  1/26/03 Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Police estimated the crowd at 1,500 to 2,000, and organizers put the crowd size as high as 5,000. By any count, the march was likely Pittsburgh's largest anti-war protest in 30 years, although non-political events, such as the March for Jesus, have drawn far larger crowds."

Iraq Resources  1/26/03 Press Action: "With a looming war on Iraq, it would be useful for activists and citizens to have at hand various Iraq-related links, articles, and books to learn about Iraq and its people, the Persian Gulf War, and more important to refute the claims of the War Party."

Thailand Muslims declare US-product free zones  1/26/03 Ummah News: "Muslims in the southern province of Yala decided to boycott all U.S. products, erecting sign boards and bill boards calling the province "U.S. product free zones" news agencies said Saturday January 25. The boycott is organized by the National Association of Muslim Youth (NAMY), together with Muslim communities and schools across southern Thailand the Oana/TNA news agency reported."

The World Says No to War - Saturday, February 15th 2003 Noon  1/26/03 United For Peach: "Saturday, February 15th will be a world-wide day of action against the Bush Administration's proposed war on Iraq. Protests are already being planned in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Manila, Oslo, Paris, Ramallah, Rome, Skopje, Stockholm, Tallinn, Tokyo, Vienna, and Warsaw. While demonstrations are taking place throughout the globe, JOIN US in New York City and San Francisco to show the depth and breadth of U.S. opposition to this war."

Gathering of New England Peace Activists on Saturday, February 22nd in Worcester  1/26/03 Worcester Peace Works: "Worcester Peace Works, a grass roots formation that came together after the events of September 11th, is convening a gathering of New England Peace Activists on Saturday, February 22nd in Worcester. The goal is to create a network, not a coalition, of peace and social justice groups that can better coordinate our efforts to maximize our political effectiveness."

This Looming War Isn't About Chemical Warheads Or Human Rights: It's About Oil  1/26/03 Zmag: "Hilterman, who is preparing a devastating book on the US and Iraq, has dug through piles of declassified US government documents – only to discover that after Saddam gassed 6,800 Kurdish Iraqis at Halabja (that's well over twice the total of the World Trade Centre dead of 11 September 2001) the Pentagon set out to defend Saddam by partially blaming Iran for the atrocity. A newly declassified State Department document proves that the idea was dreamed up by the Pentagon – who had all along backed Saddam – and states that US diplomats received instructions to push the line of Iran's culpability, but not to discuss details. No details, of course, because the story was a lie. This, remember, followed five years after US National Security Decision Directive 114 – concluded in 1983, the same year as Rumsfeld's friendly visit to Baghdad – gave formal sanction to billions of dollars in loan guarantees and other credits to Baghdad. And this forthcoming war is about human rights?"

Saturday  1/25/03

topOn the road with Murder Inc  1/25/03 Asia Times: "But the most surprising thing about the announcement was the subsequent silence from the Bush administration, which until recently has been a vocal critic of Israel’s use of extrajudicial killings. Indeed, it seems that both Washington and Tel Aviv, to some extent in interplay with each other, have come a long ways toward rehabilitating the legitimacy of state-sanctioned assassination… Many worry that if the CIA and Mossad begin killing more suspected terrorists in more countries, it will surely have the effect of "legitimizing" terrorist attacks against US military officers at home or abroad."

Israel: Murder in Zawatta - A US-Financed Death Squad  1/25/03 Counterpunch: "Horrific injuries awaited them at the scene of the murders. Sou'ad Godola's stomach and lungs were hanging out and she had a huge, large-caliber wound to the thigh. Not content with this, soldiers on the ground had taken some parting shots--one hand-gun shot between the eyes, which had taken off the back of her skull, and two shots in her chest below each collar bone. Aiman Hanlawi's lower ribs and abdomen had been blasted to smithereens and he had a huge wound to the groin from a large-caliber shot. His guts were hanging out in pieces. He also was given a few parting shots in the head, arms and legs. Back at Shaffi Shamran with these two murdered corpses--the soldiers laughing and jeering and dancing around with their rifles over their heads--Ahmed asked, 'why shoot a woman?" The deluded soldier said that she was carrying an M16 machine-gun, a hand-gun, a bomb under her coat and a bomb in a black plastic bag. When Ahmed asked, "WHERE ARE THEY?", the soldier said that the ambulance crew had hidden them! …There are now seven checkpoints between Zawatta and the Hospital in Nablus--most of them impromptu jeep- or tank-points. Three of these are manned by Druze Police, surely the most evil, murdering group of terrorists to hit the Near East--remember Sabra and Shattila for example… At every checkpoint the bodies were examined by many soldiers with the same laughing, singing and dancing. Each time our crew had to look again at the horror beneath as they were instructed time and time again to remove all covering from the dead. At Beit Iba the Ambulance was held again for one-and-a-half hours--the smell of blood, feces, urine, stomach contents and gore was really getting to the crew. Ahmed pointed this out to the soldiers, who thought it hysterically funny and did the same maniacal jig."

Too Many Smoking Guns to Ignore: Israel, American Jews, and the War on Iraq  1/25/03 Counterpunch: "Anyone who has the temerity to suggest any Israeli instigation of, or even involvement in, Bush administration war planning is inevitably labeled somewhere along the way as an anti-Semite. Just whisper the word "domination" anywhere in the vicinity of the word "Israel," as in "U.S.-Israeli domination of the Middle East" or "the U.S. drive to assure global domination and guarantee security for Israel," and some leftist who otherwise opposes going to war against Iraq will trot out charges of promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the old czarist forgery that asserted a Jewish plan for world domination."

US interrogators turn to 'torture lite'  1/25/03 Guardian, UK: "The United States is condoning the torture and illegal interrogation of prisoners held in the wake of September 11, in defiance of international law and its own constitution, according to lawyers, former US intelligence officers and human rights groups. They claim prisoners have been beaten, hooded and had painkillers withheld. Some prisoners inside American penal institutions and detention camps have been subjected to interrogation techniques which do not leave injuries, but which lawyers consider to be abusive. Others have been sent to countries where electric shocks and more conventional forms of torture have been used, according to the claims."

Sen. Joe Lieberman announces his candidacy, but not his association with lunatic fringe of Biblical prophecy  1/25/03 Hartford Advocate: "The half-hour appeal aired on the afternoon of Jan. 2 on Paxson Broadcasting (PAX) stations across the nation (locally on WHPX, channel 26), according to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the Chicago-based nonprofit that paid for the spot. Alongside Lieberman, testimonials come from stars of the Christian Right, including convicted Watergate felon Charles Colson, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, and Moral Majority head Jerry Falwell… Yet from 1994 to 1999, Lieberman, who on Monday announced his bid for the presidency, served as co-chair of one of IFCJ's projects, the Washington-based Center for Jewish and Christian Values. Lieberman's long association with the IFCJ is, if not a secret, a little-known detail of his biography. No examination of it was made during Lieberman's bid for the vice presidency in 2000. The secular, mainstream press has taken no notice. "

An Iraqi war: France may yet join  1/25/03 IHT 

Chiapas City  1/25/03 Indy Media, Ireland: "On January 1 some 15,000–20,000 indigenous supporters of Mexico’s rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) marched in San Cristóbal de las Casas in the southeastern state of Chiapas to mark the ninth anniversary of their 1994 uprising. The huge nighttime march was a symbolic, peaceful “retaking” of the city, which the rebels seized with a surprise armed attack on January 1, 1994. Carrying machetes and torches, the demonstrators listened as seven masked EZLN commanders denounced Mexico’s main political parties, the government of President Vicente Fox Quesada and neoliberal “globalization,” and expressed support for the struggles of Mexican campesinos, “the political struggle of the Basque people,” self-determination for Venezuela and “the rebel Argentine people.”

U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq  1/25/03 LA Times: "Although they consider such a strike unlikely, military planners have been actively studying lists of potential targets and considering options, including the possible use of so-called bunker-buster nuclear weapons against deeply buried military targets, says analyst William M. Arkin, who writes a regular column on defense matters for The Times. Military officials have been focusing their planning on the use of tactical nuclear arms in retaliation for a strike by the Iraqis with chemical or biological weapons, or to preempt one, Arkin says." And when the inevitable counterstrike comes, what will the tendencies in world opinion be?

British Correspondent in Venezuela Writes Third Letter to Narco News - By Phil Gunson With a Reply from Al Giordano  1/25/03 NarcoNews 

Toxic ammo is tested in fish areas - U.S. Navy uses depleted uranium in coast waters; activists may go to court  1/25/03 Seattle Post Intelligencer: "No major studies apparently have been done on the effects of such weapons in the ocean. Where depleted uranium munitions have been used in combat on land, such as in Iraq during the Gulf War, or in tests on land, such as Vieques island in Puerto Rico, they not only give off relatively small amounts of radiation, but produce toxic dust that can enter the food chain. Seattle environmental attorney David Mann asked, "How can the Navy fire depleted uranium rounds and spread radioactive material into prime fishing areas off our coast?"

Friday  1/24/03

topJapan Urges Its Own to Evacuate Iraq Japan Urges Its Citizens to Evacuate Iraq As Soon As Possible  1/24/03 ABC News: "The Japanese government Friday urged all Japanese citizens to leave Iraq as soon as possible because of a possible U.S.-led strike on Saddam Hussein."

Going Too Far: Israel Plans Killings on US Soil  1/24/03 "Just as disturbing, UPI was unable to get a single American official to condemn the policy change. The FBI told Mr. Sale that "This is a policy matter; we only enforce federal laws." So what exactly does that mean? Is the FBI not interested in foreign powers committing acts of murder in the United States?"

ISRAEL’S AMEN CORNER - Who, what, and why  1/24/03 "Here, in the scenario of World War IV and the subsequent conquest of the Middle East by American armies, the ideas that motivate the neocons and the dispensationalists come together. For the neocons, this implements and validates both their desire to protect and expand the Israeli state and their theories of American hegemonism; for the dispensationalists, it fulfills their prophecies of the "end times" and gives existential reality to the idea of Armageddon as an actual battle. These are the two pillars that hold up our irrational and dangerous policy in the Middle East, and we cannot even think of changing that policy until their foundations are weakened, and, after the exertion of Samson-like efforts on our part, they come tumbling down."

If US fights alone, cost goes up  1/24/03 CSM: "Georgetown's Mr. Kupchan, author of the recently published "The End of the American Era," says unilateral US action would very likely cause countries that have generally welcomed the exercise of US power in their regions to turn up resistance to a US presence. This is already occurring in South Korea, he says, and could gain steam in Japan, Europe, and the Middle East - the latter being the very region the Bush administration insists would be opened to a wave of democracy and development in the aftermath of a war to oust Hussein." Soldier on, W.

U.S. - IRAQ INVASION LIKELY TO BEGIN WITH STATE of the UNION, Tuesday  1/24/03 From the Wilderness: "It is likely that the resiliency of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in his effort to resist U.S.-inspired strikes by wealthy Venezuelan industrialists, has had an impact on this decision by the Bush administration. Venezuela, which is the third largest foreign importer of oil to the U.S., has seen its U.S. deliveries cut to a fraction of normal levels in recent weeks. Within the last week oil analysts have been predicting shortages and price spikes similar to those of 1973-4 if U.S. oil stocks were not replenished quickly. The administration's apparent decision to launch the attacks against Iraq appears to be at least a partial acknowledgement that Chavez is successfully resisting U.S. pressure to oust him."

The message from the Bush camp: 'It's war within weeks'  1/24/03 Guardian, UK: "President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday. The pressure comes from President Bush and it is felt all the way down," a European official said. "They're talking about weeks, not months. Months is a banned word now… One of the factors behind Washington's haste appears to be the annual rise in temperatures in the Iraqi desert over the next few months. In theory, US and some allied troops have the capacity to fight in any weather but the effectiveness of both soldiers and equipment diminishes rapidly when the temperature rises over 35C."

The Mossad Role in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy  1/24/03 Michael Collins Piper: "[Cuban American Frank] Sturgis was a "Hagannah mercenary during the first (1948) Israeli-Arab war," and Sturgis also had a girlfriend in Europe in the 1950s who worked for Israeli intelligence and with whom he worked. Sturgis himself said that he assisted his girlfriend as a courier in Europe in a number of her endeavors on behalf of the Mossad. It was also well known among anti-Castro Cuban exiles that Sturgis had also worked for the Mossad and had done so for a long period of time."

Stocks Sink; Dow, S&P 500 at 3-Month Lows  1/24/03 Reuters: "Stocks tumbled to their lowest levels since October on Friday as the specter of a U.S. war against Iraq loomed over a market already spooked by the outlook for corporate profits during the rush of reporting season. The blue-chip Dow, which lost a whopping 238 points, and the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index slammed to three-month lows, while the tech-packed Nasdaq smacked its lowest level this month. Wall Street has endured losses in five of the past six sessions."

Israel enraged by Blair envoy's West Bank trip  1/24/03 Times, UK: "The immediate complaint was that he did not meet Israeli officials during his one-day trip to Ramallah but high-ranking Israelis went further, accusing Lord Levy of being partly to blame for a recent deterioration in relations between the two countries. Officials in Jerusalem claim that the Jewish millionaire fundraiser, who is a tennis partner of Mr Blair, is a long-standing supporter of Israel’s centre-left Labour Party and has a personal antipathy to Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister that has contributed to a souring of relations with Mr Blair. “The Israeli leadership has no respect for Lord Levy, there is great suspicion of him,” one source in Jerusalem said."

Thursday  1/23/03

topBlast During Chavez Rally Kills One in Venezuela  1/23/03 ABC News: "A suspected bomb killed one person and injured 15 when it exploded on Thursday near a huge government rally in Caracas where Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised to "go on the attack" to defeat a seven-week-old opposition strike."

Psychiatrist Arrested In American Shooting In Kuwait  1/23/03 AP 

Colomina, periodista del terror, dictará charla en Georgetown  1/23/03 Aporrea: "Hoy 23 de Enero de 2003, está invitada la corrupta golpista Marta Colomina, periodista de "El Universal", desacreditado periódico opositor conocido por sus mentiras al pueblo venezolano y su abierto apoyo al golpe de estado, a presentar sobre "Medios de Comunicación en Venezuela: El Nuevo Rol de los Medios de Comunicación Social Frente a la Crisis Política Nacional," en Georgetown University (Washington, D.C. USA), Facultad de Comunicaciónes, Cultura y Tecnología y el Centro Arcadia/Centro de Estudios Democráticos por la Paz." Funded by National Endowment for Democracy?

Miles y miles de personas tratan de entrar a la Av. Bolívar por la autopista  1/23/03 Aporrea: photos of a massive pro-Chavez demonstration in a country where "everyone" is supposed to be against him. Meaning the upper class, largely of euro ancestry, many only a generation or two ago.

More Than 1,000 Historians Announce National Antiwar Network  1/23/03 Ascribe: "At the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in January, historians from more than forty colleges and universities agreed to form a new national network, "Historians Against the War." A committee was appointed to draft the following statement, which has been circulated for other historians to sign."

Outrage at 'old Europe' remarks  1/23/03 BBC: "The BBC's James Coomarasamy, in Paris, says the divisions between Europe and the US over Iraq are growing more public and the rhetoric more pointed by the day. The French Environment Minister, Roselyne Bachelot, told one interviewer: "If you knew what I felt like telling Mr Rumsfeld..." She then stopped herself, saying the word was too offensive."

China Again Spreading Largesse Throughout Caribbean  1/23/03 Black World Today: "For the second time in two years, the Chinese Government has sent a high-level delegation on a swing through the English-speaking Caribbean, writing off unpaid loans, dishing out small grants and looking for investments, for both its state and growing private sector. The 39-person delegation is headed by Madame Wu Yi, one of the highest-ranking state councillors in Beijing and includes Vice-Minister for Trade and International Cooperation, Madame Ma Xiahong, and businessmen from private and public sector corporations. With the Cold War over and the United States distracted by its anti-terrorism war, Iraq and North Korea, China looks to be moving to increase its influence in the region. The month-long trip that started in Suriname on the South American mainland, is due to end in Jamaica this week and will include stops at the eight countries in the Caribbean Community that recognise mainland China, rather than the Republic of China (ROC) or Taiwan, a province that Beijing regards as a renegade state."

Referendum on Chavez's rule suspended  1/23/03 Boston Globe: How about a recall vote on Bush?

Anti-war movement grows louder, stronger  1/23/03 Detroit News: "So far, 42 cities across the nation have approved anti-war resolutions, including Detroit, Ferndale, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Traverse City. At least 15 other Michigan cities are targeted by local activists working for the organization. Municipalities say they are concerned that sending troops into Iraq would take a financial toll on the country when the economy's direction is uncertain and many state governments, Michigan included, are struggling with budget deficits that is translating into cuts to social programs."

Afghan Man Killed in Firefight With U.S.  1/23/03 Guardian: "U.S. bases across Afghanistan are frequent target of rockets and small-arms fire. Often, the unknown assailants launch their weapons and then disappear before U.S. forces can respond. The base at Bagram - home to some 8,000 troops - is no exception. ``I would say that we have at least get one incident once a month for probably last four or five months where we had been some type of small arms fired directed at the perimeter of the base,'' Col. Roger King said at Bagram."

NATO wavering on war with Iraq  1/23/03 IHT: "In a new sign of wavering allied will, NATO postponed a decision Wednesday on a U.S. request for six measures to support a possible war against Iraq… But the NATO hesitation, in a forum long dominated by the United States and where an almost pro-forma approval might once have been expected, sent a dramatic signal: The debate about war has taken a bad turn for Washington as some of its closest allies have joined in opposition. This in turn increases the likelihood of a narrower U.S. war coalition with no UN backing."

Saddam’s War Strategy: Is Winning The Goal?  1/23/03 Jihad Unspun: "An Iraqi veteran of the first Gulf War, speaking on the condition of anonymity said “This war will be fought in the major cities. Saddam learned that it is unwise to wage war against the coalition in the open desert. He will sacrifice the countryside and mount his campaign from the major cities. If America bombs a major city, killing thousands of innocents as they did in Hiroshima, then this would change the entire face worldwide as to how America is viewed.” It’s unlikely that America is willing to risk its reputation by committing such an act and will most likely opt for a ground invasion. This will give Saddam the opportunity to balance the playing field, neutralizing the technological advantage and strength in numbers the US enjoys and inflict heavy losses on his enemy. The veteran went on to say: “This type of war will be long and brutal”.

Germany blocks the road to war  1/23/03 Times, UK: "GERMANY will use its power as incoming president of the UN Security Council to try to head off war with Iraq by asking the chief weapons inspectors to report twice in three weeks, The Times has learnt. The surprise German effort to buy time appeared to be aimed at defusing the tension that is building around the chief inspector’s public report to the 15-nation council on Monday. Germany fears that President Bush could use Hans Blix’s report — and his own State of the Union speech on Tuesday — as a trigger for war. It is therefore proposing bringing the inspectors back for a second assessment on February 14, having invited them to Berlin beforehand."

Netanyahu nephew jailed for refusing national service  1/23/03 Times, UK: "Mr Ben-Artzi, 20, a mathematics and physics student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, has been declared a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International after losing a protracted struggle through the Israeli legal system to be declared a conscientious objector on the grounds of pacifism. His father, Matanya Ben-Artzi, the elder brother of Mr Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, claims that his son is being singled out because of the publicity surrounding his court case and because it coincided with a high-profile letter sent by 62 high school students to Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, in August last year refusing to serve and accusing the military of “acts of oppression” against Palestinians. “He is being victimised because he is the initiator of a new movement which is very menacing to them. He is seen as a hero by his peers and a good part of them may follow suit,” Mr Ben-Artzi Sr and his wife, Ofra, told The Times last night. “The first time he was jailed we thought it was the usual thing, 90 days or so, but as it rolled along we realised that the army regards him as an enemy on the scale of the Palestinian resistance.”

Hundreds of thousands rally in victory celebrations  1/23/03 Vheadlines: "Hundreds of thousands of pro=government demonstrators are filling downtown Caracas streets this afternoon as the almost 53-day opposition stoppage dissipates into the tropical hot air to the sound of drums beating and whistles blown. Venezuelans are celebrating a major victory over opposition saboteurs who have held a virtual gun to the nation's head, crippling the oil industry and strangling the economic framework to reinstate the form of corrupt pseudo-democracy Venezuela had suffered through more than 40 years previous to 1999. Even opposition loaded international news services are reporting crowds chanting "Hey, hey, Chavez is here to stay!" while FOX News Geraldo Rivero splutters from atop a transmission bus on Avenida Bolivar the usual cliches about "left-leaning President Hugo Chavez" and claiming that the Supreme Court of Venezuela is "Chavez-controlled."

Washington escalates military buildup in Latin America  1/23/03 World Socialist: "Citing terrorism, drug and arms trafficking, organized crime and other “new transnational threats,” Rumsfeld told the Latin American defence ministers that it was necessary to “strengthen the operational and planning capabilities of partner nations, upgrade national command-and-control systems, and improve regional information-sharing.” He proposed cooperation in naval operations and the creation of an integrated military force that could “participate as a region in peacekeeping and stability operations.” In the lead-up to the conference, the US floated stories that Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other Islamic fundamentalist groups had developed “sleeper cells” in the tri-border area between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, a claim discounted by all three countries… The type of information that is to be shared was made clear several years ago, when Paraguayan attorney and human rights advocate Martin Almada made public a secret memo sent by a Paraguayan colonel to the Conference of American Armies then being held in Quito, Ecuador. Entitled “subversion in the first semester of 1997 in Paraguay,” this document provided a list of alleged “subversives” that included the country’s trade union leaders, opposition politicians and students, as well as social and peasant organizations. Presumably, similar lists are being prepared by military intelligence throughout the hemisphere."

Wednesday  1/22/03

topTARGET: SCOTT RITTER - The War Party gets ugly  1/22/03 Antiwar: "Since the court records have been sealed, and the case was merely "adjourned in contemplation of dismissal," the authorities will say nothing, at least in public. The entrapment was apparently so transparent, so obviously the clumsiest sort of Cointelpro-style operation badly bungled by our newly-empowered political police, that the charges were dropped to the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket. Could it be that the records were sealed not to protect Ritter, but to protect whomever tried to set him up?"

Harry Belafonte criticizes Bush  1/22/03 AP: ‘‘In fact and practice . . . you are serving those who continue to design our oppression,’’ he said of Powell and Rice. ‘‘That is villainy, and I insist you look at it.’’

'Malicious' campaign sparks $300M suit - Web links prominent Albertan to al-Qaeda  1/22/03 Edmonton Journal, Canada: "But Ritter, the Alberta legislature's chief parliamentary counsel in 1986-93, claims SEC receiver James H. Donell then published numerous damaging statements about him on his Web site. The postings make connections between Ritter, Newport Pacific, Wallenbrock and Belize's Village Capital Trust, the lawsuit states. The Web site postings also claim the $540,000 might have come from investors in J.T. Wallenbrock. One document makes "insidious and scurrilous comments" implying Ritter and Newport Pacific are engaged in criminal conduct or illegitimate business transactions, the lawsuit says. Donell's employee, Steven Donell, claimed "Osaki and his cronies" are financing terrorists, including al-Qaeda, on another Web site called Victims of Scams, the lawsuit says."

Can You Believe Venezuela’s Pollsters? “Chávez has to be Killed,” Says One, the Other Speaks of “A Fight to the Death”  1/22/03 NarcoNews: "The commercial media correspondents rarely cite the source of their polls. So this reporter contacted them, and most of the reporters offered only the names of two Venezuelan companies – Datanalisis and Keller and Associates. An investigation into the operations of these two Venezuelan polling firms and their relationships with correspondents reveals that, by any fair measure, it is irresponsible for correspondents to cite the two firms’ polls without also mentioning that the two firms are headed by virulently anti-Chavez figures who frequently use polling samples that are unrepresentative of the overall Venezuelan population… As the Venezuelan anthropologist Johnny Alarcón Puentes points out, the terms "lumpen, rabble hordes, drunks, riff-raff and mobs are only some of the epithets foisted by the wealthy on citizens of dark skin, on street merchants, on workers, on the indigenous and on all those who live in slums or modest neighborhoods and dare raise their voice against the powerful."

U.S. Headquarters Attacked in Afghanistan  1/22/03 Reuters: the attacks happen once a week or more. Claims of zero casualties can be taken in the context of other US engagements where casualties were minimized or hidden - "The U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan was attacked by rocket and small arms fire early Wednesday and one attacker was thought to have been wounded in a return of fire, the U.S. military said."

Supreme Court delays opposition referendum call  1/22/03 Vheadlines: note the differences with the Boston Globe story on 1/23.

Support For a War With Iraq Weakens  1/22/03 Washington Post: "Seven in 10 Americans would give U.N. weapons inspectors months more to pursue their arms search in Iraq, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that found growing doubts about an attack on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. In addition to the public's skepticism about military action against Iraq, the poll found that a majority of Americans disapproved of President Bush's handling of the economy for the first time in his presidency. The number of Americans who regard the economy as healthy has not been lower in the past nine years, and fewer than half supported the tax cut plan Bush has proposed as a remedy."

Tuesday  1/21/03

topMassive Anti War Protest Held In Nation's Capital On Martin Luther King Weekend  1/21/03 Black World Today: "On Saturday, January 18th, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, between 200,000 and half a million people braved the numbingly cold weather and converged on Washington DC to tell the Bush administration that they vehemently oppose a war on Iraq. The protest was sponsored by the International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition and endorsed by thousands of organizations across the nation. The Washington Post called it "the largest anti-war demonstration here since the Vietnam era." … The demonstration began with a rally on the west side of the Capitol Building. Among the speakers who addressed the huge crowd were Congressman John Conyers; former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney; presidential candidate Al Sharpton; Brooklyn Council Member Charles Barron; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Rev. Herbert Daughtry, Pastor of Brooklyn's House of the Lord Church; Viola Plummer, head of the December 12th Movement and actresses Jessica Lange and Tyne Daly. A message from Congressman Charles Rangel was also read."

Africana reborn - Web site retools in a bid to claim new prominence  1/21/03 Boston Globe: "BlackPlanet and are the behemoths of the black Internet, drawing nearly 4 million US visitors a month between them, according to the market research firm comScore. By comparison, Africana's US audience is too sparse for comScore to measure."

European Leaders Hear Anti-War Cry -- And Listen  1/21/03 Chicago Tribune: "After a weekend of anti-war demonstrations across the continent, political leaders in European capitals appear resolved to slow the Bush administration's drive toward a military confrontation with Iraq. "We will not take part in a military intervention in Iraq, and that is exactly how our voting behavior will be in all international bodies," German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in a weekend speech. German Defense Minister Peter Struck said that a "yes" vote by Germany was "no longer conceivable." In Paris, senior French officials said that France will use its seat on the Security Council and all of its influence to restrain U.S. militarism."

Oil Shouldn't Be the Only Reason for Opposing This War  1/21/03 Counterpunch: "Furthermore, talk is continuing to mount in Israel of "transfer," that is, expelling the Palestinians in the West Bank to Jordan, leaving the West Bank open to total takeover by the Israelis. This transfer is an integral part of the Middle East transformation that the peace movement seems not to want to talk about. If the war comes, the peace movement's present silence on the subject will also make it easier for Israel actually to carry out the process of "transfer." "

American Shot To Death In Kuwait  1/21/03 Jihad Unspun: "Unidentified assailants opened fire on two Americans on a highway near a U.S. military camp Tuesday, killing one and wounding the other, a U.S. spokesman said. The victims were both civilian contractors working for the U.S. military based in Kuwait, said John Moran, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy here."

Plot twist: Telenovela casts 1st black leading man  1/21/03 Miami Herald: "Typical with a twist, that is. Adrián is the first telenovela with a black leading man, Walter Díaz. The implications of casting a black lead, Hispanic activists and TV executives say, are revolutionary for a Spanish-language entertainment industry that frequently features all-white actors in leading roles. Adrián, which was produced in Colombia and will air weeknights at 8, is meant to entertain as well as address a social hierarchy in Latin America that favors the light-skinned progeny of the conquistadores over the dark-skinned descendants of the conquered, Telemundo executives say. Manny Martínez, vice president of programming for Telemundo, said Adrián reflects a reality of Latin America, where people often hide African or indigenous heritage behind Spanish surnames."

Ecuador's Lucio Era Begins  1/21/03 NarcoNews: "Drug War, Plan Colombia, and US Air Base at Manta, Test the New President"

Patriotism And War  1/21/03 The Chattanoogan: "We now see "Patriotism" being defined as the support of a foreign policy more appropriate to the Roman or British Empire than to he governing principles of a Free Republic envisioned by the country's Founding Fathers." - contains great quotes from Adams, Jefferson, Washington.

European allies move to thwart Blair war strategy  1/21/03 Times, UK: "BRITAIN’S plan to seek United Nations authorisation for military action against Baghdad ran into serious opposition from its European allies yesterday, with France threatening to exercise its veto as long as weapons inspectors were still working in Iraq. During a Security Council summit meeting, France and Germany spoke strongly against an attack on Iraq as Britain and the United States struggled to muster support for the use of force. Russia and China also expressed strong reservations."

France and Germany dream of EU embassies around the world  1/21/03 Times, UK: "THE European Union would have its own diplomatic corps with embassies throughout the world under new plans to strengthen its international image. The idea is part of the political package France and Germany presented yesterday to the convention, under the chairmanship of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former French President, that is drawing up a constitutional blueprint for the EU."

Bin Laden Used Ruse to Flee - Moroccans Say Guard Took Phone at Tora Bora  1/21/03 Washington Post: "A Moroccan who was one of bin Laden's longtime bodyguards took possession of the al Qaeda leader's satellite phone on the assumption that U.S. intelligence agencies were monitoring it to get a fix on their position, said the officials, who have interviewed the bodyguard, Abdallah Tabarak… More than a year later, Tabarak, 43, has established himself as the "emir" or camp leader of the more than 600 suspected al Qaeda and Taliban members being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to senior officials here who have visited the military compound twice to interview Moroccan citizens. Some of the prisoners, by symbolically holding daylong fasts on the orders of Tabarak, have maintained some semblance of a command structure in defiance of U.S. attempts to isolate and break them, Moroccan officials said." Like Geronimo at St Augustine, Florida.

France Vows to Block Resolution on Iraq War  1/21/03 Washington Post: "France suggested today it would wage a major diplomatic fight, including possible use of its veto power, to prevent the U.N. Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. France's opposition to a war, emphatically delivered here by Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, is a major blow for the Bush administration… Rising opposition to war, particularly in France, appears to have played a role in the hardening positions on the Security Council. Foreign officials are also aware of polls in the United States suggesting that support for a war drops dramatically if the Bush administration does not have U.N. approval."

''The U.S. will not release vital evidence against Iraq''  1/21/03 Yellow Times: "The U.S. had to remove the document from the hands of the international community because it contained vital information that could undermine the current administration. The other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council did not object much to this U.S. move because they knew that their names and their firms also helped arm Iraq. This was Iraq's last, desperate strategy to ward off war, or at least delay it as long as possible. It listed names of individuals and organizations that would come under intensive public scrutiny and embarrassment should the contents of the document be made public. Several prominent U.S. firms and universities are complicit, and, in particular, so are several high-ranking U.S. officials who were members of the Reagan administration and went on to become national leaders themselves. The point man? George Bush Sr., former head of the CIA, Vice President under Ronald Reagan, and President of the U.S. during the Gulf War."

Monday  1/20/03

topPurported Bin Laden Letter Urges Unity Against 'Crusader Coalition'  1/20/03 AP: "A statement purportedly written by Osama bin Laden urges Muslims to stop fighting one another and unite against the "crusader coalition" that is attacking the Islamic world. A London-based Arabic newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, today published excerpts of a 26-page statement it says was written and signed by bin Laden, leader of the al Qaeda terrorist group."

William Camacaro, bolivariano en New York, amenazado de muerte  1/20/03 Aporrea: "El compatriota William Camacaro, miembro del Comité de Solidaridad con Venezuela, el mismito que se paró y les dijo sus verdades a Carlos Ortega y Carlos Fernández en la "audiencia real" (sic) que dieron en NY, y que dejó a la vista la falsedad y robotización de los asistentes que aplaudían al fascismo, ha sido amenazado de muerte por misteriosos sujetos que lo llaman a todas horas a su casa." Golpistas supported by la Mas Fea de Miami?

Guatemala bond issue 'will fund corruption'  1/20/03 Financial Times: "A leading opposition figure on Monday called on investors to boycott Guatemala's forthcoming bond issue. Eduardo González, a banker who heads the campaign team of the favourite to win November's presidential election, said the government would pocket the money raised in next month's $700m offering."

Afghanistan: 5000 Police Deployed In Spin Boldak  1/20/03 Jihad Unspun: "The Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan has reportedly deployed over five thousand paramilitary troops and security personnel to curb the alleged Taliban and al-Qaida activities in the Spin Bolda area that borders with Pakistan. Reports from across the Chaman border of Pakistan said the deployments were made in the Spin Boldak suburbs including Loy Karez, Baljar, Maaroof and Uzghistan areas. Elaborating a recent clash between the government troops and the adversaries in the Loy Karez area, an Afghan army officer Maama Ubaiduulah told reporters that four persons were killed and five injured in the skirmish."

Mujahideen Wage Multiple Attacks In Afghanistan, Eight Dead  1/20/03 Jihad Unspun: "In the Kunnar area of Afghanistan, an American camp came under rocket attack in which four soldiers were killed and three wounded. After the attack, American army cordoned off the area, and started large-scale search operation with the help of helicopters and planes. According to our special correspondent in Paktia, Mujahideen fired two rockets at an American helicopter but did not hit their target. However, after the attack American air force came into action and three B-52, 3 surveillance aircrafts and about 12 fighters appeared on the scene and dropped several bombs on rebel Commander Badshah Khan’s stronghold. In the mean time, in Khost area an American patrolling party was attacked with remote control ammunition in which four soldiers died on the spot and three were severely wounded. Besides this other army vehicles were destroyed due to a bomb blast which was planted into a bicycle."

The Mexican Legalization Movement - Drug Policy Reform Goes Mainstream South of the Border  1/20/03 NarcoNews: taking away a pilar of CIA financing - "Urias is not the first political leader to openly challenge the US-imposed policy of prohibition. In 1998, then-Senator Maria del Carmen Bolado del Real, of the competing PAN (National Action Party) proposed a bill to legalize and regulate all drugs in Mexico. In fact, leaders from almost every one of Mexico’s political parties have advocated this solution at one time or another – including President Vicente Fox, who, in 2001, predicted that decriminalization of drugs would be inevitable as a global solution – but the commercial media never picks up on the debate and it has been difficult for reform advocates to gain traction. But suddenly, discussion of drug legalization has grown from a whisper to an active discourse in many parts of Mexico. A growing circle of young activists, organizers, and journalists, working outside the traditional political system and the commercial media grids, has become a nascent grassroots legalization movement."

THE COLD TEST- by SEYMOUR M. HERSH - What the Administration knew about Pakistan and the North Korean nuclear program.  1/20/03 New Yorker: "The document's most politically sensitive information, however, was about Pakistan. Since 1997, the C.I.A. said, Pakistan had been sharing sophisticated technology, warhead-design information, and weapons-testing data with the Pyongyang regime. Pakistan, one of the Bush Administration's important allies in the war against terrorism, was helping North Korea build the bomb… One American intelligence official, referring to the C.I.A. report, told me, "It points a clear finger at the Pakistanis. The technical stuff is crystal clear—not hedged and not ambivalent." Referring to North Korea's plutonium project in the early nineteen-nineties, he said, "Before, they were sneaking." Now "it's off the wall. We know they can do a lot more and a lot more quickly."

Chechen oil giving huge profit to Russian military  1/20/03 The News, Pakistan: Pakistani intelligence services have been reported as supporters of the Chechens - "While war has brought most economic activities in Chechnya to a standstill, oil trafficking is thriving, bringing huge profits to the Russian military and police who extort protection money from countless clandestine micro-refineries. Throughout the war-torn Russian breakaway republic, oil refining has become virtually a cottage industry in a development that some believe is helping to keep the conflict going, because for Russian officers on the take, a military pullout would mean the loss of a lucrative sideline."

US peace protesters flaunt wit and wealth  1/20/03 Times, UK: "With his dental practice and expensive hobby as a Napa Valley vineyard owner, Mr Hampton was aware that he did not fit the financial profile of the average peace-march protester, but he said that President Bush’s determination to wage war on Iraq had prompted him to act. “It’s outrageous what Bush is doing,” he said. “I’ve never seen so much propaganda foisted on the American people, it’s an insult to our intelligence.” Mr Hampton was not the only business-class radical at the march. Thousands of other members of California’s famously affluent middle class also joined in."

Facts in the infamous Coca Cola story  1/20/03 Vheadlines: "The Panamco factory and warehouse, as well as other facilities at which foodstuffs have been illegally hoarded, remains the direct private property of the owners and has in no way been violated or succeeded to public ownership." The US is looking for a repeat of 1959 Cuba, doing everything they can to aggravate the situation.

Vice President politely tells US Ambassador to mind his own business  1/20/03 Vheadlines: ""Ambassador, with all due respect, you are not an authority in this country." Rangel then insisted that the US would clearly apply US law to a Venezuelan company, like Citgo, trading in the US, so it was only natural that US companies trading in Venezuela were obliged to remain within Venezuelan law. Rangel went on the emphasize "relations have to be based on mutual respect. This is not a protectorate or a colony." "

Ronald Reagan And The Venezuelan Strikes  1/20/03 Znet: "On August 3, 1981 around 13,000 air controllers in the U.S. went to strike after failed negotiations with the federal government. The strike aimed at an improvement in wages as well as reductions on working hours. That same day, President Ronald Reagan declared the strike illegal and threatened all those involved in it with contractual termination if they did not return to work within 48 hours. Robert Pole, president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), was fined with USD$ 1,000 a day by a federal judge while the strike was on. On August 5, Ronald Reagan made effective his threats and fired 11,359 air controllers who continued with the walkout. Moreover, the President imposed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a lifetime prohibition to re-hire any of the dismissed air controllers."

World News

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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.

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