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    World News
1/26/03 - 2/2/03

Sunday  2/2/03

Anti-Chavez unity frays in Venezuela  2/2/03 Boston Glove 

Protesters climb aboard the peace train  2/2/03 Casper Star Tribune, Wyoming: in the heartland - "Molony waved a flag of protest at the rally in which the stars on Old Glory were replaced by 30 corporate symbols, like the McDonald's golden arches and the Playboy Bunny. Along Second Street other protesters waved flags, held banners that derided Bush and an Iraqi conflict, and held signs that urged passing motorists to honk for peace. Throughout the windy day at Veterans Park, a steady stream of those honks were heard."

War 'would mean biggest oil shock ever'  2/2/03 Guardian, UK: "Low global oil stocks and reduced exports from strike-torn Venezuela have boosted prices by more than 30 per cent since late November. The Venezuelan 'outage' has cost 125 million barrels of production, already the fifth biggest supply shock in history, 'which almost entirely explains the current high level of prices'. If the strike continues for two months and an Iraq war lasts a similar time, the cumulative outage will be 600 million barrels, far more than the 400 million taken off the market in the Arab-Israeli war."

IDF confirms that it fired Flachette shells in Gaza  2/2/03 Haaretz: "The IDF confirmed Sunday that it had fired outlawed Flachette tank shells on Friday at a group of three Palestinians thought to have been trying to launch Kassam rockets west of the Jabalya refugee camp, in the Gaza Strip… According to Palestinian witnesses, nine individuals were hurt in the shelling, three of whom were children playing soccer. The sources said that what the IDF perceived to be rocket launchers were actually moveable goalposts."

In Wild Mountains, the Threat to G.I.'s Rises  2/2/03 NYT: "The political setting includes a sprawling network of militancy in Pakistan which Pakistan's intelligence agencies have continued to support — lately, to the frustration of American officials. Last week, Nancy Powell, the American ambassador to Pakistan, accused Pakistan of failing to break all ties with militants and called on the government to "end the use of Pakistan as a platform for terrorism." Pakistani officials say they are doing all they can. But Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist, says the country's rulers still think they can control hard-line religious groups. "The army has played these groups against each other," he said. "They think they can buy them." If American bombs rain down on Baghdad, that assumption may be put to the test."

The economic consequences of war  2/2/03 Observer, UK 

The Prize & Punishment of all Venezuelans  2/2/03 Vheadlines: from the barrios of Caracas - "That the majority of the people believe that Chavez, through good or bad governance, had done the best thing for the people (the thing that any former government had neglected to do); to OPEN the eyes of the poor people, to give them dignity and a voice, to allow them to know and exercise their rights as human beings rather than remaining "slaves" to the richer Venezuelans. (This contrasts with what much of the Venezuelan media and opposition are trying to tell the world; that there is no division between the people, no "class" division, no racism, and that there has never been any)."

Saturday  2/1/03

topEditorial: Troubled times  2/1/03 Arab News: "Whatever the Americans may protest, this will be seen as a war about oil and power. It will also be seen as an act of oppression against the Muslim world, exactly parallel to the Zionist crushing of the Palestinians. The Bush White House, however, is too wrapped up in the mental body armor of its immense military power, to see that, just as Zionist might has bred extremism among the Palestinians, so the crushing of Iraq will foster many more implacable foes for America and its policies."

Jung and the Space Shuttle - Symbol and Synchronicity with the Columbia Disaster  2/1/03 Counterpunch: " Strangely, on the threshold of America's preemptive invasion of Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, the shuttles hold contains the first Israeli astronaut who in 1981 himself participated in a preemptive attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor to eliminate its capacity for developing weapons of mass destruction. An uncanny echo, but certainly not the only one. As we are on the precipice of a war with Iraq, the whole Arab world screams that it is not Iraq but America's relationship with Israel and the Palestinian crisis that is the root cause of all anti-American Arab feeling and certainly all terrorism. Suddenly the Columbia crashes with an Israeli astronaut over George Bush's home state as debris rains down on "Palestine, Texas." One cannot help but hear these strange and mysterious reverberations."

Mujahideen Shoot Down American Helicopter  2/1/03 Jihad Unspun: "Mujahideen shoot down an American helicopter near Bagram killing 10- 15 commandos on board. According to details, an American helicopters carrying American commandos was shot down on Thursday near South East of Kabul. According to eyewitnesses, the Black Hawk H 60 was on its flight 20 km away from Bagram airbase when it was targeted."

US Operation In Afghanistan Ineffective: Russian Official  2/1/03 Jihad Unspun: "Manilov said Russia had provided the US and its allies with data on drug storage and production sites in Afghanistan, but without result. "Russia gave its Western partners, including the United States, information on bases where drugs are stored and places where they are produced. But the fact that the drug flows are not subsiding shows that many of the production facilities have not been destroyed," he said." Off the shelf financing, comrade.

Chávez Foes Scale Back Strike for Businesses  2/1/03 NYT: "With large numbers of businesses across Venezuela opening to offset huge financial losses from a 62-day-old general strike, opposition leaders said today that they would scale back the walkout next week so that factories, shops, malls and schools could reopen."

US is misquoting my Iraq report, says Blix  2/1/03 Sidney Morning Herald 

SHIP OF FOOLS  2/1/03 Trinicenter, Trinidad: "(1) Bush in building up his case to attack Iraq needs to widen his "international terrorist axis" as much as is possible. Suggesting al-Qaida links and presence in T&T allows Bush to do exactly that. The 1990 experience here facilitates Bush's agenda today. (2) Outside of Canada, the largest bulk of US direct capital investment lies in T&T and that investment has to be protected at all cost. Because of (1) and (2) T&T has to be kept in line at all times, eg T&T's support for Chavez next door has been frowned on, likewise our tightening relations with Cuba (eg the aim of hiring in T&T some of the 89,000 doctors available in Cuba will further open up the Cuba/Caricom trade links). US foreign policy will do everything to prevent any development of a Cuba/ Brazil/Ecuador/Venezuela/ T&T link in its backyard."

Friday  1/31/03

topAl-Qaeda 'was making dirty bomb'  1/31/03 BBC: "British officials say the "bomb" has never been recovered but at least one leading al-Qaeda weapons expert from Herat is still at large. Why the British government would release such top secret information has been questioned by some commentators in the Arabic world. Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor of Al Quds al Arabi, said it was an attempt to revive fears in Britain and the US about 11 September. "They would like to prove their point that there are links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda," he said."

"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"  1/31/03 Common Dreams: "Perhaps, after a half-century of fine-tuning exit polling to such a science that it's now sometimes used to verify how clean elections are in Third World countries, it really did suddenly become inaccurate in the United States in the past six years and just won't work here anymore. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the sudden rise of inaccurate exit polls happened around the same time corporate-programmed, computer-controlled, modem-capable voting machines began recording and tabulating ballots."

Chávez’ ‘agents’ in Havana  1/31/03 Granma, Cuba: "The first flight of Venezuelan patients to be treated on the island was on November 30, 2000. On that occasion we brought 48 sick people. It was a very moving experience, because it was the first contact of that kind with the most needy persons in my country who had been through the entire Venezuelan heath care system without receiving a positive response. "That is why President Chávez perceived this agreement as a brilliant response to that population in need."

CUBA-VENEZUELA - Two-way cooperation  1/31/03 Granma, Cuba: "A total of 3,042 Venezuelan patients, in their majority suffering from serious disorders and injuries, have been freely treated in Cuban health institutions. That treatment, including a large number of highly complex operations, would have cost the Venezuelan government tens of millions of dollars," adds the MINREX statement. It notes that "adding on the free services offered by Cuba, its value would rise to more than $100 million USD in barely two years."

Nuclear weapons and pollution linked to 65 million deaths  1/31/03 Independent, UK: "Pollution from nuclear energy and weapons programmes up to 1989 will account for 65 million deaths, according to a European scientific committee headed by an adviser to the British Government. Research published yesterday by the European Committee of Radiation Risk claims that previous figures massively underestimate the nuclear industry's impact on human life."

Acusa Mandela a Bush de codicia y no poder pensar adecuadamente  1/31/03 La Jornada, Mexico: "El presidente estadunidense lleva "al mundo a un holocausto", alerta el premio Nobel de la Paz. Por su apoyo, Blair dejó de ser el premier británico para convertirse en canciller de EU, asegura."

U.S. Declares Guatemala Not Cooperating on Drugs  1/31/03 Reuters: "The United States has decided Guatemala is not doing enough to fight the illegal drugs trade but will waive penalties against it for national security reasons, a U.S. official said on Friday."

Polls show divide in Europe over Iraq  1/31/03 UmmahNews: "A global survey published Friday found that on average just over half the European public is opposed to war with Iraq, compared with less than a quarter of Americans. In surveys covering 39 countries, an average of 50 percent of people polled in 10 of the European member states said there were "no circumstances" under which they favored military action. An average of 54 percent of people polled in 11 other European countries agreed."

Black Hawk Down In Afghanistan, Four Americans Dead  1/31/03 Zafir Jamaal: "Mujahideen have escalated attacks in the past few weeks which has been widely reported in international press however no mention of these attacks or their casulaties have appeared in mainstream press in North America. Reporters in Afghanistan who attempted to reach the scene of the crash were turned back by Afghan security. U.S. military authorities at Bagram referred all questions to Central Command. The Black Hawk is a utility transport aircraft designed to carry 11 combat-ready, air assault troops, and it is capable of moving a 105-millimeter howitzer, its crew of six and 30 rounds of ammunition. The UH-60 Black Hawk was introduced in 1978 and made its combat debut in the October 1983 invasion of Grenada. It performs a variety of missions, including air assault, air cavalry and aeromedical evacuations. In addition, modified Black Hawks operate as command and control, electronic warfare, and special operations aircraft." A debut in Grenada does not mean it cuts the mustard at 10,000 feet.

Explosion Destroys Afghan Bridge and Bus, Killing Eighteen  1/31/03 Zafir Jamaal: "Taliban and Al-Qaida Mujahideen are attributed with the attack and it is believed that Afghan soldiers were the target of the explosion, which went off about a half a mile from an Afghan army post. Soldiers from that unit are loyal to Kandahar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai and routinely patrol the area. Eye witnesses said body parts lay on the ground around the bus, which was left a twisted and mangled hulk. The explosion may also have involved guerrilla fighters loyal to Commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A joint major offensive of Al-Qaida, Taliban and Hekmatyar’s men was underway last week and Mujahideen were able to infiltrate the city before they retreated to the mountains."

Thursday  1/30/03

topCaribbean: Leaders Watch Venezuela, Iraq For More Bad News  1/30/03 Black World Today: "Since the opposition-led effort to oust controversial President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela started nearly two months ago, several CARICOM nations that depended on petroleum from that country - delivered under the concessional Caracas Energy Accord - have been forced to turn to alternative markets to keep their economies afloat. Guyana now buys much more expensive gas and diesel and Bunker C fuel from Trinidad, while Jamaica has turned to Mexico and Ecuador because supplies from Venezuela have virtually dried up under the weight of crippling strikes."

After Iraq: killing all the terror regimes  1/30/03 Boston Globe: Jacoby and Ledeen are Likudniks seeking to guide America through the paths of Armaggedon.

Four killed in Army chopper crash in Afghanistan  1/30/03 CNN: so many "accidents"

Justice is On Your Side - An Open Letter to France  1/30/03 Counterpunch: "It was you, France, who came to our aid during the darkest days of our Revolutionary War. It was your fleet that blockaded the Chesapeake Bay, under Admiral Francois de Grasse, and your gallant soldiers, too, that aided General George Washington's victory over the British forces at Yorktown, in 1781. America's true patriotic sons and daughters will always remember you, and also the magnificent contributions of Major General Marquis de Lafayette to our struggle. I suggest that Mr. Goldberg has excluded himself from this latter category, either because he is ignorant of American history or his myopic political agenda will not permit it."

Miami conspiracy to attack Venezuela  1/30/03 Granma: "In their determination to bring down Presidents Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, the capos of the F-4 organization, who have admitted their involvement in acts of terrorism against Cuba, plus the so-called Venezuelan Patriotic Front — led by a coup officer from the Venezuelan army — have signed a "civil-military alliance", according to The Wall Street Journal. The F-4 Commandos are led by 56-year-old Rodolfo Frómeta and the Patriotic Front by coup member Captain Luis Eduardo García, (aged 37). During last April’s failed coup d’état, he was one of the first military dissidents to attack the Caracas Presidential Palace in order to topple the South American country’s democratically elected president." One of the leaders of this conspiracy, Antonio Calatayud, was just arrested for 1st degree theft involving Medicaid fraud.

To Arab ears, speech was just a war whoop  1/30/03 IHT: "Those Arabs actually paying attention to the speech found troubling both the lack of damning evidence against Baghdad and the lack of any articulated plan for postwar Iraq, leaving them bracing for yet another American misadventure in a region they think has seen too many."

War jitters in Europe - Stock markets take a collective dive  1/30/03 IHT: "While the buildup to a possible invasion has shaken confidence on Wall Street, sending stock prices back to October levels, the damage is far worse on European bourses. In London, share prices have plunged nearly 12 percent in less than a month, and now they are trading at prices not seen in more than seven years. In Paris, they have fallen 7 percent this year; in Frankfurt, 6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, by contrast, has fallen 2.7 percent since Jan. 1."

Trinidadian Islamic group threatens to use chemical and biological weapons  1/30/03 Independent, UK: "An unexpected new front in the "war on terrorism" has opened this week in Trinidad after an announcement by a local Islamic group that it is manufacturing chemical and biological weapons and might use them against British and American targets on the island. The announcement, made through two reporters for Trinidad's leading newspaper, who were blindfolded and taken to a plausibly alarming secret chemical laboratory, has caused ferment on the island, alarmed authorities in London and Washington and prompted at least one foreign company, the P&O shipping line, to keep tourists away. "With our weapons we are going to reach you," the group said in its statement. "We will reach you where you sleep, we will reach you where you take your baths, we will reach you where you take your meals and have your drinks, even a glass of water you hold in your hand to drink may not be safe."

Report: Iraqi spies in U.S.  1/30/03 NY Daily News: "Iraq sent spies from Canada to New York and Washington this month to snoop and stir up anti-war demonstrations, according to a government report obtained by the Daily News." There is something Nazi-like about such crude propaganda.

MANDELA BLASTS BUSH  1/30/03 Sky News: "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." Mandela received loud applause for his comments and added: "Both Bush as well as Tony Blair are undermining (the United Nations) which was sponsored by their predecessors. Is this because the secretary general of the United Nations (Ghanaian Kofi Annan) is now a black man? They never did that when secretary generals were white… "lf there is a country which has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings." But he said he was happy that people, especially those in the United States, were opposing military action in Iraq."

Eight leaders rally 'new' Europe to America's side  1/30/03 Times, UK: "In a calculated rebuff to France and Germany — denounced by America last week as “old Europe” — the leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic have combined to make an unprecedented plea in The Times for unity and cohesion. They say the transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of President Saddam Hussein’s threats to world security."

George Bush senior to spend luxury holiday with Gustavo Cisneros  1/30/03 Vheadlines, Venezuela: "Former US President George P. Bush is heading to the Dominican Republic for a ;uxury holiday, where he will spend quality time with anti-government Venezuelan media tycoon Gustavo Cisneros, who President Hugo Chavez Frias accuses of leading a push for a coup d'etat to have him forcibly removed from office… Bush is set to arrive on the Caribbean island next Tuesday, where he will stay at the Casa de Campo resort owned by the Fanjul brothers, Alfi and Jose ... he will then join the Venezuelan media tycoon in several rounds of golf in the town of La Romana. There are strong indications that Bush will also meet secretly with corruption-impeached former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez. This will be Cisneros' second meeting with a former US President in less than a month, after holding talks with Jimmy Carter in Caracas several weeks ago." See AfroCubaWeb's page on the Fanjuls, Cuban sugar barons in South Florida, who bribed their way into a fortune on the backs of American taxpayers.

US To Taliban: How Did You Achieve Peace?  1/30/03 Zafir Jamaal: "Yusuf, a madrassah teacher who teaches Holy Quran to young students, said that “one night a US interrogator after failing to extract any reasonable information about our high command and leadership asked me how is it that amid the lawlessness, looting, killings, rivalry, ethnic tensions and armed thugs in Afghanistan did the Taliban succeed to establish a robust government and unprecedented peace? My answer was simple. I told them it was due to our high confidence and esteem we reposed in Amir-ul Mu’mineen’s leadership,” He added “the Americans are badly perplexed over the situation and are finding pretexts to leave our country.”

Wednesday  1/29/03

topBlackout in Britain - Alleged Pedophiles Helm Blair's War Room  1/29/03 Counterpunch: "The allegations are the most serious yet levelled at an administration that prides itself on the inclusion in its ranks of a high quota of controversial and flamboyant homosexual men, and whose First Lady, Cherie Blair, has come under the spotlight for her indulgence in pagan rituals that resemble Freemasonic rites. Unconfirmed information also suggests that the term "former Labour Cabinet minister" is misleading and that the investigation has identified a surprisingly large number of alleged paedophiles at the highest level of British government, including one very senior cabinet minister"

Venezuelan president stands tall for the Black and Brown  1/29/03 Final Call: ""The people put Hugo Chavez back into power after the coup," observed Elombe Brath of the Harlem-based Patrice Lumumba Coalition, adding that Mr. Chavez represents a large segment of Venezuelans who are Black. "The same type of movement of Black Panamanians that elected Manuel Noriega in Panama was used to elect Mr. Chavez in Venezuela," Mr. Brath stressed… According to Amy Chua, a Yale professor of law and author of "World on Fire: How Free Market Democracies Breed Ethnic Hatred & Global Instability," says that Mr. Chavez, along with 80 percent of Venezuela’s population, is referred to as "pardo," a term that has class and ethnic overtones that refer loosely to brown-skinned people of Amerindian or African ancestry. She said Venezuela’s economy is controlled by a minority of "cosmopolitan Whites" or "martuanos," the Venezuelan term for persons with European features. Observers say Mr. Chavez promised to "cleanse" his nation of corrupted and co-opted elites who have gained political power… Mr. Raimondo believes the greatest concern of the Western powers is Mr. Chavez’s call for a "configuration" of Latin American states for the new century. Hugo Chavez ’s vision of a rail artery that would join the Caribbean basin through railways and link them with the great rivers, which Mr. Chavez calls the "arteries of continent," is what really scares the U.S. State Department, Mr. Raimondo said. "Hugo Chavez is a Black man who has angered the oil barons of the world such as Vice Pres. Dick Cheney and, of course, Pres. Bush," Viola Plummer of the December 12th Movement said."

Counting the dead  1/29/03 Guardian, UK: "With as much secrecy as the Pentagon, the United Nations has been busily counting the likely casualty toll of a war on Iraq. While the Pentagon focuses on its troops, the network of UN specialist agencies is trying to estimate what would happen to Iraqis. The assessments are dramatic, though for reasons of internal diplomacy or because of American pressure the UN is unwilling to go public with the figures. But a newly leaked report from a special UN taskforce that summarises the assessments calculates that about 500,000 people could "require medical treatment to a greater or lesser degree as a result of direct or indirect injuries", according to the World Health Organisation. WHO estimates that 100,000 Iraqi civilians could be wounded and another 400,000 hit by disease after the bombing of water and sewage facilities and the disruption of food supplies."

Hundreds of US troops locked in fiercest Afghan battle for nearly a year  1/29/03 Independent, UK: "Col King said at least 18 militants had been killed but there were no casualties from the US-led coalition forces. Asked how long the fighting would go on, the colonel replied: "I would be very, very hesitant to put a deadline. There is a lot of ground to cover. It's a relatively large area and it is rough terrain. It could take a considerable period of time." There have been reports from United Nations officials that al-Qa'ida and Taliban fighters have set up mobile military training units near the Pakistan border. Other reports suggest that Hekmatyar is organising suicide squads. Matters are further complicated by the depth of anti-American and pro-Taliban sentiment across the border in Pakistan – including within the Pakistani security forces with whom the US is supposed to be jointly waging the "war on terror". "

Afghanistan Boils As Mujahideen Carry Out 22 Attacks In Last Ten Days  1/29/03 Jihad Unspun: "A special report from the Afghan capital has revealed 22 attacks have been carried out against American troops in the last 10 days, many that have claimed lives of US marines and Afghan soldiers. Sources say that as many as 11 US soldiers have been killed and 29 injured in attacks on allied forces in lawless Afghanistan. Americans have come under attack for the first time in Maza-i-Sharif where two were killed when unknown gunmen sprayed bullets on the US convoy. Three others were also injured in the attack. American forces were also caught in a surprise ambush as they were monitoring the UN-sponsored disarmament campaign in the north. Daily Islam reported quoting unconfirmed sources in Afghanistan that more than 900 US troops deployed to monitor the disarmament program in Jauzan, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul, Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and other provinces face continuious security threats from rebel warlords and local Mujahideen."

Honduran Officials May Have Found Priest  1/29/03 Newsday: "Carney arrived in Honduras in 1961 as a missionary shortly after ordination. He was expelled in 1979, accused of attempting to lead peasants in a revolt against the military government then in power. A short time later, he was assigned to parish work in Nicaragua, where he remained until traveling with a band of leftist guerrillas into Honduras in 1983. According to relatives and fellow Jesuits, Carney served as the rebels' chaplain. Carney, then 58, was captured by soldiers during the incursion across the border. He was never heard from again."

Stocks, Dollar Fall; Crude Oil Steady  1/29/03 Reuters: "Stocks and the dollar fell on Wednesday while crude oil held steady after U.S. President George Bush vowed to use the full force of the U.S. military, with or without U.N. backing, to disarm Iraq if needed. Safe-haven government bond prices rose but gold edged down after Bush's annual State of the Union address on Tuesday in which he said "crucial hours may lie ahead" for U.S. troops preparing for a possible war with Iraq."

Anti-war protesters announce Feb. 15 rally for `millions'  1/29/03 San Jose Mercury News: "Anti-war protesters on Wednesday predicted "literally millions" of people in New York, San Francisco and more than 30 international cities would march the weekend of Feb. 15 against war in Iraq."

Alleged Pedophiles at helm of Britain's war machine  1/29/03 Ummah News: "A child-sex scandal that threatened to destroy Tony Blair's government last week has been mysteriously squashed and wiped off the front pages of British newspapers. Operation Ore, the United Kingdom's most thorough and comprehensive police investigation of crimes against children, seems to have uncovered more than is politically acceptable at the highest reaches of the British elite. In the 19th of January edition of The Sunday Herald, Neil Mackay sensationally reported that senior members of Tony Blair's government were being investigated for paedophilia and the "enjoyment" of child-sex pornography."

In Wyoming, Farewells Full of War Worries  1/29/03 Washington Post: "But support for the war is not universal here. "I think [President] Bush is trigger-happy," said Lee Jones, a Rock Springs businessman who showed up to say goodbye to his best friend. "Would it hurt to wait a while? Then maybe these guys wouldn't have to go at all." Others found it dubious to send local Guard units overseas for a war that could trigger more terrorism at home. "If we go to war, there might be stuff right here," said Mary McCann of Big Piney, who wept profusely as her son Tye, 19, waved a sad farewell from the pale blue Army bus. "Then you're going to say, 'why don't we have any National Guard to protect us?' "

Tuesday  1/28/03

topColombian paramilitaries attack two villages in Panama  1/28/03 ANNCOL: "The Kuna indigenous mayor of a village in Panama's border region, Gilberto Vasquez, was found with a bullet in the back of his head. Three other corpses were found in the mountains, chopped up by machetes. The right-wing death squads also kidnapped a US TV reporter and his two friends, all of whom were released on Friday 24th."

Three Afghan Mercenaries Shot Dead  1/28/03 Balochistan Post: "Two Afghan soldiers and a civilian were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in a village near the Pakistan border, the US military said in a statement here on Monday."

Fierce fighting erupts in Afghanistan  1/28/03 BBC: "Another US spokesman said the fighting forces were aligned to one of the Afghan leaders, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar… The fighting was triggered by a small gunbattle nearby between US Special Forces and armed attackers as the Americans and Afghan Government troops were working to clear a compound."

Antiwar movement swells, still searching for its voice  1/28/03 CSM: "Pittsburgh represents average America. It's not a city that's been known for protests. It's not been a hotbed of political activism," says Tim Vining, executive director of the Thomas Merton Center, a 30-year-old peace and justice group and an event sponsor. "We're demonstrating ... that this war has hit a nerve with average Americans who are not usually quick to take to the streets to make their views known."

Is Saddam hiding something? Blix gives his verdict on Iraqi weapons  1/28/03 Guardian, UK: independent scholarly assessment of significance of Blix report.

A journey to the heart of Middle America  1/28/03 Independent, UK: "The war is not playing well in Peoria at all, and neither, for that matter, is the rest of the President's agenda – all of which provides a worrying backdrop for President Bush as he prepares for today's key State of the Union address… On the form, he asks in a quiet, unassuming way – he is a quiet, unassuming man – whether people are for or against the war, whether they feel the US is justified in going it alone to oust Saddam Hussein or if it should act only with the blessing of the United Nations Security Council. So far, he has received 150 responses, more than 90 per cent of them opposed to war without UN backing."

The damning of Saddam  1/28/03 Telegraph, UK: "Iraq stands accused" of having an arsenal.

Iraq set tougher weapons test by Blix  1/28/03 Times, UK: "The next key date will be February 14, when Dr Blix reports back to the Security Council on his demands that Iraq actively help his inspectors. President Saddam Hussein made no comment on the report yesterday, but met military aides “to prepare for different war scenarios”, Iraq’s state-run news agency said."

Desert Caution - Once 'Stormin' Norman,' Gen. Schwarzkopf Is Skeptical About U.S. Action in Iraq  1/28/03 Washington Post: Norman's dad was Kermit Roosevelt's bag man, bringing $1 million to the Shah's forces in Iran in 1953, and even he is against this war - "The general who commanded U.S. forces in the 1991 Gulf War says he hasn't seen enough evidence to convince him that his old comrades Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz are correct in moving toward a new war now. He thinks U.N. inspections are still the proper course to follow. He's worried about the cockiness of the U.S. war plan, and even more by the potential human and financial costs of occupying Iraq."

FBI Forges Closer Ties To Campus Cops  1/28/03 WCCO, Minneapolis: "But the Post says effort has touched a nerve among some faculty and student groups, as well as Muslim activists, who fear that the government is inching toward the kind of controversial spying tactics it used in the 1950s and 1960s. With few restrictions, the FBI at the time aggressively monitored, and often harassed, political groups, student activists and dissidents."

Monday  1/27/03

topGuard Wounds 5 at Guatemala Party Meeting  1/27/03 Guardian: "A security guard opened fire with a shotgun Sunday at thousands of people gathered for a Guatemalan political convention, wounding five, police said. Police said they detained the guard, Isaias Caal Ichich, and were investigating the circumstances of the shooting, which occurred during the general assembly of the National Union of Hope party… Colom received 12 percent of the presidential vote in 1999 as candidate of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union, a coalition of leftist parties formed from the guerrilla factions that fought the government until a 1996 peace treaty."

Jordan to consider request to extend auspices over Iraq  1/27/03 Haaretz, Israel: restoring the monarchy, as befits a US government itself showing signs of monarchism - "Jordanian King Abdallah would favorably consider an American request to extend the auspices of the monarchy over Iraq for a temporary period after the expected U.S.-led attack on Saddam Hussein's regime, if the Americans ask, according to senior political sources participating in the World Ecnomic Forum in Davos, Switzerland."

Mujahideen Wage Huge Battle In Afghanistan  1/27/03 Jihad Unspun: "This is the second intense battle that has occurred in the country within a week."

Adventure Magazine Reporter Recounts Ten-Day Kidnapping by Colombian Death Squad  1/27/03 National Geographic: "While on assignment for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor Robert Young Pelton, along with two traveling companions, Mark Wedeven and Megan Smaker, was kidnapped on January 14th by a right-wing paramilitary group in Panama's Darién Gap. The Bloque Elmer Cardenas, a splinter group of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, released Pelton and the two young backpackers last Thursday after holding the trio captive for ten days in the jungle borderland between Panama and Colombia. Pelton finally returned home to Redondo Beach, California, last night… When Adventure spoke to him shortly after his release, two other journalists on assignment for the Los Angeles Times remained in the custody of another group of Colombian insurgents." AUC has been implicated in numerous massacres.

Health Data Monitored for Bioterror Warning  1/27/03 NYT: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to lead the multimillion-dollar surveillance effort, which officials expect to become the cornerstone of a national network to spot disease outbreaks by tracking data like doctor reports, emergency room visits and sales of flu medicine. "Our goal is to have a model that any city could pick up and apply," a senior administration official said of the plan."

World News

"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


Qawafil-ush-Shuhadaa [ARABIC]

Islam Question & Answer - Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Islaam Homepage

Islamic Assembly of North America [IANA on LINE]

Jam'iat Ihyaa' Minhaaj al-Sunnah Homepage

Nida'ul Islam/ The Call of Islam Magazine Online

Words Written in Blood. Arabic book collection of Shaheed Sheikh

Abdullah Azzam [ARABIC]

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 Americatop

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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