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    World News
2/10/03 - 2/16/03

Sunday  2/16/03

Sources: Due to massive global opposition, U.S., Britain to soften new Iraq resolution  2/16/03 Al Bawaba: "Diplomats told AP the final product may be a softer text that does not explicitly call for war. Before Friday's Security Council meeting, U.S. and British diplomats said they had been preparing a toughly worded resolution that would give them U.N. backing for military action. British diplomats had said then that any resolution would have to include an authorization of force. They described working versions of the draft as short, simply worded texts that found Iraq in "material breach" of its obligations and reiterated that Saddam now faces "serious consequences" as a result. But the measured reports by inspectors, in addition to massive global opposition to war came as a blow to their plans, AP added. The two allies had hoped to push through a new resolution quickly, and there had even been talk of a Saturday council meeting to introduce it. But their plans were put on hold Friday after staunch opposition — led by France, Russia and China — drew rare applause inside the council chamber."

Report From New York  2/16/03 Alternet: "Some cops expressed private dissatisfaction with the city's decision not to grant the permit, saying it made their jobs much harder: a single, legal march would have been easier to control. John Mage, who has been active in the National Lawyers Guild for decades, said the city was unlikely to make this blunder again. "Trust me," he laughed, "next time they'll be allowed to march."

Thousands in San Francisco join protests against war in Iraq  2/16/03 AP: "A steady stream of chanting, sign-waving protesters filled 12 large city blocks stretching from the waterfront to City Hall. Police estimated the crowd at 150,000 people. Organizers claimed 250,000. After the demonstration, a splinter group of a few hundred people, some of them wearing bandanas across their faces, marched to the city's posh Union Square shopping area, where they squared off with police officers. Demonstrators climbed atop a cable car, linked hands in front of police lines and pelted officers with rocks, food and other objects… "Part of the reason I stayed so long is because I feel like we were more threatened if we left as individuals then if we stayed and consciously broke the law as civil disobedients as a group," said Haynes, 28, shaking and holding her pink bandanna. "We feel dissent is really under fire in this country."

Israel to accept more Ethiopian Jews  2/16/03 BBC: "About 80,000 Ethiopian Jews already live in Israel. Our correspondent says they remain one of the poorest sections of Israeli society."

Millions march against war - From Athens to New York, a global call for US restraint  2/16/03 Boston Globe: "Organizers estimated that the New York demonstrators numbered 400,000, but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly estimated the crowd at 100,000." From the NY Police who conspired to throttle the march.

Anti-War Demonstrators Overwhelm NYC Rally  2/16/03 Intervention Magazine: "In fact, the sheer number of demonstrators -- which the organizers place at 400,000 and the New York Times does not disagree with this number -- overwhelmed both the Mayor’s and the Judge’s plans. The walk from the assemble points to the rally "invalidated" their plan to pin up the demonstrators in a single rally point of control. This gridlock of humanity meant that many would never get to the rally, their highlight would be the walk to the rally they never reached. Those who persevered and actually made it to 1st Avenue and the rally site, would be as far as an entire mile from the speakers' podium. Thousands just called it a day, a good day demonstrating opposition to a war in Iraq and demonstrasting opposition to a government that has become too restrictive if not an outright control freak… Also different was the composition of the crowd. In October, there was an abundance of middle-age protestors giving the rally a feel of an anti-Vietnam War protest. Yesterday the young were out in full force, swamping the number of middle-age, giving the future of antiwar protests an optimism. But it was that middle class predominance that really set this demonstration apart from the earlier one… While Fox's coverage remained the same -- distorted, hostile, and ideologically pro-war -- CNN was significantly better, and MSNBC was notably worse. The evening news of the major networks highlighted the demonstrations, again a marked improvement over the past. In all, television news coverage was a mix bag, but an improvement. Essentially, the demonstrations against the war are becoming too large and are too frequent for the media honchos to ignore them entirely. With more and more of the participants from the middle class, it's increasingly difficult for media to dismiss the protests as simply fringe happenings. As for the major newspapers, before the demonstration ended the New York Times website had a large photo with a lengthy article, and the Times' important Sunday print edition had plastered acoss the font page three photographs and a feature article. No burrying this one, at last. The same is true for, whose own ombudsman severely criticized the paper's coverage last month in DC. This time the website has the headline: Several Million Anti-War Activists Rally Worldwide, with a feature describing demonstrations around the world."

The 220,00 Casualties No One Speaks About  2/16/03 Media Monitors: "In two articles in the Washington Post in mid-January David Brown said that 1600,000 Gulf War veterans may be in "less than optimal health since the war". He talked about "muscle aches" and "stress". He could not bring himself to mention the "D" word, as in "Disabled". The VA officially reports that 159,238 soldiers who were in the Gulf in 90'-91' are disabled. Of that number over 111,000 are 10% or more disabled. According to the report 8,000 Gulf War vets have died. The report that mentions all this came out in September, but I don't know of one U.S. newspaper that has mentioned it. At a Veterans Day event at Yale I met a vet suffering from uranium poisoning. He was in charge of a unit dealing with the Gulf War soldiers who were contaminated from "friendly fire" shelling. Of the 100 men and women in his decontamination unit, 30 have died and all but one is sick. As the U.S. gets ready to send soldiers into Iraq we should remember what happened to our troops in Desert Storm."

The great unheard finally speak out  2/16/03 Observer, UK: "It is odd to think that these are the sloths who could not be prised from their armchairs when elections rolled round and who hit the remote at the first flicker of any BBC political coverage that wasn't Have I Got News For You. These people, in New Labour's analysis, were the inert of the Earth. And here they are, out in their hundreds of thousands, quoting Hans Blix verbatim and defying a Prime Minister who longed to galvanise them and must now regret becoming the Frankenstein of the protesting classes. Political leaders hate crowds. Mass meetings have been supplanted by leaks and soundbites. In the fractious build-up to war, lonely societies are encouraged to become more solipsistic. A fearful population, hiding behind its anthrax-proofed windows, is also tractable. There is nothing threatening to government about citizens bickering over the last roll of duct tape in Wal-Mart. British marchers have spurned isolation for solidarity, and fear for fury. Their momentum came almost from nowhere. Unlike the Jubilee-trippers, the Soham mobsters and even the Countryside Alliance, they bore no social or political barcode."

US to punish German 'treachery'  2/16/03 Observer, UK: "America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros. The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'. " Rummy is very mad with his cousins in North Germany, poor Rummy.

U.S. lies shouldn't be leading us into battle again  2/16/03 Toronto Star: "Perhaps U.S. leaders can afford to be so open because they believe their citizens to be infinitely manipulable through the obligingly docile media. The patriotic American public, after all, bought the lies about the Gulf of Tonkin (a supposed attack on U.S. warships that actually never happened), precipitating the disastrous Vietnam War. They believed the TV version of the Gulf War, with "smart bombs" zipping through windows to kill only bad guys. And for all I know, they believe the charade that Saddam Hussein is linked to Al Qaeda. The U.S. media have almost turned themselves into an arm of government propaganda."

Israel to allow 20,000 Ethiopians to enter  2/16/03 UPI: "The Interior Ministry's spokeswoman, Tova Ellinson, said some 60,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, but the head of the Ethiopian immigrants' umbrella organization, Addisu Messele, Sunday told United Press International there were 100,000… Some 17,000 Falashmura who will be brought to Israel, under Sunday's decision, have been living in a camp in Addis Ababa for as long as 10 years and were supported by an American group -- the North American Conference for Ethiopian Jewry. Some 3,000 to 4,000 others have been living in the northern town of Gonder… The idea is to bring them over gradually over a period of a year or two and do so "quietly" so that the Ethiopian government would not complain, a well-placed Interior Ministry source told UPI." UPI is owned by the Rev Moon.

Millions give dramatic rebuff to US war plans  2/16/03 Yahoo: "The unprecedented wave of demonstrations, involving eight million to 11.5 million people, according to various estimates, further clouded US war plans a day after they suffered a diplomatic setback at the United Nations. Significantly, some of the biggest rallies were held in countries which have strongly supported the pledge by US President George W. Bush to use force if necessary to strip Iraq of suspected weapons of mass destruction."

Saturday  2/15/03

top15 killed by bomb 'meant for President'  2/15/03 Independent, UK: "Fifteen people were killed yesterday when a huge bomb intended to kill the Colombian President, Alvaro Uribe, today was discovered by police and detonated by suspected rebels, the authorities said yesterday. Prosecutors claim the bomb, in a house near the airport in the southern city of Neiva, was to have been detonated as the President's plane passed overhead during a scheduled visit. The plan was to blow the aircraft out of the sky, they said. But the suspected rebels detonated the bomb when police raided the house. An investigator with the prosecutor's office and nine police officers, including Neiva's chief of investigations, were among those killed. The blast wounded 30 people, destroyed five houses and severely damaged 30 others."

Groundswell of dissent encircles the globe - From Auckland to Amsterdam, from Rio to Rome, millions of citizens poured on to the streets to make their voices heard  2/15/03 Independent, UK: "The worldwide tidal wave of protest began in New Zealand and rolled around the globe, gathering, as it went, momentum, enthusiasm and a sense of being part of a universal movement. The largest turnout was in Rome, where organisers claimed an attendance of three million. By the end of the weekend, demonstrations will have been held in more than 600 places from Auckland to Iceland, and San Francisco to South Korea. In Auckland, marchers cheered as a plane flew overhead trailing a giant banner which read: "No War, Peace Now". In Australia, where 150,000 had demonstrated in Melbourne the day before, 16,000 activists marched in Canberra, 10,000 in Perth, and 15,000 in Newcastle, north of Sydney. There were further marches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, East Timor, Pakistan, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Some of those involved were experienced veterans of protest, but many were taking their first uncertain steps on a protest march." Thank you, United States.

Police fire tear gas, rubber bullet at Colorado Springs war protest  2/15/03 Rocky Mountain News: "Arms said one person who picked up a tear gas canister and threw it toward police was hit with a .40-caliber rubberized bullet and subdued with a stun gun. Arms had initially denied reports that anyone was hit by a rubber bullets."

Invasion could be the easy part of a long campaign  2/15/03 Sydney Morning Herald: one much desired by Osama bin Laden! - Plans for postwar Iraq sound like a repeat of Gulf War I without Saddam - "General Franks, Mr Grossman said, would be relying on the current technocrats in Baghdad to keep running crucial services such as health, education, water and electricity supplies. The US is hoping these people, who are from the Sunni minority that has ruled Iraq for decades under Saddam, will not abandon their posts. The concern is that if they fear retribution they may flee to Jordan or Syria. Mr Grossman also made it clear that the exiled Iraqi opposition leaders now in northern Iraq would not be installed by the US military government and would probably be forced to take a back seat in the immediate aftermath of the war. "While we are listening to what the Iraqis are telling us, at the end of the day, the United States will make its decisions based on what is in the national interest of the United States," he told the senators."

Iran out of Bush's new spin on 'axis of evil'  2/15/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Iran opposes US military intervention in Iraq, but the US hopes it will play the same kind of search-and-rescue role it did during the 1991 Gulf War and the Afghanistan campaign."

4 Zionist troops killed, Israeli tank blown by Hamas  2/15/03 Ummah News: "A bomb exploded under an Israeli tank in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, setting the tank on fire and killing at least four soldiers inside, an Arab satellite television station reported. The Al-Jazeera station, monitored in Egypt, said four or five soldiers died in the blast in the northern Gaza Strip, near the town of Beit Lahia."

Response needed to Congress dropping anti-embargo bill  2/15/03 USCSCA 

Millions Join World Protests Against Iraq War  2/15/03 Washington Post: "The largest outcry against war occurred in the European countries whose leaders have vocally supported Bush's position at the United Nations. A million people marched the streets of Rome, 1.3 million paraded in Barcelona, two million in Madrid, and in New York, officials estimated the turnout there at 250,000. At least half a million marched in London, creating a major headache for Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's closest ally." These numbers from this pro-war newspaper are way low.

Friday  2/14/03

topNorth Korea Accuses U.S. of Military Moves on Border  2/14/03 ABC News: ""There have been some aggressive moves by the U.S. in the southern part of the DMZ," Major Kim Kwang-kil said as the two countries remained locked in crisis over Washington's allegation that the North is pursuing a secret nuclear arms program. "We have seen armored cars and tanks inside the DMZ, which is a violation of the armistice because only officers can carry side arms inside the DMZ," he said of the agreement, which ended the fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War. "They have increased the number of soldiers and they are carrying heavy weapons," he told Reuters. "They're increasing the movement of their army," he added of the 37,000 American troops stationed in South Korea. A rare glimpse from the Northern side across the world's last Cold War flashpoint provided no immediate signs of such movement by U.S. troops on the southern side. U.S. officers in the south say such North Korean accusations are daily fare, but that their communist counterparts never respond when asked for evidence."

The Never-Ending Story  2/14/03 ANNCOL: "On 22 January 2003, the Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe Velez commenced negotiations with the AUC paramilitaries of Carlos Castaño and Salvatore Mancuso, whose record of atrocities against the Colombian people would make your blood run cold... Shortly before these talks started, Uribe Velez evoked a decree which is going to be used to give this 14,000-strong band of killers, extortionists, torturers and major drugs traffickers immunity for their innumerable crimes against humanity. A necessary step from the government’s perspective perhaps – not one designed to bring peace and reconciliation to the country – but one to avoid criminal prosecutions which could open up a seething bag of worms about integral state involvement in Colombia’s paramilitary strategy."

Did the FARC Bring It Down? US Military Plane Crashes in Colombia  2/14/03 Counterpunch: "US officials scrambled rescue teams to the sweltering plains of the region after the crash, but an unconfirmed report from the Colombian military said rebels had captured the survivors and announced, "We have them! We have them!" in an intercepted radio transmission. If the survivors were indeed captured, it would be the first time that US soldiers are captured alive by Colombia's leftist guerrillas."

Meet Mr. Blowback - Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, CIA Op and Homicidal Thug  2/14/03 Counterpunch: "Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Pashtun warlord, former Afghan prime minister, fundamentalist religious fanatic, and homicidal thug, has been much in the news of late. The largest battle in Afghanistan in recent months, in the mountains near Spin Boldak on January 27, pitted US forces against guerrillas "most closely aligned with the Hezb-i Islami movement, which is Hekmatyar's military arm," according to US military spokesman Colonel Roger King (Daily Times, Pakistan, Feb. 10). The death of nine minibus passengers in an explosion near Kandahar January 31 was also attributed to Hezb-i-Islami. It's been widely alleged that Hekmatyar, who has been sighted in six Afghan provinces in the last three months, has linked up with Mullah Omar, remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda (Boston Globe, February 9). This is plausible, although one must note a history of sour relations between the Taliban and the warlord. Few articles in the mainstream press mention the far more substantial historical association: that between Hekmatyar and the CIA. During the 1980s he received fully 90% the CIA-supplied funds doled out via Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) to the Mujahadeen Islamic warriors (see Ahmed Rashid, Taliban [Yale University Press, 2000], p. 91). These funds amounted to some half-billion dollars per year throughout the 1980s, matched by equal sums from that other enthusiastic Mujahadeen patron, acting in close cooperation with the US: Saudi Arabia."

CIA 'sabotaged inspections and hid weapons details'  2/14/03 Independent, UK: "Senior democrats have accused the CIA of sabotaging weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to co-operate fully with the UN and withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein's arsenal. Led by Senator Carl Levin, the Democrats accused the CIA of making an assessment that the inspections were unlikely to be a success and then ensuring they would not be. They have accused the CIA director of lying about what information on the suspected location of weapons of mass destruction had been passed on."

Reclaiming Anti-Semitism  2/14/03 Jewish Voice for Peace: "Those of us who are involved in activism around Israel/Palestine, and take a position critical of the standard American and Israeli views of the conflict are constantly peppered with accusations of anti-Semitism; or, in the case of Jews, we are told we are “self-hating”… In fact, it can become so tiresome that many people, Jewish or non-Jewish, who have to deal with it can easily become so frustrated that they cannot or do not wish to hear about genuine issues of anti-Semitism… It is worthwhile to remember that this branch of right-wing Christianity is the source of much of the power of the incorrectly-named “Jewish lobby”. The Christian Right is what gives pro-Israel lobbying its voter power, generates stacks of letters to representatives and pressures editorial boards with potential loss of circulation. There just aren’t enough Jews on the planet to have that kind of impact, and, anti-Jewish rhetoric notwithstanding, the greatest concentration of power continues to rest in the same hands it has for centuries. Right-wing Christian support for Israel, motivated not by love of Jews but antipathy for us, is a threat that must be confronted, yet the major Jewish organizations have steadfastly refused to do this, because of their support of Israel."

Powell’s Bad Day  2/14/03 Newsweek: "Dominique de Villepin was grinning handsomely as he headed out of the United Nations Security Council, pausing for a photo op. “Mr. Minister, will you be discussing a second resolution when the Council meets again next week?” a NEWSWEEK reporter asked him. “No need for a resolution,” the French foreign minister shot back, still grinning."

Poll Finds Most in U.S. Support Delaying a War  2/14/03 NYT: "With major decisions of war and peace still pending, 59 percent of Americans said they believed the president should give the United Nations more time. Sixty-three percent said Washington should not act without the support of its allies, and 56 percent said Mr. Bush should wait for United Nations approval."

U.S. anti-war movement based in the mainstream  2/14/03 San Diego Union Tribune: "Whether they are pacifists or former military commanders, poets or high-powered executives, Psychologists for Social Responsibility or Mothers Acting Up, today's anti-war movement appears to run through mainstream America. "It's become religious groups and labor unions, local politicians, Republicans and businessmen," said Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University sociologist and author who studies social movements. "I think these groups have stepped forward in part to give the anti-war movement legitimacy." The breadth of the movement may well be on display tomorrow during a day of protest in cities around the globe, including San Diego. Nobel laureates, Pentagon consultants, corporate chiefs, academics and former military officials, along with more traditional protesters, have joined forces and released statements opposing a unilateral attack on Iraq. A group of Republicans and business leaders recently signed a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal titled "Republican Dissent on Iraq." Retired Vice Adm. Jack Shanahan of Florida was among the signers."

Amnet acquires Central American operations  2/14/03 South Florida Business Journal: "Amnet, an international communications provider based in Coral Springs, has expanded its reach into Nicaragua and Honduras by acquiring the Central American assets of IFX Networks, Ltd. in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, according to a statement by Amnet."

Aziz's welcome fuels US anger against Europe  2/14/03 Times, UK: "In suit and tie rather than his trademark military uniform, Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, flew into Rome yesterday amid a deepening rift between Washington and the Vatican. His five-day visit to Rome and Assisi has infuriated the Bush Administration and worsened the United States’s strained relations with Europe. The Bush Administration has complained vigorously to the Vatican that the Pope, who receives Mr Aziz today, has sent an envoy to Baghdad but not to the US. America has sent a conservative Catholic scholar, Michael Novak, to persuade the Vatican that it was pursuing a “just” war."

Guatemala Court Rejects New Trial in Murder of Bishop Gerardi  2/14/03 Zenit 

Thursday  2/13/03

topFalse Alarm? Terror Alert Partly Based on Fabricated Information  2/13/03 ABC News: part of the on-going Operation Northwoods. - " A key piece of the information leading to recent terror alerts was fabricated, according to two senior law enforcement officials in Washington and New York."

A Global Antiwar Movement  2/13/03 Alternet: "In 316 cities in 60 countries – Cairo, Bangkok, Beirut, Jakarta, Prague, Budapest, Tokyo, Moscow, London, Cape Town, Kigali in Rwanda, Madrid, Warsaw, Kiev, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York, Sydney, Barcelona, to name but a few – more than a million people are expected to march and rally against an American invasion of Iraq. Even McMurdo Station in Antarctica will hold a protest against the war. Such a global outpouring against the threat of war is unprecedented. Without the Internet, of course, such a global protest would be unimaginable. But the Internet is only the messenger. Clearly, there is strong opposition here and abroad to an American invasion of Iraq."

Arde Bolivia. Saquean la Coca-Cola y queman sedes de partidos y canal Bolivisión  2/13/03 Aporrea: links to coverage of Bolivia revolt.

Japan threatens force against N Korea  2/13/03 BBC: "Japan has warned it would launch a pre-emptive military action against North Korea if it had firm evidence Pyongyang was planning a missile attack. Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba said it would be "a self-defence measure" if North Korea was going to "resort to arms against Japan".

Filibustering On Estrada  2/13/03 Black World Today 

It's the Oil, Stupid - Markets of Mass Destruction  2/13/03 Counterpunch: "But to try and argue in the mainstream media that the U.S. is only interested in starting a war with Iraq because of its vast oil supplies and you're immediately branded a conspiracy theorist. That's why most U.S. journalists don't even bother to explore the possibility, according to media experts."

Comment le monde juge la position française  2/13/03 Figaro: Le Figaro, a center right publication, states that the antiwar position is the majority one in Europe and discusses the effects of France's position in the matter. Nice anecdote about Tom DeLay who worked so hard to get Clinton impeached - "La fermeté de Paris face à l'escalade militaire suscite de vives réactions de la part des gouvernements qui se sont alliés à Washington et des commentaires acerbes dans les médias, mais reflète l'opinion majoritaire en Europe. «Le Figaro» passe en revue les agacements ou les encouragements provoqués par la position française... "«Parlez-vous allemand ?» Tom DeLay, élu du Texas à la Chambre et chef de file des amis du président américain, n'est pas peu fier du mauvais tour joué à un Français qui voulait l'entreprendre sur l'Irak. Le représentant DeLay ne s'est pas contenté de remémorer, à sa manière, la dette historique de la France envers les Etats-Unis. Il a tourné les talons et rompu la conversation."

Census shows large rise in UK ethnic population  2/13/03 Guardian: "Two boroughs of Britain have more black and Asian people than white people for the first time ever, according to figures from the 2001 census published today."

Suspicion Surround Deaths Of Muslim Activists In The UK  2/13/03 Jihad Unspun: death squad in the UK?

Bewildered Iraqis Ask Why U.S. Wants War  2/13/03 LA Times: "Hoony, the schoolteacher, agreed that despite the friendship Iraqis feel toward the American and English people, Iraqis would not long tolerate a foreign occupation of their country. "If they stay, they will be killed," he said of the foreign troops. "If not now, then in the future." He recalled the British soldiers who came to Iraq during World War I and lost many thousands of men in a disastrous military campaign. "The English came here," Hoony said. "Now you can see their graves in every part of Iraq."

"Vieille Europe" ou vieille Amérique ?  2/13/03 Le Monde: "Old Europe or Old America?"

Les anti-guerre vus par la presse américaine  2/13/03 Le Monde: "Le groupe TrueMajority, par exemple, cofondé par l'ancien fabriquant de glaces militant Ben & Jerry, a récemment dépensé 200 000 dollars pour placer sur des chaînes locales un spot de 30 secondes refusé par CNN." Ben & Jerry antiwar ad refused by CNN. Are they trying to outdo Murdoch's Fox?

Iraq: the military response  2/13/03 Le Monde Diplomatique: "The Iraqi people are absent from United States plans, but the United Nations estimates there will be a million refugees, besides many dead and injured, and the infrastructure damaged. The length of the war will depend on the Iraqi army and its willingness to fight, rebel or disintegrate."

Las dos Bolivias se enfrentan…  2/13/03 NarcoNews: “Esta es una lucha del pueblo boliviano pobre y desposeído, de los hombres, mujeres, ancianos y niños que siempre hemos sido ignorados por la denominada clase política manejada por el imperio norteamericano, las transnacionales y los políticos corruptos del país”, afirma el líder cocalero y diputado Evo Morales Ayma a propósito de la convulsión social por la que atraviesa Bolivia."

Wednesday  2/12/03

topONE BATTLEFIELD, TWO WARS - Bush and Bin Laden: Brothers in battle against Ba'athist Iraq  2/12/03 Osama bin Laden says - "It doesn't matter whether the socialist (Ba'ath) party or Saddam disappear…. And it doesn't harm in these conditions the interest of Muslims to agree with those of the socialists in fighting against the crusaders, even though we believe the socialists are infidels. For the socialists and the rulers have lost their legitimacy a long time ago, and the socialists are infidels regardless of where they are, whether in Baghdad or in Aden. ..."

Afghan bombing raids 'hit civilians'  2/12/03 CNN: "The announcement coincided with unconfirmed reports from provincial government officials saying that at least 17 civilians had died, most of them women and children, during U.S.-led bombing raids." Winning the hearts and minds, in preparation for Iraq.

French industry faces squeeze from Congress  2/12/03 Financial Times: "But when it comes to Iraq, the unassuming Mr Saxton is an avowed hawk and he has now found a new target for his anger over European intransigence: the Paris Air Show. The senior member of the House armed services committee has drafted a resolution, which he intends to introduce this week, that would call on all US companies and government officials to bypass the biennial gathering, widely regarded as the most important trade show for the industry… The resolution is only one of several efforts being considered in Congress to punish French industry. Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, has discussed with Republican colleagues imposing regulations on French wine and bottled water imported into the US." Les cowboys.

US public backs Bush to go it alone  2/12/03 Guardian: "In a Washington Post and ABC News poll, the latest of a cluster of opinion polls since Colin Powell, the secretary of state, presented his evidence against Iraq at the UN security council, 57% of those questioned backed an invasion of Iraq in the face of UN opposition if "some US allies such as Great Britain, Australia and Italy" supported Washington. In a sign that Britain's support is more crucial than ever to Mr Bush, US opinion surveys showed that solid support for military action depended on having Washington's closest allies by its side." The houseboy did a good job.

Germans stirred by new look at WWII bombings  2/12/03 Jang, Pakistan: "It was long considered impolite, unwise and even dangerously nationalistic for Germans to question whether Allied bombings in World War Two were necessary, legitimate or simply a war crime. Most had tacitly accepted the victors' version of history that the firebombs which killed 635,000 civilians and destroyed 130 cities hastened the demise of Nazi Germany, weakened its war-time industry and shortened the war. But the taboo has been shattered and the topic burst into the nation's consciousness with a new book - "The Fire - Germany and the Bombardment 1940-1945" by historian Joerg Friedrich, which condemns the attacks as war crimes and indirectly suggests that they may be comparable to the Holocaust." Bush is suceeding in reversing a 57 year old taboo so that Germans now feel able to call their punishment a holocaust. But then his grand-daddy made his fortune doing business with the Nazis.

Great news: the Dems are digging in  2/12/03 MoveOn: "Responding to thousands of our calls, Democrats have just launched a filibuster* to prevent the confirmation of Miguel Estrada to America's second-highest court. This filibuster is the first sign of real resistance to extremism in Congress and the White House. We’ve got to support this filibuster. Please call your Senators now."

In Defense of Life and Democracy  2/12/03 NarcoNews: "A comuniqué from el Mallku, speaking for the Bolivian people in revolt"

House, Senate agree to prohibit citizens' e-mail surveillance  2/12/03 NYT: "House and Senate negotiators have agreed that a Pentagon project intended to detect terrorists by monitoring e-mail and commercial databases for health, financial and travel information cannot be used against Americans."

Germany: Bin Laden Tape Doesn't Prove Iraq Link  2/12/03 Reuters: Why does it take the Germans to state the obvious? Osama is suckering the Americans in so he can get at them, so he can get recruits, so he can set 1.2 billion moslems against them.

Police terrorism on my grandparents  2/12/03 San Francisco Bay View: "I called and asked him to speak to the Black Soulbeat (local television) station. The (TV host) said, ‘Tell (the police) to speak to me.’ Then (the police officer) said, ‘We don’t speak to Black TV stations.’ "

Baghdad Back Flip Colin Powell's cynical reversal.  2/12/03 Slate MSN: "Sixteen months ago, Powell wanted to isolate Bin Laden from other Muslims, so he said Bin Laden was lying about being involved in Iraq. Now Powell wants to justify war against Iraq, so he says Bin Laden is telling the truth. Same claim, same media outlet, same speaker, same U.S. official assessing the claim, same congressional venue, different U.S. agenda, different result. The punch line? Bin Laden was talking about hypocrisy."

"American Idol" Star Bounced  2/12/03 Smoking Gun: "Evan Marriott's brief career as an underwear model wasn't a problem. And "Joe Millionaire" contestant Sarah Kozer's starring role in dozens of bondage and fetish films also was of no concern to Fox Television. But the network has bounced an "American Idol" contestant because the woman once posed nude for an Internet porn site. Frenchelle "Frenchie" Davis, the 23-year-old singer canned by Fox, was a fan favorite and had been tabbed last week by Entertainment Weekly as one of the program's leading six contenders. According to a TSG source, Davis posed topless (and appeared to be masturbating) on "Daddy's Little Girls," a web site that purported to feature naked underage girls (which, of course, would be illegal). However, at the time she posed for these photos, Davis was over 18… All traces of Davis's involvement in "American Idol" have been stripped from Fox's web site, a banishment nearly as abrupt as the ones delivered by judge Simon Cowell. The network's decision to can Davis has been blasted by followers of the show who have been flooding fan sites with complaints."

Coalition warplanes bomb Afghan caves after ambush  2/12/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Coalition warplanes bombed caves in central Afghanistan after at least five heavily-armed extremists ambushed US Special Forces as they picked their way through a remote mountain valley, the US military said yesterday. Colonel Roger King said the patrol was attacked at dawn yesterday by machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades from overhead ridges as it was exploring Bahgran valley in central Uruzgan province."

America's 48 hours to kill Saddam  2/12/03 Times, UK: "Haunted by the failure to capture Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Washington is putting in place plans to limit the damage if it fails to topple the Iraqi leader swiftly. They rest in part on persuading the Iraqi people that US forces control the country even before Saddam’s demise. The Pentagon is planning to drop emergency food and medical aid from the first day of airstrikes to try to win the “hearts and minds” of locals so that they will support the ensuing invasion." This should work well given the massive civilian casualties past and to come.

Don't Fence Them In  2/12/03 Village Voice: ""People are very appreciative and glad that ANSWER was organizing those initial demos," says Cagan. "But many of us wanted another vehicle to allow even broader organizing and representation. We really wanted to be connected in a way that ANSWER doesn't quite give us space to do, and also to facilitate other efforts, like national education and lobbying campaigns. Although polls show opposition to the war is more widespread among people of color—64 percent of black voters are against it, according to a Zogby poll last week—the marches thus far have remained largely white. By contrast, New York's rally will be led off by representatives of the "world's many Ground Zeroes"—from the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows to people from Hiroshima, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Colombia. There will be battalions of labor; elected officials from the 65 city councils that have passed anti-war resolutions; and large contingents of Palestinians, Latinos, African Americans, and Asians." During the Gulf War, the peace movement split in two because ANSWER refused to condemn Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. This time around, ANSWER and the newly formed United for Peace and Justice camps are endorsing each other's events. "There's a shared sense of urgency now," says David McReynolds, the 73-year-old stalwart of the War Resisters League. "People are saying that what Bush is doing is so extraordinarily dangerous, it's no time to be playing these politically correct or sectarian games."

CIA Head Predicts Nuclear Race  2/12/03 Washington Post: "CIA Director George J. Tenet warned yesterday that the "desire for nuclear weapons is on the upsurge" among small countries, confronting the world with a new nuclear arms race that threatens to dismantle more than three decades of nonproliferation efforts." This will be encouraged by two facts 1) North Korea has the bomb and the US is negotiating 2) Iraq does not and the US is going to war.

Tuesday  2/11/03

topSoldados se disfrazan como paramilitares en Arauca  2/11/03 ANNCOL: "Soldados disfrazados como paramilitares asesinan a una persona y secuestran a ocho en las afueras de Tame, Arauca denuncia grupo de defensores de derechos humanos." Arauca is where the US Special Forces are stationed.

Maine's House of Representatives Approves Iraq Resolution  2/11/03 AP: "After an emotional and lengthy debate, the state House approved a resolution Tuesday night urging President Bush to disarm Iraq through the United Nations and without military intervention. The resolution, amended twice to address the concerns of opponents who derided it as partisan, divisive and ineffectual, was approved 77-66 and sent to the Senate."

Powell warns of Iraq, Bin Laden 'partnership'  2/11/03 AP: suckered in by Osama, the apologist for the cowboy settlers builds the case for another foray into "Indian Country."

Purported bin Laden message on war against infidels  2/11/03 CNN: "We also want to clarify that whoever helps America ... either if they fight next to them or give them support in any form or shape, even by words, if they help them to kill the Muslims in Iraq, they have to know that they are outside this Islamic nation. Jordan and Morocco and Nigeria and Saudi Arabia should be careful that this war, this crusade, is attacking the people of Islam first. It doesn't matter whether the socialist (Baath) party or Saddam disappear. ..." Now if only someone would teach the house boy Colin Powell how to read, perhaps he could understand that Osama and Saddam are not really in a deep alliance.

A Material Breach of the Constitution  2/11/03 Counterpunch: "Hollywood has long pondered, through movies like Seven Days in May, what might happen to America if an extra-constitutional situation were to arise. While most of these cinematic presentations focused on power-hungry generals seizing control from democratically-elected presidents, no one in Hollywood ever really considered the possibility of generals imbued with democratic values ousting a President who was bent on seizing unconstitutional powers. However, this is exactly the nightmarish scenario that is beginning to arise in Washington… And obviously the Bush war hawks forget one very important thing: by threatening Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, the Bush clique may be the first U.S. administration to force France to think about retargeting its nuclear "force de frappe" strike force, which is complete with sea-to-ground and ground-to-ground intercontinental nuclear missiles. And with Putin now in closer consultation with France, Russia may also feel that it is past time to again focus its nuclear arsenal on a possible conflict with the United States." Actually, the French went through this under the much revered De Gaulle.

The Execution of Martin Luther King  2/11/03 Counterpunch: "Bill Pepper's book, An Act of State: the Execution of Martin Luther King (Verso, 2003), is a book whose time has come. It is required reading for anyone interested in how they illegitimate Bush regime will wield its ill-gotten power, not against Iraq, but against dissenters here in America. An Act of State tells the story of how Martin Luther King was killed, not by James Ray, a bumbling patsy, but by a Memphis policeman in league with the Mafia, backed by soldiers -- some armed with high-powered rifles, others with cameras to film the event -- in a special Military Intelligence unit. The story is broad and deep and implicates high-ranking officers in all the American intelligence and security branches." Kind of like Operation Northwoods.

Robertson's gamble misfires and the alliance ruptures  2/11/03 Independent, UK: "The surprise is that such a big split should have been produced by such a relatively minor issue. The dispute is, as Lord Robertson pointed out, largely an issue of timing, with America determined to push the pace and France and Germany resisting. Mr Burns argues that military deployments must be accelerated now, and that "the UN is doing contingency planning for Iraq, the EU is doing contingency planning for Iraq and all of the 19 members of Nato, individually, are doing contingency planning for Iraq". France says it ultimately will not block the dispatch of equipment to defend Turkey from possible attack, but that to send such a signal before Friday's report by the UN weapons inspectors would be to prejudge their findings." The gung ho American cowboys pressing, pressing, pressing.

Francophobia: Editorial  2/11/03 Le Monde: "Let's summarize in order to avoid too much repetition. We French are profoundly complacent, Munich-style appeasers in spirit, singularly venal, passively anti-Semitic, and, it goes without saying, viciously anti-American. Oh, and don't forget, we are "old" too."

Tape Ascribed to bin Laden Urges Muslims to Stand With Iraq  2/11/03 NYT: ""Our mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, do not be horrified about what America is propagating about their force, smart bombs, laser-directed bombs," he said. "These smart bombs have no effect in mountains and caves, forests, they need very obvious targets to be effective. Camouflaged targets cannot be hit by either smart bombs or stupid bombs." Mr. bin Laden, who American officials believe may be hiding in western Pakistan, repeatedly boasted about the ability of his fighters to survive American assaults. He described the assault on Iraq as partly an effort to seize its oil assets and partly a vendetta by Bush family, neither cause likely to inspire American soldiers to fight very hard. "We advise you of the importance of luring them into prolonged, hand-to-hand combat, a draining fight," he said. "They fear nothing more than urban and street warfare because they cannot face many losses." He also stressed the effectiveness of suicide attacks, citing their use against the United States and Israel. Mr. bin Laden, quoting a Koranic verse against taking Christians and Jews as allies, also threatened Arab and other regimes who he said were close to Washington. He said Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, Pakistan and Nigeria were ripe for being "liberated from the slavery of these ruling, apostate, unjust regimes who are enslaved by America."

Our Right to March  2/11/03 United for Peace & Justice: "We have a permit from the NYPD to rally on First Avenue stretching north from 49th Street. This rally will be massive, powerful, peaceful, legal, and safe. But to our great shock and outrage, Federal Judge Barbara Jones has ruled that the NYPD can deny our right to hold a march as well. We will not let the NYPD and the Bush Administration silence our cry for peace."

Judge upholds New York police ban on anti-war march  2/11/03 World Socialist: state of siege declared in the Big Banana Republic.

Monday  2/10/03

topTemplate for Iraq - Pretext Operations: Cuba, 1962; Iraq, 2003  2/10/03 Counterpunch: "That was the plan in 1962 for Cuba. Is this plan in operation for Iraq in 2003? On February 7, 2003, one day after Secretary of State Colin Powell's Invasion Iraq presentation before the United Nations, the Bush Regime took the American public to code "Orange"--the second highest threat level--an was warned of immanent chemical-biological attacks on US soil. Precaution? Good intelligence?"

Israel Abducts, Tortures Wives Of Palestinian Resistance Fighters  2/10/03 Palestine Chronicle: "A young man entered in her cell and then Fatma started to scream, angering nearby prisoners who started to protest in anger. This led the occupation forces to open the cell and bring out the man who spent 10 minutes inside. In another incident, the sources said that the wife of Falah Nada, a resistance fighter, was taken away from her seven children and dragged to prison cells where she was tortured to force her husband to confess to fabricated crimes. The sources said that Falah's wife is tortured in front of him and he is blackmailed by the occupation forces that they will continue torturing his wife until he admits and that they will not release her unless they take a confession from him."

Stifling the Voice of Reason  2/10/03 Scoop: "Websites which host alternative views, and/or views that contradict U.S. foreign policy are no longer tolerated on the Internet and are systematically coming under hacker attack and political pressures to "relocate." ( has for the past six months withstood intense hacker attacks as it publishes views that directly question, criticize, and berate the U.S. official line regarding the impending invasion of Iraq. "In addition to e-mail spoof attacks, I think they are attempting to overload our servers through denial of service attacks, forcing our website to go offline. Similar incidents happened last time we released an article from Imad Khadduri," says Erich Marquardt, publisher."

Khameini: US-style democracy is as destructive as its bombs  2/10/03 Tehran Times: "Global imperialism -- that is the closely-knit network of oil cartels, arms manufacturers, world Zionism, and their ally governments -- threatened by the awakening of the Islamic ummah, is in a state of aggression accompanied with panicky moves. This aggression, which has political, media, military and terrorist dimensions, is today clearly visible in the violent and unabashed conduct and statements of the militarists in charge of the United States government and the Zionist regime."

"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

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Words Written in Blood. Arabic book collection of Shaheed Sheikh

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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.

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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