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    World News
3/10/03 - 3/16/03

Sunday  3/16/03

American Anger  3/16/03 Arab News: "The new swamp the aggressors and invaders will find themselves in will be more dangerous than the ones the US managed to get itself into in Nicaragua, Angola, Korea and Vietnam. The vicious circle of fear and terrorism created by the new crisis will be the worst and bloodiest of them all."

The U.S. Is Wading Deeper into Colombia's War  3/16/03 Business Week: "Under Bush, the U.S. is wading deeper into the Colombian conflict than ever before. Since Washington's "Plan Colombia" antinarcotics program began in 2000, the U.S. has given Colombia $1.9 billion in aid, making the country the third largest recipient of foreign aid after Israel and Egypt. This year, $651 million has been earmarked for Colombia. What's key is the lack of conditions attached to it: Before, U.S. money could only support the fight against the production and trade of coca. Now, Congress is allowing U.S. aid to be spent on training Colombian soldiers and police to fight insurgents. Since the September 11 attacks in the U.S., Washington has been ever more willing to help other nations fight their homegrown terrorists. Nearly 400 U.S. military personnel are currently in Colombia. Congress has authorized the deployment of 400 more civilians under U.S. government contract to chart coca plantations and report on rebel movements." The "civilians" will inevitably become prime targets.

UK PM faces 'war trial' by wife's law firm  3/16/03 Express India: "Now, anti-war campaigners plan to use the firm to force Blair to answer for his actions to the International Criminal Court. According to a report in The Mail on Sunday, Cherie Blair earns an estimated 250,000 pounds a year from Matrix, which has more than 30 of Britain's top barristers on its books, including NRI Rabinder Singh."

Blair plans for war as UN is given 24 hours  3/16/03 Guardian: "Tony Blair held an emergency 'war Cabinet' meeting yesterday to finalise plans for military action against Iraq and demand that the United Nations comes to a decision on the vital second resolution against Saddam Hussein within 24 hours. As Number 10 made clear that the chances of a diplomatic breakthrough in the Security Council were now 'bleak' and American bombers for the first time struck at targets in Iraq, the UN was given until tomorrow evening to come to a final choice on whether to back a second resolution or see America and Britain launch military action alone."

American woman peace activist killed by IDF bulldozer in Gaza  3/16/03 Haaretz: "An American woman peace protester was killed Sunday by an IDF bulldozer, which ran her over during the demolition of a house at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. Another activist was wounded in the incident. Rachel Corey, 23, from Olympia, Washington, was killed when she ran in front of the bulldozer to try to prevent it from destroying a house, doctors in Gaza said. "Corey was killed in the al-Salam neighbourhood when an Israeli bulldozer covered her with sand as she stood in front of a bulldozer," said Dr Ali Musa, a doctor from the al-Najar hospital in the southern Gaza Strip. He said she died from skull and chest fractures."

200,000 protesters head for White House  3/16/03 Independent, UK: "The White House protest was expected to draw more than 200,000 people from about 100 cities across the United States. The largest protests outside the US were held in Paris, Athens and Tokyo. There were smaller demonstrations in other capitals, such as Moscow, Cairo and Christchurch, New Zealand, and low key protests in the UK as well. In Paris, more than 50,000 protesters, underlining popular support for President Chirac's threat to veto a UN-backed war, converged on the Place de la Nation and held up a vast US flag daubed with a Nazi swastika and the words "killers and criminals". Smaller demonstrations were staged in Marseilles, Lyon and Toulouse, while in Athens, about 20,000 marched on the American embassy, carrying banners which read "No to the barbarism of the war". In Britain, about 3,500 people demonstrated in York, thought to be the city's largest ever protest, with another 10,000 in Leeds, 3,500 in Exeter and 2,000 in Newcastle. In Bournemouth, about 1,000 demonstrators rallied in a town centre park, while in Portsmouth, about 500 people blockaded the naval base."

The war of misinformation has begun  3/16/03 Independent, UK: "Bush and Blair will appear on television to speak of their great "victories". But as they are boasting, the real story will begin to be told: the break-up of Iraqi society, the return of thousands of Basra refugees from Iran, many of them with guns, all refusing to live under western occupation. In the north, Kurdish guerrillas will try to enter Kirkuk, where they will kill or "ethnically cleanse" many of the city's Arab inhabitants. Across Iraq, the invading armies will witness terrible scenes of revenge which can no longer be kept off television screens. The collapse of the Iraqi nation is now under way ... Of course, the Americans and British just might get into Baghdad in three days for their roses and rice water. That's what the British did in 1917. And from there, it was all downhill."

Demonstrations in Spain and Around the World Against an Iraq War  3/16/03 NYT: "Angered at their government's unwavering support for United States policy on Iraq, Spaniards took to the streets here today, one of hundreds of antiwar demonstrations around the world. For the second time in a month, crowds of demonstrators jammed the center of Madrid, waving antiwar placards and chanting insults against President Bush and one of his strongest allies, Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain. "We are marching against the law of the jungle that the United States and its acolytes old and new want to impose on the world," José Saramago, the Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate, told the crowd, estimated by news organizations at about half a million, gathered in Madrid's Puerta del Sol. Another demonstration was held in Barcelona, where the police said 300,000 people demonstrated, some of them forming a three-mile human chain."

Hawks circling for new targets  3/16/03 Sacramento Bee: "One of the champions of the activist-military doctrines is Thomas Barnett, a Naval War College professor who has briefed dozens of groups inside the Pentagon on his theory that the United States must "export security" to parts of the world that have failed to develop modern societies. Barnett has identified a large swath of countries stretching from Central America across the Atlantic Ocean to Africa, the Middle East and parts of southern Asia, which he said have become disconnected from the developing world, and thus are ripe for sowing unrest. "There is a good reason why al-Qaida was based first in Sudan and then later in Afghanistan," Barnett wrote in the March issue of Esquire. "These are two of the most disconnected countries in the world." " The new crime: being disconnected!

UN Resolution 377 - Uniting for peace - Adopted at the Three Hundred and Second Plenary Meeting, 3 November 1950  3/16/03 UN: the possibly soon to be famous resolution that could raise the stakes for the US/UK genocide.

Party Seeks to Close Fault Line Over Iraq  3/16/03 Washington Post: "Iraq has put many of the party's leading presidential candidates, who voted to give President Bush authority to go to war even without United Nations approval, at odds with liberal activists who staunchly oppose the president's policy. Now, with diplomatic efforts nearly exhausted, the candidates and the activists are wrestling with how they keep that gap from growing larger."

Saturday  3/15/03

topDixie Chicks pulled from air after bashing Bush  3/15/03 CNN: "There are a lot worse things in country music than your wife leaving you or your dog dying. There's stations not playing your music because you done gone and said some things against the president."

Allies prepare opinion for heavy loss of life  3/15/03 Financial Times: "Gen Franks told ABC News: "The one who holds the key to civilian casualties . . inside Iraq is Saddam Hussein. We continue to see examples of the placement of military command and control, and military weapons, close to hospitals and close to schools and close to mosques and that sort of thing." He said that targets where civilian lives were at risk were not "off-limits" but "one takes a very careful look at that and balances cost and reward." " Translation - a massive US/UK genocide in the works.

US INTENTIONS - A Sobering Look at the Oil Numbers Behind the U.S. Panic to Invade Iraq  3/15/03 From the Wilderness: "Mr. Simmons was discussing his email correspondence with a senior assistant to former secretary of energy Bill Richardson. The senior assistant informed Mr. Simmons in 1999 that she was accompanying Secretary Richardson on a visit to every OPEC country. Mr. Simmons told her that if he was undertaking such a tour, he would ask each country what was their spare oil capacity. Upon returning to the United States, the senior assistant called Mr. Simmons and told him that she was quite shocked by the responses to this question. In country after country, she was told that they were already pumping at or near capacity. For practical purposes, OPEC has no spare capacity."

Top US military planner fears a 'likely' repeat of Somalia bloodbath  3/15/03 Independent, UK: "Colonel Turner outlined a worst-case scenario: "Within hours of our attack, Saddam launches Scuds on Israel. Israel's government launches a full-scale attack on Iraq, creating a holy war. Saddam, threatened with his own survival, uses chemical and biological weapons and human shields. He torches his own oil fields, thousands of his own people are killed. Photos of US soldiers amid landscapes of Iraqi civilian bodies blanket the world press which aligns unanimously against the US." He then envisaged the US left to administer a post-Saddam Iraq with minimal international co-operation and open to terror attacks from al- Qa'ida. North Korea could take advantage and start exporting nuclear weapons. "These are not remote possibilities, but in my view reasonable, possibly even likely outcomes," he concluded. "

A Message From Fulton County Jail  3/15/03 Jihad Unspun: By Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, H. Rap Brown. - "O Muslims! There is a coming Storm from which no one is exempt. The lack of Faith will crush you far more than defeat ever could. The proof of Faith is in Struggle, Struggling in Word and Deed, In Body and Spirit. We must bare our chest to the Sword, Throw ourselves into the teeth of History. remember, the wind howls because it can't keep up. Indeed the Spirit is the Superior. If we allow them IRAQ, Then one more for the howling wind. Evil is as evil does. They make "Terrornoia" our master."

Italy May Have Been Misled by Fake Iraq Arms Papers, U.S. Says  3/15/03 LA Times: "Phony weapons documents cited by the United States and Britain as evidence against Saddam Hussein were initially obtained by Italian intelligence authorities, who may have been duped into paying for the forgeries, U.S. officials said Friday. The documents, which purport to show Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium from Niger, were exposed as fraudulent by U.N. weapons inspectors last week. The matter has embarrassed U.S. and British officials."

Anger on Iraq Seen as New Qaeda Recruiting Tool  3/15/03 NYT: "The surge in Qaeda recruitment efforts has been most visible in Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, the officials said. Investigators have significantly increased their use of informants and, in some cases, bugging devices, to monitor mosques and other gathering places, where they have observed a sharp spike in anti-American oratory. For example, German domestic intelligence agents have eavesdropped on increasingly shrill sermons in mosques about the possibility of war with Iraq, a message that officials there say has clearly resonated with young people. The officials expressed deep concern that the angry climate would lead to a torrent of new recruits."

200 students at St. Paul junior high stage antiwar rally  3/15/03 St. Paul Star Tribune: "Nick Huelster, 14, thought from 10 to 30 students might walk out of class Friday at Highland Park Junior High School in St. Paul to participate in a peace rally that he had helped organize. "Wow, look how many people we have so far," said Leigh Resner, 14, a co-organizer, as she stood on the stage and watched students, some waving "No war" signs, pour into the school auditorium. More than 200 students attended the one-hour rally, and many of them went to the microphones to speak. The school has 840 students. The rally, strictly speaking, violated school rules. Principal Theresa Battle allowed the rally during class time, but announced that students who participated would be given a detention notice and have to stay after school for 45 minutes next week, sitting quietly in the cafeteria and doing homework. Detention notices were handed out during the rally."

Kurds relish Kirkuk return and prospect of revenge  3/15/03 Times, UK: "He scoffed at the idea that a US force could stop Kurds returning to Kirkuk in the event of a war. “America can man all the checkpoints it wants and control all the roads to Kirkuk. There are thousands of tracks around them to the city. No one can stop me from getting back there.” "

Iraq's Rising Forces of Faith Create Fears for Future  3/15/03 Washington Post: "On the eve of an expected war, religious sentiment is overshadowing the secularism that once defined Iraq. Through speeches, symbols and slogans, Hussein's government has increasingly turned to Islam in its search for legitimacy, playing down the Arab nationalism that once served as its ideology. Many of its people -- Shiite Muslims and Sunnis, along with a small Christian minority -- have turned to faith, desperate for respite from the misery of war and more than a decade of sanctions."

U.S. Takes Back Turkey Aid Package  3/15/03 Washington Post: "As U.S. hopes dwindled of going through Turkey for an attack on Iraq, the Bush administration took back its offer to give $15 billion in aid to Turkey in exchange for military cooperation, officials said Saturday."

A list of resolutions vetoed by the USA 1972-2002  3/15/03 Znet: mostly to support Israel.

Bush's Ultimate Thule  3/15/03 Znet: "As in the early Cold War, Thule's top-of-the-world location, peeking over the pole at Central Asia and the Middle East, is again deemed one of the Pentagon's most important geopolitical assets. The Bush administration argues that the National Missile Defense (NDM) initiative urgently demands the upgrading of the huge BMEWS radar installations at Thule and Fylingdale in England… London's subservience, of course, was immediately forthcoming; while Copenhagen, although more discreet, also signaled its willingness to barter Thule, as in the past, in return for some small gratuities. But Nuuk, the tiny Home Rule capital of Kalaaallit Nunaat (as its people call Greenland), has so far refused to be conscripted into "this insane project." Indeed, in a historic election last December, a majority of Greenlanders voted for an anti-NMD coalition of the social-democratic Siumut and radical IA parties, whose representatives are pledged to oppose any unilateral Danish deal over Thule and to accelerate progress toward complete independence. This shift to the left, in defiance of both Copenhagen and Washington, is a remarkable development, rooted in a bitter and little understood colonial experience." Yet another place that "hates America." Why, oh why?

Friday  3/14/03

topSenior lawmakers attack Bush administration's "messianic zeal" on Iraq  3/14/03 Agence France Press: "Senators Patrick Leahy and Edward Kennedy took to the Senate floor to call on President George W. Bush to "get it right" on ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. "I am concerned that as we rush to war with Iraq, we are becoming more divided at home and more isolated in the world community," Kennedy warned. "Instead of persuading the dissenters at home and abroad, the administration by its harsh rhetoric is driving the wedge deeper. Never before, even in the Vietnam war, has America taken such bold military action with so little international support." Shocked by the level of bitterness between the United States and its traditional allies across the Atlantic, Leahy warned that going to war with Iraq without the UN Security Council's support would damage alliances and could violate international law."

Spooky Story - Why the American media shrugged off a story about spying at the United Nations  3/14/03 American Prospect: "Ellsberg was scheduled to speak at the National Press Club yesterday, so the story may finally have gained some legs. But what's instructive about this episode is not what will happen now, 10 days after the story broke. It's what didn't happen during those 10 days -- how the right-wing media shot a true story down, and how the bulk of the mainstream press accepted those terms. And we wonder why we're charging off to a war that nearly half the population is against."

Colombian ministers and ambassadors embezzle bank funds  3/14/03 ANNCOL: "When one of Colombia's best-known columnists, Fernando Garavito, revealed that the Colombian Ambassadors to the US and Canada and two senior members of the government were involved in a scheme to embezzle bank funds - he was sacked from the daily El Espectador, owned by the powerful Bavaria conglomerate."

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT, ARI? - A foreign intelligence service forged phony 'evidence' of Iraqi nukes – guess which one  3/14/03 "Unless it's the African nation of Niger – where Iraq was supposedly trying to buy uranium to develop nukes – that is desperately trying to drag us into war, for obscure reasons of its own, the identity of this mysterious "third country" is no mystery. "By way of deception, thou shalt do war" – the Mossad, Israel's legendary intelligence agency, have more than lived up to their motto in the past, and, in this instance, seem to have surpassed themselves. To feed the U.S. such a crude forgery – the fake letters were rife with fairly obvious and easily checkable errors – and have Colin Powell take it to the UN as "proof" of Iraqi perfidy was a calculated insult, and soon had the desired result."

Ex-CIA Officers Questioning Iraq Data  3/14/03 AP: "A small group composed mostly of retired CIA officers is appealing to colleagues still inside to go public with any evidence the Bush administration is slanting intelligence to support its case for war with Iraq."

Senator Wants Fake Iraq Documents Probed  3/14/03 AP: "The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee asked the FBI on Friday to investigate forged documents the Bush administration used as evidence against Saddam Hussein and his military ambitions in Iraq. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said he was uneasy about a possible campaign to deceive the public about the status of Iraq's nuclear program… Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the committee's top Democrat, noted a Washington Post report that said a foreign government might have been conducting a deception campaign to win support for military action against Iraq. When Obey asked Powell if he could say which country that was, Powell replied, "I can't with confidence." " - some have been identifying Israel as the source of these documents.

Teachers Suspended for Refusing to Remove Anti-War Signs From Classrooms  3/14/03 AP: "Roybal said Thursday she thought of her two brothers who fought in Vietnam, a nephew based in Kuwait and two former students deployed overseas this year. "I knew I couldn't take it down because I love those people," she said. A personnel hearing on her suspension was scheduled for Monday."

Acto de solidaridad con Venezuela. Este Domingo en Nueva York  3/14/03 Aporrea: on Amsterdam, between 159th and 160th, 3/16/03 @ 3 PM.

Perle passing secrets to Israel in "Kissinger and Nixon in the White House"  3/14/03 Atlantic: from the May 1982 issue - "The less-than-precise document in question in Sonnenfeldt's case, however, was an FBI summary of a wiretap on the Israeli Embassy in which Richard N. Perle, an aide to Senator Henry Jackson, was overheard discussing classified information that had been supplied to him by someone on the National Security Council staff. Hoover, following normal practice with sensitive materials from embassy wiretaps, had sent the document to Kissinger. Kissinger hesitated a few days. Then, despite his insistence that he was out of the internal-security business after May of 1970, he forwarded the material to Haldeman, who immediately telephoned Hoover, according to FBI documents, and ordered that the FBI be assigned to determine which NSC staffer was in contact with Richard Perle. Haldeman and Nixon must have hit the roof. In a telephone call on October 15, 1970, to Hoover, Haldeman invoked the name of Henry Kissinger in asking for another wiretap on Sonnenfeldt. Kissinger had to realize that Haldeman and Hoover would suspect Sonnenfeldt, who was known from previous wiretaps to have close ties to the Israelis as well as to Perle."

Was It Something He Said?  3/14/03 Chicago Reader: "Salim Muwakkil wrote a weekly op-ed column for the Tribune for almost five years. His last column ran on February 10, an attack on war against Iraq he told me the Tribune altered "pretty significantly" from what he'd turned in. Bruce Dold, the editorial-page editor, says he deleted the following passage: "Adolf Hitler justified the Nazi invasion and occupation of parts of Europe as a benign move to protect them from Britain's imperial tyranny. The Nazis called it Lebensraum. We call it `pre-emptive self-defense.'" Says Dold in an E-mail, "The column misapplied the term [lebensraum, which means "living space"], and in attempting to link U.S. policy to Hitler's invasion, had an exceedingly narrow explanation of Hitler's justification for the invasion." " Dictators are always benevolent.

Fake Iraq documents 'embarrassing' for U.S.  3/14/03 CNN: the forgeries are so gross that they raise the question of whether they weren't designed as a deliberate insult to isolate the US further - "Sources said that one of the documents was a letter discussing the uranium deal supposedly signed by Niger President Tandja Mamadou. The sources described the signature as "childlike" and said that it clearly was not Mamadou's. Another, written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, bears the date of October 2000 and the signature of a man who by then had not been foreign minister of Niger in 14 years, sources said."

'Nightstalkers' track terror suspects  3/14/03 CNN: the FBI Air Force - "The FBI has a fleet of aircraft, some equipped with night surveillance and eavesdropping equipment, flying America's skies to track and collect intelligence from suspected terrorists."

It's Time to Take Action Against Our Wars on the Rest of the World by GORE VIDAL  3/14/03 Counterpunch: "I spoke to 100,000 people two weeks ago in Hollywood Boulevard, down the hill from where I'm speaking to you now. There were 100,000, lots of police, many helicopters overhead which, as the speaker got up, would lower themselves to try and drown your voice out. The press did not record that there were 100,000 people. They said, "Oh, 30,000 perhaps. That might be an exaggeration," they said. Unfortunately for them, the 'Los Angeles Times', generally a fairly good paper, had a long shot from La Brea where I was speaking on a stage straight up to Vine Street, which was a mile or two away, and you saw 100,000 people, so their very picture undid them. What I'm saying is the censorship is very tight. Don't think we're a free country to say anything we want. We can say it, but it's not going to be printed and you're not going to get on television."

Chasse au Français ouverte dans les médias anglais  3/14/03 Figaro: Open season on the French in the British media.

Secret State Dept. Report Disputing Bush Claim on Arab 'Domino Effect'  3/14/03 Forward, US: "The State Department is circulating a classified report dismissing the White House claim that a regime change in Iraq would trigger a push for democracy throughout the Arab world. The report strongly criticizes the controversial prediction of a post-Saddam Hussein democratic "domino effect" in the Middle East, the Forward has learned. It was put together by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, an agency that produces independent intelligence assessment reports. Officials at the State Department have taken the unusual step of sending the secret report to a select group of legislators on Capitol Hill."

'Chirac has the moral high ground'  3/14/03 Guardian: "Mr Chirac is viscerally opposed to the idea of a clash of civilisations. Bush's core support, on the other hand, comes from evangelical Protestantism, with its two faces of intolerance and lack of cultural understanding… Instead of hurling abuse at the French and spending billions on a war, maybe Mr Blair should try to sort out public services. After all, Monsieur Blair, that is what you were re-elected for, not to destroy the entente cordiale."

The quisling of Belgrade  3/14/03 Guardian, UK: "The first priority was to embark on a programme of "economic reform" - new-world-order-speak for the selling of state assets at knockdown prices to western multinationals. Over 700,000 Yugoslav enterprises remained in social ownership and most were still controlled by employee-management committees, with only 5% of capital privately owned. Companies could only be sold if 60% of the shares were allocated to workers. Djindjic moved swiftly to change the law and the great sell-off could now begin. After two years in which thousands of socially owned enterprises have been sold (many to companies from countries which took part in the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia), last month's World Bank report was lavish in its praise of the Djindjic government and its "engagement of international banks in the privatisation process". "

Robert Fisk: The forgotten power of the General Assembly  3/14/03 Independent: "So here's a little idea that might just make the American administration even angrier and even more aware of its obligations to the rest of the world. It's a forgotten UN General Assembly resolution that could stop an invasion of Iraq, a relic of the Cold War. It was, ironically, pushed through by the US to prevent a Soviet veto at the time of the Korean conflict, and actually used at the time of Suez. For UN resolution 377 allows the General Assembly to recommend collective action "if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security". This arcane but intriguing piece of UN legislation – passed in 1950 and originally known as the "Uniting for Peace" resolution – might just be used to prevent Messrs Bush and Blair going to war if their plans are vetoed in the Security Council by France or Russia. Fundamentally, it makes clear that the UN General Assembly can step in – as it has 10 times in the past – if the Security Council is not unanimous."

The view from France: we've won the argument  3/14/03 Independent, UK: "One French official said: "The British are looking desperately for some negotiating space but the Americans will have none of it. Otherwise, a narrowing of British and French differences might be possible."...France argues that the veto is an accepted part of the Security Council machinery of the UN. It was created precisely to set up the kinds of "checks and balances" in the UN system which exist in many national constitutions. France has used its veto only 18 times before; the US has used its veto 76 times. Washington now argues that a Security Council majority, obstructed by a French veto, would be a "moral majority". This amounts to admitting, French officials say, that Washington has thwarted a moral majority in the Security Council on 76 occasions since 1945."

US preparing to abandon UN and launch war within a week  3/14/03 Independent, UK: "In another sign that war is imminent, the Queen postponed a state visit to Belgium next Tuesday and Wednesday on Downing Street's advice. Mr Blair's official spokesman said it was "sensible" for the Head of State to be in Britain rather than abroad."

Detonations And Deceit - THE IRON FIST OF TACTICAL NUKES, HIDDEN IN THE VELVET GLOVE OF STORIES ABOUT FUEL-AIR BOMBS, MOABS AND BUNKER-BUSTERS:  3/14/03 Information Clearing House: "At the fighting front north of Kabul, where Taliban forces were pounded night and day, many dead Taliban soldiers had no visible injuries except blood flowing out of their mouths, internal bleeding consistent with uranium based and chemical weapons. Furthermore, many dead Taliban soldiers had severe discoloration of the skin, orange, without being burned, while others had their rifles melted in their hands. This aroused suspicion among Taliban and others that weapons used by the US-UK military were not conventional weapons. Many Taliban soldiers that survived the bombing in the north have died after returning to their native villages in the south and southeast of the country. They had no physical injury upon their death, however, died from internal bleeding and other bizarre symptoms including uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea, and blood loss in urine and stool. Their families were shocked with disbelieves."

Mujahedeen Intensified Their Operations In The Last Two Weeks  3/14/03 Jihad Unspun: "According to Alneda latest report, Mujahedeen intensified their operations in the last couple of months so that Coalition troops and their Afghan allies became perplexed from the excessive attacks against them. On the other hand, the Mujahedeen perceive their operations as a routine especially with the wide support from the people who executed many successful operations on their own against the coalition soldiers."

Mohamed Atta and Rudi Dekkers Seen Together in Venice in Weeks Before Sept. 11 Attack  3/14/03 Mad Cow Morning News: "In direct contradiction to statements by the FBI and by flight school owner Rudi Dekkers that Atta had left long before 9-11, we now have witnesses confirming that Atta was in Florida until August of 2001 traveling as a friend with the man who denied knowing him more than casually."

US to stay in Iraq '20-25 years': US envoy  3/14/03 MalaysiaKini: "There was classical Turkish music and salmon, costly and difficult to obtain here. Also on the menu — some diplomatic fence-mending and words that Washington intends to reorganize the region and remain in Iraq for 20 to 25 years."

Israeli papers lambast army after Hebron blunder  3/14/03 News 24, South Africa: "Israeli newspaper poured vitriol on the defence forces on Friday morning, after troops misidentified their target and killed two Israelis, both of them former officers from an elite infantry unit." But nary a word when they do innocent Palistinians on a daily basis.

A Tyrant 40 Years in the Making  3/14/03 NYT: "Then, on Feb. 8, 1963, the conspirators staged a coup in Baghdad. For a time the government held out, but eventually Kassem gave up, and after a swift trial was shot; his body was later shown on Baghdad television. Washington immediately befriended the successor regime. "Almost certainly a gain for our side," Robert Komer, a National Security Council aide, wrote to Kennedy the day of the takeover. As its instrument the C.I.A. had chosen the authoritarian and anti-Communist Baath Party, in 1963 still a relatively small political faction influential in the Iraqi Army. According to the former Baathist leader Hani Fkaiki, among party members colluding with the C.I.A. in 1962 and 1963 was Saddam Hussein, then a 25-year-old who had fled to Cairo after taking part in a failed assassination of Kassem in 1958."

Congressman Loses Party Post Over Remark About Jews  3/14/03 NYT: "Representative James P. Moran, a Virginia Democrat under fire for blaming Jews for the buildup toward war with Iraq, stepped down from a party leadership post today at the request of the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi."

Chicago Trib drops Muwakkil's column for "a different voice"  3/14/03 Poynter: "Muwakkil has been dropped as a columnist, but Dold says it's not because of the Feb. 10 essay. "I had been thinking about it for some time," he says."

Australia: Howard joins attack on French  3/14/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Opposition Leader Simon Crean said Mr Howard's evocation of Pearl Harbour suggested Australia was an outpost of the United States. "Goodness gracious, what have we become? The 51st state of the United States?" he said on ABC radio in Melbourne today. "This is ridiculous, where we have an alliance, a strength of arrangement, but we're not prepared to say to the United States: 'Get the UN backing'."

It's your mess, say French with disdain  3/14/03 Times, UK: "FRANCE has adopted a posture of pained superiority in the face of the torrent of Anglo-Saxon invective flowing its way. Its dismissive tone reflects the view that President Chirac is a rock of sanity while Tony Blair has landed his country in a mess by blindly following the Americans. “Tony Blair should only blame himself,” Le Figaro said yesterday. Commenting on “Blair’s Iraq Failure”, it added: “In his enthusiasm for the battle between good and evil, he forgot that the bridge between Europe and America cannot be one-way only.” "

Whole World Feels Effect of US Intent, Activist Says  3/14/03 Toronto Globe & Mail: "Like other critics of U.S. policy, he perceives in the United States an angry, isolated country inflicting lasting damage on itself. Mr. Perez Esquivel reaches for some words by Abraham Lincoln, quoted by President John F. Kennedy at the United Nations in 1962. "What Lincoln said more than a century ago is that if the United States doesn't defend life, then it faces the prospect of self-destruction." Yet unstable as the planet is, Mr. Perez Esquivel fears surging anti-Americanism will make it far more so. Across Latin America, he says, the antiwar sentiment, which has prompted big demonstrations in half a dozen countries, is vigorously feeding long-term resentment over U.S. policies on trade, tariffs, militarization and debt. "What's happening with Iraq is not isolated, it's part of a global phenomenon. When we see the installation of U.S. military bases throughout Latin America, when we look at [American interference] in countries such as Venezuela and Colombia and Panama, we have to ask ourselves what's going on."

Vast protests in Spain oppose war  3/14/03 Toronto Star: "Millions of workers staged anti-war protests today in Spain, but Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar stood firmly by the United States' plans to attack Iraq."

Aznar's Courtship of Bush Regarding Iraq Could Cost Spain the Fruit of its Return to Latin America  3/14/03 Trinicenter, Trinidad 

Perle Threatens Lawsuit Over Hersh Article In New Yorker  3/14/03 Washington Post: "Salon columnist Joe Conason says Perle "arguably should be required to resign" from the Defense Policy Board "because of his grossly intemperate public attack on Hersh." But former Bush speechwriter David Frum writes in National Review Online: "Would such an investment have been improper if it had been discussed? Despite Hersh's heavy breathing, the article has to concede that the answer is once more no: Richard Perle is a private citizen, who serves the U.S. government without pay, and is entitled to earn a living so long as he avoids conflicts of interest -- of which Hersh could show none." " - Let's see, Perle's business profits from war and he is chickenhawk in chief…

What's good for the Jews - Bush fails to make case for war, opening door for anti-Semitism  3/14/03 Working for Change 

Thursday  3/13/03

topArmed U.S. Navy Ships Move to Red Sea  3/13/03 ABC News: "The United States is moving about 10 Navy ships armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean to the Red Sea, senior U.S. officials said Thursday. The move indicates weakening U.S. confidence that Turkey will grant overflight rights for U.S. planes and missiles."

White House sources: U.N. vote might not happen  3/13/03 CNN: "Presidential aides said Bush will move quickly in the aftermath of the U.N. debate -- regardless of its outcome -- to lay out how he sees the path ahead unfolding. His remarks would come within days of a U.N. decision and perhaps within hours, and are all but certain to include a final U.S. ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Britain and the United States said Wednesday they would consider dropping the March 17 ultimatum for Iraqi disarmament compliance if Security Council members accept a proposal to give Saddam specific disarmament tasks to complete in a short amount of time… Diplomats said following a tense three-hour closed meeting that the initial reaction to the British proposals from those opposed to military action -- particularly France and Germany -- was negative. One diplomat accused the British and the U.S. of "sneaky games," and said they were trying to trick the council into authorizing the use of force against Iraq."

FBI probes fake papers on Iraq  3/13/03 MSNBC: "The FBI is looking into the forgery of a key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program, including the possibility that a foreign government is using a deception campaign to foster support for military action against Iraq."

Drug Warriors Shoot Children in Bolivia  3/13/03 NarcoNews: "Three children from the Bolivian coca-growing region of Chapare were rushed urgently to medical centers in the city of Cochabamba. All three suffered bullet wounds from shots fired by officers of the Combined Task Force (FTC in its Spanish acronym), in the town of San Isidro, 175 kilometers from the city. “A soldier was hitting a woman on the ground and I called him a faggot; for that, he shot me,” Miguel Medrano Moya, 16, said between sobs. Medrano had been hit by a bullet in the stomach, and was fighting for his life in Viedma Hospital."

The Lost Perle  3/13/03 New York Press: "Hersh and Perle do have a bit of a history. In the former's book, The Price of Power, Hersh notes that Perle was recorded with a wiretap discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli embassy when Perle was working in the Nixon administration."

Perle Sues, Hersh Voices Fears  3/13/03 NewsMax: "During an interview Sunday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Perle said "Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly." Now he says he's going one step further, planning to file a lawsuit in the UK, where he said "the burden on plaintiffs is much less. "I intend to launch legal action in the United Kingdom. I’m talking to Queen’s Counsel right now," Mr. Perle, who chairs the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a non-paying position, told The New York Sun last night."

Airline data transfers to the US sparks EU rift  3/13/03 Out-Law: "The European Parliament and the European Commission have split over a deal with US officials that requires the transmission of airline passenger data from Europe to the US, a controversial post-9/11 security measure. Yesterday, an MEP threatened to take the Commission to court over the dispute. If you are travelling from Europe to the US, be aware that US Customs will get details that can include, according to the European Parliament: the date of your reservation, the travel agency where you booked your trip, your credit card number, expiry date and billing address, your affiliation to a particular group, your e-mail address, your work address, medical data, and possibly your religion or ethnic origin. And this data might be shared with other US agencies. Understandably, this is causing some concern."

Chile Rejects Iraq Resolution Unless Modified  3/13/03 Reuters: "Speaking to reporters after meeting with President Ricardo Lagos and leaders of political parties, Alvear said, "If we had to vote on the proposal for a resolution that was presented last Friday, Chile would not be accompanying that stance. That means we are not going to support it." She said all the political parties, including center-left members of the governing coalition as well as the rightist opposition, favored voting against the current draft or abstaining… Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan questioned during Security Council consultations on Thursday any immediate deadline for Iraq to fulfill demands that would trigger war, the diplomats said. The six intended to meet Friday and perhaps over the weekend to come up with a common position."

Put Up or Shut Up, Richard Perle - I double-dare him to sue Seymour Hersh.  3/13/03 Slate, MSN: "In mounting Perle's prosecution, the Sun article calls upon Perle protégé Laurent Murawiec, a former follower of Lyndon LaRouche. Murawiec, who made news last year when he gave a PowerPoint presentation before the Defense Policy Board that called for the invasion of Saudi Arabia and the seizure of its oil fields, said to the Sun, "Richard has been in public life for over 30 years and his ethics have never been challenged by anybody." Not surprisingly, no Perle critic or Hersh partisan comments in the piece."

Australia: Resignation fuels more war dissent  3/13/03 The Age, Australia: "Disquiet over Australia's backing for a war on Iraq is widespread across the intelligence, foreign affairs and defence sectors, key insiders say. The resignation of Office of National Assessments senior analyst Andrew Wilkie in protest at the Howard Government's stance reflected views held by many senior officials, former top ONA official David Wright-Neville said. Concerns over the Government's increasing use of intelligence for political purposes were also widespread, he said."

Why People Hate America and Americans: Update  3/13/03 Trinicenter, Trinidad: by Dr. Kwame Nantambu - "People hate America and Americans because America has: Supported repressive monarchies and dictatorships. Ignored torture and other human rights abuses by (their) allies. Suppressed and helped attack democratic movements."

Assassination in Belgrade Costs U.S. a Powerful Ally  3/13/03 Washington Post: "Djindjic's willingness to bend under pressure, highlighted by his extradition of Milosevic in 2001 to face trial by a U.N. tribunal in The Hague, made him a favorite of both the Clinton and Bush administrations. At the same time, it sowed fear and hatred among the ex-Communists and politically connected criminals who retain influence in Belgrade, the Serbian capital."

Turks Add A Hurdle To U.S. War Plans  3/13/03 Washington Post: "Hardening their position, Turkey's leaders insist they need further assurances about post-war Iraq before they allow U.S. troops to deploy along the border for an attack. In a new complication, they also are refusing to let the Pentagon use Turkish airspace without approval from parliament. Despite the acceleration of U.S. military preparations elsewhere, Turkey's leaders appear to be in no hurry to schedule a new vote in parliament on the U.S deployment or use of airspace. They say they are confident that the United States will wait for them because an invasion of Iraq without Turkey's help would be riskier, take longer and result in more casualties. But U.S. officials say the Turkish government has misjudged the Bush administration's determination to move quickly against Iraq and are increasingly pessimistic about Turkey's participation. If Turkey does not offer its full cooperation before President Bush orders an attack, they warned, it risks losing the billions of dollars in aid that the United States has offered and damaging relations with a key ally."

Wednesday  3/12/03

topSecret services accused of masterminding deadly blast  3/12/03 ANNCOL: "In the statement below, issued on 9 March 2003, the FARC deny responsibility. Their statement should be taken seriously. In the collar bomb episode a couple of years ago, the FARC were instantly accused, but they denied any involvement. It was later discovered that members of the national security forces were the perpetrators in a premeditated and cruelly conceived plot aimed at discrediting the FARC and harming the peace process."

How France Helped United States  3/12/03 Arab News: "Once he saw that defeat was inevitable, Lord Cornwallis sent one of his generals to the French General, Rochambeau, proposing surrender. Not to Gen. Washington, but to the French, because it was the French who had defeated the British. As expected, Rochambeau declined the offer and asked the British to surrender to Gen. Washington. After much negotiation Lord Cornwallis agreed and sent his sword to Washington and surrendered to the Americans."

Director of Central Intelligence - Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program  3/12/03 CIA 

Iraqi 'secret surrender' negotiations under way  3/12/03 CNN: "To the dismay of the U.S. officials involved, the secret effort was first publicly hinted at Tuesday by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. When asked at a press conference how the Iraqi military could signal support for the U.S. effort, Rumsfeld said, "They are being communicated with privately at the present time. They are being, will be communicated with in a more public way. And they will receive instructions so that they can behave in a way that will be seen and understood as being non-threatening."

Rumsfeld remark sparks Whitehall panic  3/12/03 Guardian: "The idea that Washington might be contemplating a military assault on Iraq without British troops provoked a mixture of panic and fury in Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence last night."

Goldsmith Award Winner Criticizes Bush Administration  3/12/03 Harvard Crimson: "“I have never seen my peers as frightened as they are now,” Hersh said. Hersh spoke of his own frustration with the Bush administrations both as a reporter and as a citizen. “There is no real standard of integrity because the White House doesn’t have any,” he said. Hersh attacked President Bush for his aggressive style. “It’s scary. I wish I could say something optimistic. I think this guy will do what he wants to do,” Hersh said. Hersh reserved his most intense attacks for Attorney General John Ashcroft. “Ashcroft seems to be confusing his personal definition of God with the Constitution,” Hersh said. “He’s the least knowledgeable and most dangerous attorney general we’ve had.” Hersh then turned his attention to the impending war with Iraq. Hersh said skepticism about a potential war is shared by many Washington insiders. “I have never seen such dissent even with three and four star generals. The war is particularly not popular with the marines,” Hersh said."

'Illegal war' could mean soldiers face prosecution  3/12/03 Independent, UK: "But potential sentences of life imprisonment for soldiers acting on the orders of the Prime Minister will have concentrated the minds of the Government's law officers. Peter Carter QC, chairman of the Bar's human rights committee, said British commanders would have to "adapt a very different attitude to their American colleagues so they can justify every military act of attrition against every target." He said it could cause real difficulties in joint actions between the forces. Mr Solley says British troops will feel "vulnerable" to war crimes charges. "No one thought when they were planning the ICC it would have to consider the consequences of a unilateral invasion by America and Britain of another country." "

Rumsfeld: US may have to launch war without Britain  3/12/03 Independent, UK: "Legal experts added to the doubts by saying British troops could be the first defendants to face war crimes charges if the government joined a war without UN backing. Even the accidental bombing of Iraqi civilian targets could trigger criminal prosecutions, senior lawyers warned last night. In an escalation of the psychological pressure against President Saddam, the air force tested the biggest conventional bomb in the US arsenal, a 21,000lb munition that could play a dramatic role in an attack on Iraq. The bomb is guided to its target by satellite signals. The detonation was expected to create a mushroom cloud visible for miles."

Two big Philippine rebel groups agree to cooperate  3/12/03 Jang: "Communist spokesman Gregorio Rosal, in a radio interview, also warned that US troops would be "legitimate targets" if they moved into strongholds of the leftist New People's Army (NPA) while training Philippine soldiers in counter-terrorism. The NPA, which is fighting for a Marxist state, and the Moro Islamic Libration Front (MILF), the country's biggest Muslim separatist group, each have about 12,000 fighters. The United States has blacklisted the Marxist group as a terrorist organisation. Rosal said the NPA and the MILF had not reached the stage of coordinated attacks but they were cooperating in training and in protecting each other's fighters if attacked. "The field commanders also work with each other. If one is on the retreat then the other shelters him," he said. "I don't know of any discussions to hold joint operations. That is a little difficult. That is still in the planning stage." Some officials have suggested a bombing on March 4 that killed 21 people in the southern city of Davao might have been a joint operation by the groups. The Philippines military has in the past accused the two groups of working together but this is the first confirmation of cooperation from a senior rebel official."

PERLE SUING OVER NEW YORKER ARTICLE  3/12/03 NY Sun: "The editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, is sticking by Mr. Hersh’s piece. "It went through serious reporting, with four members of the board talking to Sy [Hersh], and rigorous factchecking, legal-checking and all the rest," Mr. Remnick told the Sun. He said he took issue with Mr. Perle’s description of Mr. Hersh on CNN Sunday as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist." "I would have thought after all this many years, Mr. Perle would be a bit more refined than that," Mr. Remnick said. The Saudi Arabian ambassador to America, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, is quoted in the article accusing Mr. Perle of "blackmail." "

Iraq Shows One of Its Drones, Recalling Wright Brothers  3/12/03 NYT: "But viewed up close today by reporters hastened by Iraqi officials to the Ibn Firnas weapons plant outside Baghdad, the vehicle the Iraqis have code-named RPV-30A, for remotely piloted vehicle, looked more like something out of the Rube Goldberg museum of aeronautical design than anything that could threaten Iraq's foes. To the layman's eye, the public unveiling of the Iraqi prototype seemed to lend the crisis over Iraq's weapons an aura less of deadly threat than of farce."

Police attack on youth protesters was criminal, sadistic and racist  3/12/03 SF Bay View: "It is expected that the Oakland police would want to monitor this protest, but trying to mow down peaceful protestors with their motorcycles is a completely inappropriate, unconscionable, violent use of force. People were run into with police motorcycles, knocked down, shoved and hit by the Oakland police, including two news reporters covering this event for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. One reporter tried to come to the aid of another woman who had been knocked down by the Oakland police and was then violently set upon herself by the police. Then her companion reporter, who was filming the demonstration, had his camera snatched away from him by the police, and he was also knocked down and beaten by police, who then charged him with attacking them. Both injured reporters and many others were arrested."

Moran's remarks on Jews stoke debate  3/12/03 Washington Times: "Charges of "dual loyalty" and countercharges of anti-Semitism have become common in the feud, with some war opponents even asserting that Mr. Bush's most hawkish advisers — many of them Jewish — are putting Israel's interests ahead of those of the United States in provoking a war with Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. "A stronger Israel is very much embedded in the rationale for war," said Richard Stengel, a columnist with Time magazine's online edition. "It is a part of the argument that dare not speak its name, a fantasy quietly cherished by the neoconservative faction in the Bush administration and by many leaders of the American Jewish community." MSNBC talk-show host Chris Matthews said war supporters in the Bush Pentagon were "in bed" with Israeli hawks eager to take out Saddam. That line of argument has spurred a furious counterattack, with many saying that some of the criticism has crossed the line from legitimate policy debate to classic anti-Semitism." Is it anti-Semitic to point out facts? Among these is the actual role of Jewish organizations, much like that of Cuban American organizations - CANF was created by Reagan, just as now the christian fundamentalist, who have much greater resources than Israel, are driving Middle East policy with Israeli likudnics the junior partner.

Tuesday  3/11/03

topAir Force tests Behemoth bomb in Florida  3/11/03 AP: "A Pentagon official who reviewed a videotape of the test said the bomb created a tall cloud of debris that billowed into the sky but did not resemble the mushroom-shaped cloud of a nuclear blast. The Air Force videotape was to be released later. Some area residents felt the bomb's detonation but said the explosion was not as big as they had expected. "It was kind of weak," said Patricia Sariego, a receptionist at the Best Western hotel in Navarre, on the southern edge of Eglin. She said the blast shook doors."

War protests hit the stage of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction  3/11/03 AP: "Guitarist Mick Jones of the Clash saluted an old friend he went to school with, who he said was in Baghdad, ready to serve as a human shield in case of war."

100 FBI Agents Arrest Saudi Student in Night Raid  3/11/03 Arab News: "Professor Elizabeth Brandt of the University of Idaho College of Law said in a letter sent to Arab News: “The FBI flew in 120 agents, fully armed in riot gear, on two C-17 military aircraft to Moscow, Idaho to arrest one Saudi graduate student for visa fraud. The raid went down at 4.30 a.m., terrorizing not only the student’s wife and three elementary school-aged children but also the families of neighboring students who were awakened by the shouting and lights and were required to remain in their homes until after 8:30 a.m.” Brandt said the indictment of Al-Hussayen itself “does not comport with the university’s understanding of him.” She and others recall Al-Hussayen as a vocal critic of the Sept. 11 attacks, a man who coordinated a blood drive for victims and walked in a town vigil dedicated to their memory. “I don’t know what evidence they have,” said Michael Whiteman, who directs the University of Idaho ‘s international programs."

Annan targets U.S. stance  3/11/03 CNN: "U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said an attack on Iraq would be a violation of the U.N. Charter if it does not have the support of the Security Council."

Lawmaker apologizes to Jewish groups for Iraq remarks  3/11/03 CNN: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," Moran said at the forum in Reston, Virginia, outside Washington last Monday. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should."

The Gangs of DC - Bush Bruisers Cast Eyes on the Pearls of the Orient  3/11/03 Counterpunch: "The ultimate goal is not Iraq--that bombed, blockaded state partially controlled by a witless thug whom the gang once succored--but domination of the world's oil supplies in the coming century, when the surging nations of China and India will reach their economic peak. These vast entities could eventually tilt the imbalance of world wealth away from the Anglo-American elites who have for so long held the high and palmy ground of privilege. But the voracious economies of the Asian behemoths will require unstinting draughts of the oil reserves now locked under the sands of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. There is oil elsewhere, yes--but nowhere else in the world are there reserves deep enough to satisfy the thirsts of China and India as they come into their own."

Venezuela Seeks Evidence of Terror Links  3/11/03 Guardian: "Last week, the U.S. Southern Command's Gen. James Hill said terrorist organizations, including the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah, were operating in border areas of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and on Venezuela's Margarita Island."

U.S. Jewish groups blast lawmaker for linkng Jews and Iraq war  3/11/03 Haaretz, Israel: "Reports of Moran's comments and his apology drew a variety of responses among political leaders and observers of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Virginia Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who is Jewish, said: "Was it tremendously insensitive? Yes. Is [Moran] an anti-Semite? No. I've known this guy since 1979, and he's not an anti-Semite." Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington who opposes U.S. policy toward Iraq and Israeli settlements, said Moran's comments were wrong but not necessarily anti-Semitic. Bush administration officials who advocate strengthening Israel's "power in the region as a surrogate for U.S. interests" are driving U.S. policy, Bennis said, not American Jews. However, "the claim that this is anti-Semitic is just a canard that is designed to undermine the antiwar movement," said Bennis, who is Jewish. "Acknowledging that the Jewish community is one of several influential communities in the U.S. is not anti-Semitic."

France pledges to block a UN resolution authorizing war  3/11/03 IHT: "PARIS President Jacques Chirac of France pledged Monday to veto a UN resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq and said he was considering whether to fly to New York to plead his case personally before the Security Council… Chirac called on other world leaders to join him at the United Nations, but President George W. Bush made clear he would not attend the debate over the proposed resolution, sponsored by the United States, Britain and Spain, that would authorize the use of force against Iraq if it failed to take major steps toward disarmament by March 17. . In Moscow, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the government was "carefully analyzing" whether President Vladimir Putin would travel to New York after the foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, said his government would veto a draft resolution that contained "unattainable ultimatums and demands." . The German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, saying that "France can count on Germany," was planning to fly to New York. "There is no reason at the moment to stop the work of the UN inspectors," Schroeder said. . Chirac said it might not be necessary to exercise France's veto if a majority on the council voted against the resolution, but he made it clear that France was determined to vote "no" if the resolution did garner a majority. . The French foreign minister, Domenique de Villepin, meanwhile, struggled to win support from three African countries against a UN resolution authorizing a U.S.-led attack on Iraq."

Studio audience protests while PM makes case for attack  3/11/03 Independent, UK: "Members of the audience who had lost friends or relatives in the Bali or 11 September bombings appealed to the premier not to put other families through the same horrors. Hannabeth Luke, whose boyfriend was killed in the Bali bombing, said war with Iraq could provoke fresh terrorist attacks on the West."

Media Misquote and Excise Bush Comment About "Scripted" Press Conference  3/11/03 Memory Hole: watching out for Shrub.

New Iraqi radio station enters airwave war  3/11/03 New Scientist: "Mäkeläinen, who operates the website for radio-tracking enthusiasts, says the origin of the station can easily be determined from its content. "One way or another I'd say the American's are involved," he told New Scientist. "It could be indirectly, by channelling money to opposition groups inside Kurdistan, or they could just as well be producing the programmes. They sound rather professional."

Commission grants €8 million in humanitarian aid for Colombia  3/11/03 Reuters: "It is estimated that almost half of the internally displaced people (IDPs) are under the age of 18. A large proportion of IDPs are indigenous people or Afro-Colombians."

Oscars blacklist stars in bid to prevent peace protest speeches  3/11/03 Scotsman: "THE backlash against prominent stars opposing any attack on Iraq has impacted on this year’s Oscars, with organisers drawing up a blacklist of people who will not be allowed a platform to air anti-war views. Meryl Streep, Sean Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman and Spike Lee are among those who will not be speaking, amid fears they could turn the ceremony into an anti-war rally. In a move denounced by some as a return to McCarthyism, star presenters have been ordered to stick to scripts, while winners, who the producers have no control over, could find their acceptance speeches cut if they say anything much more than a brief thank you."

Election gives US forces second crack to use Turkey  3/11/03 Sydney Morning Herald: well, sort of - "Mr Erdogan has asked the US for stronger guarantees that ethnic Turkmens in Iraq - a population of 2 million to 3 million that Turkey says traces its roots to the same ancestors as the Turkish people - would be fairly represented in a post-war Iraqi government. He has sought clarification of what role Turkey would have in shaping Iraq's future, an apparent reference to Turkish concerns that an independent Kurdish state could be established in northern Iraq."

Rumsfeld Backtracks on British War Role in Iraq  3/11/03 Washington Post: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday left open the possibility the United States might invade Iraq without the help of British forces, then quickly backtracked to quell the firestorm his remarks touched off… Britain has committed about 42,000 military personnel, including ground troops, to the potential war effort but only about 25,000 are in the Gulf region so far."

Sorry, Mr. Moran, You're Not Fit For Public Office  3/11/03 Washington Post: Moran will be targeted and removed by AIPAC, the main Jewish lobby, as they did McKinney and Hilliard.

Jewish leaders tell Moran to quit  3/11/03 Washington Times: the rabbis are after him - "We have reached the end of our patience with Congressman Jim Moran and his treatment of the Jewish community and its concerns," said Rabbi Jack Moline, one of six rabbis in Northern Virginia who have called for Mr. Moran's resignation."

Monday  3/10/03

topQuestionable Evidence - Is Weapons Case Against Iraq Disintegrating?  3/10/03 ABC News: "As the Bush administration tries to make the case to America and the world that Iraq is trying to rebuild its nuclear weapons program, some top United Nations officials contend that key evidence against Iraq is crumbling."

Indigenous people give US oil company the boot  3/10/03 ANNCOL: "The Bush administration recently allocated 98 mio. US dollars in military aid and sent Green Berets to protect Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum's oil pipeline in Colombia against attacks from leftist rebels. Now the indigenous U'wa people tell the US oil company (also known as OXY) and its Colombian partners to get out af the U'wa territories."

Missouri County GOP Chairman Resigns Over War  3/10/03 AntiWar: "I have questioned both the motives for military action at this time, and the ever-changing, illogical justifications presented to us in what has to be one of the greatest media propaganda blitzes ever force-fed a populace. Any time ground troops are deployed, serious questions must be asked and real answers demanded. The jingoistic rhetoric we are receiving does not constitute legitimate answers."

At U.N., Since 1990, the United States Has Used Its Veto Power More Than Any Other Council Member  3/10/03 AP: "In the Security Council, France last cast a lone veto in 1976, over a resolution whether the tiny island of Mayotte was part of the newly independent state of Comoros, off the southeast coast of Africa. For the United States, it was three months ago, over a resolution condemning violence in the Middle East, specifically the killing of U.N. employees by Israeli soldiers and the destruction of a U.N. warehouse filled with food for needy Palestinians… And in the often arcane rules governing the United Nations - there is a way to get around a veto. The "uniting for peace" resolution, passed in 1950 to stop North Korean Communist troops from invading South Korea, allows the General Assembly to meet in emergency session and vote on a course of action if the Security Council is unable to establish peace and security. Rarely used, the resolution was suggested Monday by former diplomats who spoke to journalists at the United Nations. "During the Korean invasion, we were smart enough to note that a veto would probably come from the Soviet Union," said former American envoy William J. vanden Heuvel, explaining the genesis of the 1950 resolution. Vanden Heuvel opposes war against Iraq and pronounced President Bush's recent statements about the "irrelevance" of the United Nations "demagoguery." For those in the United Nations who refuse to support force, vanden Heuvel said, "We still have the option of going immediately to the General Assembly and putting it to a vote of the world." "

U.S. Forced to Delay Security Council Vote  3/10/03 AP: "The United States had hoped to present the resolution to the council on Tuesday, setting a March 17 deadline for Iraqi disarmament or war. But the vote was put on hold when it became evident that America and its allies had not yet won the nine votes they needed for a majority. But even nine votes wouldn't be enough. French President Jacques Chirac declared that his country would veto any resolution that opened the way to war. The Russians also said they would vote against the proposal as it was currently worded."

U.S. Foreign-Born Population Hits High  3/10/03 AP: "Census Bureau estimates being released Monday show there were about 32.5 million foreign-born residents in the United States in March 2002, 2 percent more than the 31.8 million in the previous March. In a population of 282.1 million, the foreign born amounted to 11.5 percent. The growth rate had been three times greater between March 2000 and 2001. About 1.2 million people arrived in the country in the 12 months ending in March 2002, compared with 2.4 million the previous year, according to demographer William Frey, who analyzed the figures."

‘Liberating’ the Mideast: Why Do We Never Learn?  3/10/03 Arab News: by the ever eloquent Robert Fisk - "And always, Western invasions were accompanied by declarations that the Americans or the French or just the West in general had nothing against the Arabs, only against the beast-figure who was chosen as the target of our military action. So what happened to all these fine words? The Crusades were a catastrophe for Christian-Muslim relations. Napoleon left Egypt in humiliation. Britain dropped gas on the recalcitrant Kurds of Iraq before discovering Iraq was ungovernable. Arabs, then Jews, drove the British from Palestine and Jerusalem. The French fought years of insurrection in Syria. In Lebanon, the Americans scuttled away in 1984, along with the French."

France will use Iraq veto  3/10/03 BBC: Vive la France!

Q&A: Tony Blair under pressure  3/10/03 BBC: "Why did Tony Blair not sack Clare Short? This is a sign of his vulnerability. Clare Short is the conscience of the Labour Party and under any other circumstances she would have been fired. There's no doubt that Tony Blair is in a very, very weak position indeed. A lot of MPs and trade union leaders are already circling around to see - if Tony Blair does not get that second resolution - whether they could persuade the NEC of the Labour Party to hold a special conference in London to challenge the leadership."

Poll: Losing Patience With The U.N.  3/10/03 CBS: "This poll was conducted after last week’s presidential press conference and Friday’s report by United Nations weapons inspectors. Since then, support for taking military action soon has risen nine points. 52% think the U.S. should give the U.N. and weapons inspectors more time, while 44% think the U.S. ought to take military action soon. Last week, 35% supported taking action soon, and 60% wanted to give weapons inspectors more time." Easily led.

On the Road to Iraq- First Stop: Amman  3/10/03 Counterpunch: "CounterPunchers Bill and Kathy Christison of Santa Fe are traveling to Iraq with a 10-member "Iraq Peace Team" under the sponsorship of Voices in the Wilderness, a humanitarian organization formed in the mid-1990s to oppose the sanctions imposed on Iraq after the first Gulf war. The principal mission of Voices and of the peace team is to be witness to the deprivation the Iraqi people have been enduring under sanctions for many years and now under the threat of war. The Christisons will be in Iraq for a month. Visitors of this site will be familiar with Bill and Kathy, both former CIA analysts, Bill a very senior one, and Kathy offering particular expertise on the Middle East and the Palestinian struggle."

Smearing Sy Hersh - Richard Perle, Ex-patriot?  3/10/03 Counterpunch: ""Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist," Perle told Wolf Blitzer. Perle slandered Hersh because the award winning journalist wrote in the March 17th issue of the New Yorker: "There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war." "

Vietnam 2 Pre-Flight Check  3/10/03 Counterpunch: "Vietnam 2, you are cleared to taxi."

An Oil Field Too Far???  3/10/03 Defense and the National Interest: experts analyze some of the problems the US faces going into Iraq.

Britain and US spell out steps to avoid attack  3/10/03 Guardian, UK: "Britain and the US have been forced into more concessions in their demands on Saddam Hussein in a desperate attempt to try to win over wavering countries on the UN security council. Bowing to pressure from the swing states in the last days of frenzied lobbying, America and Britain agreed yesterday to set out the precise acts of disarmament Saddam would have to undertake by March 17 to avoid war, rather than demanding wholesale disarmament. The move to detail the specific steps required of Saddam follows lobbying from Chile, one of the undecided states on the security council, for greater clarity. The precise requirements demanded of Saddam will be published, probably in parallel with the already-amended UN resolution proposed by Britain, the US and Spain setting the March 17 deadline. In a further sign of flexibility, Downing Street also suggested that the vote on the amended resolution could be further postponed until later this week. Previously Washington had pressed for the resolution to be forced to a vote tomorrow, but the delay is designed to give the UK and the US badly-needed extra time to canvass support for its revised position."

Ultimate test for cabinet's loose cannon  3/10/03 Guardian, UK: "But Ms Short felt Mr Blair had either lost the argument with the US, or the will to fight. Mr Blair will be especially angry that she has acted in this way as he battles to square the circle diplomatically between the US hawks and the waverers on the security council. Last night his allies said he felt betrayed, let down and undermined since he was given no prior indication that she would launch this attack. His aides said she had undermined the whole UN process by suggesting a vote for military action on the UN would only be the product of US bullying."

PENTAGON THREATENS TO KILL INDEPENDENT REPORTERS IN IRAQ  3/10/03 GuluFuture: "The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned."

Mandela won't be going to Iraq  3/10/03 Independent, SA: "Nelson Mandela will not visit Iraq either as a mediator or as a human shield after advice from his family and aides, said his office on Monday. The former president's family and advisers had expressed serious concerns about any plans for him to travel to Baghdad, said spokesperson Zelda la Grange in a statement."

LUNCH WITH THE CHAIRMAN by SEYMOUR M. HERSH Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?  3/10/03 New Yorker: the article that made Perle call Hersh a terrorist - "During the Reagan Administration, Khashoggi was one of the middlemen between Oliver North, in the White House, and the mullahs in Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Khashoggi subsequently claimed that he lost ten million dollars that he had put up to obtain embargoed weapons for Iran which were to be bartered (with Presidential approval) for American hostages. The scandals of those times seemed to feed off each other: a congressional investigation revealed that Khashoggi had borrowed much of the money for the weapons from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (B.C.C.I.), whose collapse, in 1991, defrauded thousands of depositors and led to years of inquiry and litigation. Khashoggi is still brokering. In January of this year, he arranged a private lunch, in France, to bring together Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi industrialist whose family fortune includes extensive holdings in construction, electronics, and engineering companies throughout the Middle East, and Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq… Perle is also a managing partner in a venture-capital company called Trireme Partners L.P., which was registered in November, 2001, in Delaware. Trireme’s main business, according to a two-page letter that one of its representatives sent to Khashoggi last November, is to invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defense. The letter argued that the fear of terrorism would increase the demand for such products in Europe and in countries like Saudi Arabia and Singapore."

War in Iraq May Bring New Cold War to Europe, East Asia  3/10/03 Pacific News: "America could still win the war but lose the peace. One post-war scenario is that the Saudi monarchy could be overthrown, as was the Shah of Iran in 1978. Another is that Muslim Middle Eastern countries could drag America into a long-term, unlimited war of terrorism. It could also mean that the United States will lose the solid backing of Europe on the world stage that it had long counted on. And if the North Korean crisis gets worse, the Cold War -- or even a Hot War -- could return to East Asia. George W. Bush hopes the war against an Iraq weakened by years of sanctions will be short and efficient. But he would do well to remember what generals and even politicians have said for thousands of years: "Wars are easy to get into but hard to get out of." "

Spain's Aznar questions French "interests" in Iraq  3/10/03 Reuters: this is akin to anti-Semitism, France's trade with Iraq is insignificant. This British news service also singles out the French in its headline when the article talks about France, China, and Russia.

Iraq's secret counterattack  3/10/03 Star Ledger, NJ: "The U.N. report increases the estimate for Saddam's presumed stockpile of anthrax, for example, from 8,500 liters to 10,000. "Based on all the available evidence, the strong presumption is that about 10,000 liters of anthrax may still exist" and could still be viable, it said. U.N. inspectors also warned that they may have underestimated the danger of Saddam's aging supply of mustard gas, a systemic poison that blisters the skin and is lethal if inhaled. Recent tests confirmed the "high purity" of sulfur mustard stored in artillery shells for 12 years. In addition, previous U.N. reports stated that Iraq had not accounted for as many as 550 artillery shells and 450 aerial bombs filled with mustard gas. "However, based on a document recently received from Iraq, this quantity could be substantially higher," the report notes. Iraqi officials blame the discrepancy on faulty accounting. Former U.N. inspectors say the report also reveals new details about Saddam's secret plan to launch chemical and biological weapons if Baghdad had been attacked in 1991. The existence of the 75 "special" warheads was revealed in 1995, and they were subsequently destroyed." Translation: some feeble effort to retaliate against the Hiroshima level bombing of Iraq may be made if the Iraquis still have the equipment in working order.

Indonesians stage mass prayer against war in Iraq  3/10/03 Stuff, SA: "Officials with the moderate Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's leading Islamic group and organiser of the prayers, estimated 700,000-800,000 poured into a military parade ground in Surabaya for the event, which broke up peacefully at midday. A military official estimated the crowd at 700,000."

Blair minister's threat to quit over 'reckless' war  3/10/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Britain's minister for international development, Claire Short, said today she would resign if the government followed the United States into a war against oil-rich Iraq without the authorisation of the United Nations. Short's warning came only hours after a member of parliament in Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party confirmed he was stepping down as an aide to the government because of its stance on Iraq and the Sunday Times newspaper said another nine aides were expected to follow suit if Blair went to war without a UN mandate."

The virtual realities of war  3/10/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "It's one thing to restrict a handful of reporters to sanitised news opportunities; it's another to keep all soldier or civilian accounts off the internet." Hables Gray says that during Vietnam, the underground press and the stories of the soldiers coming home helped spread anti-war sentiment along with TV news. "Now, the underground press is the web, and the stories of soldiers and civilians will spread much quicker than 35 years ago."

Angola wooed and blackmailed into backing US  3/10/03 Telegraph, UK: "Diplomats were reluctant to speculate on whether America and Britain had threatened to expose the spectacular corruption of the Angolan elite. According to the International Monetary Fund, some £3 billion of Angola's fast-growing oil revenues have disappeared in the past five years into a "Bermuda triangle" between the presidency, the state bank and the state oil company. The diplomat pointed to the inducements the US can offer Angola. During a recent visit, America's Africa secretary, Walter Kansteiner, promised President Jose Eduardo dos Santos US support for a World Bank aid programme. He also gave £35 million to be distributed among aid agencies based in Angola."

Sen. Joe Lieberman Erases Ties to Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Group  3/10/03 The Memory Hole: "With his eyes firmly fixed on the White House, Senator Joseph Lieberman is making moves to whitewash his religious record. Specifically, "Holy Joe" (as he's sometimes called) is trying to erase his association the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization that tries to get fundamentalist Christians to support Israel, especially the emigration of Jews in the former Soviet Union to Israel. If you haven't been paying attention lately, fundie Christians are growing ever more supportive of Israel, since the creation of that country and the return of Jews to it are two of the big steps on the way to the joys of Armageddon, the Apocalypse, the Rapture, etc., etc. The Fellowship plays on these beliefs by constantly invoking "biblical prophecy," conveniently forgetting that in the End Times scenario, Jews must either convert to Christianity or roast in hell forever."

U.S. Stocking Uranium-Rich Bombs?  3/10/03 Wired: "But critics such as British researcher Dai Williams contend that only uranium -- in one form or another -- possesses the density and other characteristics necessary to achieve the penetration levels attributed to such weapons as the 2,000-pound AGM 130C air-to-ground cruise missile, and the guided bomb unit, or GBU, series of laser-guided hard-target penetrators intended to pierce bunkers and other reinforced structures. Williams and others also claim that patents covering conversion or modification of earlier generation bombs for use as bunker-busters indicate that depleted uranium is being used in these weapons. For example, the patent application for a narrow-profile version of the BLU-109B bomb (which is delivered by a GBU-24) specifically refers to penetrating bodies made of tungsten or depleted uranium."


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes

Maps & Weather

A number of maps here

Estimates of the total number of Muslims range from 0.7 to 1.2 billion worldwide and 3 to 6 million in the U.S. About 20% of all people on earth follow Islam. The religion is in a period of rapid growth.

Christianity is currently the largest religion in the world. It is followed by about 33% of all people -- a percentage that has remaind stable for decades. It is expected that, if current trends continue, Islam will become the most popular religion sometime in the mid-21st century.


Death from America

Iraq news: Soaring death rates among Iraqi children, 1999 BBC, UNICEF 500,000 child deaths

Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq, 1/26/2000
1.5 million deaths

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