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    World News
3/17/03 - 3/23/03

Sunday  3/23/03

Doubts and Questions - Slow Aid and Other Concerns Fuel Iraqi Discontent Toward United States  3/23/03 ABC 

Commander of Iraqi division reported surrendered vows to fight on  3/23/03 AFP: "I am with my men in Basra, we continue to defend the people and riches" of the town, Colonel Khaled al-Hashemi, commander of the 51st Mechanized Division, told the satellite television channel Al-Jazeera. "We have made sacrifices within the division to defend our sacred places and our honour," he said without giving any other details."

Iranians take pot shots at US-British forces in Iraq  3/23/03 AFP: "A Royal Marines spokesman said: "We are content that the fire from Iran was inaccurate and ineffective, but none the less puzzling" ...Iranians living on or near the border with Iraq were suspected of having sympathies with their Iraqi neighbours."

Afghanistan sees its first war protest  3/23/03 AP: "There's been a rare display of public anger in Afghanistan over the war in Iraq. About one-thousand people protested in eastern Afghanistan today. One military official says it was peaceful."

Imágenes y videos de Al-Jazeera muestran la masacre de la población civil en Irak  3/23/03 Aporrea, Venezuela: graphic images from the Iraq Lynch Party courtesy of Al Jazeera and a Venezuelan site, where they know they may be next.

Oil giants in Nigeria retreat  3/23/03 BBC: "Fighting between two local communities, the Ijaw and Itsekiri, has been raging for more than a week, drawing in thousands of soldiers… The army accused Ijaw militants of being behind the attack. The Associated Press news agency quoted an Ijaw leader, Dan Ekpebide, as threatening to blow up 11 oil installations captured from the three companies in retaliation for army raids. "We'll blow up these flow stations and blast the pipelines," he said. "We will take Nigeria 20 years backward." Ijaw leaders say a state of siege has been imposed on them, with navy gunboats and troops imposing a 24-hour blockade on the creeks around their villages, according to the AFP news agency… The Ijaw are demanding more political representation and compensation from oil companies operating in the area. They say the oil industry has polluted their fishing communities."

'Sharpest' fighting in war to date - As many as 10 Marines killed; 12 U.S. soldiers missing  3/23/03 CNN 

Soldier detained in fatal grenade attack on Army base  3/23/03 CNN: a black soldier in a unit known for it high percentage of whites.

Special forces in Baghdad as Saddam's armies reel  3/23/03 Guardian: "Iraqi troops pull back for final showdown · Thousands surrender in battle for Basra · US forces advance to within 100 miles of capital "

Iraqi POW footage angers coalition  3/23/03 Guardian, UK: the hypocritical fools have nothing to say about Fox and others doing exactly the same with Iraqi POWs.

Belgium FM: No EU for Turkey if troops enter Iraq  3/23/03 Haaretz: "Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said on Sunday it would be "unthinkable" to allow Turkey to join the European Union if Ankara defied U.S. and NATO leaders and sent its forces into northern Iraq."

Iraqi diplomat predicts application of weapons containing depleted uranium  3/23/03 IRNA: "Meanwhile, certain news sources inside Iraq say the US and British forces had on Sunday used weapons, containing depleted uranium, in their attacks on Basra. They said the weapons are feared to target T72 tanks."

Italian anti-war protesters rally around US base in Sicily  3/23/03 IRNA: "Several thousand anti-war demonstrators rallied outside a US base in Sicily on Sunday in a series of protests in Italy against US-led war in Iraq."

USWAR/View of an Indian defense expert  3/23/03 IRNA: "But this time around American President George Bush is under tremendous pressure from the International opinion and even from inside America, he said, adding that if the war prolonged and casualties of American forces go high then not only this will have negative impact on the morale of American forces but also cause more resistance from Saddam's loyal forces. Bhat, who also served as the spokesman of India's Ministry of Defense before, criticized the role of western media for war coverage, saying that they are disseminating only those news they are being given or those for which they are being requested."

Basra on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe - Red Cross  3/23/03 ITAR-Tass: "The second largest city of Iraq, Basra, has no electricity supply and tap water, which is fraught with a humanitarian catastrophe, representatives of the Red Cross report. On Sunday morning the British and American military command annulled the earlier plan to seize Basra because of the unexpectedly fierce resistance of the Iraqi troops on the city perimeter. Thus the British division, whose task was to take control over Basra, has moved north to Baghdad. Some units were left to block the city on perimeter." They will now be punished for their resistance.

Iraqi TV Shows POWS That US HaD Denied  3/23/03 Jihad Unspun: "The Pentagon denied early reports that US soldiers had been captured and have minimzed the overall casualties so far in an effort to keep the American public supporting the war effort. Although Al-Jazeera broadcast this footage around the world, Western media was forbidden from future airings."

Turkey: Troops Would Ensure Stability in N.Iraq  3/23/03 Reuters: ""The heroic Turkish Armed Forces, the guarantor of peace at all places and at all times, will once again extend their hand to those in need of help," Erdogan said in a television address. "The presence of Turkish soldiers in the region will be an element of security and stability for Turkey and the region," he said, speaking on the eve of a visit by U.S. envoy Zalmay Zhalilzad to discuss northern Iraq." Just like they protected the 100,000 Kurds they slaughtered in Turkey during the 90s.

U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan, Six Dead  3/23/03 Reuters: ""The crash was not the result of enemy action," Central Command said in a statement. " They never are!

Turks hem Kurds in on three fronts  3/23/03 Telegraph: "Kurdish troops inside northern Iraq were in a tense stand-off with apparently hostile Turkish forces last night after Ankara deployed tanks and commandos at least 15 miles south of the border. In the small town of Vamerni, three miles beyond the "buffer zone" announced by the Turkish government, eight Abram tanks were positioned around a bombed-out building on a strategic ridge overlooking the valley. Armoured personnel carriers and other military vehicles were also in partly concealed positions. Kurdish troops at a garrison on the opposite side of the road watched apprehensively as their traditional northern enemies prepared for the arrival of reinforcements."

Iraq: US, Nigeria Trade Harsh Words  3/23/03 This Day: "According to Onyia, the US decision, coming so soon after Nigeria's expression of opposition to the US-led war on Iraq is "sheer intimidation." Onyia added, however, that if the US had indeed decided to suspend its military assistance to Nigeria, "so be it." "

Mounting U.S. casualties dispel modern war myths  3/23/03 USA Today: "But they've given the public a misleading impression about war. A weekend USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds that even after the first U.S. deaths, more than a third say fewer than 100 U.S. troops will be killed or injured in the conflict. That compares with just 12% in 1991 who thought the first Gulf War would end with so few casualties. A nation that mistakenly views wars as safe could be more prone to start one and less likely to back it if the going gets tough."

Around Globe, Protest Marches - In N.Y., 200,000 Take to Streets  3/23/03 Washington Post: the pro-war Post has 200,000, other media has 100,000, but the line was 4 miles long - "Nearly 200,000 antiwar demonstrators took to the streets of Manhattan today, protesting the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq even as bombs rained down on Baghdad again. Smaller demonstrations took place across the nation, from thousands marching in San Francisco -- where 2,200 have been arrested in recent days -- to several hundred protesters snaking through downtown Washington, chanting "No blood for oil!" In New York, there were a smattering of pro-war demonstrators, numbering a few dozen. In Louisville, about 400 military wives, leather-clad bikers, veterans and others massed and declared solidarity with U.S. soldiers. In downtown Chicago, a cluster of pro- and antiwar demonstrators faced off outside the Federal Building. Chants of "Killer! Killer!" were met by the response: "Idiot! Idiot!" There were demonstrations around the globe. About 100,000 demonstrators marched through downtown London, a far smaller number than the 1 million who trooped there for a "Stop the War" rally in February. Polls in Britain have shown that, although support for Prime Minister Tony Blair is rising, about half the population opposes the war. Elsewhere in Europe, about 100,000 marched in Madrid and 40,000 turned out in Berlin. There were rallies in Paris, Rome, Helsinki, Brussels and Lisbon."

Move on Basra Met by Strong Iraqi Resistance  3/23/03 Washinton Post: "U.S. Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunships fired repeated volleys of missiles and machine gun blasts at targets in and around Basra today, touching off blazes that sent half a dozen huge plumes of black smoke wafting over the strategic southern city. The helicopters, attacking in pairs, swooped in low through the smoke, firing their missiles, then circling away, with two others immediately behind. Relentlessly, the helicopters bombarded Iraq's second-largest city from two directions, making at least a dozen forays during a 30-minute period. The missile strikes were interspersed with long blasts of heavy machine gun fire from the whirring attack aircraft. The intense attacks late this afternoon underscored the resistance mounted by Iraqi defenders around Basra despite earlier reports that the city of more than 1 million had already fallen to U.S. Marines and British Royal Marines advancing swiftly up the main road from Safwan, 25 miles to the south on the Kuwaiti border. Along the road, British and U.S. tanks and armored vehicles were seen racing toward the fighting, but there were no visible attempts by ground forces to enter the city. The repeated helicopter passes against the blackened sky and the deafening thud of the explosives hitting the ground created a scene reminiscent of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when Kuwaiti oil fields were set afire by retreating Iraqi troops. It was unclear what was burning, but the direction and the thickness of the black smoke covering the horizon suggested some oil facilities around Basra may have been set ablaze."

U.S. dismayed as Turkish troops pour into northern Iraq  3/23/03 World Tribune: "Washington has been dismayed by the invasion of Turkish troops into northern Iraq. Officials said thousands of Turkish troops have crossed the border into Iraq in an operation that was not coordinated with the United States."

Did translator shortage backfire?  3/23/03 WorldNet Daily: "As two Kuwaiti Arabic translators are held along with an American Muslim sergeant in the fragging attack at Camp Pennsylvania, questions are being raised about the Army's heavy reliance on local translators rather than qualified U.S. military Arabic speakers and interrogators."

Muslim-American soldier detained in Kuwait attack  3/23/03 WorldNet Daily: "Lacey, the Time magazine reporter imbedded with the 101st, was in the tent next to the two tents that were the object of the grenade attack. In a phone interview, he told Fox News that the soldier responsible has an "Arabic-sounding" last name. Asked what his explanation of the perpetrator's motives, he said he believed "it was part of his misguided interpretation of his Muslim faith." "

Rachel Corrie's Mother Speaks Out  3/23/03 Znet: "One of her goals was to bring attention to the reality of the lives of the people in Gaza. She told me that this was one of the best things she did in her life. She loved the people, and their generosity towards her, although they had so little. She talked of the way people took her into their homes, into their families, and she spoke of their dignity, despite their suffering."

Saturday  3/22/03

topProtests and vigils denounce the war  3/22/03 AP 

U.S., British forces move in on Basra Allied forces meet with some resistance, but take airport  3/22/03 AP 

Thousands across Canada protest war in Iraq  3/22/03 CBC: "Tens of thousands of chanting, banner-waving Canadians took to the streets across the country Saturday to protest the war on Iraq and, in several cities, expressed their displeasure by burning the American flag. The biggest demonstration took place in Montreal where crowd estimates were pegged at more than 200,000, similar in size to the one staged last weekend prior to the start of the U.S. campaign to oust dictator Saddam Hussein and amongst the largest worldwide Saturday."

G.I. Held In Attack On U.S. Soldiers  3/22/03 CBS 

"I'd Like to Report a Revolution" - The Battle In San Francisco  3/22/03 Counterpunch 

TotalFinaElf evacuates tense Nigeria oilfield  3/22/03 Forbes: "TotalFinaElf shut its oil production facilities in Nigeria's western delta and evacuated workers on Saturday because of spiralling tribal unrest in the area, company officials said."

Peaceniks lost the war but changed the shape of battle  3/22/03 Guardian 

Thousands join anti-war demos  3/22/03 Guardian, UK: "As demonstrators were making their way along Oxford Street our officers came under fire from bottles and other debris from some of the demonstrators," said a spokeswoman. "As such it was necessary for us to put a cordon in place in order to contain the crowd and try to prevent further objects being thrown." Protest groups say that over 100,000 people turned out to demonstrate in London, though the Metropolitan police have not confirmed that number."

50, Including Russian, Killed In Bombing Of Basra  3/22/03 Islam Online 

CNN Gets The Boot, The Truth Begins To Emerge  3/22/03 Jihad Unspun 

Houston Fears It's Target No. 1  3/22/03 LA Times 

Resolution Opposed by Wary 11  3/22/03 LA Times: "House Democrats, including five from California, vote against expressing support for U.S. troops and Bush. Some saw it as a trap."

Nigeria's Ogoni say "assassins" raid leader's home  3/22/03 Reuters: "Gunmen stormed the home of the leader of the Ogoni people of Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta on Saturday in an apparent bid to kill him, the Ogoni rights group MOSOP said. MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People) said Ledum Mitee was in Britain when eight armed men raided his home in the southeastern oil city of Port Harcourt. Mitee is a former associate of MOSOP founder Ken Saro Wiwa, the activist author hanged by Nigeria's late dictator Sani Abacha in 1995. He was originally charged alongside Saro Wiwa." The Fulani jihad at it again.

US leaves Pakistan as protest spreads  3/22/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "The United States closed its embassy in Pakistan yesterday for an indefinite period as protests grew countrywide against the US-led attack on Iraq… In neighbouring Afghanistan, the UN on Thursday temporarily suspended non-essential operations as Kabul peacekeepers stepped up patrols amid fears of a backlash to the Iraq attack."

Peace movement will last, activists say  3/22/03 The Olympian, Washington 

Google refuses our ad - Opposing war makes Unknown News a "hate" site  3/22/03 Unknown News: Google weighs in as pro-war.

CIA Questioned Documents Linking Iraq, Uranium Ore  3/22/03 Washington Post: "CIA officials now say they communicated significant doubts to the administration about the evidence backing up charges that Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Africa for nuclear weapons, charges that found their way into President Bush's State of the Union address, a State Department "fact sheet" and public remarks by numerous senior officials. That evidence was dismissed as a forgery early this month by United Nations officials investigating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. The Bush administration does not dispute this conclusion."

Saudi Officials Shield U.S. Troop Presence From Public  3/22/03 Washington Post: "The Saudi monarchy, concerned about a public backlash against the war and fearful of inflaming the passions of Muslim extremists, is going to great lengths to cloak the degree to which it is cooperating with the United States against neighboring Iraq. The sensitivity about the U.S. troop presence here is so acute that even souvenir snapshots pose a sensitive diplomatic challenge at the remote Saudi desert air base, not marked on any map, where U.S. forces direct the air war against Iraq."

Washington, DC: Antiwar Protesters Spar With Police  3/22/03 Washington Post: "Unlike antiwar marches in Washington in recent weeks, in which organizers have largely worked with authorities to map out march routes, moments of the demonstrations took place in defiance of a heavy federal and local police presence. Shortly after noon at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, marchers brushed aside barricades to gain access into Lafayette Square across from the White House, which has been closed to demonstrations larger than 25 people following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Later, as a several hundred marchers left the square to head up 14th Street, the chanting protesters circled back on themselves and ducked into alleys near Logan Circle to escape a police escort… Today's demonstration was the latest in a series of antiwar gatherings in Washington, organized by a variety of peace groups, that have led to roughly 100 arrests since Monday for acts of civil disobedience. The rally and march were just a few of the antiwar demonstrations around the country, from New York City to San Francisco."

Sparing the public the horrors of war  3/22/03 Yellow Times: "Arab TV networks, notably Abu Dhabi TV, Al-Jazeerah, and Al-Arabiya have shown scores of Iraqi civilians -- women and children -- as they are brought into hospitals and triage units for treatment. In the early hours of the aerial assault, the casualties were light. However as the hours turned into days, the pictures of Iraqi wounded became more disturbing, more grotesque. None of these images were shown on U.S. networks. Not CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, NBC, etc. The question is why? The answer: support for the war may drop markedly."

The Missiles by Robert Fisk  3/22/03 Znet: watching bombs and missiles hit in Bagdad.

Friday  3/21/03

topIraqi Resistance- Forces Roll Into Iraq; Some Face Fire  3/21/03 ABC News: "In addition to the British gains, U.S. Marines this morning raised the American flag over the new port of Umm Qasr after facing light resistance, Reuters reported." Old habits die hard, as Americans make use of that overdone symbol which has its origins in the flag of the East Asia Company, a fitting ancestry.

Oil Fields Seized - Key Peninsula Under U.S. Control; First Combat Death  3/21/03 ABC News: "The taking of the al-Faw peninsula in southern Iraq was the first significant seizure of territory. It is Iraq's only access to the sea. Four U.S. troops and eight British soldiers died during the operation when their CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed. The British military said it was not taking fire when it went down." Yet another chopper accident, just like the many in Afghanistan and Colombia, never the result of enemy fire!

Four killed in Yemen during anti-war protest  3/21/03 Al Bawaba: "Abdel Karim al-Khiwani, spokesman for the union of Yemeni opposition parties, which organized the protest, told UPI that police had opened fire to stop demonstrators from reaching the U.S. embassy. An eyewitness said that an 11-year-old boy was among the dead. Leaflets called for President George W. Bush to be tried as a war criminal."

Pentagon Strategy Creates Rift Among Hawks  3/21/03 Alternet: "A "decapitation" strategy targeted on Hussein, his sons, and a few other top Ba'ath officials without a full-scale invasion and occupation represents a dangerous threat to the neocon vision for the future of the Middle East. "As in Operation Desert Storm, the measure of victory in this war against Iraq will not be how big we start but where and when we stop," said the message from resident fellow Tom Donnelly."

Montreal: Fans boo as U.S. national anthem is played  3/21/03 AP: "Fans booed during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before the New York Islanders' 6-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. The sellout crowd of 21,273 at Bell Centre was asked to ''show your support and respect for two great nations'' before the singing of the American and Canadian national anthems. But a significant portion of the crowd booed throughout ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' in an apparent display of their displeasure with the U.S.-led war against Iraq. More than 200,000 people turned out for an anti-war demonstration in Montreal last Saturday."

Nigeria accuses U.S. of cutting military assistance over Iraq  3/21/03 AP: "Nigeria's deputy foreign minister on Friday accused the United States of suspending military assistance to the West African nation because of its opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq… Nigerian authorities on Thursday banned anti-war demonstrations across the country, fearing violent protests against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. The U.S. Embassy in the capital, Abuja — and the consulate in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city — were shut Friday for "security reasons," an embassy official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity."

Editorial: Depleted Uranium  3/21/03 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: "Medical experts believe that there is a strong connection between depleted uranium and leukemia and other cancers. The likelihood of absorbing it is increased significantly if a weapon has struck a target and exploded because the DU vaporizes into a fine dust and can be inhaled. Figures from southern Iraq, where depleted uranium was extensively deployed during the 1991 war, show a 100 percent increase in leukemia in the decade up to 1999 in children under 15 years of age, while overall cancers in these children increased by almost 250 percent."

Kingdom Could Be a Future Target for US, Say Young Saudis  3/21/03 Arab News, Saudi Arabia 

Seattle: Anti-war activists block freeway  3/21/03 Bellingham Herald, WA 

They have reached too far - Bush's road leads to ruin for himself and his Pirates  3/21/03 Black Comentator: "We are all assembled, the world's people, awaiting the Pirates' lunge at history. The Bush men have made sure we pay rapt attention to their Big Bang, their epochal Event, after which the nature of things will have changed unalterably to their advantage - they think. The Bush men are certain of our collective response, convinced that once we have witnessed The Mother of All War Shows, humanity will react according to plan, and submit."

Conyers Studying Impeachment  3/21/03 Black Commentator 

Buried treasure: Washington Post discloses US cheated on inspections - and MORE!  3/21/03 Buzzflash: "In a twist that could complicate the effort, the White House has decided, for now, to assign no role in the disarmament effort to the key U.N. agencies that were charged by the Security Council with carrying out the search for banned weapons."

Chirac to resist control of postwar Iraq by US allies  3/21/03 Financial Times: "Just hours after Tony Blair, British prime minister, called for a new UN resolution on the reconstruction of Iraq, Mr Chirac said France would not accept a dominant US and British role in such efforts. "France will not accept a resolution that would legitimise military intervention and give the US and British the powers of administration in Iraq," he said. Mr Chirac, in his end-of-summit press conference, also toughened his rhetoric against the war allies, claiming their action "breached international legality". His words reflect a French determination that having failed to stop the war, it will attempt to set the terms of the peace through the UN."

U.S. Soldiers on Al Qaeda Hunt Face Rocket Attacks  3/21/03 Fox News: "Attackers fired 11 rockets toward a U.S. base in the eastern town of Orgun-E, near the Pakistani border, on Thursday, but none landed closer than 500 yards from the base, Col. Roger King said." Just like in Nam.

Ads pulled from TV war slots  3/21/03 Guardian, UK: "It's an understandable move. They spend a lot of money on big campaigns and don't want to be associated with death and destruction."

Anti-war protests sweep globe  3/21/03 Guardian, UK: "In the UK, many anti-war protesters took to the streets on bikes to express their opposition to the coalition assault. The protest caused traffic problems in cities including London and Sheffield and followed the wave of demonstrations across the UK yesterday."

Could U.S. be at war for years?  3/21/03 Haaretz, Israel: "The issue was raised in Israel well before the assault began, prompted by remarks earlier this week by former prime minister Shimon Peres. "The war in Iraq is just the beginning," Peres told Israel Channel One Television. "Problems of the first magnitude can be expected therafter, as well: Iran, North Korea, and Libya." As in Orwell's 1984, where a perpetual war kept the populace in line.

Bush had Iraq in his sights before he became President  3/21/03 Independent, UK: "When Tony Blair visited Washington days after 11 September, he found Mr Bush determined to strike not only al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan, but Iraq as well. Mr Bush was persuaded that Afghanistan should be tackled first and only then should planning turn to Iraq. Consequently, after the Taliban were overthrown, Mr Bush's attention swung back to Iraq."

From the streets of San Francisco to the cities of Bangladesh, millions unite to voice their protests  3/21/03 Independent, UK: "Demonstrations against the war in Iraq erupted on every continent yesterday. Millions of people opposed to the United States-led military invasion abandoned their work or studies and took to the streets. Most protests were peaceful although a handful became violent, usually when police in riot gear sought to keep marchers away from American embassies and consulates. In some Muslim countries, the protests gave renewed vigour to Islamist political parties that are using the war as a recruiting tool."

Iran: Supreme Leader denounces "satanic" US-led attack on Iraq  3/21/03 IRNA 

Massive demonstrations in New Delhi, Bush effigy burnt  3/21/03 IRNA: "Massive demonstrations led by various secular Indian parties marched on the Parliament street on Friday shouting anti-US war slogans and later burnt the effigy of George W Bush."

War will not stop after Saddam's downfall - Lebanese minister  3/21/03 IRNA 

Asian Muslims Warn Americans: 'You'll Never Live In Peace Again'  3/21/03 Jihad Unspun: "Muslim leaders in Asia today condemned the US attack on Iraq, warning that Americans would never live in peace again. Speaking minutes after George W Bush announced that war in Iraq had begun, Syafii Maarif, head of the 30-million-strong moderate Muhammadiyah Muslim group in Indonesia, said: "This is not an attack on Islam but an attack on humanity." "

Thousands Of Afghan Arabs Rumored In Baghdad  3/21/03 Jihad Unspun: "The London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat quoted Islamist fundamentalists in London as stating that thousands of Arab Afghans (a term applied to Arabs who volunteered to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan) have entered Iraq to participate in suicide missions against American forces. The same sources also revealed that 2,500 Lebanese Islamists have been in Iraq for six months in special training camps. In what the newspaper describes as "a gentleman's agreement" between the Iraqi government and the Islamists, the latter will be allowed to carry out their operations without operating under the banner of the Ba'ath party, as is a secular party."

Kirkuk Oil Fields May Have Been Secured - BBC  3/21/03 Reuters: "U.S. special forces may have secured the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq, the BBC said on Friday, quoting unnamed intelligence sources. "The oil fields of Kirkuk which are the busiest in Iraq may have been already secured by American special forces," correspondent John Simpson told BBC World television from the region's front line."

Turkish Troops Move Into North Iraq  3/21/03 Reuters 

'It doesn't look like they'll go without a fight'  3/21/03 Telegraph, UK: "Despite widespread reports that many Iraqi units might be willing to surrender, there was scepticism among front-line troops. "It doesn't look like they'll be laying down their arms to me," said one soldier. "We had hoped for the defections to have begun by now but instead things are really hotting up." Behind every bush and derelict farmhouse seemed to lurk a tank or armoured personnel carriers under camouflage."

Three US helicopters down in 24 hours  3/21/03 Times, UK 

Thirteen U.S. Embassies and Consulates Forced to Close  3/21/03 Voz de Aztlan 

US Anti-War Protests Flare, More Than 1,000 Arrests  3/21/03 Washington Post: "Police arrested more than 1,000 people in San Francisco on Thursday -- the most demonstrators taken into custody on a single day in the city in 22 years -- as tens of thousands protested across America against the U.S. war in Iraq."

Baltimore Marine Dies In Chopper Crash - Victim's Father Has Strong Words For Bush  3/21/03 WBAL, Baltimore: "It's sad that this war is going on and that we have to lose so many people over nothing. I can't bring my brother back, but I really miss him," one of the soldier's sisters said."

Wave of rocket attacks hits US forces in Afghanistan  3/21/03 Yahoo: "Spokesman Colonel Roger King said Friday more than a dozen rockets were targeted at three separate US bases in what was the largest assault on US forces in almost five months. The attacks came as up to 1,000 personnel continued a major air and ground offensive against al-Qaeda, code-named "Valiant Strike", in mountains near the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan."

Thank you, President Bush  3/21/03 Znet: "Thank you for adopting your current position and thus ensuring that, at the plenary session, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin’s anti-war speech was greeted with applause – something, as far as I know, that has only happened once before in the history of the UN, following a speech by Nelson Mandela… Now that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like to say, as an ancient European king said to an invader: ‘May your morning be a beautiful one, may the sun shine on your soldiers’ armour, for in the afternoon, I will defeat you.’ "

Thursday  3/20/03

topExpose the Anti-War Movement  3/20/03 AIM: "Should they be jailed? Unless there’s evidence that they are agents of Iraq or planning terrorism, that isn’t necessary, proper, legal or constitutional. But it is important that the major media tell the truth about the nature of these demonstrations. And since the U.S. is at war and Congress has overwhelmingly endorsed war on Iraq, the question of sedition and treason is certainly debatable. Soldiers on the war front have told their families that the well-publicized protests staged by the anti-war movement have been demoralizing to them." During their air-conditioned stroll through Injun Country as part of the 7th Cavalry? As always, the Buffalo soldiers take the most important objectives.

Major solidarity conference to be held in London  3/20/03 ANNCOL: "In order to highlight the critical situation in Colombia - another conflict involving oil, terrorism and US military intervention - the UK-based Colombia Peace Association is co-hosting a major conference in Central London with their sister organisation in the British trade union movement ‘Justice for Colombia’ on Saturday, March 22nd. Speakers include leading opposition figures from Colombia and US professors James Petras and Noam Chomsky."

Antiwar activists hold protests and vigils in Washington, other cities  3/20/03 AP 

More than 100,000 people participate in Greek anti-war protests, tens of thousands in Italy  3/20/03 AP: "Tens of thousands of protesters marched on American embassies in world capitals Thursday to protest U.S.-led attacks on Iraq. Demonstrators and police clashed in Egypt and the Philippines. In Cairo, the Egyptian capital, riot police used water cannons to keep about 1,000 stone-throwing demonstrators, mainly students from the American University in Cairo, from reaching the U.S. Embassy."

Colombia: Paramilitares dispararon fuego de morteros contra el territorio venezolano en la zona de río de Oro  3/20/03 Aporrea, Venezuela: "Un grupo numeroso de paramilitares emplazado en la población colombiana de La Pista disparó intensamente con fusiles, ametralladoras y morteros durante toda la tarde contra el territorio venezolano donde se encuentran mayoritariamente familias refugiadas provenientes del vecino país. Se presume que el ataque dejó heridos y muertos en una cantidad que aún no ha sido precisada porque nadie hasta ahora ha podido- por la inseguridad reinante- entrar a ese lugar de la franja limítrofe del estado Zulia con el departamento Norte de Santander para verificar tales hechos… El fuego de los terroristas destruyó la unidad educativa Simón Bolívar, conocida como La Escuelita, un proyecto desarrollado por la comunidad de refugiados para los niños campesinos venezolanos y colombianos. Igualmente, una cooperativa de consumo."

US launches major al-Qaeda hunt  3/20/03 BBC: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi earlier this month. He is suspected of being the mastermind behind the 11 September attacks, and is now in US custody. Officials say Mohammed has been providing details to his interrogators and that subsequent arrests have taken place on a basis of this information." If indeed he was captured, which is not certain, he would have to be tortured severely to be giving this information, which is also not certain.

Venezuela: ordenan liberar a empresario  3/20/03 BBC Mundo: "Un tribunal de apelaciones ordenó este jueves la liberación del empresario Carlos Fernández, uno de los dirigentes del paro nacional de diciembre y enero convocado por la oposición para presionar por la salida del poder del presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez."

Racial division seen in war backing  3/20/03 Boston Globe: "Blacks and Hispanics sign up for and serve in the military in slightly disproportionate numbers, but members of Congress from those minority groups, many of them veterans, are nearly all opposed to the war in Iraq."

Security Council members blast U.S. for strikes on Baghdad  3/20/03 CBC: Will they invoke Resolution 377 in the UN?

Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' Begins  3/20/03 CBS: "Col. Michael Linington, of the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, says three Patriot missiles were fired, knocking down the incoming Iraqi missile. He adds that the Iraqi missile did not have a chemical warhead." OK.

MPD Arrest Group For Civil Disobedience At Truax Field  3/20/03 Channel 3000, Madison, WI 

Protesters close Drive  3/20/03 Chicago Sun Times: "Protesters snarled downtown streets and shut down traffic on part of Lake Shore Drive after a demonstration outside the federal courthouse Thursday night. Late rush-hour traffic northbound on the Drive was stopped for blocks as demonstrators surged through police lines… On Chicago streets, police outnumbered protesters much of the day, but about 2,000 people filled Federal Plaza downtown for a late-afternoon rally that spilled onto nearby streets, blocking traffic toward the end of rush hour."

Marines roll into Iraq  3/20/03 CNN: "The 3rd Squadron of the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, lead element of the 3rd Infantry Division, rolled from Kuwait into southern Iraq early Friday, according to a CNN reporter accompanying the troops." Into Indian Country.

UN to have no political power in postwar Iraq  3/20/03 Financial Times, UK: "US officials made it clear the UN would have no political authority in postwar Iraq and its role would be mainly humanitarian. The international community is also expected to help pick up the bill… Statements by US officials have revealed the determination of the Bush administration to exert full and immediate authority over Iraq, while keeping options open in the long term. "Iraqi democracy will have to be defined by the Iraqi people," Mr Grossman said. Answering a question, he said he hoped that one of the first decisions of a new Iraqi government would be to recognise the state of Israel." Dumb and dumber.

After an Iraq war, the catastrophe  3/20/03 IHT: "Also open to question is the prevailing American assumption that if Washington shoulders most of the costs of the war, other countries (and the promptly resumed sale of Iraqi oil following the war) will pay for the longer term costs of reconstruction."

No-flags order causes a flap along the front line  3/20/03 IHT 

Soldiers of elite Delta Force prepare to hunt down Baghdad's 'dirty dozen'  3/20/03 Independent, UK: The D boys had a hard enough time getting their own out of downtown Mogadishu.

Council leader backs civil disobedience  3/20/03 Inside Scotland: "THE leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, Danny McCafferty, says he would support civil disobedience protests against war on Iraq. Councillor McCafferty, who is standing as an Independent candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary elections for the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency, said people have the right to protest against the “unacceptable& #x201D;."

Action In Afghanistan, One US Soldier Killed  3/20/03 Jihad Unspun: "Three explosions have occurred in Nangarahar province’s capital Jalalabad and Kandahar city. According to details, a remote controlled bomb exploded near the American base in Kandahar during which a military jeep was destroyed killing one soldier aboard."

Indonesian Muslims Treaten US Diplomats With Expulsion  3/20/03 Jihad Unspun: "Anshor spokesman Munawar Fuad Noeh says if diplomats do not leave Indonesia voluntarily within 48 hours of the start of any attack, they could face forced expulsion by the people. Anshor says should war break out, the movement will also try to close down all US companies operating in the country."

Report: U.S. Plans to Tap $40Bln Iraq Account  3/20/03 Moscow Times: "A senior UN diplomat involved with the program in New York said late Wednesday that the UN liked to keep details of those earmarked funds "close to its chest." Another account, for the central and southern regions of the country, has a cumulative shortfall of almost $5.4 billion in approved contracts that could not be covered by revenues due to fluctuations in the oil supply, the UN spokesman said. It also has another $9 billion in funds earmarked for other deals still in the pipeline. However, the senior diplomat denied that Iraq had $40 billion in any or all of its United Nations' accounts. "The $40 billion is the amount that has gone through one of Iraq's UN accounts under the oil-for-food program over the last six years,'' he said on condition of anonymity. "That's how much has been used.""

Iraq Leader Exhorts His People to Draw Arms Against Invaders  3/20/03 NYT: "But as war neared, the extraordinary friendliness with which Iraqis faced with an American-led military attack have continued to greet visitors, especially from the United States and Britain, was offset by isolated incidents that confirmed that for some people here, America truly is the Great Satan, as Mr. Hussein called it during the Persian Gulf war. At a traffic light, one man in uniform, spotting Westerners waiting in a vehicle beside him, pulled a Kalashnikov rifle from the seat beside him and snapped a fully loaded magazine sharply into its breech before roaring away. Here and there, other foreigners reported being spat at. In several neighborhoods with potential military targets, Iraqis reported that pits had been dug and filled with heavy-grade oil, to be set afire to cast a pall of smoke to slow attacks from the air and ground and to choke American troops."

Fortunes of war: hunt for Saddams billions  3/20/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Saddam, named by Forbes magazine as equal third-richest ruler in the world with the Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein - overshadowed only by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the Sultan of Brunei - has a known personal wealth exceeding $US2 billion, according to Forbes. Richard Armitage, the Deputy United States Secretary of State, says the figure is closer to $US7 billion." Forbes is also the same source that "guestimated" Fidel Castro as being very wealthy…

Oliver North lets fly on TV  3/20/03 Telegraph, UK: Ollie is widely regarded as head dope smuggler in Coca Contra during the 80's, with the support of major Miami Mafia elements.

Turkish troops mass on border  3/20/03 Telegraph, UK: "Up to 70,000 Turkish troops were massing on the country's border with Iraq yesterday, preparing to launch lightning raids to create a 40-mile buffer zone in Kurdish northern Iraq when war begins. The news of the build-up came as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, confirmed that US forces would not be allowed to use air bases for strikes against Iraq."

Attack illegal, experts say  3/20/03 Toronto Globe & Mail: "The U.S.-led coalition's war against Iraq is illegal, say dozens of Canadian law professors and experts in international law, including a member of the Liberal government caucus."

War predictions fall flat with missile attack  3/20/03 USA Today: "In Baghdad, Saif al-Kadi, 51, an Iraqi engineer, said the first bombs hit about 5:30 a.m. "Many, many missiles have hit us, maybe 40 or 50," he said. "They are hitting an area where Ali Baba (a reference to Saddam) is hiding. We know this is the beginning." " Ali Baba y los quarenta ladrones…

CIA Had Fix on Hussein  3/20/03 Washington Post: "Then another three hours passed, and Hussein made what was billed as a live appearance at 12:30 a.m., Eastern time, today. In their first urgent review, U.S. analysts were said to be uncertain whether the man on the screen was in fact Hussein, or was speaking live. One official said the case against the broadcast's authenticity included that Hussein has several body doubles and his glasses looked nothing like the ones he normally wears. Though Hussein mentioned yesterday's date in the broadcast, that corresponded to Bush's ultimatum for war and could have been recorded. He said nothing specific about the bomb and missile strike. On the other hand, an official said, "the rhetoric is not unlike rhetoric he has used in other speeches." "

National Guard in at Oscars, Will Smith Out  3/20/03 Washington Post: "Smith, star of "Men in Black," was scheduled to present an award at the show. He withdrew before the U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq got underway in earnest on Thursday. "He felt uncomfortable in attending and respectfully asked to be excused. There's no agenda, there's no speeches. He just didn't feel personally comfortable in going because of the world situation," said his publicist, Stan Rosenfield. Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, who is nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar for "The Man Without a Past," said he would stay home in a protest against the war in Iraq. Artists United to Win Without War -- a group of more than 130 celebrities who have campaigned against war -- has produced a special peace pin for the event. Artists including Dustin Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Jim Carrey, Ben Affleck, Michael Moore and Kirsten Dunst have agreed to wear it on awards night."

Deep Concerns by Noam Chomsky  3/20/03 Znet: "Just a few days ago, the head of the non-aligned movement, which includes the governments of most of the world’s population, described the Bush administration as more aggressive than Hitler. He happens to be very pro-American, and right in the middle of Washington’s international economic projects. And there is little doubt that he speaks for many of the traditional victims, and by now even for many of their traditional oppressors."

Wednesday  3/19/03

topIf the War Starts, the Next Business Day We Call for Mass, Nonviolent Direct Action in Downtown San Francisco. No Business as Usual! Meet 7am at Justin Herman Plaza in SF.  3/19/03 Act Against the War: "Our goals are to nonviolently transform downtown San Francisco from profiteering and war to life and resistance. We will create an open, welcoming and inspiring space that gives voice to the anti-war movement as an assertion of real democracy. This includes nonviolently shutting down key intersections, government offices, and certain corporate offices which will stand to reap outrageous financial profits from the devastation of Iraq and the Iraqi people. We are asking people to form affinity groups."

African Peoples Against The War On Iraq & The Iraqi People - International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice  3/19/03 AfroCubaWeb: "A Community Rally for Peace and Justice, Saturday, 29 March 2003, 11:00 am, Leimert Park in Los Angeles, CA - Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 35th District, Dr. Maulana Karenga, and many others. Planning Meetings held every Tuesday and Friday @ 6:30 pm, African American Cultural Center"

As War On Iraq Begins, Peace Activists Persevere  3/19/03 Alternet 

Colombia: Paramilitares mantienen secuestrado a grupo de campesinos e indígenas venezolanos  3/19/03 Aporrea: "Por un llamamiento humanitario recibido la noche de este martes en la capital zuliana se supo que una avanzada paramilitar secuestró a varios campesinos e indígenas venezolanos, estos últimos de la etnia Barí, establecida en el poblado de Bokshí, zona suroccidental de la sierra de Perijá, a quienes los irregulares condujeron a una finca situada en territorio colombiano donde son mantenidos en condiciones incompatibles con los derechos humanos y la vida."

Arab Opinion of US Hits All-Time Low  3/19/03 Arab News: "The most significant drops in US ratings occurred in Morocco and Jordan. In 2002, for example, 34 percent of Jordanians had a positive view of the United States as compared with 61 percent who had a negative view. In 2003, only 10 percent of Jordanians now hold a positive view of the United States, while 81 percent see the country in a negative light. Similarly, in Morocco the favorable/unfavorable rating toward the United States in 2002 was 38 percent to 61 percent. Today it is 9 percent favorable and 88 percent unfavorable. The United States’ favorable/unfavorable rating was already quite low in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. It has remained low. In 2002, the ratings in Egypt were 15 percent favorable to 76 percent unfavorable. In 2003 Egyptians’ ratings of the United States are 13 percent favorable and 80 percent unfavorable. In Saudi Arabia the rating toward the Untied States was 12 percent favorable to 87 percent unfavorable in 2002. Today it has dropped to 3 percent favorable and 97 percent unfavorable."

Neo-Totalitarianism  3/19/03 Arab News: from a conservative Saudi Arabian paper - "Thus without Hitler’s deranged ambitions, the Third Reich might really have lasted a thousand years. Similarly, if Stalin had kept his genocidal ambitions in check, the Soviet Union might have continued to enjoy its initial popularity among sections of the West and at home. With these examples in mind, the leader has been eliminated as a factor in US politics. George W. Bush’s very nullity as a politician throws into relief the fact that the US has long been governed, not by its people, but by interests that are happy to remain largely anonymous, do not rely on individuals for their hold on power, and are recognizable in public mainly by a soothing corporate blue."

Black liberals need to respond to insult of Rice by Baraka  3/19/03 Baltimore Sun: Baraka has outdone Belafonte.

Blair wins war backing amid revolt  3/19/03 BBC: "Amid dramatic scenes in the Commons on Tuesday night, 217 MPs - 139 of them Labour backbenchers - backed a rebel amendment opposing the government's stance on Iraq, with 396 opposing the motion."

Media giant's rally sponsorship raises questions  3/19/03 Chicago Tribune: "Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein, and the common thread linking most of them is Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations."

Tighter security plans target asylum seekers  3/19/03 Contra Costa Times 

"We Copied Our Tactics from Israel"- Medellín: Life Under Paramilitary Occupation  3/19/03 Counterpunch: "The state and paramilitaries that appeared after 1999 fear and loathe such independent community organizing as much as they do the "revolutionary" militias. Paramilitaries had displaced a considerable minority of Comuna 13's residents from the countryside in Urabá in the 1980s and 90s, many of them Afro-Colombians; all arrived in Comuna 13 with venerable traditions of village organizing and protest intact. Operation Orion and the subsequent paramilitary occupation of Comuna 13 have, however, displaced the displaced."

A Cheap Family Farce - This War is Brought to You By…  3/19/03 Counterpunch: by Pepe Escobar

Gulf deployment leaves US military stretched thin  3/19/03 CSM: "Although US forces deployed to the Persian Gulf are smaller in absolute size than they were in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm, America is sending a higher proportion of its combat units into battle at once than it has in decades… But, despite a longstanding military doctrine of "two-war" capability, a long war or occupation of Iraq will strain the military's ability to do much more than hold out against other potential enemies."

In Search of a Sensible Grand Strategy (IV): Alliance SITREP on Eve of War  3/19/03 Defense and the National Interest: lists Powell's 30 countries, which include Turkey and Colombia, where a senior diplomat was unaware of the listing.

13 Palestinians killed, including toddler, two teens  3/19/03 Haaretz, Israel: "Eleven Palestinians, including a two-year-old girl, were killed in two separate raids in the Gaza Strip yesterday, and another two died in a blast in the West Bank. Palestinians, meanwhile, fired five Qassam rockets at Sderot and other towns in the western Negev, hitting an empty bus in Sderot, but causing no injuries Seven of the deaths occured during a raid on the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. At around 3 A.M. yesterday, according to Palestinian sources, dozens of Israeli armored personnel carriers and tanks backed by helicopter gunships rolled into the camp from the direction of Netzarim to arrest Mohammed Sa'afin, a senior Islamic Jihad operative."

US to round up all Muslim and Arab asylum-seekers  3/19/03 Independent, UK: "The United States has ordered the detention of all political asylum-seekers from a long list of Arab and Muslim countries, infuriating immigrant advocates who say it violates international human rights law. The Department of Homeland Security announced the policy shift as part of its tightening of security in anticipation of a war with Iraq, codenamed Operation Liberty Shield. "Asylum applications from nations where al-Qa'ida, al-Qa'ida sympathisers and other terrorist groups are known to have operated will be detained for the duration of their processing period," the department said on Monday night. It described the initiative as temporary, "reasonable and prudent"." Off to the Concentration Camps.

15 Taliban Suspects Held For Blasts  3/19/03 Jihad Unspun: "Akram said the building, in the upmarket Shaw-i-Naw area of the city, home to many international aid agencies, was used as a base to coordinate a wave of rocket attacks or explosions in city during the past six weeks, killing 20 people and injuring more than a dozen. “They would distribute bombs, make plans and assign people with duties, all under cover of an organisation to help reconstruct Afghanistan,” Akram said."

US Troops Move For Operations Against Afghan Resistance  3/19/03 Jihad Unspun: "American military have transferred over 150 personnel and half a dozen helicopters after establishing a new military head quarter near Pak-Afghan border- Bairy Kot. The reason for the establishment of this HQ is mainly to start the search and arrest operations for Gul badin Hikmatyar, Al-Qaida and Taliban members."

Antiwar camp has plans of its own  3/19/03 MSNBC 

You Mean Saddam Didn't Gas His Own People?  3/19/03 NYT: "I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair. This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target."

Religious Zeal Makes 'Short War' in Iraq Doubtful  3/19/03 Pacific News: "In the car lot of foreign relations, Americans have been sold a lemon -- a clean, fast "war in Iraq." Americans should not be fooled, writes PNS commentator William Beeman, into thinking any war so deeply cast in terms of religion will be short-lived, or that its consequences will be limited to Iraq."

Two Arrested In Antiwar Protest  3/19/03 San Diego Channel 

Military hospitals stretched to the limit  3/19/03 Scotsman, UK: "Lt-Col Kevin Beaton, the senior medical officer for the British battle group in the northern Kuwaiti desert, said the limited resources would be overwhelmed by a campaign of more than six months. And he admitted that they had no chance of coping with the number of casualties from both sides which are expected in the opening days of a war."

Abuse of Chechens was illegal, says Putin  3/19/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has admitted for the first time that Russian military operations have gone beyond legal limits in Chechnya. In a televised address to the rebel republic, Mr Putin said that federal troops' sweep operations, where civilians are routinely arrested and disappear, were a "plague on the people". "

France offers aid to troops in event of bio-attack  3/19/03 Telegraph, UK: "M Chirac declared categorically: "Iraq does not represent today an immediate menace that would justify an immediate war." Within hours of issuing this criticism, his senior diplomats made public a secret assurance he had given to Mr Blair in a telephone conversation last week: that France would not stand by if weapons of mass destruction were used against coalition troops. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to Washington, said: "If Saddam Hussein were to use chemical and biological weapons, this would change the situation completely and immediately for the French government. We have equipment to fight in these circumstances." In London, French officials offered a similar olive branch. The diplomats did not say precisely how France would respond, but suggested that it might assist with decontamination teams."

Top White House anti-terror boss resigns  3/19/03 UPI: ""Hardly a surprise," said one former intelligence official. "We have sacrificed a war on terror for a war with Iraq. I don't blame Randy at all. This just reflects the widespread thought that the war on terror is being set aside for the war with Iraq at the expense of our military and intel resources and the relationships with our allies.""

Operation Dire Distress, Washington, 3/22-3/24, San Francisco, 3/22  3/19/03 Veterans Against the Iraq War: "All military veterans, active-duty GI's, reservists, and family members are encouraged to attend. Veterans should wear their medals, ribbons, parts of their uniforms, etc., and all participants need to bring American flags, banners, and protest signs."

With War Imminent, Veterans Are Angry  3/19/03 Veterans Against the Iraq War: "Many veterans who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War are furious that the Bush administration is hell bent on destroying the hard work of peacemaking in its bullheaded stumbling to war in Iraq. About to take their message to the streets of Washington, read what they are saying."

In Shock and Awe  3/19/03 Village Voice: "With President Bush issuing ultimatums, many activists are turning to civil disobedience. On Monday, Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire and 44 others were arrested for blocking access to the U.S. mission to the United Nations. The protest was part of a nonviolent campaign called by United for Peace and Justice and the Iraq Pledge of Resistance (, which included 54 arrests outside the Capitol and another 40 outside the British consulate in San Francisco. On Friday, the former president of the Pacific Stock Exchange was arrested with 79 others after a sit-down in San Francisco that snarled rush hour traffic for hours; the next day 157 were caught during a breakaway march downtown. War could bring yet bigger disruptions. In San Francisco, the anarchist-oriented Direct Action to Stop the War ( has posted a "menu" of strategies to "shut down" that city if the U.S. launches an invasion—everything from traffic slowdowns and bike brigades to lockdowns at the offices of defense contractors and oil companies. While that kind of militancy has been slow to jell in New York, frustration is building. "In the last 24 hours, I've had 50 people contact me who say they are willing to be arrested—and most of them are people who say they've never been arrested before," says Brad Simpson, who is helping organize civil disobedience trainings with the War Resisters League. For weeks there's been a call for protesters to assemble in Times Square at 5 p.m. if war begins. Over the weekend, organizers from 25 peace groups made plans for feeder marches to converge there. There was also talk of traffic blockades and sit-ins at congressional offices."

The War After the War - U.S. Army Documents Warn of Occupation Hazards  3/19/03 Village Voice: "According to recent unpublicized U.S. Army War College studies being read with increasing interest by some Pentagon planners, "The possibility of the United States winning the war and losing the peace in Iraq is real and serious." "

Arrests in Anti-War Protests Across the U.S.  3/19/03 Washington Post: "Police asked the protesters to disperse and about two dozen refused. They knelt on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House with life-size photos of Iraqi women and children. Earlier, a group of women staged a mock funeral procession to Congress. Clad in pink shirts smeared with fake blood, carrying maimed plastic babies, the group was also leading the procession to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's house."

Don’t Tread on Them: Exploring the Anti-War Right  3/19/03 Weekly Dig, Boston: "However, after the Second World War, the GOP received an influx of disenchanted ex-New Dealers and New Leftists who retained the Trotskyist ideal of using military might to create a global economic and political order – trading Marxism or social democracy for state capitalism. “[Neoconservatism] has made [the conservative movement] more globalist, less Middle American, probably less racist …and much more aggressive in foreign policy," says Scott McConnell, executive editor of The American Conservative. “Most of the major conservative journals are wholly or partially neocon …[President] Bush has completely staffed his administration with neocons, especially in foreign policy." While McConnell, a former neoconservative, recognizes the branch’s more progressive contributions to racial issues, he considers its penchant for military intervention “unhinged." "

Pro-war Propaganda Machine - Media Becomes Branch of War Effort  3/19/03 Zmag: "IN THE former USSR, people knew that the country’s state-owned newspaper Pravda would peddle Moscow’s line, no matter how outrageous the lies. George W. Bush can’t boast that the Republican Party owns the country’s newspapers, television stations or radio networks. But he can still count on a press that’s nearly as obedient as Pravda."

Tuesday  3/18/03

topPM under siege after committing Australian troops to Iraq war  3/18/03 AFP: "Australian Prime Minister John Howard was forced to leave home by a back door Wednesday as anti-war protesters blocked the front gates of his official residence here."

Venezuela:Coordinadora Democratica Objetivo: Derrocar al Tirano  3/18/03 Agua Mansa: "Agua Mansa publica este documento de la Coordinadora Democrática dado su interes politico y la evidencia del reconocimiento por su organismo de sus errores y cambios tácticos."

War Means Rights May Be Scaled Back  3/18/03 AP: ""The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires." "

Llamados a la desobediencia civil en EE.EU., en protesta contra la guerra  3/18/03 Aporrea: "Hoy continuaron las acciones de desobediencia civil que ayer culminaron con unos 200 arrestos en Washington, Nueva York y San Francisco, entre otras ciudades (entre los detenidos estaba la premio Nobel de la Paz Mairead Corrigan Maguire). Esta noche en Nueva York se realizó una manifestación de emergencia contra la guerra en Union Square, con aproximadamente mil participantes, entre ellos estudiantes, algunos líderes comunitarios latinos y religiosos. En la capital están programados actos de desobediencia civil empezando este miércoles para coincidir con el término del ultimátum a Saddam Hussein."

Anti-war axis hits back at US  3/18/03 BBC: "Europe's leading anti-war nations have lashed out against the decision by the US and UK to invade Iraq unless Saddam Hussein quits."

US to use depleted uranium  3/18/03 BBC: Cancer rates shot up after the 91 war, especially around Basra, where many DU munitions were expended. Occupying troops and residents have much to fear as the US continues its use of nuclear weapons.

Amandla! Music and the Movement  3/18/03 Black World Today: "At the beginning of the nearly two-hour long film, which focuses on how the music galvanized the political movement against the draconian system of segregation and oppression in South Africa, a body is being exhumed from a grave. Recovered is the skeletal remains of Vuyisile Mini, a worker, poet, freedom fighter. Mini was a member of the African National Congress when he was arrested and tried for sabotage and the murder of a police informant. He was convicted and hanged in Pretoria Central Prison in November, 1964. "He went to the gallows singing one of his freedom songs," a comrade and fellow musician recalls in the film. Members of his family and a number of friends are gathered around the grave as parts of his body are handed up from the grave. Most moving is when his skull is at last given to his son and daughter. Several times in the film we see Mini's handsome, smiling face as people recall his splendid bass voice and the songs he composed. One of them has been passed down through the years like an anthem. "Watch Out, Verwoerd" is the tune that is a song of defiance, assailing one of the architect's of apartheid. "These songs were meant to scare the shit out of them," said trumpeter Hugh Masekela, whose commentary and music are featured in the film."

Something is Terribly Wrong in America by CYNTHIA McKINNEY  3/18/03 Counterpunch: "Dick Cheney's Halliburton Company which, by the way, just announced that it had a radioactive device stolen in Africa, not only has an unprecedented 10-year, unlimited contract to feed and supply US troops, but it also has a $33 million contract to build the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. And now we learn that Halliburton will also repair Iraqi oil fields in case of damage in the war. In addition, The Guardian newspaper informs us that Halliburton still pays the Vice President up to $1 million each year in deferred salary payments. Meanwhile, back on the Chickenhawk farm, we learn from the most recent New Yorker magazine that Richard Perle incorporated the Trireme Partners company after September 11 and now stands to gain financially from a war in Iraq."

Why I Had to Leave Blair's Cabinet - This Will be a War Without Support at Home or Agreement Abroad - by ROBIN COOK  3/18/03 Counterpunch: "I have resigned from the cabinet because I believe that a fundamental principle of Labour's foreign policy has been violated. If we believe in an international community based on binding rules and institutions, we cannot simply set them aside when they produce results that are inconvenient to us."

Moderate Muslims fear fundamentalist backlash from war  3/18/03 CSM: "But from Pakistan to Indonesia, Islamic reformers who are allies of pluralism and moderation are watching the kmassing of US troops in the Gulf with something approaching panic. They expect an Iraq war to galvanize Muslim populations - but not in the way the US hopes. They fear that in the slipstream of invasion will be a surge of global Muslim anger that will play into the hands of fundamentalist politicians and curtail reformers' influence."

Briefing on Depleted Uranium  3/18/03 Defense Link, US: "We looked at some 90 Gulf War veterans who were in or on an armored vehicle when it was struck by depleted uranium in friendly fire. And those individuals have been followed on an annual basis now we are talking 12 years post-incident. And we do not see any kidney damage in those individuals -- and this is using very sophisticated medical evaluation of kidneys." This straw group ignores the fate of the crews cleaning tanks, many of whom have died.

In Iraq Crisis, Networks Are Megaphones for Official Views  3/18/03 FAIR 

Analysis / The U.S. is almost alone in its war on Iraq  3/18/03 Haaretz, Israel: "Another possibility is that the Security Council will attempt to undertake a resolution condemning the unilateral step taken by the United States and Britain, which according to the UN Secretary General, will be in violation of the organization's treaty. This proposal does not have a real chance to be accepted, and if it is submitted, it would serve only as a declarative step by the opposing countries." A bit more than declarative, use of Resolution 377 will outlaw the US action.

American shot dead in Yemen  3/18/03 Independent, UK: "An American oil worker was killed in Yemen and another Westerner, believed to be a Canadian, was wounded in a shooting attack in Yemen today. The attack took place in the oil–rich the northern province of Marib, about 100 miles north–east of the Yemeni capital San'a."

Clare Short says she'll stay, but Blair hit by two more Ministerial resignations  3/18/03 Independent, UK: Short, it will be remembered, also backed the NATO bombings in Kosovo.

Peace activists say protester was killed deliberately  3/18/03 Independent, UK: "The International Solidarity Movement said yesterday that Rachel Corrie was in the line of vision of the bulldozer's driver on Sunday as she stood in his path to try to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Rafah camp. "When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside she climbed up on to the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it ... to look directly at the driver who kept on advancing," the group said in a statement." A death that will be remembered.

The Bush Ultimatum To Iraq  3/18/03 Jihad Unspun: Bush's 3/17 speech. The "sheriff" does the Italian-Spanish-French westerns proud - a stock character in these films is the protestant preacher leading a gang of criminals in their depradations. Sometimes he becomes the sheriff the better to control a territory.

Legal Basis for an Invasion Open to Interpretation  3/18/03 LA Times: "Many experts in international law question the legal basis for war, since the United Nations did not authorize the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein, either in 1990 or last fall."

Saudis Stock Oil Reserve to Make Up for Iraq Loss  3/18/03 NYT: "Saudi Arabia has amassed a reserve of nearly 50 million barrels of oil that it plans to use to compensate for possible disruptions of Iraqi oil exports if war erupts, according to a senior Saudi official and industry experts who have been told about the supply buildup."

America's Image Further Erodes, Europeans Want Weaker Ties  3/18/03 Pew Research 

Nuclear inspectors reportedly angry  3/18/03 San Jose Mercury News: "As United Nations nuclear inspectors flee Iraq, some of them are angry at the Bush administration for cutting short their work, bad-mouthing their efforts and making false claims about evidence of weapons of mass destruction."

History's deadliest night of airstrikes will start the war  3/18/03 Times, UK: "COALITION forces plan to launch the deadliest first night of airstrikes on a single country in the history of air power. Hundreds of targets in every region of Iraq will be hit simultaneously. The aim is to shock the regime of President Saddam Hussein into submission. By the time that more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles have hit their targets on the first two nights of the campaign, it is expected that Saddam’s military units will be unable to function." One in 10 buildings in Bagdad will be destroyed and never to be counted thousands killed.

Daddy Warbucks - Bush Pals Get Rich Off Iraq  3/18/03 Village Voice: Again. "Unwilling to wait for bombs over Baghdad, Washington lobbyists kicked off the real Iraq war weeks ago. They've been quietly squaring off for the contracts to implement George Bush's one-year remake of Iraq, the squalid dictatorship, into Iraq, the gleaming democracy."

Analysis Of Situation In Guatemala  3/18/03 Znet: "The balance of the past three years of FRG (Guatemalan Republican Front) party control over the government is negative. Headed by President Alfonso Portillo and President of Congress Efraín Ríos Montt, the deterioration is due to Guatemala's economic, political, moral and social crises; government corruption; the ongoing confrontation between the government and CACIF (the Coordinating Committee of Commercial, Agricultural, Industrial, and Financial Associations); the failure to fulfill the Peace Accords; the government's support of the reorganization of counterinsurgency structures such as the former PACs (Civil Defense Patrols); and the resurgence of political violence carried out by clandestine groups. The climate throughout the country is polarized, confrontational, violent, and full of despair. This environment has invaded most sectors of the population, which has been struck by hunger and an unjust system characterized by the privileges of a minority oligarchy that resists change. Added to all of that, there has been a shocking increase in drug trafficking, while the quantity of drugs confiscated has decreased and the anti-narcotics police have stolen two-thirds of the cocaine that was seized."

Preparing The Nation For War - An Annotated Critique of Bush's March 17th Address  3/18/03 Znet 

Monday  3/17/03

topFlowers in the Dark Winter of War  3/17/03 Alternet: "Yet, you don't hear about it. All you hear is the White House pounding the war drums, the political yak-show hosts frothing for war, and the Democratic leaders in congress meekly mouthing their support. The people, however, mostly are not swallowing it. When I say "the people," I don't just mean just the campus groups and peace organizations. Now they've been joined by the president of the AFL-CIO and several hundred thousand union members who are stoutly patriotic... and just as stoutly opposed to Bush's war. They are joined by the Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, evangelical Christians, Catholic Bishops, and other church groups that are agressively organizing againsts George's Iraq Attack. They are joined by Mothers Against War, a mushrooming grassroots group that began in a living room in Massachussets. They are joined by a veterans group led by vets who were in the last war against Saddam, when George the Elder was president. They are joined by corporate leaders who oppose the madness. They are joined by Black Voices for Peace, which has launched a poor people's peace movement, just as Martin Luther King, Jr. did back in '68."

Ambassador Murdoch leads delegation to Cuba  3/17/03 Antigua Sun: "Antigua & Barbuda’s non-resident ambassador to Cuba Colin Murdoch left the island over the weekend at the head of a delegation from Antigua & Barbuda on an official visit to Cuba. The delegation is expected to hold bilateral consultations with the Cuban authorities on a number of co-operation projects, which are ongoing between both countries. At the top of the list of projects is the future of the Cuban medical team, which has been in Antigua & Barbuda since May 2000. Government had previously negotiated a one-year extension for the team because of their excellent performance."

Bush demands UN action; France, allies push 30-day extension  3/17/03 AP: "France, unmoved by the summit, planned to push ahead with its proposal, a 30-day timetable for Iraq to meet disarmament tasks to be set by Blix. The plan doesn't include an ultimatum."

How a Cabal Manipulates America’s Post-Sept. 11 Psyche  3/17/03 Arab News: "But an examination of how Perle, Wolfowitz, and their cohorts in the administration misled the president and the American public is already beginning. Part of this examination is being legally handled by the FBI, as Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt report in the Washington Post on March 13. Many believe this probe to be only the tip of the iceberg. The American and world press have been buzzing with reports of the poor quality of the information provided by Collin Powell to the world and later proven to be inaccurate by Blix and El-Baradei, who are being demonized by the right- wing media in the US for the crime of telling the truth."

An Israeli bulldozer hits, kills US protester  3/17/03 Boston Globe: "The Israeli military described the death of Rachel Corrie, a college student from Olympia, Wash., as an accident and said the driver did not see her. But fellow protesters who witnessed the event insisted she was deliberately run over. Human rights activists said the episode and other recent cases show that Israeli soldiers fighting Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, now for 29 months, often behave with little or no restraint."

US bomb test might have missed target audience  3/17/03 Boston Globe: "The massive bomb tested last week in Florida with much fanfare by the Air Force might be the ''Mother of All Bombs,'' but it was also the only one in the US arsenal and even if more could be made quickly, they almost certainly would not be dropped on Iraq."

Inspectors urged to leave Iraq  3/17/03 CNN: "War fears loomed Monday, as Western nations urged their citizens to leave the Gulf region and U.N. nuclear inspectors said they had been advised to pull out of Iraq."

ROLLING START - The Idiot Prince Will Have His War - by Stan Goff  3/17/03 From the Wilderness: "After Iraq, there will certainly be increased asymmetric warfare, "terrorism," if you will, directed at Americans, American institutions, American targets. And when the rest of the world recognizes how thinly spread the US military is, thinly spread physically, but also economically because it is not a sustainable institution in its current incarnation, rebellions will occur. They have already started. Then the response of the weakening US will be to lash out, often with totally unforeseeable consequences, just as the consequences of this impending invasion are unforeseeable… We will keep our eyes on the fact that the system itself is failing and this adventure is a symptom of that failure, and continue to work for the political destruction of our current regime as a tactical necessity. The perfect storm is coming. It's in the genetic code of the system right now and inevitable. And while we don't know how it will look, we have to keep our eyes on the prize - emancipation from the whole system, and let that be our lodestar. Never quit. Never. We are in the stream of history, and we have been given a grave and momentous responsibility. Every day we delayed them was a victory."

Activists brush off sterilization apology  3/17/03 LA Times: "To make amends for a state program that sterilized 7,600 people against their will, North Carolina's governor created a panel last year to study the history of the effort, interview victims, and consider reparations. Oregon's governor apologized in person to some of the 2,600 people sterilized there and created an annual Human Rights Day to mark the state's mistake. On the day Virginia's governor apologized, Jesse Meadows and other victims unveiled a roadside marker… Davis offered his apology in a news release. None of the victims or disability groups were on hand to accept it. There was no order to probe for more details of a history that, according to scholars, is still largely unexplored and incompletely understood."

Region braces for red alert, war  3/17/03 Long Beach Press Telegram 

Palestinians Express Sorrow over Death of American Activist  3/17/03 Palestine Chronicle: "Other foreigners who were with her said the driver of the bulldozer was aware that Rachel was there, and continued to destroy the house. Initially he dropped sand and other heavy debris on her, then the bulldozer pushed her to the ground where it proceeded to drive over her, fracturing both of her arms, legs and skull."

Rest in Peace, Rachel  3/17/03 Palestine Chronicle: "Rachel, from the town of Olympia, in Washington State, stood before Israeli bulldozers, as they tore down a building that belongs to a “protected person” because no one else, but Rachel and a few of her comrades dared to challenge the Israeli army .."

UK Minister Cook Quits Over Blair's Iraq Policy  3/17/03 Reuters: "Robin Cook, the British government's highly respected leader in parliament and a former foreign secretary, resigned on Monday in protest at Prime Minister Tony Blair's hawkish stance on Iraq."

US steps up pressure on Turkey  3/17/03 Telegraph, UK: "America is concentrating its efforts on preventing Turkish forces from moving into northern Iraq. Ankara is still wavering in the face of American demands to bring in the troops after the Turkish parliament's rejection on March 1 of a motion authorising their deployment. Turkey seems set on moving its forces into Iraq's Kurdish enclave to prevent Iraqi Kurds from setting up an independent state. The Turks fear that this would re-ignite separatist passions among its own Kurds. Iraqi Kurds, however, say they will fight any occupying Turkish forces."

Lies, Damned Lies, and Ultimatums  3/17/03 Weekly Low Down: Bush's speech, dissected.


"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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