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    World News
3/31/03 - 4/6/03

Sunday  4/6/03

The Ministry of Mendacity Strikes Again  4/6/03 Arab News: by Robert Fisk - "The Iraqi intelligence service is a brutal, crude organization, but subtlety and sophistication are not its strong points. To suggest that President Saddam’s goons could have turned up in the slums — amid a population known for its hatred of the Iraqi Baath Party and possibly responsible for killing a number of its apparatchiks — and persuaded these largely illiterate people to tell a complicated lie to foreign journalists is beyond credibility. There were many bits of the same wretched missile all over Shu’ala. I collected five pieces myself, made of the same alloy, two of them dug out of the muck with my own hands. Does the British defense secretary really think the Iraqi torturers have the ability to go about these hostile slums, burying obscure pieces of shrapnel for the likes of The Independent to dig up there? Does he think that the uncle of one of the dead men could make up his description of seeing the aircraft bank away after the attack? So, too, the two missiles that struck the Sha’ab district of Baghdad earlier in the week. Again, they exploded amid Shiite slums, homes of the very people who most oppose President Saddam’s regime."

'Friendly fire' hits Kurdish convoy  4/6/03 BBC: "An American warplane has bombed a Kurdish convoy in northern Iraq which included members of US special forces. The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson, who was travelling with the convoy, says he counted at least 10 bodies and others wounded."

Iraq war divides South Africa  4/6/03 BBC: "The US consulate in Johannesburg is in the smart traditionally Jewish neighbourhood of Killarney; hardly fertile ground for anti-American sentiment. Yet ever since the start of the war, there has been a 24-hour vigil by protesters at the consulate gate: and when they call on passing motorists to beep their horns in solidarity, many drivers oblige."

Honduras: al menos 60 muertos en motín  4/6/03 BBC Mundo 

Official Story Vs. Eyewitness Account  4/6/03 FAIR 

La guerrilla causa 254 muertos y heridos a la fuerza pública en 2 meses de duros combates en el norte de Colombia  4/6/03 FARC 

The Israelization of America  4/6/03 Haaretz 

Taliban Take Control Of Government Offices In Zabul  4/6/03 Hi Pakistan: "The Taliban have taken control of the headquarters in Naubahar and Shinkai districts in the southwestern Zabul province in Afghanistan. A Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Mukhtar Mujahid, told The News that their fighters evicted the Afghan government officials manning the Naubahar and Shinkai district headquarters on Sunday morning. "Armed Taliban fired in the air to force the government militiamen to vacate the Uloswali (district offices). They spared the lives of the government functionaries because the Taliban objective was to make their presence felt rather than harming fellow Afghans," he explained."

Allies guard crucial supply lines from traps and ambushes  4/6/03 Independent, UK: "The guerrillas' methods are simple. At night they can snipe at soldiers or conduct drive-by shootings. They fire rocket-propelled grenades and mortars randomly into British camps. But they need just one lucky strike to send body bags back to Britain. They are also almost impossible to defend against. More horrific is the "cheesewire" trap. Here a thin strand of wire is stretched across the road. It is almost invisible and aimed at decapitating the British soldiers who stand out from the top of the lorries and Land Rovers to keep guard." Let us remember Malcolm X "Bullet in 1964 - "The same thing happened to the French up in French Indochina. People who just a few years previously were rice farmers got together and ran the heavily-mechanized French army out of Indochina. You don't need it -- modern warfare today won't work. This is the day of the guerrilla. They did the same thing in Algeria. Algerians, who were nothing but Bedouins, took a knife and sneaked off to the hills, and de Gaulle and all of his highfalutin' war machinery couldn't defeat those guerrillas. Nowhere on this earth does the white man win in a guerrilla warfare. It's not his speed. Just as guerrilla warfare is prevailing in Asia and in parts of Africa and in parts of Latin America, you've got to be mighty naive, or you've got to play the black man cheap, if you don't think some day he's going to wake up and find that it's got to be the ballot or the bullet."

EL PERVERSO ROSTRO DEL FASCISMO  4/6/03 Jiribilla: "Decenas de millones de estadounidenses le temen de forma paranoica al "terrorismo" en sus lugares de trabajo, de compras o en actividades de recreo. La gente reprime cualquier mínima crítica a la guerra o incluso, al gobierno por miedo a ser tachada de simpatizante terrorista, reportada a las autoridades, investigada, y a perder su trabajo."

LA CIA AL SUR  4/6/03 Jiribilla: "Estas revistas nuclearon a intelectuales, a veces destacados, que no hay por qué pensar que siempre sabían que en el fondo estaba la CIA; a veces —démosles el beneficio de la duda— fueron utilizados gracias a su condición incauta."

VENEZUELA: LA GUERRA CULTURAL EN CALIENTE  4/6/03 Jiribilla: "Un esfuerzo que se da hoy en el pensamiento intelectual progresista tendrá lugar también en abril en Venezuela, cuando se reúnan intelectuales, artistas de nuestro continente, en defensa del proceso bolivariano, y creo que será una oportunidad también de enfrentar todo este tipo de maniobra, de guerra cultural contra nuestros pueblos, a partir de los cánones de la CIA, de los servicios especiales norteamericanos. Conversamos con Luis Britto, destacado intelectual venezolano, dos veces premio Casa de las Américas, profundo conocedor de la situación de su país, y veedor de la realidad hoy de Venezuela." Using US tax dollars to promote race war.

Out of Ammunition, the Economy Faces a New Foe  4/6/03 NYT 

Baghdad on brink  4/6/03 Observer, UK: "But by last night the Iraqi military knew the Americans were coming, which was why they were setting up artillery pieces, manning bridges with rocket-propelled grenades and checking their machine guns. Despite breathless claims by US spokesmen that their forces were able to freely move around in 'downtown' Baghdad, the only army in sight was Saddam Hussein's. And it was getting ready for a fight. ...Yesterday evening, a man wearing traditional Arab robes arrived at the Palestine Hotel carrying a Kalashnikov and a pink plastic bag holding a beige uniform of desert camouflage and an army issue sun hat. The name on the uniform was Diaz. The man carefully arranged the uniform on the ground, as if he were making a window display at a department store, and a group of young men wiped their feet on the US flag."

From Drugs, Oil, and War, Chapter Two  4/6/03 Peter Dale Scott: "The US handled the quadrupling of oil prices in the 1970s by arranging, by means of secret agreements with the Saudis, for the recycling of petrodollars back into the US economy. The first of these deals assured a special and on-going Saudi stake in the health of the US dollar; the second secured continuing Saudi support for the pricing of all OPEC oil in dollars. <20> These two deals assured that the US economy would not be impoverished by OPEC oil price hikes. The heaviest burdens would be borne instead by the economies of less developed countries. <21> …Some had expected that the successful OPEC revolt in the 1970s against Washington's and London's economic policies would presage a "new economic order" that would strengthen the South vis-à-vis the North. The secret Saudi-US deals led to a different outcome: a "new world order" that saw increasing US military dominance combined with increasing economic instability and occasional crises elsewhere. Statistics reveal the change in direction. Between 1960 and 1980 per capita income grew 73 percent in Latin America and 34 percent in Africa. Between 1980 and 2000 income grew less than 6 percent in Latin America, and declined by 23 percent in Africa. <26>"

Varios heridos en ataques a caravana de diplomaticos rusos en Iraq  4/6/03 Prensa Latina: "Varias personas resultaron heridas en dos ataques a una caravana de diplomáticos y periodistas rusos en Iraq cuando se dirigía a la frontera con Siria, informó hoy un miembro de la delegacion a la agencia rusa Interfax."

Why we may never regain the liberties that we've lost  4/6/03 San Jose Mercury News 

US tanks roar into downtown Baghdad  4/6/03 Sun Herald, Australia 

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/6 A  4/6/03 Venik's Aviation: "According to weather forecasts, in the coming day the weather may abruptly change to the worse. The wind is expected to intensify, visibility may reduce to 200-300 m. All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition, general Michael Mosley, about “…Iraqi army, as an organized structure consisting of large units, exists no longer…” are contrary to fact and, according to analytics, are probably connected with severe pressure put on the military command by American financial groups that desperately needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the financial week. In fact, the Republican Guards defending Baghdad have not lost even 5% of their numerical strength and military equipment. Most of those losses were due to bombardments and not land combats. The total losses of Iraqi army since the beginning of the war have not exceeded 5-8% of their defensive potential. This means the main battles are still to be seen."

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/6 B  4/6/03 Venik's Aviation: "The American command was utterly irritated by the presence of the Russian embassy in Baghdad and believed that some technical intelligence equipment was deployed there that provided the Iraqis with information. Moreover, some officers in the coalition HQ in Qatar openly claimed that it was on the territory of the Russian embassy that the “jammers” hampering the high-precision weapons around Baghdad were operated. Yesterday morning the Secretary of State Colin Powell demanded of immediate evacuation of the embassy from the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov. Yesterday evening the Russian minister informed the Americans that on the 6th of April the embassy column would be leaving Baghdad heading for the Syrian border. This gave rise to dissatisfaction among the State Department officials who suggested that the column should move to Jordan. The coalition special operations HQ were sure that the embassy column would contain secret devices taken from military equipment captured by Iraqis. In this connection one cannot shut out the possibility of “revenge” from the coalition command. Moreover, experts claim that the purpose of this armed assault could be to damage a few cars where the Russians would have to leave some of the salvage. This is also indicated by the fact that neither the ambassador himself nor journalists in the column were among the injured. In this case we can expect that this action was committed by coalition special forces and the column was shot using Russian-made weapons to conceal the origin of the attackers to blame the Iraqis afterwards. According to the most recent data the column got ambushed almost 30 km to the west from the city on the territory occupied by the coalition, but moving fast it escaped from fire and made a few more kilometers where it was blocked by military jeeps. On attempting to establish contact with their crews it received fire again, then the jeeps vanished."

Saturday  4/5/03

topAlly of Karzai Gunned Down in Afghanistan  4/5/03 AP: "A close ally of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was gunned down in southern Afghanistan in an attack provincial officials blamed on the Taliban Saturday. Haji Gilani and his nephew were killed outside their home in the town of Deh Rawood on Thursday night, said Dad Mullah, a spokesman for the Uruzgan provincial government." Afghanistan, a model for Iraq.

American Peace Activist Shot in West Bank  4/5/03 AP: "An American peace activist working as a human shield in the West Bank was seriously wounded on Saturday when Israeli troops allegedly opened fire on him."

Explosions rock Baghdad as Iraqi troops mass to protect capital  4/5/03 AP 

Iraq says women killed troops  4/5/03 BBC: "Two female suicide bombers carried out an attack which killed three coalition soldiers at a checkpoint north-west of Baghdad on Thursday, Iraq says."

US forces heading for centre of Baghdad  4/5/03 BBC 

Jail riot in Honduras leaves 66 dead  4/5/03 CNN 

Biblical Vengeance in the 21st Century - Iraqis Slaughtered, Islam Slandered, Humanity Demeaned  4/5/03 Counterpunch: "The Southern Baptists and other militant evangelical Christian organizations headed by the likes of Rev Franklin Graham who called Islam a "wicked religion" are on the border in Jordan waiting to setup new ministries in Iraq, as reported by Matt Engel in the Guardian. The starving will be enticed with food and water to "praise the Lord" and reject Islam, which these US based militant groups despise."

VENEZUELA - Oil companies producing at full capacity  4/5/03 Granma 

Bush's undiplomatic posting draws scorn  4/5/03 Guardian, UK: "Mention his name in diplomatic circles and even the grandest figures fall off their chairs laughing. William S Farish, horse breeder, friend of the Queen and US ambassador to London in his spare time, has become a comic figure who is rarely seen on London's diplomatic circuit."

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/5  4/5/03 "But all the efforts to reinforce the brigade with heavy armor failed as Iraqi started powerful artillery strikes at the transport routes and organized mobile firing groups on the roads. After reports about losing 3 tanks and 5 APCs on the route the American command had to pause the movement of the reinforcements by land… Commander of the 1st Expeditionary Marine Squadron colonel Joe Dowdy was deposed yesterday morning. As was revealed, the colonel was deposed “…for utmost hesitation and loss of the initiative during the storm of An-Nasiriya…”. This way the coalition command in Qatar found an excuse for their military faults by that town. The “guilt” of the colonel was in his refusing to enter the town for almost 3 days and trying to suppress Iraqi resistance with artillery and aviation, trying to avoid losses. As a result, the command additionally had to move the 15th squadron of colonel Tomas Worldhouser there, who had to storm the ferriages for almost 6 days, with about 20 of his soldiers killed, 130 wounded and 4 missing. The 1st Expeditionary Squadron lost no men at An-Nasiriya, but 3 marines died, as were reported, “by inadvertency” and about 20 soldiers got wounded… Spite and irritability are growing even in British troops, which were always “correct enough” towards the civilians on the occupied territories. In increasing frequency British soldiers show violence and rudeness towards civilians. At a recent consultation at the British HQ, a representative of the military police command pointed at the fact that even actions of arresting people suspected in underground activities occur with unnecessary violence and publicity, and resemble rather intimidation than special police operations. The command issued a special order regarding the required behavior in the occupied regions, but even after it had been published a few analogous incidents were registered. An event that had happened 5 days before also received publicity at the coalition HQ. During a night “cleanup” in one of suburban houses near An-Nasiriya three marines shot a man and afterwards raped and shot his wife. The command got information about this accident from one of its informers. After interrogation the marines were sent to Qatar for additional investigations."

Jihadis in the Hood - \Race, Urban Islam and the War on Terror  4/5/03 MERIP 

New Viceroy Threatens Bolivian Democracy  4/5/03 NarcoNews: "According to a report published in the biweekly Bolivian magazine, El Juguete Rabioso ("The Rabid Toy"), Greenlee's relation to this country dates back to 1965, when the new ambassador served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Later, he left for Vietnam, and became an expert in undercover operations in the US "diplomatic" schools… where he shared experiences with the ex "Southern Command chief Gary Speer, and with Otto Reich." "

Barrage of Fire, Trail of Death  4/5/03 NYT: "All he recalled, when it was over, were the Iraqi soldiers, the artillery batteries, the trucks mounted with machine guns, the wisp and blast of rocket-propelled grenades, the whiz of bullets, the fiery explosions of cars packed, he assumed, with explosives. "It was three hours of organized chaos," he said. The colonel's battalion, part of the Army's Third Infantry Division, rolled into the heart of Baghdad in what, on the Iraqi side, must have seemed like the beginning of the invasion of the city itself. The casualty count was unknowable, since the American soldiers moved virtually without stopping, but in the estimate of the Second Brigade's commander, Col. David Perkins, more than 1,000 Iraqi fighters died today."

Racial Quotas in Brazil Touch Off Fierce Debate  4/5/03 NYT: "The Brazilian government, responding to demands to improve the lot of the black population, has begun imposing racial quotas for government jobs, contracts and university admissions. But that has unleashed an acrimonious debate in a country that traditionally prides itself on being a harmonious "racial democracy." "

Sudden drive into Baghdad 'SPORADIC FIGHTING': U.S. forces near heart of city  4/5/03 San Francisco Chronicle 

US tank commander shot dead in move on Baghdad  4/5/03 Yahoo 

Friday  4/4/03

topBringing the War Home  4/4/03 Alternet: "Thirty-six years ago, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King stood in the pulpit of New York's Riverside Church and delivered his first major address against the Vietnam War. "The Americans are forcing their friends into becoming their enemies," King said. "It is curious that Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of freedom, democracy and revolution, but the image of militarism and defeat." "

ACLU urges recall of religious AIDS pamphlet  4/4/03 AP: in Florida, of course.

Golpe al narcotráfico en Guatemala  4/4/03 BBC Mundo 

A CALL TO APRIL 4TH BLACK SOLIDARITY AGAINST THE WAR WE SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE  4/4/03 Black Against War: "The entire Black community must speak with one voice, and demonstrate the power of Black people united. We are calling for Black Solidarity Against the War!"

Professor, recruiter face off at Umass  4/4/03 Boston Globe: a disturbing trend - the article has inaccuracies, but is fair. Professor Van Der Meer is at Africana Studies and was jumped by Campus Security while protecting a student from a rabid military recruiter.

U.S.: After Iraq, we'll deal with other radical Mideast regimes  4/4/03 Haaretz, Israel: "After the war, the message continued, the United States will deal with other radical regimes in the region - not necessarily by military means - to moderate their activities and fight terrorism. These current and future U.S. operations will also serve Israel, the American administration says, but have caused tensions between the United States and the Arab world. Israel, the American message says, must play its part to help ease these tensions by taking action with regard to settlements in the territories."

Taliban claim capture of three police posts  4/4/03 Hi Pakistan: "A famous Taliban commander claimed on Tuesday that his forces have taken control of three police check posts in Kandahar province along the Pak-Afghan border and talks were on with local pro-US commanders to surrender. "Our mujahideen overran the Toro police and Alizo police posts near Spin Buldak while burning to ashes the US-run school in Loi Kariz in successful operations during the last two days," the Taliban commander Hafiz Abdur Rahim told The News on telephone." And the same will happen in Iraq.

US warned that oil cannot provide funds  4/4/03 Independent, UK: "A senior British official at the United Nations warned the United States yesterday that it should think twice before assuming it can administer post-conflict Iraq on its own terms. Mark Malloch Brown, the director of the UN Development Programme, also said Iraq's crippled oil industry would not finance reconstruction after the war."

Al Bawaba Exclusive: Saddam Alive, Hidden And In Command  4/4/03 Jihad Unspun: "A number of reliable sources inside Baghdad report that two days before the start of the war Saddam disappeared into a hidden command center, in a location unknown even to his ministers. Since then, sources say that Saddam has not met in person with his top ministers, and has not talked to them directly by telephone. His instruction are delivered to them by messengers in writing or in video and audio cassettes. Saddam does not use the telephone or fax, which he believes can be intercepted or tracked by the Americans… Meanwhile, Saddam is also said to be a regular watcher of CNN and other satellite stations. More interestingly, he insists on receiving daily transcripts and translations of media reports form throughout the world. Employees at the information ministry have said that they translate items from as far apart as Africa and Russia for him every day. Saddam is said to be particularly interested in the Far East - Japan, Korea and China - whose media reports are delivered to him at least once a day. Many workers from other ministries are also now employed full time on media reporting for Saddam."

35th Anniversary of King Assassination brings memories of COINTELPRO  4/4/03 Milwaukee Courier 

Detention stirs up protest - An Oregon man held in federal prison has not been charged or told why.  4/4/03 NYT: "For the past two weeks, Maher Hawash, a 38-year-old software engineer and American citizen who was born on the West Bank and grew up in Kuwait, has been held in a federal prison here, though he has not been charged with a crime or brought before a judge."

North Utah Faces Influx of Racists  4/4/03 NYT: "Law enforcement officials here and in other towns in northern Utah say they are grappling with a marked increase in crimes committed by men who joined white supremacist gangs while in prison and who, once released and bound by ideology and kinship, have settled in the area to pursue lives of crime. "They're connecting with people of like mind," said Greg Whinham, the police chief here in Roy, an Ogden suburb of about 35,000 residents between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. "The mentality of white supremacy is rampant in the prison system, and now we're seeing it in the streets." …Kirk Egan, the intelligence chief for the Utah Department of Corrections, tracks gang members among the system's approximately 6,000 inmates. "White supremacy has absolutely exploded within our prison system since the mid-1990's," he said. "And it's growing all over the nation." Gangs on the rise include the Aryan Circle and the White Aryan Resistance, in Arkansas; the Southern Brotherhood, in Alabama; the Nazi Low Riders, in California and Nevada; and Soldiers of the Aryan Culture, in Utah. One of the largest white prison gangs, World Church of the Creator, founded in Illinois and active here and in other states, has been tough to control, the authorities say, because of its religious underpinnings, which allow its members to gather for meetings in prison."

SARS begins to disrupt business around world  4/4/03 NYT 

Three US Soldiers Die in Suspected Suicide Attack  4/4/03 Reuters: "A civilian vehicle blew up at a checkpoint manned by U.S.-led forces in Iraq, killing three soldiers, a pregnant woman and the driver, in what U.S. officials said on Friday was a new suicide attack."

U.S. Troops Seize Control of Baghdad Airport  4/4/03 Reuters 

Masks 'no protection from SARS'  4/4/03 Sunday Mail, Australia: "Dr Bromwich said concerned travellers should consider using a special toxic dust mask with a class P2 particulate filter, which sells for less than $10."

US forces use schools for cover  4/4/03 Sydney Morning Herald 

Anger as US forces take over schools  4/4/03 The Age, Australia: "Residents are highly critical of the special forces' presence in their suburb and fear they will come under Iraqi attack. The north has been extensively infiltrated by Iraqi agents. In recent weeks there has been a spate of incidents, including two suicide bombings, the explosion of an unidentified bomb in Erbil and the detection of several car bombs. Rockets have also been fired at Erbil, although none have exploded."

Defending the dollar  4/4/03 The Natal Witness, South Africa: the basis for the Iraq war.

These Iraqis seemed to be totally prepared to die for their country  4/4/03 Times, UK: "The Fedayin were out in their black uniforms and balaclavas. Men armed with Kalashnikovs were manning sandbag emplacements on the corners. I had never seen so many armed Iraqis on the streets. The Americans and British may say their motivation is to liberate the Iraqis, but these people gave every impression that they were prepared to die for their country."

Exclusive: 3 CIA assets killed in Baghdad  4/4/03 UPI: the Rev. Moon's UPI gets the exclusive straight from the boys.

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/4  4/4/03 Venik's Aviation: "It has been determined that only a few forward elements of the "Hammurali" Division participated in combat while the entire division withdrew toward Baghdad. A single brigade of the "Medina" division was involved in combat. The brigade was split in two groups during fighting and withdrew toward Baghdad and toward Karabela to join the main forces of the ["Medina"] division. Equally unimpressive are the numbers of the Iraqis captured by the coalition. In four days of advance the US troops captured just over 1,000 people only half of whom, according to the reports by the US field commander, can be considered regular troops of the Iraqi army. There are virtually no abandoned or captured Iraqi combat vehicles. All of this indicates that so far there has been no breakthrough for the coalition; Iraqi troops are not demoralized and the Iraqi command is still in control of its forces…. Information coming from Qatar indicates that the coalition command is seriously concerned with the possibility of another sand storm. Not only will this delay the blockade of Baghdad, but it will also leave the coalition without its major advantage – the aviation, without which the coalition will be left one on one with a numerically superior enemy."

'Rolling' Victory Key to U.S. Endgame  4/4/03 Washington Post: "Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday that Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, would not need to be under U.S. control for the administration to establish an interim Iraqi administration. When Baghdad is isolated from the rest of the country, he said, the city is "almost irrelevant." " Dream on…

Thursday  4/3/03

topArrest made in killing of Indian activist  4/3/03 AP: "Federal agents arrested a man in the slaying of an American Indian Movement activist whose frozen body was found on a reservation more than a quarter-century ago. Arlo Looking Cloud, 49, was arrested Friday in Denver, authorities said. He pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, according to US Attorney James McMahon."

Detecting disinformation, without radar  4/3/03 Asia Times: "How to tell genuine reporting from an article manufactured to produce the desired propaganda effect? The war in Iraq provides us plenty of interesting samples for a study of disinformation techniques." Nice article.

Al-Jazeera halts Iraq broadcasts  4/3/03 BBC 

Kerry says US needs its own 'regime change'  4/3/03 Boston Globe 

The Fruit of Victory: A Lingering Anxiety  4/3/03 Business Week: "The distinct possibility of more Iraq-style conflicts has investors jittery about the huge deficits that will be needed to pay for them."

Illegal to hand PoWs to US, claim ministers  4/3/03 Guardian: "British cabinet ministers are warning that it would be illegal for Tony Blair to bow to US demands for Iraqi prisoners of war captured by the British to be handed over to the US for trial or imprisonment in America. They are checking reports that paramilitaries captured by the British will eventually be segregated from regular prisoners of war and then handed to the US military police before being sent to the US base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for questioning. Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, has told MPs that more than half of the 8,000 Iraqi PoWs are being held by the British. Cabinet ministers are warning that prisoners of war captured by the British cannot be handed to the US for extradition since the US still uses the death penalty."

No sniping, mortars, or tracer. And no sign of the dreaded Republican Guard  4/3/03 Guardian, UK 

Powell fails to win pledge over Kurds  4/3/03 Independent, UK: "Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, began mending fences yesterday between the US and Turkey. But he failed to secure a cast-iron assurance that Turkey will not move military forces into northern Iraq to throttle any separatist movement by local Kurds."

Saddam's army retreats to Mosul with heavy losses  4/3/03 Independent, UK 

Iraqi informer angered by treatment of POW  4/3/03 Knight Ridder: "I love America. I like America. Why, I don't know," Mohammed said as he recounted the critical role he played in Lynch's rescue.

Judge Reports Jury Tampering In Miami Police Trial  4/3/03 NBC6: "The judge in the trial of 11 Miami police officers accused of planting guns on shot suspects or conspiring to hide it closed his courtroom Thursday because someone claiming to be a journalist has been calling jurors, who are deliberating. Without elaborating on the contacts, U.S. District Judge Alan Gold ejected reporters and spectators from the courtroom to discuss the issue with attorneys and defendants. "I have received a number of notes from the jury ... complaining about contacts at their home during the deliberative process," Gold said."

She’s Richard Perle’s Oyster  4/3/03 New York Observer: "Eleana Benador wants right-wing hawks to look nice on television… "I know that my roster is very high-level," she said. "I like to say it’s like choosing a horse—a purebred, you know? Take your time, look at the muscles, look at this, look at that." Ms. Benador spends her days mediating with TV producers and newspaper op-ed editors to get her clients’ messages out. "One of my greatest goals is to just promote views regarding Iraq," she said. "For instance, helping to understand that we are having a military success." …When she was 7, Ms. Benador’s family moved from Peru to France. Her family, she said, were "mostly doctors," although her father was in the Peruvian navy. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, she studied psychology and political science at the Sorbonne and the Université Catholique de Lille. She did stints as an editor at the Peruvian Times and as a translator at the United Nations in Vienna. Through the years, she said, she has lived in Paris, Geneva and Vienna, where her closest friends were the princes of Liechtenstein. She married a Swiss named Emmanuel Benador in 1989, and they moved to the United States. He is the director of graphics at the Jan Krugier Gallery on East 57th Street."

Reports of airport assault premature  4/3/03 New Zealand Herald: by Robert Fisk - "And, alas for the Anglo-American spokesmen in Doha and the US officer quoted on the BBC, the Iraqi minister was right and the Americans were wrong."

Evidence Against Syria Is Questioned  4/3/03 Newsday: "The CIA has no credible evidence that the government of Syria has had a role in the shipment of night-vision goggles and other military equipment to Iraq, according to an administration official familiar with U.S. intelligence in the region."

Army Questions Spearhead Mom  4/3/03 Rolling Stones: "But first, on March 16th, across the country in Boston, the mother of the group's human beatbox Radioactive received a visit from two plainclothes Army officers. "She'd spoken in an interview about her daughter who has been deployed in the Gulf, and her son who is in this band Spearhead," says Spearhead frontman Michael Franti. "They showed her a picture of her son wearing a t-shirt that said 'Unfuck the world' on the front, and 'Dethrone the Bushes' on the back. They told her that was an un-American statement. She said, 'That's free speech,' and they said, 'Well, things are changing these days.'" "

US effort for defections appears ineffective  4/3/03 The News, Pakistan 

U.S.: Iran will infiltrate 5 Iraqi cities  4/3/03 UPI: The Rev Moon's UPI is keen on this sort of thing - "Iran's senior leadership decided last month to send irregular paramilitary units across their border with Iraq to harass American soldiers once Saddam Hussein's regime fell, according to U.S. intelligence reports."

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/3  4/3/03 Venik's Aviation: "Reviewing ground operations [in Iraq] analysts conclude that the desert terrain and the resulting inability of the Iraqis to fight outside of towns and villages provide the coalition with its main strategic advantage. Complete air dominance allows [the coalition troops] locating and engaging Iraqi positions and armor at maximum distance using precision-guided munitions not available to the Iraqis, while remaining outside of the range of the Iraqi weapons. Considering the course of this war and the tactics used by the coalition, [Russian military] analysts find this tactics to be far removed from the realities of modern warfare and designed exclusively against a technologically much weaker opponent. Such tactics is unimaginable on the European theater of combat with its woodlands and cross-country terrain. Foreseeing the possibility of a future military standoff between the US and North Korea the analysts are certain that the US cannot hope for a military victory on the Korean Peninsula without the use of nuclear weapons."

Villagers Join Fight Against U.S., Afghan Forces  4/3/03 Washington Post: "Villagers responding to a call to jihad, or holy war, have joined suspected Taliban fighters in a battle against Afghan soldiers and U.S. Special Forces troops south of here, near the city of Spin Boldak, a spokesman for the provincial governor said today."

What's next? U.S. set sights on Iran, North Korea  4/3/03 World Tribune, Spook Alley, VA: " "In the aftermath of Iraq, dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program will be of equal importance as dealing with the North Korean nuclear weapons program," Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton said. "This is going to be a substantial challenge." - the same John Bolton who made wild statements about an alleged Cuba bioweapons program.

Hundreds of US-backed Afghan troops battle suspected Taliban  4/3/03 Yahoo: "Up to 600 US-backed Afghan troops continued to battle suspected Taliban fighters in southern Kandahar province bordering Pakistan, a local commander and deputy governor said." Pacified just like Iraq will be?

What is the Colombian Army doing Attacking Venezuela?  4/3/03 Znet: "Militarily and politically, the Colombian government is making a terrible mistake. Its army is unable to control even Colombian territory without the use of paramilitary mercenaries who massacre people and have displaced millions. It has been unable, in spite of billions of dollars in US aid and training, to make inroads against the insurgency whose ranks grow with each new atrocity committed against the peasants. With little support even in Colombia, with an insurgency behind it, what chance would such a force have against a cohesive, popularly-supported army like Venezuela's? The problem is that Colombia need not 'win' against Venezuela. It only needs to provoke the kind of 'incident' that could spark a war or an intervention. If this is the second front of the third world war, the war aim here is also 'regime change': the destruction of Venezuela's democratic process. And the instrument, for now, is the Colombian government."

Wednesday  4/2/03

topU.S. Aircraft Down  4/2/03 ABC News: "Fighter and Black Hawk Downed in Iraq"

Five Pennsylvanians suspected of having mystery virus  4/2/03 AP 

Russia accuses US authorities of media deception over Iraq  4/2/03 Australian Broadcasting Corp: ""We have all seen the bias in the information provided, the violations of the rights of journalists and the way they deceive the American public and the international community as a whole," a spokesman for the press ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency."

First blows hit US economy  4/2/03 BBC 

Try Arnett for treason, senator says  4/2/03 Cincinnati Inquirer: "Correspondent Peter Arnett should be "tried as a traitor" for remarks he made in an interview with Iraqi state television, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said Tuesday."

CounterPunch War Diary  4/2/03 Counterpunch: "In February came some very practical words of advice and encouragement from Osama bin Laden, in a tape regarded by many as authentic, discussing in vivid terms the experience of being bombed in the Tora Bora fastness in eastern Afghanistan: "I will recall one part of such a great battle to prove how much they (American soldiers) are cowards, in one side, and how effective are these trenches in depleting them from another side. We were 300 mujahideen (holy fighters). We were digging 100 ditches spread over an area of one mile only. The range is one ditch for every three brothers. The American forces were bombing us with smart bombs, cluster bombs, and bombs which invade caves. B-52 aircraft were flying every two hours over our heads and throwing each time, 20 to 30 bombs. "The conclusion is an enormous defeat for the coalition of the international evil with all its forces facing such a small group of mujahideen, 300 only in ditches in an area of one mile, in a temperature of 10 degrees below zero. The result of that battle was six per cent injuries among the individuals, whom we ask God to consider as martyrs, and injuries inside the ditches were two per cent only, thank GodSo go and dig many trenches as it was mentioned before in the holy book, 'Take the earth as your shelter.' Such a way will deplete all your enemy reserves in a few months."

Uniting For Peace - UN General Assembly Provides Crucial Opportunity for Global Peace Movement  4/2/03 Counterpunch: "The United Nations General Assembly is hovering on the edge of calling an emergency session to challenge the US attack on Iraq. But US opposition has been fierce. The world's "other superpower" -- global public opinion as expressed in the global peace movement -- can tip the balance if it concentrates on demanding a UN General Assembly meeting to halt the war on Iraq now…"

The flowering of fascism  4/2/03 Creative Loafing, Atlanta: "Almost daily, the radical right's think tanks and command centers -- the Republican National Committee and the Heritage Foundation, for example -- suggest "talking points" to the talk shows. The hosts trumpet the message in unison, and it sounds like some Great Truth has been revealed. After all, everyone is yapping the same thing. That's why, across the radio spectrum and on, say, Fox's Bill O'Reilly All-Spin Zone, you've been hearing that "homeland security" is jeopardized by anti-war demonstrations. The word -- from the White House agitprop masters through the foundations to the airwaves -- is that when police are needed to monitor demonstrations, cities are left vulnerable to terrorist attacks."

WHO issues travel warning  4/2/03 Globe & Mail. Toronto: Toronto includes a population of 400,000 Chinese and has been hit by SARS, a new disease from China - "The World Health Organization said it was taking the action because at least nine foreign businessmen have caught severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in Hong Kong and returned with it to their home countries. "People who are planning to traveller to Hong Kong or Guangdong should consider postponing their travel until another time," said WHO infectious diseases chief David Heymann."

Senate resolution targets Patriot Act  4/2/03 Honolulu Advertiser: "The USA Patriot Act may infringe upon civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. and state constitutions, according to a resolution approved yesterday by the Senate Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee."

Allies are failing to win over Iraqi public, senior [US] officer admits  4/2/03 Independent, UK 

Children killed and maimed in bomb attack on town  4/2/03 Independent, UK: "Terrifying film of women and children later emerged after Reuters and the Associated Press were permitted by the Iraqi authorities to take their cameras into the town. Their pictures – the first by Western news agencies from the Iraqi side of the battlefront – showed babies cut in half and children with amputation wounds, apparently caused by American shellfire and cluster bombs."

Troops Rescue POW  4/2/03 Newsday: "Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old Army private first class missing since the ambush of an Army maintenance company 10 days ago near Nasiriyah in southern Iraq, has been rescued by Special Operations forces, defense officials said yesterday… CNN, in an unconfirmed report it said was taken from Marine radio broadcasts, said the rescue team also removed as many as 11 bodies from the hospital. The transmissions indicated the possibility that some of them might have been from Lynch's unit, according to the report."

The Shi'ite Wild Card - A Key Factor to U.S. Success in Iraq  4/2/03 Pacific News 

Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists  4/2/03 Reuters: "An Oregon anti-terrorism bill would jail street-blocking protesters for at least 25 years in a thinly veiled effort to discourage anti-war demonstrations, critics say. The bill has met strong opposition but lawmakers still expect a debate on the definition of terrorism and the value of free speech before a vote by the state senate judiciary committee, whose Chairman, Republican Senator John Minnis, wrote the proposed legislation."

Confusion over fate of SAS in Mosul assault  4/2/03 Scotsman, UK: "CONFUSION last night surrounded the fate of ten members of the SAS after Iraq claimed to have thwarted a lightning assault on the northern city of Mosul. Fears were growing for their safety after the Ministry of Defence was unable to give a definite assurance that none had been killed during operations. A spokesman would say only that the MoD was "not aware of" coalition attacks on the northern front despite Iraq insisting it had seized most of the troops’ equipment and vehicle. The Qatar-based al-Jazeera television network yesterday broadcast pictures of British army equipment, including Iraqi citizens jubilantly driving a Land Rover through the streets of Mosul. The cameras also showed a quad-bike and stash of specialist weapons being displayed at an Iraqi army base which led military experts to suggest they were not from an ordinary British army unit."

Hawaii Urges Restraint In Homeland Security  4/2/03 Stateline, Hawaii: "The Hawaii legislature is debating a non-binding resolution that condemns sweeping new federal powers to fight terrorism and urges state and local officials to avoid any actions that threaten the civil rights of the state’s ethnically diverse residents."

One in three French backs Saddam  4/2/03 Times, UK: "The defilement of Commonwealth war graves in northern France coincided with a poll for The Times which found that 54 per cent of Britons no longer regarded France as a close ally because of its opposition to the war. Relations will be further rent by a second poll, in Le Monde, showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the mericans and British, and that another third desired outright Iraqi victory over “les anglo-saxons”. "

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/2  4/2/03 Venik's Aviation: "Military analysts believe that today and tomorrow will decide the outcome of the attack on Baghdad that begun two days ago. If the coalition forces fail to break the Iraqi defenses, then by the weekend the US will be forced to curtail all attacks and to resort to positional warfare while regrouping forces and integrating them with the fresh divisions arriving from the US and Europe. Such a tactical pause in the war, although not a complete halt in combat operations (the coalition command will continue trying to use localized attacks to improve its positions), may last seven to fourteen days and will lead to a full re-evaluation of all coalition battle plans."

Tuesday  4/1/03

topIraq War Boosts Militants' Recruiting  4/1/03 ABC News: "Riding a wave of anti-American sentiment, outlawed Islamic extremist organizations that were routed by the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in 2001 are making a comeback. Recruitment in Pakistan of potential terrorists appears to be on the rise. Militant leaders freed from house arrest have returned to the mosques to rally the faithful against the United States."

TONYAA WEATHERSBEE: Boycotting for revenge, not justice  4/1/03 BAW: "Fresh off the heels of that great Republican congressional campaign to change the name of French fries to freedom fries on the cafeteria menus in the House of Representatives, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., decided it was his turn to up the anti-French ante. Last week, he sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urging him to terminate a contract between the U.S. government and Sodexho Alliance, a French company."

Syria backs Iraqis against ‘illegal’ invasion  4/1/03 Daily Star, Lebanon: "Adding fuel to the fire, a senior Israeli intelligence officer told a parliamentary committee in Jerusalem that Iraqi chemical and biological weapons may be hidden in Syria, Israeli public radio said.“ It is possible Iraq transferred missiles and weapons of mass destruction to Syria,” General Yossi Kupperwasser told the committee Monday." Kupperwasser as usual said nothing about his own weapons of mass destruction.

MP urges troops to disobey orders  4/1/03 Evening Standard, UK: "Anti-war Labour MP George Galloway has defended an interview in which he branded Tony Blair and George Bush as "wolves" for committing the "crime" of military action against Iraq."

Air war weapon stockpile runs critically low  4/1/03 Guardian: "In the first 11 days of the conflict, the US navy has fired 700 of its stock of 1,200 Tomahawk cruise missiles on ships and submarines in the region. Meanwhile, the air force and navy together have used 5,000 satellite-guided bombs, known as JDAMs, which account for more than 80% of the bombs dropped so far. The JDAM (joint direct attack munitions) arsenals on the five US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are already running low."

Iraqi civilians killed at checkpoints  4/1/03 Guardian, UK: with many more to come.

Mofaz: U.S., Israel view Assad's acts, words as 'very grave'  4/1/03 Haaretz: "Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday that the United States and Israel view as "very grave" the wartime aid that Syrian President Bashar Assad has given the Saddam Hussein regime, as well as recent Assad comments that Mofaz said suggested that no peace with Israel was possible. "Bashar Assad has recently engaged in and expressed himself in two spheres that in the view of the Americans and in our view are very grave," Mofaz said on a visit to the army's central induction center near Tel Aviv." Brave Syria, who has no other choice because they know they are next.

Kucinich Takes to The House Floor To Call For An End to The War  4/1/03 "Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who leads opposition to the War in Iraq within the House, today, issued the following statement on the House floor: “Stop the war now. As Baghdad will be encircled, this is the time to get the UN back in to inspect Baghdad and the rest of Iraq for biological and chemical weapons. Our troops should not have to be the ones who will find out, in combat, whether Iraq has such weapons. Why put our troops at greater risk? We could get the United Nations inspectors back in."

In the line of fire: two holy cities that the US dares not desecrate  4/1/03 Independent, UK: "Karbala, the resting place of the Prophet's grandson, Hussein, is perhaps even more dangerous for the Americans and the British. So holy is the city to Shia Muslims that many carry soil from Karbala to prayers with them, even in faraway cities in Iran, cut off from Karbala since the Iran-Iraq war. Others sleep with tablets made from the earth of Karbala under their pillows. Some Shias regard a pilgrimage to Karbala as more important than the haj to Mecca and Meidan, which is among the requirements of Islam."

'New' Europe distances itself from war  4/1/03 Independent, UK: "The publication of pictures of elite Polish troops posing for photos with US soldiers in Iraq provoked a backlash in Poland. Although Warsaw remains a firm supporter of the US, surveys suggest only 20 per cent of Poles think their troops should be involved in fighting."

Robert Fisk: The monster of Baghdad is now the hero of Arabia  4/1/03 Independent, UK: "Yet there is one achievement we should note. The ghastly Saddam, the most revolting dictator in the Arab world, who does indeed use heinous torture and has indeed used gas, is now leading a country that is fighting the world's only superpower and that has done so for almost two weeks without surrendering. Yes, General Tommy Franks has accomplished one "truly remarkable achievement''. He has turned the monster of Baghdad into the hero of the Arab world and allowed Iraqis to teach every opponent of America how to fight their enemy."

Switzerland Documents U.S.-British War Crimes In Iraq  4/1/03 Islam Online: "13 days after the launch of U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Swiss Foreign Ministry has decided to document U.S.-British war crimes against Iraqi civilians on a separate section within its website. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy Rey Monday, March 31, told German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the section – operational since Monday morning – gathers information and data from credible and documented sources, adding names of new victims would be added on an hourly basis. “The initial data available so far reveals the dirtiness of U.S.-British warmongers, the fakeness of their claims about a clean war, as well as their indifference to the lives of innocent, unarmed Iraqi civilians,” Rey, member of the ruling Socialist, Democratic Party, added."

April Offensive By Taliban Looming  4/1/03 Jihad Unspun 

Iran Stops Volunteer Fighters At Iraqi Border  4/1/03 Jihad Unspun 

Ex-inspector de armas de la ONU: Al final EEUU perderá la guerra, como los rusos en Afganistán  4/1/03 La Jornada: "Al final Estados Unidos perderá la guerra en Irak y será expulsado de ese país de la misma manera en que los rusos huyeron de Afganistán, declaró Scott Ritter, ex inspector de armas de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) y veterano estadunidense de la primera Guerra del Golfo."

Arnett Dismissed After Remarks on Iraqi TV  4/1/03 NYT: "An NBC official said he took a tape of the interview home with him and carefully scanned it to find some defense of Mr. Arnett's commentary. He said he believed that Mr. Arnett's comments that reports about civilian casualties were useful to war protesters seemed to cross a line." Seems more like a statement of fact, but then the facts never bother the American media.

"Saddam will never surrender" - Lt Gen [retd] Kirpal Singh Randhawa  4/1/03 Rediff: "I had an officer of the Iraqi armoured division here in New Delhi. He left three days before the hostilities began. Every house has been given six months' rations. Whoever can afford has been told to dig a tube well and the government has paid 50 per cent of the total cost. So every fourth house in Baghdad has its own tube well. Americans are short of water in Basra but Iraqis will never be short of water in Baghdad. This is the degree of their preparations. This goes to show how long they are mentally and physically prepared to last."

Baghdad Battle Uncharted Territory; Expect Blood  4/1/03 Reuters 

Despite Rumsfeld Claims: US Army Unaware Of Syrian Supply Of Night-Vision Goggles To Iraqraq  4/1/03 Reuters: "Three days after US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged night-vision goggles had been supplied by Syria to Iraq, a top US commander said Monday he was unaware of any Iraqi battlefield use of such devices."

The Quiet Americans - Why CEOs are afraid to support the war.  4/1/03 Slate: "American CEOs run international companies. They can't afford to be seen as U.S. patsies. While the United States is tremendously powerful and wealthy, it represents only a small fraction of the world's market, and a mature one at that. If they want to grow, companies involved in technology and infrastructure—General Electric, Boeing, IBM, Microsoft, Halliburton, Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, to name a few—simply can't afford to alienate governments around the world the way Donald Rumsfeld can. The Turks and the French may represent thorns in the side of U.S. policy, but they are also enormous economies where state-granted favors can have a big impact on revenues."

Heatwave adds to challenge facing troops  4/1/03 Times, UK: "These conditions serve as a warning that the window of weather opportunity for the coalition forces is steadily closing. The heat is going to become an increasing problem because Iraq is one of the hottest places in the world. From June to September temperatures regularly top 38C." With devastating consequences on men & equipment.

Venezuela sends its bombers to halt border raids  4/1/03 Times, Uk: "VENEZUELA sent its air force to bomb Colombian paramilitary fighters who had invaded its territory and attacked an army border patrol, President Chávez claimed during his weekly television broadcast. The paramilitaries retreated after a 90-minute gun battle, according to Señor Chávez. “I said to bomb the area, not on direct targets but over the adjacent area to warn them,” he said. “We did it, it was effective and they withdrew toward Colombian territory.” …Captured guerrillas and deserters have confirmed the reports. One defector, an 18-year-old commander with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), said she had travelled in and out of Venezuela at will, visiting Farc bases and training new recruits in Venezuela. “The guerrilla (commanders) are counting on Venezuela for their victory,” she said. Recently Venezuela has shown signs of co-operation. Last month its soldiers, acting on Colombian intelligence, intercepted a 3,000lb lorry bomb that Farc rebels had planned to use to blow up a bridge across the border. Venezuela also arrested three suspected National Liberation Army rebels accused of planting a bomb that killed seven people in the Colombian border city of Cucuta."

Iraqis Foiled British Landing Near Mosul  4/1/03 Ummah News: "Iraqi forces thwarted a landing attempt by British forces near the strategic city of Mosul in northern Iraq, and killed many of the invaders, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf boasted Tuesday, April 1. "The British force which had been dropped there has been eliminated mostly. Only a few managed to flee by helicopter," Sahhaf confirmed in his daily briefing to reporters on the war, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP)."

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 4/1  4/1/03 Venik's Aviation: "Analysis of the present state of the US-British coalition fighting in Iraq suggests that the current active combat phase will last for about 4-5 days. After that the troops will once again require time for rest, repairs and reinforcement. Most analysts believe that this time the coalition will require more downtime than the last time, when it stopped for just long enough to get resupplied and immediately continued their advance so not to lose the initiative and not to let the enemy come to their senses. The price of putting this “squeeze” on the troops is enormous exhaustion and extensive wear of equipment, which is long overdue for serious scheduled maintenance. At the same time the fresh forces arriving in Kuwait from Europe and the US will not be able to join the combat before Monday April 7 as deployment of troops is progressing with many delays and is poorly organized. The units that already arrived [in Kuwait] cannot get to their weapons and the weapons already delivered here are sitting here without the troops to which they are assigned. Because of this the coalition command has ordered the attacking forces to be as aggressive as they can be to use this short time to break the Iraqi defenses along the entire line of the front. The troops are ordered by the end of this operation to advance to the starting positions for the final assault on Baghdad and to begin preparing to take the Iraqi capital. This order is specifically referring to the importance of An-Nasiriya, An-Najaf and the Karabela – Al-Hillah– Al-Iskanderiya “triangle”. These areas will see the most combat action in the upcoming days."

A Gruesome Scene on Highway 9 - 10 Dead After Vehicle Shelled at Checkpoint  4/1/03 Washington Post 

Despite Najaf Gains, U.S. Has No Plans To Secure South  4/1/03 Washington Post: a strategic mistake that will greatly help the guerrilla struggle in Iraq.

Monday  3/31/03

topUS TV correspondent Peter Arnett sacked for comments about Iraq war  3/31/03 AFP: destroying Iraq to save it, firing reporters to defend Freedom.

The Man Who Would Be King of Iraq  3/31/03 Alternet: "During the first Gulf War he went to Congress and touted the success of the Patriot missiles during the Iraqi attack on Israel. He did not issue a retraction when it was revealed that the Patriots caused more damage to Israel than the Iraqi Scuds they were supposed to bring down. The man who will be in charge of the disarmament of Iraq was also a fervent proponent of the fatally flawed Star Wars missile defense system, touting its virtues even when the results of its testing was later revealed to be rigged." Just the man for the job.

Peter Arnett: U.S. war plan has 'failed'  3/31/03 CNN: "Arnett also said "clearly this is a city that is disciplined, the population is responsive to the government's requirements of discipline," and "Iraqi friends tell me there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain is doing." "

Tragedy as Golden Goose - Has Richard Perle Committed Treason?  3/31/03 Counterpunch 

Search for smoking gun draws a blank  3/31/03 Guardian: "As Tony Blair launched a charm offensive to persuade the Arab world to understand his decision to go to war, senior officials in Washington said that intelligence information about weapons of mass destruction at 10 sites had proved to be unfounded. The Washington Post reported yesterday that tests had proved negative at all "urgent" sites in the western desert. "All the searches have turned up negative," a staff officer told thenewspaper. "The munitions that have been found have all been conventional." "

Tehran claims it is staying out of the war but suspicions remain  3/31/03 Guardian 

War Watch: Iraqi tank column breaks out of Basra  3/31/03 Guardian 

Robert Fisk: Sergeant's suicidal act of war has struck fear into Allied hearts  3/31/03 Independent, UK: by Robert Fisk - "Nomani was also a Shia Muslim – a member of the same sect the Americans faithfully believed to be their secret ally in their invasion of Iraq. Even the Iraqi government initially wondered how to deal with his extraordinary action, caught between its desire to dissociate themselves from an event that might remind the world of Osama bin Laden and its determination to threaten the Americans with more such attacks."

Marching on Babylon: Is Bush Acting Out an Elaborate Religious Fantasy thru War?  3/31/03 IndyMedia, Baltimore 

USWAR/US troops discover chemical weapons depot in Nassiriya: TV  3/31/03 IRNA: "US troops discovered a depot of chemical weapons in Iraqi southern city of Nassiriya, said the Kuwait Television on Monday. The television quoted US forces in Kuwait as claiming that the US troops discovered nerve gas as well as necessary equipment for fighting against chemical attacks in this depot."

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE by SEYMOUR M. HERSH  3/31/03 New Yorker: " Middle East businessman who has long-standing ties in Jordan and Syria—and whose information I have always found reliable—told me that the religious government in Tehran “is now backing Iraq in the war. There isn’t any Arab fighting group on the ground in Iraq who is with the United States,” he said. There is also evidence that Turkey has been playing both sides. Turkey and Syria, who traditionally have not had close relations, recently agreed to strengthen their ties, the businessman told me, and early this year Syria sent Major General Ghazi Kanaan, its longtime strongman and power broker in Lebanon, to Turkey. The two nations have begun to share intelligence and to meet, along with Iranian officials, to discuss border issues, in case an independent Kurdistan emerges from the Iraq war. A former U.S. intelligence officer put it this way: “The Syrians are coördinating with the Turks to screw us in the north—to cause us problems.” He added, “Syria and the Iranians agreed that they could not let an American occupation of Iraq stand.” "

Kids became 'human torches'  3/31/03 News 24, South Africa: "Bloodied school books and children's shoes lie amidst animal carcasses on the road leading to the Ismails' farm in this village on the south eastern edge of Baghdad. The main building of this hamlet, accessible via a checkpoint manned by militiamen, has been levelled, the second burned out and the third partially destroyed. A neighbour told an AFP journalist that two missiles fired by coalition warplanes on Saturday night caught five sleeping families living on the farm."

Neocons like Goldberg, Reiland are imperialists  3/31/03 Pittsburgh Tribune Review 

Advisors of Influence: Nine Members of the Defense Policy Board Have Ties to Defense Contractors  3/31/03 Public I: "Of the 30 members of the Defense Policy Board, the government-appointed group that advises the Pentagon, at least nine have ties to companies that have won more than $76 billion in defense contracts in 2001 and 2002. Four members are registered lobbyists, one of whom represents two of the three largest defense contractors."

Warner Bros. eliminates peace image from 'What a Girl Wants' ads  3/31/03 Sacramento Bee: peace is now obscene for Hollywood moguls.

Israeli tactics will not work in this conflict  3/31/03 Telegraph, UK: "At the cost of alienating the Palestinians, Israeli soldiers stop cars at least 30 yards from a checkpoint. If there is a single occupant, or all the passengers are young men, the car is considered a high security risk. All are ordered out of the car, and the men are told to lift their shirts to prove they do not have explosives around their waists. Male pedestrians are often made to strip to their underpants, waiting humiliated in the sun or rain."

'The Yank opened up. He had absolutely no regard for human life. He was a cowboy out on a jolly'  3/31/03 Times, UK: "LCoH Gerrard criticised the A10 for shooting when there were civilians so close to the tanks. He said: “There was a boy of about 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres away when the Yank opened up. There were all these civilians around. He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy."

Complete testimony of Mindy Kleinberg, appearing before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 31, 2003  3/31/03 Unknown News 

Daily Russian Military Intel Briefing, 3/31  3/31/03 Venik's Aviation: "Russian military analysts believe that the critical for the US duration of the war would be over 90 days provided that during that time the coalition will sustain over 1,000 killed. Under such circumstances a serious political crisis in the US and in the world will be unavoidable."

Wall of Shame  3/31/03 What Really Happened: photos of the punishment the US is inflicting on Iraq.

Five Guidelines for Our Organizing  3/31/03 Znet: "There is a very positive development happening in the anti-war movement. That is, people are actively trying to connect the war abroad with the struggles for power, resources, and freedom right here in our own neighborhoods. In the Boston area, members of United for Justice with Peace, local activists working to stop the state budget cuts, and progressive city councilors are holding informal meetings to develop strategies for how we can work together in order to mutually benefit and enlarge each other's efforts. Neighborhood-based peace groups are forging institutional links with grassroots tenant and immigrant organizations. Our most recent major peace rally featured labor, youth, and representatives from organizations doing a range of peace and justice work."


"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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