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    World News
5/19/03 - 5/25/03

Sunday  5/25/03

Iran: Serious about fighting al-Qaida  5/25/03 Reuters 

U.S. Contemplating New Moves Against Iran  5/25/03 Reuters 

Pentagon snubs French ahead of G8 summit  5/25/03 Telegraph, UK: "In what the Americans describe as a "re-examination" of their military activities, the Pentagon has informed the French air force that it is not welcome at exercises code-named Red Flag in Nevada next March and Cope Thunder in Alaska four months later."

French passports found in Iraq: report  5/25/03 The News, Australia: "A US military intelligence team in Iraq has found a dozen French passports, and defence officials believe others were used by former Iraqi officials to flee the country, a news report said today. The Washington Times quoted US defence officials as saying they were still investigating whether the passports found were forged by Saddam Hussein's fallen regime, or whether they were genuine and either provided by the French government or stolen."

Saturday  5/24/03

topPentagon sets sights on a new Tehran regime  5/24/03 Guardian, UK: "The Pentagon has proposed a policy of regime change in Iran, after reports that al-Qaida leaders are coordinating terrorist attacks from Iran. But the plan is opposed by the US state department and the British government, officials in Washington said yesterday. The Pentagon plan would involve overt means, such as anti-government broadcasts transmitted to Iran, and covert means, possibly including support for the Iraq-based armed opposition movement Mojahedin Khalq (MEK), even though it is designated a terrorist group by the state department."

US blamed for Baghdad tension  5/24/03 Guardian, UK: "Britain believes that heavy-handed tactics by the US military are to blame for America's failure to secure Baghdad, which threatens to delay the reconstruction of Iraq as foreign companies steer clear of the capital. Tony Blair has been told in stark terms that American forces have exacerbated tensions because they have refused to mingle among the local population in the same way as British forces in Iraq's second city of Basra. The finger of blame is being pointed at troops from the 3rd Infantry Division, the main US forces in Baghdad, who are said to be desperate to return home after bearing the brunt of the military campaign."

Bribes And Threats Behind UN Vote  5/24/03 Jihad Unspun 

Intelligence team finds French passports in Iraq  5/24/03 Washington Times 

Friday  5/23/03

top6 French journalists handcuffed in Los Angeles and expelled  5/23/03 AP 

Warning to Bush from contrite cold war veteran  5/23/03 Guardian: "Robert McNamara, the US defence secretary during the Cuban missile crisis and the first phases of the Vietnam war, has warned of the folly of American involvement in Iraq… "If we can't persuade our allies and other comparable nations, we had better examine our reasoning," he said in the documentary. "What makes us omniscient?" ..."Why was it necessary to bomb Japan with atom bombs when we were burning the place down? Killing 50% to 90% of the population of 67 Japanese cities and then dropping atom bombs is not proportional." "

American troops disarming Iraqi citizens block by block  5/23/03 Knight Ridder 

Troops on wild orgy after finding rebels' $14m  5/23/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "Elite Colombian troops eager to pocket $US14 million ($21 million) in rebel cash threatened to kill reluctant comrades before plunging into an orgy involving prostitutes, whisky and luxury goods."

Bush 'is on brink of catastrophe'  5/23/03 Times, UK: "THE most senior Republican authority on foreign relations in Congress has warned President Bush that the United States is on the brink of catastrophe in Iraq. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Washington was in danger of creating “an incubator for terrorist cells and activity” unless it increased the scope and cost of its reconstruction efforts. He said that more troops, billions more dollars and a longer commitment were needed if the US were not to throw away the peace."

Thursday  5/22/03

topU.S. armored vehicle damaged in ambush in town where troops fired on crowd  5/22/03 AP: "FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) -- A U.S. armored vehicle was ambushed during a late-night raid in a restive city in central Iraq, an American military officer said Thursday. Townspeople said two Iraqi civilians were killed in the shooting that followed."

Saddam Prepares For Guerilla War With 40,000 Fighters by Free Arab Voice (FAV)  5/22/03 Centre for Research on Globalisation: "An intelligence report received by the American Central Intelligence Agency has disclosed on the authority of their secret sources that the deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is still alive and has formed a new secret leadership in preparation for waging a Vietnam-style guerrilla war against American forces to be launched next 17 July with 40,000 fighters. The force is to be led by the Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad."

Surveys pointing to high civilian death toll in Iraq  5/22/03 CS Monitor: "Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the recent war, according to researchers involved in independent surveys of the country." - enough for several 9-11s…

Israel's dwindling anti-terror arsenal  5/22/03 Haaretz 

Guilty of war crimes - or victim of a feud with US soldiers?  5/22/03 Independent: "Lt Col Collins, it is alleged, pistol-whipped an Iraqi "civic leader", gashing his head; punched and kicked prisoners of war; shot the tyres of vehicles when there was no threat to Allied lives; fired on the ground "near the feet" of Iraqi civilians and also spoken to civilians in a "threatening" fashion. Serious as the accusations are, they do not, despite what Lt Col Collins himself said yesterday, equate to the depredations of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. More pertinently, his British colleagues were yesterday comparing them to the actions of the Americans who shot dead unarmed demonstrators in cities such as Mosul and, as western journalists witnessed, killed civilians without provocation at various checkpoints in Baghdad."

U.S. troops still face `tens of thousands' of Iraqi fighters, Congress told  5/22/03 Knight Ridder 

BRITISH TROOPS STEP IN TO BAIL OUT YANKS  5/22/03 Mirror, UK: "COALITION chiefs plan to send 5,500 British Paras to Baghdad to save US troops from losing control of the Iraqi capital. Central Command top brass are terrified that war-weary American soldiers in Saddam Hussein's former power base have turned the population against them. Little if any peace keeping experience and only minimal training have been blamed for the growing disaster and continuing violence."

Pentagon limits contacts with France  5/22/03 MSNBC: "The defense spokesman also said that the Pentagon was still “in the gathering stage and the intelligence phase” of investigating a media report that France had provided French passports and visas for fleeing Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s government. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted in a briefing for reporters earlier this month that “France has historically had a very close relationship with Iraq . . . that continued right up until the outbreak of the war. What took place thereafter,” Rumsfeld said, “we’ll find out.” But a spokesman for Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who had asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the passport report, said yesterday the department had determined there was no truth to it. “They said that as far as they were concerned, the investigation was concluded,” spokesman Raj Bharwani said. Sensenbrenner, he said, was satisfied and considered the matter closed."

Chirac to embarrass Bush at G8 conference  5/22/03 Telegraph, UK: "He said Evian's main goal would be "to build the institutions and rules of a global democracy, open and interconnected", a swipe at the American administration, which has little patience for such rhetoric. The main themes of the summit would be reviving the world economy, solidarity with poor countries, responding to pandemics such as Aids, climate change and finally the fight against terrorism. The White House would have preferred the fight against terrorism to head the list, but M Chirac is loath to let the summit become a victory lap for Mr Bush."

Behind the UN Vote on Iraq  5/22/03 Time, US 

Report: U.N. told Iran has some Al-Qaeda terrorists in custody  5/22/03 USA Today: "Washington and Tehran have trade accusations all week. Thursday, Iran demanded on Thursday that the United States prove its assertions that Tehran harbors al-Qaeda terrorists and claimed Osama bin Laden's network of "threatening" Iranian national interests. Saeed Pourazizi, a close aide to President Mohammad Khatami, said it was Tehran's policy to crack down on al-Qaeda — not support it, as senior Bush administration officials suggested Wednesday. Al-Qaeda "is a terrorist group threatening Iran's interests. Its extremist interpretation of Islam contradicts the Islamic democracy Iran is trying to promote. There is no commonality of anything between us," Pourazizi told The Associated Press."

Massive turnout expected to call for expulsion of US Ambassador Shapiro from Venezuela  5/22/03 Vheadline 

U.S. calls looting from nuke site no risk  5/22/03 Washington Times: amidst numerous reports of Iraqis suffering from radiation sickness…

Wednesday  5/21/03

topSenate Scraps Low-Yield Nuke Weapons Ban  5/21/03 AP: "Senate Democrats lost a fight to keep a ban on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons, and now they want a compromise that would allow the research and prohibit the development."

CENTCOM blackout on Pakistan  5/21/03 Daily Times, Pakistan: "The US Central Command (CENTCOM) has removed all information on Pakistan from its website, after a report in Daily Times on May 18 saying that by joining the US-led war in Afghanistan, Pakistan had lost $10 billion."

Four US Soldiers Killed In Afghan Landmine Incident  5/21/03 Jihad Unspun 

British colonel in war crimes inquiry  5/21/03 Times, UK: light weight crimes compared to the many reports of US massacres of civilians.

Tuesday  5/20/03

topColombia Charges Soldiers With Stealing  5/20/03 AP: "Colombian authorities charged 147 soldiers with stealing money they found from a rebel hideout, the president's office announced. Officials arrested 40 soldiers, including three officers, and arrest warrants have been issued for another 107 soldiers, the presidency said on Monday."

Al-Qaeda's deadly seeds bear fruit  5/20/03 Asia Times: "The US-led invasion of Iraq created the ideal conditions for the IIF to flourish, and it rode the wave of anti-US sentiment in the Muslim world to draw more members. But in the process the organization has undergone a transformation. Al-Qaeda is no longer a coalition of different jihadi bodies. It is an independent organization that is planning a major strike on targets within the US. All the other jihadi bodies, including the Jamaat al-Jihad and the Jama-i-Islamia (or Gama-i-Islamya) are now autonomous and identify their own targets, raise their own funds, recruit and select their own teams for attacks. Even if al-Qaeda members happen to be in a particular country where an attack is planned, they will submit to the locals and not attempt to create a new al-Qaeda cell."

Protesters in Iraq assail U.S. occupation  5/20/03 IHT 

Democrats turn on Bush over handling of national security  5/20/03 Independent, UK 

A Statement From The 19 Saudi Suspects  5/20/03 Jihad Unspun: "They all know the religious scholars' fatwa that the ruling family's cooperation with the Crusaders is enough for them to become hypocrites and infidels. In addition to their participation into regional and international agreements that contradicts Allah's orders, and their help for the Americans to fight Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. They further assisted the CIA financially in its operations in Nicaragua, Angola, Lebanon and other countries with the wealth of Muslims that came from oil revenue. Recently, these criminals are fighting the Mujahedeen for the sake of the Crusaders and therefore they showed our photos in the media and described us as terrorists; may Allah curse them all."

Disease threatens people and palms  5/20/03 Latin America Press: "Lethal Yellowing Disease (LYD) has ripped through the Caribbean coast of Central America, destroying the major species of coconut palm in its path. It is also wiping out the livelihood of the Garifuna people who populate the Caribbean coastal regions of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. LYD is a phytoplasma whose organism is thought to behave like a primitive virus."

Six French journalists detained on arrival at Los Angeles, sent back to France  5/20/03 Reporters Without Borders: "Reporters Without Borders today protested against the detention of six French journalists on arrival a week ago at Los Angeles international airport to cover a video games trade show and their forcible repatriation after being held at the airport for more than 24 hours. "These journalists were treated like criminals - subjected to several body searches, handcuffed, locked up and fingerprinted," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard complained in a letter to the US ambassador to Paris, Howard Leach."

Canada Sends Shock Wave with Mad Cow Case  5/20/03 Reuters 

Saudi's guards tied to al-Qaeda weapons sales  5/20/03 Sydney Morning Herald 

Al-Qaida Members May Have Fled To US, Europe  5/20/03 Washington Post 

Soros Says He's Selling the Dollar  5/20/03 Washington Post 

Zionist meeting brands 'road map' as heresy  5/20/03 Washington Times: "The land of Israel was originally owned by God," said Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a Republican presidential contender in 2000. "Since He was the owner, only He could give it away. And He gave it to the Jewish people." Terrorists, he said, "don't understand why Israel and the United States are joined at the heart." Called the "Interfaith Zionist Leadership Summit," the conference attracted to the Omni Shoreham Hotel about 1,000 participants, who debated how evangelical Christians could best unite with Jews to support Israel… About three dozen people protested outside the hotel. "It involves fundamentalist Christians, who tend to be ethnocentric and racist, siding with Jews who practice the same policies in Israel," said David Kirshbaum, representing SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now). A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who oppose Israel's existence on theological grounds, stood beside him."

Monday  5/19/03

topLeo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception  5/19/03 Alternet 

Thousands of al-Qaida suspects ready to attack, warns US official  5/19/03 Guardian, UK: "US Democrats said last week's attacks in Morocco and Saudi Arabia showed that George Bush had overstated claims of success in the war against terrorism. "Al-Qaida never went out of business," Senator John Kerry, a Democratic presidential candidate, said on CBS television." "

Big Weapons Cache Found In Afghanistan  5/19/03 Jihad Unspun: "Coalition forces in Afghanistan have found a huge cache of weapons. The U-S military says forces found enough weapons in the hidden cache to fill 80 trucks, report said. The weapons were found outside the southern city of Kandahar. In recent months there have been reports of deposed Taliban and their allies trying to regroup to destabilize the government of President Hamid Karzai."

US Soldier Dies At Military Training Center In Kabul  5/19/03 Jihad Unspun 

Undocumented death count is left to media  5/19/03 Sydney Morning Herald: "The United States administration in Iraq said it has no plans to try to tally up the civilian dead. "We have no way of verifying independently whether people who were killed were civilians or not civilians," a Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Lapan, said on Friday… Meanwhile, Amnesty International says that Iraqi civilians and soldiers have accused British and US troops of torturing them for information during the war. Said Boumedouha, an Amnesty researcher, said the group had so far interviewed about 20 people who said they were tortured - mostly by beatings but at least one by electric shock - after being detained as prisoners of war. Some civilians were held as suspected Iraqi militia fighters." Old 'Nam habits die hard...


"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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