MARCH 27-21, 03 Archives

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Now, They Talk About Conventions of War? Winning Hearts and Minds Bush-Style March 27, 2003 By LINDA S. HEARD Athens, Greece. Britain’s ITV showed a small Iraqi boy lying on a stretcher in a Baghdad hospital. He was shrieking from pain caused by burns over more than two-thirds of his tiny body. I could see from the top half of his face, which had escaped the flames, that he had been an exceptionally beautiful infant with huge dark eyes, now stricken with fear. The reporter said that this angelic looking child was not expected to last the day. This was the first of a juxtaposition of events which brought home to me just how immoral is the American-led invasion of Iraq.

British troops lay siege to Basra March 27, 2003 By Peter Symonds Amid a welter of media reports, rumour and speculation about a possible anti-Hussein “uprising” in the southern Iraq city of Basra, simple facts have been conveniently buried. A large force of mainly British troops has surrounded and laid siege to the city of 1.3 million people, most of whom now have no electricity and clean water, and is responsible for creating a humanitarian crisis, potentially of huge proportions. The Wafa al-Qaed water treatment plant, which supplies over 60 percent of the city’s water, was put out of action last Friday during the attacks by British and US warplanes. Bombing knocked out high-tension cables, cutting the city’s power supplies and shutting down pumping and treatment facilities at the plant.

Americans and Dollars Not Welcome March 27, 2003 By Kevin O'Flynn A few regional businessmen have joined a worldwide boycott brought on by the Iraq war and are refusing to serve U.S. and British customers or sell American products. The five grocery shops owned by Nikolai Gerasimov in Kstovo, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, now have signs reading "Yankee! Go Home!" to show their opposition to the U.S.-led war. "It's a form of protest against the politicians of the U.S.,'' Gerasimov said, adding that the attack on Iraq was being orchestrated by a bully."It's like walking into a zoo carrying a gun with a sight," he said in a telephone interview. A Narodny clerk standing near a sign telling Americans that they won't be served.

Resistance Continues In Spite of US Media Blackout March 27, 2003 The role of the mainstream media as mouthpieces of the White House and Pentagon has become even more blatant since the start of the attack on Iraq. Protests receive scant coverage as many corporate news websites and newspapers shift their focus to coverage of the invasion itself, which the military restricts or manipulates. Despite all this, protests continue to rage across the country in San Fransisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Reports indicate that the corporate media has been skewing protest size estimates, inflating pro-war protests while underestimating the size of antiwar protests. But the media has been not just been misreporting news, but actively creating it in many cases: ClearChannel Communications, which owns over 1200 radio stations in the US, has sponsored pro-war rallies in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Antonio, Cincinnati and other cities.

American Legal System Is Corrupt Beyond Recognition, Judge Tells Harvard Law School March 2 7, 2003 By Geraldine Hawkins The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition, Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, told the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School on February 28. She said that the question of what is morally right is routinely sacrificed to what is politically expedient. The change has come because legal philosophy has descended to nihilism. "The integrity of law, its religious roots, its transcendent quality are disappearing. I saw the movie 'Chicago' with Richard Gere the other day. That's the way the public thinks about lawyers," she told the students.

How To Take Back America March 26, 2003 by Thom Hartmann Marching in the streets is important work, but wouldn't we have greater success if we also took control of the United States government? It's vital to point out right-wing-slanted reporting in the corporate media, but isn't it also important to seize enough political power in Washington to enforce anti-trust laws to break up media monopolies? And how are progressives - most standing on the outside of government, looking in - to deal with oil wars, endemic corporate cronyism, slashed environmental regulations, corporate-controlled voting machines, the devastation of America's natural areas, the fouling of our air and waters, and an administration that daily gives the pharma, HMO, banking, and insurance industries whatever they want regardless of how many people are harmed?

Bodies of 500 US, UK soldiers lying in Jacobabad  March 26, 2003 ISLAMABAD, Around 500 dead bodies of American and British soldiers killed during military operation in Afghanistan after September 11 blitz have been lying in a morgue at Shebhaz Airbase in Jacobabad. American and British authorities because of fear of strong reaction from their masses had kept the dead bodies of as many as 500 soldiers in a morgue established at Jacobabad Airbase instead of shifting them to their own countries, credible sources informed Online here Tuesday.The bodies of these soldiers, who were killed during last five months in Afghanistan, were brought from Baghram Airbase and other areas of war-ravaged country, sources disclosed. Sources said American and British authorities, which were planning to shift these dead bodies from their own countries, delayed the decision after eruption of war in Iraq. American and British authorities feared that shifting of dead bodies at this moment would affect the ongoing campaign of coalition forces in Iraq, sources pointed out. They maintained that dead bodies would be kept at Shebhaz Airbase until US and British authorities take the final decision.

British troops withdraw from Basra March 26, 2003 Fierce resistance has forced British troops to withdraw from Basra to regroup, British military officials said this afternoon, as the Red Cross warned of a potential humanitarian crisis in the city. Elements of Britain's Seventh Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats, withdrew from the southern Iraqi city - the nation's second largest. They had come under attack, as they blocked the main routes into the city from the north and south, from mortar fire and from guerrillas disguised in civilian clothes. Military officials also said that irregular forces pretended to surrender and used women and children as decoys. British commanders said this evening that they were considering calling in Royal Marine Commandos and the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the parachute regiment.

US prepares for slaughter in Iraq March 26, 2003 By Bill Vann With the failure of the Bush administration’s war strategy to secure either the speedy collapse of the Iraqi regime or the support of the Iraqi people, the Pentagon is preparing to dramatically escalate its onslaught against the country’s civilian population as well as its military. It was announced Tuesday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair will arrive in Washington Thursday for a day of meetings with Bush. In the wake of significant setbacks for both British and US forces, and with a battle pending in Baghdad that may claim many thousands of civilian lives, the conference at Camp David has the character of an emergency war council. The logic of events on the ground in Iraq is pushing the two imperialist powers toward a far bloodier war, with enormous political consequences.

Iran to be US next target: CIA Report March 26, 2003 LAHORE The next target of US after capturing Iraq will be replacement of religious government in Iran with a secular government as the US forces in Afghanistan have already started implementation on action plan in this regard. According to reliable sources, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had submitted a detailed 300 pages long report to President George Bush in which it was pointed out that during possible US attack on Iran religiously motivated Jehadi (holy warrior) organizations would support Iran from the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Four Women and the Bulldozer of Death  March 26, 2003 By Jonas Conti Peace! Peace is what we want! Don't harm us anymore Our land is all we have left You have killed our husbands You have destroyed our homes You are killing our young children Please don't destroy our trees Our only sustenance comes from the olive trees you want to destroy That's all we have left now Peace! Peace is what we want! Peace in our own land, a land we can call our own.....just peace. In Memory Of Rachel Corrie Murdered by the Israeli People /

March 26, 2003 By Brian Reade WITH every passing day it becomes clear that the muddled thinking behind this illegal assault on Iraq is based on lies, greed and ignorance. That the argument for the invasion is so morally weak and the objectives so vague, that the only justification left is that it has to be right because Our Boys are there. How patronising and incalculably dangerous that logic seems, especially if your loved one is now scrambling through the desert. What an admission that the war is being packaged in myth and sold by deceit. And nowhere has that become more clear than in the language used to flog it.

Prisoners released from Bagram say forced to strip naked, deprived of sleep, ordered to stand for hours March 25, 2003 By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Writer PESHAWAR, Pakistan - There was a thin layer of ice on the dirt floor of his cell. His interrogators, American soldiers, ordered him to strip. "Everything," they said. "Take everything off." Then, as he was shivering, naked in his cell, two men threw a bucket of ice cold water on him. "I couldn't say anything. I was so frightened. I didn't know what they would do next," Saif-ur Rahman told The Associated Press two weeks after his release from U.S. detention in Afghanistan Rahman's account and that of another recently freed Afghan gave a rare firsthand look into interrogations of prisoners held by the United States in the war against terrorism. Human rights groups have criticized U.S. interrogation methods as abusive. Two prisoners died in December after being beaten to death at a prison in Bagram Air Base, the U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan. The U.S. military defended its methods and insisted that they do not constitute torture. The Geneva Convention makes it illegal for prisoners of war to be shown and pictured and humiliated, and it's something that the United States does not do. - Donald Rumsfeld March 23, 2003

When needed most, the voice that could say 'no' is gone March 25, 2003 Bill Holm The historian Niall Ferguson called World War I "the greatest error in modern history." This mindless exercise to "make the world safe for democracy" kicked off the 20th century with 10 million corpses and a botched peace that gave us World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, probably even our current war -- a hangover from the collapsed Ottoman Empire. But the Bush administration is not interested in history or its consequences; so it trots out the same old patriotic gore from 1914 to sink us into the Iraqi quagmire. I have the feeling that support for this military enterprise -- and that only among Americans -- is, like the famous description of the Platte River -- a mile wide and an inch deep. In coffee shops, garages, hardware stores, wherever ordinary people gather in conservative western Minnesota, I find skepticism, even cynicism about the Iraq invasion. "It's all about oil," "Nothing we can do -- the big boys are going to shoot their guns," "Don't hear much about Enron or Osama bin Laden."

War fears crush stocks March 25, 2003 By Alexandra Twin Dow sees worst session in about 6 months on bets that victory in Iraq will be tougher than expected. The Dow suffered its worst one-day selloff in six months Monday as investors ditched stocks on signs that the war with Iraq will be longer and more devastating than had been anticipated.The Dow Jones industrial average (down 307.29 to 8214.68, Charts) tumbled 3.6 percent or 307 points, its worst drop on both a point and a percentage basis since September 3, 2002, when the Dow fell 4.1 percent or 355 points. The Nasdaq composite (down 52.06 to 1369.78, Charts) lost 3.6 percent, and the S&P 500 index (down 31.67 to 864.23, Charts) dropped 3.5 percent.

Iraq setbacks rock markets March 25, 2003 Heather Stewart and Charlotte Denny Confidence in quick victory fades · Concern grows that US cannot afford its war bill Setbacks for the coalition forces in Iraq brought the war rally to an abrupt end yesterday as stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic plunged more than 3%. Television pictures of captured US soldiers and jubilant Iraqis surrounding a grounded helicopter helped rattle confidence and send the FTSE 100 diving 117.8 points, or 3.1%, to close at 3,743.3, as investors' hopes of a short, sharp war evaporated. At one point every stock in the FTSE 100 was down.

Home-loan foreclosures reach record March 25, 2003 Weak economy forces more mortgage holders out of homes. U.S. home loans in foreclosure in the fourth quarter of 2002 hit a record high as the weak economy forced a larger portion of mortgage holders out of their homes, a mortgage trade group said Monday.

A roller coaster ride to hell March 25, 2003 By Eugene Marner We are living in confusing times. Americans—citizens of the richest and most powerful nation on earth—are terrified of the tin pot dictator of a fifth-rate military power that, for 12 years, has been bombed into impotence, sanctioned into penury, and inspected into military irrelevance. At the same time, those same citizens and the corporate media that claim to inform them seem to be completely unaware of the truly alarming news. On Thursday, March 6, the Dow-Jones news wire reported what may be a world-historical event. Few noticed. What happened is that Saudi Arabia announced that it would not be able to increase oil flow beyond the present 9.2 million barrels per day to the 10.3 million that they had promised in order to avoid shortages in the event of war. Why is this so important?

Iraqi resistance shatters US propaganda of "liberation" war March 25, 2003 By Patrick Martin The battles which erupted Sunday and Monday in southern and central Iraq have exploded Bush administration claims that the invasion of Iraq would lead to a speedy collapse of the Iraqi government. Instead of US and British troops being hailed as liberators, they have encountered fierce resistance in towns such as Umm Qasr, Nasiriya and Karbala. The first encounter between US forces and the Republican Guard, the best-trained and best-equipped Iraqi military units, took place Monday morning near the city of Karbala in central Iraq, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. The 32 Apache helicopters of the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, US Army V Corps, attacked an armored brigade of 90 tanks.The helicopters received what CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul called a “heavy, heavy barrage” of anti-aircraft fire, which shot down two of the helicopters and forced the others to withdraw. Penhaul described the pilots as “somewhat dazed, somewhat stunned” by the level of Iraqi resistance. One pilot called the attack zone “a hornet’s nest” in which Iraqi fire came from “all sides.”

The US media: propagandists for a criminal war March 25, 2003 By Bill Vann The New York City Police Department announced recently that as part of its “Operation Atlas” plan for a security crackdown to accompany the Iraq war it has deployed special patrols to guard television news outlets in midtown Manhattan. City and police officials claim they are concerned about terrorists seizing control of a network news studio to broadcast anti-American messages. The chance of Al Qaeda operatives storming the set of “Good Morning America” to read a screed from Osama bin Laden seems rather slim. A far more likely fear—and almost certainly the one that motivated the beefed-up security—is that Americans opposed to the assault on Iraq will direct their anger against a media that has systematically excluded their views and functioned as a privatized propaganda ministry for the Bush administration’s war drive.

Documents Show Ashcroft is Bypassing Courts With New Spy Powers, ACLU Says  March 25, 2003 NEW YORK Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that the Attorney General is aggressively wielding a disturbing power that - without the approval of a judge - allows the government to force banks, Internet service providers, telephone companies, and credit agencies to turn over their customers’ records. (Special web feature on ACLU's PATRIOT FOIA case) "Without judicial oversight, there is simply no assurance that the Attorney General is using this authority in keeping with democratic principles and constitutional rights," said Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program. Information about the government’s surveillance powers was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed jointly with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the Freedom to Read Foundation. According to documents obtained through the FOIA lawsuit, the government employs "National Security Letters" - signed by Attorney General Ashcroft or a delegate and with no judicial approval - to "compel the production of a substantial amount of relevant information." The government can use this power to obtain records about people living in the United States, including American citizens, without probable cause that the person has committed any crime. Entities that are forced to turn over records are prohibited from disclosing to their customers - or to anyone else - that the FBI has demanded the records.

U.S. Sees Itself 'Above the Law' March 25, 2003 By Richard Waddington GENEVA (Reuters) - A leading U.S. rights group accused the United States on Wednesday of seeing itself above human rights law and hinted this could put its own troops at risk in any conflict with Iraq U.S. treatment of Taliban and alleged al Qaeda fighters held in the Guantanamo naval base in Cuba and elsewhere was a "disaster" because of a refusal to give at least the Taliban the status of prisoners of war, Human Rights Watch said. Washington had also maintained a "stunning silence" on accusations that its forces were using interrogation techniques in Afghanistan that violated international conventions even if they fell short of outright torture, the U.S. group's executive director Kenneth Roth said. "There is a view that is increasingly dominant in Washington that the United States should be above international law," he told a news conference.

"Shut your mouth" March 25, 2003 By Tim Grieve As radio giants censor antiwar musicians, TV networks bully pro-peace actors, and Attorney General John Ashcroft prepares a new assault on civil liberties, a climate of intimidation creeps over America. As the United States marches toward Baghdad and braces for terrorist reprisals back home, Attorney General John Ashcroft may see in America's orange-alert fears and us-against-them attitude a target of opportunity he cannot resist. The man who pushed the USA PATRIOT Act through a terrified Congress in the days after Sept. 11 may be planning a new assault on civil liberties in the wake of the war on Iraq.

Iraq and Beyond March 25, 2003 Editorial The Bush Administration has launched a war against Iraq, a war that is unnecessary, unwise and illegal. By attacking a nation that has not attacked us and that does not pose an immediate threat to international peace and security, the Administration has violated the United Nations Charter and opened a new and shameful chapter in US history. Moreover, by abandoning a UN inspection and disarmament process that was working, it has chosen a path that is an affront not only to America's most cherished values but to the world community. The UN did not fail; rather, Washington sought a UN imprimatur for a war it had already decided to wage and scorned it when the Administration couldn't get its way.

Strategic Blunders by American Generals The Liberation of Iraq? March 25, 2003 By GILAD ATZMON Watching an Iraqi mob searching for “coalition” servicemen on Baghdad’s riverbank reveals the ‘surprising’ truth: the Iraqi people don’t really like their ‘liberators’. This must be shocking for Blair and Bush who present themselves as the saviours of the Iraqi people. If this is not bad enough, the Iraqi army refuses to surrender. How dare they? This is completely against the “coalition” military plans, and Donald Rumsfeld’s promises. Somehow, we no longer see the victorious images of American tanks and armoured vehicles racing in the Iraqi

Military Families Speak Out March 25, 2003 An organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

Trapped in Southern Iraq March 25, 2003 By Rod Nordland NEWSWEEK  On a day that saw at least 20 American soldiers missing or killed, NEWSWEEK’s Rod Nordland found hostile Iraqis and a vulnerable supply line as he tried to follow the U.S.-led advance to Baghdad. It’s Sunday and we’ve been spending the day trying to find where we can go safely. We’re a small group of “unilaterals”—journalists not embedded with any U.S. forces—well behind the American advance, well behind the front lines. And we’ve discovered that anywhere we go is quite unsafe.

A 'Tough Fight' Indeed March 25, 2003 By Martin Sieff President George W. Bush acknowledged reality on a day when the drive to Baghdad suddenly no longer looked like a walk in the desert park. "It is evident that it's going to take awhile to achieve our objective," the president said on his return to the White House Sunday from a weekend at Camp David. And then he added that he could assure the American people "that this is just the beginning of a tough fight."

Footage of captives puts news channels under pressure from Pentagon March 25, 2003 Matt Wells and Duncan Campbell As Arab television stations replayed pictures of bewildered and disoriented US prisoners of war on an endless loop, western broadcasters acceded to Pentagon requests to hold back until relatives of the soldiers had been informed.Al-Jazeera, the Arab channel that has become the curse of US military media managers, showed the footage as soon as it was available, leading to accusations of partiality and exploitation. The Pentagon warned that their transmission was a breach of the Geneva convention: US and British media organisations blurred the soldiers' faces or withdrew the images altogether. By yesterday, however, they were back on the air, much to the Pentagon's irritation. When the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, appeared on the CBS's Face the Nation programme on Sunday, the Pentagon had been denying reports that 10 US soldiers were captured or missing in Iraq. Then, presenter Bob Schieffer switched to a videotape from al-Jazeera, showing two confused American servicemen being questioned by an Iraqi interviewer. Asked what he made of the footage, he said: "I have no idea."

Bush seeks $80bn to cover costs of conflict March 25 2003 By James Harding Bush will today call on Congress to provide up to $80bn (€75bn) to fund the war in Iraq, finance the help provided by regional allies and cover the costs of heightened US homeland security. The bulk of the $70bn-$80bn requested in the supplemental budget is to meet the costs of the military action. But the White House budget planners have also earmarked billions of dollars for related costs, ranging from financial assistance to Israel to Iraq reconstruction.

Protest Actions Around Oceania March 25 2003 Reaction in Oceania against the war on Iraq has been both swift and massive, with huge demonstrations beginning only hours after the first bombs began to fall. To date there have been emergency anti war demos in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Honolulu, Wellington and Auckland, with more expected. Actions have included workers walking off construction sites, students walking out of class, and tens of thousands of people rallying in the streets. There have been paint bombs and toilet paper thrown at US embassies, paint thrown on Australian Premier Bob Carr's vehicle, and 15 people arrested so far.

'I'm Edgar from the United States. My name is Edgar' March 24, 2003 The casualties and the interviews with four men and a woman were broadcast by the Arab satellite station al-Jazeera with footage from state-controlled Iraqi television Each was interviewed individually, and they gave their names and their home states. They spoke with American accents into a microphone labelled Iraqi Television. "Why do you come?" the interrogator asked. "Because I was told to come here. I just follow orders," replied one. "You come to kill Iraqi people," he was asked. "No, I came to fix broke stuff. I told to shoot only if I am shot at. They shot at me first so I shoot back. I don't want to kill anybody," the ashen-faced soldier replied. "How are you see Iraqi army people?" he was asked. "They don't bother me, I don't bother them." "Where do you come from?" "Kansas." "Kansas," the interrogator repeated. The soldier, who said he was PFC [Private First Class] Miller, was then asked again why he came to Iraq. "I was told to come here," he replied. Another of the men, who said he was from El Paso, Texas, stared directly at the camera and spoke in a clear voice as he answered his captors' questions. "What's your name?" "Specialist Joseph Hudson, 585650287," he replied. "Why do you come from Texas to Iraq?" "I follow orders." Asked how many officers were with him, he said: "I do not know, sir." The soldier appeared to be often shaking his head and cupping his ear slightly to try to indicate that he couldn't hear properly. "How do you view the Iraqi people?" he was asked. "I'm sorry?" "How do you view the Iraqi people? The Iraqi people." "I don't understand." The camera focused on a dark-haired soldier lying on a bed, apparently wounded. "What's your name?" he was asked. "Edgar," he said as he was forced to sit upright. "Edgar? From what country?" "What do you mean? I'm Edgar from United States. My name is Edgar from United States."

The Official Version Of 9/11 Is A Hoax March 24, 2003 By John Kaminski Opposed by everyone in the world who was not bought off, the illegal invasion of Iraq was undertaken for many reasons - the imminent replacement of the dollar by the euro as the world's primary currency, the tempting lure of untapped oil reserves, the desire to consolidate U.S. Israeli military hegemony over a strategically vital region - but the most important reason was to further obscure questions about the awesome deception staged by the American government that has come to be known as 9/11. 9/11 was a hoax. This is no longer a wild conspiracy assertion; it is a fact, supported by thousands of other verifiable facts, foremost of which are: The attacks of 9/11 COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED without the willful failure of the American defense system. In Washington, Air Force pilots demanded to fly but were ordered to stand down. Yet instead of prosecuting the president and military leaders for this unprecedented dereliction of duty, military leaders were promoted and the president was praised for presiding over a defense system that suspiciously failed the most crucial test in its history. None of the deaths would have happened without the deliberate unplugging of America's air defenses.

Al-Jazeera screens gruesome footage of battle casualties March 24, 2003 Brian Whitaker Al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite channel which angered the United States with its coverage of the Afghan war, has caused a new furore by broadcasting blood-and-guts images from the invasion of Iraq. Millions of viewers throughout the Middle East saw pictures of Iraqi and American victims at the weekend which many western news organisations would consider too shocking to publish. One showed the head of a child, aged about 12, that had been split apart, reportedly in the assault on Basra. Others came from northern Iraq, where US missiles were fired at the Kurdish Islamist Ansar al-Islam organisation.Yesterday al-Jazeera relayed footage of Iraqi television's interviews with five captured US soldiers, which the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, denounced as a breach of the Geneva conventions. But the channel was unrepentant. "Look who's talking about international law and regulations," its spokesman, Jihad Ballout, said. "We didn't make the pictures - the pictures are there. It's a facet of the war. Our duty is to show the war from all angles." During the 1991 Gulf war the Middle East relied on CNN and other western broadcasters for breaking news. But since its launch in 1996 al-Jazeera's coverage has made it the most watched Arab channel.

War may be longer, more difficult 'than some have predicted,' Bush warns March 24, 2003 Lawrence M. O'Rourke President Bush met with his war council Saturday and declared that the battle for Iraq may be long and difficult, requiring an extended U.S. commitment. "A campaign on harsh terrain in a vast country could be longer and more difficult than some have predicted," the president said in a radio address from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., where he is spending the weekend.

US protests at Russian arms sales to Baghdad March 24, 2003 Peter Slevin The United States protested to the government of President Vladimir Putin Saturday for refusing to stop Russian arms dealers from providing illegal weapons and assistance to the Iraqi military. Bush administration sources said one Russian company was helping the Iraqi military to deploy electronic jamming equipment against US planes and bombs, and two others had sold anti-tank missiles and thousands of night-vision goggles in violation of UN sanctions. They said Moscow has ignored entreaties from Bush administration officials concerned about the threat to US forces.

Question dogs Bush administration Where are Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction? March 24, 2003 By Mike Allen and Dana Milbank Bush administration officials were peppered yesterday with questions about why allied forces in Iraq have not found any of the chemical or biological weapons that were President Bush’s central justification for forcibly disarming Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s government.

Brazen Deceit, Lying And Corruption Of Iraq War News March 24, 2003 By Cheryl Seal Disinformatiion By The Corporate Media Is A War Crime As the Bush War escalates, so does the intensity and wantonness of the propaganda disseminated by the corporate media. Overnight, it has cross the line from exaggeration, suppression, and calculated spin to outright lies and the total repression of meaningful coverage of dissent. To prevent the truth from being known is to permit opinions to be formed and decisions to be made on false pretexts. These opinions and decisions, in turn, are leading to the promotion of an illegal war and the deaths, dismemberment and permanent scarring of tens of thousands of human beings. Thereby, I believe that any news outlet or newscaster that knowingly disseminates false information or suppressed true information prior to and during a war - acts we will collectively refer to as disinformation - are guilty of war crimes and crimes, in general, against humanity, and should be held accountable. This regularly updated report will present evidence of these crimes and alerts to the schemes used by the perpetrators.

Plans For Civilian Internment: Stalag 17 American Style March 24, 2003 By Mary Louise Along the Danube River in Austria about forty miles from Vienna, a prison camp called Stalag 17 was one of many prisoner of war facilities during WWII, containing wooden barracks surrounded by double fences of barbed wire and guard towers. The 1953 Billy Wilder film "Stalag 17" is a close reproduction of the actual facilities, although the actors were obviously not as hungry, dirty, and overcrowded as the real prisoners were. Similar facilities exist in America, many in remote areas across our country adjacent to major highways, railroads, and airports. The infrastructure for incarcerating and executing resisters and dissenters in the coming American Holocaust has been already set up, according to the 1968 government plans code-named Operation Cable Splicer and Operation Garden Plot (FM 19-15), sub programs of the Rex 84 Program. Field Manual 3-19.40 or FM 19-40 is the August 2001 version of Military Police Internment/Resettlement Operations. This publication supersedes the FM 19-40 of February 1976 and FM 19-60 of May 1986 by order of the Secretary of the Army signed by administrative assistant, Joel B. Hudson. Pending the approval of the Army Chief of Staff, currently Eric. K. Shinseki, the military can detain and jail citizens en masse. Rex 84 called for many military bases to be closed and turned into prisons, based on the pretext that if a mass exodus of illegal aliens crossed the border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. A more honest and realistic scenario would be the detention of Americans.

Thank you, President Bush
March 24, 2003 By, Paulo Coelho Thank you, great leader George W. Bush. Thank you for showing everyone what a danger Saddam Hussein represents. Many of us might otherwise have forgotten that he used chemical weapons against his own people, against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Hussein is a bloodthirsty dictator and one of the clearest expressions of evil in today’s world. But this is not my only reason for thanking you. During the first two months of 2003, you have shown the world a great many other important things and, therefore, deserve my gratitude. So, remembering a poem I learned as a child, I want to say thank you. Thank you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their parliament are not for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars. Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for making it clear that neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair give the slightest weight to or show the slightest respect for the votes they received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that 90% of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest public demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years. Thank you for making it necessary for Tony Blair to go to the British parliament with a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and present this as ‘damning evidence collected by the British Secret Service’. Thank you for allowing Colin Powell to make a complete fool of himself by showing the UN Security Council photos which, one week later, were publicly challenged by Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector in Iraq.

Congratulations March 24, 2003 By Charley Reese Congratulations to me and congratulations to you. All of us Americans are about to become the proud mamas and papas of 22 million Iraqis — less, of course, the several thousand our forces kill. President Bush has been understandably coy about explaining to the people that we are going to adopt the Iraqi nation. Having destroyed its government, we will have to supply all of the government services to all of the Iraqi people, in addition to humanitarian supplies necessitated by our destructive war. We will have to rebuild its infrastructure even as we struggle with our own. You might have noticed that there has been no talk about an exit strategy. That's because there isn't one. The Bush administration plans to stay in Iraq to set up an occupational government and run the country for an indeterminate period of time. We, of course, will get stuck with the bill, and it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Some of the politicians' corporate cronies are already being promised lucrative contracts. There's always a profit to be made from war. You and I won't make it; the soldiers, sailors and airmen won't make it. No, as consumers, we pay the price in treasure and blood and grief; the big corporations reap the profit. But we have no one to blame but ourselves. As long as we are stupid enough to elect unscrupulous politicians to public offices, they will fleece us. When you look like a sheep, act like a sheep and baa like a sheep, then you can't blame the wolf for taking you as his dinner. Gee, I hope the Israelis don't get jealous. They've been on the American dole so long that the cumulative total is about $100 billion. You'd think that much of American taxpayers' money would earn at least a smidgen of gratitude, but as a young American peace activist learned when an Israeli killed her with a bulldozer, gratitude is not their forte.

MURDERERS!! March 23, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, gloated tonight while Baghdad was subjected to a terrifying 3 hours of massive bombardment by aircraft and cruise missiles. Donald Rumsfeld rejoiced with the knowledge that his “shock and awe” campaign had been a “success”. In a terrorist attack of horrendous proportions, hundreds of “targets” have been razed in the city, bearing witness to Rumsfeld’s claims that the US/UK forces would unleash an attack of “unprecedented” force and scale as he banged his fist theatrically on the dais in the Pentagon. Speaking of “targets”, Rumsfeld, like his master George Bush, proves that he has the same lizard-like cold blood as he showed to the world that he too has no regard whatsoever for the value of human life. As Rumsfeld gloats, fires rage out of control in Baghdad. The explosions from the ordnance are so powerful that journalists hundreds of metres away from the blasts cower under tables as glass is showered around them and red mushroom clouds rise up high into the sky. Fire crews are unable to put out the raging fires because they risk being bombed by the incessant attacks. The claims that only military installations are being targeted mean nothing, since civilians have been seen hurrying home in the middle of the Armageddon that Rumsfeld’s legions of evil have brought to the citizens of Baghdad.

RecommendedWar in Iraq - the second day of war March 23, 2003 The IRAQWAR.RU analytical center was created recently by a group of journalists and military experts from Russia to provide accurate and up-to-date news and analysis of the war against Iraq. The following is the English translation of the IRAQWAR.RU report based on the Russian military intelligence reports. Moscow - In the course of yesterday’s US military command meeting on Iraq the primary topic of discussion was the unexpected tactics adopted by the Iraqi forces. The coalition aircraft over Iraq encountered a huge number of various kinds of target mockups and other decoys on the ground. Thus, for example, after the post-strike aerial reconnaissance mission of an Iraqi airbase near Basra it was determined that all of the 20 Iraqi aircraft reported earlier by the coalition pilots as being destroyed in the bombing turned out to be aircraft mockups. Additionally, nearly all Iraqi radars discovered earlier have ceased transmission and relocated to new positions. As the result, every third coalition aircraft designated for the role of suppressing Iraqi air defenses returned to base with its full combat load unused. The pilots report that there is no way to know if the weapons released against the Iraqi air defenses hit the real targets or just more decoys. “…We engaged everything that looked like a radar. But there is no way in hell we can know what it really was!” – reported one of the coalition pilots back to ground control after releasing missiles against a suspected Iraqi radar site.

Russia Vows to Stop US Move to Legitimize Iraq War March 23, 2003 By Maria Golovnina MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia vowed on Saturday to block any future moves by the United States and its allies to win U.N. blessing for the military action against Iraq and the post-war power structures they might set up there. Keeping up fierce Russian criticism of the U.S. and British offensive, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said he expected Washington to seek retroactive approval for their action from the United Nations after Iraqi resistance had been crushed.

Pope says war 'threatens humanity' March 23, 2003 Pope John Paul has denounced the war against Iraq in his first public comments since the start of hostilities. He said the military action was a threat against the "fate of humanity". The pontiff said "it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society. "Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men." John Paul, with impassioned speeches and Vatican diplomacy, lobbied against war and in favour of a negotiated solution in the months before the conflict. He made his remarks in an address at the Vatican to an Italian religious television channel, Telepace. A few hours after the war began, the Vatican expressed "deep pain" and faulted both sides for failing to find a peaceful solution.

The American World Order March 23, 2003 The questions uppermost in people's minds are how long will the war in Iraq last and what will be the aftermath. Although on the face of it the action this time may appear to be similar to that of 1991, there are a number of differences. Twelve years ago a majority of the world was behind the United States and the allies. The cause appeared just. Saddam had swallowed Kuwait, a defenceless neighbour, and not a single country sympathised with him. It was pure aggression and it could not be supported. The war was given legitimacy by an UN resolution. This time around, a majority of people, not only within the US and the UK, but all over the world are against the war. The UN does not support the war. The nations opposing the US include such heavyweights as Russia, China, France and Germany. The opposition will increase as the war continues and the body bags start coming in.

Reports from the Frontlines Rosemarie Gillespie is part of a group of 14 international Human Shields at the 7th of April Water Treatment Plant, on the Tigris River, in the suburbs of Baghdad. She reports: "We had a big raid last nite. Very intense. Some hit close to us. I think they are aiming at the bridges. It seems that I slept through some of the bombing last night. (Thursday) After a while you get used to it. It only wakes you up if it is close or right on top of you. I did an interview with Derryn Hinch this morning and got an idea of the type of bullshit that is being pushed out through the commercial media." Others, including veteran journalist Robert Fisk, are also bearing witness to the US bombardment of Iraq.

Halliburton Makes a Killing on War March 23, 2003 Pratap Chatterjee As the first bombs rain down on Baghdad, CorpWatch has learned that thousands of employees of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, are working alongside U.S. troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. According to U.S. Army sources, they are building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the "war on terrorism."

US leaves Pakistan as protest spreads Meanwhile In Congress... March 23, 2003 By Hamish McDonald The House Passes Anti-Consumer Bankruptcy Bill Adam J. Goldberg is a policy analyst with Consumers Union, a non-partisan public interest group working on comsumer issues. Few may have noticed that the House has passed a controversial bill to “reform” the bankruptcy system. The overwhelming vote on March 19 -- 315 members voted “yes” and 113 voted “no” -- belies just how controversial the legislation is. Dozens of major consumer, civil rights, labor, women’s, community and religious organizations have gone on record in opposition to the legislation -- in the current and in previous Congresses. It’s easy to see why. Ninety percent of personal bankruptcies are caused by the loss of a job, high medical bills or divorce. With the economy slumping and many working families struggling to keep up, it doesn’t make sense that Congress would be considering legislation that would harm ordinary Americans who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.

US blitzkrieg turns Baghdad into an inferno March 22, 2003 By the Editorial Board The US bombardment of Baghdad, which began in earnest Friday, is a horrific, brutal and cowardly attack. It is being carried out for predatory imperialist aims—above all, the seizure and control of oil wealth—against the defenseless population of a nation that represents no threat to the American people. March 21, 2003 is a shameful day in US history. In the first day of the campaign of “shock and awe”—the modern equivalent of the Nazi blitzkrieg—as many as 3,000 lethal bombs and cruise missiles rained down on Iraqi cities, principally Baghdad, a metropolis of some five million people. American military officials have indicated that they intend to unleash in the opening phase of the current war ten times the destructive power employed twelve years ago in the initial stage of the first Persian Gulf war. According to Rear Admiral Matthew Moffit, aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, some 320 missiles were launched on Baghdad. Each missile can carry a 1,000-pound warhead and is designed to fly at low altitudes near the speed of sound to hit “high value” targets. Reported upon with undisguised glee by the American media.

Americans suffer the colossal losses March 22, 2003 According to the existing/available information, this morning, during the approach in the south of Iraq, the column of American troops, after moving to 15 kilometers from the boundary, fell under the impact/shock of the army of Iraq and sustained the most serious losses. Practically all helicopters of combat support were destroyed. The administration of the White House is in the complete confusion. the losses of American column amount to several hundred soldiers and officers. Two questions remain. The first - as for long it will be possible to preserve the losses of coalition from the promulgation. The second - as the army of coalition will act in the arising situation. probably, we soon learn responses/answers to these questions.

A sad day for America and the world March 22, 2003 I can't remember ever seeing a sadder and darker time for my country and the world. The un-elected leader of the United States, George W. Bush, along with his sinister agents such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and the "Prince Of Darkness" himself, Richard Perle, has launched a campaign of horror against untold thousands of innocent human beings in Iraq; a campaign that is almost certain to plunge America and the world into an abyss of fear, hatred, revenge, and untold sadness.

Fox News goes to war March 22, 2003 The attack on Iraq has begun as I sit down to write this, and there is wall-to-wall war coverage on the television. There are different talking-heads on every station, but they are all telling the same lies. And everyone is fawning over the Pentagon's arsenal of military hardware It's all very "smart," you see. Everyone says so. They are all gushing over how 90 percent of the bombs used this time around will be "smart" bombs, whereas only 10 percent of those used the last time were of the "smart" variety. Everyone is just thrilled.

"Shock & Awe" Blinding Investors March 22, 2003 The bombing of Baghdad apparently has investors watching CNN's war coverage instead of the latest economic news. If they were paying closer attention to the latest economic reports, they would see that the economy is getting worse, not better. For instance, energy-led price increases are undoubtedly squeezing consumers, and the employment situation is getting worse by the week.

Fans boo as U.S. national anthem is played March 22, 2003 By Associated Press MONTREAL (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.

A reckless path March 21, 2003 Paul Craig Roberts We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.
     — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, U.S. representative to the International Conference on Military Trials, Aug. 12, 1945.
     Will Bush be impeached? Will he be called a war criminal? These are not hyperbolic questions. Mr. Bush has permitted a small cadre of neoconservatives to isolate him from world opinion, putting him at odds with the United Nations and America's allies.
     What better illustrates Mr. Bush's isolation than the fact that he delivered his March 16 ultimatum to the U.N. concerning Iraq from an air base in the Azores, where there was no prospect for massive demonstrations against his policy. Standing with Mr. Bush against the world were Britain and Spain.
     The U.S., once a guarantor of peace, is now perceived in the rest of the world as an aggressor. Its victim is a small Muslim nation unable to defend its own air space, much less to project power beyond its borders. If Iraqis attempt to resist invasion, they will be slaughtered.
     On the eve of Mr. Bush's ultimatum, it came to light that a key piece of evidence used by the Bush administration to link Iraq to a nuclear weapons program is a forgery. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has asked the FBI to investigate the origin of the forged documents that the Bush administration used to make its case that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.
     Secretary of State Colin Powell denies that the Bush administration created the phony documents. "It came from other sources," Mr. Powell told Congress, but he could not identify the source.
     As George Santayana said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it." The administration's use of forged evidence opens Mr. Bush to unflattering comparisons that his enemies will not hesitate to make. They will point out that it was Adolf Hitler's strategy to fabricate evidence in order to justify his invasion of a helpless country.

Bush's Shameful War March 21, 2003 Matthew Rothschild George Bush bears responsibility for the horrors he is ordering up, and for the horrors that may flow from his decision to wage war. It was not comforting to hear the President say in his speech last night that "this will not be a campaign of half measures," and that he was going to apply "decisive force." I shudder to think what that means. And my heart goes out to the five million innocent people in Baghdad, who are facing an onslaught from the mightiest military ever to array itself on the face of the Earth. I can only imagine the terror they are feeling right now. Think what 3,000 missiles hitting Chicago would be like. Babies, mothers and fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters-all will be killed in this unnecessary, this unjust, this illegal war. And U.S. soldiers, too, will give their lives. And for what? In part, for oil. Did you notice in his speech on Monday how Bush said, right off the bat, that Saddam better not touch the oil fields? And then, last night, Bush says flatly, "We have no ambition in Iraq." Who is he kidding? Our economy is addicted to oil; we're the biggest guzzlers in the world. Bush should stop acting like America doesn't know where the oil is. Even the most inebriated alcoholic can locate the liquor store. This war is also about Bush settling a family score. Getting rid of Saddam has been on his personal to-do list since day one. He's wanted, as they say, to "finish the job" his father left incomplete, and to get back at Saddam for trying to kill his daddy. And Iraq is the test case for the new U.S. strategic doctrine, the warped brainchild of Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, which says the U.S. has the right to preventively attack any country it perceives as a distant threat. This is a brazen repudiation of international law.

Shields on Ground in Iraq: Anti-War Protests Rage Worldwide March 21, 2003 As the belligerent U.S. government, with assistance from Australia and the UK, begin their illegal war against Iraq, anti-war groups are calling all like-minded people to action. Continuous protests are planned across the country and around the world. Yesterday's demonstration in Sydney drew a large crowd as people are urged to maintain resistance now that hostilities have started. Likewise, massive anti-war actions are taking place in the UK, Spain Barcelona, Madrid, Germany, France, Moscow, Norway, Holland, 100,000 in Athens, the U.S. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, DC, New York, and around the world. Check your local Indymedia center (left sidebar) for actions near you.

Could U.S. be at war for years? March 21, 2003 By Bradley Burston, Haaretz Correspondent A Pentagon-dubbed 'decapitation' mission, a pre-dawn air assault with Saddam Hussein as its reputed target, may have been President George Bush's best chance to stave off a protracted war, which could spell ultimate defeat even if American troops score strings of tactical victories. But even if the Iraqi president is killed or captured, could the American people still be facing years of war, in Iraq or elsewhere? 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. "The problem is, can you simply abandon the world to dictators, to weapons of mass destruction?" Asked if that meant America might then be facing as many as five or six years of war at this point, Peres replied, "That is very possible. I don't know how long it will take, but the problem is a global one, and it will not end in Iraq, even if a new regime is instituted - say a regime like Jordan's, not a democracy, but orderly and responsible rule."

US warns Belgium over 'genocide law' March 21, 2003 BRUSSELS The United States has warned Belgium about the effects of its so-called genocide legislation that allows suits against foreign leaders on what Washington considers to be politically motivated charges. Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters in Washington that if such prosecutions proliferated, it could be difficult for senior officials to visit Belgium, home of the Nato headquarters. On Tuesday the families of victims of a US attack on a shelter in Baghdad in 1991 during the first Gulf War announced they planned to file a complaint in Belgium against Powell, former President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former US commander General Norman Schwarzkopf. The complaint would be under Belgium's genocide law, which enables courts to hear human rights cases, wherever the crimes were committed in the world.

Russia's Putin turns on U.S. over war in Iraq March 21, 2003 By Ron Popeski (Adds quotes by Foreign Minister Ivanov) MOSCOW, March 20 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, in fierce criticism of the U.S. attack on Baghdad, demanded a quick end to hostilities on Thursday and challenged Washington's view that Iraq was a threat to world security. Russia had been aligned with France, Germany and China in opposing any resort to military action and demanding more time for U.N. arms inspectors to continue their search for banned weapons in Iraq. "This military action is unjustified...there has been no answer to the main question which is: are there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and, if so, which ones," a grim-faced Putin told Russia's top ministers in the Kremlin. "Military a big political error,"he said in nationally-televised remarks, adding it flouted world opinion and international law.

Bush's Proposed Budget Would Cost Washington $5 Million in Federal Funding for Afterschool, Denying Programs to 8,000 Children March 21, 2003 U.S. Newswire According to data released today by the Afterschool Alliance, Washington would lose an estimated $5,501,054 for afterschool programs next year if Congress accepts President Bush's proposed cut to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC - the federal government's principal afterschool program). Using current state allocation funding formulas and the U.S. Department of Education's estimate of $700 per child for afterschool programming yearly, the Alliance determined that 7,859 Washington children would lose access to afterschool programs if the budget cut is adopted. The President proposed the cut in spite of a demonstrated need for afterschool programs; Washington received $19.6 million in grant applications in 2002, and had only $4.1 million in funds available.

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